Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Saturday, 11. October 2008
Seven Steps of Forgiveness
Let’s face it - most people probably think of forgiveness as the last resort of losers. It’s what you’re left with after you’ve been victimized and can’t figure out a way to inflict revenge. If there’s no way to even the score, then you might as well settle for feeling a little better about yourself by becoming noble. And if you forgive what happened to you, maybe someday you can forget all about it. Or, maybe whoever hurt you will eventually feel guilty about what they did, and come begging for your forgiveness. Then you get to decide whether they deserve it. (Probably not!)
However much lip service is paid to the religious ideal of forgiveness, my guess is that this is how the majority of people think about it. And that’s a shame, because real forgiveness is the key not only to healing victimization, but to actually preventing attacks while reducing anxiety, increasing intelligence, and maximizing creativity. In a time when our politics is obsessed with the fear of terrorists, real forgiveness is the best tool we have for fighting terror where it actually starts: in our own minds.
One doesn’t have to be an acute observer of the political scene since September 11, 2001 to understand that fear makes people stupid. What’s less obvious is that forgiveness makes people smarter -- and thus better able to deal with whatever misfortune, attack, or outright evil they may encounter. That’s because forgiveness teaches you how fear, resentment, and terror work by progressively revealing these states of mind within yourself. When you successfully release a little grudge or fear (and guess what: fears and grudges are the same thing), you’ll see the next, bigger fear that was hiding behind the little guy. When you comprehend that bigger fear, you’ll begin to perceive the generalized anxiety behind it; as you begin to pierce the cloudy veils of anxiety and resentment in your mind, you may begin to see how you’ve been subtly terrorizing yourself for years. And you can rest assured that if you’ve ever terrorized yourself, you’ve intimidated someone else whether you meant to or not.
What we think of as terrorism for political purposes arises from exactly the same roots deep within the human mind; the symptoms are more violent, but the sickness is the same. When you personally understand how terror arises, grows, and feeds on itself within you, then you will understand how it works in other people, and you will be better able to spot where it’s taking root and help undo it without creating victims in the process. That’s why I don’t think we need a Patriot Act so much as we need a Forgiveness Act, but I’m no fool: that kind of legislation ain’t gonna get pushed through Congress anytime soon. That’s all right because forgiveness is ultimately democratic: it’s up to each of us to transform our hearts and minds, and then forgiveness will spread on its own.
Now I’m a provocateur at heart, so I wouldn’t leave you without a plan of action. Although you will soon discover that daily, ongoing forgiveness is an incredibly complicated process of unexpected revelation and personal revolution, the way into it is relatively simple. Over the years I have condensed my own discipline into seven steps that can be adapted to your own use, and they go like this:
2. Hold in your mind the image of whatever is to be forgiven - yourself, another person, a past event - and say, “I release you from the grip of my sadness, disapproval, or condemnation.” Concentrate quietly on this intention.
3. Imagine for a while what your life will be like without the sorrow or grievance that has been haunting you.
4. Make amends with someone you’ve hurt or someone who has hurt you; tell a friend about your self-forgiveness; or otherwise bring your inner work to your relationships.
5. Ask for God’s help to overcome fear or resistance at any step. If you do not believe in God, ask for help from nature, humanity, and the mysteries of your own mind. These are the channels through which aid is sent - and aid is always sent.
6. Have patience. Forgiveness induces healing which follows its own order and timing. Whether you think you have accomplished anything thus far is less important than the fact that you have attempted a radical act that will call forth change likely to exceed your expectations. Go about your daily business, but stay alert to unexpected shifts in your thinking, feeling, and relationships.
7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 as often as necessary, for life.
That’s it! You can fight terror today by forgiving the next little thing that bugs you - and then forgive whatever comes next. Rest assured that on your way to greater peace, sharper intelligence, and a true fearlessness, you’ll always find plenty of opportunities to forgive.
Exerpt from A Little Book of Forgiveness by D. Patrick Miller.
Available direct from the publisher at http://www.fearlessbooks.com
or at Amazon.
Saturday, 20. September 2008
Karma - What Is It and What Is Its Influence?
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
Karma is always there and influences our lives - This is the essence of Karma.
To understand Karma fully, we need to understand the concept of reincarnation.
Reincarnation simply means that everything is repeated. Something which exists continuously therefore leads to repetition. Past, present and future are therefore interwoven. Our lives are influenced by this law and every creature on the earth is born and then dies and is reborn.
Read more ...
Saturday, 13. September 2008
How to Create an Affirmation That Works
A positive affirmation can lift your life and help you achieve your goal. Such an affirmation sends your message to the Universe, and the Universe listens and responds in positive manifestation of your desires.
Use only positive words. The Universe does not acknowledge words such as "not" or "don't". So, instead of saying "I am not poor" (the Universe will only hear "I am poor"), say "I have enough money for all that I need".
Indulge yourself in the moment as your affirmation sinks in. Then, let it go. By not dwelling on how the change might show up, you let the Universe work her magic naturally.
Keep your affirmation short and specific. Focus on one key element at a time, without the clutter of many desires all at once.
Repetition of your affirmation means your desire can sink into every fibre of your being, settling naturally into your way of life.
First thing in the morning or last thing at night when you are your most relaxed are good times to use affirmations. Our minds are more open to absorbing behaviour-changing patterns then.
