Holy Smokes – Does Incense Get You High?

Did you ever notice that unique calm you experience from the smell of incense?  Sort of feels like a “high,” right? Well, scientists are now suggesting that the smoke from some incense can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression and produce an overall calm effect. Surprise. Surprise. Stoners have been saying that for years.  Really, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that if you burn the right plant resin you will get high.

“Incense represents a way to experience a particular plant through it’s smoke”.

Nicely put but it still sounds like getting high to me.  I wonder what would happen if I left my Xanax at home and got on an airplane with incense cones plugged in my nose?

I love to burn incense. Frankincense is one of my favorites. It has a very pungent, sweet smell and is a fantastic mood enhancer (second to Prozac).  It can help to dispel fear and promote healthier thoughts as well as self-confidence. It is a valuable tool in cleansing and clearing the mind of negative chatter. It can open up our intuition to help create a greater relationship with God, Source, the Universe, All That Is or whatever name you feel in alignment with giving to this powerful connection.

I often use Frankincense for meditation. Its uplifting aroma is perfect for grounding and connecting to spirit which is why it is has been used in churches and religious rituals throughout history.

As a gift to the child, Jesus, the three Magis brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Nazareth. Each of these gifts had practical as well as symbolic meaning. The gold was meant to represent the status of Jesus as a king. While gold brings comfort, (for a Jewish girl nothing brings me more comfort than a jewelry store full of glittering and sparkly gold) frankincense and myrrh have been used throughout history as aids for spiritual transcendence and peace; to manifest Heaven on Earth.

As a gift for Jesus, Frankincense was included because it symbolized the priesthood of Jesus and his divinity; his stature as a spiritual leader and teacher.  It is known to help us to detach from that which doesn’t have deeper spiritual meaning, such as over attention to materialism (like jewelry stores – which is one reason I burn it or I’d be broke), therefore helping us to better integrate with our Higher Self.

Frankincense is most often burned with Myrrh.  Myrrh is known to unite Heaven and Earth within each person, blending the spiritual with the physical.  Myrrh was given to Jesus symbolically to represent his humanity and ultimately, his death and burial.

I also like to burn dragons blood. No dragons are ever harmed when extracting this incense. This red colored resin is actually obtained from certain plants and has been used since ancient times as incense, dye and also for medicinal purposes.

My husband, Al, recently began a meditation practice. For those of you who consistently read my blog, you know that Al is a bit “quirky.” He read on “the internet” (so it must be true) about how incense can enhance the meditation experience. Al is like a dog with a bone when he gets an idea in his head.  The area that we live in doesn’t have too many metaphysical shops which makes it a bit difficult to get good incense locally.  The closest shop to me is about 40 minutes so if you run out of incense and you’re jonesing for it, you could be in trouble. (If I’m really in a bind, I will go into my spice cabinet, take out some rosemary and light it up!)

Fortunately, Al has solved that problem by stocking up on our favorite incense aromas. Here is a sample of our personal collection and trust me, there’s more on the way. Al can’t resist an “add on” item from Amazon.

IMG_1223

Speaking of shopping addictions………….

I think I’ve mentioned before how Al is like a kid in a candy store when it comes to the internet.  Those little ads that pop up and offer you items “for only $4.95 shipping” trigger something in his brain and he can’t control himself.

Al:     Honey, I tried to buy you a present today.

Me:   Really, you drove 2 hours to Nordstrom to pick up that bracelet I wanted?

Al:     No, even better.

Me:    Oy. What did you do now?

Al:     You know how you always say you don’t like the wrinkle on your neck?

Me:   The wrinkle? You mean where my neck looks like one of those Chinese Shar-Pei dogs?

Al:    Well, I got you a present to fix it.

Me:   You told me you didn’t notice the wrinkle.

Al:    I don’t but it really seems to bother you so I thought I would  help.

Me:  Okay, I’m scared. What did you do?

Al:    When I was on the internet this ad popped up. It was offering this miracle wrinkle cream for only $4.95 shipping – a free trial. So, I bought it for you.

Me:     You bought it for me, huh?

Al:     Yep, but here’s the weird thing.  I got denied by the company.

