This will be a short post but Dean and I are very excited to be getting on a plane tonight for Costa Rica where we will take part in a week long Chant and Tantra retreat with our dear friends Deva Premal and Miten and their fabulous flute player Manose. This is literally the first vacation we have taken that wasn’t part of a business trip. The setting will be at the exquisite Blue Spirit Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. We are all packed and ready with our various techno tools, cameras, recording devices, iPad, etc. Oh did I say vacation. Well we are ardent videographers and photographers so that part of it is fun. Along with yoga, meditation, swimming in the ocean, walking on the beach – this will be a welcome respite for us. Stay tuned for more pictures and videos. We hope to come back with renewed energy and with lots of media and musical inspirations to share with you.
Valentine’s Day, February 14th is the 13th Annual WORLD SOUND HEALING DAY. You can participate from your home and join many thousands of souls around the world toning AH for the Heart Chakra. This worldwide healing event is put on by our dear friends Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman who are featured presenters on our SONIC HEALING MEET THE MASTERS VIDEO COURSE.
The purpose of World Sound Healing Day is to:
• Heal Our Planet • Heal Our Waters • Raise Our Consciousness
To learn more about how to join this amazing gathering and related events visit World Sound Healing Day. At 12 noon (local time in your time zone), sound forth for 5 minutes with the “AH” tone, created and projected with the energy of compassion and love, sending a sonic valentine to Gaia, our Mother Earth. At that time, you can go to Temple of Sacred Sound to enhance the vibratory effect as we sound together for Global Harmonization, planetary peace and healing. If you cannot tone at 12 noon, sounding anytime during February 14 will help create positive shift and change for our planet on World Sound Healing Day.
Click here for Free download of the ‘Ah’ Training Wave which was created by world renowned Healing Sounds pioneer Jonathan Goldman. It is approximately five minutes long and was designed to be utilized by those who wish to participate in World Sound Healing Day as well as other global toning events.
Be sure to check out Soundings of the Planet’s gentle music for loving Valentine’s Day Sale now. Music sure does create a mood for romance!
*** And for awhile, I give away a free download for anyone who comments on my posts. ***
This pic is me with my sweetie husband, Dean Evenson. We were very fortunate to meet in 1968 when we were in our mid-twenties and ready to be together. It’s easy to love this guy as he is thoughtful, funny, creative, hardworking and spiritual. But what I want to talk about today is how to love someone who is not so loveable. That’s the process of unconditional love, loving without reason or cause, loving without conditions.
Loving someone who is nice to us or who loves us is usually pretty easy. It’s when that other person is mean, difficult to understand or creates problems that we probably have difficulty finding the love. And some would ask why do we even need to consider loving such a person or group of people?
I always harken back to the words of Jesus when he said “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Wow, what a concept. To me this is one of the most radical ideas ever put forth and how many can say they have mastered that?
As I understand it, if you can love your enemy (your nemesis, your ex spouse, your mean boss, or even your parent who didn’t treat you well), and I mean truly love them, there’s a good chance that over time, your relationship will heal and they may even become your friend. It doesn’t mean you have to live with them, marry them, hang out with them. But if you can truly feel love in your heart, there’s a good chance that your relationship will change for the better, and everyone will benefit. It’s worth a try.
Please don’t forget to love yourself! Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Here’s my short video on Soundings of the Planet’s YouTube channel talking more about unconditional love and how you can become a magnet for love. Enjoy!
Let me know your thoughts on love as Valentine’s Day approaches. And for a limited time, in appreciation for your involvement, I am giving away free mp3 downloads to folks who comment on my blog posts.
Be sure to check out our gentle music for loving Valentine’s Day Sale now. Music sure does create a mood for romance!
Mantra is a tool that can help us focus and quiet our minds. In Sanskrit, the word mantra means mind protection since using a mantra or short spiritual phrase or affirmation can replace and overcome incessant tape loops and negative thoughts, thus clearing the mind and bringing it to a calm quiet space.
I like to use mantra to clear my mind and prepare for meditation. Typically, we have a constant dialogue going on within our minds. This inner conversation can range anywhere from the news we heard on the radio, to making a ‘to do list’ or replaying an unpleasant interaction with a friend, co-worker or relative.
