OMTimes Magazine February A 2020 Edition

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DR.KELLY NEFF Sex Positive - Redefining Our Attitudes to Love and Sex





The Future of Love and Intimacy. Interview by Sandra Sedgbeer

After the last few years of struggle, anger, and purging prompted by the #MeToo Movement, the time has come for a new narrative that embraces sexual diversity, freedom, and autonomy. Redefining sex and love as a constructive, harmonizing experience is a crucial part of how we move forward as a human collective. Dr. Kelly Neff is a Social Psychologist, Author, Professor, Futurist, and Talk Radio Personality who has electrified the transformational media world with her unique focus on the intersection of psychology, consciousness, and human sexuality. An academically trained research psychologist, she spent almost a decade teaching thousands of people in her online and in-person psychology of human sexuality courses at Saddleback College, California. Sandie Sedgbeer recently sat down with Dr. Kelly Neff to talk about her new book Sex-Positive – Redefining our Attitudes to Love and Sex which epitomizes her desire to empower sexual freedom, inspire healing, and improve people’s relationships by fusing cutting edge scientific findings with Eastern philosophies and her own deeply personal insights. SANDIE SEDGBEER: Dr. Kelly Neff, Welcome! Congratulations on producing such a fascinating book with such deep, broad, and thorough research. KELLY NEFF: Thank you so much. This book has been many, many years in the making, and it feels good to get it done.


SANDIE SEDGBEER: Yes. It’s a subject that has been many, many years in the making, too, as well as in the unmaking. KELLY NEFF: Yes, absolutely. We’re seeing things that we never thought could happen as far as the disintegration of categories. Just the changes in the way people understand their sexuality and define it has been quite incredible. Kind of like a new revolution. SANDIE SEDGBEER: Particularly when you think it’s only 100 to 120 years ago that we had all the Victorian strictures and constraints, and the conditioning that came down from that. You write about having been slut-shamed at school. Was that experience the catalyst for you becoming a millennial disruptor with a big desire to empower sexual freedom? Or did that come later? KELLY NEFF: I realized as a bisexual, very free-spirited woman growing up in the 90’s that it wasn’t OK to express that, at least not in America,

And rather than becoming the champion, I internalized a lot of the pain and frustration that I felt and I thought that maybe society’s right and there is something wrong with me. From there, I kind of shut myself off sexually for a long time and it made me physically ill. My Uterus actually got sick. I believe, but I can’t prove it, that in a metaphysical-Louise-Hay-kind-of-sense that all of that repressed energy really did affect my body, and it manifested in the physical and made my life hell. I had multiple surgeries and, finally, around the age of 30, I ended up in emergency surgery and the uterus had to come out and I almost died. I kind of awoke in a new timeline and a new version of life and nobody could explain to me what had happened. There was no explanation as to why I had all these tumors inside of me, and I think something clicked in my head and that’s when I decided OK this is real and I now do want to reclaim this empowerment and autonomy over my sexuality because it almost maybe cost me my life. SANDIE SEDGBEER: We know now that our thoughts and emotions affect our physical health. Nothing is separate. Reading about the incredible number of tumors you had in your uterus and all of the problems you had, I drew the same conclusion. When we shut down parts of ourselves, when we are trained, conditioned to believe that parts of ourselves are shameful, or we neglect them in some way, I think it does make a difference to our health.

KELLY NEFF: I really believe so, and there is so much evidence of this, too, across different fields of the sciences and metaphysics. I think that’s why I decided I didn’t want anybody else to go through this, and if I could share this story, maybe I could inspire other people so they don’t have to feel ashamed, and they don’t have to repress their sexuality. They can reclaim and take ownership and be sex-positive. SANDIE SEDGBEER: You describe the sexpositive movement as a socio-political and philosophical movement that promotes and embraces sexuality and sexual expression with an emphasis on safe and consensual sex. Can you explain what a sex-positive relationship looks like? KELLY NEFF: When you’re in a sex-positive relationship, you can be whoever you want to be sexually, and do whatever you want to do so long as there’s consent involved without feeling judged, guilted, or slut-shamed. This is a relationship where partners support each other’s decision-making and choices rather than questioning them. It’s something that, again, takes people a long time to get here. I know and have worked with so many people who get into a relationship and then their partner is very judging and controlling over their sexuality. That is not a sex-positive relationship. If you want to experiment, if you want to try something new, if what your partner is doing in the bedroom isn’t giving you the type of orgasm you’re looking for, you need to know that you can communicate that in a safe place without being judged for it.

SANDIE SEDGBEER: Many people, especially women, are brought up to believe they don’t have the right to demand or ask, or complain about anything and this is the sadness of how, over millennia, the true purpose of sex, what I believe to be the sacred union, has been so compromised and corrupted, for men as well as for women. KELLY NEFF: Yes. I’m glad you brought that up. I think we’ve all been buried under these Victorian-era, post-Christianity stereotypes about the genders and what they should expect Almost to the point of men shouldn’t even want commitment. All men want to do is have onenight stands. So, a man has a commitment, or wants commitment, or if a woman wants a onenight stand, it violates the stereotype. At least, that was the narrative growing up with “Cosmopolitan Magazine,” for example, in the ’90s. It was always like “lock in your man” and “sex tricks to keep him around.” Basically, society was telling us he’s going to leave you, you’re not worthy if you don’t do some really amazing things. Of course, I think now we’re starting to realize what a load of BS that was. When we’re talking about culture and society and trends, we’re talking about millions, billions of people all living in different places around the world, so they’re going to experience things in different ways. So, there’s no one right way of looking at any of this. I’m trying to look at the trends of where it’s going and where it’s been, and from where it’s going, it’s interesting because I do believe we’re now realizing that we don’t need to be in a relationship.


Like Emma Watson recently saying she’s selfpartnered. I love that. We’re realizing that women – your self-esteem and your worth – is not Disney. It’s not that you have to have a man, or you’re nothing, and the whole goal of your life should be getting married and having kids. I think that is really starting to fall by the wayside. The roles of society are starting to crumble, and they’re being replaced by something that is much more fluid. SANDIE SEDGBEER: The pendulum has swung so far in opposite directions over the last few millennia. It really interests me today how the young are rejecting all of the stereotypes and saying don’t peg us down. We can be anything we want to be, and I love the idea that they’re saying love is love is love. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s love. KELLY NEFF: Identity is identity, and I think that when we’re talking about fluidity, this whole queer culture, non-binary, non-cisgender cisgender means you demonstrate your gender identity as either masculine or feminine - is a topic that has led to so much confusion. I’ve been teaching it for many years, and now it is different even from when I started teaching it back in the early 2000s. For gender identity, your psychology of how masculine or feminine you feel, and how you want it to be perceived by the world, has nothing to do with your biological, physical anatomy. It’s a social construct, and what we’re seeing now is the social construct being flipped on its head, and people, saying, “Great! Since this is a social construct and it’s my psychology about my identity, I don’t want to be exclusively male or exclusively female.

Maybe I want to be something completely different. Maybe I want to pick certain parts of each one. Maybe I’m a combination of a bunch of genders.” The possibilities here are endless, and they keep changing, so who knows where it’s going to go? But I, personally, am a big fan of this idea. It’s hard to say whether this is a form of resistance against all of the stereotypes about “a woman is this, and a man is that.” It is. In part. A political-social act, and it also has to do with people’s true feelings that they’re finally now able to express. I mean, when I was growing up, being gay was a huge deal. We had Matthew Shepherd, and gay people being killed for being gay. Now it’s happening to trans people, but trans visibility is now becoming a major movement and we can thank a lot of popular cultures, too, for pushing this into the mainstream and giving people a voice and visibility that they’ve never had before. SANDIE SEDGBEER: Yet, in so many countries, the line, the hard-line, seems to be getting harder. Interestingly, you’ve got both ends of the spectrum. In the West, there’s a lot more compassion, acceptance, and inclusion, but in other countries, it seems that people are clamping down and women are being even more oppressed. Children are being repressed. You look at the sex trafficking, the whole underbelly of it seems to be becoming more pronounced as if we’ve got this pushme, pull-you going on.



KELLY NEFF: It is. Well, they say the capacity for light is only equal and equivalent to the capacity for dark in all of us, and I just wonder if we can look at our earth and our society as a whole through the same lens. As the awakening is happening so, too, does the shift to darkness happen to balance it out? It’s not the most uplifting thing to think about, but it does make you wonder at what point is this also just like the Tiger in the corner of the cave lashing out, right before we finally take it down. That’s how I want to see it. SANDIE SEDGBEER: The last gasp.

