jen's meditation

Heart Energy Meditation

I wrote and recorded this short and powerful meditation for anyone who’s needing to replenish heart energy. We are powerful energetic beings capable of so much love, influence and creativity. The problem is most of us forget or just don’t know. We let circumstances of everyday stressors cloud our vitality. We coil into submission, reduce the space we take up, breath less of the air, plentiful surrounding us. Why? Because we do not know how powerful we are. We do not know our importance and the gifts we can contribute to life and community.

If you’re ready to come out of hiding, simply listen to this meditation daily and see what beautiful magic you can create. This is my gift to you, with all my heart <3 namaste <3

Jen Luong’s Heart Energy Meditation  ©2021 All rights reserved

Back to Nature

We are part of nature, connected by a fluid essence which ebbs and flows in and out of all living things. This we call energy. Nature is perfect in all it’s various forms and degrees of creation to death. Only with death we get recycling of energy, giving birth to new life. With life we turn the gears of myriad mechanisms, rippling out effects, fueling interdependently, the structures it interacts with. Whether ethereally or physically, energy travels throughout the web of life until it gets used up, transmuted, only to start again. 

There is no need to fear death or nature. At least not chronically. By staying holistically healthy we dance with life as long as it allows us. Living with spirit is synonymous with living energetically. Spirit is our individual expression of how energy transforms our life, our being. In living with spirit we maintain the sense of freedom; because spirit is not bound to the physical flesh. This also means that you are never alone, rather you are an extension of all of life.

Freedom is not health or happiness per se; it is not the absence, or fear of anything unwanted. It is unattachment … of emotion, of cultural expectations or pressures, of greed or physical things. Freedom is the opposite of attachment, what the Buddhist’s say is the cause of suffering. How do we live in freedom? Do you even want to live with freedom? Then we must trust nature, and live with spirit. That is all there is and all there ever was. 

It may seem like spirit is passive and reactive, like water being directed in a river. However, water is strong and can effortlessly carve stone and destroy cities. Yet it is essential for giving and maintaining life. Be like water, natural and free. We are mostly water, so if in doubt, go back to nature for the path to freedom.

Our Public “Health” Care

Is our public “health” care system really encouraging health care? Let’s take a look at what health actually is to answer this question. Even according to the WHO, health is, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So what is the public health regime care promoting right now? Social distancing. Masking. Isolation. Lockdowns. Vaccines. Fear.

Aside from the mountain of scientific evidence and pleas from real health care professionals, it does not take a genius to weigh out how unhealthy all of the above are. Yet the alarming rates of suicide, violence, crime and poverty all directly resulted from lockdowns are ignored to highlight the fear of a virus that on record kills less than 0.5% of the population (even this number is an over estimation).

When we can step outside of the smoke of propaganda and fear, it’s that simple. So, to any rational, level headed person, it’s obvious that avoiding the virus is not actually the intent here. Why shut down businesses that have never been a threat? Why neglect children from activities and socialization when children it’s nearer to impossible for children to get sick from this virus? Why obsess over chemical antimicrobials when we know it’s unhealthy and impossible to live a sterile life? Why inject an experimental vaccine that has been said by the manufactures to have serious side effects including death, while not even effective in preventing transmission?

We all know these ‘measures’ are not health promoting. Let’s just all come out and admit it now before we accept Google’s new dictionary definition of health to meaning, “a state of dependency of chemicals and centralized dictatorship”.

Remember health is a state of balance. Where all your organ systems are functioning harmoniously. We have this innate ability and when we naturally allow and encourage these processes, we have homeostasis, health.

Chinese Goldthread

How to coexist with Germs

I recently returned from 2 weeks in Mexico, specifically Cancun. Most people, even the locals recommend that you should not drink the tap water there. However, showering, brushing your teeth, boiling or heating water enough for drinks such as coffee are fine. So, that is what I did. My hotel room however, did not have a coffee maker or a kettle. Instead I had to microwave my coffee water. I’m sure that was the cause of my gassy abdomen. Towards the last few days of my time in Mexico, I would awaken in the middle of night with slight cramping and loud uncomfortable gurgling. Fortunately, I’m educated enough to know what was going on. Gases such as CO2 and CH4, the biproducts of germs (bacteria/ microorganisms) were growing or colonizing inside my abdomen. I know that sounds scary, we’re conditioned to be scared of germs. The reality is that we as human beings are primarily made up of germs, bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. The amount of foreign microorganisms outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1, it is said. Most of these germs are either beneficial and/or have no effect on our health status whatsoever. Sometimes we come into contact with a strain which will cause an unhealthy balance to our normal microbiome. And that is exactly and simply what happened with me.

