All posts by annapavlakisblog

About annapavlakisblog

Anna Pavlakis is an Integrated Soul Healer TM, Intuitive and Spiritual Counselor, Channel, Teacher, Feng Shui Consultant, and Writer. Anna's mission is to awaken and guide others so that they may align with their souls and fullest Divine potential. As we release and clean the programs and old beliefs carried in our subconscious minds and cellular memories, we claim our personal power, and no longer look outside ourselves for love, approval, validation and healing. Anna has given workshops at Aveda, the A.R.E., the NY Theosophical Society, East-West Living, and the Alignment Center, and has appeared on the Staten Island cable TV show "Second Sight". She has done live channelings at Wesak 2010, 2011 and 2012 In NYC and Hancock, NY, and has done readings and healings at the Awaken Wellness Fair in Fort Lee, NJ, the Theosophical Society's Psychic Fairs, the Divine Star Wellness Fairs at the A.R.E., and other events. Integrated Soul Healing services, channeled and intuitive readings are available in person in the Seville, Spain area, or by Skype internationally. Anna is available for on-site Feng Shui consultations and space clearings at your home or business. Call or email for details. Contact Anna at Skype: Anna.pavlakis17 (please include a message, so that I know it is not Skype spam!) or email at:

What the heck is going on, anyway?

I know. You’re confused. You keep hearing so many different narratives, so many wildly different points of view, and you don’t know who or what to believe. There are people, some of whom may even be called experts, saying the end of the world is nigh, we’re all going to die, from illness or war or food shortages or the Zombie Apocalypse. The Left has become the Right and the Right the Left, or… something. Everything you used to take for granted as Truth has come into question. People you thought you knew have become something unrecognizable to you. Your own views of politics and society have taken some wild turns, and you find yourself rooting for people and ideas you never in a million years would have dreamed you would. Tucker Carlson is… making sense?? Kinda? You suddenly find yourself weeping over truck drivers in Canada. Common sense has become a priceless commodity, and rarer than diamonds, or so it seems. The people in your circle of friends and acquaintances have seemingly become divided into two camps: level-headed but exhausted, and wild-eyed, terrified creatures who repeat back mantras the media has hammered into their heads with unflagging enthusiasm. At least this is how it appears to you. When you meet a like-minded person, the relief is intense: “Thank God! Someone who sees! Someone who won’t start yelling at me for being the problem!” And what the heck is 5-D anyway? Are we going there? Is it here already? Do we actually want to be living in it? Are there brownies in 5-D? What about sex? Can we have sex in 5-D? Can we have wine? Do we have to be vegan? Hold on a minute! Maybe 3-D isn’t so bad! Can I just stay here? I mean… there’s stuff about 3-D I really like! What’s 5-D got that’s so great? Besides Unconditional Love and Good Vibes, that is.

And… I don’t have the answers for you. Sorry. I’ve been overwhelmed by it all at times too. What I do know is that we can’t go back to the way things were. That’s just not happening, so let it go and accept it. Forget “going back to normal life,” because it’s not ever going to be “normal” again, and, honestly, if you know anything about 3-D, you know there was nothing normal about it in the first place. It was a whole lot of abnormal convincing us it was normal. You know this, come on. They even made a blockbuster movie about it in the 1990’s.

So what can you do to stay sane and happy and live your best life as the old world is crumbling down around us? OK, that I can help you with.

#1: Go within. Disconnect from the noise around you and connect with your Inner Voice. Sit with it and listen. If it feels joyful and peaceful, then you know you’re hearing it and not your Negative Ego. If you feel fearful or anxious, then you know you’re hearing your old programs and beliefs, and you can say “no” to them. Your Inner Knowing is your most powerful tool, if you use it.

#2: Stop worrying about the hows, the whens, the wheres. Those are 3-D concepts and concerns. For example, you feel deep inside that you need to quit your job and move to another place, and just the thought of it feels joyful and aligned for you, but then your 3-D ego-mind starts in with the “Well, how is that going to happen? How are you going to live? You need money to live, and that job at least is paying you,” and won’t shut up. It will go on and on and on unless you take control of it and tell it to stop.