It is very difficult to get these thought patterns out of our minds and they especially tend crop up when we are trying to meditate. This is why in meditation we use several concentration techniques to overcome the busy monkey mind and allow for the one-pointed concentration of the meditation process. In addition to focusing on the breath as a concentration device, we can use mantra, chanting and affirmations to help clear the mind of unnecessary clutter and allow us to enter a deep state of inner quiet.
A mantra is a short sound or phrase, usually with a spiritual significance which carries a vibration and frequency that extends beyond the simple meaning of its words. In the highest sense, mantras carry thought waves that can energize the prana or life force through constant repetition and they can reach deep into the subconscious mind. More simply, they can help overcome the mind chatter and prepare the way for an expansion of consciousness.
By becoming aware of the rampant mental processes that we wish to control, we can learn how to use our minds and our voice in harmony to stay focused. We need a guardian at the gate of our awareness to keep the demons of our mental processes from distracting us and a mantra is one way to do this.
I would love to hear how you use mantra or affirmations in your own meditation process so post a comment here. I am also giving away a free mp3 download to people who post comments.
Oh and here are some of the recordings I have created that include my guided affirmations. Enjoy!
I am very fortunate to be married to Dean Evenson who stays eternally happy even when problems arise and he could be feeling sorry for himself. His optimistic attitude rubs off on me and it turns out, there is scientific research that confirms the health benefits of a positive attitude.
Do you know that optimistic people actually have healthier hearts? A recent study published in the January/February 2015 issue of Health Behavior and Policy Review found that a person with a good attitude has much better heart health than someone with a pessimistic attitude.
This multi-ethnic research study followed over 5000 people for 11 years and found that peoples’ total health scores increased in conjunction with their levels of optimism. “Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts” according to lead author of the study, Rosalba Hernandez, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois.
People who were the most optimistic were 50 and 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges, respectively. They also were more physically active, had healthier body mass indexes and were less likely to smoke.
So folks, keep smiling and enjoy life. The other option is not so good for your heart.
Read more about this new research here and let us know what you do to stay happy even when life gives you lemons.
I let go of the old and open myself to the new
This is the first in our series of 52 weekly meditations and a good place to start after the busy holidays.
I sit quietly and center myself, breathing deeply and fully. I feel myself firmly connected to the earth as I let the spirit flow through me. I let go of busyness and of anything that may be overwhelming me. I open myself to the new, to new possibilities, to a new day, and to the fresh new cells being constantly created in my body with every breath I take. I feel the refreshing inspiration of new opportunities coming my way. I welcome this new and wonderful time in my life and see it filled with goodness, creativity and peace. I let go of the old and allow the new to come gently into my life.
Often, we tend to cling to old patterns and habits that may be holding us back. It is these attachments that can keep us from living fully. In this centering affirmation, we allow ourselves to open up to the many blessings that exist within the vast sea of infinite possibilities surrounding us. When so-called negative experiences present themselves, we frequently tighten up and form an armor of resistance around us, thereby closing ourselves off from the magic inherent in the unknown. By always being open to new possibilities, we allow the Universe to harness all its forces to help us in the best ways possible. This affirmation is a wonderful way to begin our year of weekly wisdom meditations.
We hope you will take advantage of the 52 Weekly Affirmations and go through your year focusing on these universal principles. They are guaranteed to make your life happier, healthier, more prosperous and even improve your relationships. Below are the several different formats available to suit your needs. And coming soon is an iPhone App. We will let you know when it’s ready. But no need to wait as you can begin now with the CD, DVD, download or DailyOM online course.
A Year of Guided Meditations (DVD high quality nature videos with affirmations & music)
A Year of Guided Meditations (DailyOM online course, pay only what you can afford for the streaming videos)
Meditation Moment: 52 Weekly Affirmations (CD with affirmations & music)
Meditation Moment: 52 Weekly Affirmations (Digital Download with affirmations & music)
Try these seven tips based on the chakras for more peaceful holidays.
You might start by slowing down as my sweet neighbors suggest with this sign.
Here come the holidays and with them a bundle of stress triggers and challenges that can take away from the fun and festivity of the season. While we love to get together with family and friends, sometimes the extra tasks and pressures can add up and create situations that are less than fun and definitely not festive. Extra shopping, more cooking, cleaning, preparing, crowds, parties, traffic or traveling with flights delayed or other inconveniences can take the fun out of the season. Then, there are the long-term family patterns replete with buttons that are often pushed right at the dinner table after a few too many glasses of bubbly. Whatever form it takes, the strain and tension of being overloaded can sometimes rise up and ruin our fun, family time.
