MediMindful Moment Podcast: Meet Ajamu Ayende




In this episode of Cloud9 Online’s MediMindful Moment podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Ajamu Ayinde, MA, ACH, Certified Medical Hypnotherapist at Advantage Enterprises. Ajamu shares his knowledge and expertise as a Hypnotherapist and his experience in Transpersonal Therapy. He also talks about the healing tools of mindfulness and the significance of gentle awareness.

Episode Highlights:

  • Have you wondered how our mental health practitioners are coping with the COVID-19 crisis? (1:38)
  • How do mental health practitioners incorporate mindful practices? (1:47)
  • Judith introduces Ajamu Ayinde. (1:53)
  • Jeff proceeds with the mindful moment exercise. (2:29)
  • After Ajamu experienced the exercise, does he have any feelings or sensations that he wants to share? (5:51)
  • Henry shares that gentle awareness is significant in our current situation. (6:34)
  • What states of mind were the most distracting for Ajamu? (6:44)
  • Ajamu shares that feeling overwhelmed is an emotion that a lot of people are experiencing, and many people are feeling very overwhelmed by the information overload and by the changes that are happening. (6:56)
  • What role does mindful awareness play in hypnotherapy? (8:43)
  • Ajamu shares that if we’re used to ignoring our bodies, ignoring our minds, and ignoring our states of being, then it’s easy to allow other elements to also be ignored. (9:17)
  • Ajamu mentions the principle tenet of Buddhism. (9:29)
  • Jeff shares that if we’re going to have any chance to transform fear and anger, it’s going to have to start with each of us. (13:59)
  • Ajamu mentions a book entitled Love Is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald Jampolsky. (14:14)
  • Ajamu shares that these states of mind are the most unresolvable states that we can hold, and it’s impossible to inspire people if we’re all collapsed inward on ourselves and sticking our heads in the sand. (15:01)
  • Ajamu mentions that the Buddha came to teach us, to use his words, and allow us to make sense of this world that we’re living in. (15:42)
  • Ajamu feels that every holistic practitioner, every mindfulness teacher, and every yoga teacher, were called to be the light bearer, to be of compassion, and to be the force of love. (15:57)
  • Henry mentions that you don’t necessarily have to grab a sign and go to your local town square, to spread knowledge and to spread an understanding. (18:32)
  • Does Ajamu have a story to share about his experience during our current situation? (19:18)
  • Ajamu shares that it has been difficult for him to be in nature, and draw strength from the natural world in a way that he had, all his life. (19:58)
  • Ajamu shares that as a black man, the focus on police brutality is something that he has dealt with his entire life. (20:24)
  • Ajamu mentions that one of the greatest healing tools that he has is nature and being out in the weather. (22:50)
  • Ajamu shares that one of the elements of transpersonal healing and therapy is that it’s very honest, and spirituality is about rawness and realness. (23:06)
  • Ajamu mentions that one of the issues that is not being talked about in psychology or spirituality is race and ethnicity. (23:21)
  • How can we use the tools of mindfulness to help us, within a difficult situation? (24:47)
  • Ajamu shares one of the mindful tools that he learned from different martial arts teachers. (24:21)
  • Jeff shares that the idea that Ajamu can surface wisdom among people, in a very short period of time is something precious, and we should never take it for granted. (26:56)
  • Jeff thinks that a lot of people share the feeling of not being safe outside their home for a variety of reasons, and letting them know that they’re not alone, is very significant. (28:15)
  • Ajamu mentions that he’s a product of hypnotic childbirth, back in 1968. (29:00)

Key Quotes:

  • “As a hypnotherapist, I always want to remind people that they are much more resourceful than they would give themselves credit for being. One of the central tenants of neuro-linguistic programming is that we have all the resources that we need within us. And I do my best to share that philosophy and presupposition with as many of my clients as I can.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “The central idea is that one must be awake to deal with and address what’s going on. We could all wish things were different or the way they used to be or the way that they might be in some distant future. But what is right now is what we must all grapple with.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “When we bring love into our hearts, when we ignite that love when we acknowledge that love, we extend it to ourselves, we extend it to the other, whoever that other is, then that’s where the hope comes from. That’s where the solution comes from. That’s where the plan comes from.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “We’re not superhuman, we’re not Gods, so to speak. We are vulnerable as well, but it’s our practices that make us able to do what we do. But we must rely on one another, we must lean on each other, we must be vulnerable amongst one another so that we can rebuild ourselves, renew ourselves, and restore ourselves so that we continue shining.” Ajamu Ayinde
  • “Disproportionate numbers of people who are being affected are people of color, and that’s not something that is easy for people to talk about, black or white. But it is real, it is what is. And it’s the underlying medical conditions that many people of color have that they bring to the COVID crisis that make them more vulnerable. But that has to be addressed, and it can’t just be written off.” Ajamu Ayinde

