Tag Archive | meditation

Qi Gong- A moving meditation

Qi gong is a practice that involves engaging in a series of movements as well as using the mind to move light or energy through or around the body. It has been used for centuries in China as a method to maintain as well as improve health and is also used by accomplished practitioners to heal patients.

Joins Stefanie on Wednesday mornings at 9am-10am beginning September 21, 2016 for qi gong on the lawn at Alchemista located at the southwest corner of  Oracle Rd and Giaconda Way – 6955 N. Oracle Rd.

Stefanie learned Qi Gong while studying Traditional Chinese Medicine at Han University of Traditional Medicine (formerly Asian Institute of Medical Studies).  We will be practicing a form of 5 element qi gong as well as the 8 brocades. This is a casual class, no experience needed, drop in for a class or come for all 5. Suggested donation $5-20.

Mantras for Health and Peace of Mind

When trying to bring peace into one’s life or to retrain one’s thought patterns, using mantras can be extremely useful. A mantra can be any word or set of words used repeatedly to create an effect in the mind and in life, like an affirmation. I prefer Sanskrit mantras because they have been used for thousands of years and have been honed over that time for specific effects, and there generally aren’t any associations that the words in one’s native language may have. Sanskrit has also been used only for spiritual purposes for thousands of years since it ceased being a common language. When using a sound that is not in one’s daily language we are using our right hemisphere, the part of the brain associated with music, art and feeling of oneness; the area that we want to activate for an optimal meditative experience.

When beginning to use a mantra try to set a specific period of time (21 days, 40 days, 45 days) to work with it. Using a mala or a rosary can be an effective way to count the mantras, or say the mantra for 1 minute to determine how many times you can say the mantra in that amount of time and then multiply to determine the number of minutes you need to reach 108 repetitions. The number 108 refers to the number of nadis or energetic pathways in the body according the the Vedic system.

Mantras for Peace:

Om Shanti Om   –  Shanti is the Sanskrit word for Peace. Om is the sound of creation.

So Hum – This simple mantra can be used as you observe your breath, so on the inhale and hum on the exhale. It also means “I am that”.

Mantras for Enlightenment:

Om Namah Shivaya – Om and salutations to the Supreme Consciousness/Shiva

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat  – The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the great mantras. The meaning of this mantra is complex but a rough meaning is: Om Existence, Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon your divine light. May you illuminate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge.

Mantra for removing obstacles:

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha  – This is a mantra to Ganesha the elephant headed god  who was created by Parvati (Shakti or the feminine power or energy in the universe) and was both beheaded and restored to life by Shiva. Ganesha is associated with one’s will. When your inner will is aligned with your highest self and not with the ego then we can receive the blessings of the Supreme Consciousness or Shiva. This is often a good mantra to begin with as our own inner obstacles are often the cause of what we see in the external world that we try to blame for our problems.

Mantra for abundance:

Om Shreem Shri Maha Lakshmiyei Namaha – Lakshmi is the energy of abundance on all levels. As you say the mantra, seek to be that abundance and not just experience it externally.

Mantra to release anger:

Shante prashante sarva krodha upasha mani Swaha – “Invoking supreme peace I surrender (or offer) the quality of anger to its source in the higher and formless universal mind. Salutations.” (from Thomas Ashley-Farrand’s book on Healing Mantras)

This is a lovely mantra that can be used for other emotions as well. For example, substitute the word ‘bhaya’ for ‘krodha’ to use the mantra to release fear.

Mantras for fear:

Shante prashante sarva bhaya upasha mani Swaha

Abhayam sarva bhutey byo – I am nothing to fear, I fear nothing. This mantra is very effective when wanting to approach a being who is afraid or when wanting to ensure that you walk through a situation without being harmed. I have often used this mantra with animals but it can also be very effective for people who feel that aggression is directed towards them and they are not sure why. Surrounding yourself with the energy of this mantra will set yourself and other people at ease.

Mantra for protection:

Om Dum Durgayei Swaha – Durga is the energy  of the Divine Mother.  This mantra can be used for a feeling of protection, nurturing and for any problems in life.