KELLY NEFF: Yes, I think it is. It doesn’t seem like the sexual awakening is spreading and growing and pushing quite fast if you think about it. SANDIE SEDGBEER: In researching this book, was there anything in particular that got you excited or really looking forward to seeing what comes next? KELLY NEFF: There were tons of things in this book that surprised me, that got me excited, that confused and scared me, and most of them have to do with technology. In particular, the robotics sex partner thing. The findings are incredible. The Pure Research Centre said that by 2025 we might be marrying our highly intelligent sex robots. SANDIE SEDGBEER: Isn’t marrying them taking it a bit too far? Where is the love in that? Where is the joy in the union? Where is the transcendent spiritual experience? KELLY NEFF: It is very transhumanistic, isn’t it? In addition to potentially forming relationships with sex robots, we are also potentially going down a road of transhumanistic biohacking where we become the robots a little bit. We’re already 3D printing organs so is it hard to believe that a man might get an implant in his crotch that makes his penis turn into a vibrator when he’s having sex with a woman.

SANDIE SEDGBEER: It is very mechanistic, isn’t it? When you read in your book that adults today are having less sex than adults did 30 years ago, one has to wonder what’s going on here? KELLY NEFF: I think that really it comes down to this digital revolution. So, for me, I’m a Xennial, which is this sub-generation of people born between 1977 and 1983. We’re in-between Generation X and the Millennials. I was born in 1982, but what makes us unique is that we have spent literally half our lives without technology and then half with it. So, I feel I’m in this weird little pocket where I’ve seen everything change, everything. And one of these is that now Millennials and Gen Zs are having a little less sex with partners than their boomer parents did about 30 years ago. But they’re having more types of different sex. So, they’re masturbating much more. They’re realizing they don’t need another person to get them off because of pornography. Pornography, self-stimulation, selfpleasuring, and masturbation have become more accessible than they’ve ever been before because it’s been normalized for this generation. And so, it’s not a big deal for them. SANDIE SEDGBEER: Thinking about how the younger generation have their relationships through their telephones, they communicate with people, but they don’t speak to people anymore, is this part of the same trend?


"It is very trans-humanistic, isn’t it? In addition to potentially forming relationships with sex robots, we are also potentially going down a road of transhumanistic biohacking where we become the robots a little bit. " DR. KELLY NEFF FEBRUARY A | OMTIMES

KELLY NEFF: Absolutely. The DM-ing, the snap-chatting, nude sexting… Again, it’s a double-edged sword because we are more connected than ever but we’re also more isolated when it comes to real human contact and relationships. With online communication comes a whole slew of other problems treating each other like crap because there’s no accountability when you’re communicating with strangers on the internet. So, ghosting and cuffing – cuffing is when you just look for someone to be with for the holidays in person because you don’t want to be alone, and then you un-cuff as soon as it gets warm again and it’s time to go flirt. It’s hard to say if humans were always crappy to each other when it comes to love and dating, or if it’s being magnified and amplified now because the media we’re using just lends itself towards that type of communication.

SANDIE SEDGBEER: That’s an interesting point, isn’t it? Is this just a phase on the way to something else? We don’t know. Only history will tell us. So, how has the idea of being spiritual but not religious – which seems to be what many of the young claims to be – become part of their approach to sexuality? KELLY NEFF: That’s a really great question. And that’s why there’s a duality and a balance to things because on the one hand, there’s porn and ‘we want robot sex and sex dolls and we don’t want to connect, but then on the other side we’re also desperate for a deeper connection.’ Just look at the popularity of yoga retreats that people go to on their bachelorette parties instead of going to get drunk. We’re leaning towards a holistic model of life, and we’re searching for it because we’re under a lot of stress or pressure for perfectionism, especially this generation, and we’re looking for a way to balance because a lot of the medication we’re being prescribed doesn’t work.


So, the reason I believe that we’re becoming more spiritual but not religious and integrating that into our sexuality is because we know there is an unconscious, deeper knowledge within us about the importance of sacred union and the importance of sexuality. Not just for physical pleasure but also for our creativity and enhance our lives. That this is a gift, and it’s here for our own wellness, and I feel that in times of immense change and struggle, we somehow find ourselves called back to our true essence. SANDIE SEDGBEER: So, we have this dichotomy going on. We’ve got the younger generation with robotic sex, self-sex, hooking up, and not having deep relationships, and, at the same time, we’ve got this whole other movement – looking within, finding that spiritual wholeness. How do they reconcile that?

KELLY NEFF: I have to say I’ve been there, too. When we’re talking about say, tantra, or Taoism, or even the White Tigress tradition, these are all spiritual traditions that are suddenly, to use the Reddit term, getting up-voted in terms of our cultural consciousness, and people are reading the books and talking about them, but it can be scary. I just did a show on Tantric sex last week with Dr. Jeffre TallTrees and Somraj Pokras and they’re experts. They’re an older couple who’ve been married for years. They do Tantric sex all the time and talk in sex workshops, and one of my questions was for our generation, my generation H How do you make sure your partner is actually down for this because it can be very intense and we shun any level of intense connection but yet we want it and this is the ambivalence? You’re absolutely right.


SANDIE SEDGBEER: What about love? Where does that come into it? Are the young not interested in love? Are they afraid of love? Do they feel that they’re too young for love? That it comes later? KELLY NEFF: Good question. I think the metrics that measure love have shifted. The sex robot thing that was one of my biggest concerns. If you could be married to a sex robot, but you can just turn off what’s been programmed for your pleasure, what does that mean about love? Are we afraid to get down and dirty and make sacrifices because love is hard work? Being in love is not all turtle doves, fairies, and roses. There is a compromise, there is honesty, there is truth; things that you have to engage in to be in love. You have to be vulnerable, and yet some of us want that. Some of us want that so much, in fact, that we will find ourselves, as I have been in the past, in multiple loving relationships at the same time. I don’t know if that answers your question, but I think we’re all over the place. I think some of us are terrified and some of us are very open and we’re all at different parts on our journeys. I’m not here to shade anyone for where they are on their journey. I talked a lot about this in the book, about not pathologizing anybody for their sexual preferences so long as it’s not hurting them or someone else without consent because that’s what Sex Positive is. We respect other people’s right to choose regardless. If they want to be celibate, if they want to have sex with a robot, if they want to have five partners… as long as there is consent going on, we don’t judge them. I know it goes against our very human nature sometimes, to not judge, but that’s the goal of this.

SANDIE SEDGBEER: I can understand bouncing all over the place like a pinball, trying it all out. But I wonder, is this more prevalent in those that identify as male than those that identify as female? Do we have any statistics? KELLY NEFF: I can’t answer that question. Partially because even the genders are bouncing around like pinball machines. Amongst Generation Z, I think as many as 30%-40% say they may identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, so if they don’t even know what their gender is or will be, it’s harder to get information on how they feel and how they land on certain topics. People do regulate. I’m a Futurist, but it’s very hard to predict where this is all going to go. SANDIE SEDGBEER: I don’t think we could have predicted this 20 years ago. But every structure eventually has to crumble, why not this one, too? What about soul mates? Where does that come in? Do the younger generation believe in soul mates or do they think that’s just woo-woo stuff? KELLY NEFF: I’ve done a lot of workshops about all of these topics. I’ve done a Sex Robot one, a Polyamorous one, Sex Positive, Sexual Empowerment, and Sexual Consciousness workshops, and one of the questions I always get asked is:” How do I find my Soul Mate?” I laugh, not because it’s a stupid question, but because I can’t tell if it’s coming from our programming or if it’s coming from some deep, soul need.



When I say that, what I mean is we’ve been programmed, and we can think like the Disney Movies and everything else that has told us our one true love is out there. This idea of the soul mate, the one person, is that where it’s coming from? Or is it from the more spiritual, esoteric traditions where we talk about twin flames, soul mates, soul family groups? Most of the time, when I speak to my participants in these workshops, they’re talking about the latter. They’re talking about their soul group, their soul family. They believe in reincarnation. They want to know when they’re going to find their people and how to recognize them. I think that’s really interesting; we all want to believe that we’re part of something. We’re part of a family that’s reincarnating again and looking after us. I can’t say for certain that I can prove this, but I do believe that people are actually very interested in this topic because they’re looking for that understanding. Everybody feels kind of isolated right now, and we talked about why, so I feel that deep connection coming back and grounding them is very appealing. SANDIE SEDGBEER: So much of the change we’re seeing is technology driven. It’s changing our lives in ways we could never have imagined. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? KELLY NEFF: In the true Buddhist sense, we can’t apply a value judgment to it because it is what it is, and it’s happening. There are obviously beneficial and harmful components for people.

