You eat the right foods. You try to hang out with positive people. You meditate, and spend time in nature, but shouldn’t you give the space in your home just as much loving attention so that it can truly be your temple when you return every day? The ancient practice of Feng Shui offers some practical ways to make your home more energetically appealing and a respite from the crazy world out there.
Depending on who you talk to, you’ll find varied advice about how to apply Feng Shui in your own home or workspace. Consulting different experts can be time consuming, though – but fear not my world-wearied home seekers. We’ve compiled some of the best nuggets from professionals the world over right here so you can get busy putting them into practice right away.
Smudge Antiques with Sage
Antiques are awesome if they express your personal style, but be sure to smudge them with sage to clear their energy before putting them in your home. If older furniture is already in your home, you can still give it a good once-over by conducting a sage ceremony to make sure only the best energy is in your home.
Use Lots of Living Things
Add live plants, not fake ones, and try to concentrate them in rooms where you spend the most time. They will not only transform the energy of the space, but they can clean the air, and invite prosperity, or mental clarity. As described in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, the mere presence of plants boosts a person’s ability to maintain attention and concentration.
Fake plants are “dead” and do not support a high level of energy in your home. They also collect dust easily and can contribute to allergies and upper respiratory problems. Moreover, many of them are made from toxic plastics that also contribute to poor air quality.
Reduce Clutter with the Right Furniture
Whether in your home or office, clutter can make going home feel like another job, rather than a place to relax and recuperate. Instead of having lots of furniture without any real purpose, choose a few great pieces that are highly functional.
The best furniture is often multi-purpose. Does your sofa or favorite chair have a hide-away ottoman where you can stuff your favorite pair of slippers and extra blankets?
That bedside table might be très chic, but can it hold all your night-time reading, a laptop, some candles when the lights go out, and a journal to write down your dreams when you wake up? Hiding all the utilitarian tools that you need to make your daily living more comfortable?
The same thing applies in a work space. If you have old metal shelving, or desks which are sitting unused, move them out, and create a comfortable, organized space where people’s minds can create and focus, rather than be distracted by a lack of inspiration.
Splurge on Flowers/Plants
There is scientific evidence that flowers contain a specific frequency which raises our own energetic field. Research conducted at Rutgers also shows that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness.
In order to fill out an arrangement without breaking the bank, you can get a few large, showy blooms, and then use cuttings and branches from around your yard or in the nearby outdoors.
Provide More Soft Surfaces than Hard Ones
For every angular piece of furniture or art in your home, make sure to balance the energy with soft places to land. This can be cushions, chairs, sofas, rugs, ottomans, blankets, soft slippers to sink your feet into, and more.
Too many angles can make energy get disjointed and cause distraction. Conversely, having soft pillows, and comfy cushions encourages a restful environment and a restful state of mind. This one change says, “Sit down and stay awhile!”
Hang One Big Mirror, Not Many Small Ones
One big mirror can make your space feel larger, while also expanding your personal energy. Hanging too many small mirrors is thought to cut the energy into small bits. No good. Also, don’t use “parts” or “fragments” of a mirror. This can make your feel incomplete or disjointed.
The very best use of a mirror is to double the impact of a natural setting – can you hang a mirror so that it reflects a massive tree outside, the ocean, or a beautiful garden? You’ll get the most energetic bang for your buck by doing so.
Best feng shui areas to have a mirror are:
Feng shui areas to avoid placing a big mirror are:
Also, hanging a mirror near your entryway serves two purposes. You can get a quick look of yourself before you head out for the day, and also activate the water element which encourages the flow of prosperity into your life.
You can also use a special Bagua mirror (Feng Shui mirror, also called a pa kuala) . It is a round mirror surrounded by an octagonal wooden frame with the feng shui bagua design in either red, green and yellow/gold colors or yellow, black and red colors.
Books, Books, and More Books
The digital age doesn’t provide for mindful entertainment and mind-expanding Feng Shui in your home as much as some good old-fashioned books.
Reading a book also involves different neural pathways than reading something on a computer screen, and can encourage you and those who visit your home to slow down and enjoy a good read.
Different Feng Shui experts have different opinions about where to store books in your home, but the consensus is that an office or library, along with the living room can store the bulk of your books, with the most ideal location being in the Northeast corner.
Your bedroom should have just a few so that they don’t over-stimulate your mind when you are trying to rest. (As in, “I keep meaning to read that 1,000-page novel but I never have time – how about I start right now?” when its already 11PM and you have to get up in six hours.)
Let in as Much Natural Light as Possible
While there are great alternatives to natural sunshine in the form of LED and solar-powered lights for the nighttime, nothing can compare with natural sunlight for keeping the energy of your home high, and your health boosted.
Just sitting near a sunlit window with a good book, disconnected from your cell phone or computer for an hour can restore you in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
Be Very Picky About the Art You Display
Though Picasso’s Guernica is arguably an amazing piece of art work, it isn’t really the best piece to hang in your home according to Feng Shui principles. Experts suggest that you only hang artwork which will inspire you toward your own life’s goals. The images you surround yourself with have a way of working themselves into your subconscious. So be mindful of what images you are exposing yourself to. Is a trip to Ireland or Peru on your bucket list? Hang some art that inspires you to get there.
Don’t Neglect Your Entryway
Most of us think of making our bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and even bathrooms more beautiful and relaxing, but the entryway is one of the most important “areas” in Feng Shui, but also often the most overlooked. If you want to attract good Qi, or energy to your front door, you have to invite it in. Get rid of clutter, use live plants, use a big mirror to reflect the outside – in, and place a few objects that make you smile the minute you walk in your door.
This article (10 Juicy Bits of Expert Advice on How to Feng Shui Your Space) is a free and open source and can be re-published anywhere with proper attribution to the author and Themindunleashed.com.
Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’
Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.
Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.
From Five to One
The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.
These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.
Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.
The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.
This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.
Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.
But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.
Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.
Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.
My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.
Flow and Fragments of Energy
Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.
Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.
Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.
There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.
The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.
We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.
Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.
Back to Einstein, Adding Universality
More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.
These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.
The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.
If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.
For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.
In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.
Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.
The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.
Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons
Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field
A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.
The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.
McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.
Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.
McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.
McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.
Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:
“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”
It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.
“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”
Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics
(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.
On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.
The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.
The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.
Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.
The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.
At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.
Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.
Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.
The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.
In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”
The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.
“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.
Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.
Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.
Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.
The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.
The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.
“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”
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