Tag: <span>Feng Shui</span>

harpatkripaluJULY 2007, KRIPALU CENTER FOR YOGA & HEALTH, Lenox, MA
I was sitting in the back left corner where they stored the blankets and backjacks.  Its the spiritual-gua in ‘feng-shui-speak’, of the Main Chapel and I was self-soothing with my harp, Angelina.  It was a safe spot where I knew I could recover from the day’s stress.   I had gotten reamed out by a 6’2” incredibly handsome Native American Indian chief for playing with his eagle feathers.  Who knew?!  “Don’t touch!” he screamed at me just after I had picked up a heavily decorated bundle of them.  My hands just can’t resist touching sometimes.

Just being in this space was soothing, but being here at Kripalu with “Angelina” was really special.  I’d had many different experiences with her here, and I can certainly attest to the commonly held belief that harps are magical.   To be at Kripalu with my harp is a union of magic & spirit that keeps me coming back to this place, still.

The chapel was being set up for the weekend finale and all was a buzz with joyful, anticipatory energy.  Volunteers were setting up back jacks, audio people were untangling wires, musicians were tuning, someone was playing with the lights, and I was just plum excited to be a part of it all. I had been part of the geek squad doing A/V for years.  I longed to be part of the musicians group.   Later that day, over 400 people would crowd into this sacred space together for the highlighted concert featuring spiritual music from many different world traditions.  And of course that would include the bhakti yogi community which includes the chanters, musicians, dancers, and various others.  Not everyone who practices yoga practices asana.

I was one of the unpaid volunteers that happily did whatever was asked of me and thus I was assigned to the group of pow wow drummers which is how I came to be with the Indian Chief.  It was my responsibility to attend their workshop and satisfy their needs as a representative of Kripalu.
Well, I learned that one does not touch an Indian Chief’s Eagle feathers.  It really upsets them.

So, I’m on the floor strumming my strings and soothing my rattled ego, when a tall, thin, young, African-American man came up to me and introduced himself as Akim Funk Buddah.     He was in the chapel doing a sound check for his performance later that day.  All the other performers were using live music with live musicians.  He, on the other hand, was using only recorded music but wanted to include some live music too, but how?  It was literally the ‘11th hour’ and he only had himself, it was much too late to call in any of his musician friends.

“Hey!  Would you play your harp during my performance? ” he asked.    I had no idea what his performance was, I’d never heard of him before, but, I thought, ” I’ve loved everything that I’ve heard here at Kripalu so how bad could it be?”.  Of course, all the ‘I’m not good enough’ thoughts crowded into my mind too.  Those thoughts were really, really loud!  But, I reminded myself, again, ” I’m at Kripalu and nothing here can harm me and I’ve been sitting in the spiritual corner?  It’ll be ok.”    Faith & I were friends at Kripalu.

So, I leaped at the opportunity!  Have harp, will share…..you know?   I explained that I wasn’t exactly a pro but I would do what I could.  He only had 10 minutes to rehearse with me, and that was it.  Up until that point every performer and workshop leader had offered music that induced a spiritual trance state.  There were sitars, harmoniums, drums, gongs, bowls, and shakers of every kind.  So when Akim put on his recorded music, which I hadn’t heard before I impulsively agreed to play, and performed his ‘act’,  I went into a complete panic!  Yipes!  It was Rap to some electronic beat rhythm!  “That’s not music,” my judging mind shouted at me.  I revolted and rebelled and reminded myself of how much I resist that genre of music.

me_harp_kripaluSo, how do I play the harp with this?   Not a clue.  My higher self said “just play, do your dharma, let go of outcome, dedicate  it to the well-being of all, see what happens.”  But still, there was no melody to get in tune with, nor were there chord progressions, or harmonies, or opportunities for arpeggios to embellish and add to his performance.    Harp & Rap?

I played.

They cheered.

And later I heard from many how absolutely mesmerizing it was to hear/feel those harpstrings weave in and out and all around the heavy electronic beat of this rappers rap.   No one had ever heard anything like it.

Nor will they again, because some things only happen once which is why it’s so important to experience the present moment, all the time.

Someone took my picture during that performance.  Photo’s & recording devices were not allowed in the main chapel back then and  I personally prefer it that way, but, I am so grateful to have this photo to remind me that yoga means union, and there’s only one musician here.