#3: Clear your energy field regularly and thoroughly. There are many ways to do this. Many of the negative thoughts and worries you have may actually not even be yours but projections from others, as well as negative attachments or implants. I can remove these for you and teach you how to keep yourself clean and clear, so reach out to me if you’d like my support. Clearing your energy can literally change your life.

#4: Surrender and Trust. Once you’ve committed to aligning your life with your Soul and Source, and making decisions from that space only, you cannot go wrong unless you let your Negative Ego take over again. So surrender to Spirit and trust that, by living an aligned life, Spirit has got your back. This may mean doing things that are not logical or that your loved ones don’t understand, and you should be prepared for resistance. But by staying centered and standing in the truth of your authentic sovereign self, not letting the “noise” sway you off your center, you can weather anything that comes at you. It’s like surfing a wave.

#5: Stay as neutral and out of judgement as possible. This one can be the toughest, because we’re right damn it and “they” are wrong! Try to stay out of the “right and wrong” dichotomy. Do your best to not put yourself and those who think the way you do as higher, better, more advanced, more enlightened, than those who are at a different point in their spiritual evolution. We are all where we should be. It all works together, in the end, to bring us where we will ultimately go, and it’s all perfect. You’ll also be amazed at how much better you’ll feel by staying out of that polarization, because all that does is make you aggravated and exasperated about the way others think, something you cannot control. It’s not your job to make anyone see things the way you see them. Maybe they never will see things the way you do. Be OK with that.

#6: Speak Your Truth. You don’t need to shout it. In fact, you shouldn’t. Just calmly and from your Center be unapologetically authentic. Don’t be afraid of what others will think. Don’t speak to start an argument, but simply to express your truth in a non-confrontational way. If it triggers someone, just say “OK,” and let it go. You may be surprised at how many actually are relieved to hear you say what you say. I’ve experienced that time and again. But the key is to always say it from a place of Centeredness and calm, without ego. It’s just your truth. You’re just showing up authentically without expectations or attachments to the outcome.

We may not know what’s going on, or where this journey is leading us, or how it will unfold, but we can make the most of it and enjoy it. We’re not here to suffer, but to learn and grow. So, have fun. Laugh. A lot.

© Copyright 2022 Anna Pavlakis


As human beings, we are all born with certain inalienable rights. Most of us who have been born in a democratic country learn this from a young age. These rights are ours just by virtue of us having been born into a human body. They are Divinely given, and cannot be taken away by any being or non-spiritual law. However, these rights are not only for those incarnating on Earth into a human body, but for all Souls, in all realities, dimensions, universes, galaxies. These rights are beyond human (or the equivalent) law. These rights are part of our original Covenant with Source/God/Creator. When we first came into existence in the Oneness of Source, we were not individuated, and there was no need for our Souls to do anything with this concept. It wasn’t until later, as we moved into Duality, with all of its complications, that the importance of this became clear. Now, for those of us who have chosen to be incarnated here on Earth at this time, it has become vital for us to understand and embrace these inalienable rights because embodying them is at the root of being able to exist in a state of Love rather than Fear, and therefore essential to the spiritual journey of our Souls.

When you walk in Sovereignty, knowing, claiming and embodying your Divine Rights as an incarnated Soul, nothing can really touch you. You become fearless. You become ready to fight for them because they are a part of you. They are not something that’s nice to have, but that you can give away. Here’s the thing: You can’t give them away and no one can take them away. Many people are under the assumption that their rights can be taken away by a government or other authoritative body. But they can’t. They are inalienable rights. They belong to you. They are a part of you. They’re yours whether you want them or not. They were given to you by Source/God/Creator, and there isn’t a return policy. Oh, to be sure, the Darkness that has been overlighting this planet for a long time would like you to think that they can be taken away. And, on the surface, it may seem that they are being taken away. For example, many people think that they must allow themselves to be injected, whether they want to or not, with a foreign substance they know next to nothing about in order to be able to have this life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that they have heard about. No! Those are your inalienable rights! No one and nothing has the authority to take them away from you or to impose conditions on having them. There are no conditions. Period. You might have been convinced that there are conditions, or that there should be, but there aren’t.

