Claudia Ghetu WELLness

The Wisdom of Ancient Science for Advanced Healing and Transformation


You Don’t Have To Die! The Misleading Medical Prognosis About My Terminal Diagnosis and Crucial Tips on How You Can Avoid Being Misdiagnosed

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“If you are inspired to offer your kind support so I can continue to serve others, and read about my latest progress, please visit and share my  GoFundMe page. 

“If you have the will to live, the faith to survive, and the intelligence to think on your own, you have a good chance of survival… Healing is not for the weak of heart or those with a lack of faith.” – CancerTutor.com

I will never forget what happened just one day after receiving my diagnosis of Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer, this past June. I was sitting in my hospital bed with a dear friend visiting me, discussing my dilemma over receiving urgent chemotherapy, as had been indicated by the staff oncology doctor who delivered the news. He said, ‘you need to pick an oncologist through your primary right away, and have a catheter put in immediately to start receiving chemo…you don’t have any time to lose.’ I looked at him and said, ‘this is not something I can decide right away. I need time to think if this is the best option for me.’ He looked at me as if I told him that aliens had just landed on Earth and were soon to invade the hospital. I am alive now because I exercised my power of reason and free will under pressure, with faith as my anchor!

IMG_1003 copyI understand in retrospect that the kind of answer I gave is something doctors are not used to hearing. After all, they are not used to having their authority challenged. They are the modern day demi-gods in white coats, who wave their magic prognosis wands, administer complex drug potions, and are unquestionably trusted and credited with the ability to save lives. They give you the gift of life. Or death.  My prognosis was death. Should it have been? And why didn’t the doctor give me some positive information, including other possible treatment options, and put me at least in the 50/50 survival range? Why wasn’t I at least told about the Kelly Metabolic Protocol, and given a glimpse of hope? Incidentally, I only found out about the latter amazing program that cures incurable cancers and various other diseases at the clinic where I am getting treated here in Mexico. And it’s a treatment that can be done at home!

734c15b950346710079ebb47bcbfe2d7“Dr. William Donald Kelley contended this cancer protocol had a 93 percent cure rate on newly diagnosed cancer patients, even including pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. How could it be that successful? The Kelley enzymes strip the unique protein coating off of cancer cells so the immune system can identify and kill the cancer cells. Dr. Kelley and his practitioners treated more 33,000 patients, claiming a 93 percent success rate for those who came to him before — not after — chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. For those with a predicted life expectancy of about three months, he said that a well-designed nutritional program would yield “slightly better than a 50-50 chance of survival.” So this means, in my opinion, the stats that are given in hospitals should be taken with a grain of salt. People were made to believe the Earth was flat, remember? 

rocks-2Getting back to why the doctor didn’t discuss other treatment options and walked away in dismay shaking his head, the answer to that is very simple. Because they are only supposed to give you a prognosis based on their own conventional treatments, which are not in line with the latest and more highly advanced medical developments and treatment options available out of the country or practiced privately. Think of a salesman trying to sell you a car. They’re not going to tell you where else you can go spend your money to get a car besides his own dealership. That’s would be inconceivable, right? Especially if the the Big Boss is reputed to hear everything behind the scenes, and can take his sales badge away at a moment’s notice, then prosecute him. So the doctors pick their bosses and they stick to their bosses’ rules. And there’s really just one Big Boss at the top.

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To add to that, most doctors unwaveringly believe that all the scientific medical studies they have access and are exposed to during medical school is accurate and indisputable. Yet, these studies are based on inconclusive and misleading case studies and medical histories which selectively publish high failure rates for pancreatic and other cancers or various diseases. On the other side of the coin, they publish only the positive test results of drugs and their effectiveness, based on selective trial studies, dismissing the negative results of tests which usually far outweigh the latter. These don’t get published.

As I found out, mostly the negative findings are published in the medical journals! This is called selective publishing. Let’s say out of 100 case studies of patients with pancreatic cancer, if 40 die shortly after treatment, but 60 recover, the consensus is to deliver the outcome only on the deaths. The patients who recover or so called ‘spontaneous recoveries’ and are not acknowledged or discussed in the medical community. They are considered flukes and seen as ‘unscientific’ recoveries because they don’t match the text book criteria and challenge the status quo. Watch this highly informative and potentially  life saving TED talk, “What Doctors Don’t Know About the Drugs They Prescribe,” by Dr. Ben Goldacre. You will understand perfectly.