I think one of the most harmful and incredibly overlooked things is how bad online dating is for people’s self-esteem and mental health. That shocked me. A study in 2017 in the journal “Body Image” surveyed over 1,000 college students in the US. It found that regardless of gender, people who were on Tinder scored significantly lower on measures of self-worth than people who weren’t on Tinder, which included measures like body satisfaction, self-esteem, body shame, internalization of cultural beauty standards. And self-objectification. In other words, Tinder is bad for your self-esteem. Now, we could look at those findings and say, well, maybe people with low self-esteem are going on Tinder, to begin with - a correlation, not causation, as we say in Social Psych. Then, when they looked at the data further, they found that men, in particular, had the lowest self-esteem, even lower than females. They found that there are more men than women on Tinder, and there are some gender differences in our behavior. Men tend to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks, so they may try to match with 20 women in one hour, and if they get rejected by all of them, that is more social rejection than asking one girl out at the bar. Suddenly you’ve been rejected by 20 at the same time you would have been rejected by one. That level of social rejection, research has shown, is akin to physical pain. Our brain can’t tell the difference between a broken bone and a broken heart. We hurt when we get socially rejected. OMTIMES



So, what they think is happening is that men are going all out trying to match with as many girls as possible, getting rejected, and then it’s deeply hurting them. They keep doing it, hoping that they’ll get something that will repair their self-esteem, and it’s a sad, vicious cycle. So, in this sense, technology is harmful because it’s damaging to people’s mental health. SANDIE SEDGBEER: In Sex-Positive you say that you believe ‘The future is Sex Positive, tolerant of individual choice and open to sexual freedom and exploration, where sexual sovereignty is the cornerstone for all genders and the foundation for building understanding, respect, compassion, and strength, and that what we’re looking for is a world where physical or psychological oppression is no more. A world of the future where #MeToo and #Time’s Up are no longer necessary to give voice to our pain and trauma because we’ve healed and progressed to space where all people’s sexual sovereignty is respected.” Do you really think we can get there?


KELLY NEFF: I have to believe we can. If you look at the last 20 years and how much things have changed with bringing these issues into the spotlight, we could look at this on a scale of the last 2,000 years and, say, the last 20-30 years have been an exponential time of growth. I believe it’s possible. SANDIE SEDGBEER: I hope you’re right. What can we learn from the ancient sexual wisdom traditions about living a SexPositive life now? KELLY NEFF: There is a lot there, and it’s so old and so ancient, and it predates Christianity which came in and swooped up and took control of our sexuality. Before that, if we look at, say, Taoism, Tantra, the Native American tradition of Berdache, all of these traditions viewed sex as medicine. The importance of balancing the masculine and feminine energies inside of each of us as something extremely beneficial to our health and our longevity.


SANDIE SEDGBEER: In a recent interview you conducted on your radio show with Dr. Saida Désilets about sexual empowerment and reclaiming sexual sovereignty, Dr. Désilets said: “Do you realize that in no country in the world, not even the United Nations Human Rights Charter, is there any stipulation that women have the rights to their own bodies?” That just astounded me. Is there anything anywhere that says men have the right to theirs? KELLY NEFF: I don’t think so. I think she makes a fantastic point that autonomy over your sexuality and your body is of most importance. I think noone felt it was necessary for men. Women are the ones who’ve been traditionally traded, sold, and treated like property, not men. Men have been the ones doing that, so it would make sense that we would need a Human Rights Charter for women because it’s still going on in parts of the world.

SANDIE SEDGBEER: The statistics for sex trafficking, child trafficking, sexual slavery, etc., are jawdropping. I do wonder even if there was a United Nations Human Rights Charter, would it make any difference? KELLY NEFF: I just want people to know that this future is possible. I think that we have to dream big and manifest and put energy into building the future we want. This is happening across every area right now in our world. I mean, look at the climate change marches in protest and Greta. So, some people might look at what Greta’s doing and say, “Oh, it will never happen,” but you have to try, you have to put that voice out there. SANDIE SEDGBEER: I can’t help wondering what the reaction would be, what kind of questions people would ask if you were a man having written this book? KELLY NEFF: That’s a good point. I wonder as well, especially because I talk about toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity hurts men, too.

It’s a very small percentage of men, I believe, who are creating a lot of the hurt and pain from toxic masculinity. There are so many men – and I love men, I love women, I love people – out there who are fighting toxic masculinity, and are incredible supporters of women and non-binary people. It’s just not fair to assume that all men are toxic. I want to make that clear now. If I was a man saying that, maybe it wouldn’t be received in quite the same way. SANDIE SEDGBEER: You write about women having to reclaim and redefine the very nature of orgasm. Why is that necessary or important to sex positivity? KELLY NEFF: Part of the issue here is that sexology has traditionally viewed the female orgasm and female sexual desire and stimulation in general as ‘male sexual arousal light.’ That’s what Emily Nigosi calls it in her book Come as You Are, which came out in 2015. It’s my inspiration for a lot of my content about orgasm because it’s absolutely fantastic.

She’s a sex researcher and a sexologist, and she talks about how we have always assumed that if it gets the men off and makes babies – vaginal penetration, vaginal intercourse –t his must also be what should get women off. Should – again, it’s a value judgment. Most women – I think it’s up to 90% of women – prefer to orgasm or need to use clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and so that’s why reclaiming the orgasm is important because of this value judgment that somehow vaginal orgasm is better or more superior, or insulting or wrong to use your clitoris during sex. I think what’s happening now is that people realize that whatever type of orgasm you have is OK. Whatever you want to do to get to that orgasm, it’s OK. You should not feel ashamed, and that’s why we’ve had to change that narrative, and it’s great that it’s happening.


SANDIE SEDGBEER: What advice or solutions do you offer to help people build a SexPositive relationship? KELLY NEFF: There are a couple of things that we have to do if we want Sex-Positive relationships; number one is truly knowing what you want first. So many of us jump into relationships, and we haven’t really even connected with our own intentions, our own energy, our own desires. You have to know who you are and what kind of relationship you want. Do you want a casual relationship? A Polyamorous relationship? A relationship where you can start experiencing Tantric sex? Really connect with what you want. How do you want to feel? Once you decide what kind of relationship you want, you have to get out there and find your tribe actively.


SANDIE SEDGBEER: What about people who are older and maybe single or divorced getting out into the dating scene again, still carrying some of that conditioning? What advice would you offer them? KELLY NEFF: My advice would be to stop apologizing for who you are. It might feel that you don’t fit in. It might feel like noone understands you. It might feel like you’re out of touch. It doesn’t matter. You are who you are. You’re where you’re supposed to be. Own it. Don’t apologize. Just be who you are going to be. Feb A | OMTIMES

Sex Positive – Redefining Our Attitudes to Love and Sex is published by Watkins. For more about Dr. Kelly Neff’s book and work, visit and check out her radio show on The Lucid Planet

Esoteric Knowledge


inding the Path of Esoteric

the sweet words of Busiris and then

knowledge is not easy. Many

battle the many-headed Hydra before

aspirants assume that if they

he could take the Golden Apples of

read a book about esoteric

the Hesperides. The golden apples

knowledge, they will find it. Esoteric

represent esoteric knowledge. The

knowledge is never easily available

Hydra is a symbol of a particular type

and is not given out in a simple logical

of barrier within us that we must face

format like a textbook at a university or

and overcome before we can enter

college. Yet there are a few books that

the Path to Esoteric knowledge.

contain hidden esoteric knowledge scattered within their pages. One technique is the ‘scatter method’

Before one can obtain esoteric

where esoteric concepts are scattered

knowledge, one must first enter the

in bits and pieces within the text, and

Path of the Aspirant. The path of the

it is up to the aspirant to find them,

aspirant can be likened to a wanderer

and put them together, just like in a

(parivajaka). One wanders from

jigsaw puzzle to get the entire picture.

teaching to teaching, listening to

Sometimes it is right in front of your

different teachers and lecturers taking

face, but if you’re not ready to receive

many courses experimenting with

the esoteric information, you will

different techniques of self-discovery.

pass it by. This is one of the reasons

This period of searching can last for

meditations is so important. One has

many lives. It is sometimes called

to learn to take time to meditate and

the ‘probationary path.’ Then at

think deeply about the more subtle

some point, the sincere aspirant

ideas that may be found in some of

is tested. Karma is a great tester.

these special books.

This test happens naturally and will place the aspirant face to face with

Entering the Path of Esoteric

certain aspects of their own character

knowledge can be compared to a

where a choice has to be made, just

jet going through the sound barrier.

as Arjuna faced his own relatives

There is a barrier, and like the sound

and friends on the battlefield of

barrier, it is invisible. In this case, the

Kurushetra. A teacher is watching and

barrier is within us. In the “Labors of

waiting to see the outcome. This test

Hercules,” Hercules had to see through

may have occurred before in a past

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

life, if the student was unsuccessful, it

(ashram). The esoteric school

could recur again in another life when

represents the ‘golden chain of

conditions are favorable. The teacher

Hermes’ or the link of the teachers of

on the inner planes waits for many

the school from the hierophant down

years with great compassion and

to the neophyte. It is this link that is

patience watching for a successful

most important. Once the successful


neophyte has been accepted into the esoteric school, ‘work on oneself’

This brings up another important

earnestly begins. The first goal is the

point that determines whether

awakening of the “Soul in incarnation”

one many find the Path to Esoteric

or the “Essential Nature (swarupa)”

knowledge. It is necessary to have

that aspect of the Soul that lies

some karma with an esoteric school

dormant in all living beings but is

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

stirring in the hearts of all aspirants.

the evolution of that individual’s

It is this ‘Essential Nature’ that drives

soul will go wrong. This is a great

the aspirant to search out the Way.

danger. Thus, it is necessary to have

In the esoteric school, the neophyte

a teacher who is awakened and

must transform certain qualities of

knows the dangers and difficulties

the personality so that the ‘Essential

of the personality. It is the teachers’

Nature’ can be born and stabilized.

responsibility to guide the aspirant

It is the ‘Essential Nature’ that can

through the labyrinth of the human

use esoteric knowledge, not the

psyche, pointing out the pitfalls and

personality. This is one of the reasons

giving the correct disciplines that

that esoteric knowledge is kept secret.

will help the sincere, hardworking

If the personality were to use certain

aspirant to discover and awaken their

formulas of esoteric knowledge, then

‘Essential Nature.’

