We all make mistakes during our lifetimes, some big, some small, some we regret, and some we learn from. All mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow. Getting an answer wrong on a test, gives us the chance to learn the right answer. Realizing that a wrong decision was made, provides the awareness to make the right choice next time. (more…)
The ultimate goal of a yoga practice and the eighth limb of the eight limbs of yoga is Samadhi, often described as a complete meditative state of oneness. But what does this mean? It is often thought of as a state of a thought-free mind connected with the body, but this would make it a goal of the separate individual. On the contrary, the oneness of Samadhi is a oneness with All: (more…)
Springtime is the time of year when we come out of the darker days, hibernation, and colder weather of the winter season. We soak in the warmth of the sun, our energy levels begin to rise, and we become more active with the longer days. All of Nature, including us humans, begins to wake up, grow, and become more energetic. Along with this we often have an urge to do some spring cleaning – to clear away the old and stagnant and to create the space for rebirth and growth.
Sara suddenly awoke from a deep sleep. The light of the full moon was so bright that at first she thought that dawn was approaching. Intrigued she went out into the backyard to look at the majestic and magical moon. The moon seemed to hang directly above her as she stood within the semicircle of trees she called her little forest. Sara was amazed at how warm she felt on this frosty night even though she was only in her pajamas.
The Parthenon, the ancient Greek temple to the goddess Athena, is often thought of as a symbol of architectural perfection. From a distance it does look perfect, but upon close inspection, it becomes apparent that it is precisely imperfect. The floor curves, the columns lean, and there are hardly any right angles and barely a straight line. Even the individual pieces of the structure are unique and non-interchangable. (more…)
As a healer I’ve often been confronted with the challenge of: How can I help facilitate the healing process? Healing is a complex process where not only the physical, but emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects need to be addressed as well. These aspects are all parts of our being, and when in balance and healthy, our well-being.
True healing does come from the inside out, but what if it can’t get out? (more…)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually stumble across a pot of gold!? Some of us my aready have one, or in other words, be financially secure and well-off. Though having money makes it easier to do stuff and buy more things, it does not bring happiness and joy. Whether we have money or not, we all experience in different ways and to different degrees the challenges of life. (more…)
It’s that nagging cold that just won’t go away, the back stiffness that’s been there on and off for years, or that inexplicable pain in the hip that makes activity impossible. These common “every day” ailments are, well, all too common. We seem to live in a world where having something wrong with us is almost the norm, and to alleviate the symptoms, we look for external solutions, such as physical therapy and pain pills. But what about the internal solutions – healing from the inside out?
Both from personal experience and from my experience as a healer for the past twelve years, I have witnessed the body’s amazing, yet natural, ability to heal. Unfortunately we often ignore, misinterpret, or are just unaware of the messages our bodies are telling us, and of the healing they are trying do. By tapping into our intuitive sense, by trusting those feelings and seemingly random thoughts about our health, and by listening to the physical messages our bodies send us, we can detect imbalances in our bodies and develop faith in our bodies’ ability to heal.
Saint Francis of Assisi came from a wealthy family. He had all the comforts of luxury for his day, but he saw that material things and pleasures could not fill his heart and soul with joy and peace. He left this existence of emptiness and suffering for the life of an ascetic monk. He chose a life of material poverty so that he could find abundance within his heart through teaching love and compassion and providing service towards others, not only to humans but also towards both animals and the environment. Today he is the patron saint of gardens and animals.
My fellow 2BAware writer’s recent post, Living Life to the Fullest…What Does It Really Mean?, reminded me of one I wrote some time ago…
Living Life to the Fullest
It seems like so many of us drift through everyday life just waiting for the chance to escape from it, dragging ourselves through the week just to get to that weekend “get-away”, finding a retreat to go to, or, at the other end of the spectrum, engaging in unhealthy and self-violent activities in hopes of forgetting about life. Withdrawing, retreating from Life, essentially means not wanting to live it. We cannot live life fully, if we wish to escape from it.
There are many different types of energy work, incorporating a broad range of often ancient techniques. Energy work may be one of the oldest forms of healing and many types of energy work stem from ancient shaman and seer practices from centuries ago. Though, as the name indicates, energy work focuses on balancing out and promoting the flow of energy in the body, it often also takes a holistic approach by including breathing and movement exercises, meditation and self-awareness practices, herbal and food/diet remedies, as well as lifestyle changes to assist the healing process. Here I will introduce five types of energy work for holistic health:
From the Buddhist perspective, death is not the end, and it is nothing to be feared. It is just one of the steps in the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. These steps are called bardos: states of consciousness, which include life, death, and everything in-between. (more…)
As we approach Valentine’s Day, many of us are planning and preparing to celebrate love, but do we really know what that is? What is love? My brother summed up the answer to this perennial question best: Love is a verb. No, it’s not just a morpheme used to make a syntactical structure grammatical, but an action. Love is acting selflessly, doing what is best for others, and giving unconditionally.
The Buddha developed the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path as a means for each of us to understand the nature of suffering, i.e. what suffering is, and to show us a way to overcome it. Though they are his teachings and guidelines, each of us still has to come to the awareness of what suffering is and how to free ourselves from it on our own. Being told or studying how to do something doesn’t mean we truly know and understand it. We must go through the process and do it ourselves. And usually it takes a lot of practice, practice, practice! Understanding ourselves from within is no different.
Tibetan Buddhist Medicine is a traditional system of healing. It looks for the causes of disease, including karma, and incorporates herbs and foods as its medicine. In addition it uses meditation, visualization, and mantra as forms of medicine. The Medicine Buddha Mantra is a meditation practice, a visualization practice (on the Blue Medicine Buddha), and a mantra. Chanting the Medicine Buddha Mantra can assist the healing process.
The next mantra I’d like to present to you is a mantra to the Divine Mother. Most religions, whether monotheistic or polytheistic, have a figure who represents the Divine Mother and Mother Earth, such as Gaia, the Virgin Mary, Frigg, Demeter, Tara, Pachamama, Isis, Prakriti, and Shakti. Ancestral spirits, the souls of mothers, grandmothers, etc. who have past, can also represent the Divine Mother.
Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra associated with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, also called Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit), Quan Yin (Chinese), and Chenrezig (Tibetan). Recitation of Om Mani Padme Hum is said to purify one of the sufferings of the ego: pride, jealousy, desire, ignorance, clinging, and anger.
Sometimes a teacher will come into our lives at just the right time, regardless of whether we’re looking for one or even know we need one. A few years ago this happened to me, quite unexpectedly, when I met Simba. My teacher wasn’t a Zen master, or a lama at the local Buddhist center. He was no ordinary teacher; he was a dog.
The Twameva Sarvam mantra, sometimes called the Twameva Mata mantra after the first two words, is a another beautiful Vedic meditation chant. Twameva Sarvam means: You are all in all (everything). This mantra is a meditation on the True Self, the Ultimate Reality, the Universe, the Oneness of All.