Generally, work with any single affirmation a maximum of two weeks. This isn't too long for staleness to set in, but long enough for the message to sink to every corner of your self-perception.
Dedicate your energy to every time you repeat your affirmation. To parrot your affirmation undermines its power and is a waste of time.
Source: Affirmations by Anita Revel.
Check also the hundreds of affirmations to help you achieve your goal in your career, love, health, parenthood, community and more ... or have a bit of fun with this Affirmations Generator. When you have your perfect affirmation that flows easily, fluently and often, prepare to receive what you are helping to manifest.
Monday, 14. July 2008
Are Your Thoughts Killing You?
Are you aware of the thoughts that are detrimental to your health, your relationships and your achievements?
Do you know how to create the life you desire?
We all have this amazing centre of power - "Our Mind" - to use to create the good life we desire.
Most people do not know how to use it wisely.
This is why for some people life is a real struggle, while for others life flows smoothly. Why do you think this is?
Everything in life starts with Thought!
The minds job is to think and it doesn't filter what it thinks, that is our responsibility.
Do you think before you speak?
Once a word is spoken it cannot be retrieved; the damage is done.
Thoughts are real forces. What does that statement mean to you?
Read more ...
Tuesday, 08. July 2008
Meditation Through Dance
Dance as liturgy or ritual has always been a way to honor the sacred, the mystery, turning into the spiral of life and the universal, the ever-present flow of the Divine force. It has profound implications for healing, psychotherapy, spiritual growth, and the full unfolding of human potential. Sacred dance can be done by anyone and in any mode. It may be part of an ancient tradition or may emanate in the moment. It can range from simple walking steps in a circle to elaborately costumed processionals. When you can let go, the natural flow of energy dances you. It opens up the channels of the body to clear away old emotional blockages, belief systems that no longer serve, and memories the body has held onto long after their usefulness disappeared. We allow life to dance us again.
Bringing Sacred Dance Back to Life
In the beginning we will find many voices within us that are unknown, repressed, afraid to speak, and unaccustomed to spontaneous and direct expression. We will literally be using dance as a bridge between consciousness and the psyche. Through dance we tap into the body's unconscious memories, layer by layer. Then the healing begins. As we continue our discipline of movement and image dialogues, poetic and private insights emerge through relaxed and spontaneous expression to show us the way.
Creating Your Sacred Dance
The stage, the altar, the studio -- whatever space you designate -- is the sacred dancing ground, and the dancing time is time out of ordinary time. The dancers enter consciously, sensing the difference between the busy outside world and the dedicated dance space. This is the hallowed ground, dedicated to and ruled by forces that are not personal, not individualistic.
After one enters the sacred space there is, ideally, a period of quieting down. Physiologically, you might start with deep, slow breathing, bringing scattered thoughts to a still, introverted point of focus.
Here are some keys that will help your dance become more meaningful for you, which I derived in part from my work with the Dances of Universal Peace. Even one or two of these techniques will have quite a profound effect.
Read more ...
Monday, 23. June 2008
How to Find Balance
Finding balance is one of life's great goals, but it can be as elusive as it is desirable. Change your approach and its true nature will emerge.
When you're balanced, you can feel it. You get the sense that your life is moving along steadily. You take things in stride. You feel healthy and vibrant, challenged by your life, but relaxed enough to enjoy it; protected by the familiar, but excited by the possibilities ahead. So why does achieving it -- and maintaining it -- seem so difficult to do for so many of us?
Study balance a little closer, and you realize that what many of us perceive to be the ideal balance is in fact not balance at all. Unlike, say, a balanced scale, a balanced life is not symmetrical, still, or neutral. Like riding a bike, living a balanced life comes easier to you as you gain momentum. From that perspective, the myths and truths that follow can help you find a new understanding of balance -- and, finally, a way to get there yourself.
Myth 1: You must be even-tempered.
Truth: Balance encompasses the full range of emotions.
You may think the balanced person takes everything in stride, never gets upset or irritable, rarely gets depressed or overwhelmed. But that's simply not true. Balance is not about remaining placid and peaceful. In fact, by avoiding negative emotions such as anger, grief, or sadness, you are causing an unhealthy imbalance, says medical intuitive and neuropsychiatrist Mona Lisa Schulz, author of "The New Feminine Brain: How Women Can Develop Their Inner Strengths, Genius, and Intuition."
So go ahead, get angry. Have a good cry. True balance is achieved by understanding the nature of our moods and feelings, not by suppressing them.
Myth 2: Balance is effortless.
Truth: Balance is efficient.
In physics, equilibrium is a state in which all external forces cancel each other out, with no one force exerting dominance over the other. That's how balance can work, too; it's not that you're not exerting any effort, it's that you're providing just the right amount for each need.
When you're balanced, your exertion is distributed so well -- your big muscles doing the big work and your little muscles carrying a lighter load -- it feels effortless even though it's anything but. One way to tune in to your balance is to appreciate your physical balance, whether through running, walking, or doing yoga or any activity that calls for focus.
Myth 3: You must be in control.
Truth: Real balance means being in flux.
At the circus, all eyes are on the tightrope walker. Why? Because where there's balance, there's also tension and risk. The tightrope walker's talent and skill resides not in her ability to defy gravity, but in making the hundreds of subtle, incremental readjustments to account for imbalance. In the same way, our ability to achieve balance is in learning to reestablish it when forces put it to the test.