Me:   The wrinkle cream company denied you? What did you do, send them my picture?

Al:    It just said my order was declined.

Me:   So what did you do?

Al:    I ordered it again.

Me:  And?

Al:   It was declined again.

Me:  (taking a deep breath) Al, I’m willing to bet that the wrinkle cream company didn’t “decline” you.  I’m sure it was our credit card company declining the charge because this shit is a SCAM!

Al: (obviously hurt and upset)  What do you mean? It is not. The ad showed before and after photos of women who used the cream. There were also written testimonials. And, I thought you would really like it because it has all natural ingredients.  Plus, I read the fine print – no strings attached.

Me:   Well, now that they have our credit card number I’m sure we’ll start getting monthly shipments.

Al:    No, I’m telling you. It wasn’t a scam. I don’t know why you’re so mad. I was just trying to do something nice for you.

Me:   I’m not mad. I’m highly amused.

I’m sure you all are dying to know what happened, right?  Later that night I was checking my email and found two emails from our bank asking us if we made these charges to the wrinkle cream company.  Sigh. Fortunately, the charges were declined as possibly “fraudulent” and the bank  was letting me know this out of courtesy.

I checked our card account and didn’t see any charges. End of story. No harm no foul.  (Al, I swear I’m going to put parental controls on your Ipad).

A week later my “wrinkle cream” arrived in the mail. Al was so excited I thought he was going to pee himself.  He handed it to me proudly with an “I told you so look”.

I opened the package. I think you can see from the picture what the natural ingredient is…..Snake venom! Really? Yes, really. You can’t make this stuff up. (I better call the credit card company again)

IMG_1225

Al:  Are you going to try it?

Me:   Um, no.

Al:    Why not?

Me:   You want me to put snake venom on my face and neck? I don’t even see a list of other ingredients on the package. So no, I’m not going to use it; I’m going to blog about it.

Al:   Well how about if I use it on my neck first?

Me:   Sure, go ahead. I just paid your life insurance premium.

Stay tuned.

Love,

Dana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mantras: Bring Balance and Joy into your Life

Thanks to my  husband, Al, I now have a wonderful sacred space where I can practice my mantras and lose myself in blissful meditation.  (Read my last blog if you want to know how this sacred space came about.)

The meditation “closet” is equipped with an ancient “radio/CD” player that Al installed so I could enjoy music with my meditation practice.  Yes, really – an actual AM/FM Radio/CD player that’s at least 15 years old.  It really comes as no surprise. Al won’t give up his flip phone and texts at a pace of 10 letters per minute. I really should be grateful that he uses the flip phone. If he had his way he would be carrying one of those cell phone suitcase things from 1990. He saw one at a flea market and wanted to buy it because it was $2.00. If I try to explain streaming or downloading music to him a glaze comes over his eyes.  He’s totally not interested. He’d be happy with a Victrola.

Oh and while we’re on the topic of cell phones, let me offer a piece of advice. If you are the self-conscious type and you find yourself at the mall with Al, encourage him to leave his phone in the car. He talks into that cell with a voice that can break the sound barrier. I’ve watched friends and family members scatter in embarrassment when he’s having a conversation on his phone.  His voice easily reverberates from Macy’s all the way down the the mall corridor, through the food court and around the corner to Nordstrom. It doesn’t bother me anymore, however. I just walk in front of him and pretend I don’t know him. It’s not like he will ever get lost with that cacophony coming from his mouth.

So back on topic –  I just read a new book that’s helped me with my meditation practice as well as my ongoing practice of The Law of Attraction.  The book is called Easy Breezy Prosperity and is written by Emmanuel Dagher. I highly recommend it. Here’s the link to Amazon where I purchased it. http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Breezy-Prosperity-Foundations-Abundant/dp/1623366216/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453218693&sr=8-1&keywords=easy+breezy+prosperity

And……….here is my Amazon Review of “Easy Breezy Prosperity”

I have been reading/listening to Emmanuel Dagher for over a year now. His insight is simplistic but amazingly brilliant. This man really resonates with me. You can feel the love emanating from him as his words jump from the book directly into your heart. The book is an easy “how to” manual to bring prosperity of all kind into your life. The exercises are easy and enriching – a fabulous tool for self-learning. My favorite thing about the book are the mantras for prosperity that Emmanuel introduced. I did some research to clarify some questions I had and I learned even more about mantras. Mantras have added a whole new and amazing dimension to my meditation practice. Thank you, Emmanuel, for your book but most importantly, thank you for dedicating your beautiful spirit to the uplifting of all humanity.

