Posts Tagged Meditation

I get by with a little help

It’s been nearly a month now that I’ve been focusing on the practice of Ahimsa. From the beginning, I was aware that observing non-violence goes beyond peacefulness in my words and actions toward others. I had mentioned Donna Farhi’s more inclusive description, which basically says that any thought, word, or deed that inhibits a being from growing to their fullest potential is a violation of Ahimsa.

The challenge of practicing Ahimsa in that way was rolling around in my head as I began my observance. It required attention not only to interpersonal interactions, but attention to my treatment of myself- in my habits, my thoughts, my reactions, on every level, really. I had to bring a high degree of mindfulness to what I do and how I do it in order to better understand the ways I could be inhibiting my own personal growth and the growth of others.

Within a very short time, I began seeing all the signs that my habits, my diet, my care of myself and my body are shaped by my well-being on an emotional and spiritual level. If I am to allow myself to evolve into the highest and best version of me, I must begin my observance of Ahimsa on an emotional and spiritual level. Slightly daunting, I must say.

So, I began meditating and asking for guidance and doing what I do… and then the Angels arrived. Last week, everywhere I turned, it was emotional health, emotional health, emotional health. I got the message, but I was still experiencing just a little panic about the prospect. I mean, seriously… emotional health. Dealing with my emotions. Putting my foot behind my head? Yes, I can do that. Drinking kale juice? No problem. Sitting in silent meditation daily? Yes, PLEASE! But dealing with my emotions? Shouldn’t I have a doctor or some tranquilizers or something for that??

Thankfully, I am not the do-er. I need simply to allow, and I am not alone as I move forward on my path. See, this week, everywhere I turned, it was Angels, Angels, Angels. They are here, and they want nothing more than to be of aid. Already, two amazing, healing Angel meditations have fallen into my lap. The first is a guided meditation video with Doreen Virtue. The second is an Angel meditation for overcoming anxiety. It can be found here.

Try introducing these meditations into your practice if you feel you could use a little help from your Angels. I am so grateful for both of them, and I had to share.

Thank you, Angels! ♥

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Holding space

I am in such awe of the way things come together sometimes. When I make a conscious effort to open my heart and open my mind, I can usually step out of the way and watch things take shape before my eyes. Unbelievable, but true. So anyway…

As I’m stumbling and bumbling along watching for inspirations, little clusters of goodness have been dropping into my brain. Some amazing notion will pop up and then I’ll see it everywhere for the next few days. For example, I had been reflecting on the peaceful protests that are taking place throughout our country right now, and I recalled hearing about a large-scale meditation “sit-in” that had taken place in Washington, DC in the early 90s. It was in What the Bleep, maybe. It went something like this…

In 1993 in DC, there was an experiment that brought large numbers of meditation practioners into the city and tracked the number of violent crimes during the time they were there. They were to come into the city and sit in meditation. That’s it. No one was to be informed that they were doing this other than the meditators, the police, and those collecting the data. The experiment was conducted over 8 weeks, and the number of meditators increased as the weeks went on. Guess what happened? Oh right… you saw the graph. If you would like a more detailed account of the study, check it out here.

It just amazes me. I know it’s the truth. And still, it totally amazes me how powerful we are when we tap into our most basic gifts. It’s hard not to wonder why this isn’t happening everywhere?? But wait… and I come back around to the Occupy movement. It is happening. The field is fertile for the most unbelievable possibilities. Open, open, open.

As one flower pushes its way out into the sun, it creates the space for the next one to blossom. At first, it’s one here and then there. Each flower that has already begun to blossom must hold space for the others that haven’t arrived at that point yet. Soon, the number of arrivals grows exponentially, and the landscape transforms more and more quickly. Each new crop holding space and creating the conditions for the blossoming of all.

Thankfully, I found Jeanne Ball’s powerful article tying all of these inspirations together so nicely for me. Thanks to her for that. You can see all of these threads weaving together in front of me has me feeling a little poetic and awestruck. She does an excellent job of laying out the possibilities for consciousness (collective consciousness, oneness consciousness…) to determine the direction our world will take now.

I like the possibilities!! ♥ ♥ ♥

L O V E to all.

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Update on 40-day Global Sadhana

More info on the 40-day Global Sadhana honoring the Divine Feminine… it begins Thursday, December 1st. Please watch if you are interested in joining this global community with me.

You can visit Spirit Voyage for additional details.

Sat Nam!

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Practicing gratitude

When I began considering the class I’m teaching this week, I knew right away that I wanted to structure it around the theme of gratitude. Giving thanks.