YogaSo back to my story, the intent of which is to share my personal experiences and findings, so you and your loved ones don’t have to experience something which can easily be avoided! Most important thing I’ve learned is: EVERYTHING CAN BE CURED! However, mental attitude is probably responsible for 80% of your success! Staying level headed and thinking outside the box will most likely save your life. And as I always say, “What you don’t know WILL kill you.” This will most likely be the title of one of my books, so look out for it because I plan to live a very long life! Your support in sharing my findings and story will ensure I continue to do the work I am destined to do, and will hopefully help many who may otherwise become victims of the system.

Picture100Crucial Advice When Receiving A Diagnosis Or Seeking Medical Advice

  1. When you get a scary diagnosis, don’t panic; go into research mode instead and keep calm. Remember you are just getting an opinion, not a life sentence.
  2. If you fail to get a diagnosis and are wasting months going to specialists and waiting for referrals, skip immediately to #3.
  3. Go to a well reputed alternative or integrative clinic or doctor for a re-evaluation, which will also allow you to tap into a network of alternative state-of-the-art healing options and resources you never know existed.
  4. Connect to patients from those clinics and get their feedback and ask for further referrals.
  5. Take a ‘medical tourism vacation’ out of the country and schedule MRI’s and a PET scan, which are usually impossible to obtain unless you are already diagnosed and usually far advanced in the disease. This is preventive care! Forget X-rays or blood tests which show nothing useful or conclusive most of the time.
  6. Get all your medical records printed or on a portable disk from all your tests, and doctors visits and have them ready and available at all times.
  7. Get a passport, or make sure it’s up to date. Be prepared to travel on short notice.
  8. Establish a support network of family, spiritual community and friends who are aligned with your core views, who are positive, and will 100% support your choices. If that is not feasible – Fly Solo! It is best to do this alone than to deal with people who disempower or scare you!
  9. Consult with a Holistic Nutritionist or Naturopath at the earliest, and radically modify your diet, focusing on plant protein, natural supplements, juicing and detoxing. I believe going vegan is the best option, as that is what is done in the most advanced clinics with high recovery rates. At least go vegetarian! Remember, be obsessed with your health not your taste buds!
  10. Plan in advance to have available cash and to pay out of pocket costs in excess of 30K to start, downsize, and get rid of or sell anything you don’t need that could go towards your treatment. You will be glad you prepared in advance!

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. – Saint Teresa of Avila


How Cancer is Healing Me

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“If you are inspired to offer your kind support so I can continue to serve others, please visit and share my  GoFundMe page. My blessings and love to you all!”

MY SUDDEN DIAGNOSIS 

In June of this year, 2018, I found out that I had stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Literally out of the blue my life changed overnight! Imagine one day you think you’re healthy, life is normal, and the next day someone tells you you have months left to live. Well that’s exactly what happened to me. But instead of panicking, I embraced this as a positive challenge, a monumental opportunity for growth, and a preliminary step to a profound awakening.  As the doctors looked at me piteously while giving me the grim news, I smiled and said “Ok, great…I’m glad I know now. I know all will be fine.” Peace flowed over me. Acceptance. Joy. I cannot describe the relief I felt just from finding out what was wrong with me – or the fact that there was something actually wrong, despite x-rays and blood work that always confirmed I was healthy.

LIFE BEFORE STAGE 4

Meanwhile, for some years most likely, unbeknownst to me, I was working up to stage 4 pancreatic, and even the few more recent emergency room visits and doctors could not detect it, sending me home to take Tylenol for pain! I am one who believes in the daily practice of positive affirmations – so I had always affirmed “I am well, I am in perfect health.”  Yet, even though I believed and affirmed I was in perfect health, I had been suffering with bouts of mysterious pains in my left upper and  lower abdomen and upper chest (which took me to the emergency room on several occasions), and gastrointestinal digestive issues. I had a feeling something had to be fixed at a much deeper level, and that there was something ‘stuck,’ blocking my energy and body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

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After lymph node biopsy which detected a stage 4 carcinoma tumor, sitting on top of two blood clots on my left side; and a thyroid biopsy the next day.

HOW I FOUND OUT

It was a dentist’s visit that ended up sending me to the emergency room in early June, where they identified two blood clots, one on my jugular vein and one on the subclavian lymph node in my left neck (right above the clavicle bone), with a carcinoma tumor the size of a small lime. A few days prior, I went to see my dentist to fit me for a new crown. The next day I noticed pain in my neck on the same side where the work was done. Bacteria seeped into my lymph node, which was already clogged no doubt, and it erupted like a volcano pushing the tumor out. Did you know that numerous root canals can lead to cancer and massive toxicity in the body over time?

EMERGENCY ROOM FINDING

A few days later the whole left side of my neck was swollen and red, and I could hardly move my neck.  Once at the emergency room I got immediately admitted into the hospital for extensive blood work and tests, I received my diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer which had spread to my liver and lymph nodes. My lymph glands had swollen every where in my body, especially in my stomach and neck, and I was also diagnosed with acute gastritis and esophagitis. I could hardly eat, as the swelling of lymph nodes continued into my left arm where additional blood clots were identified. I was put on blood thinners right away. The initial concern was that the blood clots in my neck and on the jagular vein were in such close proximity to the brain and the heart. Somehow despite all this, I knew everything would be fine. In a matter of hours people began praying for me, especially my immediate spiritual community at my church. The prayers were so intense that I felt as if my body was being lifted, and began experiencing an unprecedented state of peace and blissfulness. I felt so incredibly light, and so calm. I can attest to the divine power of prayer. God was ever-present.

LIFE AND DEATH

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Lymph node tumor shortly after biopsy, three days after emergency room hospitalization, before given full diagnosis.

They call pancreatic cancer ‘the silent killer’ because it’s not easily detectable, even though I had had blood work regularly over the years, including ultrasounds and x-rays. The hardest part of all this was breaking the news to my family. I could take it no problem. After all it was only a diagnosis as far as I saw it and not a life sentence. I don’t believe in the allopathic medical system, and I took everything they told me with a grain of salt. I always knew that if push came to shove, I would never be a victim of our medical system. I am actually one of these people that doesn’t fear death, because I know with full faith what lies beyond.  My life has always revolved around my strong spiritual practice and unwavering faith in God, karma, and the soul’s destiny and purpose. Death for me is a mere transition from the physical body, into the energy body and beyond, and part of our cosmic evolution.

“I’LL DO IT MY WAY”

My life philosophy and spiritual path is based on detachment and surrendering to a higher power, through a deep connection to the Higher Self. But I also believe in fighting for my life now, because God helps those who help themselves! And I am convinced that through my trials, facing and ultimately overcoming cancer, I can and will help others become more educated in making treatment choices, and empower them to realize that cancer is treatable and not a death sentence. As a holistic health and nutrition coach, yoga therapist, and wellness counselor I have always made it my personal business to educate myself and bring healing and support to those who seek it. I also have offered this support freely, deriving the greatest joy from giving and sharing the gift of life and health.  

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Receiving Targeted Photogenic Light Laser therapy directly into my lymph node tumor, with outstanding results resulting in 70% shrinkage.

LOVING CANCER

I believe that cancer saved my life! It is not an enemy. We shouldn’t hate and ‘fight’ cancer. Why? Because then we are fighting and hating ourselves. Cancer has to be accepted. It’s part of my body now. And I choose to heal it with love and care. I even give it thanks. What is the strongest universal energy and vibration? Love. Love heals. It takes a certain understanding to get this: you have to love yourself to heal yourself, and love the cancer because it is part of your body.

KILLING VS. LOVING

Instead of wanting to ‘kill’ cancer you transform it. You accept it and release it. You shift consciousness. Isn’t that the message for the ages: Don’t fight aggression with aggression? Cancer manifests in the body when the cells are completely overwhelmed by toxins, and the body can no longer process and expel all the junk that has accumulated over time for individually specific reasons. Why get mad at the body for trying to do its job?

