Posts Tagged ‘zen inspiration’

What is a mantra?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A mantra is a tool for protecting the mind from the habitual, unconscious cycles of thought and action we get caught up in. In ancient Vedic philosophy, these imprints on our subconscious mind are known as samskaras.

These impressions that get stored in our mind through cultural conditioning and past experience directly impact how we perceive our conscious experience in the present. Mantras are ancient techniques that we can use to protect our mind from getting stuck in the bottomless well of samskaras. The sounds themselves, even before they are assigned meaning, resonate in different parts of the body and mind, increasing sensory awareness.

The first mantra that you have been exposed to is most likely Om (Aum). It is a universal mantra and the primordial sound of nature. The A (pronounced Ah) resonates in the lower part of the body, the O in the middle part, and the M (pronounced Mmm) in the upper region. The vibrations of OM evoke movements of energy, beginning at the base of the spine and moving upwards to the crown of the head. For the spiritual seeker interested in ancient literature, the Mandukya Upanishad elucidates the syllable of OM and its four states of consciousness.

Mantra recitation guides the practitioner in finding their sacred inner sound – the internal music that has had the volume turned down. Sanskrit scholar Nicolai Bachman explains that Sanskrit originated as the language of mantra and that each mantra has specific or general effects on oneself, others and the world. When pronounced properly, this scared sound energy intimately connects the individual with nature. Swami Sivananda has taught that a mantra practice transforms the mental substance by producing a particular thought movement. According to him, these rhythmical vibrations regulate the unsteady vibrations of the five koshas (sheaths or layers). The koshas are believed to veil our inner Self. Meditation and mantra practice allow the practitioner to peel away the layers, diving deeper into the core of our being.

Daily practice of mantra meditation will make one centered in the core sheath. Developing a japa (mantra repetition) practice with the use of mala beads can take the practitioner into higher states of meditation. As we delve deeper, we use the mantra as a sanctuary that houses the source of power to manifest our intention. When we work with the sound energy of Sanskrit mantras, we tap into an ancient practice that has been performed for thousands of years as an expression of the pattern of nature.

~ Mihir Garudmt

Five ways to boost your health & happiness

Friday, April 24th, 2015
In a perfect world, “getting healthier” would involve a personal trainer and chef who arrive at your doorstep every morning and take you through a rigorous personal workout followed up by an organic, delicious and good-for-you breakfast.

In that same world, “being happier” might mean a two-week vacation on a beach with your favorite mocktail.

Perfect or not, your real world involves work and family commitments, not enough time to get through the daily to-do list, and a budget that is sometimes stretched to the breaking point.

Fortunately, it is possible to boost both your happiness and health in ways that are kind to your schedule and your bank balance.

De-haclutter Your Desk

There are plenty of things you can do in just five minutes to help make your day brighter. Set the kitchen timer and tackle your desk! Clear off this morning’s tea or coffee  cup, that pile of bills you need to organize, and your kid’s stack of permission slips. Run a microfiber cloth over photos and your computer monitor. It’s amazing how having a cleaner, clutter-free desk will help you to focus and concentrate on all of the other tasks you need to do.

Listen to Some Tunes

Music will calm the savage beast. Studies have found that cheerful and upbeat tunes can truly boost your mood, Psych Central notes. In addition, tunes on in the background may help to lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress level. While you are working around the house, put on your favorite music in the background — it can be cheery classical, jazz or hip hop, whatever you prefer. Enjoy a boost in both health and happiness.

Create a Place of Serenity

A wonderful way to improve both your health and happiness is to create a safe, calm and serene sanctuary right in your own home. It can be your master bedroom, a guest room or office. The only rules: it will be a happy place where you can go to unwind. Paint the room a soothing color, like these 10 suggested by House Beautiful. Add comfy furniture and shelving to hold books and photos. Add some beautiful window treatments to diffuse the natural light. The Shade Store features a gorgeous selection of drapes that come in a range of colors and myriad of styles.

Get that Weight off Your Shoulders

You know that task that you’ve been dreading… the one that has been on your to-do list for the past two weeks? Nothing will give you a jump start like crossing that darn thing off. So grit your teeth and do it: file your taxes, clean out the fridge, call your dentist, scrub that sticky spot off the floor. Whatever it is, just get it done!

Write Down What Makes You Happy

Every single day for a month, take a minute and write down something — anything — that made you happy today. These don’t have to be big things like winning the lottery or George Clooney showing up at your door with Girl Scout cookies. Use the opportunity to recognize simple joyous moments like light morning traffic or your child telling you you’re a great mom or dad.

Then, on those days when life throws you a curve ball, read through everything you wrote. It’ll be a wonderful reminder of all the good in your life.

-Yogi Times

Five ways to get fit & lose weight with housework

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

In a gym rut? Too cold to run outside? Unmotivated with your fitness? It happens. Fortunately, you can still manage to keep up with a yogic lifestyle, burn calories and get the heart pumping right at home — without exercising…yes, indeed with your housework! Here’s how to clean up the house and get chores done while working the bod at the same time.