As I said before, I have recently had a growing awareness of the fundamental importance of maintaining emotional and spiritual health. Since I wrote the post stating my intention to tend to my emotional health and its energetic consequences, I’ve either discovered or re-discovered a multitude of ways to align and balance. One signpost after another pointed to the chakras and the rest of the energetic body as the classroom where I could learn about better health on every level.

Seriously. Every time I asked for guidance since writing that, it was like, ‘Chakras!’… I know but… ‘Chakras!’… but what if… ‘Chakras!’… Ok, ok, chakras!

So, I wasn’t even a little surprised when I asked for help in building my class and the answer was ‘chakras!’ Specifically, the solar plexus chakra (manipura). This is our power center. The center of self and personality. It is also the center of ego-based fear and resistance.

As I began exploring for inspiration and insight, I came across these words of wisdom from Kundalini-Teacher.com:

“The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.”

Not only was I able to build my gratitude class around that powerful idea, I’ve also been working to open and balance my solar plexus chakra each day by practicing gratitude. So, guess how I feel about teaching my class now? Grateful! Funny how that works…

Check out this article by Erica Rodefer for other ideas for expressing gratitude through yoga.

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Wanna see the coolest thing??

Retire your televisions, people! 😉

Soul TV is here! You can now have a continuously updated selection of yoga and meditation classes, inspirational spiritual talks, and general goodness from the amazing folks at the Soul Center.

This is such an unbelievable blessing that they have put this together. But yet… coming from them, I can totally believe it. Check it out and see what all the fuss is about.

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Inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh

The English audio is a little difficult to hear, but the message is well worth the effort. This is a video of Thich Nhat Hanh speaking about meditation and the spiritual path on November 13, 2011. So powerful.

Enjoy!

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Techniques for taming wild beasts

Sometimes I feel like there are lots of people living inside of me- as if I’ve retained an identity from each stage of development that I’ve gone through. When my mind gets going, several of them can be chiming in at once. There is not just an endless stream of thought, there are several layers of it. And all of them have an opinion. All. Of. Them. Except the one that’s a soundtrack.

Meditation reminds me that underneath that chaos, there is perfect order. When I meditate, bringing my mind to focus and stillness is often like an excavation- diving down through each layer of mind, sending it love, and telling it respectfully to pipe down.

Creating this site has been such a blessing. Here, I am doing the best I can with what I’ve got and WOW! Things happen so beautifully even when ‘I’ don’t feel like ‘I’ have the ability to make them happen. Know why? Because the doing is not for me. When I release doing in favor of being, Spirit is able to work through me. In being, my actions organically unfold according to the requirements of the moment. It’s not me, it’s Shakti.

Then, my ego chimes in… “but I want to do it.” My ego is the petulant teenager layer of my mind, by the way. She’s way too saucy to submit to authority without a fight. So, I must do with her as I do with my 3-year-old son when he gets agitated. I stop what I am doing (there’s that doing again), look him in the eye, and be present with him. So, how does one do this with one’s mind? Meditate. Take some time today and feel the L O V E. ♥

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Daily reminder

“The more you depend upon conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experience.”

~Paramahansa Yogananda

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Time change… time for change

Happy Sunday, yoga lovers! Isn’t today a wonderful day to practice opening your heart? Learn more about the anahata chakra here. Namaste!

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Hanging in Patanjali’s yoga tree

“Just as each limb is essential for the optimal functioning of your body, every limb of yoga practice is important.”
~Donna Farhi, from Yoga: Mind Body and Spirit

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes eight aspects of yoga that mark the path to enlightenment. He call them the Eight-fold Path of yoga: Yamas (restraints), Niyamas (qualities), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (control of breath), Pratyahara (drawing attention inward/away from the senses), Dharana (focused attention), Dhyana (meditation/concentration), and Samadhi (bliss).

Although Asana is the most familiar branch to most Westerners, I share Donna Farhi‘s sentiment that all of the limbs are necessary to achieve balance. The first steps, yama and niyama, are a lot like the yoga ten commandments.

During my Yoga Teacher Training, I devoted one week to each of the yamas and niyamas. It built a foundation that brought new depth and understanding to my asana practice. So much so that I’m going to have another go at it. I’m not giving myself any time parameters this time, though. If it takes six months to be ready to move on from Ahimsa, then so be it. Also, I’ll be sharing my original experiences with each yama from this Summer.

Get ready for Ahimsa in 3…2…1…

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