Since we have so many new members this month I thought it might be good to re-introduce myself to some of you who may not know me very well. It has also come to my attention that some people have some misunderstandings about some things so I thought this might help :)
My name is Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND and I have been the moderator of this list since 1999. I have other lists I have moderated since 1993.
Most of what I remember from childhood are trees and the sky! I left home when I was 16 to travel the world and returned briefly to finish college at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I completed my last year of anthropology studies in Egypt where I also learned Arabic. At that time I started work as a professional photographer (http://www.imagenations.com/) and a healer.
I have been online running a natural healing newsletter and business since 1993. This quickly merged into a Waldorf/natural healing newsletter and website when my daughter was born in 1994. At that time I had to have my brother teach me HTML since there was no such thing as Weebly or Tripod! If I showed you my first Waldorf/Healing webpages you would just laugh!
I continued to run my home business and lovingly nurture its development for the next 15 years (until now). I had so many dreams and ideas about what I wanted to do with the website and business but many of them had to wait years because my priority was always my family and as little ones they were less independent.
My business was part-time for the first ten years and I was not very good at marketing so I only had a small clientele...but over the years some of my lists grew slowly to over 1,500 members and I started to develop close relationships with some clients and newsletter readers that I had known for over ten years! And that was with no advertising and just word of mouth!
Seven years ago, I started a Waldorf Enrichment School and once again my business online continued to thrive, but on a part-time basis. With the work I put into homeschooling my children and others, I didn't have time to be online full-time.
During the summers, when school was off, I would travel around the USA with my children, speaking at seminars and offering smaller seminars to people in their homes.
However, despite these limitations, I continued to work on my dreams and add new things every month and I started sharing my lesson plans with other mothers and teachers online in 1999. My herbal healing classes went online in 1996 so I was already familiar at that time with what it took to get things online, and what I wanted to do with the Waldorf lesson plans once they were ready.
In 2003 I spoke at a seminar and was videotaped. It was a new concept back then but it sparked the idea in my head for The Waldorf Channel, which I have been working on since 2003. However, before I could start hosting such a project I needed to have some videos to start with and a good video camera. A good video camera costs a lot of money so it was not until 2007 that dream finally came together and The Waldorf Channel was born.
In 2003, it was only natural to think of having a radio station along with a television station. However, I knew that running both would be impossible alone so I decided to leave the radio idea and see what emerged. Nothing emerged. I realized I loved the visual of the "mini shows" on The Waldorf Channel and I loved writing (the BLOG and newsletter) so I really had no desire to branch out beyond that.
However, in the winter of 2007, my daughter living overseas mentioned that she missed "story-time" so I told her I could record some of our storytime and send them to her. But it didn't work. She could not download the files without a lot of work. So I looked around for alternatives and found out that there are sites you can upload MP3s to and they will stream them on to the computer for you. She was thrilled! She jokingly called it her "own radio show". Then I realized that - hey! perhaps I can do a radio show. A "kinda one". I can just make it all about stories that I am doing anyway. So I decided to share our stories with everyone and of course I thought of the Waldorf community first.
I already owned a few different names that would work for a radio show. I own about 24 website names (some of them I don't use yet) because I have projects that have not yet emerged. I decided to use "Wadorf Radio" so it would match my other sites better (The Waldorf Channel, Waldorf School Online).
It is my daughter's storytime that I share with the world :) But even though it is a small little radio station it is fun and has helped me fulfill yet one more dream I had, but in a way I did not expect.
I have many other dreams for what I can do to help bring Waldorf to as many people as possible. I lived for so many years overseas and away from Waldorf resources that my heart really goes out to people who are inspired by Waldorf but do not have access to the resources to implement it.
I look forward to sharing many more of those dreams with you all in the future. I have a series of Children's Books I am working on. The first one is due out in the Spring. I am sorry to say, however, I don't plan on publishing anything other than Children's Books. I have come to enjoy the adaptive and "living" quality of the online E-books so much that I can't envision wanting to publish them in book form. The children's books are different, because I want them to be picture books as well as stories.
Waldorf E-cards, Online Waldorf Craft Contests....So many other ideas too!
So thank you for being part of this list and my life. I have enjoyed working with some of you for 13 years and others for only 3 weeks but you are all dear to my heart. I hope this letter helped you to get to know me better. There is so much more I would love to share but that would take hours!