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

OMTimes Magazine

Relax… Let your worries drift away into the moment… OMTimes is a free publication and can be delivered right to your inbox… Subscribe at: Free OMTimes Subscription Visit our website at:

OM Living For those living a more Conscious Lifestyle

Seven Ways to Bring More Peace into our Lives by Judi Lynch


n a time when everything seems

invaluable to us for the rest of our

to be in constant transition and

lives. The strength we may need to

confusion out in the world, it

get back up again could be in one

becomes necessary for us to seek

sentence or gesture that someone

more peace in our lives. Finding peace

says or does. When we also can

within helps us with stress, anxiety and

listen to others who would benefit

fear which can prevent us from feeling

from our experiences, we create a

joy and hope.

wave of peace inside our own hearts.

Remembering how to play and

Meditation is an amazing way to

dream. Just like a child, we still

connect with our inner spirit to

possess the ability to laugh and

better understand our emotions,

imagine. A little daydreaming can

helping us gain insight into our

help us create new ways of looking at

thought process. It helps us stop,

situations that help us find solutions

look, and really listen to the peace

to challenges. Playing games helps us

we can create inside and shut down

relax and focus on the outcome and

the noise which challenges our

strategy. When we can dream, we can

positivity. There is a myriad of ways

create. A new life, a new career, a new

to practice meditation. Try a few

invention can manifest when we are

different methods to find the best fit

focused on a future vision.

for you.

Talking to someone who brings calm and reason, when we feel lost

Learning to say no to negative

and unsure, is a big help when our

situations and challenges, we

anxiety is on a high. Someone who

no longer have time for through

can listen without judgment and just

learning to say yes to what is good

be there brings in an energy of peace

for our soul’s journey. If we keep

which helps us realize things can get

walking into the same situations

better. Feeling that someone else

that steal our peace of mind and

understands or has been through,

good nature, we allow negative

what has given us the courage to

forces to be in control of our

keep going. Knowing that others

thoughts. Practicing self-care when

have survived things we thought

it comes to our time and mental

we couldn’t get through can be

health is very necessary.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Nature. Spending time walking,

Taking good care of ourselves helps

listening, and appreciating nature

us to be at peace with those things

brings us back to balance. The

we can control in life. If we feel

peaceful flow of a creek, or clouds

good, we can help others when they

drifting along on a blue sky. Birds,

need assistance. Having peace of

trees and the warm breeze on a sunny

mind means that we aren’t living in

day. Even listening to earth sounds

constant fear or anxiety that things

heals body, mind and soul and helps

won’t work out or that we don’t

align our bodies with the rhythms

deserve happiness. We all need quiet

of the Earth. Walking barefoot on

time to relax and sleep to recharge

soft, green grass helps us to feel a

our energy centers. Food that

connection. Connection brings an

nourishes our bodies helps feed our

energy of calm and oneness with all.

souls as well. Our etheric bodies react to everything we do and think. If we

Forgiveness. Letting go of people,

can constantly practice and visualize

places, and things that occupy

the energy of peace in our personal

our thoughts with judgment and

lives, we can collectively create it

negativity. Realizing what we learned


from the situation and making room for new thoughts and experiences which lift us up. It also means to forgive ourselves for past mistakes, the things we didn’t understand

— Judi Lynch is a psychic medium, intuitive counselor, healing

or know at the time. For people,

channel and author. She is

we might have hurt or who have

president of the Crystal Healing

unwittingly hurt us. Even when they

Foundation, Inc., a 501(c) spiritual

meant it. Letting go of revenge and

charity and writer for OM Times

vengeful thoughts don’t mean we forget it. It means we accept it for what it was, bless it for what it taught

Magazine. She has authored two books, Friends with Lights and

us and keep moving forward to the

Conscious Ascension and has read

next adventure. If we ask for peace

for clients all over the world. To

in the situation, we will be guided

learn more or contact for a session

intuitively to the solutions and


examples to help us.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

5 Things to Know Before You Go to China By Fiona Wood


owadays, it is actually very

be a huge shame to go there and

difficult to find an exotic

not see some of the most important

destination in the world

landscapes from their own history.

where people rarely travel.

The best way to do that is to consider

This is all due to the big demand for

a group tour, as this will, first of all,

traveling, and people often visit the

save your time on doing research, and

most distant and exotic destinations,

secondly, you will have a tour guide

not only trying to experience some

that is completely familiar with the

of the most unique and different

things that you want to hear.

cultures of the world but also to see some of the world’s hidden beauties

Another reason why this is a great idea

and landscapes. This being said, Asia

is the fact that speaking Chinese is

is also a continent that is becoming

quite difficult, so it is not only enough

more and more popular with tourists.

to take a phrasebook and go around trying to find the place you were

When you mention Asia, though, one can think of many different countries to visit, as each one is different from the previous, so this continent is

looking for.

Don’t forget to bring your visa

indeed a lot of fun to experience. But, if you are not going to choose India,

The most important tip before traveling

Thailand, UAE, or something else

to China is not to forget about your visa,

that is popular right now, you can

as without it, you will not be allowed to

always turn to the good old China,

enter this country, especially if you are

a place with thousands of hidden

a USA citizen (if you are from another

gems. However, if you have plans to

country, make sure to find this piece of

travel to China and see what it has to

info online as not all countries have the

offer, these are the most important

same requirements).

things to know:

Consider a group tour

So, what you will have to do is fill out an application where you will give the most important info – which means

China is a vast country, and it is so rich

that this is not difficult to acquire, but

in history and culture that it would

you will have to go through the process.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

If you have a connecting flight in China,

When you mention Asia, though, one

you will have to apply for a 72-hour visa.

can think of many different countries to

A world where people rarely travel.

visit, as each one is different from the

This is all due to the big demand for

previous, so this continent is indeed a

traveling, and people often visit the

lot of fun to experience. But, if you are

most distant and exotic destinations,

not going to choose India, Thailand,

not only trying to experience some of

UAE, or something else that is popular

the most unique and different cultures

right now, you can always turn to the

of the world but also to see some

good old China, a place with thousands

of the world’s hidden beauties and

of hidden gems. However, if you have

landscapes. This being said, Asia is also

plans to travel to China and see what

a continent that is becoming more and

it has to offer, these are the most

more popular with tourists.

important things to know: OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

This is why it would be very wise to learn about China's pollution and the ways they are trying to fight it before actually going there. China is really doing a lot to minimize the pollution in its own country and the world as well by adopting tougher regimes, such as the one where citizens are encouraged to recycle rubbish at home or encouraging the use of renewable energy.

You will have a wide choice of food Of course, one of the biggest reasons why plenty of people travel to China is because of its cuisine. Chinese food is completely unique, and you either love it or hate it – there is nothing

Be aware of the pollution

in between. It is also important to mention that real Chinese food is a bit different from that in Chinese

There is probably not a place in

restaurants in your hometown.

the world where pollution is not taking its toll, but you need to bear in mind that pollution in China is a

Bring toilet paper and napkins

bit different. Linfen is, for example, the biggest environmental mess

This might sound unusual, but toilet

in China to the extent that it had

paper is not available anywhere except

problems to recruit mayors as

in your hotel room, so it would be very

people didn’t want to become

wise to have a roll by your side at all

involved in this problem or think

times. The same goes for napkins –

how to solve it.

have some in your bag and take them OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

out when you finish your lunch or dinner. Another thing that you might want to have in your bag is a hand sanitizer as well, which can come in pretty handy if you opt for street food. These are perhaps the most important things to know before traveling to China, but there are also some other minor tips such as to know just a bit of Mandarin, to know that the weather can be a bit unpredictable or to know that there might be places where cards are not accepted. But China is indeed a place that you have to see and experience as you will love it. Have a great trip!

— Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She's in love with good coffee, croissants, and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog, High Style Life. Life. But, if you do not like Chinese food and you do not want to try these bold dishes, most of the American restaurants have their own premises so you will have the chance to try something familiar.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Can Feng Shui Heal Your Negative Emotions? By OMTimes

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Each and every being has an innate ability to heal as a gift from the gods. Mikao Usui


emotions we are expressing, helping us to feel good, alive, vibrant, and calm within yourself. Feng Shui is the study of energies within and of those energy fields

ultivating Negative

around you. The main goal of this

emotions can prevent us

ancient art is to create a balance in our

from feeling well and can

homes, thus making it easier to find

even lead to psychological

balance with ourselves.

illnesses such as depression and emotional stress.

