Yearly archive for 2012

Welcome to ‘the village pharmacy’

Whoa there, tiger… welcome to the world of holistic/ayurvedic healing.

Neem has been on my mind for the past few days. Over and over, it has come up- from Paramahansa Yogananda & his sister sitting under a neem tree during his childhood to rejuvenating the hair and scalp to curing sore throats.

Neem is a remedy of many uses, hence its designation as ‘the village pharmacy’. Learn more about neem today to introduce its healing power into your life!!!

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Daily reminder

“Lean too much on other people’s approval and it becomes a bed of thorns.”

~Tehyi Hsieh (via Tiny Buddha)

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Prepping the soil

The buzzwords of this week (according to me)? Ritual, observance, fasting, prayer, new beginnings.

Monday marked Mahashivaratri, the Great Night of Shiva- a Hindu festival of fasting, prayer, and rituals. Worshippers of Shiva believe that their observances during Shivaratri will grant them expiation of all sins they have committed in the prior year. A fresh start.

Tuesday brought the new moon, which I observe as a monthly day of renewal and manifestation of my intentions- allowing them to come into being as the moon waxes.

And today (Wednesday)? Not only is it Losar (Tibetan New Year), it is also Ash Wednesday.

I was raised in a Catholic family. Or more accurately- I had devout Catholic grandparents, and I went to church on Christmas, Easter, and Sunday mornings after I had had a sleepover with my beloved Gram and Pap.

Lent was my first experience with fasting- a practice that I later embraced as an adult. My early memories of Lent include my grandfather giving up everything he enjoyed for the entire duration. I remember sitting at his right hand at the breakfast table on Easter morning, watching with delight as he had his first tastes of the things he had given up for Lent. I remember egging him on, making suggestions as to what should be his next reclaimed indulgence. Of course, my Johnny is a wonderful, wonderful man with a heart packed full of love for his family. I’m sure he played up the joy of breaking the fast to encourage my smiles and giggles.

Now, I sit here as a grown-up (??) who has found my way to the spiritual path. I love and adore Jesus, though my questing has hardly been limited to Christianity. It has led me all over- far, near, unfamiliar places, and the deepest places within my Self. It has even led me back to a curiosity about the religion I had ‘grown up’ with, beginning with Paramahansa Yogananda’s powerful and profound readings of Christian scripture.

With all of the observances of new beginnings happening this week, I felt a call to learn more about the Christian observances known as Lent. My initial experiences with Lent registered as something like an endurance test of self-deprivation. Giving up everything that brings you pleasure because… someone told you to do it. As a child, I understood that (follow the rules). As a teen, I rebelled and turned my back on the whole idea. As an adult who embraces a very personal version of spirit and spirituality, I have a renewed interest in Lent and what it all means.

The original Latin word for ‘Lent’ was Quadragesima, meaning ‘fortieth’. Although 40 has various significances in Christian scripture, the 40 days (+ or -) of Lent are generally described as a reflection of the 40 days Jesus spent “fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.”

The observances of Lent are many, mostly focusing on giving up anything that tempts indulgence. Some devotees in the Eastern world even adhere to a vegan diet for the entire 40 days!

Through my adventures in yoga, I’ve become familiar with the yama Aparigraha (non-attachment), which urges the individual to renounce earthly attachments and give their undivided attention to God. ‘Clinging’ is another translation. Clinging to objects or attachments that keep the individual separate from The Whole.

So, the ‘renunciation’ bit, I get. Fasting, I get. But all of these other words came up as well. Penance, denial, deprivation, grief, repentance. Well… they remind me of the ‘Lent’ I remember. The ‘God’ I’ve come to know is not a harsh or punitive authority. He did not put us here to suffer??

As I read on, I discovered that ‘Quadragesima’ transformed to ‘Lent’ as the Church transitioned from Latin to the vernacular. ‘Lent’ derives from the German word ‘Lenz’ or the Dutch word ‘Lente’, meaning ‘Spring’, which totally makes sense to me.

Spring is coming! Recall way, way back when I mentioned those seedling intentions that we can nurture in the new moon? Cycles and symbols reappear in different incarnations over and over. Springtime is the calendar year’s new moon. It’s the time when we plant the seeds that will grow to maturity this year. Spring cleaning ring a bell?

March 21 marks the Spring Equinox (a holy day in many traditions). Even the word ‘Easter’ derives from the name of the Germanic goddess Eostre, the goddess of virginity and rebirth. This time, leading up to Easter or the beginning of Spring, is a time to prep the soil. Overcome temptations and indulgences so that the field is renewed for the next generation of seedlings to be (re)born. Align with the Divine so that our attachments no longer hold us back- allowing our Christ Consciousness to (re)emerge.

When the table is set on Easter morning, where will I sit? Will I dive back into my indulgences with aplomb? Or will they be mourned and released? And my Self? Resurrected into a new way of being…?

Best wishes to all in manifesting the highest and best version of their Self in this auspicious time of year… Check out these wonderful suggestions for observing Lent even if you are not Catholic (via BeliefNet) ♥

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Daily reminder

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

~Caroline Myss

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New moon (sans vampires)

Today is the new moon in Pisces.

The new moon is a time for nurturing those little seedlings in your heart- manifesting the life of your wildest dreams. Just as the moon grows from new moon into the full moon, you can align with the powerful energy of that process to manifest your goals.

Please enjoy the manifestation meditation with Dr. Wayne Dyer above. Riding the new moon wave!

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Daily reminder

“From purity of mind, there arises cheerfulness, power of concentration, control of the senses and Self-realization.”

~Patanjali, Yoga Sutras 2.41

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Mahashivaratri blessings


Body as Temple – Shivratri poem
The rich will make temples for Shiva. What shall I a poor man do?
My legs are pillars.The body the shrine
The head a cupola of gold.
O Lord of the meeting rivers
Things standing shall fall
But the moving ever shall stay.

~Basavanna, revolution Vira Saiva poet who made teachings available to all, women, men of all castes and backgrounds

Mahashivaratri Blessings!

Join us tonight as all prayers, mantra, meditation, the smallest of offerings are amplified with the New Moon of Shivratri as over a billion beings around the world offer their own form of sadhana. Some will fast all day and night staying up in the home or temples, some in silence, some in kirtan or mantra japa, some offering elaborate puja, some offering a simple fruit or flower. We will be in a hour process of meditation and mantra and some simple movement meditation for all.

With this new moon it is a beautiful time to clear your inner and outer space, listen to mantra or kirtan, read sacred texts, Shiva Sutras, YogaSpandakarikas, Shiva Puranas, take an energy regeneration retreat, take a break from all media, unplug at sundown and use only candle light or ghee lamps. Enjoy a ritual yoga practice and meditation, a japa walk with mantra, love your family and friends and anyone you encounter as an emanation of the One.

Mahashivaratri is a time outside of time for realization and alignment with auspicious (one of the meanings of Siva) consciousness at the heart of all beings. Have a blessed night, day and new moon renewal.”

~Shiva Rea (via Facebook)

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Doreen and the Archangel Michael… Enjoy!

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Daily reminder

“My work consists of transformation… I want to transform you from unconsciousness into consciousness, from darkness into light. I cannot give you a character; I can only give you insight, awareness. I would like you to live moment-to-moment, not according to a set pattern given by me or given by the society, the church, the state. I would like you to live according to your own small light of awareness, according to your own consciousness. Be responsive to each moment.”

~Osho

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Yoga this week!!

I’ll be teaching my regular class on Monday, February 20- which happens to be Shivaratri. Inspirations. Inspirations.

See you there!

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Toddler Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
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Crawling to 3.

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