There is a lot of professional information (my resume, etc...) online at my websites so I have not listed all that in this letter. You can look at my resumes online or references on my websites if you really want to know more but I wanted to make this letter more a "personal journey" letter. Thank you for listening!
Blessings & Health,
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Meditation, Inner Work and the Temperaments
By Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
One thing that Steiner saw as very important for Waldorf parents and educators was to maintain a constant awareness of ourselves through meditation and self-reflection. The beginning of his work, “The Foundation Meditation” expresses his thought the best when he says,
Soul of man!
You live in the limbs
That carry you through the world of space
Into the sea of spirit-being:
Practice spirit remembrance
In the depths of soul,
Where in the reigning
Your own I
In God's I
And you will truly live
In the cosmic human being.
Phlegmatics are natural meditators. Remember Winnie the Pooh from the 100-acre-woods? He always seemed to be in a constant state of meditation – always looking at the clouds and seeing Hephalumps in them or something! People of the phlegmatic type don’t usually need instruction in meditating or finding time to meditate. For a phlegmatic, meditation happens when it will, throughout the day, alone or in a crowd, in the form of daydreams, short naps, sleeping in and sitting peacefully. While others may find this behavior irritating – phlegmatics are often told to “get up and do something useful” we could all learn a bit about meditating from their natural state of being. The phlegmatic’s challenge in meditation is to focus on themselves instead of distractions. If one is trying to center themselves they need to spend some time meditating on their own inner being and life. A phlegmatic can easily get distracted by thoughts of “Hephalumps and honeypots.”
Melancholics love order and are easily distracted and disturbed when things are out of order. So for a melancholic to be able to meditate they need to find a time of day and a space in which they will be able to be completely alone and at peace. A meditation class, a special room in the house, an early rising time or some time after everyone else goes to bed, is a good time for the melancholic to meditate. Melancholics have an uncanny ability to rise before anyone else in the house because they cannot “think clearly” when anyone else is around and they need that meditation time every day to stay grounded. The melancholic’s challenge is being able to spend that time in meditation focused on themselves instead of other people. Melancholics are often distracted by what may be “good for other people” and often do not spend enough of their meditation time on real inner work for themselves.
Sanguines are only at peace when there is movement involved so it will come as no surprise that it was a sanguine who wrote the book “Walking Meditation”. Sanguines are the people who find that they think most clearly in cars, trains and planes or on walks. There is something about moving in a steady rhythmic motion that creates the peace that a sanguine needs to meditate. The perfect meditation for the sanguine is a morning walk, an evening stroll, chanting, yoga, or some other form of meditation that involves movement. Sanguines are some of the most intense meditators and often spend too much time thinking about what they want to work on. The challenge for a sanguine is to be able to moderate their meditative focus and focus on one issue at a time, rather than all of them at once.
Cholerics often meditate by doing things. But not in the same way a sanguine does. A sanguine meditates by moving in some way and in this way the peace and thoughts of inner work are brought to the surface. For a choleric, meditation often needs to involve even more “doing”. A choleric could create a piece of art, write a book, or sculpt a sculpture and this would be both their way of meditating and the result of their thoughts – in the visual realm. Cholerics meditate best when they are talking, writing or creating something in some way. The challenge for a choleric is to keep focused on the inner meaning of their creations and to make sure their speaking, journaling and art remain a healing way for them to work on their own selves and do not become stifled by what society may expect from their writings, expressions or art.
This short article only touches the very surface of what “inner work” can be for each person. If you are interested in reading more there are many books published on the topic.
Some further reading on the topic of Steiner and meditation can be found at:
Full text of “The Foundation Meditation” at:
“Inner Work, A Study Guide for Rudolf Steiner’s Heart Thinking” by Mark Riccio at:
“Verses and Meditations” by Rudolf Steiner at:
And many more at the weblink above (Bob & Nancy’s Shop)
It's time for our summer seminars again :) Every summer I travel with the kids around the United States and speak at various seminars and hold smaller gatherings as well. This year 14-year-old Mosi is very excited to be old enough to hold "mini-seminars" for your little ones at the same time! She was my "assistant" at the Waldorf School we had from age 5-9 and loves leading little classes for children. I am sure she will have some lovely things planned. I will provide more details on that later.
