The Beauty and Nobility of Life

I’m immensely excited to tell all my friends that I just got an email from the Nautilus Book Awards. My book, “The Beauty and Nobility of Life”, has won this year’s 1st Place Gold Award in the category ‘USA Spiritual Growth & Development’.

I’m in good company. Some Nautilus Award winners in recent years include Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jean Houston, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, Matthew Fox, Gregg Braden, Amy Goodman, Andrew Weil, Desmond Tutu, and my good friend Stephen Larsen who graciously wrote the Introduction to my book. Feeling humble and grateful.

Why I Work the Way I Do

I often mention What I do in my practice (which continues to evolve, depending on what I learn from studying, from working on myself, and what my patients teach me), but I thought I’d talk for a moment about Why. My aim, of course, is not to ‘fight disease’, but to try and help the body kick in its own self-healing powers. I’ve found several things that are important for this, and I address them all (which is why my healing sessions run from one to two hours). (1) I believe that, in terms of physical healing at least, the primary factor is for the body to be in a state of relaxation: nothing works very well in a tense, tight, stressed body. Everything I do is at least partly grounded in this idea. (2) Various substances and energies flow through the body, and cannot do their work if there are blockages to their movement. So part of my work is to remove blockages to the flow of nerve energy (through gentle chiropractic alignment of the spine), as well as the flow of blood and lymph (through muscle balancing), cerebrospinal fluid (through cranial balancing), and more subtle energies (through reflexology and some meridian balancing). (3) The value of loving human touch cannot, in my opinion, be overemphasized. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are always passing energies between us. My interest is in passing positive healing energy. Like many people, I am not very sensitive to these energetic movements (which is probably just as well, since my ego would take it over and try to make me think I had all sorts of powers), but I know from many of my patients that these movements occur. So my job when I am working on you is to stay relaxed myself, to be present, to always remember my intention, and to simply allow whatever happens to happen: whatever it is, it comes from something much higher than me. (4) I’ve learned that the body does not respond to words (e.g., I can tell myself over and over to “heal my pancreas” and nothing will be accomplished). The body does, however, respond to Vivid Images and Emotions. So after I’ve worked on you from toe to head, I use guided imagery to draw your consciousness deeply into your body and stimulate self-healing, by bringing images of healing light and healing vibrations all the way from the muscles and organs down into the individual cells. Lastly, I end with an emotional exercise that is possibly the most powerful thing I use. We are always so busy that, for many of us, days (or months, or even years) can go by without ever taking a few minutes to just let ourselves feel Happy — to let ourselves really feel emotions of joy, gratitude, and love. So at the end of a session I have you focus your attention on your heart, and really feel these things. I know how hard it is, because often when I tell patients to take a moment to close their eyes and recall a happy memory, and let yourself feel that emotion, some people tell me they have trouble finding one, and some people start to cry because it’s been so long. It’s no wonder our bodies keep sending us messages that we have to stop, breathe, pay attention, and remember that life is magnificent.

“When your body, soul and spirit are in alignment…”

“When your body, soul and spirit are in alignment, wholeness is the result. It’s how you were created to live as your true self. It’s where your outer being is dancing to the same rhythm as your inner being. It’s where your ego-self no longer controls your life and you are at one with the Divine Source. And in that place of stability is also where the highest form of love exists, where healing for the body takes place, where the heart and the mind are in a harmonious state of emotional balance.

“Today it can be scientifically proven that whatever emotions you may be experiencing, be they pleasurable or painful, specific chemical proteins called Neuropeptides are released into your body. And simultaneously, a corresponding frequency is produced that influences the neural pathways in the brain. In a nutshell, your emotions can be working for you, or against you. And your physical body will react accordingly.

“It’s a fact that the human body will become weaker and open to sickness when it experiences negative or fear-based emotions over a prolonged period of time. These lower frequency emotions are debilitating, and are expressed as fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, anger, bitterness, hate, unhealthy cravings, and dissatisfaction.