Which brings me to the Spiritual Law of Non-Interference. This means that no one has the right to violate your Sovereignty. No one has the right to invade your energy body or your physical body. No one has the right to psychically tune into you, send you healing energy, tamper with your DNA, invade your physical body and privacy, place their energy in your space or infiltrate your energy and physical body in any way without your permission. Anyone or anything that violates this law is operating in the realm of Darkness. Their intentions may be good, as, for example, when someone sends Reiki to a friend who’s experiencing difficulty or health problems, but it is still a violation. So, it is an absolute violation of this law to try to force someone to do something to their body that is against their will. So, what the Darkness tries to do is to manipulate people into giving their permission, and they do this with their biggest weapon: fear. If they can get you into a state of fear, they know they can probably manipulate you into doing what they want you to do, and you’ll have given your consent, so they’re off the hook. They get what they want, and, trust me, it’s not for your benefit. They do not exist in a state of Love, and they do not care about the welfare of your Soul.

This is why it is essential to embody your Sovereignty, to walk fearlessly knowing your inalienable rights as a child of God/Source/Creator, and to walk in LOVE not FEAR. Know your Inalienable Rights. Know your Power. Know you are Sovereign.

© Copyright 2021 Anna Pavlakis

Dealing With a Crisis

It’s impossible to go through life crisis-free. Of course, everything is relative, and what is a major crisis for one person could be just a bump in the road for another person. While some say that we can’t control our reactions, nothing could be further from the truth.  It takes training and practice, but it is possible to learn how to step out of reactive mode, governed only by emotions, and into our personal power and a way of being in which we choose how we react. By doing this, we can harness our power to manifest what we want instead of what we don’t want. 

This is not to say that we should switch off our emotions, but rather that we can learn how not to be governed by them. Let’s say something makes you angry. You can just go with it, let yourself explode or shout or whatever you do when you are angry. Or, you can train yourself to stop yourself for a minute, count to 10, or 20, or 100, or 1000, depending on how angry you are, and then choose how to react. When you are angry, a surge of adrenaline floods your system, which makes your heart beat faster, and quickens your system overall. Once you are in this state it is very difficult to get out of it because it’s chemical. But, if you can learn to step back at the first sign of getting angry, and analyze where it’s coming from, decide if it is an appropriate response to the situation or not (because sometimes it is), and then channel it appropriately, you will be coming from a place of personal power, rather than being a slave to your emotions. A quote attributed to the Buddha says: “Anger is like a chariot careering wildly. He who curbs his anger is the true charioteer. Others merely hold the reigns!”

The same is true of fear.  Most crises create the emotion of fear in us, whether it’s a health crisis, worry about a loved one, an accident, financial ruin, or the end of a relationship. If you can step back and ask yourself what you are actually fearing will happen and why that is so frightening to you, you can often diffuse the fear. Let’s say you hear about the illness of a parent. You will, naturally, feel fear. If you step back and analyze what you are fearing, you may be surprised at the layers: I’m afraid that they will die. This means that I will be abandoned and alone. I’m afraid of being alone. I’m afraid that if I am alone this means no one loves me or will ever love me. Or, perhaps: I’m afraid they will suffer. I don’t want to watch them suffer. Seeing their suffering hurts me because I can feel it in myself because I am empathic. I feel others’ emotions and therefore I get overwhelmed because I’m dealing with their feelings as well as my own.  Or even: Seeing their mortality reminds me of my own, and then I realize that I am afraid that I haven’t done all the things in my life I want to do and that I haven’t been following my own Soul’s path because I’m afraid of not making enough money or seeming strange to other people. I have been afraid of not fitting in, of being an outcast, or of being disapproved of by those I love. Now I realize I’m getting older and time may be running out for me to do the things I want to do in this life…

Do you see how this works? By stepping back and looking at what is really being triggered in you by the crisis, you can gain a greater understanding and perspective of your psychology, and will be less likely to stay in reactive mode and make decisions from that place. 