Tibetan Buddhist mantra for removing negativity:

Om Hung Vajra Pey – Hung is the Tibetan version of the bija mantra Hum as in So Hum. Vajra is the thunderbolt which illumines the mind. When our mind is illuminated there can be no fear, no darkness.

There are many, many mantras but these few are enough to get you started. Once you begin to work with a mantra intensively you will start to notice the effects in your life. If you are not noticing a change in yourself and how you interact in the world after 45 days then return to the Ganesha mantra to remove obstacles or seek advice from someone who is established in a mantra practice. Generally, I have noticed mantras working after about 3 days of 2 malas a day and have found that with intensives the mantra feels complete after 21-45 days. When working with health issues it may be helpful to speak with a Vedic astrologer who can give you a planetary mantra to work with.

If you need further assistance with these or other mantras feel free to contact me. For more information  or self-study on mantras and their uses I recommend two authors: Thomas Ashley-Farrand and David Frawley.

 

Living in the Present Moment

“Be in the Present.” We have all heard these words of wisdom but there seems to be confusion on how to implement such a seemingly simple task. I often hear concerns of how scheduling and taking care of the many tasks that modern day life supplies us with will take place if we do not look to the future. I assure you that one can live in the present and still live in the modern, material oriented world. But if one never meditates then it will be very difficult to leave the demands of the world behind and be in the present moment!

What does it mean to be in the present moment? What does it feel like? Peace. Connection to one’s Higher Self. Knowingness that all is well. Absence or significant decrease in thoughts. There is nothing one ‘needs’ to do. When something does need attention and action then it is just done without prior worry, anxiety or concern.

When we are in the present moment we are actually more efficient. We can allow a knowingness to come to us, guiding us moment by moment in the things we have to do. There is no longer a worry about this and that but we can quietly and confidently know that all will get done in it’s right time. In choosing to be in the present moment we are also accepting that there is a Higher Awareness operating in our life. One can look to that Higher Awareness as God, the Higher Self, Angels, Guides, etc. Whatever name you give it it is All-knowing and what we connect with when we still the mind through meditation or mindfulness.

The bliss, stillness, peacefulness that many of you have commented on after a session with me or during meditation can be sustained. Meditation/Mindfulness is a state that we can experience with our eyes open, moving through life. It takes an intention, a commitment on your part. In order to change the path, a new path must be created. This must be done through continually pulling the thoughts away from the habitual path and redirecting them in a new, healthier way. Be consistent and you will see results. The deeper the groove the longer it takes to fill in but it does happen and you can experience change in a relatively short period of time. After all, if you have spent 30 years thinking a certain way are you going to give up after 2 weeks? Give it time!

Here are some tips on your path of the Present:

– Meditate daily for at least 10 minutes but preferably more. If you have never meditated then sit still, feel your feet, your body. Do not focus on thoughts or words but observe them and let them pass. If needed, focus on the word Peace, or another mantra, every few minutes.

– When you notice your thoughts moving to the past or future, bring your awareness to your breath, soles of feet, top of head.

– At various times of the day bring attention to the top of your head and breathe light through your spine from top of head to tailbone.

– Let go of the idea of achievement. Let go of goals- even the goal of being more peaceful! Just be and love yourself for where you are, every step of the way.

– Be Thankful! Bring the mind to Love and Gratitude, Feel it and Be it.

– Find a mantra that appeals to you and use it whenever you can, throughout the day. Repeating a mantra silently can hasten your progress in eliminating old thought patterns. If you need assistance in finding a mantra I can help you. A few to start with include:

Om Vajra Sattwa Hung (Tibetan- for creating mental clarity)

Om Namah Shivaya (Sanskrit – Om and Salutations, May the elements of this creation abide in me in full manifestation/To that which I am capable of becoming- the path of perfection)

Sat Chid Ekam Brahma (Sanskrit – Truth, Consciousness, Only One, Creator-Creation/Cosmos)

So Hum (Sanskrit – balances autonomic nervous system and the masculine/feminine within you)

Shanti (Sanskrit- Peace)

 

Many Blessings to You on your Path~

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi