Monday, October 15, 2007

Love's Universe: The School of Love Meditative Reading

Recently, I've been preoccupied by life having completed a major move back home to Florida and being filled with doubts and fears... I realized I'm off my center.

In an attempt to get in touch with my true self and meditate on the past 3 months I ran across an amazing book excerpt by Kabir Helminski and wanted to share a section as it resonated with me...

Relationship, humility and interdependence

We do not reach love completely on our own. If we are loveless in and of ourselves, it is because we are living with our center of gravity in the false self. The false self is created from the desires and compulsions of our own separateness. This false self believes strongly in its own existence as separate from the rest of life and it recruits the intellect to help defend this illusion at the expense of the whole mind, the essential Self.

There is nothing more difficult than to make two minds one, that is to help them to love each other. If two or more people are in love there is harmony, a unity of purpose without the loss of individuality. When we are only thinking of ourselves, our desires and needs, there is disharmony and we feel at cross-purposes. We live in a culture that emphasizes the individual at the expense of relationship. More and more people are alone and lonely.

It is the nature of Love to create relationships. You might say it is Unity expressing itself. The lover, the beloved, and love itself are all really a unity.

The fruits of Love

Can the ego overcome its own separation? Most probably not, because it will still be playing the ego's games, trying to become better than others, or to attain its own desires and security at the expense of others. Only love can tame the ego and bring it into the service of love.

In order to really love, our ego structure has to dissolve and reform on a new basis. Our hearts may have to be broken; our false pride humbled. Love then recreates the self.

Sometimes we feel that we want to love others but we cannot; we just don't have it.

Just as the cause can produce the effect, the effect can also produce the cause. The tree produces the fruit; and the fruit can produce the tree. Love has many fruits: kindness, patience, generosity, courage, self-sacrifice. Love will produce these fruits; and these fruits will engender love. This is a two way street. The effect can produce the cause. An apple contains the seed of a tree.

One of the greatest Sufis I have known, a man whose love was so tangible it was barely possible for us to be in his presence without tears, used to say: May my imitation become real.

Love is conscious relationship in presence. When we are in relationship with presence our essences are present to each other. If we love without presence we are merely projecting our neediness, lack of fulfillment, or desire on another person. The higher Love is the welcoming of otherness into ourselves as ourselves, recognizing the stranger as a friend.

With presence we hold no image of ourselves that separates us from others. Love is the absence of defenses; it is emotional nakedness. "Only one whose garment has been stripped by love is free of desire and defect." In the presence of love we find acceptance. Our self-disclosure, our emotional nakedness, helps to open the space for love. Love accepts imperfection; it loves the actuality and recognizes the potentiality.

This is the great value of the humiliation of sin and failure. Sometimes, it is not until we know our helplessness and that we have failed at love, that we can come under the grace of love, because our ego, the shell which keeps love out, has broken open. Love is not the attribute of the self-righteous and the perfect. It is the attribute of the humble, those who have realized their own nothingness, those who have failed in love.

Relationship beyond time

Just as we recognize our interdependence with our fellow human beings with whom we are in relationship here on this earth, we can also recognize our interdependence with a source of help that is outside of time. We need to find some connection with a spiritual source or tradition that can wean us from this false self's illusions and fears. If we search without true guidance we will only find this false self, we may lead ourselves in circles back again and again to our own ego.

We need to make a call to some source of love. The Sufi tradition not only has its living exemplars, it also has many great beings who live in the world of meaning: Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, Ali, Shamsi Tabriz, Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Yunus Emre, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Bahauddin Naqshband, may God be pleased with them.

It is these great beings who attained unity with the Source that we call upon in a spirit of humility. If we can open to the saints through our own love and humility something can flow to us, a protective grace that can protect us from our own egos. In the end, the only thing we need to be protected from is our own ego. The ego is the enemy of our true existence, but fortunately the ego can be tamed by love, not destroyed or squashed, but tamed and put into the service of our true self.3 At dawn the shadow is long; at noon it disappears.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Prevent Heart Disease Early: EBT Heart Scans Detects Beginnings of Heart Disease

Local Bookstore is hosting heart scans for $30. Sign up now to see your heart and assess the condition of your heart.

Serenity Now Books & Gifts in Palm Harbor is conducting heart scans for $30. The scan gives a print out, determines 'actual age' of the heart, arteries, capillaries and also gives a 'grade' for the condition of your heart.

The Electron Beam CT (EBT) heart scan was developed to detect early heart disease so that heart attacks and heart surgery could be avoided. All men over age 35 and women over age 45 should undergo EBT scanning. You should consider earlier testing if you have: a family history of early heart disease, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, current or former smoker, or prolonged exposure to second hand smoke. Once heart disease is established, your calcium score should be checked on an annual basis, the calcium score gives you critical information as to how you are responding to therapy. The fact is, EBT the only technology that is FDA approved to successfully find the early signs of heart disease while it is at it's most treatable stage.

Call Serenity now for a scan that is usually $500+. 727-787-5400

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Midori Spa and Salon: Tampa Bay area's first Eco Friendly Organic, Non Toxic, Botanical Salon

Midori Salon and Spa will be celebrating their Grand Opening on Saturday, October 13 from 4pm until 8pm. Midori is Largo’s first and only “Certified Organic and Botanical” hair salon. The products used at Midori are all non-toxic, organic, or botanical. Midori is also a full-service spa specializing in facials, nails, and pedicures as well as eyelash extension and hair extensions. Refreshments will be served at the Grand Opening as well as coupon giveaways and a drawing for a gift basket.

Amber Holland, owner and operator, grew up in Largo, graduated with a business degree from the University of Central Florida, and then received her cosmetology degree from Artistic Academy in Orlando. After returning to Largo to be a licensed cosmetologist, Amber began researching non-toxic alternatives to hair coloring after learning several of her clients suffered from allergies to the bleach, ammonia, or dyes found in hair colorants.

Amber chose the name Midori, which is the Japanese word for “green”. Midori Salon and Spa only uses natural, non-toxic products, as well as being environmentally friendly by recycling all product boxes and containers. Amber has chosen these products from companies all over the world for their pure quality and high performance. Midori Salon and Spa is proud to offer a non-toxic permanent hair color line that has been used on pregnant women and post cancer patients with safe and healthy results. Excellent for those that are allergic, reactive, sensitive, pregnant, losing their hair or concerned for their health and safety. These products are safer for your hair, your body, and our environment.

Midori is also promoting a botanical prescription line that addresses bacteria issues, alopecia from stress, build up, scalp disorders, and protects follicles from collapsing when losing hair. A medical scope is used to look at the hair shaft and follicle 1000 times larger to determine the best product and approach to maintain healthy hair and scalp.

Midori Salon and Spa is located at 1260 West Bay Dr, Suite A, Largo, Fla. For hours of operation or further information, please call 727-581-8791 or you can visit their website soon at

Contact: Amber Holland, (727) 581-8791