Friday, August 31, 2012


Incense and Incense Burners

We offer a wide variety of incense and incense burners at Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

Some of the types of incense we offer in the bookstore include:  Hem Musk, Hem Patchouli, Nag Champa Patchouli, Hem Lavender, Satya Meditation, Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa, and Nag Champa Sandalwood.  A good friend of mine comes in regularly to purchase the Hem brand incense and he often buys it by the box.

We also carry a variety of incense burners.  We have quite a few different types and styles depending on where you choose to burn the incense.  The tower burners have a cork in the lid in which the incense is placed and the smoke wafts out of the ornate carvings in the soapstone.  The elephant ring is quite popular with the incense placed directly in the center of the elephant circle.  And, of course, we carry the standard burners in wood, glass and cut colored tile.

Martha Salazar

To learn more about Essential Oils, and fragrances in general, please join us for a Free Presentation by Dr. Edward Viljoen on Friday September 7.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Candles, Candles, and Candles

There is nothing quite like candlelight to subtly alter the atmosphere and soften the mood.  I often burn candles in my home while trying to wind down from my day.  Candlelight and my favorite iTunes playlist usually do the trick.  I purchase candles to sell in the bookstore that I personally would like to burn.

For Safety, I like the tall pillars encased in glass.  I can comfortably close my eyes knowing the flame is safely contained in the glass holder.  Aloha Bay makes candles using 100% vegetable palm wax which has a pleasant neutral scent while burning.  These candles come in a variety of rich deep colors.

I also like the ritual candles.  These smaller pillar candles come in a variety of colors and each candle comes with a ritual charm representing the quality of consciousness to be embraced.  "Gentle Healing" is one such quality and the label on the candle reads as follows:

"I have placed myself in Ritual Consciousness.  My energy is focused with a desire to create and alter my destiny.  I deliver the strength of wholeness to heal my heart from grief, pain, and fear.  Gentle healing is consuming my being."

Martha Salazar

Stepping Stones Books and Gifts carries a variety of candles, scented and unscented in our store.  To learn more about fragrances, please join us for a Free Presentation by Dr. Edward Viljoen on Friday September 7.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Essential Oils

Have you tried Essential Oils?  Here are some comments about using two popular oils.

Madagascan Lemon Eucalyptus

(Eucalyptus citriodora)

I'm not particularly fond of the scent from Eucalyptus, but this lemony fresh Eucalyptus from Madagascar is wonderful.  It's almost impossible to separate Eucalyptus from its legendary effectiveness in relieving discomfort associated with colds, coughs, sinus and flu.

So when I found Eucalyptus citriodora, I had something to add to my home stash of comforting oils that had a smell I could enjoy and would do the same thing for me that Eucalyptus would.

Edward Viljoen

South African Lavender

(Lavandula Marie)

South African Lavender is our top selling Essential Oil followed by Madagascar Lemon.  I know when people are sampling from the trial bottles, as the bookstore quickly fills with the aroma of fresh cut lavender. With a process of steam distillation, the oils from the flowers are extracted to create this lovely oil which has a soft floral and herbal scent.  The scent has a calming effect which aids in relaxation and the reduction of stress and anxiety.  I have heard from some folks that use South African lavender to relieve headaches.

Martha Salazar

To learn more about Essential Oils, join us at Stepping Stones Books and Gifts on Friday September 7 to hear a talk by Dr. Edward Viljoen on Essential Oils.  This is a Free event.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Favorite Oils

Stepping Stones Books and Gifts carries many different oils - all with unique fragrances and benefits.

My favorite is Palmarosa Essential Oil.

I am drawn to the aroma that is described as being like an herbal rose, though it also smells a bit like lemon or lime to me.  It is thought to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial actions.  So, while I use it regularly because I like the fragrance, I do appreciate that I am benefiting from the properties of the oil.

I am learning about the Essential Oils as I help customers and I’m very interested to learn which oils the customers are drawn to and why.  Each oil is unique with unique properties and characteristics just like our customers.

Martha Salazar

And, if you would like to learn more about oils and fragrances that smell good and can be good for you, come to a free presentation by Dr. Edward Viljoen on Friday September 7.

Do you use oils for fragrance, health, or other benefits?  Let us know your favorites and why you find them valuable.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Free Event: Friday September 7, 2012

Stepping Stones Books and Gifts Presents

Essential Oils

With Dr. Edward Viljoen

Date:  Friday September 7, 2012
Time:  7 pm
Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa
2075 Occidental Road

Stepping Stones Books and Gifts presents a free evening with Dr. Edward Viljoen talking about one of his passions, Essential Oils.  Not exactly oils, but truly the essences of plants and flowers.  Dr. Edward will tell the story of his own journey of studying and using these miracles of nature, as well as show how in a few short verses in the Bible you can find references to the key characteristics of Essential Oils and why they have been prized since ancient times.  We'll get to compare two kinds of lavender and discuss how you can use lavender in your shower to increase relaxation and so much more.

Come and join us to hear Dr. Edward enlighten us on Essential Oils and their use.  No reservations or tickets are needed.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul

the journey beyond yourself

by Michael A. Singer

What a delightful little book.  I was taken in right away in Part 1 by Singer's narrative describing our relationship with that chattering, monkey mind that never ceases to go on and on about anything it can find to go on and on about.  I found myself chuckling as he described this chattering mind part of ourselves as if it were an annoying acquaintance that we put up with and tolerate.  The point he makes is that we can, and do, become hooked and lost in this inner dialogue, making it our identity, when in fact we are more truly the inner witness in a way that has the effect of loosening the attachment we unconsciously make between this witness self and the problem solving, busy mind ("our roommate").

Singer discusses the incredible energy within that is always at our disposal;  he talks about the heart, transcending the tendency to close our heart, about taking down the walls, and the path of unconditional happiness.  Don't close your heart, he says, no matter what is going on in your life.  "Allow each moment of each day to pass through you, and then you can be as fresh every moment as you would be on a stress free vacation."  Sounds good to me, and Singer is very convincing and helpful throughout this beautifully written piece of work.  There is more about the "Middle Way", and the "Loving Eyes of God."  I hope you have a chance to enjoy this delightful book.  I am grateful and happy to add this one to my library.

Review written by Sanna Rose.

The Untethered Soul is the recommended reading for August at Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa.  It is available now at Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

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