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 June 29, 2006 9:51 PM

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 April 24, 2006 9:34 AM

Grateful Living
Home And Land Meditation

Just as we take care of our friends and families, our homes and Mother Earth take care of us. Our homes give us a place of refuge-a sanctuary that stands between us and the elements of nature and the rest of the world. The earth is an unselfish giver of life and the steward of our physical and spiritual needs. The earth's bountiful plant life nourishes us, gives us air, and offers us cooling shade. Her waters quench our thirst, and her beauty stirs our souls. Yet it is easy to take both of these wonderful sources of our blessings for granted. Expressing the gratitude you feel toward your home and the earth for the blessings each provides you can help you stay conscious of where many of the gifts in your life come from. Each time you give thanks, you'll be reminded of the importance of caring for your home and for Mother Earth. There is a simple and beautiful meditation you can perform to show your gratitude. Begin by finding a quiet place where you can be alone. Sit comfortably and breathe deeply until you feel relaxed and then read the following out loud.:

"Thank you, home, for allowing me to live within your walls. Thank you for giving me shelter, warmth, and security. Thank you for allowing me to live my life in your womb, for staying strong and sturdy, for supporting me, and for your beauty.

Thank you, earth, for the land that I live on and for allowing me to steward life with you. Thank you for allowing me to walk upon your soil, cultivate you, and live in partnership with you. Thank you for supporting my home and my family.

Thank you, plants, minerals, and animals that dwell on the land that I steward. Thank you for allowing me to experience your beauty, share in your wonderment of life, and for the honor of living with all of you on this earth. Thank you for the wisdom and joy you bring to humanity.

I honor you."

You can perform this meditation as often as you like and anytime you feel particularly thankful for the many blessings that you have received. Each time you do, you'll reaffirm and strengthen your connection with all that protects, supports, and sustains you.

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 April 01, 2006 7:23 AM

Objects Of Power
Talismans

For millennia, mankind has found peace and solace in objects of significance. When cleansed and consecrated through ritual, such objects - be they gems, amulets, herbs, or written words - become talismans. A talisman is any item imbued with a specific power by its bearer to serve a specific intention. Ancient Egyptians used massive stone tablets as healing talismans while the Greeks and Romans used lead talismans to communicate with the spirit realm. Traditionally, a talisman acts to anchor energy in the physical plane. That energy may be protective in nature or may be intended to draw abundance, wealth, or a wide variety of blessings to its user. Today, a talisman may be made of wood, metal, paper, stone, or natural elements such as plants. Often, talismans are small enough to be easily worn or carried, and they may be marked with words or symbols that the talisman's owner deems meaningful.

Creating and owning a talisman can reassure you and also serve to aide you in attracting what you want in life. You may use your talisman to help you attain health, security, or good luck. Or you may simply want to carry an object with you that will remind you of your search for soulful tranquility. In order to create a talisman, you must first determine its physical properties. This can be as innocuous as a strip of paper bearing the word "Love" and carried in a wooden box or cloth sack. You may prefer a more visible talisman, such as a metal amulet or a gemstone worn as jewelry. Before your object becomes a talisman, however, it must be charged. This can be done by cleansing the object - with water or with incense - and holding a ritual of your own making. Or, you can leave the object in moonlight or sunlight or bury it in the earth for a time. To preserve its effectiveness, talismans should be reconsecrated regularly.

Almost any object can be transformed into a talisman of protection, good fortune, health, love, or serenity. It may be strung on a cord and hung around the neck, worn on a belt, or carried in a purse or pocket. But the physical properties of the talisman are not as important as the intention of its bearer. If you are grounded in your desires, your talisman will give you a focal point that you can concentrate on to affirm your intention and help you achieve your goals.

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Daily OM March 30, 2006 5:22 PM

Keeping Conscious
Staying Grounded In A Busy World

1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down the speed of life. You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.

6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don't have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members - loved ones, friends, or neighbors - can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.

7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.

9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often "on the go" and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.

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