Having experienced wonderful benefits for myself, and seen them help many others over the past 25 years, I [Cynthia Alves] want everybody including children! to be able to use Nature's Essences, not only Bach Flower Remedies**, also the vast range of Essences from all around the world. I am especially enthusiastic because they are Simple, Safe, Benign, and the most environmentally 'Green' health wide-purpose preparation I know. Essences offer a doorway to growing Living Earth Awareness that helps heal us and our planet. You can make them yourself if you feel moved to, for yourself, and for your family and friends.
about 2350 words ** What's in a name: re "Flower Essences / Flower Remedies"
My unusual approach: In a society climate of Standardization and Qualification and pressured CPD (continual professional development), I am somewhat of a black horse. While all of these regulations have their place, I see the importance of individual approach in education and health practice. I disagree with several commonly held views and rules about professional practice and teaching mostly about those that take away freedoms to use what is safe. Some of my writings are a call to avoid straight-jacketing life arts such as Vibrational Essence use; to refresh teaching as a co-creative act. Yet while I want to maintain an open approach, this doesn't mean opening doors to charlatanism or mad anarchy. What saves us from empty, false or even dangerous teaching is responsible information. So I include information about what to expect from Essences, to help understand what they are to help avoid getting duped by fakes. All of which is right in line with the current flow of expanding consciousness.
Thus my work on this Lifepower site, as well as all my teaching and writing is not only to help inform so we can become increasingly responsible, also to help us become aware more deeply, beyond regulated strictures of 'how things should be' into exploring how they are.
What Are Nature's Essences? I sort of wish I could just give you a great one-liner, "Essences are..." Nope. They can't be reduced to a box definition, no more than can Life. For years I thought of them as stuff in bottles. That is the least of what they are or rather, a definition of what they are not! My Impressions:
There is no one single simple answer to, "What is life?" Defining Essences - which are of life's diverse realms - is just as complicated a challenge. The challenge is compounded now in Britain because of the tricky legal-political issues around anything we might use to help our health and well being. What can legally be said about Essences is limited by many laws. More importantly, understanding them is rarely straightforward because the way that people understand life itself is now changing 'big time'! And they don't fit in with old models of Life The Universe and Everything. They aren't just stuff from plants. Yet since we need to start somewhere, we might talk about
All of these ways of 'defining' them may be valid, and none hold the only or right answer.
HOW THEY ARE MOST OFTEN MADE One way to centre in on a core understanding about Essences is to know how the majority of them are made: by the "sun method". Imagine you have a little glass bowl of good living spring water, and you are in a beautiful place where the plant you will be co-creating with is growing at its best. Working care-fully, with gratitude for this gift and conscious of the intelligent life of the plant, you gently pick just enough flowers to float on and cover the surface of the water. Now you set the bowl in the full sunshine, and step back to let nature's alchemy infuse the life energy of the plant into the water.
Though we have stepped aside, we remember that our own consciousness is part of the alchemy, and that our intent is part of the process and outcome. This is an act of communion between human and plant consciousness. Many people more sensitive than I can notice clearly the sad difference in low quality Essences made by those who are just taking 'stuff' without respect or gratitude or awareness of the plant's life.
For now, let's look again at the flower water, a few hours after we set it in the sun. It is 'done' or 'made'. So now all of the physical matter is strained away and we are left with the 'energized' water (or, the water holding the spirit or essence of the plant). This is put with an equal amount of brandy or vodka alcohol to preserve the water. Before that is carefully stored away (to last a lifetime!), a few drops of it are added to a small bottle of brandy etc. This is what is usually called the 'stock' bottle, which can be diluted further, drop by drop, and this is usually what you buy.
Essences are also made from gems and other minerals. Earth's special places and events are recorded, from a Solstice or Eclipse to glacier, from thunder-and-lightning storm to heath or sacred space. Essences are also made shamanicly of animals (not sun method!), making their characteristics, energies, qualities and wisdom widely available to us.
MANY WAYS OF LOOKING AT WHAT ESSENCES ARE If you look at life from a scientific point of view, you might be interested to explore the astounding properties of water. There are also branches of science that are beginning to be able to detect and 'measure' very subtle qualities of energy.
If love of nature is central to you, you might ponder the importance of remembering places and events of beauty that each have their own special qualities to enrich and heal our lives. Those who make time for being outdoors - gardening, walking, sailing, camping, even flying, and so on, will have experienced the healing, uplifting and regenerative power of Life. Now, even if we aren't able to 'get outdoors', we can in some way experience nature and receive her healing qualities through Essences.
If you see all life as alive, you may want to explore how the spirits of nature communicate with humanity and other forms of life through water, and through subtle awareness.