When I travel I always take a few choice herbs. I bring along some essential oils which have antimicrobial properties. I also wanted oils which act as decongestants since the Corona scare is so prolific; I do not want to risk any excess build up of mucus being misconstrued as symptoms for this supposed pandemic. So I tucked away small vials of peppermint and eucalyptus…. and some chamomile for the sleep and nerves. Therapeutic grade essential oils, which I always use, can be administered internally by experienced and knowledgeable practitioners. Since I self administered, and just telling you my story, it goes to say, that you need to be responsible and informed for your own situation and usage.

The other herb I carry with me on overseas travel is a Chinese herb called Coptis chinensis (Chinese goldthread). This herb is effective for many GI problems as it contains the bitter alkaloid berberine. It’s so effective and extremely safe. So I took three tiny pills on my last two days and immediately felt about 50% less gassy.

Coptis chinensis

when I returned, I was able to add another herb I had in my herbal pantry. That herb is Artemisia vulgaris, plain mugwort. Mugwort is also a very bitter herb useful for many GI conditions. There was a possibility that it was more than just bacteria festering inside my abdomen; it could have been parasites. Mugwort, like it’s cousin wormwood, another Artemisia is very effective as a vermicide (parasite killer). So, now about one and a half day later, I feel 100% back to normal!

I should mention that it’s not just about consuming medicine, I also made changes to my diet and was strategic in certain activities. Bacteria generally thrives when fed sugar, the more refined the faster they colonize. So, I was mindful to not feed these disruptive germs and avoided sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. Parasites on the other hand generally love protein, and so I also avoided excess protein just in case I had parasites. I also noticed that they were most active at night, and so I was deliberate with when I took my berberine pills and oils (on an empty stomach before bed and upon waking).

So you see, it’s very simple to coexist with germs. The bottom line is you must be intuitive with your body, know your herbs and respond normally! There is no need to panic or act drastically. Germs are normal and keeping the balance of our microbiome is a normal everyday, every second activity. It’s just sometimes we need intentional support.

happy family

Psychosomatic Health & Disease

Psycho refers to mind, and soma means body. By now, I expect that most people understand there is at least a connection between the mind and body. Maybe this is a new concept to you? How can that be that our thoughts can change blood pressure, or breathing changes state of mind? Maybe you’re skeptical, and that’s okay. I’ve become so much more aware as I observe human psychology now in our current situation, how easy it is to fall prey to the common narrative of the time.

The common narrative of this time, in this part of the world wants you to believe that mind and body are separate of each other. I believe what happens in studying the systems in isolation is inevitable dissociation. Firstly, the way in which science is performed in the West is very linear and compartmentalized. It uses a language which requires articulation of tangible and measurable components. This is already difficult to do when dealing with the mind, let alone a dynamic organism with many moving pieces. Secondly, research projects have a beginning and end. There is an agenda and hypothesis as to what will be uncovered. Once the information sought after is found, a conclusion of some sort is packaged neatly into a paper and then the rest of world will be told to follow this narrative. One of the problems with this type of science is that it is not complete. This is the reason why a new discovery is always uncovered even centuries later. The other problem is that we stop questioning when such conclusions are found. And worse of all, when someone challenges this common narrative, they are put to the stake as a heretic, nut job or … conspiracy theorist.

I digress, back on the mind body connection, for which you my reader is a believer of. To understand it is rather quite simple if you do not isolate them at all. But let’s not go there just yet. Let’s talk science. What connects the mind and body? Chemicals, specifically neuropeptides. For example, endorphin is the neuropeptide which is known as the happy hormone. Endorphins are created in the brain when triggered by many different activities such as exercise, massage, yoga, meditation, laughter… the things that already make you happy. Once released into the blood stream, they attach to opiate receptors then relaxes the mind and body even further. Remember this is just one chemical, and one example. There are many other chemicals and processes that work in integrating mind and body. However, once you understand the interconnectedness of mind-body, there’s should be no denying. Now you should now have a trail of questions:

  • What are some other peptides, hormones or chemicals which connect mind and body? NPW, NPB, NPY, … So many!
  • What systems of the body are affected by the mind? Cardiovascular, Immune, Digestive, Reproductive… ALL of them.
  • What are some other mental and physical states are affected or is a result of bodily functions? Stress, Fear, Love, ALL of them.
  • Are there synthetic or exogenous chemicals which try to mimic these endogenous chemicals? Yes, pharmaceuticals
  • If pharmaceuticals are being made, why deny the connection of mind and body? Hmmmm good question. Perhaps profit and dependency on their drugs and common narrative?