Om Shanti.

©All rights reserved. Ida Cullen, 2016

Gratitude to Kripalu CenterJennifer Reis Shaun Laframboise for that weekend’s experience.  May you continue to be blessed by our lineage.

Ancient Wisdom Astrology Blogging digital photography Feng Shui My photos philosophy

To me, feng shui is a perspective that we cultivate.  It’s a way to see life that is impersonal, intuitive, and timely.  For instance, My attention was just captured by a young man cleaning up his dog’s solid waste deposited on the concrete alley behind my apartment’s garage.  That would be the “root’s” area of the bagua.

It’s an interesting mental exercise to see these seemingly random changes to our environment as symbolic of laotzu3something larger.  It’s easy to go into la la land too.  But by following the ancient rules and laws of metaphysics, there is a certain truth that becomes revealed from this line of inquiry.

We look outside of ourselves for validation, for information, for pure entertainment. Feng Shui challenges us to look at these same externals and at the same time reference something inside and personal.  As they say, outside noisy, inside empty.

Feng Shui, to me, is environmental yoga, a way to bring ourselves into greater harmony and balance with what is.

Notice, today, what changes occur in your yard and home.

Blogging Feng Shui philosophy quotes

moons nodesAs I write this, Chiron is in active conjunction with the North Node at 18+ degrees of Aquarius.  As many of you know, I have been actively watching Chiron’s travels for a while.  For me, this conjunction with Rahu (the vedic term for: North Node of the Moon) is a good opportunity to sweep and de-clutter the path in preparation for the ‘new earth’.   Wherever Chiron goes, healing occurs………………………or not.

The north node is a place and not an object in the sky.  It is a symbolic moment in time/space that has no physical substance to it like the moon or mars.   Think of it as a line bi-secting the earth & moon ecliptics.

Many astrologers have decided that the nodal fields of activity are our relationships with other people, present day company and also past company as in both childhood and past lives.  Karmic experiences are highly likely for those with a belief system that supports this notion.  (In India where Vedic Astrology began, karma and past-lives are an integral part of their belief system.  Hindu’s Buddhists, and the followers of Guru’s all share a deep respect for the laws of karma and extend this respect to their honoring of all beings.)

Nodal contacts can bring new people into our lives for new relationships and/or create so much separation between us in existing relationships that we finally (?)break apart.  Because the north node always occurs with a south node it can be a little confusing to know which has more ‘juice’ at any moment. A gifted astrologer can really help here, seek one out.   The rule of thumb is that the NN will lead you towards future karma or dharma, whilst the SN reflects to you more of your past karma.  Since Now is the only moment that really counts the challenge is to balance the two energies and find common ground.  When a planet highlights a node, as is the case today, it makes it easier to find the particular relationships in your life which are operating on a karmic level, and which aren’t.  (ie.  the grocery clerk who winked today, or a phone call from an old friend)   Look around.

Aquarian energy will be the common denominator for awhile.  (The NN will remains in Aquarius for about 18 months and then it moves on to Capricorn.  It is about halfway into it’s cycle. )  Also note that the nodes revolve around planet earth in the opposite direction from the planets/asteroids.  Think of this conjunction like you would preview a ‘movie trailer’ with a release date of 2009 – 2010. (More on this to come.))

Some keywords for Aquarius are:  friendship, terrorists, eccentrics, genius, intuitive, future-oriented, difficulty with intimacy, objectivity, out-of-the-box, humanitarian.   One might wonder why the word terrorists is on that list and that’s a good question.  I will leave it for another day and I encourage you to meditate on it for the greater good of all beings.  Om shanti.


The 19th degree of the Sabian Symbols (always round up) says:

A forest fire is being subdued by the use of water, chemicals and sheer muscular energy.

The keynote reads:  the skill and courage necessary to bring under control the destructive potential fo carelessness of karmic “visitations”.

Oh!  I left a word off the keyword list above………Aquarius is also the sign of aliens and extra-terrestrials.  Hmmm.

Time for bed.

Links tomorrow if I have the time.

May all beings be peaceful.

Astrology consciousness Karma Planets and their Cycles Time Management Yoga