Emotion is a reaction we have to events and circumstances in our

Our emotional bodies form a complex

lives. Our Inner world is completely

world that depends on various

influenced by how we respond to

circumstances and on the quality of

these circumstances.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

The five Chinese elements also act

When this happens, the water inside

within us. The Realm of our emotions

you becomes cloudy. It becomes

is directly linked to the water

water that is not pure, that will no

element, which makes perfect sense

longer react spontaneously, naturally,

since we, humans, are 70% composed

caref ree to everyday events.

of water. The internal imbalance of emotions Every time you suffer some

causes us to move away from the

aggravation or anger, it generates a

Tao, to move away from each human

response. If you are in balance, you

being with their unique particularities

can respond positively and consider

on their personal path to greater

it a learning experience, letting it go.

satisfaction, learning, and evolution.

But if you are not well internally, these

In this case, Feng Shui can act in a

negative emotions can create hurt

very interesting and effective way,

and resentment.

helping you to start to reach a new OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

equilibrium within yourself. Below we

Our emotional problems show us the

present an exercise to help you heal

challenges in dealing with our own

emotions using the principles of Feng

personality. Its causes are diverse, but


the main reason for emotional may

Feng Shui ritual for curing negative emotions

be low self-esteem, usually formed during childhood. We may have experienced badly and unresolved situations, leaving scars that may, one

This little ritual teaches you how to

way or the other, disrupt our lives.

integrate Yin and Yang, your feminine and masculine sides. The ceremony

Emotions need to be accepted

intends to balance both sides, which

and understood, so that we can

need to be harmonized so that we

consciously open the doors to

can manifest our essence in a more

beneficial feelings that well up easily

serene, safer, and gratifying way.

in light and pure hearts.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

reading what you wrote, burn each of

Know the ritual below:

the sheets saying: In your room, put a 2/3 glass pot of drinking water near you and write down

“I forgive you for not being the person

all the painful memories of males - it

I wanted you to be.

could be your father, close relatives, teachers, brothers, colleagues, or friends.

I forgive you and set you free.�

Use a sheet to write about each person. Don't make a big effort to do this, write

Finally, burn sun-dried orange peels in

naturally about the memories that come

the cauldron.

to mind.

You should do the same for the important female figures in your life,

Then make a fire in an iron container

such as grandmother, mother, sisters,

(it could be a mini cauldron) and, after

teachers, classmates, and friends.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Repeat the entire ritual for each one and say:

that are causing dissonance and disharmony within myself; I turn to my Being of Light asking Him

“I forgive you for not being the person

to help me in the work of Forgiving:

I wanted you to be. The reason it has to be 27 days is that I forgive you and set you free.�

it takes that long to change a habitual pattern, to reorganize and reeducate

Finally, you must forgive yourself by

the neuropathways of the brain to

reading before bed for 27 days the

jump-start a new reality.

prayer for emotional harmony below.

Nothing better than starting a new year with a clean slate of negative

“Seeking to eliminate all my internal

feelings and pre-concepts that no

blocks that hinder my evolution and

longer serve us.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

The Special Magic in a Smile By Sarah Mane


he other day I arrived at a

the warmth, the beauty, the radiance

cute café in Santa Monica,

of a simple interaction near the Santa

California, to meet a dear

Monica Pier?

friend for lunch. I was early.

The café was crowded, and the wait

Let’s look to Sanskrit and see if we can

staff was busy. One of them made her

get another perspective.

way over to me, careful not to bump or disturb other patrons. She had a look

Sanskrit shows us how to experience

of concentration on her face, but when

the meaning of a word. It has an

she got to me, she smiled. That smile

ingenious way of leading us beyond

transformed her; she was warm, friendly,

the dictionary, meaning to the felt

and beautiful. Such a genuine, open

experience of a word. It gives us a real

gorgeous smile! Her face lit up and I felt

understanding of a ‘lived’ experience, a

completely welcomed and uplifted.

happening, rather than through mere thought or concept.

Such a simple interaction, and such a common one. But I was inspired to find

Words in Sanskrit can be traced back

out what had really happened there

to a root form. This root form is where

at that moment in the café in Santa

the magic happens. It is like an acorn,

Monica. My secret resource for delving

the seed of an oak tree, immeasurably

behind the curtain, to find out how

small when compared to what grows

things tick, is Sanskrit. Sounds unlikely?

from it.

Let’s find out if Sanskrit has something The essential meaning of a word in

to tell us about that smile.

Sanskrit is contained in these roots. First, in English, we define the word

And these roots are verbal. A verb is an

smile as a ‘pleased, kind, or amused

action, and an action is a form of energy.

facial expression, usually with the

So, at the heart of a Sanskrit word is its

corners of the mouth turned up.’

powerful intrinsic energy. This is what we understand through experience and


not through thought.

Seriously, how does that technically

To understand the real meaning of a

accurate dictionary definition relate to

smile, we need to really smile, we need

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

to feel it when others smile at us, and

Sanskrit tells us that ‘smitam,’ a smile,

we need to live that experience, to take

means ‘fully blossomed, fully bloomed,

note of what happens within ourselves

and expanded.’ It is like a beautiful

and with others.

flower. And just as a flower fully blossoms in the warmth of the spring

The word for ‘smile’ in Sanskrit is

sunshine after the bleakness of winter,

smitam (स्मितम्). It almost invites you

so our smile, fully in bloom, warms the

to smile when you say it. But what

hearts of all whom we meet. It is, as

is a smile, really? How does Sanskrit

Shakespeare says, ‘twice blessed.’ A

describe ‘smitam’? What is the lived

smile blesses the one that gives and

experience of smitam?

the one that receives. OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

A smile is transformative. The energy,

now, continues to be uplifting. I can

love, and warmth that fully blooms in

still experience that smile and its effect

our smile can change everything. Our

long after the moment.

smile warms and lights, reassures, nourishes, inspires and uplifts, and

So, with ‘smitam’, there is a powerhouse

brings joy. Our smile can relax a

of energy coiled up inside this simple

tense moment and lift a burden from

word. The same energy that bursts

one who is troubled. A smile creates

forth when a field of flowers blossoms

connection, unifies, brings people

and releases the blessing of color and

together. It can open a closed heart,

scent into the world. This is Nature’s

spread a healing balm to the afflicted,

smile, and it is there for us to enjoy,

comfort those in need of just a little

and if there is anything required of us,

joy in their life. It is companionable,

perhaps it is just to pass on some of that

easy, friendly.

joy to others.

All this is ‘smitam.’ The Sanskrit takes

We all experience this when we give

us way beyond the corners of the

or receive the gift of a smile. Sanskrit

mouth ‘usually upturned.’

just gives a beautiful name and shape to that experience. That’s the gift I

When we see a flower in full bloom,

received in the café. That’s the special

the immediacy of our response is to

magic in a smile.

connect with the beauty that goes

beyond mere analysis of color, shape, and perfume. The flower gives that beauty freely; it places no demands upon us. There is no bargaining, no give and take, just an abundance of ‘giving.’ Our hearts open and love arises naturally. Love is nourishment for the soul, love is nourishment for all. While the meal in the Santa Monica café was delicious and satisfying, that sustenance has passed. But the smile from the waitperson, when I recall it

Sarah Mane has been studying Sanskrit since she was a teenager. Today she teaches practical selfawareness, philosophy, meditation, and Sanskrit to both children and adults. She also coaches individual clients and business professionals all over the world. Conscious Confidence is her first book from Findhorn Press. For more about Sarah go to

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020


The interconnectiveness among all human beings and, consequently, the relationships among us are the focus of this section. The dynamics of the web of connections we make is one of the most prominent aspects of human existence: how we interlace with each other’s existence in a meaningful way.

Superfoods to ignite your passion By Johanna Kern

Tasty, yummy, delicious, sublime, heavenly, divine, orgasmic! Oh, yes!


tremendously to the pleasure of consuming a meal. The sky is the limit once you include

ating is a primal need

some of the superfoods that are

associated with pleasure,

also well-loved aphrodisiacs in your

somewhat similar to arousal.

candlelight romantic dinner loving

When delightful food melts


in our mouth, the pleasure washes away our worries and stress.

For instance, a simple snack made

Many researchers agree that certain

of fresh strawberries, oranges, and

foods contain properties that

bananas dipped in dark chocolate

stimulate pleasure centers in the

melted with chopped chili peppers,

brain. It is also well known that the

coconut or pistachios will send your

so-called superfoods loaded with

taste buds through the orgasmic

vitamins and minerals boost our

roof. It will make you and your lover

energy – and so can positively affect

crave for each other like never

our libido. Apart from that, who


wouldn’t enjoy a romantic, sensual meal that perfectly enhances the pleasure of the feast of our senses?

Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao). Cacao bean pods were used by the Aztecs and Maya as a

When preparing for our celebration

form of currency. The Maya were

of Love, we can “spice up” the room

known to exchange a few beans for

not only with light and music but

a night of passion at the brothel,

also with scents, shapes and colors

while the rumors about the Aztec

of food that trigger the “palate of our

emperor Montezuma say that

imagination.” Actually, most of the

he consumed no less than fifty

aphrodisiac mythology stems from

cups of chocolate daily to satisfy

food with symbolic appearance, while

his numerous wives. The famous

famous chefs in the world agree

Casanova also mentions chocolate in

that before we put any food in our

his memoirs as a means to maintain

mouth, we tend to eat it with our

his libido. Dark Chocolate is not only

eyes. Its attractive presentation adds

sensual because of its taste and

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

aroma, but also increases stamina

in ancient Greece when eating the

and causes a spike in dopamine –

heart-shaped strawberries, and all

the hormone which induces feelings

other red foods were forbidden! They

of pleasure. Due to its contents of

are a superfood rich in antioxidants

phenylethylamine and tryptophan,

and phytochemicals which help to

chocolate gives us pleasure described

reduce joint inflammation, boost

by some as similar to falling in love

immunity, lower cholesterol levels,

and helps in the production of

and promote eye and heart health.

serotonin, which elevates the mood

They also contain ellagic acid, which

and sexual arousal.

prevents collagen destruction and

Strawberries were once known

inflammatory response – the two major factors in the development of

as a symbol of Venus, the Roman

wrinkles after continued exposure to

goddess of love. There was a time

skin-damaging UV-B rays. The high

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

content of vitamin C in strawberries

skin outside your mouth or anywhere

is beneficial for the production of sex

on your body – that will sting.

hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido.

Chili Peppers contain capsaicin

Pistachios are one of the few nuts that contain most of the nutrients that are required by humans for

– this is what makes them spicy and

complete health. They are so dense

stimulates nerve endings in the

with nutrients that merely a 100-gram

tongue, which releases epinephrine

serving provides 562 calories and 20%

(adrenaline). These chemicals increase

of the daily requirements of protein,

heart rate and release endorphins

dietary fiber, several dietary minerals,

– the natural opiates found in the

thiamine, and as much as 131% of

human body. Be careful while eating

the daily requirement of vitamin B6.

them since if you rub them on your

With a daily intake of a handful of

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

pistachios, one’s libido significantly

coconut oil is almost pure saturated


fat and it should be consumed in

Coconut contains vitamin C and


essential minerals such as copper,

Citrus Fruits not only have flavors

iron, magnesium, manganese,

that are among the most preferred

phosphorus, and selenium. It helps in

around the world but are also a

building strong bones, reducing joint

rich source of minerals, vitamins

inflammation, regulating blood sugar

and dietary fiber (non-starch

levels, and relaxing the mind and

polysaccharides). They also contain

body. It is said that the fiber present

phytochemicals which help to reduce

in coconut controls food cravings.

the risk of many chronic diseases.

However, it is good to remember that

Apart from being a source of vitamin

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

regular blood flow. They contain tryptophan – a protein that the body uses to convert to serotonin. Banana is a favorite snack of athletes, and it is loaded with bromelain and vitamin B – both regulators of testosterone. They are not only good for the male libido but also boost prostate health due to the high content of manganese and magnesium. The list of superfoods that are also aphrodisiacs is quite long. Each of us can find something that we truly like and use it in our favorite recipes as the main ingredient or a substitute.

C, citrus fruits contain essential nutrients such as glycemic and

Here are some of the most popular superfoods/ aphrodisiacs to tickle your imagination:

non-glycemic carbohydrate (sugars and fiber), calcium, copper, folate,

• Acai, Almonds, Aniseeds, Apple,

magnesium, niacin, pantothenic

Apricot, Arugula, Asparagus,

acid, phosphorus, potassium,


riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6. They are also beneficial for men’s reproductive health.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which aids the cardiovascular system in maintaining low and

• Bananas, Basil, Bay Leaf, Beets, Blueberries • Caviar, Celery, Cherries, Chili Peppers, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clams, Coconut Water, Cranberry, Cucumber • Eggs

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

• Fennel, Figs, Fugu (Pufferfish) • Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Goji

Rosemary • Saffron, Salmon, Sandalwood, Scallops, Seaweed, Sea Cucumber,

Berry, Grapes • Hemp, Honey

Sea Urchin (Uni), Shark, Shrimp, Sweet

• Kale, Kava

Basil, Strawberries, Sushi

• Lavender, Lobster

• Tarragon, Tomato, Truffles, Tuna

• Mallow (Marshmallow), Mango, Maple

• Vanilla, Watermelon

Syrup, Mint, Mushrooms, Mussels

• Yarsagumba (The Himalayan Viagra, mushroom)

• Nutmeg, Nuts • Olive Oil, Oats, Oysters • Peach, Pepper, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Pumpkin Seeds • Radish, Raspberries, Rocket,

You can add red wine or champagne to your delightful menu. They can relax us and get us in a romantic mood. Red wine

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

away the performance.” In other words – the less, the more. If you don’t drink any alcohol, you can substitute with grape juice (either red or white), as it contains the same amounts of resveratrol as red and white wine. — Johanna Kern is a transformational teacher, filmmaker, and multiple award-winning authors of “365 (+1) Affirmations to Create A Great Life”, “Secrets of Love for Everyone,” “Master and the Green-Eyed Hope,” etc. She practices and shares the Master Teachings of HOPE, helping people to find their own power contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant

and progress in all areas of life.

which helps to decrease inflammation and

Her story received international

literally gets our blood pumping. Red wine,

attention, winning praise by

champagne, and sparkling wine allow the

readers in North America and

alcohol to be absorbed by our bloodstream

Europe, and endorsement by three

quicker, adding to our relaxation and promoting good mood in a romantic setting. In general, alcohol is considered

world-renowned experts: Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Jerry Solfvin, Ph.D.,

to be an aphrodisiac, mostly because of its

and Brian Van der Horst.

physiological effects.

However, as Shakespeare said about alcohol: “It provokes the desire, but it takes


OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020


5 Ways Monks Use Plants and Herbs to Achieve Higher Consciousness

By Lauren Laporte


editation is the way

Monks from around the world have

to achieving a deep

therefore been using various natural

spiritual connection

aids to help them achieve this blissful

with a higher power,

state throughout history, especially

and it has been so for millennia,

during those trying times when they

across the world, and across

are still at the beginning of their path

all religions and teachings. No

towards spiritual enlightenment.

matter the religious path one

Today, let’s take a look at some of the

takes towards enlightenment,

way monks use plants and herbs to

there is always a need to achieve

achieve higher consciousness.

some form of meditative state, a lucid dream in which the soul establishes a higher connection

Deepening the Power of Visualization

with a divine entity. This connection needs to be practiced

Many plants exhibit hallucinogenic

and strengthened day after day, as

properties that can be found all

you cannot expect to communicate

over the globe and are even readily

with any divine entity before you

available on the modern marketplace,

learn how to release your mind,

such as cannabis, some of which will

body, and soul into their embrace.

be used to by certain orders to aid

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

those seeking spiritual enlightenment

body and the soul), it’s still a good

on their path. This is because these

way to get a grasp of what you are

hallucinogenic properties enhance

trying to achieve and to see the

and deepen the power of visualization,

divine spirit with your own eyes, and

allowing a new member of the order

strengthen your belief.

to make their first meditation sessions as fruitful as possible until they learn to establish this connection without

Attaining better focus and Mindfulness

the use of any aids. Another problem many monks Even though visualization is not a

will struggle with for a prolonged

prerequisite (this connection is more

time, and perhaps even years, is

of an inner feeling that saturates the

the problem of attaining the focus

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

needed to establish a connection

chimes and noises of the outside

with a higher entity. To create a strong

world, and enter their internal being.

connection and actually hear the voices

Yet for others, the biggest problem

of the divine spirits, a monk has to

will be to relax and let go.

enter a near-perfect meditative state, which requires practice, unwavering

Enabling Deep Relaxation

resolve, and unhindered concentration. Another cumbersome challenge for Some ancient plants and natural

those looking to speak to a higher

remedies will provide this feeling

being is to enter a state of deep

of higher mental acuity and focus,

relaxation, but without hindering their

such as a lemon balm or holy basil,

focus, or letting the noise of the outside

allowing a monk to tune out the

world penetrate their meditative state.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

One of the ancient herbs hailing from Southeast Asia that has been used in

Practicing Grounding Techniques

medicine and meditation for millennia, kratom, could help monks overcome

Grounding is yet another important

this challenge.

technique a monk must master to be able to enter a deep meditative state

You should do your research to find

and establish a connection with divine

and buy kratom from reputable

power. Many grounding exercises

vendors that guarantee its potency

help you become more present and

and quality. When it comes to natural

mindful of your soul and your internal

remedies that help soothe the mind

being, but to gain the focus and clarity

and the body, you have to know the

needed even to start practicing these

potency of the product and to use it

techniques, a monk has to relieve

as prescribed, so that you can enjoy

mental angst, stress, and pain. Certain

its effects.

analgesic herbs such as rosemary, OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

lavender, and eucalyptus can aid you

to sharpen their minds and relax

in this quest.

their bodies to make this transition more fluent and rewarding.

