astrologizing.net
Holistic Health 6
March 2013
My last blurb about Holistic Health was #5 written in Fall 2011.  That was more than a year ago.  What have I
learned since then?  I've learned that diets don't work for me, I will not exercise, gratefulness is the most important
devotional, not to pay attention to the physicality of models or movie stars and, "... one must accept and cheerfully
accomplish the routine of ever-recurring duties and failures where nothing new ever seems to happen."
(Thomas Keating)

So, where do I go from here?  I am very disillusioned by Dr. OZ who recommends every diet pill and fad that goes
around, most internet so-called professionals who take your time with videos only to sell a product one can buy on
Amazon.com for less or at Walmart for next to nothing.  (Ask me about protein powders with or without soy.)  Ask me
about the Dukan Diet and all their products.  Ask me what happened to me when I went on the Dukan Diet and how
much it costs ahead of time.

One of the continuing practices that I do is energy healing on myself which is a partial throwback to my Reiki
training.  I don't call myself a Reiki Master anymore because I combine energy therapy with prayer and meditation
which is more a Christian practice than Reiki.  That's one of the benefits of synthesis or a Synergetic System;
one combines some from here, some from there, and some from one's own intuition to make a complete and
individual practice.  I combine energy, chakra colors, chakra hand positions, prayer, and meditation to make a totally
new and comprehensive therapy which works very well on me.  Take the
chakra test; it's enlightening! I will give
you more information concerning the Synergetic System that I use later as well as copies of my article about it.

In the meantime, if you've never meditated, please check out my page on
Meditation.  The next step would be to
study and practice Centering Prayer. This, too, is a form of Meditation.



The Guidelines for Centering Prayer:

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God's presence and action within.

2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of
your consent to God's presence and action within.

3. When you become aware of thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.

4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

For me, beginning Centering Prayer was a “coming home" experience "to a place I should never have left" (see
Thomas Keating's Meditation below). I only wish someone had told me 15 years ago contemplative prayer was for
everyone and introduced me then to Centering Prayer.

Centering Prayer is normally practiced for 20 minutes twice a day, usually after rising in the morning and again
before the evening meal at the end of the day.

"Centering prayer is a method designed to deepen the relationship with Christ begun, for example, in lectio divina
and to facilitate the development of contemplative prayer by preparing our faculties to cooperate with this gift. It is an
attempt to present the teaching of earlier times (e.g. the Cloud of Unknowing) in an updated form and to put a certain
order and regularity into it. It is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; it simply puts other kinds of prayer into a
new and fuller perspective. During the time of prayer, we consent to God's presence and action within. At other times
our attention moves outward to discover God's presence everywhere else." (Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open
Heart, p.139)

An Excerpt from Spirituality, Contemplation & Transformation: Writings on Centering Prayer
by Thomas Keating and others
This collection of essays by Thomas Keating and others explores many dimensions of centering prayer. Here is an
excerpt from one of Keating's essays on devotion.

"Following is a list of important aspects of the centering prayer practice and their sources in the tradition:

"One. Practice: choosing a place of external solitude. Source: Jesus' exhortation to enter into our inner room, close
the door, and pray to our Father in secret (Matt. 6:6).
"I will quote the commentary on that text by
Abba Isaac in Chapter Nine of John Cassian's Conferences, a
fourth-century treatise about the spiritual practices of the desert fathers and mothers of Egypt, who peopled the
deserts south of Alexandria (now Cairo) both as hermits and cenobites (monks and nuns living in communities).

" 'We need to be especially careful to follow the Gospel precept which instructs us to go into our [inner] room and
shut the door so that we may pray to our Father. And this is how we can do it.
" 'We pray with the door shut whenever we withdraw our hearts completely from the tumult and noise of our
thoughts and our worries and when secretly and intimately we offer our prayers to the Lord.
" 'We pray with the door shut when, without opening our mouths, and in perfect silence, we offer our petitions to the
one who pays no attention to words but looks hard at our hearts.
" 'We pray in secret when, in our hearts alone and in our recollected spirits, we address God and reveal our wishes
only to him and in such a way that the hostile powers themselves have no inkling of their nature. Hence, we must
pray in utter silence to insure that the thrust of our pleading be hidden from our enemies who are especially lying
in wait to attack us during our prayer. In this way, we shall fulfill the command of the prophet Micah, "Keep your
mouth shut from the one who sleeps on your breast." '

"Two. Practice: gentleness toward unwanted thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and impressions of any kind during
prayer. For example, Saint Francis de Sales in Introduction to the Devout Life: 'Act with great patience and
gentleness toward ourselves. . . . We must not be annoyed by distractions or our failures but start over without any
further ado.

"Three. Practice: returning again and again to the chosen symbol of our consent to God's presence and action
within. The symbol may be a word of one or two syllables, an inward turning to God or Jesus as if gazing at
someone we greatly love, or noticing our breathing....

"This is only a sampling of major sources, but it may give you a sense that centering prayer is not just one thing. It is
rather an effort to provide a blend of the best of the Christian contemplative tradition and at the same time to
respond to the needs of our contemporary cultural scene with its particular obstacles and hang-ups to
contemplation."
(Thomas Keating)
This can be enough material to keep us busy for the next few months.  

May the love of God surround you and may you live under the shadow of his wings forevermore.
JSG
A note in passing...

I just went back and read all the holistic health blurbs
since the beginning.  To keep things 'fair and balanced'
(ahem) I must tell you that I don't do EFT anymore; it
just didn't work for me even though I know it does for
many.  I don't take vitamins from Dr.  Weil although I
know it's a very good product.

What I have done and will do again is the diet on
Holistic Health 4 only this time I will use the new whey
product with NO SOY, even no soy lecithin. I am off
wheat, soy, and corn products. See the latest revision
of the
Newcastle Diet Study of 800 calories instead of
600.

I start off my day with a full glass of filtered water from
my faucet (Pur filter).  I do energy therapy on chakras,
centering prayer, and meditation every day as well as
Spiritual readings and classes; mostly at
(www.spiritualityandpractice.com)

What I have accomplished; the psoriasis that I have had
for 53 years is clearing up. Hallelujah!  I have promised
that if it totally clears up, I will go back to giving  
hands-on energy therapy to others again.