And You Need No Proof




Slow down.

Take the day

one breath at a time.

You stand on sacred ground,


For it is your last day.

And your first day

You are dying,


So live!

Be curious.

Invite attention into the moment.

What is it like, here?

To see?

To taste?

To smell?

To feel?

To be alive?

Laugh at the voices in your head.

You are powerful.

You are worthy.

You belong.

And you need no proof.

Jeff Foster



How Dirt Makes You Happy!

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy


Image by amoceptum

By Bonnie L. Grant

Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potential. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.

Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccaeis the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.


Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their “happy place” and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts’ claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.


“Identification of an Immune-Responsive Mesolimbocortical Serotonergic System: Potential Role in Regulation of Emotional Behavior,” by Christopher Lowry et al., published online on March 28, 2007 in Neuroscience. (pg 12)
Mind & Brain/Depression and Happiness – Raw Data “Is Dirt the New Prozac?” by Josie Glausiusz, Discover Magazine, July 2007 Issue.

Inner knowing….

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Leading the Bull Home.

This from John Prendergast beautifully encapsulates the work of a meta psychologist and spiritual guide:

“Where is our inner knowing leading us?  It seems to me that it is leading us home – to right here – in order, as the poet suggests, to know this “place” for the first time. This place, whatever is before you in this moment, may not appear to be anything special. In fact, it will almost always look very ordinary and familiar. It is the evolutionary job of the conditioned mind to make it seem this way, since it takes less energy to categorize our experience as “known” than to really see, feel and touch what is actually here. Thinking that we know something – transforming the mysterious into the ordinary – serves biological survival. But we are here for more than mere survival and we are not puppets of the conditioned mind.

Our body is a trustworthy conduit of inner knowing – far more than the conditioned mind that is so easily seduced by ideas. It is closer to the ground from which it springs and to the pulse of life. It has a remarkable capacity for felt sensing – the whole-body sense of things, the far reach of which includes our inner truth. As our body is freed from conditioned thoughts and reactive feelings, it becomes an increasingly fine-tuned instrument for being in touch with reality.

There are multiple somatic markers of inner knowing. In this book I have focused on the four most common that have emerged during tens of thousands of my client sessions over the past three decades. These four – a relaxed groundedness, inner alignment, open-heartedness and spaciousness – have appeared repeatedly as I have both guided and followed hundreds of my clients and students during their unfolding process of self-discovery. Dozens of interviews with friends, students, colleagues and former clients confirm these observations. So does my own experience.

As we tune into our deepest nature, our body relaxes, grounds, lines up, opens up and lights up. So far this extraordinarily useful feedback has been largely overlooked. Almost nothing has been written about it. We need to both sense and decode these subtle signals if we are to benefit from them. These bodily markers are here to be seen and used as guides to more gracefully navigate life and to awaken. They are part of our birthright, available to anyone.

Awakening does not end with the discovery of our true nature as open awareness. This is only the beginning of another process. Life is also inviting us to discover the true nature of our body and, by extension, the world. There is a natural movement of open, loving awareness to saturate the densest levels of form in order to meet and free the areas of greatest confusion and suffering. This movement is at the heart of the Boddhisattva vow to work for the enlightenment of all beings. It is also found in Christian teachings on the power of redemptive love and Jewish teachings of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Loving awareness will liberate everything that it touches, if we are honest and vulnerable enough to allow it. It fosters a great intimacy.

As the body awakens, so does the world. When we discover that the core of the body is made up of empty, vibrant, and wakeful openness, we experience the world differently. The world as other dissolves and becomes intimate. As a result, our ordinary experience is suffused with a sense of the sacred. We discover what I like to call the sacred ordinary. We feel grateful for no reason.

This is a quiet knowing, rather than an ecstatic display of fireworks. While there may be moments of bliss and dramatic revelation along the way, this knowing brings an inner contentment and peace. Nothing is extraordinary and yet everything is sacred.

The Twelfth century Chinese Buddhist master Kakuan created a series of pictures based on earlier Taoist teachings that he called the “Ten Bulls.” Later they came to be known as the “Ten Ox-Herding Pictures” in Zen. They describe typical steps in the discovery of our true nature – what it is to be truly human. The final picture is entitled “In the World” and depicts a little man returning to the marketplace after his long journey of searching for and taming the bull. The inscription reads:

Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world. My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful. I use no magic to extend my life. Now, before me, the dead trees come alive.”

– See more at:

Always we hope…

Always we hope

Someone else has the answer.

Some other place will be better,

Some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer.

No other place will be be better,

And it has already turned out.

At the centre of your being

You have the answer;

You know who you are

And you know what you want.

There is no need to run outside

For better seeing.

Nor peer from a window.

Rather abide at the centre of your being;

For the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart

And see

The way to do

Is to be.

~ Lao Tzu

Bringing Mindfulness to life

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

~ C.G. Jung

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