Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wind Chimes and Feng Shui

Feng Shui (pronounced “Fung Shway”), was originally developed in China over 3,000 years ago. Feng means wind and Shui means water. It is the art of balancing the energies in a given space to assure health and prosperity. The philosophy is based on an invisible energy, Qi (pronounced “Chee”) that flows through our environment.  The placement of objects creates an energy balance by restoring or enhancing the flow of energy in a space.

We are surrounded, on a daily basis, by positive and negative sounds. Perfectly tuned wind chimes can help counteract the noisy sounds such as traffic, apartment noise, etc. Wind chines are often used to help move the negative energy into positive energy. The beautiful sound of the wind chime can help create perfect energy balance.

Feng Shui traditionally uses the five elements of Earth, Fire, Metal and Water in creating a more balanced, harmonious, and improved life.

Wind chimes come in many different materials. The hollow bamboo reeds make a gentle clacking sound which help in creating a sense of calm and well-being. Metal chimes produce a bright and lively musical sound which is helpful in amplifying the good energy in and around your home. Whichever wind chime you choose it is sure to beautify the atmosphere and enhance the energy of your home.

Written by Martha Salazar

Stepping Stones Books & Gifts carries an assortment of wind chimes in our store.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Free Event: Entering the Healing Ground

A Stepping Stones Books & Gifts Free Event

An Evening with Francis Weller, MFT

Date:   Friday, May 2
Time:  7 pm
Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa
2075 Occidental Road

Psychotherapist, writer and soul activist Francis Weller has developed a therapeutic style he calls soul-centered psychotherapy, synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures and poetic traditions.  His book, Entering the Healing Ground:  Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World eloquently creates pathways to reclaiming what our souls require to heal in times of loss.
Recognizing the lack of existing dialogue and the profound need for sacred ritual and grief work in his community and beyond, Weller founded Wisdom Bridge in Northern California, an organization that offers educational programs that integrate the wisdom from traditional cultures with the insights and knowledge gathered from western cultures.
Francis Weller's writings have appeared in anthologies and journals exploring the confluence between psyche, nature and culture.  Francis leads trainings in community building, men's initiation programs and grief rituals.
Read more about this event here
Please join us as Francis shares how we can acknowledge and benefit from being in our grief.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Review: The Power of You

How to Live Your Authentic,
Exciting, Joy-filled Life Now!

by Chris Michaels

Chris Michaels, in his book The Power of You, takes us through a step by step approach to connect with our inner creative source. I appreciate that he does this without jargon, and that he defines terms in words that anyone can understand, regardless of their background or beliefs. Filled with personal stories and helpful exercises, The Power of You is very readable. I continually thought of all the people who would appreciate his easy approach for shifting into a more empowered way of thinking and expressing in life. As someone who has been teaching these ideas for years, I still found the book useful and enjoyable.

Review by Rev. Ruth Barnhart, a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa.

The Power of You is available from Stepping Stones Books & Gifts.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Three Good Books about prayer

The Science of Mind: A Philosophy, A Faith, A Way of Life
by Ernest Holmes

Ernest Holmes’s classic work, The Science of Mind, is the clearest and most complete explanation of the spiritual psychology that he founded. In print continuously for more than seventy-five years, this is the essential reference and indispensable guide to experiencing joy, peace of mind, and spiritual healing. The meditations for self-help and healing contained in the back of the book may also serve readers in their prayer work.

Illuminata: A Return to Prayer
by Marianne Williamson

Illuminata brings prayer into our daily lives, helping us release anger, find forgiveness, achieve intimacy, and mend relationships. There are prayers for couples, parents, and children; prayers to heal the soul and body, to free us from addiction, to inspire our work and creativity. Also included are rites of passage, to mark the milestones of our lives: a blessing for the newborn, a ceremony of marriage, a memorial for those we have lost.

This Thing Called You
by Ernest Holmes

One of Ernest Holmes’s cornerstone works, This Thing Called You is an intimate guide through which readers learn the important lesson of how they are an immutable part of the flow of life, and how they may fulfill the longing, within all of us, to live more fully.

The book details methods of meditation used for healing, improving mind and body, and reaching one’s divine self. Included are numerous inspirations, meditations, and prayers that individuals can apply to their lives, which reveal the unlimited potential of the spiritual psychology that Holmes founded.

Written by Martha Salazar

The Science of Mind, Illuminata and This Thing Called You are available from Stepping Stones Books & Gifts.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How to Make a Personal Altar

Having an altar in your home can be a visual reminder of your intentions, meditation time, and sense of spiritual connection. It is very personal and therefore unique to you and what you consider to be special.  There are no rules to creating an altar, so I will attempt to give you some ideas and lots of permission to create one in a way that works for you.

Start by determining the location for the altar. It can be created in a main room or if you choose to keep it more private, it can go in a bedroom. Pick a table or shelf and choose a cloth that has soothing colors or has special meaning.

You might choose a large statue as a focal point or several small statues and altar items. I would suggest choosing a statue of a deity that represents the atmosphere you are trying to create. You might choose Buddha, Kuan Yin, Jesus, or Our Lady of Guadalupe; again the choice is completely yours.

Other suggestions for altar items include photographs, rocks, feathers, books, plants, candles, and incense.

I created my altar in my living room. This is the room I spend the most time in and also the room I meditate in. On my altar I have a fairly large Buddha draped with my mala/prayer beads. I have placed a photo that has special meaning to me in front of the statue. On either side of Buddha are two Christmas cactuses that bloom once or twice each year. My altar is simple, which suits me and my personality. When I look at my altar I gain a sense of peace and a visual reminder of my connectedness to all things.

Written by Martha Salazar

In Stepping Stones Books & Gifts, we have a large assortment of items to choose from in making your own, personal home altar.

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