Category: Meditation

I knew it was coming.  It was inevitable.  Today the announcement was made in the Berkshire Eagle.  It’s too much to process right now.  It’s a big deal for me, and many, many others.  There will be many stories in the days to come.  Mine will be one of them.

My first visit to Kripalu Ashram was right after Gurudev Amrit Desai, the Guru, had left.  That was 1993?  Over the next couple decades I commuted to Lenox frequently to assist/teach/train/volunteer/retreat and then some.  The Kripalu Community spans the globe and when I did volunteer work at the Amrit Institute in Florida a few years ago,  I discovered even more how the teachings of Swami Kripalu are available in other places as well.  Nevertheless, the feng shui and energy of this property will live on.  I hope I get to go there again.

I’ve written a lot here about Kripalu.  If you’re interested type Kripalu into the search bar.

more to come.

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back to the Hill House

 

 

Holistic Health Kripalu Meditation Yoga Yoga Therapy

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Even those who know little about astrology have probably heard of the infamous “Mercury Retrograde”.

Here’s a list of articles in the New York Times, of all places.

It’s definitely true and accurate that during the 3-weeks (9 thru out the year) this planet appears to move backward,  an illusion explained better here, things go wonky here on earth.  Astrologers, such as myself, can accurately predict when and where in one’s life this retro-active period will manifest.  If you are a therapist (one who ministers), of any kind, you can help your clients/students/peers prepare and use if for the best possible outcome.  It’s not all bad. In fact it can be a very productive time for re-do’s.  Don’t judge it, is good advice.  Yoga Therapy provides good results as it teaches us how to stay centered amidst a swirling, confusing environment.

Symbolic Mercury (The Messenger) governs most things that require mental energy.  Thinking, writing, reading, speaking, listening and all the tools to do those things:  pens, pencils, sticks, computers, television….  Post Offices, Information Services, Libraries….all Mercurial places experience unexpected disruptions  during this time.  Yesterday, I was standing at a cash register with a human attending it when the card reader started spitting my card out with a nasty buzzing sound.  The human said, “It’s been doing that all day!”.  She’d never seen that happen before.  She wasn’t having a ‘good’ day.   We took a breath together, and I finally got out of the store.  Mercury retrograde shows up everywhere….if/when you know how/where to look.  Studying astrology trains the mind in ways that are really helpful.  It is believed by many that studying astrology prevents mental illness.  Mental illness and all kinds of mental states can also be investigated thru the placement of Mercury, natal & by transit.

Mercury is in Pisces for this first retrograde period in 2020.   Hah!!  Forget about study and logic with that placement.  Pisces is a poet, not an analyst. But, that doesn’t make Pisces wrong…..or right.  Their mental pathways towards decisions, choices, and impulses are different from the other zodiac signs.  Pisces represents the sum total of everything learned from all the other zodiac signs.  Pisces represents the “all”,  the collective unconscious, and it does so non-verbally thru spiritual experiences as well as addictive behaviors and other means of operation. Mercury here can be challenging for those who have no regard for intuition, psychic phenomena, spiritual practices, or artistic pursuits.  Institutions such as: prisons, hospitals, campuses, monasteries, ashrams, etc.  may also have a rough time with this retrograde period.   As for me I plan to work on some older, left behind watercolor paintings as well as my collection of creative non-fiction pieces.

As a college student I did a research project on intuition.  Where it comes from.  How to develop it.  Astrology guided me in understanding how intuition played a part in my life.  Yoga taught me how to recognize intuition from busy-mind thinking.  Meditation helps me find still-mind.

May this retrograde period bring peace and ease of mind.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

 

Astrology Meditation Time Management

Blogging Geometric Art Meditation

Last year I stumbled upon an online course teaching the basics of Islamic Geometry as an art form.  With joy I dug into the box that held my old drafting tools from college. I found my compass, triangles, and even some old architectural drawings from my classes.

I’ve been fascinated with the Sri Yantra  for years.  During some of our  yoga workshops we spent some time coloring it in, being mindful and present and watching our thoughts/feelings/sensations during the practice. Everyone enjoyed it.  It is a good way to practice dharana and dhyana, concentration and absorption.

 

The Sri Yantra, is considered the Mother of all Yantras, and there are many of them.  Together they, and many other geometric forms and patterns make up the library of sacred geometry, a science that has fascinated me since my teens.  As I attempted to recreate this ancient pattern I was reminded of the rich symbolism that permeates all  the Vedic sciences, including geometry & mathematics.   As I painted it. layer by layer, I once again recognized impatience., my yearning for perfection, and my struggle with ‘is it enough?’.

Sri Yantra is composed of 9 interlocking triangles, four point up representing the masculine principle and 5 point down representing the feminine.  Everything begins at the Bindu point  The circle represents cosmic rhythms.  The 8 and 16 lotus petals represent on-going creation and expansion.  The four gates representing the directions within a square representing earth, manifestation, and stability.

The Sri Yantra is sacred geometry, meaning that meditation upon it leads to expanded consciousness, enlightenment, or, as some report, extremely good fortune.

All that said, it has been amazingly pleasant to paint the Sri Yantra and I’m on my 4th one.  My patience is growing and I feel serene at completion.   Spiritual practice and meditation can come in many forms.

 

Geometric Art Meditation Yoga

May I devote my life to learning.

May my highest self shine forth

May I uplift my soul through meditation & prayer

May I join with others to share love & truth.

 

This Sunday we’ll be practicing Metta Meditation at The Sanctuary.   Metta, or loving-kindness is one of the heavenly abodes according to Buddhist thought.  It’s a particular state of mind, of being, that is imbued with peace, love, & harmony.  It feels good.  It feels great to practice it with others.  Lot’s of others.

The spiritual practices of the east are very comforting to me. Yoga relaxes the flesh and Meditation reorganizes the mind.  Once you’ve got flesh & mind calmed down life is good.  The difficulty is that something inevitably  changes, and  peace is disturbed. When a pebble lands in the pond, the mind  alerts and the body, due to the time and culture we live in, immediately goes into fight/flight/freeze.  There’s very little pause and reflect anymore, which of course is a YUGE problem everywhere.

When we meet for metta practice, we are acknowledging that some of our life’s challenges are other people, or better said, our relationships with other people.  Metta Meditation is a way to relieve the stress of our internal conflicts with people, places, or things.

The Jersey Shore is packed, already.  It’s like it was when I was a kid.  It’s time to see with ‘new eyes’ again.

Jai Bhagwan.  Om Shanti Om.

Asbury Park Blogging Meditation The Jersey Shore

 

 

Once again my own words fail me.   Here are some from the Buddha.

 

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

The Metta Sutra

 

Buddhism Dharma Meditation philosophy Poetry quotes Yoga

1. Put the pen to the paper.

2. Draw a line or a dot.

3. Repeat.

4. Begin Again

5. Stop when it feels complete.

Doodles Meditation

Do you imagine the universe is agitated?

Go into the desert at night and look out at the stars.

This practice should answer the question.

 

The superior person settles her mind as the universe settles the stars in the sky.

By connecting her mind with the subtle origin, she calms it.

Once calmed, it naturally expands, and ultimately her mind becomes as vast and immeasurable as the night sky.

~Lao Tzu

Astrology Meditation philosophy quotes Teachers

Today, my own words fail me.  Here are some from the Buddah

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Reposted from Aug, 2008

Buddhism Dharma Meditation philosophy Poetry quotes Yoga

Ancient Wisdom Buddhism consciousness ecstatic poetry Meditation Music