For now I am just starting on the organization of the seminars. This is our "tried and true" formula that we have used for the past six years and it seems to work well for everyone. Organizing these seminars always requires that I balance service to my own family with my service to the community so thank you for understanding that we have a 2-4 hour limit on the seminars:
1. Seminars can be on any topic you choose from the list below and you can also combine topics.
2. Seminars can be held for groups as small as 8 people and can be held in your home OR they can be larger seminars held in a conference hall, library conference room, etc...I LOVE coming to your home. It is fun to speak with a small group of people and get to know each other better.
3. The charge is only $25.00 per person and the seminars are very manageable - 2 hours each. You can schedule 2 seminars (total 3.5 hours with half hour break) for a morning or afternoon for only $35.00 a person. You can schedule an evening seminar so more people are able to attend!
4. All seminar organizers attend free.
5. Mosi's "Kid Seminars" are limited to 6 children and she will be charging only $5.00 per child per 2-hour session. They will be held at the same time as the adult seminars. If you have an older child that would like to assist her and provide extended numbers of childcare I am open to that idea.
For more questions please contact: Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will already be in: Austin, TX and Boulder, CO to visit my mother and friends so those are our first choice of locations.
If you would like to attend a Waldorf Seminar in Iowa I will be speaking on three different topics at the Eastern Iowa Homeschooling Conference. More information is available at:
If you have a summer conference you are hosting I have some slots available for speaking engagements. Please contact me for more information on this topic. I have been a seminar speaker since 1989 and can provide you with a list of references if needed or samples of my work.
If you would like to run a cooperative seminar with me on healing or Waldorf topics, please contact me. I am open to the idea and would love to work with someone else to be able to cover topics that are not on this list. I have been keeping things simple for the sake of the kids for the past few years but I am open to trying new ideas :) and seeing if it works. Hey - after all I DID get a BLOG finally this year! I'm feeling brave now.
Herbs for Kids - Seminar or Workshop
Woodworking for Kids - Seminar or Workshop
Knitting and Weaving for Kids - Seminar or Workshop
Herbal Healing for your Family
Starting a Waldorf Enrichment Program
Storytelling - Seminar or Workshop
Exploring the Temperaments (comes with a free evaluation of all attendees)
Lesson Planning & Organization for Homeschoolers
Temperaments & Healing
Reflexology for the Family - includes a kids class by Mosi in Su-Jok for the kids!
Iridology - Basics - $15.00 extra fee for chart, penlight, tools optional
Introduction to Waldorf Education
Waldorf, The Internet & TV
Other topics available upon request
Blessings & Health,
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
I just read all the e-mails about the felted animals and posted my felted hobby horse, then I went to check out my BLOG feeds (I read my favorite BLOGS once a week) and found that one of my favorite BLOGGERS has done a wonderful bit on felt food - and he presentation is amazing as always! She has pictures of a gift she gave to a friend of her child's here:
link to: Lessons
Blessings & Health,
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
References for this article can be found at:
As a naturopath, writer, and teacher this is one of my favorite projects to take on. I enjoy researching the historical uses of herbs and healing therapies and then tracing their usage up until the modern day where we find that they are still being used for the same ailments – only now their usage is “proved” by modern research. After writing many of these articles I have come to the conclusion that there are many visionaries that have existed that were able to convince hundreds of people of their vision, but sadly, they were not fully listened to until “modern” methods could be used to prove what they say is true.
And some visionaries are still waiting! In the book, The Field, Lynne McTaggart researches some fringe science such as EMF waves, light therapy and ESP research and shows how even these fields are finally getting the “proof” they need to stand up in modern society.
Article: What Did Steiner Say about Television?
So what did Steiner have to say about television? Nothing. There were no televisions in his time. But, he said enough about early childhood education that we can surmise what his views on the tube would have been.
These reasons center on Steiner’s view of the astral body, imagination and the way a child learns.
A cornerstone in Steiner’s educational theorems was the fact that children go through three stages in their lives. First, from age 0-7, the spirit inhabiting the body of the child is still getting used to its surroundings. This explains many standards in the Waldorf curriculum such as the standard of teaching the alphabet at age 7 or 8. During the second stage, from ages 7-14, the child is said to be driven by imagination and fantasy, and during the third stage, starting at age 14, the astral body is said to be driven into the physical body, creating the onset of puberty.
Waldorf educators saw a direct link to this astral body and the watching of television. The scenes, the lack of imagination involved, and the topics covered on most channels would obviously bring on the astral stage of the body at an early age. This was one reason that television was banned from Waldorf schools.