This is why stability alone is not balance. The more we cling to things (circumstances, people, possessions) to hold us in balance, the less we rely on our internal strength and flexibility to adapt. And because balance is not a fixed point, but always moving forward, we need to move forward, too. This can mean embracing change and allowing ourselves to evolve.
Moving to a new city, letting go of an old relationship, or losing a job are potential triggers for imbalance, and any one of them has the potential to throw you off your axis, causing stress, exhaustion, or anxiety. Balance comes when we adapt to change, rather than try to resist it. But you can start small: Encourage and practice smaller-scale changes in your life so that you're better prepared to handle the bigger ones.
For two other myths and five ways to change your brain: Read more ...
Monday, 16. June 2008
Feeling Stuck? Eight Steps to Get You Moving Forward
"I know what I need to do, but I just can't get myself started." Who among us hasn't been caught in this scenario before? We know what to do, but we cannot seem to put knowledge into action. As a result, we feel frustrated and stuck. Common signs of being stuck include boredom, stress, increased focus on distractions, or a constant internal "should" voice.
When you know what to do but don't take action, it is because you have an inner conflict. One part of you wants to get started and move forward. Another part of you wants to stop or give up. As a result, you have an inner tug of war, and neither side is stronger than the other side. You know what to do, but you just can't seem to make any headway.
Moving forward into action requires not allowing these two parts to maintain a perpetual battle and keep you at a stalemate. You really are not jammed between a rock and a hard place, it just seems that way. When you bring your conscious awareness into the situation, when you become aware of your two opposing sides, you can lead yourself to success. Both sides of the conflict are your inner team players and it is up to you to get your team out of conflict and into a cooperative effort - moving forward together toward a specific destination.
Use the eight ideas listed below to move beyond complacency and start making your dreams come true:
3. Thoughts Determine Success
Earl Nightingale has a saying: "We become what we think about." So what do you think about? Are your thoughts centered on fear of failure, or the joy of taking action? Thoughts have a powerful impact on your attitude, and your ability to get started. Learn to focus more on the excitement of your goal or dream. Spend time thinking about the outcome you want. Play with your goal, have fun with it. Feel how wonderful it is to imagine yourself having what you want - exactly the way you want it.
4. Start Small
Sometimes it is difficult to begin taking action because you are overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies before you. Your goal looks HUGE . . . so daunting and complex that you freeze up. It helps to break down your goal into manageable pieces. You probably already do this in other successful areas of your business or personal life. You take something big and chunk it down into bite-sized pieces. You make a list of action steps, prioritize, and separate the "nice-to-have's" from the "need to have's". Then you work the first piece first, eventually moving on to the second, the third, and so on. Soon that overwhelming task doesn't look so insurmountable any more.
5. Change Your Routine
How long has it been since you have wanted to have the outcome of your goal, but you haven't moved forward? One way to get unstuck is to shake up your routine. Take a moment and notice the patterns of your day. Have they become predictable and dull? Now check out the goal you have in mind for yourself. Is there perhaps one step in your goal that sounds kind of fun, exciting, different? Not only could you begin taking action on something you have been wanting all along, but it could shake you out of a rut.
6. Reward Yourself
One way to motivate yourself to do something when you don't feel like doing it is to offer yourself an incentive. Don't wait until after you achieve your goal to reward yourself, start now. Give yourself small rewards on a regular basis. Take one teeny tiny step forward and reward yourself for 1) remembering that your goal is important to you, 2) for choosing an action, and 3) for following through. Rewarding your efforts and your successes can do wonders for your motivation. Find ways to make the change you are creating as enjoyable as possible. No one is forcing you to change; it's something you've decided to do on your own. Rewards don't have to be big or expensive, they just have to be something meaningful to you. Make a list of delightful rewards and link them with your actions!
7. Connect The Action With Pleasure Not Pain
When you find yourself lacking motivation, you may be associating the action with pain, rather than pleasure. For instance, when deciding to lose weight, you may be associating the experience with having to eat food you hate, feeling deprived, associating exercise with physical pain or embarrassment, or envisioning failure. Turn this negative cycle around by reminding yourself of your immediate and long-term positive benefits. Make a written list of the instant and future payoffs to working on your goal. What will you gain by choosing to work on the goal? Staying focused on the positive unleashes your internal motivating force and changes your attitude about the actions you are considering.
8. Act When the Idea Is Hot And The Emotion Is Strong
Eventually it's the right time to turn ideas into action. If your ideas have been nurtured and developed, you will know intuitively when it is time to begin. Be aware of when your idea has gained momentum. Notice when positive emotions are present and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. When this happens, follow up immediately! If you hear about a motivational book that makes you curious, go out and buy it. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. If five minutes of exercise sounds good right now, don't wait until tonight. Don't force yourself to do forty minutes. Go outside and walk five minutes. Tell yourself you did a great job. Feel really good about listening to your inner self and following through. When the time is right, take action.
Give these eight ideas a try and see if you don't find yourself pushing through feeling stuck into invigorating action!
Eight Steps to Get You Moving Forward by Dr. Annette Colby, RD.
Tuesday, 10. June 2008
What’s so Special about Gratitude?
We usually think of gratitude as something that our parents taught us as children – to say ‘thank you’ along with ‘please’. And so it became a habit – not thought about much, more of an automatic, rather than a considered response. As a result, we have lost track of just how important and essential having gratitude is.
