Category: Buddhism

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Time is a horse that moves with seven rays,

with a thousand eyes, undecaying,

who projects a manifold seed.

Him the seers mount, illumined in mind.

His wheels are all the worlds.

Time moves seven wheels.

He has seven mouths, whose center is immortal and undecaying.

He anoints himself with all these worlds.  He moves as the first of the Gods.

A full vessel is set in time.

May we who live see his manifold forms.

He faces all the worlds, who, the seers say,

is time

in the supreme

void.  He gathered all the worlds together.

He encompasses all the universe.

As their father, he became their son,

apart from whom there is no other light.

A VEDIC HYMN TO TIME

(Atharva Veda XIX.23, 1-4)

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Feng Shui, the oriental art of placement, has been around for thousands of years. For generations its principals have been handed down as a form of folk wisdom.  Masters and adepts were called in to clear out negative spirits. Homes were sanctified and protected by invisible space.

The techniques evolved over time to include: Choosing building sites, designing the interior environment, and placing furniture.

When done, consciously, good health and good fortune will follow.  It’s written in the stars.

Over time thrThe Wayee different schools of thought developed, each of which addressed environments from a different, yet compatible, point of view. The Taoists were the earliest practitioners, followed by those who called themselves Confuscion’ists.  The most recent school of thought has been developed by Buddhists calling themselves The Black Hat Sect. More recently there is a growing group of practitioners doing research and development with a technique known as Local Space.  You won’t find much written on this before 1990 or so because it is too mathematically complicated to learn without a computer and a rudimentary understanding of astrology.

The underlying principal of feng shui, and all the esoteric sciences is the concept of Chi. ( Prana is the word that is used in Vaastu Shastra,)  Chi is the life force energy that flows through everything. It’s invisible yet powerful, and when it is blocked or obstructed it can impact our lives in  surprisingly undesirable ways. Learning how to arrange our landscapes, our living rooms, and our lives  in alignment with flow of chi energy is what feng shui is all about.

Telluride by Frank Lloyd Wright

This experiential course of study will enable you to practice feng shui for yourself and for others.  If you’re interested in becoming a professional in the field I offer a mentorship program available to those who qualify.

The course of study that I have developed begins with the philosophy of feng shui and covers how belief systems combine with human psychology & science to create our life circumstances.  Additional topics will include:

  • How and why feng shui works.
  • The three different schools and what each has to offer.
  • The Elements. Balancing the elements is a key component along with determining the best geographical direction for sleeping, cooking, and working.
  • The geographical directions.
  • The maps. (Bagua, Local Space, Astro-Cartography
  • The problem with clutter.
  • Feng Shui in the Garden.
  • Eliminating sleep problems with feng shui.
  • How to increase wealth & resources.  Finding a career or job.  Selling/Buying real estate.
  • Smoothing out relationship difficulties.
  • Living with electro-magnetic energy and it’s impact on our health.

Creating safe and sacred space.

Ida’s interest in feng shui began during college while studying art & interior design in the 70’s. She gained practice in the field while working as a real estate agent. Today, she uses feng shui along with yoga & astrology to help others create balanced, healthy, lives. Some of her experience in the field includes: Brookdale College, St. Barnabas Hospitals (NJ), the Breast Center at Monmouth Medical, Lucent Technology, NJ Supreme Court offices, a golf course, 100’s of residential properties, real estate offices, retail stores, yoga centers large and small,  business offices and schools.  she has been a state & national presenter at various conferences teaching others how to balance their lives with Feng Shui.

 