Resources Mentioned:


MediMindful Moment Podcast: Meet Dr Eric Secor




In this episode of Cloud 9 Online’s MediMindful Moment Podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Dr. Eric R. Secor, ND, PhD, LAc, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Secor shares his knowledge and expertise in integrative medicine and explains the complexity of stress and the benefits of mindfulness. Dr. Secor, a key player within our medical system, on the medical front lines throughout COVID-19’s arrival and impact on our medical system, shares his experiences about how mindfulness played and continues to play a role in his practice and approach to his patients and their medical care.

Join us for an engaging conversation experience.  

Episode Highlights:

  • Eric Secor shares his background and his career in the industry of medicine. (1:12)
  • Eric Secor mentions that only a few medical programs had Nutrition Lifestyle as a key component of their program. (2:16)
  • Eric Secor shares that when he joined Hartford, he helped them oversee the transition of their old integrative medicine model into their current model, and look for novel ways to integrate therapies through applications and cloud-based applications. (4:26)
  • Judith mentions that she loves integrative and holistic medicine. (4:53)
  • Judith shares that mindfulness practices provide a refuge from those daily distractions that are fueled by everything going on today. (5:08)
  • Jeff mentions that this episode is dedicated to creating mindful moments together. (5:59)
  • Jeff proceeds with the four questions. (6:10)
  • What are Dr. Eric Secor’s thoughts about the need for more mindful moments? (8:15)
  • Eric Secor thinks that everybody’s set point is a little bit higher, therefore our threshold for managing stress, anxiety intention, will ebb and flow throughout our workweek and throughout our year. (9:12)
  • Eric Secor thinks that challenges are coming at us from multiple different angles and locations. In a general sense, the setpoints are higher, the stress is enhanced, and anxiety is enhanced. (10:35)
  • Eric Secor mentions that heightened stress response is significant to help us react and adapt in the short term. (12:00)
  • Eric Secor shares the fact that when we’re in a heightened sense of chronic stress, those chronic recurrent conditions can become more active and can become more potent over time, with chronic stress. (13:03)
  • What role does mindfulness play in Dr. Eric Secor’s work environment, with employees, and patients? (13:42)
  • Eric Secor shares that with COVID-19, their workforce has to be more vigilant about daily temperatures, logins, and all the patients that they see daily, have to be screened, questionnaires have to be done. (14:57)
  • Eric Secor shares that they have a new resiliency committee, as part of the new wellness initiative at Hartford healthcare, they were starting pre-COVID, and they had their first organizational meeting. (16:20)
  • Eric Secor mentions that they have deployed Cloud9’s MediMind Meditation App. (17:08)
  • Henry mentions that Dr. Eric Secor’s patients are lucky to have him at Hartford healthcare, and his thoughtfulness about patient needs. (19:13)
  • Eric Secor mentions that 30 years ago, the nurses at Hartford Healthcare began the program from a Reiki perspective which is fundamental meditative mindfulness, and adaptation. (21:27)
  • Eric Secor shares about their newly opened site located in Westport. (22:34)
  • Eric Secor thinks that there is a realization that they have to begin to look at the lifestyle wellness, mindfulness options, and provide them a rigorous and reproducible way to provide this to staff and patients. (24:08)
  • Eric Secor shares a story about his patient who came in with anxiety and palpitations. (25:17)
  • What does Dr. Eric Secor think about pain and mindfulness? (28:58)
  • Eric Secor mentions that pain management is the number one reference to their practice. (29:06)
  • Eric Secor shares that with chronic pain, there is a place for recognizing the lack of deep breathing that directly corresponds to elevated blood pressure. (33:01)
  • Eric Secor mentions that mindfulness lends itself as adjunct care to helping patients to breathe better, improve their circulation, and improve their body temperature. (34:16)