Cancer cells are always present in our bodies, but they do not become active unless our immune system runs down and becomes overloaded with expelling toxins. When cancer turns into a tumor, that tumor actually isolates all the cancer cells in one spot so they don’t run rampantly throughout the body and spread. If the tumor is not detected early, the cancer cells will multiply throughout the body and spread. Once I understood that, I began thanking my cells, even the cancerous ones, for trying to protect me. For fighting for me all this time! They were overwhelmed. Forgiveness-in-an-Ugly-WorldI felt love and sympathy for what my body had endured.

TIME TO HEAL

I now send love to my liver and pancreas and my lymph nodes. I do this multiple times of day now, and talk to my cells and guide them towards healing. The first thing that I was told that made the most sense after my diagnosis was “cancer is not trying to kill you, it’s trying to heal you!” This statement came from a remarkable woman who cured herself of cancer and who guided me to the best possible clinic for integrative cancer treatment, where she also received care. I met her via an email through a friend who suggested I contact her, and in less than 24 hours after we talked she brought me down to this amazing place just outside the country, and put me in the hands of the most amazing medical team. I am so grateful. She saved my life. Truly God sent. And I plan to pass it forward!

COUNTDOWN TO FULL RECOVERY

IMG_1629Since I have been here, going on my fifth week of treatment, my cancer markers have gone down, and the tumor in my neck has shrunk by 70%! And I continue to make unprecedented progress, despite that I was given only months to live (from the traditional doctors of course). Having to unexpectedly finance the cost of this treatment out of pocket all alone, I have been blessed with the outstanding support of friends and acquaintances who started a GoFundMe link, to help me receive my first weeks of  crucial treatment at no cost, but the additional weeks and months needed are not covered beyond next week (July 30, 2018)! Yet, I have full faith that I will somehow be granted the opportunity to continue my treatment through further divinely guide shares and contributions. I have to maintain my progress as the doctors advised me here at the clinic this week, with follow up visits after departure. I wanted to share my story  in real time, and I will continue to do so, because my journey may inspire others to carve out their own journey, where radical healing is possible despite all circumstances.

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MY MISSION AND PROMISE

I want to heal for myself and for the world. So I can make a difference. So I can show others that there are so many possibilities to overcome this, and to guide others as I have been guided. Once you understand that cancer is a gift in disguise and go beyond fear, have the right tools and resources to seek the proper treatment – including a more non-conventional alternative based and integrative approach (because it works!) – then the rest is history. I never wanted to look in the mirror and see an emaciated person with no hair staring back at me. So instead, I opted to keep my body intact without destroying it from the inside out, and to work for and with my immune system, and not kill it with inhumane maximum doses of poorly targeted chemotherapy and radiation.  The results speak for themselves, as my weekly GoFundMe Updates so far indicate, but far more work is needed both financially and treatment wise!

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Thank you, to all the caring souls out there who are holding space for me, who have contributed to my LIFE, and without whom none of this would have been possible. Please continue to share my link and this story, as I will continue to fight for myself and for those who will need me in the future! 

In Eternal Gratitude and Health,

Claudia ‘Atmadevi’

“Unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there is little purpose to our own lives.” – Mother Theresa


The Unethical and Harmful Effects of a Paleo Diet!

“In 2005, T. Colin Campbell, PhD and his son Thomas M. Campbell, MD, shared the China Project findings along with additional research with the world in The China Study. This groundbreaking book examined the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists. The revised and expanded edition includes new content, statistics, research and information about the changing medical system and how patients stand to benefit from a surging interest in plant-based nutrition. The China Study is hailed as one of the most important books about diet and health ever written.”

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Here is my short synopsis on the Paleo diet: HIGHLY HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH!

The overly hyped Paleo diet is the number one cause for the inflammation of joints and tissue in the body, inflammation being the number one cause for disease, including cancer, and is detrimental for your longterm health and physical and mental degeneration later in life. Atherosclerosis sound good as a retirement plan? Premature aging? Then keep eating meat! You are sure to get there! Eating high amounts of protein taxes the organs especially the liver and kidneys, and excessive uric acid is produced, which causes another retirement option: gout!!!

