>Monks drink coffee

>Several years ago I spent some time at Tassajara. It’s a wonderful retreat that is owned by the San Francisco Zen community that also owns Green Gulch.

Anyway, I was remembering one of my experiences there that remains vivid in my mind. The first morning, I was gently awakened by the monk walking on the paths that surround the lodgings ringing the meditation bell. This was at 5am and we had something like 20 minutes to get to the meditation hall. I was anxious and tired at the same time. My first thought was to go to the outdoor beverage station to see if I could get a little tea to help me wake up a bit. If meditation was anything like I experienced at home, there was a high likelihood of falling asleep! Not what I wanted to do in this formal settling.

As I approached the beverage area, the early morning chill motivated me even more to experience the warmth of the hot tea. As I got closer, I could see several monks, in robes, hovering around the area. Much to my surprise, they were having coffee! I guess my surprise was because I pictured monks as being these perfect beings who meditate and hang out in a zone where coffee is not needed. I was delighted to experience their humanness. I joined them and bonded over coffee. For the remainder of my stay, I took part in the pre-meditation coffee ritual and enjoyed every moment of it.

Did I have an amazing meditation experience? I don’t remember. But I do remember enjoying coffee with the monks.

>Family Meetings

>When sharing with other parents, I often mention that our family has a weekly family meeting. They often ask me what we do and how it works. So here is what we do and how it works.

It’s regularly scheduled on Sunday evenings. We all sit in a circle on the floor and light a candle. That was my son’s idea as he really likes candlelight. Then we take a moment to breathe and focus. If we’re all up for it, we might do an Om or some other chant.

Next we go around the circle and tell each other what we appreciate about them for the week. We try to come up with something better than thanks for cooking and doing the laundry, but in a pinch those will do.

After appreciation, we go through the week’s schedule.

After the schedule, we check in about any issues that have been coming up for us and how we might work to resolve them. The daddy dollars in an earlier post is an example of that.

We have been doing this since my son was about 3. We all take turns facilitating as we like. Nothing formalized. The concepts comes from a great book that goes with a class called Redirecting Children’s Behavior.

The idea is to create a structure to talk as a family so that when they get older and issues to arise, you’ve already got a structure in place.

Once a month, we review family finances. Given that I am keeper of the money knowledge, I felt it necessary to share this info with the family. I am hoping this will teach my son a bit about money and budgets. We go over the income and expenses and see how we did on our cash flow. We talk about where money comes from and what we spend it on.

We end the meeting with a Namaste and bow to each other. And, I have to add, the ending was chosen by my son at the age of 3 when we were formulating our structure.

After the meeting, we often do something fun like a special dessert or a family game of Go Fish.

We even include extended family members when they visit or we’re on vacation together. There’s nothing like appreciation to bring people closer and lift their spirits.

Also, if one parent is out of town, we still hold the meeting.

If you want to try this in your home, I suggest having a meeting to create the structure as a family. I’ve heard of some families starting or ending with a favorite song.

I hope you enjoy family meetings as much as we do.

>Reclaiming one’s natural state of health

>This is from Ask and it is Given by Abraham-Hicks

Do this process while lying in a comfortable place, the more comfortable, the better. Choose a time when you are not likely to be disturbed by anyone.

Now, write this short list in a place where it will be easy for you to read, and when you first lie down, read it slowly to yourself.

It is natural for my body to be well

Even if I don’t know what to do in order to get better, my body does

I have trillions of cells with individual consciousness, and they know how to achieve their individual balance.

When this condition began, I didn’t know what I know now.

If I had known then what I know now, this condition couldn’t have gotten started.

I don’t need to understand the cause of this illness.

I have only to gently, eventually, release this illness

It doesn’t matter that it got started, because it’s reversing its course right now.

It’s natural that it would take some time for my body to begin to align to my improved thoughts of well-being

There’s no hurry about any of this.

My body knows what to do.

Well-being is natural to me

My inner begin is intricately aware of my physical body

My cells are asking for what they need in order to thrive, and source energy is answering those requests.

I’m in very good hands.

I will relax now, to allow communication between my body and my source.

My only work is to relax and breathe.

I can do that.

I can do that easily.

Now, just lie there and enjoy the comfort of the mattress beneath you, and focus upon your breathing, in and out, in and out. Your goal is to be as comfortable as possible.

Breathe as deeply as you can while still remaining comfortable. Do not force it. Do not try to make anything happen. There is nothing for you to do other than relax and breathe.

You will very likely begin to feel soft, gentle sensations in your body. Smile and acknowledge that this is source energy specifically answering your cellular request. You are now feeling the healing process. Do nothing to try to help it or intensify it. Just relax and breathe, and allow it.

>Feel the discomfort and do it anyway

>On a daily basis I stretch beyond my comfort zone. As Barbara Stanny writes, your comfort zone is not necessarily comfortable, it’s just familiar.

Here is what I’ve committed to doing over the next 30 days:
1. think bigger
2. act as if I’m worth it
3. be direct and ask for what I want
4. Talk about money with someone who knows more about it than I do
5. Think about money
6. stretch and challenge myself
7. Remember and embrace the law of attraction
8. Read something everyday about money
9. Observe my thoughts and feelings when I speak
10. Assemble my support community

My Daily to do list:
Commitment, action, reflection
1. Commit each day to do something from this list
2. Action, do it
3. Reflection, thnik about what I did or didn’t do

>Back to school hectic mornings!

>We’ve been back to school for 2 weeks now and each morning we seem to just struggle to get out of the door on time. I can’t tell you how tired I am of asking my son to get dressed, brush his teeth, etc. So I was reading in the Family Fun magazine a great idea that another family did.

We went to http://www.festisite.com/money/ to create “daddy dollars” with my husband’s face on the money.

Then we typed out a list of what our son can do to earn daddy dollars. Getting dressed earns $2, brushing teeth gets $1 and so on. He has the potential to earn $6 in the morning. The key is, he only has until 7:45am to earn the daddy dollars. Once he’s earned some daddy dollars, he can spend them at the mommy market.

He can also earn Daddy Dollars in the evening by helping with dinner and getting to bed on time.

The mommy market has items that are only activities such as $4 gets you 30 minutes of TV or 30 minutes of computer games. We also put some items like $6 for a friend to sleep over or $6 for a campfire with s’mores.

We did a test run today since it’s a holiday and I was amazed. My son popped out of bed and ran to get dressed and asked me when is breakfast ready!

I hope this gives you some ideas about how to make your mornings run more smoothly.

>Coenzyme Q10 supplementation and potential benefits in male fertility

>At a Glance

Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) supplementation was recently shown to improve the health and energy characteristics of sperm in men with unexplained infertility.

Read more about this research below.

Previous research has shown that Coenzyme Q10 is present in measurable levels in human seminal fluid, where it most likely exerts important metabolic and antioxidant functions.

In a paper published in a recent edition of Fertility and Sterility, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of CoQ10 treatment in improving semen quality in men with idiopathic infertility. Idiopathic infertility is defined as infertility without a defined or known cause.

The placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial included 60 male infertility patients aged 27-39 years. The participants took either 200 mg/day of CoQ10 (ubiquinone) or a placebo for six months, with three months of follow-up.

Coenzyme Q10 increased significantly in both seminal plasma and sperm cells after treatment, as well as increasing sperm motility. Patients with lower baseline values of sperm motility and CoQ10 levels had a greater likelihood of responding positively to the treatment.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation increases the level of ubiquinone and ubiquinol in semen and is effective in improving sperm motility in patients affected by unexplained infertility.

Fertil Steril 2009 May;91(5):1785-92.

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