Key Quotes:

  • “When we think about the stress response and the relaxation response, that heightened sense of stress is really about the fight or flight response. So it’s nice to have a fight or flight response when we have an acute stressful situation that we have to react to…the caveat to that is that we want that response to go up and we want that response to go down in a proper time frame. When that response continues, it’s like we’re running away from that bear every single day. ” Eric Secor
  • “If we step back a minute and think about the work that we do, anyone that has a job that requires precision and requires extended attention to detail, in a sense, does need to practice mindfulness.” Eric Secor
  • “If you’re thinking from a large system perspective, if you’re not improving the health of your 30,000 employees, it’s very difficult to contain your costs and have people be highly effective in very stressful changing situations.” Eric Secor
  • “We all know and take for granted that when we breathe very shallowly, our brain gets the signal that we don’t have enough oxygen, and the brain likes oxygen because that’s what it needs to survive.” Eric Secor

Resources Mentioned:


Introducing: MediMindful Moment: Podcast

Hi Everyone, I have enjoyed interviewing folks from all over our country sharing their stories and journey with all of you. Today I am honored and delighted to introduce you to a new podcast I am producing and cohosting titled: MediMindful Moment brought to you by Cloud9 Online:

My team and I are passionate about making a difference, providing solutions to the challenges we face today. We hope you are inspired and incorporate a mindful moment in your daily life. It’s easy: simply breathe in… and breathe out.

Cloud9 Online is a digital health and wellness company that helps strengthen relationships between organizations and the individuals they serve by creating beautiful mindfulness meditation apps, customized to the client’s brand and tailored to the issues that are unique to the client’s stakeholders. The Cloud9 mindfulness platform combines machine learning & mobile technology with “Medical Grade” guided meditations tailored to specific conditions, to improve mental and physical wellbeing, strengthen the sense of connection, and inspire a culture of self-care. At Cloud9 Online, “Medical Grade” reflects an ongoing commitment to the optimization of mediations through clinical trials and a Medical Grade process which includes a 7-step proprietary rubric that was co-created with medical providers.

Episode Highlights:

  • Henry explains that MediMindful moments are about people being mindful at the moment. (1:04)
  • Henry shares that the current environment we are experiencing due to COVID-19 allows us to also be part of the mindful minute, mindful moment, and mindful second. (1:31)
  • Judith mentions that their focus on sharing the Cloud9 MediMindful Moment is about mindfulness and daily practice. (2:10)
  • Jeff shares that this podcast is dedicated to helping not only the audience but also everyone recording this podcast, to share more mindful moments. (2:31)
  • Jeff explains the mindfulness exercise called The Four Questions. (3:14)
  • How do Jeff and Henry apply mindfulness practices within their daily lives? (5:09)
  • Jeff and Henry share a little bit about their background and their roles at Cloud9. (5:28)
  • Henry shares that they started a clinical trial, for managing pain and reducing opioids, at Hartford Hospital. (6:05)
  • Henry mentions that part of his job is to think about how to achieve mindfulness and meditation in as many ways possible, and research shows that three out of four people would do meditation if their doctor recommends it. (7:20)
  • Jeff shares that he’s been practicing mindfulness-based meditation for many years and he’s the Chief Mindfulness and Marketing Officer at Cloud9. (8:38)
  • Jeff explains that mindfulness and marketing go hand in hand and the way he applies mindfulness in his daily life is more than simply meditation. (9:20)
  • Jeff mentions that practicing mindfulness, moment to moment improves your life. (9:44)
  • What is Judith’s role at Cloud9 and how mindfulness plays a part in her daily life? (11:44)
  • Judith shares that she’s passionate about anything that’s regenerative and sustainable in a holistic model, and she’s a practitioner of it as an educator, a writer, and a producer of her show. (11:50)
  • Judith mentions that she has a nursing background, and they offer meditations that address a variety of medical conditions, such as cancer, PTSD, and more. (12:38)
  • What are Jeff and Henry’s thoughts about the title, and what does it mean for the work that they’re doing? (13:17)
  • Henry mentions that you can download the MediMind app on the App Store or Google Playstore, and it has well over 450 meditations available. (13:40)
  • How do they envision the world-changing with more mindful moments? (15:16)
  • Jeff shares that mindfulness is about increasing the sense of connection between us and something larger and mindfulness is also about reducing isolation. (15:41)
  • How do they apply mindful moments in their daily lives? (17:30)
  • Jeff mentions that one of his heroes is a Zen Monk from Vietnam named, Thích Nhất Hạnh. (17:51)
  • Jeff shares how he uses the breath to deal with anger. (18:55)
  • Henry mentions that he would like to encourage everyone to go for a walk with their dog in the woods, and just see the blue sky and the clouds. (20:24)
  • Judith mentions that she has her practices in the morning that she loves doing, and it keeps her centered and grounded. (21:31)