Ancient Wisdom Buddhism Feng Shui Holistic Health

the tortoise

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

Pulitzer Prize for poetry

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Recently, I have had many good reasons to delve further into how & why we heal. Because, some of us actually do heal from our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual challenges. And some of us don’t.
It’s a fine line that divides those that do from those that don’t, and it takes a  subtle, intuitive eye to discern. Microscopes are useless if you’re looking for the big picture.
I’ve learned from a 40+ years of raja yoga practices that we are, indeed, more than just our bodies. We are more than our minds and our emotions, too. This is a concept not easily grasped by many. And yet, there are certainly changes to see. Look around. Beginings and Endings are what help us be ‘in time’.
When I began to learn about symbolic languages, brand new neural pathways formed in my brain. Modern day brain science has validated for me, everything that I knew intuitively growing up. And, I am not alone. Many, many, many people, everywhere are waking up to the same realizations about who we are, and who we are not, every day.
The Alphabet vs The Goddess, by Leonard Shlain is a wonderful book that really makes a bold statement about how language has shaped us as a culture, and as individuals. A fascinating read.
Many of my early astrology teachers required us to memorize the meanings of the houses/signs/planets by using KeyWords. Once you had established a growing vocabularly it becomes easy to create interpretations. Whether they are accurate, useful, or necessary is a discussion left for another time. It was clearly understood by many, that you cannot understand and learn astrology from just reading books about astrology; most especially if you were planning on consulting with clients as a practice.
Gotta run.
Om peace.Man's First Breath

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What happens when you integrate astrology into the yogic practice of self-observation without judgement?

Self-inquiry is a spiritual practice that directs our energy and our attention inward. It’s a particular form of self-discovery that encourages one to first recognize and then drop the social mask (also known as the persona, personality, or ascendant) and practice authenticity in every moment. (rather than productivity or some other external goal). In, The Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, he describes a Buddhist practice of sitting quietly and repeatedly path with heartasking yourself, “Who am I”, over and over until you reach a point where something in the body/mind relaxes (?) and a subtle shift in consciousness happens. It’s one of those things that you have to experience for yourself and hard to describe.

Svadhyaya is one of the niyamas (from Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga) that encourages us to look at ourselves, clearly, without prejudice. It’s a challenging task and requires constant practice. Kripalu Yoga is the methodology that i practice. It brings the physical and energetic bodies into the mix by developing a heightened sense of awareness to sensations, breath, thought patterns, and spontaneous emotional expression.

man-astrologyAstrology attempts to find meaning in the natural order of the cosmos. Everything has it’s own time, it’s own season, and every minute that passes is unique. Astrologers observe both long term & short term trends and relate that information to the present moment. In addition, astrology also adds mythological, archetypal, & psychological dimensions that are extremely personal and relevant.

Natal Astrology looks at an individual (or oneself) thru a lens that has no prejudice. The natal horoscope does not see: gender, race, religion, economic status, socio/cultural differences, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any of the ways in which we categorize ourselves. What the natal chart does describe is our ‘energetic’ makeup and the timing of unfoldment. The ‘how’ is up to us. There are many ways to manifest the potential of our horoscope. It’s the energy pattern and the timing that are pre-determined. All else is free will. When approached with equanimity and non-judgement the natal horoscope becomes an impartial map of possibility with a built-in clock to help one connect to the present moment more intimately.

Yoga & Astrology have co-existed harmoniously in various cultures for eons.yantra cropped Each discipline recognizes the value & contribution of the other. Across the centuries, astrologers have continued to relate the movement of what is above to the movement of what lies below. Whereas, at the same time the yogi’s were discovering what lies without, also exists within. They both agree that here & now is important.

Yoga provides us with the tools to help us be with that moment in peaceful co-existence. Astrology helps us to understand the characteristics of the our particular ego-state and the nature of the obstacles that impede our path towards a higher consciousness. Yoga helps us to smooth out the obstacles, minimize the ego drives and approach life’s challenges in peace. Astrology provides us with the nature of the ever-changing present moment. Yoga practices train us to respond to the ever-changing moment with acceptance. Astrology, when properly understood, can advance us towards spiritual awakening. Yoga does the same.

As a Professional Kripalu Yoga Teacher & Astrologer it’s taken me most of my life to bring these two paths together in a way that goes beyond the mental field or intellect. After 30+ years of study and practice I have now reached a point where I can no longer keep them separate. My personal practice and the programs I offer always include the cosmic point of view in an attempt to teach the hermetic principal, As Above, So Below. For those who are ready for the practice of self-inquiry and seek to approach life multi-dimensionally, astrology & yoga together can be quite enlightening.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

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Worn-out garments

Are shed by the body:

Worn-out bodies

Are shed by the dweller

Within the body.

New bodies are donned

By the dweller, like garments.

Not wounded by weapons,

Not burned by fire,

Not dried by the wind,

Not wetted by water:

such is the Atman.

Not dried, not wetted,

Not burned, not wounded,

Innermost element, Everywhere, always,

Being of beings,

Changeless, eternal,

For ever and ever.