Staying Healthy by Adapting to Seasonal Changes

Sadly we’ve lost much intuitive knowledge of nature and what it means to live natural and healthy. The more time we spend away from the source of life, which is nature, the more we loose touch with ourselves as we are also part of nature. We are made of the same essence which fuels the cycle of birth and death. And so we are meant to use the teachings as a guide to lead a healthy path.

So what does this mean in terms of how to stay healthy? It means that we must observe nature, observe the seasons and how our bodies respond to seasonal changes. If we look at our lives and ourselves as part of life, it is inevitable to think with the perspective of inclusion or connection, that we are an integral part of life. The danger is thinking we are the masters of life, that we have ultimate control. It’s dangerous because it separates us, leading us further away from what is real. We start living in the world of delusions. We start forming groups to support our position. We create wars and empires. We hoard wealth, harm others and pillage the land all because we are separate from that which is not us.

This post was meant to educate on certain foods and herbs to take to build the immune system with winter approaching. It’s normal that we adjust our diet, protect our tissues and organs, by wearing more clothes, eat certain foods etc. However, this post has become more philosophical in what it means to live as a spiritual, natural being in today’s world. I think it’s a very important subject as we have increasing, looming technologies and dogmas which encourage unhealthy foods, unhealthy activities, social distancing and self absorption. My next post will go into the specifics of foods and activities for naturally preparing for the season.

For now, we must remember that the foundation of knowing how to be healthy in today’s world is understanding that we are part of nature, made of the same essence. Nature tells us all the time what is the right course of action by showing us cause and effect, the cycles of life and what works and what doesn’t. As long as life exists, this knowledge will never die. We just need to pay attention.

Immune System 101

Your immune system is your number one defense against all pathogens (disease causing agents). Is that a bold statement or the truth? Both. Why the idea that a natural defense system which is inherent and free, can be a novel idea, only tells you that our society has been so programmed to rely on drugs, vaccinations and other outside influences far too readily.

Our bodies, and components of, have had billions of years of evolution to perfect the many processes it automatically and constantly plays out. Your immune system is just one component of this perfect design.

The immune system comprises of anything which works to protect you from disease (dis-ease). From the outside, it starts at the skin. Your skin has trillions of cells which act as a barrier for pathogens. Some of these cells are part of you, skin cells, hair, etc. Some are also bacteria, viruses and fungi that for the most part live symbiotically on your skin to kill or deter other ‘germs’. Pathogens may also come into your body through orifices or openings such as your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, anus and vagina. These openings will have another layer of defense, aside from the microbiota, such as mucosa (tissues which produce mucus to trap and destroy pathogens) and cilia (cells with hairs to trap potential pathogens). If you ingested something that can make you sick, there is mucosa, stomach acid and physical barriers which prevent the pathogen from getting into the blood stream. If you have a cut or wounds, your body also instinctively produces clotting factors to quickly seal up potential infection sites. These are all the first line of defense which is part of the immune system.

Once a pathogen proliferates and potentially causes dis-ease in the body, two types of immune response kicks in. One is called cell-mediated response. This is the stimulation of T cells, primarily T cytotoxic or killer cells. Cytotoxic T cells are like burly bouncers that come in and beat up infected cells to a pulp. Other immune T cells, like the bouncer’s assistance’s will try to keep the peace or clean up the mess by carrying away the beaten up infected cells. The other type of immune response is the antibody response. This is when cytokines (chemical messengers), like secret agents go around looking for riff-raff and misfits. Once they identify any cell which could cause disease or disruption to the peace, they mark them. B cells then stimulate plasma cells to produce (manufacture) antibodies. These cytokines are important for T cell, cell mediated immunity as well, as antibody immunity. Antibody immunity is when the antibodies attach to specific receptor sites of the antigen (pathogen), sort of like a bandage, keeping the cells from causing too much damage. These antibodies also act as markers. Once T cells recognize the marker, they can attack these cells.

So as you can see, the immune system is very sophisticated and works in multiple ways alone and in combination to keep our bodies balanced and healthy. The best thing you can do is to support this natural intelligence by providing your body with moderate exercise, clean fresh air, nutritious foods and herbs, laughter and happiness. It’s all related, interconnected and essential to real sustainable health.

Quarantine Making You Sick?

The novel Corona virus is on everyone’s mind and the entire planet is practically shut down. Social distancing, self isolation and other measures are mandated. Practically no one is leaving or coming out of the country. But does that mean you should stay inside your house? Is it safe to spend all day inside watching depressing news and not getting any sunshine?

No, I think this is the recipe for becoming more susceptible to getting sick. Health is more than just avoiding viruses. Health itself is a state of dynamic balance of physical, mental and emotional. Without sunshine you can become deficient in vitamin D, an essential nutrient for your immune system. Without fresh air and movement, mucus gets sluggish and starts to congest inside your respiratory tract. Without exercise, your circulation and motivation slows down. Vitality wanes, depression sets in and then starts a cycle of stress chemicals and hormones. This disrupts your health and makes you more susceptible to getting any kind of infection.

I’m not suggesting everyone ignores government mandates. Elderly and immuno-compromised people are more at risk and so anyone in contact with them should be very careful to not transfer anything potentially dangerous. But even those people should still be getting fresh air, sunshine and some movement. They should not be infected with fear and negativity. If you can not get out for a walk, simply step out onto your doorstep, anywhere outside, do breathing exercise, sunbathing and smile. These things are free and should not offend others.

While inside do not sit in front of your TV set all day, and worse, watching the news. News these days are not objective, without motive and political agenda. They usually highlight all things depressing, insight fear, distrust, and even hatred. If you get caught up in a dualistic battle of political or cultural differences, you are setting up your nervous system for war, and robbing your immune system of any energy required in normal everyday cleansing and processing. Obviously your ability to ward of viruses is then weakened. So while you are inside more often, fill your days with laughter, uplifting music, dance, and positive/creative energy.

Try new healthy recipes. Eating processed and artificial foods can also make you sick. Limit these at the very least. Eliminate them if you want vitality and creativity to fuel your days. Junk foods are not only void of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for proper body function, they contain preservatives, artificial flavors and colour. They have way too much refined sugar, salt, flours, rancid vegetable fats and who knows what else. Theses chemicals burden your immune system and so again, make you weak to defend against pathogens.

The novel coronavirus although is stirring up a frenzy, is not new. Sure it might have mutated slightly, but should not be cause of alarm for the majority of the population. In nature we have mechanisms in our body which are designed to fight off such microbes. We just need to know how to support those systems, not work against it. In many cultures viral infections is a normal part of building up the immune system. There are some uncomfortable symptoms with infections such as fevers but a fever itself is a good thing. It is a sign that your body is fighting the infection. We need to go back to knowing how to minimize the discomfort and potential dangers of infections while going through these illnesses. Even just 18 years ago, when my daughter contracted chicken pox, her day care encouraged all the children to go through it together. It was a simplier, smarter and less fearful time back then.

Humans have been living with viruses and bacteria for the entirety of our existence. Some of them are inert, while some are in fact essential. There is increasing research these days on the different microbiota in our GIT, respiratory, digestive, skin and vaginal surfaces. Many scientists are discovering how we are not as in control as we like to think we are. These microbes can make us crave certain foods, manage our emotional health, digestive function, keep our skin clear and even influence who we are attracted to. We carry around more foreign microbes in and on us than we have our own cells.

This whole Covid-19 pandemic is riddled in so many ambiguous information, that you have to wonder how much of what we are hearing from the news/media is actually true. I will not go into all the questionable things in this article, but just the idea of shutting down whole economies on a global scale, and trapping people indoors to feed them with fear, is ludicrous and scary. We are not at threat of contracting the corona virus, we are at risk of losing freedom and autonomous rights to question, make money and fend for ourselves.

Mantra Therapy

Some people are naturally more vocal than others. My ex for example, was on the never-stop-talking extreme, while I may have appeared on the mute-and-wish-I-was-deaf extreme. Perhaps it was just the dysfunction of our relationship which triggered this dichotomy. Our personalities definitely had a part in shaping it and the personality also evolves because of it as well.

The voice is a powerful instrument of self expression. It is also the gateway of prana exchange between you and the world. I never realized this so fully until I was forced to recite mantras for hours and days on end during my yoga therapy training. I fought against sitting still in meditation and I fought the judgemental ideas I had towards chanting. I learned that Sanskrit is a language based on vibrational sounds, and that these sounds correlate to different energetic centers of our body (chakras). This may sound bizarre if you’ve never studied any Eastern philosophy and medicine and if you’ve never looked at life from an energetic perspective before. Through my studies of Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, this idea of vibration affecting and carrying prana struck a cord with me. I realized it as common sense and wondered why I never thought about it before.

Before in the dysfunctional relationship and growing up in a rather traditional Chinese family, my voice was not as important as my actions. It was not as important as others’. And so I talked less, and I expressed less, and I thought less of myself. The person with the voice gets the most attention. There is obvious danger here, but there is also potential in cultivating the power it can have.