All in all, take a step back to notice the 'lens' through which you view and experience life, and you will be able to find a definition in your own 'language'.
PRODUCERS' AWARENESS: The Meditation and Love Connection Although there are now hundreds of Essence producers worldwide, there are two aspects in common for those making the highest quality Essences. First, a deep and passionate love of nature and all the facets of her intelligent life - a love which is felt, and also acted upon in their daily living, each in their own ways. In Essence terms, 'making' is not 'chucking' stuff into water in order to produce a benign equivalent of e.g. aspirin for a headache! Far from a mechanical procedure, and neither sentimental nor superficial, producers of high integrity live a profound understanding of deep ecology, perception of the whole ' web' and unity of life.
Secondly, all of these major producers of excellent quality Essences have come to their craft after their individual 'inner' training. Whether through meditation practices, contemplation, psycho-spiritual training with wise elders, or other inner technologies, each has explored the heart of the mind, and their work comes from the core of universal love, developed through deep, quiet awareness and breadth of consciousness. In short, 'meditation' is key to their profound connection of co-creativity.
NATURE IS ALIVE! My favoured perception brings me to begin feeling Essences' aliveness, feeling not only emotionally and in my imagination but also in my kinesthetic body / subtle senses. Very subtle yet, though I'm developing my awareness! So, its not that Essences contain the spirits of nature, they ARE spirits abiding in the mediating form of water. We aren't all able to stroll in a bluebell wood, soak in the atmosphere of a sunny beach, go to a rose for the exquisite tender life quality all healthy roses communicate to us. Nature brings these spirits and qualities of life to us via water.
I reckon the awareness of Essences-as-alive, is in itself a healing 'hand'. Part of humanity's ailing is our alienation from nature, the elements, from the life which is our life. "Where does milk come from? Bottles at the grocer." is not really a laughable joke anymore! What I aim for with my students then is to help them to renew and develop their sense of connection and unity with Life.
WHAT ARE ESSENCES FOR? I reckon that their uses for evolutionary 'good' are limited only by our own imaginations! And they aren't just for humans! The benefits to animals and plants have now also been well documented. So, we can say that Essences are of life for life.
To grasp the immensity of the scope of possibility, we need first to remember body and mind are inseparable - what goes on in the mind (attitudes and beliefs, feelings and thoughts, images and intentions...) is all also expressed in and through the physical body. Tension in mind = tension in body; encouraging thoughts in mind generate 'happy' healthy chemicals in the body, and so on. Further, the nature of human is the same nature as, well, nature's! Our body IS Earth's body. And all the different realms of life on this planet are also inextricably interconnected.
If more specific graphic examples help you then here is a VERY brief shortlist of What-for's:
The details from British Essence producers given on their web site British Essence Producer's Web Site www.bafep.com (BAFEP) indicate especially emotional and mental aspects of what we may expect from using Essences, and why we might consider using them. However, not only for legal reasons, also because the mind-body relationship is individual, great care must be taken when spelling out any physical aspect of experiences with Essences. There are also profound reasons why Edward Bach taught us to "Treat the person, not the symptom". Yet, from over seventy years of anecdotal evidence (including my own!), it seems very clear to me that what the Essences help also helps our own bodies' healing capacities, as well as the health and healing of the wider nature of which we are part.
KEEP ESSENCES PUBLIC FOR ALL: On a final note to this introduction, I give thanks to those dedicated people who are working closely and diligently with political bodies to ensure that everyone in Britain - and not just therapists! - will continue to be able to legally use Nature's Essences for themselves and families. In some other European countries, the general public can only use them by prescription! In Britain we can currently go and buy our own in shops / mail order, and so easily help ourselves.
On this note of legality, it is wise for me to include this disclaimer on this page: "Although Nature Essences may help to remove underlying imbalances and increase self-healing, they do not replace medical attention. If you have a health concern see a qualified medical practitioner."
If you would like to know more about using Essences as a professional practitioner, and monitored training available, or find a registered practitioner in your UK area, contact the British Flower and Vibrational Essences Association BFVEA. Essence distributor Essence World, and most producers (including those lisetd on BAFEP) are happy to help you to choose and use Essences.
** What's in a name? "Flower Essences" Even though Vibrational Essences are now made from all parts of Nature not only plants / flowers, also mineral / crystal, animal, place and event they are usually all simply called "Flower" Essences. Nice and easy. To be more precise and informative, I refer to "Nature" Essences, but that doesn't work on Google. "Flower Remedies", by law in Britain, can only refer to the products that are made strictly according to Dr. Edward Bach's instructions