–bhagavad gita 2:22-24

 

from The BHAGAVAD GITA:

The Song Of God,

translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood.

Vedanta Press.

 

Ancient Wisdom Buddhism philosophy

meditation

Sylvia Boorstein, an esteemed teacher of Theravada Buddhism, once led me into a meditation exercise where I was asked to notice every thought and to label it as painful, pleasurable, or neutral.

Easier said than done.

First, ‘notice your thoughts’. Anyone who has practiced meditation in any of its forms immediately comes face to face with the difficulty in this seemingly simple task. I have been practicing yoga & meditation since the mid 70’s so some of those initial obstacles to the task have become somewhat easier.

Putting these thoughts into three simple categories was also not quite as simple as it seems. The first thing I discovered was that I had to ‘think’ about it. Many of my thoughts seemed to span across all three categories and could fit into any one of them depending on the time of day, time of year, or present day circumstances of my life. Consider the thought, “I am hungry”. If that thought is accompanied by strong, uncomfortable sensations in my belly the thought might be quite painful. If the thought is occuring just as I drive by a wonderful restaurant, the thought would fit in the pleasure column. And, if the thought occurs in the middle of a yoga asana, neutral would be the proper categorization.

The purpose of this exercise is to bring further into the light of consciousness how our desire nature governs our minds and actions. The same thing applies to that part of ourselves that resists pain. Neutrality, the middle path, brings us closer to separating reality from illusion. Nearly all thoughts that fall into the pain/pleasure column take us away from the present moment into either the past or the future. When we are thinking about past/future our mind becomes disengaged from our body. The body is always here, now. The mind is the time traveler and when it’s not here, now, is when suffering occurs. (according to G. Buddah)

The yogi’s have their own way of teaching these same truths. The Klesha’s represent the obstacles to enlightenment and mirror the same obstacles set forth by the Buddhists. Essentially it all comes down to greed, aversion & delusion.

Whew…………..heady thoughts for a quiet Sunday morning. I just finished reading Breakfast with Buddah. A good read.

zafu

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According to Patanjali, there are quite a few obstacles towards reaching the promised nirvana of yoga. Sickness, apathy, doubt, heedlessness, sloth, (i love that one), dissipation, false vision, nonattainment, and instability.
The Buddhists speak of the three poisons…greed, aversion, and delusion.

Regardless of who you choose to listen to, the message is similar. Our human condition of wanting, worrying, and wondering clearly distracts us from the bliss of a higher consciousness.

What to do?

Just keep practicing.

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So, the last time we discussed Eris we were talking about strife, discord, and chaos; looking for where in our lives those circumstances are showing up.

For me, Eris lands smack in the center of my tenth house which is also populated by an Aries North Node.

Eris in the tenth seems to be showing up by placing me in circumstances where I must ‘publicly’ assert myself in ways that are habitually uncomfortable. Hmm, that deserves a portion of my meditation time.

Today had been March 31, 2007 and I can honestly say that there’s an awful lot of ‘strife’ in the world. My observations lead me to believe that the root cause is not Eris, or any other thing that is ‘outside’ of ourselves. Heal the strife within…..

ERIS

April 9, 2007……thought I’d check in with Eris, the goddess of strife, discord, and struggles. Philip Sedgewick gives the astronomical position of Eris as 20AR46 as of April 2. When you have an orbiting planet/asteroid as far away as Eris is it helps to have some kind of reference/resource to help us understand. The Sabien Symbol for 21AR is ” A Pugilist Enters The Ring”. (I am refering to Dane Rudyhar’s book titled The Astrological Mandala) When Eris reaches 22AR, the forecast lightens up tremendously…..we then get to experience “the gate to the garden of all fulfilled desires.” Wow! Sounds special, doesn’t it? Let’s check back in and see when it’ll reach the twenty-second degree of Aries? …..April 30, 2007……enjoy it while it lasts because in Oct it develops retrograde motion and returns to the stance of the pugilist.

Webster defines the pugilist as: ___________________ (Fill in the blank)

Time passes slowly sometimes. Now it’s May 30, 2007 and Eris hasn’t budged. Continuing strife, discord and chaos……. and I can see the light, too.

Moving thru this kind of Eris energy for decades without end can be really, really, stressful.

May all beings be peaceful.

om

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