Mantra therapy is reciting certain Sanskrit words/sounds with intention. When you can harmonize emotion with vibration and intention, you have a recipe for manifesting possibly anything. You gain self confidence through the simple act of taking up space in this vibrational time. You gain expression by hearing and moving the sounds within and throughout you and the space. It clears the mind of stagnant thoughts which may not benefit you. Instead fills the mind with vibrations and literally massages your brain and entire nervous system.

To start mantra therapy, sit upright with your spine erect. If you need to use a wall and chair go ahead and do so. Traditionally you would sit cross legged, chest open for unobstructed breathing, and in a quite room where you can feel comfortable and uninterrupted. You can use a mala (beaded necklace) with 108 beads for keeping track of your chants. Counting and moving your finger over each bead is good for the person who needs to keep busy and active. Take comfortable full breaths and start reciting whatever mantra you want. Sanskrit mantras come in short to long phrases, as well as just one syllable sounds. These one syllable sounds are called bijas. They may be the easiest way to start your mantra therapy program. The bijas which correspond to the chakras are:

Root-1st Chakra – LAM (Pronounced lum in lump )

Sacral-2nd Chakra – VAM (vum as in thumb)

Solar Plexus-3rd Chakra – RAM (rum)

Heart-4th Chakra – YAM (yum as in yummy)

Throat-5th Chakra – HAM (hum as in humming)

Third Eye-6th Chakra – U ( ooo this is the beginning of the Om sound)

Crown-7th Chakra – Om (this is where the aum disappears and is just silent vibration)

Practice reciting each bija in order for the cycle of your mala, 108 times and let me know how you feel.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not just about losing weight. That is a nice side effect if you do need to lose weight, which is most of us in North America. However, intermittent fasting is great for many other important things to:

  • Regulating organ functions, including hormone levels and blood sugar
  • Autophagy and detox
  • Mindfulness and emotional detachment from food
  • Food reduction for health and the pocket book

First of all, everything in nature has a cycle. Nature itself is a cycle, of creation, growth, resting, aging and dying. Without getting techie, just remember that during rest cells can regenerate and everything can find it’s balance. Many people report that blood sugar levels decrease and this helps to prevent insulin resistance. Blood pressure, inflammation and cholesterol have all been reported to be lowered. I believe also that while fasting, the nervous system can also rest. It does not have to process or react to chemicals, food sensitivities or intolerance, and so everything simplifies, calms down and balances out.

Autophagy is when a cell ‘eats itself up’. A certain amount of autophagy, especially certain cells we don’t need lingering around is, a natural and healthy process in cell development. Imagine it is a form of detox which also helps to strengthen your immune system. Cells which may undergo autophagy are varied depending on other factors such as exercise, nutrition, drugs, etc. The key is that when you stimulate autophagy, you need to create an environment for healthy cells to take the place of the dead ones. This is a complex issue, but generally understand that every cell in your body, healthy or not, has a life cycle and when it is not in the stage of being productive and efficient, it must come to end. With death, comes regeneration of new healthy cells.

Fasting for a minimum of half the day can be therapeutic because you are exercising strength and will power. Honestly once you fast regularly, it is very easy to not eat for this duration and will power is not an issue. But if you are craving all the time or worse, just eating without being hungry, chances are you are emotionally attached to food, or using food to distract yourself from boredom, or whatever other emotion you are uncomfortable with. Fasting can help you to become more mindful of your situation and when you do eat, it is that much more enjoyable.

And lastly, with a shorter window to eat food, you may be eating less food, hopefully. Eating less calories is said to extend your life. We really don’t need to be eating all the time and so much food. So once you feel 80% full, stop eating. This reduction of food will put more money into your pocket book and put less burden on the planet. You could then use that extra money towards higher quality foods: nutritious nutrient dense foods such as fresh organic fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains.

To start intermittent fasting, I recommend you go for 12-14 hours each day. I find most women find this method easiest. Regular fasting is easier to make a lifestyle routine when it’s daily also. You can increase to 16-18 when you feel like it, and you can always go back to 12 or 14 as well. I found that some months during my menstrual cycle, 16 hours of fasting was too much and I needed to go back to 12. This is alright. It’s important to listen to your body, be gentle and intuitive with what you need (not crave). So say you eat your last meal at 6pm, start your fast at 7 and then eat your next meal at 9am. That would be 14 hours of fasting. I have some clients who I’ve suggested this to, and they reported that their blood sugar is more stable and lower. If you do take insulin or other Rx drugs, make sure you talk with your doctor so that adjustments and changes can be made accordingly. Let me know how it goes.