So why is gratitude important?
Just for a minute, think of all the things you are grateful for, such as, loving friends, partners and family, pets who love you unconditionally, good health, great holidays you’ve had, as well as everyday items such as a comfortable home, electricity, TV, fridge, and clean water when you turn on the tap. The list, in fact, could go on and on.
We need to alter our perceptions – our view of how the world is and how things affect us. And if we can do that, then we can start to feel gratitude and as a consequence, start to feel good!
So here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
Make a list of everything you take for granted in your life, and be grateful for them – clean water, electricity, telephones, computers, transport systems, rain, health, clothes, family, friends, work.
Start looking at the good in your life – see what’s right instead of what’s wrong.
Learn to be grateful for mistakes – see them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Smile and say ‘thank you’ to as many people as you can each day – the postman, supermarket cashier, bus driver, the car driver who lets you into the queue of traffic.
Send a ‘thank you’ note to someone who has helped you, even in a small way – make this a habit and your appreciation will grow.
Take a moment to appreciate the world around you – a sunset, a flock of birds, trees, blue skies, and the fact that the sun gets up every morning!
At the end of each day make a gratitude list – a list of all the things that have happened today that have made you smile and cheered you up: write down at least five, but aim for ten.
Realise that the more you concentrate on gratitude and seeing the good in everything, the more you will be surrounded and blessed with wonderful things to be grateful for.
Realise what a difference having gratitude can make to your life. That’s why gratitude is so special – use it to feel good!
Source: What’s so Special about Gratitude?, article by Linda McGrory.
Thursday, 05. June 2008
Calling All Angels
The more we call upon the angels, the more they can come to our assistance. Here are some ways to call the angels in.
Angels want to surround us, and they greatly desire to give us help. Our joy brings them enormous pleasure. Yet, they cannot help us unless we ask. A universal law that binds angels says, "No angel shall interfere with a human's life unless asked, with the sole exception of a life-threatening emergency. An angel will not make decisions for a human, but-when asked-an angel may offer advice and different ways of looking at the given situation."
So an angel may nudge you or encourage you, and an angel may create a miraculous coincidence for you. However, an angel cannot help you unless you choose to accept the help, because you have free will.
To ask for angelic assistance, you needn't conduct a formal invocation ceremony. God and the angels aren't complicated, due to their true nature of pure and simple love. Only our lower-self ego believes that spirituality is necessarily complicated, because it cannot believe that something so powerful and great could be accessible to everyone instantly. Yet, it's true.
The angels hear the prayers of your heart, and just by your mental cry for help, they flock to your side. You can also consciously ask for more angels to surround you or your loved one. Parents can ask for angelic baby-sitters to guide and protect their children throughout the day. If a loved one is traveling, ask Raphael and the angels to watch over the journey. Ask the angels to help your friends who are in need of comfort and direction.
Some ways to call upon the angels include:
Writing a letter to the angels. Pour out your heart when discussing your confusions, hurts, and anxieties. Hold nothing back, so that the angels can help every part of you and your situation.
Visualizing. Call it your inner eye, your imagination, or your third eye-the term doesn't matter. Visualizing angels is a powerful way to call them to your side. See the angels flying in circles around you or your loved ones. See powerful angels thronged by your side. See the room you are in crowded with thousands of angels. These visualizations are angelic invocations that create your reality.
Angels are glowing with the light of love, so they don't have a physical form. However, angels can take on a physical appearance by projecting a mental image to us, if this will help us. So if you visualize cherubs, large glowing beings, or a beautifully dressed angelic woman, the angels will take on this form to help you recognize them.
Mentally calling upon angels. Think, Angels, please help me, and they are with you instantly. If you are sincere in your call, the angels hear your mental cry for assistance. You can word your request as an affirmation, such as "I have hundreds of angels surrounding me now," or as a petitional prayer: "Angels, I am in pain and need your help now." You can ask God to send you angels, or you can call the angels directly.
Speaking to angels aloud. You can verbalize your request, and sometimes we do this unconsciously, such as when we say, "Oh, God" during distress. You might find that spending time alone in a quiet setting, especially outdoors in nature, is a wonderful opportunity to have a verbal conversation with the angels.
This article is excerpted from "Angel Therapy" by Doreen Virtue. Available at Amazon.
Angel Therapy with Dr. Doreen Virtue at Hay House Radio:
What are your angels trying to tell you? Every week, Doreen Virtue gives you ways to get in touch with your angels, gives angel readings live on the air, and tells each lucky caller about the angels who surround them and the messages they have for them.
Angel Therapy with Dr. Doreen Virtue at Hay House Radio
Every Wednesday, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT.
Free registration is required and you can listen past shows in the archive.
then listen to the last programme in full here:
Angel Therapy: May 28, 2008
Tuesday, 03. June 2008
The application of traditional Feng Shui practice and principles into your life can undoubtedly be of major benefit. Living as we do in a yang phase of humanity's development where science is the dominant leader, most theories have to be subjected to the rigorous testing of Cartesian and Newtonian laws. However, Feng Shui and its associated disciplines come from a more yin appreciation of ourselves, our environment, and our destiny. It is hard, though not impossible, therefore to measure much of this valuable wisdom from today's analytical yang perspective.
Much of the following is common sense, and many people are already intuitively practicing it.
There are three stages to undertaking this important task:
Dealing with the vibrational or outstanding emotional issues in your life.
Drawing from the suggestions in Section 3 where you can begin to work on your health and well-being.
You need to be ruthless. Make a note of your possessions, going through the house, room by room, and be clear about what you use on a regular basis. Excess baggage is material that is either redundant, broken or has been waiting several months or years to be repaired! Old clothes, unwanted gifts, out of date magazines, old college notes, broken gadgets all fall into this category. Clothing, utensils and tools that you use on a seasonal basis are not regarded as excess baggage and can be stored away conveniently and brought out when appropriate. Try to avoid an old mistake of filling your attic or basement with boxes of junk that you promise yourself you will go through one day. Be ruthless!
If you are young or single, living in rented accommodation, think where you may have stored your excess baggage? Did you leave it in your parents' attic? Have you left it in the basement of your brother's home? If so, you need to work on this as well as, in the long term, it is not going to do them any good. Have friends, a neighbor or relative taken a job abroad and left trunks and suitcases of their baggage in your loft? If you are unclear how long you are expected to store their 'excess', contact them and clarify this point. If it looks like it is going to be a vague ongoing process, you need to be clear and get it sorted.
We can easily slow down our progress in life by being too caught up with the past. On an emotional or vibrational level, reflect on what outstanding business there may be in your life. Pay particular attention to any outstanding or incomplete conversations you have had with a friend, relative, business colleague or an ex-love. Unresolved issues in our lives are very similar to untidy desks with mountains of paper work! Clearing the air, clearing the desk opens up possibilities. Take a moment to draw up a list of those you need to phone, write to, or have coffee with to resolve any misunderstanding or outstanding issues.
The Metal element in Oriental healing relates to the lungs and large intestines. Both of these organs are responsible for absorbing aspects of the external world within us, as well as being responsible for the elimination of excess. The health and the efficiency of these two vital organs is naturally reflected in how well we deal with excess baggage in the world around us. Chronic breathing difficulties or digestive problems inevitably lead to a deeper physical stagnation within us and a darker, gloomier outlook on life. In other words, stagnation sets in.
If you feel this is an issue with you, make cleaning a daily ritual rather than a daily chore. Done briskly, on a reasonably empty stomach, energetically and with some uplifting music in the background, you can get the job done while at the same time recharging your chi. For my first year as a student of the Oriental healing arts in the 1970s, I had a part-time job as a cleaner. Looking back, it was the most care-free, enjoyable, invigorating and satisfying job I think I have ever held. Although a humble position, in many ways I was responsible for setting the tone of the building. It is not uncommon today to find monks who dedicate their lives to spiritual practices in monasteries, interspersing their days of study with bursts of energetic cleaning.
Naturally, prevention is considered the best cure among all the great healing systems. Keep your home brightly charged and clear of unwanted baggage and you open the doors to new possibilities. Surround yourself with junk, debris, dust and old chi and you simply attract more of the same. Do you recall as a child that you would never dream of walking across your parent's sparkling clean kitchen floor? However, if it was dirty and covered in smudge marks, you wouldn't think twice about it because your muddy footprints would not be noticed so much! Walking through a leafy litter-free suburb, you would not expect to find anyone throwing rubbish on to the pavement. However, if there is a vacant plot where somebody has already dumped some rubbish, before long you will find everyone else is doing the same. Simply speaking, this is called 'big yin attracts little yin!'
This article is excerpted from "Feng Shui for Life" by Jon Sandifer. Available at Amazon.
Tuesday, 27. May 2008
Kinhin - Walking Meditation
Perhaps you envision meditation as something completely peaceful and still. Not always. Meditation is a tool for calming and concentrating the mind any time, any place. Sitting meditation comes first because it's easiest, but there are other kinds. One of the most important is walking. Now that you've tried sitting, try kinhin, a Zen form of walking meditation.
Don't think about it, just experience it. You will find not thinking about it very difficult at first. You may take pride in your movement when it's smooth and graceful. If you're beaming with pride or thinking too much, remember that you're just walking — no reason to get puffed up. Relax your thoughts and let your mind calm down.
If you can manage this slow kinhin, try speeding it up, letting your arms relax and swing normally. Try doing kinhin outside. Eventually you'll be able to bring kinhin awareness into normal walking. It's the first step toward bringing meditation into your whole active life.
Fast Walking Meditation
In Japan kinhin is done really fast. It must feel good after a long session of sitting meditation. You're probably not doing whole days of meditation like Zen monks do, but you might want to try this during finals time or some other time you've been sitting too long and need action.
The meditation techniques we've talked about so far are usually done indoors. For fast walking meditation, it's best to have a large space to walk in. Unless you live in a big house, it will be easier to practice outside. The back yard is often good, since you won't run into anyone there, and no cars will run into you. Plan your route before you start the meditation. Walking around the perimeter of the yard is good. Try to stay on flat ground.
Sit in meditation for a few minutes until you can follow or count your breath without getting lost too often. Stand slowly. You can take the same posture as in kinhin, or you can let your arms hang normally at your sides. It is a bit harder to do with arms hanging because they'll begin to swing. Don't let it bother you, just let it happen naturally. Next, start walking. Keep your eyes half open so that you can see where you're going, but don't focus on any one thing. Don't risk tripping and falling over, just don't get hung up on what is in your field of vision.