Achieving Greater Transcendence

Wrapping up

And finally, transcendence is the

Throughout history, monks have

ultimate form of meditation and is

been using natural aids to guide

therefore only achieved by those who

them on the path to spiritual

spend years and decades practicing

enlightenment. Now that you know

meditation, all the while completely

how herbs and plants can help

immersing themselves into the life of

you achieve higher consciousness

unencumbered spirituality. Even some

yourself, you can use them to

of the most experienced monks will

strengthen your bond with the

use these and other herbs and plants


OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

The Missing Brain Problem Concrete proof of human holism and why Sound Healing is so effective


oncrete proof of human

of the brain in a mechanism called

holism and why Sound

"Embodied Cognition" (EC).

Healing is so effective You have no doubt heard

The traditional view of cognition holds

the tired clichĂŠ: "she's thinking outside

that all thinking and awareness goes

the box" ... how about the one where we

on inside the brain. It has been taken

do our thinking outside the brain?!

for granted that processes responsible for abstract thinking, interpretation of

It's true, recent work in the fields of

the senses, and subsequent decision-

Psychology and Cognitive Science

making are all centered somewhere

shows abundant evidence that the

inside our brains.

body and the environment around us are intimately linked to our cognition.

The long-accepted paradigm relies

The body can think independently

on the all-powerful brain creating

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

and manipulating disembodied

as well. The role of the body has been

constructs of real-life things.

promoted - significantly.

Disembodied representations are

EC researchers Dr. Sabrina Golonka

moved around the mental chessboard

and Leeds UK colleague Andrew

as the brain solves all of our problems

Wilson "advocate an ecosystem-

and makes all the decisions. However,

like approach that treats even the

that is not how it always happens -

most sophisticated cognitive tasks

and further, once you see the body's

as a product of how our brains

important role in the holistic person,

and bodies have evolved with our

some of the wonders of Alternative

environments." The brain does

Health and Wellness become easier to

not generate our behavior in a

understand and embrace.

vacuum. Instead, human actions result from the real-time interplay

The alternate way of understanding

and cooperation of the brain, body,

our thought processes is labeled (yuck)

nervous system and the surrounding

Embodied Cognition. Recent findings

environment. How so?

demonstrate that our bodies and the environment around us are important

Have you ever knocked an object off

in our cognition and play a vital part

your kitchen counter and instantly

in our thinking and decision-making

reacted - moving your hand, to

processes. It's not the disembodied

exactly the right spot, and caught

representations in our brain, the back-

the item - to your surprise? How

and-forth firing of countless neurons

does this work? Reflexes some say.

that alone produce our thoughts, but

What exactly does that mean? This

the indivisible interplay of our bodies

example is a case of our body acting

and the ecosystems that surround

without the brain's involvement

and contain us - that is where thought

- Embodied Cognition. You move

resides. The job description for the

spontaneously and make a smooth

brain has changed; instead of having

catch, almost miraculously.

to represent information about the

EC advocates say that often our

external world and use that knowledge

bodies - through perception and

to output commands, the brain is

action - can actually replace the need

now a part of a broader system that

for the brain - and its intricate mental

encompasses perception and action

gyrations. An oft-used example to

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

describe EC involves the actions that

the right place just in time to catch

a baseball outfielder takes to catch a

the ball? One approach would be

fly ball.

for the brain to do a complicated calculation taking into account the

How does the player move at the

speed and direction of the ball, the

crack of the bat and get to exactly

forces acting on it - the math and

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

physics calculations approach - and

In a related manner, sound energy

then predict where to intersect

does not interact only with our ears

the ball as it comes to the nearest

and our brains through the sense

point to the outfielder. According to

of hearing. Rather sound - in our

Golonka, the baseball player does not

holistic view - interacts with body,

do the math, and he does not run in a

brain, intellect, emotion, and subtle

straight line to the catch. Instead, the

energy systems. Sound, in the form

player keeps his eyes on the ball and

of very specific, select f requencies

runs in a curved path, thus making

OR in the form of special music can

the curved (decelerating parabolic)

perform a myriad of wonders on

motion of the ball appear to remain

us. Sound heals on multiple levels:

as a straight line. The outfielder can

appropriate f requencies stimulate

easily track the ball to the correct

cell regeneration; sound has been

endpoint. The player uses his brain

used to increase intelligence and

- but only as part of the action; he

memory; sound can influence our

uses his perception - to process the

mental and emotional aspects.

visual input he is receiving along with

Perhaps in its most remarkable

physical cues like his running speed

healing modality - sound activates

to solve the task.

the mind to power the body to heal itself. Healing chemicals are

These EC breakthroughs in

produced, the immune system goes

Psychology are fine, but what we

into hyperdrive. Fast, natural healing

really are interested in is Alternative

and regeneration occur; toxins are

Healing - specifically Sound Healing

eliminated, pathogens are destroyed,

for me. How can sound be used to

energy is unblocked, and true health

do powerful healing and growth?

and wellness is restored.

Further, how might Sound Healing It has been well documented


that certain sound frequencies The findings of Embodied Cognition

can entrain your brain waves -

show the power of the body to

to a targeted state, inducing a

understand itself and its environment

specific mental condition. Special

- and to act autonomously - even

f requencies will produce Alpha brain

think. Our bodies have far more

waves, which have been shown

potential than previously understood.

to greatly enhance learning and

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

memory retention by Bulgarian

Souls. Ancients considered this a

psychiatrist Lozanov.

direct path to heaven.

Sound energy can interact with

Science is finally catching up with

the body in a vast number of ways

healers old and new; the body

- sound energy changes physical

has many powers that are often

states. Sound is absorbed through

overlooked. It can think, heal

our skin, we feel vibrations in our

itself and intuitively evaluate its

bones, organs, and nervous system

surroundings. Not only is sound ever

throughout the body. (Even a deaf

present in the environment, but

person has these experiences.)

sound has the unique property of

Keep in mind the body now has far

interacting with us on all levels. The

higher capabilities than were once

symbiotic and synergistic effects of

thought. Just as the immune system

addressing the holistic being were

fights off infection, the body has

well understood by the ancient

powerful tools to heal itself. Sound

Shaman as he activated healing

can help activate this self-healing

through the use of sound (chants,

ability - one of the very strongest

drums, etc.). Modern Sound Healers

alternative healing modalities there

are employing these old techniques

is. Sound energy can clear blockages

alongside the latest discoveries with

in the subtle energy system – the

amazing results. Tune in! —

fine energy blueprint of the physical body. Chakras and meridians are cleared with special sounds that are absorbed into meridians by traveling down the base of tuning forks on acupressure points. Sound, especially music, can deeply affect our emotional states. Think of a favorite song or a Mozart Symphony and their emotional impact; movies are much more enjoyable with their soundtracks. Tones following the spiral pattern of the Fibonacci series actually quicken our energy and our

Jill Mattson - Artist, Musician, Author, Expert, Sound Healing composer! Intriguing, magical, scientific music – profound benefits. (Crystal Realms – Best New Age CD of 2017, Lost Waves of Time – Best Book 2016, Best Alternative Science 2016, Deep Wave Body Healing – Best Healing CD 2016, Contacting Angels/Masters – Best CD 2015 and Deep Wave Beauty– Best New Age CD – Silver). Sound healing class online! FB: Jill Mattson

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

We grow as individuals as we face challenges and overcome life’s obstacles. This section is dedicated to helping you chart your course

Personal Growth & Development

Step Out of the Flood of Negative Thoughts and Feelings


here's a very old saying….

None of us want to think that we lay down and give ourselves over to

“If you lay down with dogs,

the dogs of dark states, but the fact

you get up with fleas.” Why

of the matter is we do. And one of

are you going to get up with fleas if

the reasons that we give ourselves

you lay down with dogs? Because

to the dog states (the dark states)

dogs and fleas generally go together.

is because something inside of us is directing us to identify with the

We look at life and then let something

feeling -- to think about it, to think

inside of us direct us to lay down with

from it. So that in doing so, there’s an

negative states. We embrace them.

itch that can never be scratched. We

We cuddle up with that sense of anger

identify with and derive our sense of

or frustration or fear. Who's at fault if I

self from whatever the state is that

get up with fleas? Who's at fault if I'm

we are stewing in.

negative? Is it the dog's fault? Is the dog responsible for the fleas that are

When we do that, we get up with

on me?

fleas… meaning when we get up from being in that negative state, we are

You may say, "No, I hate these negative

worse off for being in it – not better

states that I'm in!" But your hatred of

off. When we're negative, and we're

a negative state is the same as you are

thinking about how to free ourselves

lying down with the dog and picking

from some condition we’re looking

up the fleas.

at, or who's responsible for the way we feel, our situation gets worse.