Modern researchers, however, have just recently made this connection when they recently announced, “Watching Television may Quicken the Onset of Puberty” (Dr. Laura Markham, 2006). In her article, based on 35 different research studies she states that this connection has a lot to do with the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, which plays a key role in regulating the body’s internal clock. Light emitted by television screens suppresses melatonin levels in the blood, which disrupts sleep patterns of children and teens as well as the age at which they enter puberty. It is also interesting to note that the problems of early-onset puberty have baffled researchers since 1950. This was the same date in which televisions became widely owned in the United States.
This is not the main reason given when Waldorf Schools state on their websites that children should not watch television. When I reviewed 40 Waldorf school websites I found that 36 of them stated their main reason for discouraging television was that it hinders the imagination in the child.
And this is indeed one of the most important elements in early childhood education that Steiner, himself, promoted. Rudolf Steiner, in his 1919 Essay, “An Introduction to Waldorf Education,” states, “Of prime importance for the cultivation of the child’s feeling-life is that the child develops a relationship to the world in a way such as that which develops when we are inclined towards fantasy.” Fantasy, in Waldorf education, is not the fantasy of Disney movies or only the fantasy of fairy tales. It is a holistic process of allowing the child to expand their imagination into expanded realms. Fairy tales are one aspect of this process.
Recent studies show that television hinders this process in young children. In a study led by Dr. Aric Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society (and concluded in 2007). He shows that television affects the brain in many ways that would weaken the imagination in children. The first effect that translates into a weaker imagination is the occurrence of “jump cuts” in television that fracture attention spans. At the same time, studies show that the brain is then programmed to reward itself with “dopamine” (the happy drug) for being able to cope with this fractured attention span. Basically, people become addicted to functioning with a fractured attention span. Extreme multi-tasking and children being enrolled in tens of “after-school activities” are also a result of this addiction. Imagination is naturally lost when our minds cannot focus. Have you ever tried to write an article while being interrupted every five minutes?
As far as being educational, brain scans performed by neuroscientist have shown that television and many interactive media games do not stimulate intellectual areas of the brain.
Teachers in Waldorf schools also discourage the watching of television because of the effects it has on the child’s behavior at school. But any teacher could tell you that! Not just a Waldorf teacher. And we have all heard that enough times to be tired of that reason. But how can we bring Steiner’s research into this and understand it on a deeper level?
Steiner said, “From birth to about the sixth or seventh year, the human being naturally gives himself up to everything immediately surrounding him in the human environment, and thus, through the imitative instinct, gives form to his own nascent powers.” If I didn’t know that Steiner was not alive during the time of television I would expect his next words to say something about the effects of television. But his next words are even more powerful. He says, “From this period on, the child’s soul becomes open to take in consciously what the educator and teacher give, which affects the child as a result of the teacher’s natural authority.”
So, what, then, would happen when that “teacher” is the television? What Steiner is saying in his statement is that the child is in a stage where he/she is imitating everything around them. Everything becomes their teacher. Any parent who has been embarrassed by a child’s actions that reflected their own knows this to be true. Rahima Baldwin Dancy’s book “You are Your Child’s First Teacher” explores this issue in much depth. It becomes only obvious, to a Waldof teacher, then, that if you allow television to be a teacher you open up the child to many things you do not want them exposed to.
On the website of one Waldorf school in Ireland it states, “Television, as well as film, videos, DVDs, recorded music, computers and electronic games have a very powerful effect on children. It can take several days for the effects of a single video to wear off. If children are watching every day, the effects never wear off at all; many children now speak a lot of the time in ‘cartoon’ voices, make ‘sound effects’ to accompany their jerky movements (kicking, punching) and compulsively repeat lines from videos they have seen over and over again. This is now seen as normal childish behaviour, but it really comes from these media, not from the children themselves.”
Another concern about television watching is that it will hinder the child’s ability to reflect on and carry through on the lessons they were taught during the day. Steiner believed that “What is learned more slowly at any given age is more surely and healthily absorbed by the organism, that what is crammed into it.” (Spiritual Ground for Education by Rudolf Steiner). This is one reason that when a child is given a lesson in a Waldorf manner that they are allowed time to reflect on it and often given the “same” lesson twice. Lessons often depend on the child taking in the content of the first lesson, sleeping and reflecting on it and then coming back the next day to recall and work through it. During this time of sleep and reflection the lesson will have been digested, together with mental pictures a child has made for themselves and it is this that makes the lesson really “sink in” to a child’s being.