So what is a mantra and how are you supposed to use it? 

A mantra is powerful sound vibration of the mind that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.  When used carefully, mantras are said to be able to alter your subconscious impulses.  When spoken or chanted they can direct the healing power of Prana (life force energy) to bring about healing as well as a more peaceful and balanced lifestyle.

You don’t have to be a Buddhist or a Hindu to practice mantras and you can chant in whatever language rings your bells.  Many people choose to use Sanskrit mantras. (Sanskrit is the primary ancient sacred language of Hindu) The main reason Sanskrit is used is because these sacred words have been spoken over and over again for thousands of years and contain a very powerful and positive universal vibrational energy.

om-symbol-d76076039A common Sanskrit mantra is Om or Aum.  In fact, the Om symbol is considered a mantra in its own right.  We’ve all heard this word called “Om”. But, what is it and what does it mean? If you chant it does it somehow magically transform you into a Buddhist? ( I don’t think so but stranger things have happened so don’t quote me on this one)

Om is an ancient Sanskrit “word” that was first felt by Rishis (Hindu poets, seers and sages – just like me but definitely not Jewish {grins}) as they meditated. It was more about the essence of Om rather than the chanting of it. Eventually as the experience was shared, the actual word came forth and people started chanting it to receive the experience of it. So, exactly what is the experience of Om?

Om is a vibration so it is difficult to describe with words. Om represents everything. Om is said to be the seed of all of creation.  This seemingly tiny word contains all the power of the Universe. It is the beginning, middle and the end. It’s the past, present and future. Chanting Om brings into your awareness the subtle impressions of the mind and emotions and the thoughts and beliefs of your life and this world.  When written this way, (AUM) it appears as if the sound has three parts.

The A (aahh) sound represents the creation aspect of the Universe and all of the objects within it. Aahhh is the beginning of all sounds. It connects us to our sense of self. With this syllable  you experience the existence of the world  through the activity of the senses. It starts in the back of the throat and reaches down to the lower abdomen. It brings unity and truth to your existence.

The U (oooh) sound signifies maintaining the energy of the Universe. It connects us to an inner sense of something greater than what we feel with our senses. Oooh lets in light, clarity and balance. This sound vibrates in the solar plexus and denotes illumination of knowing and pure wisdom.

The M (mmmm) sound characterizes the transforming energy of the Universe and the thoughts and beliefs of your being. This sound unites you to the awareness of wholeness with all that is.  The sound vibrates in the crown of the head. It symbolizes being blissful; at one and peaceful with all things.

The experience of Om is multifaceted.  Om is called the seed of sound, the original sound from which all other sounds and words come from. Om is said to represent God, Bhraman, Source and Universal Consciousness – it has the power to create everything.
When chanting Om aloud, the sound will naturally evolve through the three phases corresponding to the three letters A-U-M.  You can liken the experience of Om as a sense of completeness and pure consciousness. The three syllables are not distinct or separate phases, but a continuous motion of the body, breath and awareness.

The true power of Om, however, really does lie in the experience of it. Reading this can help the mind understand but it can’t help you to feel the vibration. Chant Om by yourself or, for a more powerful experience, chant it with a group. I also sit down in the lotus position and start to chant Om whenever Al is invading my space and I want him out.  Works every time.

Allow the experience of Om to be absorbed into your being. Allow the vibrations to clear and cleanse your energy system and your chakras.

Om is an amazing tool that people of all faiths can utilize to bring focus and awareness to the greater meaning of life. You can find wholeness and healing in this mantra.