Think about this: Something happens. It doesn't have to be anything in

When we're negative, and we get

particular. I might just get up "on the

solutions to our negativity (someone

wrong side of the bed" that the dogs

to blame, something to do about our

were in, and “I'm just negative today.”

negativity, a plan), we think that we

I don't have a particular reason until

have scratched the itch -- the itch

I look at you, or until I'm someplace

being the negative state. We have

where somebody says something I

not scratched the itch! We have been

don't like. Then I absolutely know why

led to make a condition in ourselves

I'm negative.

worse! OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Because whatever conclusion or solution we come to when we're negative is always the nature of negativity continuing itself through us. And this cycle goes on and on and on. I pray this for you that one day you will be sitting in your house, driving your car, or in the middle of a meal with somebody, and you'll suddenly see that you're negative. You're not negative for the reason that you know… you’re just negative. Then, in the instant that the negativity is observed that same negativity –to protect its place in you – will come up with a reason for why it is what it is. Negativity is a specific state, a certain level of being that is present in you but that you do not have to be the prisoner of. When you lay down with a negative state -- when you identify with it, when you in any way whatsoever agree to whatever it's trying to get you to

with a dog." But you are! Understand

express, you've laid down with the

that we are not castigating the

dogs, and you are going to get up with

human being who is complaining. He

the fleas.

or she doesn't know any better than to do that. That's just their level. Their

In the real world, you would know it

level is to resist their own pain. When

if you laid down with a dog, wouldn't

they resist their own pain, there's

you? But you don't know it when you

nothing they can do other than to

sit next to somebody and they start to

look for somebody to share it with, or

complain to you about their life. You

to blame for it. Sharing or blaming is

don't think to yourself, "I'm lying down

all that level can do.

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

When we have virtually no awareness

one thing happens: Maybe somebody

of the dog-like state of mind in the

says something, or somebody looks

dark of itself, we don’t realize that we

at you in some way, and out of you

have already agreed to lay down with

comes an unmitigated fiery breath…

these negative states. A part of us has

haven't you ever wondered where that

agreed to hate life. But when we're

violence comes from? It comes from

negative, we don't think to ourselves,

a human being who is embroiled in a

"I’m hating life."

negative state without knowing it. And the reason they don't know it is because

Have you ever wondered why it is that

something has convinced them to

you can be in a neutral state, and then

“Come, lay down with me. Come, let me

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

give you a reason for why I'm there.

produced inside of a mind asleep to

Come, let me show you what to do

itself as it resists its own level -- as it

about this negativity.�

resists a certain degree of suffering inherent in life. And not knowing

You lay down with a negative state,

what to do with itself, it must find

you get up with fleas. You get up with

something with which to console itself.

a condition worse than the original Don't lie down with negative states.

negative state.

What does that mean? So, step out of the flood of negative thoughts and feelings. It sounds as

Don't lend your mind to any

if the wave is coming at you from

consideration of what's wrong with

outside you, but it's not. The flood

you or somebody else -- not for a split

of negativity is an interior condition

second! Why? Because you're lying

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

down with a dog. You're going to get

Does it say, "We're going to have a

up with fleas.

grand old time. Join me!"

Don't lend your mind to regret.

Does it do that? No. What does it do?

Don't lend your mind to have a problem

It just pulls. It just sits like a weight,

that you see coming in the future that

waiting for the appropriate part of itself

fills you with fear.

(already seeded into your nature) to tell you why you feel that pull. And the

Have you ever seen the movies where

minute that you agree with the feel of

the hero is walking through a swamp

that pull, you have laid down with the

and making his way through on a little

dogs. And then you get up -- having

bit of a raised path? On his left and

been not only drained of your lifeblood

right, you evil sprites and spirits reach

but filled with all kinds of itchiness

up from the swamp trying to pull him

that you don't know what to do with

down into it.

because your situation has not been improved. It has been exacerbated by

There is something that is trying to

the degree of your identification with

pull you into those murky waters.

that negative energy.

The fact is that those forces, those parts of yourself, have no authority.

Don't lay down with dogs!

Nothing in the world can make you

negative without you agreeing to lay down with the negativity! The

Guy Finley is the founder and

more you understand that because

director of the non-profit Life of

of seeing the truth of it in your life,

Learning Foundation. He is the

the more sensitive you'll be to all the circumstances where, for instance, “A depression called for me today. I was

author of “Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together” and 45

sitting there, I was doing my stuff, and

other books and audio albums

a depression called for me.”

on self-transformation. For more information on Guy Finley or to

Now when a depression calls for you, does it say, "Hey, I'm the devil of the darkness dragging you down into the depths of despair”? Does it do that?

sign up for free weekly email Key Lessons, call 541-476-1200 or visit

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

Empowering Questions for Changing Our World by Crystal Presence

“A question not asked is a door not opened.” – Marilee Adams Asking empowering questions can shape the landscape of our lives. Asking questions opens up

motion to respond to us. We can craft questions in such a way that the answers come as the bodily felt a sense of having the experience that we want. For example, if we ask the question, “What is lack of freedom?” we get the answers in the form of experiencing a lack

new aspects of our minds, bodies and

of freedom. This is not what we

hearts. We can set ourselves in motion

are looking for! What if we had

for a process that leads down paths

structured the question, “What is

of shaping the internal and external

the nature of experiencing freedom

experiences of our lives. What if we

from the inside out? The answer

learn how to ask better questions?

would come as the experience of

Understanding the power of our questions can free us to experience what we want in our lives. Marilee Adams, author

freedom from the inside out! • Change habits around how we ask questions. Like any habit, we need to go through a process of

of Change Your Questions Change

letting it go. We can (a) Identify

Your Life, encourages us to focus on

what triggers us to ask a certain

learning from our experiences rather

question. (b) Notice the details of

than being judgmental. Learning

how we are asking that question.

how to empower ourselves with an

Are we being judgmental of

attitude of optimism, hope, and new

ourselves i.e. What’s wrong with

possibilities to make our lives better no

me? (c) Write down details of how

matter what our condition.

we could change the question.

Suggestions for the asking empowering questions:

Remember that repetition is the mother of skill so practice, practice, practice!

• Structure questions wisely. When we ask a question, something inside

• Ask, “What am I thinking right

of us starts to shift immediately.

now? Are we focusing on what

Our questions set the universe in

we do not want or are we focusing

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

on new possibilities, solutions and

feel good about? Are we being

resolutions? Are the questions we

part of the problem or part of the

are asking adding value to our lives

resolution right now? What is the

or creating resistance, constriction,

nature of experiencing the most

or withholding?

beneficial choice I can make? What is the nature of experiencing myself

• Ask ourselves questions about

as part of the resolution?

the choices we are making at any given moment. Are we making choices that we know we will

• Keep our energy in movement, opening the space in receiving

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

the answers. Sing, dance, run, walk,

space to receive the insights. Keep it

laugh, play and do yoga with the

simple. Renowned mentors, authors

intent to release tension, contraction,

and speakers, George and Linda

control and manipulation.

Pransky, share their simple overview that they call the 3 Principles.

• Ask what is the nature of

How we can simplify our lives by

experiencing a connection to my

understanding that (1) We are

source and its greater intelligence?

literally one with our source and its

Breathing, meditating and keeping

greater intelligence (2) Our thinking

our energy in motion will allow the

molds and shapes our lives (3) Our

OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

senses allow us to experience the

Life is designed to be good and


fun for us. By summoning it with empowering questions, we can

• Ask with the expectation of

enjoy the journey of discovering

receiving the answers. Asking

who we are and the power we have

empowering questions is a great

to be part of the resolution in our

way to create more awareness


of our connection with Source. As we ask new questions, new


energies begin moving through us. We find ourselves having

Crystal is a certified expansion

new perspectives, changes and

guide with the Total

opportunities to understand

Integration Institute. An author,

how life works. As the energy of

multidimensional coach and

our source flows through us, we

facilitator for the live event called

have expanding opportunities

Freedom at the Core. Core. She is the

to connect and come to

instructor and coach for her online

understandings with expanding

course, Freedom From the Inside

questions. Discovering the

Out.. She draws from her own Out

summoning process of questions

experience and the experience

is where learning to trust,

of the thousands of people she

recognize and follow our impulses.

has worked with over the past

We come to realize the perfection

35 years. Crystal is known for the

of our physical connection to our

fun and empowering way she

source. We discover who we are

supports people in bringing forth

as we cultivate a visceral knowing

the experiences they want in

of how we attract our desires. We

their lives. Currently, she is writing

may find ourselves holding back

a series of children's books that

out of fear of the unknown. Our

embrace the principles of living

bodies will alert us to any of the


resistance. We can let go once

again to experience the universe

guiding us to manifest from our


inside out. OM TIMES | Feb A Edition 2020

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