Meat eaters are also prone to excessive anger and emotionality – as the energy derived from meat is considered ‘tamasic’ in Ayurvedic science. Tamasic is anything that contains negative imprints of energy. Think how a food you eat was raised, processed, and treated. As we are all part of the food chain – especially on an energetic quantum level – you are what you eat! Taking the flesh and energy of an abused, animal loaded with antibiotics, hormones, and forced to live in small stalls while force fed unnatural foods, is seriously detrimental to your health! Their cortisol level is really high out of panic at the time of slaughter and their blood coagulates, and when that meat/blood enters your system the unusually high cortisol level stimulates your adrenal glands. When people suffer adrenal stress because of excess adrenal stimulation they can’t sleep, they are hyperactive, they can’t digest well, and of course they are nervous wrecks. Also, think of the most savage and aggressive civilizations and invaders in history. They were excessive meat eaters! Notice the difference in how you feel after you eat a healthy well rounded salad, and a piece of steak. While the meat rots in your system and puts your digestive tract into overdrive, you feel sluggish and full. When you eat live foods, or easily digestible plant protein you feel light and alive. My motto is: Be addicted to your health, not your taste buds!

Want a cure for your insomnia and anxiety? For chronic tiredness, lack of flexibility and agility too? Become vegetarian! Research has shown for decades that vegetarian countries and cultures – think Thailand – are extremely kind, happy, and compassionate. The are also active, mobile people. They weigh less and live longer!  The people who have lived the longest, unknown to most who don’t venture to learn anything beyond what’s on the news or on social media, are vegetarian and fruitarians. Yes, there are people who lived and live exclusively on fruits or other botanicals including nuts, and who are centenarians. If you consider yourself a nature lover but eat abused animals who are yelled at and electrocuted so that you can have a nice piece of steak at your favor meat joint, then you are somewhat of a hypocrite. Animals are part of nature! You should love and help them, and maybe you will learn something from these four legged creatures. They have so much to teach us humans! And one last note. Paleo eaters are the top contributors to global warming. You should look that up if it perks your interest, and if you consider yourself to be an environmentalist. So my dear human friends, be kind and wise.  Learn about yourself for yourself. And then teach others.

The China Syndrome is one of the most fascinating books ever written about meat eaters, and the effects of meat on the human body and psyche. Get it, and order a salad for dinner!

***Please visit my revised website, and feel free to recommend me to a friend or colleague who would like to consult with me. I specialized in personalized Lifestyle and Nutrition Plans, and design menus based on your individual blood type or dosha. 


FRIENDLINESS & EMPATHY: THE MISSING LINK IN HOW YOU EXPERIENCE THE WORLD, AND HOW THE WORLD RESPONDS BACK TO YOU!

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“The vibrations of the world pass through your body. There is a constant exchange of magnetism between you and your surroundings and the people with whom you come in contact…Cultivate within yourself the spiritual magnetism which is in Christ and Krishna and all the masters. In order to do this, you have to become unselfish; you must express selfless love for all. Try always to be helpful. Develop your usefulness daily to your family, community, to your friends. Be willing to help wherever you are. ” (Paramahansa Yogananda, The Divine Romance).

How good natured, helpful, or friendly are you towards others? Do you just look straight forward, like a horse on a race track, engrossed in your own world most of the time, as if your time is the the only time that counts? How willing or able are you to genuinely experience the joys, sorrows or needs of others, and make yourself emotionally available beyond mere appearances? If you were to look deep within, do you experience envy or annoyance at times when others share their good news with you, or ask you for a favor? I once had a self proclaimed ‘spiritual-sister’ tell me: “You always know who your true friends are in LA by whoever makes the time to come to the airport to pick you up.” A few months later I asked her if she could please pick me up when I got in from an overseas flight. Being relatively new to LA, public airport transport was a daunting enigma which I could not unravel at the time, hence needing the guidance of my native friend.  She unapologetically declined, saying it was too late for her, and advised me to try to figure out where I can find an Uber (which were not allowed to come to the airport terminals for pick ups at the time!).