51q+iJ40DvL._UY395_When I’m not wearing my diamond tiara, (my grandmother always told me that less is more) I wear the OM symbol on a chain around my neck  to remind me each day of all that I am

For those of you who have asked, I will answer the burning question from my last blog post. Yes, Al is now meditating. So he says. I  haven’t really seen him do it so I can’t be absolutely certain. We did, however, have an interesting conversation that I’d like to share with you.

Al:     Does Wal-Mart sell incense?

Me:   What kind of incense?

Al:    Frankincense and Myrrh.

Me:  Sure, in their New Age section right next to “housewares.” Everyone knows that.

Al:   Really?

Me:  No.

Al:   Seriously, is there a place to buy incense around here or do I have to get it from Amazon?

Me: Well instead of stinking up the whole closet with incense and making my clothes and shoes smell like I’m smoking weed or something, we can just get some little candles in those scents. You can light those when you meditate.

Al:  No, I want the smoke from the incense. The frankincense will elevate me spiritually while the myrrh will bring the astral realms closer and bring my manifestations to fruition.

My head almost twisted off looking at him. Who is this freak of a husband of mine? First he learns how to use a computer. Then he starts shopping on Amazon. Now he’s burning incense and meditating? For years, people have been calling him “Jeremiah Johnson.”  You know the type of man I mean, right? Am I somehow responsible for breaking Al’s spirit?  I swear if he  asks for a smart phone for Christmas I’m going to call in a Shaman.

Love,

Dana

P.S.

Just so you know, I have no affiliation with Emmanual Dagher or Easy Breezy Prosperity. I just happen to really like Emmanual and his book.

Oh and wait……..I’m getting a message from my dead lawyer. He says I should put a disclaimer in this post about NOT burning incense or candles in the closet.  Please don’t be offended. He means well. Lawyers just think everyone is stupid..

 

A Crystal Christmas

IMG_1141
Hey it’s me! 🙂

I am now calling Christmas, 2015 – “A Crystal Christmas”. You have to know my husband to know that he is quite set in his ways. He’s an old-fashioned, rigid thinker who hates to be challenged.  I have no idea why he wanted to marry me. I do nothing BUT challenge him and give him continuous grief about his attitude toward people and things.  So why did I want to marry Al? Good question. There’s a side to Al that few people know. I’m one of the lucky ones.  No sarcasm there. Honest. Of course this goodness that he owns doesn’t excuse his bad behavior ( I never could resist a bad boy) but it stops me from smashing the shovel on his stupid head when he does kind and thoughtful things for me.

If you’ve been following my blog you know that Al is a Catholic.  At the risk of repeating myself, in my opinion, that’s Al’s first problem.  Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the Christianity part that bothers me. Again, at the risk of repeating myself from former blogs, it’s the rigid indoctrinational (is that a word?) thinking/shoving down your throat/we’re right and you’re wrong and that’s-that mindset that I’ve come to understand (but really dislike) being married to Al all of these years. Hey, did you get all that?

IMG_1072
New Crystal Ball – Love at First Sight!

So, in understanding Al, you need to understand that him buying me a crystal ball (among other beautiful crystals) for Christmas was a really, really big thing! The Catholics I know and love don’t believe in crystals, fairies, tree spirits, tarot, reiki or most of the other mystical things or gnostic ideas that are part of my everyday normal life.  It’s sort of like the Southern Baptist preacher buying a gift basket of matzoh for a Rabbi on Passover.  Maybe, just maybe, the preacher understands the meaning of Passover but he doesn’t have a Jewish grandmother so he really has no idea what matzoh (a/k/a Jewish crackers) really is/are. I really hope you get the comparison here.

IMG_1093
My New Love Pictured with My Favorite Crystal Healing Wand

I oohed and aahed over the crystal ball; it really is magnificent. The pictures do not do it justice.  The energy emanating from this crystal is powerful and amazing.  I cleared, cleansed and programmed it and was trying to decide where best to place it. It doesn’t go with any of my decor. I’m really into the rustic and primitive look.  I’m attracted to things that look old and broken but I’m not about to put a crack in my crystal ball. I do have crystals placed all over my house that are unobtrusively mixed in with my primitives but, I don’t have anything as large as this new treasure. It couldn’t blend in if it wanted to. It’s a stand alone piece.