If children are watching television or using any other electronic devices during this process, these devices will “over-ride” the lesson. So instead of reflecting and creating images of the lesson, the child’s head will be filled with images of the television or media. Once again, his own imagination is denied him. This view on the damage of television ties into the modern studies done on television watching and its effects on concentration that I discussed earlier.
Recent studies are also showing that TV can be linked to obesity, autism, and even diabetes. Steiner gave numerous lectures on the topic of nutrition and education and believed that the health of the body was greatly affected by how it learned, and how a person learned was also greatly effected by their health. Knowing, what we know today about the health effects of television on the body, we can assume that Steiner would not have approved of this as a healthy medium for holistic learning.
Post-Article: How Does www.thewaldorfchannel.com Tie into This?
The Waldorf Channel is intended for adult viewing only. Programs are designed to be short in span (3-8 minutes) so the ill effects of using electronic media for all people is minimized.
I do realize that some children may choose to watch some of the videos in an instructional way with their parents.
Videos that children may be watching for instruction are mean to be “instructional lessons” and not “shows to watch”. So if your child chooses to watch a show then they should be aware of the presenter as their “teacher” and they should participate with the presenter and their parent together as a way of learning new things. This is a way of bringing Waldorf into your home via the incredible tools of the Internet in the modern world and is NOT a way to bring TV into your Waldorf home.
Waldorf Radio is intended to be listened to by parents alone or parents and children together. After listening to a show parents should be able to re-create the stories for their children and children should be able to recreate the stories in their own way – including creating plays. This is one way to bring the magic of storytelling and fantasy into your home as a family together.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
For any of you parents you use homeopathy or would like to I found a wonderful chart on the topic of colds, flus and homeopathy at:
Flu/Cold Homeopathy Chart
I have studied, and I now teach homeopathy (online) so I can vouch for the usefulness of this chart! I wish I had one when my kids were little!
Blessings & Health,
Today Sunii shows you how your kids can make an amazing Valentine's treat for you and all you need to do is sit back and relax :) I am a bit surprised he wanted to be in the video! He is so shy in person and so this is his first public debut! I'm not so keen on him becoming a YOUTUBE star (LOL) but I am excited that he is venturing into new things and out of his world of "shyness" and he is a lot more fun to watch than I am! So enjoy the new show at:
I filed the show under "celebrations" for Valentine's Day!
Blessings & Health,
My favorite time saving idea is "snack trays". I purchase some plastic (they don't come in any other material...do they?) snack trays (usually made for party dips) with lids and I fill them with various healthy snacks and keep them in the fridge and on top of the fridge (the nuts and things). Right now I have about four of these trays FILLED with fruits, veggies, nuts, dried fruits, etc...some have some cheese in them. I took a picture of two of them. I get these trays out every morning for breakfast and every afternoon for snack time. It helps the kids and I get a lot of healthy food into us without too much effort! And since the snack trays are easy to prepare and always ready I don't have any excuse for not eating healthy!
Blessings & Health,
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
There are so many fun new things on The Waldorf Channel!
A String Game Story by Kristie Burns - 4 minute video lesson
New Radio Shows:
Tikki Tikki Tembo (He doesn't die at the end in my version)
The Arabian Nights - Part 7
Sixth Sense Math
A Year of Waldorf Watercolor Painting
Please consider supporting The Waldorf Channel by purchasing one of our E-books, E-Videos or E-Audio products at: The Waldorf Channel Downloads.
Thank You and Enjoy!
Blessings & Health,
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I am excited to announce that we have started our first day of Parent-child Natural Healing Classes. We will be working on SuJok Reflexology the entire month of February so there is still time to "jump in" and join us! We will be studying herbs in March, iridology in April, nutrition in May and typology and temperaments in JUNE. The cost for the entire series of courses which includes course instruction for the parent AND the child as well as all video, audio, e-books, and two certificates is only $150.00 and can be paid in installments. Hower, no installment payments will be accepted after March 20th, 2008.
To join us you can register at:
OR FULL PAYMENT (save $20.00) at:
If you want to find out more about the courses you can read about them at:
I hope you can join us this month! The more the merrier! And remember - you can sign up as a class or a co-op. But only two certificates are provided with the cost of the course.
Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND, Sunii, Sofi and Mosi