Do you grasp the deeper meaning of altruism? Being thoughtful and selfless sounds good on paper and in spiritual circles, but understanding what selflessness encompasses reaches beyond mere appearances. It’s beyond sharing half your bag of potato chips. It’s about sharing EMOTION. IT’S ABOUT SHARING YOUR TIME. Altruism and kindness-friendliness stem from the same root: OPENNESS OF HEART. True kindness comes from a heart that is open to the needs of others – their mental, spiritual, emotional, physical needs. Did you know that if you shut yourself off from experiencing or sharing in the happiness of another person, remaining detached or aloof, weather they are sharing their joys or hardships with you, YOU WILL INEVITABLY CONTAMINATE YOUR MIND, PSYCHE, AND ENTIRE BEING, WITH THE LOWER VIBRATIONS OF ANXIETY, ISOLATION, DEPRESSION, AND DISPASSION FOR THE WORLD? Why are people anxious? Because they are all wrapped up in Them-Selves 24/7 – their needs, their problems, their agendas. What happens when you volunteer and contribute your time giving to a cause, helping others? You step outside of the “all-about-me” agenda, and the anxiety that you’ve created around your life suddenly melts into an altruistic state of pure being, where thinking and caring about others elevates you to higher state. You move from being into yourself, by being in the moment – and that moment that you spare plays a significant part in someone else’s life!

This openness of heart is the core foundation of all the world’s religions, sublimating in the Vedantic, Buddhist and Christ’s teachings.  One of the techniques of cultivating a higher spiritual state, is allowing the mind to rest in a state of tranquility by purifying it with the thought of happiness and compassion for others. This is the foundation of Vedic and Buddhist meditation. Think about it, when you are upset or annoyed at someone they steal your peace of mind, don’t they? The Dalai Lama says that, “According to Buddhism, compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive — it’s not empathy alone — but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. Genuine compassion must have both wisdom and lovingkindness. That is to say, one must understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free others (this is wisdom), and one must experience deep intimacy and empathy with other sentient beings (this is lovingkindness).” Pantanjali, the great Indian Sage and author of the Yoga Sutras, also writes in what many believe to be one of his most important Sutras as a key preliminary practice for attaining a deeper and more tranquil meditative state, “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, and compassion for the unhappy….the mind retains it’s undisturbed calmness.” (The Yoga Sutras, Part1/35).

friendship-quote-e1327408483515-3455So go out of your way starting today, experience and share your FRIENDLINESS AND COMPASSION with others, and see what happens! Let go of saying, “Sorry, I can’t” for a while. Take off your blinders and look around. There’s always someone you can be kind to! And at the end of each day, remember that feeling of SHARING YOURSELF. Step back, unwind, close your eyes, and just connect to your own precious heart.  Notice how your mind is filled with joy and peace – a sense of inner contentment. Recognize how being a giver brings you much greater joy, peace, and metal calmness than being a taker. Enjoy the inter-connectivness of life. You deserve to feel this greater joy coming back to you!

*Try this affirmation when you wake up, mid-day, and before you go to sleep for one week: “I feel connected to everyone today. I share everyone’s joy, and fill my heart with friendship and kindness for all!” You will see how the world suddenly responds to you with overwhelming kindness!

June 9, 2018 Workshop in Encino

Please email me at ClaudiaGhetuWellness@Gmail.com if you want to reserve a space, and I will follow up with any additional information leading up to the date. Hope you will join me, and learn seldom taught yogic techniques and Ayurvedic nutrition tips which will significantly impact your health, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.

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‘Finding YOU. Escaping Mental & Cultural Hijacking and Finding What You Are NOT.’

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“With sustained effort and sincerity, discipline, and self-control, the wise become like islands, which no flood can overwhelm.” – From the Dhammapada; Sayings of The Buddha 

“One has nothing until one has come face to face with oneself.” —Tibetan Saying

These Top-10 Resolutions are the initial chapters of my future book, based on and inspired by the revered Buddhist and Vedantic ancient texts and the honored guru-disciple teachings on mind training and spiritual development through self-awareness. 

TOP 10 Life-Changing Mind-Spirit Resolutions

1 Commit to determining your ultimate life goal NOW, and to living a fully self-authentic, non-egotistic, more purposeful and spiritually (rather than materially) driven life. 