At home, I spend most of my time in my bedroom (not on my back so get your mind out of the gutter) so that is where I decided to place it.  My bedroom is my peaceful oasis, uncontaminated with negative energy that comes from the television in the family room blaring Joe Kenda (detective show) or Dion Graham, infamous deep and distinctive voice of “The First 48”.

“Coming up in the First 48…….two men are shot down in a hail of  bullets. Miami detectives struggle to break the code of silence before the bloody turf war claims yet another life……and……….

THE CLOCK

IS

TICKING…………”

Welcome to my life.

So anyway, I put the beautiful crystal ball in the bedroom whereupon Al initiates the following conversation with me:

Al:     I’m glad you like your Christmas present.

Me:   I love it!

Al:     I was thinking.

Me:    Crap. (Rolling my eyes – was another discussion yet forthcoming on Al’s theories about the end of the world?)

Al:     You’ve been telling me you want a quiet meditation space where no one will bother you.

Me:  (Heart beating with excitement and joy) Yes? Do you finally have an idea where you’re going to build it?

Al:   How many times do I have to tell you that there is no place to “build” it. What I had in mind was our bedroom closet.

Me: Okay, I think? (Thank God our closet is a walk-in)

Al:  If you cleaned up and organized your side of it you could put your books and crystals and “stuff” in there with some pillows and some music and you will have a peaceful space. (I could see he was really proud of this idea so I pinched myself to stay quiet)

Then Al blows my mind………..

Al:  In fact, I was thinking of trying this meditation thing myself.

Me:  Whoa. Smelling salts please! You’re going to meditate? Wait, is this a set-up to get me to clean the closet out?  (It’s pretty sick but his side is all organized and neat and mine is quite the disaster. In my defense I know where everything is though!)

Al:   No, I really want to try to meditate and everything I’m reading says you should have a dedicated space.

Mind blown again.

Me:  What? Not only are you reading but you’re reading spiritual stuff?  (Oh I get it. Hey aliens, bring my husband back, please. You can have him back when the winter is over. I need him to snow blow).

Al:    So, what do you think?

Me:  I find it fascinating that you want to use MY SIDE of the closet. I think you’re becoming more anal about my organized chaos and this meditation thing is just an excuse to get me to clean it up.

Al:  Well, I’m not going to say the thought didn’t cross my mind………but……….I really do want to try this meditating thing with you. We should have a dedicated space that always has good energy.

Me: (sputtering and choking while laughing my butt off)  Someone please call a priest – we have a problem here! Oh you read some kind of mediation for dummies book or you Googled something and suddenly you’re an expert. Okay, well I like the idea so I’ll go along. I’ll clean the closet.

A week later……………

Me:    Did you mediate today?

Al:     No.

Me:    Did you meditate yesterday?

Al:    No.

Me:   How about the day before?

Al:    No.

Me:   Are you going to meditate tomorrow?

Al:    Maybe if I have time.

Me: I see.

Score:

Al 1 – Dana – 0

The good thing is that I have an awesome new meditation space. Al even built me a meditation bench that will “rock me into perfect posture for maximum energy flow”. (my husband the infomercial)  He even thought of the pillow for my knees. The little homemaker sewed it all by himself. It’s made from camo material.  I’m really sorry that I forgot to take a picture but I will for a future post. 

Will Al EVER meditate? I don’t know. I’ll check my crystal ball and get back to you just as soon I read the directions on “scrying.”

Love,

Dana

P.S.

Wishing all of you a happy 2016 rich in abundant blessings even if I am a week late!

New for 2016:

I will be doing a monthly drawing for a free mini intuitive reading (15 minutes). All you have to do is be a subscriber to my blog.  I will choose one person at random at the end of each month and will notify that person via email.  (I might even ask the crystal ball for the winner’s name 🙂 )  If you are the winner and you choose not to receive the reading that’s fine but you cannot transfer it to your mother’s uncle’s cousin’s sister’s aunt.

***Readings are for entertainment purposes and should not be replaced by common sense. I am NOT a fortune-teller and do not “predict” occurrences, events or outcomes.  Sorry but my dead attorney (may he rest in peace) contacted me from the other side and said I have to put that little clause in there.