• Spiritual Sound

    You’re walking through a mall, mentally checking off your busy holiday “to-do” list, when the exuberant notes of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s Messiah suddenly fill the air. Immediately, your mood shifts from mildly frantic to downright joyful. Tingles run up your spine, and you find yourself grinning from ear to ear.

    What just happened? Literally, the music moved you.

    Music has the power to generate a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual response. The science of ‘coupled oscillators’ shows how when one thing vibrates, it causes other material with a fundamental resonance in the same octave to also vibrate. For instance, when you hit a wine glass with your fingernail, and then sing the same note you just generated, the wine class will start to vibrate in resonance with your vocal chords.

    The same way that sound influences external objects, it can also generate dramatic shifts in the physical body. The late neuroimmunologist Dr. Candace Pert proved through her research that chakras or energy centers exist, and each has a specific resonance. The heart energy center, for instance, resonates to the keynote of F, and the vocalization of “Ah.” Songs in the key of F, like ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ automatically open up your heart and lift your spirits.

    For the fifth energy center, the keynote is G. So many Christmas carols, from ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ to ‘Away in a Manger’ to ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ resonate to this center for communication and how we use our will. Resonating to our crown, the energy center that connects us into God Consciousness is the keynote B, and carols like ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.’

    While the sounds of the season have a measurable, positive and immediate impact on our feeling of spiritual connection, music’s power to heal and balance continues year-round. In the Toning class at Optimum Health Institute San Diego and Austin, Texas, students go into a deep state of relaxation to listen to a CD with music composed specifically to connect with the seven main energy centers. Students tone the keynote designated for each energy center in tune with the music.

    As “Sing the Body” composer Dorian Carter explains, “We are aware that biochemical research has proven certain foods release important brave wave chemicals. It is also true that sound can release similar brain wave chemicals, providing us similar nutrition. With our voices we can affect everything from the functioning of our internal organs to our relationships to others.” Carter’s CD that’s used in the class is available at the Optimum Health Store.

    This holiday season, experience all the right notes at the OHI missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health with an extended stay. Visit us online at www.optimumhealth.org , or call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Ask about special December savings.

  • Spiritual Fellowship During the Holidays

    Affirming Your Life

    “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
    — Hamilton Wright Mabie

    Affirmation: Today during my meditation, I will focus with gratitude on the special people, both family, and friends, with whom I share spiritual fellowship during the holiday season.

    Spiritual Fellowship During the Holidays

    They’re the people who raised you, or you raised them. They’re the friends you first met decades ago, and now you can’t imagine your life without them. They’re the relatives who might only come together for holidays or family milestones, but they’re always in your heart. Together, they create a spiritual fellowship that transcends space and time. Your connection is so much richer and more profound than just being in the same place, at the same time. It’s actually at the core of being able to experience true joy and positive purpose.

    That’s why the holidays are such an important touchstone for families and friends. It’s a time designated to come together in beloved community, and make new memories you’ll reminisce about during holidays to come.

    In the relatively new science of Positive Psychology, one of the three necessities for being happy in your life is having a “community” – a close knit group of one or many family members and/or friends who know you, and have your back. Your spiritual community represents your safe space to retreat to after a disappointment, or to celebrate a victory.

    There’s a particular richness to this community during the holidays, and you can make this the year you add even more to the connections. Here are some ideas for reinforcing the unity, caring and love for each other.

    1. First, release all expectations. There is no such thing as the “perfect” holiday. But choosing to focus on the things that are positive, fun and interesting will keep you, and everyone around you, in the jolliest of moods.
    1. Start a new tradition of going around the table and sharing your happiest holiday memory. Chances are, the memory will include at least one or two others gathered there, reinforcing the “spiritual community” theme.
    1. If someone introduces a topic that could erupt in an unpleasant exchange, gently – or not so gently – steer the conversation in another direction. You can even make a joke of it – “How about those Mets?”
    1. Bring music to the mix. John Denver once said, ““Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.” A sing-along or informal concert, or even a holiday music mix on an iPod, can draw everyone into the fun.
    1. Feel gratitude for coming together again in the circle of your family and friends. Even if old tensions start to run high, you can be authentically grateful that you now have the opportunity to create happier new memories.

    This holiday season, experience true fellowship and spiritual community at the OHI missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health with an extended stay. Visit us online at www.optimumhealth.org , or call us at (800) 224-2620 to make your reservation. Mention the code “HUG” for special savings.

  • The Divine Simplicity of the Spiritual Quest

    Spiritual quests can take many forms. They can be as dramatic as the young sheltered prince Siddhartha in 6 th century B.C. Nepal desiring to know of the world that lay beyond the palace walls. He started out on what would be a six-year quest and blossomed into total spiritual awakening, becoming the Buddha. Another spiritual journey began with a young girl in 15 th century France having visions. Joan d’ Arc received divine instruction to help save France, and have the Dauphin crowned King Charles VII.

    For the majority of us, though, our own personal spiritual quest can begin as a mere whisper; a stirring in the heart that slowly, steadily, takes us out of our comfort zone. It can start with the feeling that there’s something ‘more’ – more real, more purposeful, more loving – that we have yet to discover.

    The late author and spiritual mentor Wayne Dyer said it beautifully: “ When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” There are simple steps we can all take to change how we process things, and to start out on our own spiritual quest.

    These disciplines so important for your transformation are what Optimum Health Institute (OHI) calls “The Five P’s to Optimum Health.”

    Purpose: Meditating on what you feel are the most purposeful things for you to do. When you shift your focus from, “What’s in it for me?” to “How can I help?” you immediately begin to rewire your brain into a place of higher awareness. Random acts of kindness, visiting people in the hospital, contributing to or starting a food drive – there’s an infinite number of ways you can personally make a positive difference.

    Positive: Choosing to maintain a positive frame of mind has immediate health benefits – lower stress, lower risk of heart disease, lower mortality and better coping skills, for starters, all of which help lead to spiritual transformation.

    Persistence: Faithfully following spiritual disciplines and choosing to live a more holistic life help you develop the strength and commitment to reach your goals.

    Patience: Being gentle with yourself as you allow your body-mind-spirit to heal and transform paves the way for sustainable and healing changes.

    Prayer: Mindfully connecting with the Divine takes you to, and keeps you in, an Alpha state of grace, gratitude and purposeful power. Through prayer and meditation, your spiritual path becomes clear.

    Practice the 5 P’s and make great strides on your spiritual quest with an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to find out about special money-saving offers and make your reservation.