2 Ask yourself ‘Who am I really, and who do I aspire to become?’ Then pick an inspirational role model who changed the world for the better and emulate their scope and actions. Post their quotes or photos as a daily reminders, and read about them often. 

3 Set a self improvement non-altruistic goal each month and set out to accomplish it. The goal in life is to keep changing, and that means changing for the better. 

4 Start leading by example today! As the timeless saying goes, if you want to change the world, change yourself. Be helpful to others, and perform an act of kindness every day (great antidote for anxiety and depression).

5 Make time every day to expand your wisdom and knowledge by studying the great masterminds of history; especially the ancient philosophers and spiritual humanists like Buddha, Mother Theresa, Meister Eckhart, Decartes, Gandhi, etc. (Observe #7 and you will have time). 

6 Make time weekly for solitude, self-reflection and mindfulness. Learn just to be, and not just be thinking! Begin cultivating silence, and increasing your ‘silent alone time’ each week. This includes disconnecting from all devices (texting doesn’t qualify for being silent even though you are not speaking). 

7 Do not waste your time in idle activities. Cut 50 to 75% of your activities (especially social outings). Instead engage in mind expanding, spiritually uplifting endeavors (studying a classic text on Buddha’s teachings, or reading the Upanishads) and partake in some kind of creative activity, like photography or journaling. (Not fishing, or anything that harms/exploits living beings). 

8 Choose your environment mind-fully! Eliminate mental hijacking by minimizing media or news exposure, especially social media. Stay away from negative people, aggressive auditory or visual imprints!

9 Opinions are like poisoned arrows. Don’t give them and don’t go seeking them out. Learn to develop and use your own mind and intuition.  Stop looking around for help, and look within!

10 Meditate daily, and go for nature walks in serene uncrowded environments. Find a local Buddhist meditation center or yoga studio offering Yogic meditation, and practice in a group once a week. Enjoy a ‘walking meditation.’ Don’t listen to music. Just listen to your incoming and outgoing breath. BE. IN. SILENCE.

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Pratyahara: What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror? (Part 1)

The world is just a mirror, and you are part of its reflection. But, you have a choice…

Much like the familiar adage, ‘the world is but a stage…and we all play a part,’ you are born to play a specific ‘life role’ according to your prenatal resources and background. However, as much as your role is already shaped according to the pre-determined environment you are born into, you do inevitably get to choose HOW you play your part! Just as you can rightfully choose what the mirror which you are holding reflects back at you!

girl looking in mirrorSo, what do YOU see when you look in your mirror? Or better yet, what does your mirror reflect besides your Self? When you hold a mirror to your face, you see yourself, yes, but you also see what surrounds you in the background. You cannot just see your reflection without having your immediate environment reflect behind you. It is impossible to separate the two.  But it is possible to consciously develop the will and ability to erase the mirror images! There is an ancient yogic technique which completely enables you to physiologically disconnect from your immediate sensory environment. To shut off your senses so to speak, and draw within.  Like  a turtle consciously withdraws inside its shell. It is known as Pratyahara, part of the Raja Yoga Himalayan tradition, and is translated as ‘interiorization’ or ‘withdrawal of the senses.’ In our modern age, to be able to go within at will and bi-pass the stressful assault on our senses, and therefore gain control over the reflections of our own mirror, is absolutely necessary to our sanity and survival.

Likewise, who we are, what we think, how we behave and live our lives is a direct reflection of our environment. What does your immediate environment reflect back at you? Who are YOU in context to how and where you live, and who you associate yourself with on a daily basis? What are the vibrations surrounding you and shaping your character, moods, habits, and your overall physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing? Are you overly concerned with your status or appearance, and secretly worry about your ‘social image’ and how others perceive you? Ask yourself why. Pause for a moment. What is lurking in the background of your mirror? It is those very images reflecting in your background that are influencing your behavior, thoughts, and the future steps you will take on your life’s journey. It is good to stop from time to time and evaluate the direction you are heading into, and make sure it is a path that you have chosen of your own accord. Not because someone else has influenced you ‘to play your part’ a certain way. This can be the result or cost of your happiness.