Start slowly for a few breaths. Once you're moving and able to return your mind to breathing, you can pick up your speed to a normal-to-brisk pace. Remember, you are still meditating. You may be tempted to start thinking, to look around, even to stop at an interesting place such as the fridge or the basketball hoop. These are thoughts. Don't follow them. Let them fall away. Return your mind to meditation. Tougher here, isn't it? You are expanding your meditation farther into your life. You can practice fast walking meditation anytime you walk.
This article was excerpted from 'Buddha In Your Backpack' by Franz Metcalf.
Available at Amazon
Friday, 16. May 2008
What Is Cosmic Ordering?
At it's simplest, cosmic ordering is making a carefully worded "wish" and sending it out to the cosmos in the hope that your wish (or order) willbe answered.
Despite the fact that it has recently come to people's attention, partly due to the television star Noel Edmonds putting it as the main reason for his spectacular career comeback, cosmic ordering has been around a long time.
Its roots can be traced back to at least the early 1900's when Wallace D Wattles wrote a book called The Science of Getting Rich. In this, he talked about thinking about things to turn them into reality. This may sound simplistic but if you actually stop to think about it, it's perfectly sensible. Near enough everything you see around you started as a thought in someone's mind - the computer you're reading this on, the chair you are sitting on, the room around you. Every one of these started as a thought.
Cosmic ordering takes these thoughts and focuses on them. You send out a precisely worded request to the cosmos (or universe or your god if you prefer) and then let the cosmos deliver on that request. Some requests are simple and will be delivered by doing nothing more than this. Others are more complicated and will take some effort on your part to come to fruition. Yet others are so far away that they will need a lot of effort before they can become part of your reality.
One of the problems a lot of people have with the Law of Attraction (which is very closely related to cosmic ordering) is that they dream up a request and then get disappointed when it doesn't manifest itself into their life in a few hours or days. A common request is to win the lottery. The trouble is that a large number of other people are also putting out this request and the numbers involved just can't work for everyone. Almost 95% of lottery winners only get 10 times their stake back. So even if you "win" the lottery, chances are that you've only won $20.
It's far better to focus on a slightly smaller goal. Ideally, one that you are more in control of. It's also worth starting small - you've done that with most everything else in your life if you think about it. As a toddler, you took time to be able to walk even one or two steps without falling down. But that didn't stop you and eventually you learned how to walk.
It's the same with cosmic ordering. Start small. Send out a small request - say for a parking space to be clear for you or the next few sets of traffic lights to be green for you - and get it fulfilled. Then work up to a slightly larger request, get that filled, and so on.
Make sure your requests are worded positively. Your subconscious mind is working with you on this and it needs clear directions to get what you want from the universe. Negatives or lack of clarity will getin the way of your cosmic order being filled for you.
7 Principles of Cosmic Ordering
Anyone can do it, anytime. But to ensure success there are several key principles that are important to the process of Cosmic Ordering. If you want to explore the process of Cosmic Ordering more thoroughly then there are several excellent books on the market. However to get you started, here are 7 key principles of Cosmic Ordering.
1 Decide What You Want
This is perhaps the most challenging part of the process, knowing what you really want and never has the term "be careful what you wish for... You might get it!" been more relevant. To help you work out what you might want, review the questions on the what to order page.
2 Make Your Orders Positive
Make your orders positive, present tense and personal. This is very important, avoid negative words like not and no, instead try to phrase your request positively in terms of the things you want. Keep your orders personal to yourself, order only beneficial things. Placing hateful, negative or vengeful orders are likely to backfire, so keep your orders coming from a loving place of the heart.
3 Order In the way that works for YOU
To each, their own. Every person is unique and each person has a different sense of their connection to the Universe. Place your orders in any way that suits you. Many people like some ritual or other mood to accompany and empower their orders. Do whatever is right for you.
4 Trust the Process.
Trust the process of Cosmic ordering. It is often best to start with simple orders, like a parking space or something similar until you build sufficient trust and understanding of the process. Part of this is letting go and leaving the Cosmos to deliver your order in the best possible way and at the perfect moment for you. It is in our nature that we try to control everything around us, but it is important not to be to prescriptive as to HOW our order is going to be delivered and relaxed about the timeline. If we attempt to, we simply interfere and restrict the creative possibilities open to the Universe to deliver our order.
5 Trust your Inner Wisdom
Allow your inner wisdom to guide you in your choices. Trust yourself to place the perfect order for yourself one that states what you want and perhaps when you think you might want it delivered. But an order that strikes the right balance between action and allowing. You must allow the Universe to bring you your order, this means letting go of all anxiety and holding complete belief that the Cosmos will deliver for you, but at the same time being open, aware and ready to take the opportunities that the universe may bring you as part of its delivery.
6 You Deserve It
You deserve to have a wonderful life, believe it, live it. The universe is infinitely abundant and we all deserve our good. Accept that you deserve good things; if you cannot bring yourself to believe that you deserve good things, it becomes difficult to ask for them with an open and honest heart. Whilst the words of your Cosmic Order might say "I have a beautiful car!", your thoughts might be "I don't deserve it." ... that message is your true belief and that is what the Cosmos will deliver. When you place your order, know that you do deserve it.
7 Acknowledge Your Successes
Feel gratitude when your Orders are delivered, recognise the amazing power of the process. Even if you suspect that your delivery may just have been a coincidence, recognize also that what your requested WAS delivered. Recognising and rejoicing in your ordering success will serve to reinforce your belief and therefore the success of your future orders!
