Tell Me A Story: Stirring Up Cellular Memories with Meditation

I have been meditating for over twenty years now and find it an essential part of my life. Many have written about the substantial physical and emotional benefits, and while I’ve certainly found that to be the case, too, I’ve also noticed that there is a component of releasing “cellular memories” that is rarely addressed. People shy away from phenomena that are not so easily explained, but whether you call it “cellular memories,” “past lives,” or “releasing old patterns,” I have found that there is something extraordinary happening that also brings welcome relief to the body and the spirit.

I’m not out to define what is going on, either — while I may have some educated guesses, I don’t have any answers. But, between meditation and self-hypnosis, I do have a lot of experience with these odd little energetic pops of release. (Obviously, massage is another great method for releasing muscle “memories” as well, and one of my favorites — but that’s another article.) While I mostly meditate in silence, I will occasionally use a CD of guided meditation or music, if that’s my mood at the time. Over the years I have grown to love three CDs in particular, each a surefire guarantee to give me bursts of color, story, emotion, alternate lives, times or dimensions and, ultimately, a feeling of energy that’s been unblocked.

The first is Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Mindfulness Meditation,” Series 1. Any of his CDs are great, but I especially like the “Body Scan Meditation” and the “Sitting Meditation.” Many of his CDs are designed to pair with books, but you don’t need them to get the benefits of the meditations. I just listened to the “Body Scan Meditation” this morning, after waking up waaaay too early to want to stay up for the day. I relaxed, and as I listened I had multiple pops of color, like fireworks, release from my legs and back, each representing a full story that I could only catch subliminally, and then they were gone. Mind you, I didn’t go looking for this happen, it just did, and the whole point of the exercise is about “accepting what comes up.” After that I felt great and slept like a baby for another three hours.

The second is Mickey Hart’s “Planet Drum” — although it’s a close tie with his “Music to be Born By.” “Planet Drum” is ironclad guaranteed to send you on trips to other countries, other lives, other emotional and spiritual dimensions. “Music to be Born By” will send you deep, and then leave you feeling refreshed, even, ahem, reborn. I save this one for a treat like I save the frosting until after I’ve eaten all the cake — I have this almost superstitious fear of playing it too often, for fear it will stop working so magically on me.

The third is Joe Dispenza’s “Reconditioning the Body to a New Mind.” This CD is the newest of the my picks, but takes up where his older CD, “You Are the Placebo,” left off. In this case, the goal is changing old patterns into new ones, but in the process you will get a wealth of information and some surprising “memories” or stories about what exactly is driving your old patterns. I find this one is never boring and guaranteed to lead to fresh insights every time.


The Voice of Your Higher Self

| by Cheryl Shainmark

I learned over time that this is the sound of my higher self. Sometimes it’s barely there in the background, pointing me in the right direction with a nudge or a song lyric, or a bit of humor and love. Other times she comes through loud and clear with precise instructions or suggestions. No topic is too large or too small to engage my higher self, and the range of comments over the years have both startled and amused me.

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The Booming Market for Meat Alternatives

| by Cheryl Shainmark

White Castle and Fat Burger now feature Impossible Burgers, Del Taco has Beyond Meat on the menu, and Burger King is about to roll out a Beyond Meat Whopper. Hard Rock Cafes in Europe carry a veggie burger now, (though you’d have to skip the cheese to make it a vegan meal), and they expect to offer it in their US locations next year. As Phil Shainmark, our columnist for The Unlikely Vegan noted recently, “It’s quite possibly the best time to be a Vegan. There are so many amazing choices and places to go.” Even if you’re not a vegan or a fast food fan, the variety of meat alternatives is great news as many grocery stores and regular restaurants have also added plant based options to meet growing customer demand. According to Market Insider, the $14 billion dollar meat alternative industry is expected to grow to $140 billion over the next decade.

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Feeding Body & Soul

| by Cheryl Shainmark

If you’d asked me a few years ago whether I’d be following a virtually wheat free, 90% vegetarian — hell, 90% vegan diet, I’d have said, “That’s nuts.” Now I’m likely to say, “That’s raw cashews to you, and by the way, do you know how many recipes you can make with them?” It’s safe to say that I’m not alone in making a big diet and lifestyle change, either. Based on the latest bestsellers, opinion pages in the New York Times , increase in vegetarian and vegan websites and buzz on the Internet, it seems we have reached some kind of “tipping point” toward a radical change in the way we eat and what we will accept from the food industry.

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Have You Seen the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in Montana?

| by Cheryl Shainmark

This video has lit up our imaginations! Can you say road trip? Dateline NBC has captured the peaceful and sacred feeling of this wonderful site, called The Garden of a Thousand Buddhas. Located just north of Arlee, Montana, the multi-acre garden is nestled on a beautiful valley that is part of an Indian reservation for the Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Created through the visionary guidance of Gochen Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, the Garden aligns positive properties of the physical world…

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Helping Our Fellow Animals

| by Cheryl Shainmark

There is a growing movement to recognize what every pet owner and animal lover has known for years: that animals are capable of feeling most everything that humans feel. This, in turn, is part of what is driving the movement to a plant based diet, or more ethical treatment of animals raised for food consumption. In this model, the labels “organic,” “free range,” or “grass fed” are as much about the quality of life for these animals as it is about nutritional quality.

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When Your Body Speaks: Paying Attention to Food Cravings

| by Cheryl Shainmark

Several weeks ago I caught a doozy of a cold, leaving me with a stuffed head, chronically runny nose, sore throat and a bit of a cough. Bad enough for the first few days, weeks later it seemed like it just wouldn’t go away. I didn’t have the flu or strep throat or bronchitis, but the symptoms lingered. Finally, after weeks of getting more rest and watching my diet, it passed. During that time I ate lightly, (when I wasn’t sleeping,) but found myself throwing handfuls of thyme and garlic into virtually everything – from scrambled eggs to soup. It was a little bizarre, actually.

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Asking the Big Questions

| by Cheryl Shainmark

A dear friend of mine, Nick Borrell, says that when you ask the BIG questions, you open a window into the Universe. As he puts it, “It creates the opportunity for fresh air to flow in and for a fresh answer to emerge.” It invites the enormous energy of creativity to pour in, and you must be very careful to leave the window open long enough to get the answers you seek — you must be patient. Now, in the beginning of the New Year, is the time that we traditionally ask the big questions: what do we want in our lives? What do we want in our world?

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They Are Us by Cheryl Shainmark

I remember in the ’60s, being six or seven years old, and visiting my great-grandmother Teresa in a nursing home, shortly before she died at age 94. She only spoke Italian, and my Dad taught us a few words to say to her: Come sta? Bene; prego. Her son Henry, my grandfather, was bi-lingual; her grandson – my Dad – had a smattering of the old tongue, and now I had the four words he taught me….

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Letting Go With Both Hands

| by Cheryl Shainmark

Several years ago I dreamed I was outside my house as a giant windstorm approached over the horizon. Like the buildup to a hurricane, the trees swayed, and leaves and debris blew over the lawn and through the air. I knew that it was urgent that I find shelter inside, but I was worried about my son and kept searching for him outside. A part of my mind knew that the dream was echoing reality: it was a truly tumultuous time in our household as our son went through a difficult period, moved out, and struggled to live independently. Back in my dream, reluctant to give up, I stayed outside until the storm was upon me.

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