“But the body will function at its optimum when it experiences love-based emotions, which is where the divine is allowed to flow through you. These higher frequency emotions are empowering, and are expressed as love, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, trust, compassion, acceptance, happiness, and inner peace.

“Every cell within your body is calling you to join the dance and be aligned with love.”

~ Daniel Nielsen

How to Awaken Your Heart

(suggestions from The Great Path of Awakening by the nineteenth-century Tibetan teacher Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, interpreted by Pema Chodron)

  1. Begin with these preliminaries.
  2. Maintain an awareness of the preciousness of human life.
  3. Be aware of the reality that life ends; death comes for everyone.
  4. Recall that whatever you do, virtuous or not, has a result; what goes around comes around.
  5. Contemplate that as long as you are too focused on self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will suffer. Obsessing about getting what you want and avoiding what you don’t want does not result in happiness.
  6. Regard all dharmas as dreams.

Whatever you experience in your life—pain, pleasure, heat, cold or anything else—is like something happening in a dream. Although you might think things are very solid, they are like passing memory. You can experience this open, unfixated quality in sitting meditation; all that arises in your mind—hate love and all the rest—is not solid. Although the experience can get extremely vivid, it is just a product of your mind. Nothing solid is really happening.

  1. Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath.

This is instruction for a meditation practice called tonglen. In this practice you send out happiness to others and you take in any suffering that others feel. You take in with a sense of openness and compassion and you send out in the same spirit. People need help and with this practice we extend ourselves to them.

  1. Drive all blames into one.

This is advice on how to work with your fellow beings. Everyone is looking for someone to blame and therefore aggression and neurosis keep expanding. Instead, pause and look at what’s happening with you. When you hold on so tightly to your view of what they did, you get hooked. Your own self-righteousness causes you to get all worked up and to suffer. So work on cooling that reactivity rather than escalating it. This approach reduces suffering—yours and everyone else’s.

  1. Be grateful to everyone.

Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck. They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a familiar way of reacting—shutting down, speeding up or getting all worked up. When you react in the habitual way, with anger, greed and so forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and work with them honestly and compassionately. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening.

  1. All dharma agrees at one point.

The entire Buddhist teachings (dharma) are about lessening one’s self-absorption, one’s ego-clinging. This is what brings happiness to you and all beings.

  1. Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one.

The two witnesses of what you do are others and yourself. Of these two, you are the only one who really knows exactly what’s going on. So work on seeing yourself with compassion but without self-deception.

  1. Always maintain only a joyful mind.

Constantly apply cheerfulness, if for no other reason than because you are on this spiritual path. Have a sense of gratitude to everything, even difficult emotions, because of their potential to wake you up.

  1. Abandon any hope of fruition

The key instruction is to stay in the present. Don’t get caught up in hopes of what you’ll achieve and how good your situation will be some day in the future. What you do right now is what matters.

  1. Don’t be so predictable.

Do not hold a grudge against those who have done you wrong.

  1. Don’t malign others.

You speak badly of others, thinking it will make you feel superior. This only sows seeds of meanness in your heart, causing others not to trust you and causing you to suffer.

  1. Don’t bring things to a painful point.

Don’t humiliate people.

  1. Don’t act with a twist.

Acting with a twist means having an ulterior motive of benefiting yourself. It’s the sneaky approach. For instance, in order to get what you want for yourself, you may temporarily take the blame for something or help someone out.

  1. All activities should be done with one intention.

Whatever you are doing, take the attitude of wanting it to directly or indirectly to benefit others. Take the attitude of wanting it to increase your experience of kinship with your fellow beings.

  1. Whichever of the two occurs, be patient.

Whatever happens in your life, joyful or painful, do not be swept away by reactivity. Be patient with yourself and don’t lose your sense of perspective.

  1. Train in the three difficulties.

The three difficulties (or, the three difficult practices) are (1) to recognize your neurosis as neurosis,      (2) not to do the habitual thing, but to do something different to interrupt the neurotic habit, and (3) to make this practice a way of life.

  1. Don’t misinterpret.

There are six teachings that you might misinterpret: patience, yearning, excitement, compassion, priorities and joy. The misinterpretations are:

  1. You’re patient when it means you’ll get your way but not when your practice brings up challenges.
  2. You yearn for worldly things but not for an open heart and mind.
  3. You get excited about wealth and entertainment but not about your potential for enlightenment.
  4. You have compassion for those you like and admire but not for those you don’t.
  5. Worldly gain is your priority rather than cultivating loving-kindness and compassion.
  6. You feel joy when your enemies suffer, but you do not rejoice in others’ good fortune.
  7. Don’t vacillate

If you train in awakening compassion only some of the time, it will slow down the process of giving birth to certainty. Wholeheartedly train in keeping your heart and mind open to everyone.

  1. Train wholeheartedly.

Train enthusiastically in strengthening your natural capacity for compassion and loving-kindness.

 

Some Interesting Thoughts About Cerebrospinal Fluid

Craniosacral therapy, part of each of my healing sessions, is a light-touch modality that releases tensions in the skull and pelvis. This may improve the flow of CSF, Cerebrospinal fluid (which bathes the brain and entire nervous system), by removing blockages, and this in turn may help the body heal a wide range of conditions, both physical and emotional, including fatigue, pain, sleep difficulties, anxiety, all sorts of stress-and-trauma-related disorders, etc. Most patients find this work extremely relaxing, and many report that it leads them into deeper states of consciousness.

Here is some of what science knows the CSF does:
*Transports nutrients and hormones to the brain and nervous system;
*Regulates circadian rhythms;
*Regulates appetite;
*Instructs Stem Cells to proliferate and differentiate;
*Eliminates wastes.

Dr. W. G. Sutherland, DO, who founded Cranial Osteopathy, suggested that the CSF may be “an intermediary in the movement of Divine Intelligence, a channeling of creation into embryological segments and irrigating them with life, giving form and function and order and intelligence to our existence.” Here are a few of the reasons why:

The CSF is connected to every part of the brain and spinal cord. The neural cells that are in contact with the CSF have receptor cells that can detect and respond to light, chemicals, and vibration. Melatonin, which regulates sleep and may affect the immune system and have anti-aging effects, is released by the Pineal Gland into the CSF. Another fascinating chemical found in the CSF, most likely also from the Pineal Gland, is DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). DMT is also widespread in the plant kingdom, in plants that are commonly used in shamanic rituals. It can produce powerful near-death and mystical experiences, and is hypothesized to be released at birth, death, and during vivid dreams. It has been called “the spirit molecule”.

Between the Pineal (often thought to be a “Third Eye”) and the Pituitary (the “master” gland in control of the hormonal system), and surrounded by the Thalamus (regulating sensory input and motor output) and the Hypothalamus (involved with emotions and appetites), is the Third Ventricle – a midline chamber which connects them all and is filled with CSF. This space has been called “the crystal palace” and “the cave of Brahma” in some Hindu yogic traditions.

Welcome!

Thanks for visiting. I hope you will consider coming in for a gentle, full-body re-alignment. Each one-hour session includes all four modalities described above: chiropractic, foot adjusting and reflexology, craniosacral therapy, and relaxation for body, mind, and heart. My fee is $65, but no one is turned away for lack of money.

I do not to deal with insurance companies. Sadly, accepting insurance means utilizing excessive testing, spending hours dealing with claims forms designed by bureaucrats, and not being able to help people get and stay well (they only cover sick care, not health care, then they limit visits, pay a pittance, don’t cover children, etc.) All of this takes the focus and energy away from serving people, making doctors serve the greed of insurance corporations instead. I don’t work for them. I work for you. A sliding scale as necessary, and no one is turned away because of money.

I take my time and I listen: you will never feel rushed. If you would like to schedule a treatment, call me at (845) 750-9652, or email me Andrew@AndrewCort.com