So how can we deal with this inevitable stress of the holidays and put the joy back into the season? Here are some simple steps we can take to uplift our spirits and make sure we don’t get overloaded and react emotionally in the presence of habitual family patterns or simply collapse from exhaustion when we should be having fun. These seven steps are actually based on the chakra system and begin with the crown or seventh chakra and go down to the root or first chakra. Check them out and see if they resonate with you.
Set Intention (Crown)
Decide in advance how you would like your holiday experience to be. You can use ideas like – peaceful, meaningful, relaxing, fun. Whatever words you come up with, you might want to form them into a simple mantra or affirmation to keep in the forefront of your awareness as you go through your socializing. Remember the aspects of an affirmation are threefold: positive, present tense and repetition. An example would be ‘I am peaceful and relaxed’ or use whatever idea you want to remind yourself when intensity arises. Say it often.
Visualize (Third Eye, Mind)
Use mental images to picture how you would like to see the holidays unfold. You can imagine your home beautifully decorated with family members happily enjoying a home cooked meal and conversing with one another in pleasant tones. Or you might picture young children playing well together with their new gifts. Don’t forget to picture yourself attending to your tasks with ease in a relaxed manner. You may want to focus on the deeper meaning of the holiday you are celebrating and especially the fellowship of gathering together with family and friends.
Talk to family members and friends that you will be socializing with and make plans so everyone is on the same page. Get input and add your own ideas. Try to share the tasks and planning so it isn’t all on one person’s shoulders. If past holidays were overwhelming, try simplifying your plans. Consider a potluck instead of one person doing all the cooking. You might want to add the element of giving back to the community or helping those less fortunate who need some extra holiday cheer. This will make the holiday much more meaningful to you and your family.
Invite your family and your friends to be part of your festivities. Work and play together and enjoy each other’s company. Remember the love that brought you together in the first place and be careful not to let stress or emotions trigger unnecessary reactions. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate each other. Express your gratitude in random ways and you will find it returned to you. Minimize gossip and politics. People in the same family often hold different points of view so best to avoid conversations that cause conflict. The long-term benefits of unconditional love will be the reward.
Take Action (Solar Plexis)
If you are hosting a gathering, let yourself enjoy the activities and tasks involved. Enlist close friends or family members to help you with preparation and logistics. If you are attending other people’s events, be sure to help in the kitchen and contribute to the workload. Put on happy holiday music to lift your spirit and remind you of why you are doing all the extra work – the shopping, cooking, cleaning, gifting, decorating and so on. You may want to take time for yoga or stretching to release pent up energy so you have the vitality you need to carry out all you have assigned yourself to do.
Enjoy and Play (Sacral)
Remember the reason for the season and even in the midst of all you are doing, be sure to let yourself feel passion and joy for the blessings in your life, your family, friends, food to eat and roof over your head. Many people have much less in life and still manage to keep smiling. In fact, a good laugh is always in order, even when the turkey falls on the floor or your dog overturns the holiday tree or a child knocks over a glass and breaks it. Especially turn your enthusiasm toward your elders or those suffering or in need. This season is a perfect time to reach out to others who can use a physical or spiritual boost.
This is the level where you take care of the basics, the details and all that is necessary to manifest what it is you want. This is also the place where you can connect with the earth and honor all that it provides for your physical needs. Be specific and check off the tasks on your list so you can feel you have accomplished what needs to be done. You also may want to ground out by taking a walk in nature or by taking a few moments to sit quietly in your room or in a sacred place in your home. In this sanctuary, try playing some peaceful, relaxing music to help remind you of the inner peace you are so wanting in the midst of life’s normal chaos.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and you are able to find peace and fulfillment during the holidays this year. I welcome any additional suggestions for stress free holidays whether or not they relate to the chakras. You can see my video on toning with the chakras on our YouTube channel or listen to my chakra meditations and the music my husband, Dean Evenson, and I create at www.soundings.com.
And thanks to my teacher Anodea Judith for her wisdom on manifesting your dreams through your chakras.