Key Quotes:

  • MediMindful practices such as meditation, grow our ability to quiet the inner critic and allow us to be present in the now by creating space wherever we are, and of course, we’re seeking kindness and peace as we go about our daily life.” – Judith Dreyer
  • “What we typically do is we move through a mindfulness exercise that is designed to help us become mindful at the moment with our breath and hold intensities, emotions, thoughts, feelings, sensations that we experienced during the day in a gentle awareness in order to be more at peace.” – Jeff Nelder
  • “We try to think about ways that truly we can change the world and think about what an awesome opportunity that provides, so we’ve been looking at meditation as a way to help people in all different parts of their life.” – Henry Edinger
  • “If people shared a moment where they reduce their depression which is rumination over past events, reduce their anxiety which is rumination over future events, and were able to become present at the moment which is the ultimate expression of mindfulness, which is where all creativity and inspiration exists and sharing that together.” – Jeff Nelder

Resources Mentioned:



Blog: Dream Navigation: New Class Offered

Did you know dreams come to guide you?
Did you know the dreams of your heart guide you, too?

Dreams are not just about our nighttime journeys but more encompassing than you can ever imagine. And, dreams are our birthright. But how do we understand our dreams and the dreaming time?

These meetings will give you the tools to begin your journey and excite your imagination. Dream sharing is a part of every class and you will learn an easy but profound technique to capture the meaning and essence of your dreaming and create practical action.

You will walk the four directions and capture the essence that is meant for you through exercises and dream sharing. Materials will be provided. Bring your journal.

A Wondering Spirit, 169 Shaker Rd, East Longmeadow MA.
Contact them directly to register:
If you can’t make it in person and/or live far away, this class is offered the same time and day virtually over Zoom meetings.

Dates and Time
8/12, 8/19, 8/26, 9/2, 9/9, and 9/23/2020
Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm. 

(The space between the fifth and sixth classes is deliberate. I want to encourage time to dream and sit with your dreams before our final class.)


I had the privilege of being interviewed on a Voice America show a couple of years ago.  I am including the link to this show since it will give you a more in-depth understanding of dreams and the richness of class material. Obviously studying and learning about dreams has been a true passion of my heart. I love sharing the process and exciting participants on the value of our Dreamtime which unfortunately our society does little to support. If you have further questions don’t hesitate to contact me here or

Listen below or on VoiceAmerica.

Blog: Elderberry vs Echinacea: What’s the Difference? Part 2




The purple coneflower, a true garden beauty, tall and colorful, attracting an array of butterflies and other wildlife, has been a part of our native culture for centuries. I feel this pretty plant helped open the doors of natural medicine into mainstream awareness. It emerged as a strong player through the AIDS crises.

Name: Echinacea sps, purple coneflower

Where found: native to North America, found in the prairies west of Ohio. It’s a member of the Aster family. If you have any allergies to ragweed, marigolds, or daisies try in very small amounts or avoid. It grows from 2-3′ in height, great food for butterflies, moths. Echinacea purpura, Angustifolia, and purpura are the most common varieties used in herbal tinctures, teas, etc.

Parts used: When I first stepped in the study of herbalism many years ago, we talked about echinacea root. When you chew a piece of the root, it leaves a distinct almost numbing taste and quality which is a good way to ID plant. At that time, the root was used to make several types of herbal preparations including teas and tinctures. Later on, studies were done on the stems, leaves, flowers and they too contain the same properties as the root. Today, echinacea farms grow and harvest the entire plant for the herbal supplement industry.