Source: The Cosmic Ordering Website by G Symond.
You can also place your own Cosmic Orders online right now there.
Friday, 09. May 2008
Icaros, Sacred Songs of the Amazon
Icaros are medicine songs, used as part of the toolkit of Shamans and Curanderos in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. They claim the spirits of the plants communicate with them through Icaros. Every being in the rainforest has an Icaro and its melody alone is believed to possess curative powers. These songs have been described as the "quintessence of shamanic power".
Typically, but not always, they are used in Ayahuasca ceremonies to fulfill such purposes as removing bad spirits from an afflicted person. Typically, icaros are sung with the accompaniment of a Chakapa.
Below is a great article found at Ross Heaven's Blog (You really must have a look at that amazing site about Shamanism.)
Plant Spirit Shamanism: Icaros, the sacred songs
Integral to any ayahausca ceremony are sacred chants sung by the shamans to call the protective jungle spirits, summon the essence of nature, and to provoke the mareacion or effects of the ayahuasca by making a plea to the spirit of the vine. In the words of Javier Aravelo, quoted in my book, Plant Spirit Shamanism, icaros “render the mind susceptible for visions; then the curtains can open for the start of the theatre”.
Icaros may be magical chants or a melody that is whistled, sung, or whispered into the ayahuasca brew. They may also be sung directly into the energy field of a person who is to be healed during a ceremony.
An icaro can be regarded as an energetic force charged with positive or healing intent that the shaman stores inside his body and is able to transmit to another person or to the brew itself so that this positive energy is ingested when the mixture is drunk.
These songs are taught to the shaman by the spirit of the plant allies he has an affinity with, and the longer his relationship with the plants, the more icaros he may learn and the more potent they will be.
The power and knowledge of an ayahuascero (ayahuasca shaman) is therefore measured in part by the number of icaros he possesses. Javier, for example, has worked with many different plants for 15 years and now knows the spirit songs of some 1,500 ‘jungle doctors’, including the icaro del tabaco (the song of tobacco – one of the most sacred of Amazonian plants), the icaro del ajo sacha (the song of ajo sacha) and the icaro del chiric sanango, amongst many others.
There are precise and specific icaros for many different purposes - to cure snake bites, for example, or to clarify the vision during ayahuasca ceremonies, to communicate with the spirit world, or even to win the love of a woman. Huarmi icaros - from the Quechua word ‘huarmi’ (which, loosely, means “woman”) are of this latter category.
There are also icaros (called icaros de la piedra) which are taught to the shaman by encantos (special healing stones which offer spiritual protection), and icaros to the spirits of the elements, such as icaro del viento, which calls upon the spirit of the wind.
Other icaros, such as the ayaruna - from the Quechua words ‘aya’ (“spirit” or “dead”) and ‘runa’ (“people”) - are sung to invoke the “spirit people” – the souls of dead shamans who live in the underwater world - so they may help during a healing or an ayahuasca ceremony.
Icaros can also be transmitted from a master shaman to his disciple but, once again, it is nature that is regarded as the greatest teacher and the most powerful songs are those learnt directly from the plants themselves. To learn these songs the shaman must fast or follow a special diet for many weeks as he treks deep into the rainforest to find the appropriate plants and places of power where the magical music of nature can be heard.
Art by Ross Heaven
The words of the chants he then learns are symbolic stories telling of the ability of nature to heal itself: how the crystalline waters from a stream will wash clean and purify a person who is unwell, for example; or how bright-coloured flowers attract hummingbirds whose delicate wings fan healing energies. You might also see such things in your ayahuasca visions as a response to these icaros, but what actually heals you is more likely to be the insights that arise from the experience and which allow inner feelings to unblock so that bitterness and anger can change to ecstasy and love.
A few verses from the icaro madre naturaleza (‘song of mother nature’), which was taught by the jungle to Javier Arevalo, demonstrate the deep bond between the shaman and the natural world, and the healing that is available to us all.
Don't leave me, don't leave me
My mother nature
Don't leave me, don't leave me
My mother nature
For if you will leave me
I would die or of the pain
My tears of desperation
My mother nature
Yes you have the gift of life
Sacred purification in you hands
Blessed mother nature
Don't leave me don't leave me
My mother nature
Don't leave me, don't leave me
My mother nature
For if you will leave me
I would die or of the pain
Tears of desperation
The white veil that your you have
As it covers this child
Clean my body and spirit
With the breath or of your lips
Dearest miraculous Mother.
Don't leave me, don't leave me
My mother nature
Don't leave me, don't leave me
My mother nature
For if you will leave me
I will die of the sorrow
My tears of desperation
In the mountains or upper jungle
Where you give me peace and prosperity
Without regrets neither bitterness
Dearest pure Mother
Don't leave me , don't leave me
My mother nature
Don't leave me , don't leave me
My mother nature
For if you will leave me
I would die or of the pain
My tears of desperation
Where you Take a bath with the plants
Blessed Child put onto me
Your crown of health
Eternally in my heart
Komuso: Japanese Zen Priest
Komuso were Zen Buddhist Priests who used to travel about playing the Shakuhachi for meditation and alms. Komuso means "Priest of Nothingness."
While I was in Nagoya last month, I was walking to my temporary home for the night (an internet cafe) when I encountered a vision out of Japan's past -- a Buddhist priest playing a Japanese flute known as a shakuhachi.
