Review: Messages From The Light Meditation Deck

Messages From The Light

Meditation Deck

Author: Joyce Huntington
Artist: Joyce Huntington
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1572819238

 Messages From The Light cover

“Messages From The Light Meditation Deck” is a 52 card deck, with an accompanying 24 page booklet. The cards and booklet come in a 4.8” by 4.4” by 1.1” hard cardboard box, with a lift off top. The cover shows the image for the card “Choices”, while the bottom of the box shows the images for “Guidance” and “Integrity”, along with information about the deck. There are half-circle cutouts on both sides of the top of the box, to make it easier to take off.

We all need help dealing with the ordinary things in life – this deck is meant to help us see these ordinary things from a fresh perspective. We are invited to look inward as we focus on the (spiritual) images, opening our minds and allowing our subconscious thoughts to surface. The cards serve to help us focus on our lives, to center our being, and to become open to abundance and transformation.

Messages From The Light back

The cards are 4” by 4 3/8”. The backs show a deep gold/brown, with a lighter gold towards the center, and a gold/white diamond shape in the center. The backs alone are quite conducive to meditation. The cards have yellow/gold border, with the card name in large black letters at the bottom. The images are done in pastels, and have a gentle “fantasy” nature to them.

Huntington gives suggestion for using the cards, such as drawing a card at random and using it as a seed for meditation, or holding the card in your mind’s eye throughout the day (you might want to take the card with you for reference). At the end of the book Huntington presents a five card Oracular reading, which is very easy, and can be used by anyone.

In working with the cards, Huntington suggests thinking about what the card title (word) and image mean to the reader. Look at how the card affects spiritual evolution, as well as how it applies to the everyday world. She asks the reader to look at what blessings they may have missed, and how they can approach life differently. Each card is listed with a small black and white scan, the card name, and a short paragraph on the energy represented in the card.

Examples from the deck include:

 Centering

Centering: The image for “Centering” is two hands being held one within the other, with thumbs touching. Vibrations are coming from the center of the two thumbs.

The message for “Centering” is: “Dhyani Mudra. A point of Light; waves come, waves go. The point remains. Before action, come to center. Remain focused in the eternal.”

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Group Work: The image for “Group Work” shows a group of people, dressed in white, sitting in a cave around what appears to be a campfire. There appear to be white birds (doves?) flying around them.

The message for “Group Work” is: “The power of the group is exponentially greater than one. Your goal may best be met with the aid of others. Join together and work for the greater good.”

 Mindfulness

Mindfulness: The image for “Mindfulness” shows the fingers of two hands arched together, centered around the flame of a candle.

The message for “Mindfulness” is: “Hakini Mudra. Remain focused, but alert to details, alternatives and contingencies. Resolution is at hand.”

This deck can be used by people of all ages and backgrounds. It helps ground and connect the individual with their higher selves, so that their perception of themselves, and their life situations, opens up. Beautiful imagery, and quite easy to work with.

© August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

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Review – “Mindfulness For Teachers – Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom”

Mindfulness for Teachers –
Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity
in the Classroom

Author: Patricia A. Jennings, MEd, PhD.
Foreword: Daniel J. Siegel, MD.
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
2015
ISBN #978-0-393-70807-3

Mindfulness For Teachers cover

“Mindfulness For Teachers” is quite literally a book on mindfulness written by a former teacher, and current associate professor of education at the University of Virginia. In his foreword Siegel defines mindfulness as being aware of what is happening within us and around us with a clear focus on the current moment, which enables us to be fully present for life. In short, at the same time we are living our experience, we are stepping outside of ourselves and observing it. This concept applies to all of us, no matter what our vocation. In my opinion, this book is a must read for all people, of all backgrounds and cultures. There is no better way to be the best person that you can be than to live your life in a mindful manner.

Note: This book is part of a new Norton education series that builds on the interdisciplinary approach of interpersonal neurobiology.

This book reflects Jenning’s personal experience in a classroom, and as a researcher. We have all been in classroom situations, albeit most of us as the student, and not the teacher.  But we can put ourselves in the teacher’s place, and understand the situations being presented. And we can take that wisdom into our own professional fields, to make ourselves better people.

In her preface, Jennings notes that this book is a direct reflection of her forty year journey as a mindfulness practitioner, an educator, and a scientist. One of the first things that she learned was that mindful awareness has the power to heal.

In her introduction, Jennings talks about the challenging situations that teachers are facing, including the fact that teachers are not really prepared for the social and emotional demands of the classroom. Students are coming to school less prepared, yet at the same time new levels of accountability demand that academic improvement be demonstrated. She notes that the aim of “Mindfulness For Teachers”   is to help teachers cultivate the skills that they need to promote a calm, relaxed but enlivened learning environment.

In this book, Jennings covers an overview of what mindfulness is, understanding the emotional nature of teaching, understanding negative emotions, understanding the power of positive emotions, self-care in teaching, dealing with classroom dynamics, and transforming our schools through mindfulness. As you can see, a great deal of this information can be applied to any vocation.

Bottom line – mindfulness is present moment, non-judgmental awareness.  Sounds easy, but it is a concept that needs to be worked at to work. Jennings gives us specific examples, and solutions to those examples. Each chapter talks about behaviors that need to be developed. And how we can use our senses to our advantage. Skill sets are presented, as well as information on how to develop them. Each chapter is a stand-alone, yet it builds on the chapters before it.

At the end of the book is an extensive set of resources, including a listing of books on mindfulness, education, parenting, emotions, and children’s books; mindfulness-based programs; and an extensive reference section.

“Mindfulness For Teachers” is written in a manner that is in depth, yet easy to understand and apply. While directed at teachers, it applies to all of us. It is a book that one can use as a reference whenever experiencing difficulty. If you want to grow, if you want to make a difference,  become a mindful person!

© July 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.