Actions: Sioux, Cherokee, even Russia have tested and used this plant. In recent years this plant received much press from studies that show it does have some impact on our immune system functions, specifically raising white cells.

  • From the echinacea after you catch a cold has not been shown to shorten the time that you’ll be sick.
  • Taking echinacea while you’re well may slightly reduce your chances of catching a cold. However, the evidence on this point isn’t completely certain. Currently, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is funding research to identify the active constituents in echinacea and to study the effects on the human immune system of substances in bacteria that live within echinacea plants.
  • WebMD states: ” Extracts of echinacea do seem to have an effect on the immune system, you’re body’s defense against germs. Research shows it increases the number of white cells, which fight infections. A review of more than a dozen studies, published in 2014, found the herbal remedy had a very slight benefit in preventing colds.

Uses: Teas, decoctions, tinctures. In older herbals, it was used to help rid the body of toxins. Dr, Mercola claims 10 benefits of echinacea, one of which may help shorten the duration of a cold. Studies are underway since the sales of herbal medicines have soared and cannot be ignored over OTC’s.

What’s the difference?

Each herb has its own unique collections of constituents that drive its action on a cellular level.

It seems echinacea exerts its influence on raising white cells which helps fight infection.

Elderberry exerts its influence in a variety of ways. …Dr. Maxwell Crispo, N.D. says: ” the antiviral activity of elderberry on influenza was strongest when used in pre-treatment, during infection and post-infection, rather than when used solely during infection. The study confirmed that elderberry exerts its antiviral activity on influenza through a number of mechanisms of action, including suppressing the entry of the virus into cells, modulating the post-infectious phase, and preventing viral transmission to other cells. Elderberry also upregulates IL-6, IL-8, and TNF, suggesting an indirect effect on viral immune response in the body.”

Also: “black elderberry extract has previously been shown to inhibit human influenza A (H1N1) infection in vitro by binding to H1N1 virions, thereby blocking the ability of the viruses to infect host cells.2 The same study showed elderberry to be effective against 10 strains of influenza virus and compared its effectiveness favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and amantadine.”

What to take? Recommendations are to use elderberry as a preventive, at the onset, and through the duration of a cold or flu. Echinacea may be more useful at the onset and for the duration, maybe even a week or 2 afterward. Both herbs come in a variety of ways. Teas provide nourishment, capsules, tinctures are more medicinal. Lozenges soothe.



  1. Read labels.
  2. Check botanical names.
  3. Buy organically grown.
  4. Use it wisely. If you need to see a physician always disclose which herbal preparations you include in your daily routine.
  5. There are preparations designed especially for children. I recommend you use those for these younger ages and not the ones designed for adults.
  6. Herbal medicine is slowly catching up in terms of research and well-conducted studies. It takes time. Remember both plants were effectively used long before double-blind studies became the sought after norm. Both plants have several uses but today they are gaining attention because of COVID-19. Can they help prevent this strain of flu? Too early to tell. But, like many others, I keep both plants in my home medicine chest.  I worked in the health food industry for many years. Folks often related their success in terms of having a positive health response. Some didn’t. These are testimonials. But either way, both plants contribute a profound understanding of herbal medicine. My native elders would say: “whatever ails you, nature has the answer.” I hope you will take a walk today and look at the plants available with fresh eyes.

All comments are welcome. Enjoy your day. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Dr. Ashley Burkman

Description: Our immune system is a complex system consisting of several organs that are interconnected and interdependent upon each other and our whole body. My guest this week, Dr. Ashley Burkman, comes to us from the field of Naturopathy, a licensed physician discipline valid in several states in the USA. She gives her perspective and expertise on strengthening the immune system especially important as we head into the holidays. She offers a great paleo-based recipe that helps us decrease refined sugars yet satisfies our sweet tooth. Join us for the naturopath point of view that is holistically based. 

About My Guest: Dr. Ashley Burkman is a naturopathic physician at Collaborative Natural Health Partners and has been part of the team for over six years now. Her favorite part of working with this team is the strength there is in collaborating on patient care. While she treats a variety of health conditions, her particular interests are in endocrinology, gastroenterology, and autoimmune disease. 

Transcript: #37 Dr. Ashley Burkman