The shakuhachi player was dressed as a komuso, a type of Zen Buddhist priest who once wandered throughout old Japan playing their flutes for alms and meditation. Like some kind of ghost, the komuso just stood there playing his flute while people walked around him practically ignoring him as he ignored them. It seemed a thing unreal.
Centuries ago in old Japan people in cities and villages were accustomed to the sight of a Buddhist priest playing a bamboo flute with his head completely covered by a straw hat. This was the komuso.
Komuso practiced saizen, which is meditation through blowing on the shakuhachi, as opposed to the sazen, which is meditation through sitting as practiced by most Zen followers.
The shakuhachi flute was the instrument used to achieve this desired state. Shakuhachi derives its name from its size. Shaku is an old unit of measure close to an American measurement of a foot. Hachi is eight, which in this case represents the measurement of eight-tenths of a shaku. True shakuhachi are made of bamboo and can be quite expensive going upwards to $5,000 in modern times.
Old and new Japan blending together. ©2008 D. Weber
Komuso wore a woven straw hat, which covered their head completely looking like an overturned basket. The concept was that by wearing such a hat they removed their ego. What the hat also did was remove their identity from prying eyes. It's no wonder that komuso was a popular disguise for spies and supposedly the deadly ninja.
When the Tokugawa Shogunate came into power over a unified Japan at the beginning of the 17th century, the komuso came under the government's wary eyes. Many komuso had formerly been samurai during the Sengoku (Warring States) period (16th century) and were now lay clergy. The potential for trouble was there because many of them had turned ronin when their masters were defeated -- most likely by the Shogunate and their allies.
In 1868, when power was relinquished by the Shogunate to the emperor, the komuso bore a significant brunt of the animosity from imperial forces. Komuso were so synonymous with spies for the Shogunate that the komuso were utterly abolished in 1871 and even the playing of the shakuhachi as a solo instrument was prohibited for several years.
The komuso had meddled in the affairs of the secular world and ultimately paid the price for it. The practice of the komuso did not die out entirely though and shakuhachi continues to be played for both entertainment and meditation.
A chance encounter with a vision from Japan's past by David Michael Weber, Ohmy News.
Tuesday, 06. May 2008
Dancing the Tango with your Crystals
An advanced Connection with Crystals
The previous article Learning to "dance" with Crystals - Connecting to Crystals dealt with the, introductory, physical and spiritual connection to or dancing with gems. Here we will explore an advanced process, the deep passionate tango that allows you to connect to the healing frequency of crystals. It is a profound experience and one that leaves you feeling empowered and energized.
We are all uniquely individual and therefore we do not experience things the same way. It is imperative that you trust your own experience and that you allow yourself to flow with your own feelings and perceptions. Always remember the only two rules as far as gemstones / crystals are concerned:
2. If in doubt and for all other rules refer to rule nr. 1.
You do not need a specific crystal for this process as you will be connecting to the Crystal Consciousness, the big boss of the Mineral Kingdom.
Find a comfortable position where you will not be disturbed for a while.
In your mind's eye and in any way that makes sense and works for you, see yourself entering a cave that takes you deep under the surface of the planet.
As you move along should you feel uncomfortable or doubt yourself in any way, return to this time and open your eyes and rather try again later or perhaps another day since you don't want to spoil this experience but you want it to be profound and lasting.
Permit yourself to move freely, deep into the cave. Experience the cave completely, using all your senses, listen to the sounds of the earth, hear water dripping, hear the wind in distant chambers, the sounds of silence.
Listen to your steps echo as you walk along.
Smell the earth, the rock and stone, the dampness. Smell the cool air and allow your sense of smell to expand.
Become aware of changes in the temperature, feel the coolness of your surroundings, feel texture of the earth beneath your feet.
As you breathe in and out taste the earth on you tongue.
Stand still and allow your senses to develop and expand, move between sight and sound, between feel, smell, and taste experiencing the cave totally and completely.
In your stillness stretch your senses to their fullest, hear the inner silence, feel the inner spaces and just be still in this moment.
As this process depends largely on your ability to connect to the cave, the surroundings and the experience of being within the earth, take your time.
In the vast stillness of the cave and your own being, you become aware of a presence. As this presence slowly takes shape, you feel entirely comfortable, safe and secure.
Allow this being to materialize completely in shape and in Essence; this is The Keeper Crystals, The Keeper of the Mineral Kingdom and The Keeper of this Consciousness.
Your inner wisdom will guide you as you experience this Presence hearing the sound of the Mineral Kingdom.
A tone, the healing frequency of the Mineral Kingdom.
Feel the tone vibrate through and around you.
Know that once you leave this place you will carry the tone within your being.
When you are ready slowly disconnect from this space and place, by thanking the Keeper of Crystals, bringing your energy back and returning to the surroundings of your reality.
As you have experienced the tone of the Mineral Kingdom and you carry it around within your being, you can use it during your healing sessions or for your own healing process. You can channel the frequency of the tone through your hands, by hearing it with your inner ear and transferring that energy through your hands.
This healing tone encompasses all the minerals, known and unknown and is the universal sound of the Mineral Kingdom. You are able to use this tone by thinking about it or hearing it within your minds as it is now part of you.
Source: Dancing the Tango with your Crystals by Elmarie Swartz.
Her website Healing Journeys - Energy is a place where you will find a lot more information on healing as well.