I am not a Buddhist but the words here are so inspiring and relevant for modern times and our busy lives and busy minds. See if you can get through this long poem and let me know if it resonates with you…
Choices From the Dhammapade translated by Thomas Byron
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.
“Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.
“Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Abandon such thoughts, and live in love.
In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.
You too shall pass away.
Knowing this, how can you quarrel?
How easily the wind overturns a frail tree.
Seek happiness in the senses,
Indulge in food and sleep,
And you too will be uprooted.
The wind cannot overturn a mountain.
Temptation cannot touch the man
Who is awake, strong and humble,
Who masters himself and minds the dharma.
If a man’s thoughts are muddy,
If he is reckless and full of deceit,
How can he wear the yellow robe?
Whoever is master of his own nature,
Bright, clear and true,
He may indeed wear the yellow robe.
Mistaking the false for the true,
And the true for the false,
You overlook the heart
And fill yourself with desire.
See the false as false,
The true as true.
Look into your heart.
Follow your nature.
An unreflecting mind is a poor roof.
Passion, like the rain, floods the house.
But if the roof is strong, there is shelter.
Whoever follows impure thoughts
Suffers in this world and the next.
In both worlds he suffers
And how greatly
When he sees the wrong he has done.
But whoever follows the dharma
Is joyful here and joyful there.
In both worlds he rejoices
And how greatly
When he sees the good he has done.
For great is the harvest in this world,
And greater still in the next.
However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act upon them?
Are you a shepherd
Who counts another man’s sheep,
Never sharing the way?
Read as few words as you like,
And speak fewer.
But act upon the dharma.
Give up the old ways –
Passion, enmity, folly.
Know the truth and find peace.
Share the way.
The Dhammapada, an anthology of 423 verses, has long been recognized as one of the masterpieces of early Buddhist literature. Buddhist tradition has it that shortly after the passing away of the Buddha his disciples met in council for the purpose of recalling to mind the truths they had received from their beloved Teacher during the forty-five years of his ministry. Their hope was to implant the principles of his message so firmly in memory that they would become a lasting impetus to moral and spiritual conduct, for themselves, their disciples, and for all future disciples who would seek to follow in the footsteps of the Awakened One.
I love the chakras and use the psychology of the chakras frequently to help people understand the issues that they are dealing with at different levels in their lives. This children’s cartoon is actually quite close to making sense of the chakras and how we can clear blockages and open up the flow of the life force to gain greater health in the physical, mental and spiritual realms of our existence. I have recently completed a course with Anodea Judith, one of the leading masters teaching about the chakras. Her focus in this class was how to manifest our dreams through the chakras and in future posts, I look forward to sharing more of the skills and tools she taught us in the course. So, enjoy this little cartoon and stay tuned for more illumination about the chakras.
If you are interested in exploring more about the chakras, check out my album CHAKRA MEDITATIONS & TONES which has meditations and tones for each of the chakras.
I am grateful for ALL without conditions
It’s the time of year we count our blessings and find ways to share the gifts we have been given. What we have to share is our music and we are grateful that it helps people in all sorts of situations. And here is my Gratitude Affirmation both written and spoken in the video above. Enjoy.
GRATITUDE AFFIRMATION FROM ‘A YEAR OF GUIDED MEDITATIONS’
So often we wait to have what we want before feeling thankful. In this case, we may be waiting a long time. To jump-start the flow of blessings in our life, we practice gratitude at all times, even for the things that might appear negative. When we can be truly grateful for everything that happens, the good or the bad, we will find that our lives gradually improve. It may be challenging at first to find the silver lining in every situation, but once this habit of gratitude becomes a part of us, we will be pleasantly surprised by what opens up for us. We can begin by expressing appreciation for the basics like food and shelter and for small things that we can easily acknowledge. From there, we can allow our gratitude to grow and when it does, we shall be ready for even better things to come our way.
I am grateful for the gift of life and all my many blessings. I am grateful for family and friends and a place to live and food to eat. I am grateful for the earth and the spirit of life. I am grateful for the sun that shines every day and for all the life it creates. I am thankful that I can learn and grow from experiences I may not even have wanted, but that allow me to open up to a greater awareness of myself and my world. I am grateful for love that flows to me and through me. I see all as support for the journey that is my life.