So, the first thing to do is to step back and gain some perspective. If it’s the health crisis of a loved one, look at the actual risk to them.  Are the doctors saying he/she is going to die? That he or she might die? That he or she should be fine after a while? These are three very different scenarios that require different responses. If they are going to die, then the best thing to do is accept it, make peace with it (we all die, and death is a natural part of life), and make the most of your remaining time with that person. A perfect example of this is Miss Norma. 

Miss Norma became famous through her Facebook page. She was 90 years old, and had been diagnosed with cancer. Instead of going through the usual chemotherapy treatments and all the suffering from them, she chose to “hit the road” and explore the U.S., visiting all the places she had always wanted to see with her son in an R.V. If you look at the photos of this inspiring woman, you will see her and her family happy, beaming, enjoying life as she goes for a ride in a hot air balloon, tries new foods, rides a horse, doing all the things she had never given herself time to do. She turned what most would consider a terrible crisis into an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy life. She died at the age of 91, surrounded by loved ones, happy, and at peace with no regrets. 

Did you know? The limbic system is the part of the brain that is the most primitive, generating the “fight or flight” response to a crisis. The prefrontal cortex is the more developed part of the brain and is the seat of reason. The two parts work together to create your response to extreme situations. 

© Copyright 2021 Anna Pavlakis

Driving Miss Norma, written by her son Tim Bauerschmidt, is now available from Harper Collins publishers.

In My Mother’s Kitchen

Integrated Soul Healing ™

Pumpkin pie

“Time to whup the cream!”  Every Thanksgiving my mother would jokingly say this to me and my younger brother when it was time to come to the kitchen and whip the cream for her amazing homemade pumpkin pie. This was done by hand, with a wire whisk, taking turns as our arms tired out. No sugar was added. It was just pure creaminess that we covered her spicy, not-too-sweet pumpkin pie with. Her crust was flaky and she loved walnuts so much that she put them in her pie, with delicious results. She also put walnuts in her dressing (never stuffing; she thought stuffing was disgusting) along with chopped mushrooms and all the bits of liver, gizzards and neck meat from the enriched broth she had simmered  them in, which then went into the mixture. Pepperidge Farm seasoned breadcrumb stuffing mix formed the base, and then she added all her…

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Living in Chaotic Times

So, we are entering the year 2020, and it appears that the world continues to become more and more chaotic. All around us we can hear people talking about Brexit, impeaching Donald Trump, war with Iran, the fires in Australia, the earthquake in Puerto Rico, and on and on and on. It’s so easy to get sucked into this vortex of fear, anger, and despair, and to think that the world is really going to hell. But is it really?

What I want to say it to take a breath, step back, step out of the drama of the story and see the big picture. I’m not saying that everything is roses, that it’s all Love and Light. I’m not going to overlook the fact that people and the Earth are suffering. I don’t believe in such spiritual bypassing. It’s important to be very aware of the truth, even when it’s ugly. What I want to say is that we need to be very careful whose truth we’re paying attention to. Is it the truth of those with an agenda to forward? Or is it the truth that resonates deep within your being? Learning to discern between what we are told is the truth and what really is the truth is so profoundly important that I would venture to say that there are few things more important in this day and age. The manipulation is real. The mass mind control is real. The feeding off of our fears is real. There are energies and collectives that feast on humans’ fears, and right now it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The good news is that people are finally waking up. More and more people are shaking themselves out of their hypnotized state and seeing the world with new eyes, the eyes of truth. More and more people are refusing to be played, refusing to be manipulated, refusing to accept whatever they’re told by the media, corporations, the government, schools, churches, and other authority figures. They’re starting to ask questions, such as: “Who’s really benefitting from ______?” “Where does this information actually come from?” “Can this information be trusted?” “Is there money to be made from this situation, and if so, who’s making the money?” (Guess what? It’s probably not you!)

I believe that everything is in Divine and Perfect Order. I believe that we are living through an amazing time. I believe that the world is on the brink of an enormous change, one that will flush out the Darkness that has enveloped it for so long and that is having its last gasps.

In order to heal, we, the members of the Human Race, must look at our Darkness. We must see it. We must understand it. The more ugly layers are peeled back the uglier it gets, but that’s where the true healing lies. We are being confronted with horrors, and it will get worse. But it’s a necessary process, and one that will ultimately lead to deep healing. There will be a lot of surprises for many, many people, a lot of very disturbing and uncomfortable truths to be faced and dealt with on a global scale. Many will be unable to do this. Those of us who are Shamans, Healers, Lightworkers are here to help humanity navigate this process. It is up to each person to decide if they want to know the truth and how they will deal with it. This is part of your path, your karma, your soul’s work. Ultimately we are 100% responsible for our choices and our thoughts. This is where our true power lies. Reclaim your power in these seemingly chaotic times and see the transformation.

©2020 Anna Pavlakis All Rights Reserved

In My Mother’s Kitchen

Pumpkin pie

“Time to whup the cream!”  Every Thanksgiving my mother would jokingly say this to me and my younger brother when it was time to come to the kitchen and whip the cream for her amazing homemade pumpkin pie. This was done by hand, with a wire whisk, taking turns as our arms tired out. No sugar was added. It was just pure creaminess that we covered her spicy, not-too-sweet pumpkin pie with. Her crust was flaky and she loved walnuts so much that she put them in her pie, with delicious results. She also put walnuts in her dressing (never stuffing; she thought stuffing was disgusting) along with chopped mushrooms and all the bits of liver, gizzards and neck meat from the enriched broth she had simmered  them in, which then went into the mixture. Pepperidge Farm seasoned breadcrumb stuffing mix formed the base, and then she added all her magic touches. The result was my favorite part of the meal. As far as I was concerned, the turkey was an accompaniment to the dressing, not the other way around. The cranberry sauce was another favorite. I remember very early in my childhood eating the jellied canned cranberry sauce that every child of the 1960’s remembers, but at some point in the 70’s she decided that wasn’t good enough, and started to make her own from bags of fresh cranberries, an orange and sugar. She’d boil the cranberries in sugar and water, and then throw that into a blender along with an entire orange. It was so easy, and so delicious. We didn’t have a huge meal at Thanksgiving, unlike so many families. There were only four of us, so we had the turkey, the dressing, green beans (“the Julia Child way,” i.e. just cooked and still a bit crunchy in a big sauté pan with lots of butter, fresh parsley and lemon juice), cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie for dessert. No hams, lasagna, sweet potatoes, yams, pecan pie, etc. It was simple and perfect.

Years later I was in my apartment preparing my first Thanksgiving meal. My mother had died almost exactly two years before, and I had decided to make and host the feast for my father, brother, his new wife and my then-boyfriend. I was already considered an excellent cook by then, and was looking forward to cooking and sharing and taking on the role of matriarch in a way. My mother and I had had a complicated relationship. I know she loved me very much, but there was a lot of tension between us for many reasons, and being with her was often very difficult for me. Her death was sudden and also horribly drawn out: she had a cardiac arrest on my 36th birthday, essentially died, and was revived but in a coma for 10 days until we made the unanimous decision to disconnect her. I was numb. We all were. I wasn’t able to cry and mourn the way I thought I should. I felt horrible, but I couldn’t release it and mourn. So, two years later, I remember standing in my little kitchen, my boyfriend having just arrived, feeling very overwhelmed by the task and responsibility. All of a sudden, I missed my mom. I missed her with a grief so sharp it took my breath away. I wanted nothing more than to be able to ask her for advice on how to make her dressing, and I couldn’t. The realization hit me so strongly, the grief so painful, that I suddenly burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. I cried and cried and cried. I cried for my mother. I cried for our lost relationship. I cried for the good times we had had in her kitchen that we would never have again. I cried for all the food she had made in her kitchen that I would never again be able to taste or ask her how to make.  I cried for the pure essence of her.

In the end, I made the dressing. But I didn’t make it exactly like she had, because I didn’t really know how. Instead, I took the idea of it and made it my own. And it was delicious. The whole meal was perfect. I made my own cranberry sauce my own way: I put red wine and cherries in it. It was divine. I made it in my own kitchen. I am pretty sure my mother was there watching me. In my kitchen.

© 2019 Anna Pavlakis All Rights Reserved

Clear Your Clutter and Get Unstuck!

Look around your home. What do you see? Try to look at it through the eyes of a first-time visitor. Is everything clean and tidy? Is everything organized and put away? When your eyes scan the room, do you see beautiful things that make you feel happy and uplifted? Or, do you see piles of mail, papers, things you never seem to get around to throwing away, broken things, gifts you received that you hate but feel obligated to keep, etc., etc.? If it’s the latter, you may not realize how this can negatively affect your life.

But, first, what is “clutter”? Well, there are several types. First, there’s the clutter that’s there because you don’t have any place to put it. It’s in many ways the most difficult to deal with because you have to find storage solutions, which may involve purchasing storage containers or even moving to a bigger space. If you don’t have a desk, where are you going to put your mail, your work papers, and other documents? If you don’t have a closet, where are you going to put your clothes?

Then, there’s trash: mail you need to throw away, old magazines, broken objects you either can’t repair or know you will never get around to repairing (don’t lie to yourself! You know you’re not going to get around to it “one of these days!”), those scratched up designer shoes you can’t bear to throw away because they were so expensive, and so on.

Between these two types are many others, like sentimental clutter, or the idea that you have to buy 3 of everything “just in case,’ like you are stockpiling for the zombie apocalypse. The bottom line is that all that “stuff” in your house is blocking a lot of energy. When your house is simply too full of things that everywhere you turn you see objects, then you will have difficulty thinking clearly, feel stuck in your life, and will probably feel tired and sluggish much of the time.

The other thing is to look at where the clutter is in your home. According to the ancient art of Feng Shui, a space can be divided into 9 areas, or guas. Each gua reflects a theme in your life. In order to find out where the different guas are in your home, take the following chart and align it with the floorplan of your space according to where the front door is. The door will fall into one of the bottom three guas.


Now look at the clutter in your home; are there any places where clutter is particularly a problem? Don’t forget to include closets and clutter that’s been shoved into cabinets and drawers. Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there!

Apply the map to the areas with clutter in your home and spend some time reflecting. You could meditate on it, journal on it, whatever method works for you, but really think about it. How are these areas blocked or stuck in your life? Ask yourself if you are ready to get things moving.

Here comes the fun part: clearing it out! One popular technique is to make three piles: things to throw away, things to keep, and things you aren’t sure about yet. Be as ruthless as you can. If you’ve had three children, don’t keep your favorite jeans from when you were a teenager; no one fits into their jeans from high school, much less a woman with three kids, and you never will. Accept it, donate them, and move on. Do you really need your college textbooks? Do you ever consult them or sit around reading them on a rainy Sunday? No? Give them away or sell them. Do you keep every glass jar you’ve bought food in? Keep a few of the most useful sizes and recycle the rest.

Papers can be the most challenging. Modern life is full of so much paperwork and important papers to keep. However, you don’t need to keep paper bills more than 6-12 months, and you can always ask your bank to send you e-statements. Shred everything you’re getting rid of, and have bonfire if you like. Then, buy a sturdy file box or two and file away the important papers you need to keep, like birth certificates, wills, etc. Try to go through your papers once a month religiously to avoid getting back into the same clutter situation. Once it starts to accumulate it becomes a much bigger task to take on, and you will likely start putting it off…and putting it off, and putting it off.

Finally, open the windows, burn some incense, and notice how much better you feel!

Did you know? The concept of clutter is not a part of traditional, historical Feng Shui, but is an example of how the ancient art of Feng Shui has adapted to the changes in our lives. The central concept of chi flow can be expanded on when you consider that chi, or energy, cannot flow smoothly if there’s clutter.

If you would like a professional evaluation of the chi of your home or business, I am available to do a thorough analysis of your space, help you with clearing clutter, and give you a personalized plan for dealing with any issues that come up. Email me for details:

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation


Most people have heard about the benefits of meditation; you hear about how it reduces blood pressure, reduces stress, helps relationships, improves sleep, etc. Yet, most people who try to meditate end up giving up after a short time, saying it’s too difficult, or that they can’t. The truth is that, like anything worthwhile, meditation requires practice. In fact, it’s called “practice” in many traditions. So, yes, it’s unlikely that your first time trying to meditate will be easy. Should you then just give up? NO!!


The truth is that there are many different types of meditation out there, and it’s really just a matter of finding the one that suits you best. Not everyone can do Zazen practice (in the traditional Zen monasteries, if you fall asleep you get whacked between the shoulder blades with a wooden pole!).  There are dozens of different types. There is no one form that is “better” than another. So, here are some different basic meditation practices to explore, so that you can find the right one for you!


  1. Mindfulness. This type has many different variations, but it is essentially a practice in which you observe your thoughts, without attaching to them. It can be helpful to focus on your breath while you practice, and any time you find your thoughts wandering (which you will), you simply let them go again, like a balloon, with no judgement. Some find it helpful to say to themselves, “thinking,” when this happens, and then return the focus to the breath.
  2. Mantra Meditation. With this type, you can either say the mantra out loud, or say it silently to yourself. Using a mantra can help you stay focused and avoid your mind wandering or attaching to thoughts. The mantra you use does not have to be in Sanskrit, though there are many powerful Sanskrit mantras and seed syllables that can be used, such as Om, Om Namah Shivaya, Om Mani Padme Hum, etc. One powerful one in English is “I AM that I AM.” If you are working with a spiritual teacher, they may give you one to use. The important thing is that the mantra feels good to you, so observe how you feel when you use it until you find the one you like best.
  3. Transcendental Meditation. This is actually also a mantra meditation, but you use a specific mantra that is customized for you. Transcendental meditation became known in the West during the 60’s, is very well-known, and is often what people think of when they first hear the word “meditation.” It’s been scientifically studied, including by the Mayo Clinic, and is practiced by a wide variety of people. Many celebrities have endorsed its effectiveness, which is partly why it is so well known.
  4. Moving Meditation. This can take many forms. Among them is walking meditation. You can do this anywhere, simply by focusing on each step, trying to stay totally present, walking slowly and deliberately. Some practice this by walking in nature, observing the sounds of the birds and wind as well as their steps. Chi kung or Qigong is another practice that offers many other health benefits. Conscious dance can also be considered a type of moving meditation. 5 Rhythms is an organization dedicated to conscious dance, and can be found in many cities. In addition, yoga, done properly, is by its very nature a meditation practice, which is often forgotten in this era of “Yoga Chic.”
  5. Guided Meditation. This type involves a teacher or facilitator who leads the individual or group in a meditation that can incorporate visualizations, breathwork, sounds, music, movement, etc. This one can be a good place to start for people who say they “can’t meditate,” because the guidance helps keep the practitioner focused as they are taken step by step through the meditation. It can also range from very simple mindfulness practice to extremely esoteric spiritual journeys, depending on what you are drawn to.


Did you know? Any activity can become a meditation, if done with mindfulness. Next time you cook dinner, try preparing it with mindfulness: slicing the vegetables, chopping the garlic, watching the ingredients simmering in the oil. Later, when you are finished cooking, try eating mindfully, carefully biting and chewing each mouthful with focused attention, really tasting the food. Notice how you feel afterwards.