There is a famous Gaugain painting entitled “Who are We, Where Do We Come From, Where Are We Going?” considered by many to be his masterpiece. I can say that this painting has influenced my entire life, the quintessential titular questions written on this colorful canvas resonating like an echo through eternity, depicting the stages of human life from birth until death.  It embodies everything that great prophets, historians, philosophers, scientists, and entire civilizations have tried to capture, unearth, and express in one form or another. I myself became a student of art history and philosophy, with the insatiable scope of peering beyond the external lens of life – what the Hindu sages called the ‘lila’ or ‘play of life’ –  to find the deeper meaning of it all, and what is so subtly hidden behind our material existence. To find the answers to these questions and to experience first hand the primordial noble truths unveiled by these answers, has been and continues to be my life’s mission. I began to study the Bhaghavad Gita and Upanishads, Buddhism, Zen, Judaic and Early Christian mysticism and history, and eventually settled on the deep studies of the Vedas (Hindu Scriptures) and the ancient science of Yoga (not the yoga practiced in yoga studios!), as practiced by the rishis of India since time immemorial. I better understand now, as I have always  intrinsically knew and suspected, there lies something much, much greater below the surface of our mundane existence, which once pursued and unearthed will grant us the ultimate fulfillment. In order to find out who we are, where we come from, and where we are going – to get to the root of fully comprehending our true purpose and identity – we must remove all that is not US in the mirror, so that we no longer reflect anything but the Self. The yogis call it the Atman, the Higher Self or the Soul.

Back to the mirror you are holding, and the ‘play’ of your life. If you clearly know where you are headed and feel a keen sense of purpose and gratitude driving you to fully express who you truly are, then your mirror reflection is now only reflecting YOUR WILL. You are ONE with the mirror. In fact you have become the mirror itself. You choose what is reflected by the glass; it no longer chooses to imprint on you. Likewise, if you feel that something or someone else is driving or controlling your physical and emotional wellbeing and life choices then you must change your environment to reflect what YOU need and desire.

Paramahansa Yogananda said, “environment is stronger than will power” …you want to change, change your environment! If you live in a tranquil environment, you will likewise reflect and embody tranquility. If you mix with individuals who are anxious or tense, and live in a stressful environment, you will inevitably be a reflection of that environment.  Your instincts, perceptions, and lifestyle patterns are a direct reflection of your environment. If you listen to the news regularly –  the elaborate, overly dramatized, and graphic reports of never ending political chaos, natural and man-made atrocities and disasters  – your life and your consciousness, will inadvertently reflect those seeds of fear, anxiety and uncertainty that were implanted within your psyche. It is easy to become passive and convince ourselves that we are a product of, and intrinsically linked with our environment, that we cannot escape the world around us, and therefore we have no choice but to be part of it. But our level of participation is optional.  We can observe with keen discrimination what is around us, yet not choose to participate. We can engage or disengage. We can use the principles of Pratyahara and its various derivative forms which have always been an integral practice of Ayurveda, and have full sensory control of what we allow to affect or disturb us. Eventually, through this practice, which harnesses a superior sense of self-awareness, we may choose to explore how to completely remove ourselves from the ‘lila.’ First we have to be brave and fully willing to pursue that route – the route of willful detachment from that which is NOT us –  and bipass or ego, self-denial, and various social and material addictions that are always pulling us back like magnets.  In time, as we declare our ultimate freedom and are no longer enslaved by our environment we will realize that we can rightfully CHOOSE the images, stories, and dogmas that filter through our consciousness, rather than allow the reflections to choose and define us. Mental and emotional hijacking as I call it, is an option, not a decree. In other words, you have the right to control what you see in your mirror!

In Part 2 of this essay, I will list a Pratyahara Check-Off List, and Daily Pratyahara & Meditation Techniques which one can employ, anytime, anywhere. What you will see in your mirror as a result of these practices, and the after effects of cultivating this practice, will have a far reaching life-changing effect on your psyche, and understanding of WHO YOU ARE. A workshop will follow, and I hope that everything you read and learn will be beneficial to your happiness and Self-Realization!