Yoga-Inspired Chores

35 is known for not only being a yogi, but a yogi who practices yoga anywhere, anytime, even during housework. The wife of Alec Baldwin, yoga instructor and mom can be found posing around the home while cooking, ironing or doing laundry. And Hilaria shares all of it on her Instagram account @hilariabaldwin. In utkata konasana, Hilaria waters her plant in the sink. She loads the dishwasher with dirty dishes posing in a variation of vasisthasana. Even the dreaded ironing gets done while in gorakshasana. Give your yoga mat a break, and call yoga chores wellness multitasking at its best. Tackle the to-do list while relaxing the body and settling the mind? Easy.

Car Maintenance

Rather than spend $15 at the car spa to make your car look pristine, clean it yourself at home and burn some extra calories. Washing, drying and waxing your car by hand can get you moving and work up a sweat. Don’t forget to wash the windows and tires with special cleaners as well. “Wash your car regularly,” recommends The Art of Manliness. Using your biceps to clean car surfaces prevents corrosion from elements like sun, grease, grime, acid rain and dead bugs. Also, declutter, tidy up and vacuum the interior as a workout bonus.

Carpet Cleaning

To some people, vacuuming is practically a recreational activity and making straight carpet lines is like creating a proud masterpiece. To others, vacuuming is a dreaded chore that happens once every six months to a year, if that. Up and down the stairs lugging the vacuum. The dog barks and attacks the machine with such abhorrence. It’s laborious, and not a good time. But vacuuming can actually burn on average 238 calories, which is equal to the number of calories in a french fry order. Boost your calorie burn (and make your carpet look spotless) by removing stains and giving your carpet a deep clean.

Washing Dishes

You have friends over, which means it’s time to start training for this epic moment of the dinner aftermath! The dirty plates. The clean up. Washing dishes serves dual after-dinner purposes. Not only are you cleaning up, you’re standing up and moving around, which aids the food coma. Washing dishes can burn 85 calories in a half hour. In holiday dinner terms for example, 85 calories is most likely not much compared to how much you ate. But the chore can earn you an afternoon nap.

Chopping Wood

As you mimic Hilaria’s yoga moves around the house, invite your man to get fit with housework too. Greatist.com lists chopping wood as a heart-pumping way to strength train outside the gym. In time, the rugged outdoors and arduous task of wood chopping will transform him right into Paul Bunyan, really. Hauling and splitting firewood is a killer workout, and swaying the heavy ax just looks good. One hour of muscle-building lumberjack work can burn up to 500 calories. And wood isn’t the only thing getting carved. He’ll carve his core, arms and back with every piece of chopped firewood and your fire place will look stunning this winter!

By Abby Terlecki

 

Astrology Soul Coach, July 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

“Go big or go home!”

No, you are not imagining there is a voice within that is screaming now is the time; if you’ve got it flaunt it; or some similar refrain. This month Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system (not including the Sun) leaves family and home-oriented Cancer for the drama and spotlight of Leo. Jupiter changes signs once a year so this is a significant shift in universal energies when the big daddy of them all moves into fiery and self-expressive Leo on July 16th. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and represents how we move past limitations and boundaries. With Jupiter in Leo we are being called to more leadership, self-confidence, generosity, visibility and authenticity. Remember that last one. Leo is nothing if not authentic. Leo loves to shine and is one of the more flamboyant, romantic and playful of the signs.

While Jupiter is in Leo we expand ourselves and enrich our lives when we take risks in the direction of our dreams; accept we were born to light up the planet; and are willing to be great at what we do. Greatness is lurking inside everyone – have you found yours? For more inspiration consider the lion – proud, confident and self-assured. The following people were born when Jupiter was highlighted in Leo, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Bette Davis, Jim Morrison, Yo-Yo Ma, George Lucas, Elizabeth Taylor, Edward Kennedy, Diana Ross, Jimmy Stewart and Eleanor Roosevelt. (Just to name a few!)

This year isn’t about being ostentatious, prideful, or acting superior. It’s about understanding we are each fabulous and spectacular in our own unique and individual way. Find that way and live it.

leoThis is a year to be more visible, more authentic and have a great time doing it!

 Quote of the month: “Be not afraid of Greatness.” William Shakespeare

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, animal communicator, writer, speaker and coach. You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a weekly Astrology radio show, “Simpletales”, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern and can be also be heard on “A Course In Miracles with C.A. Brooks” on Fridays at 8am Pacific – 11 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for September 2013

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Mood for September is initiated in the first week with a New Moon in the practical and solitary sign of Virgo. Popular culture refers to this intelligent and flexible sign as the virgin. But if you dig underneath the surface for the historical and mythological roots of Virgo you find the goddess in her many forms and incarnations. This goddess has a strong need for privacy, solitude and personal space. She’s comfortable with herself and indeed knows she is complete and whole. From this foundation flows her sense of equanimity and wisdom and her ability to be of true service in the world. When you think of Virgo these are the words that should come to mind – analytical, logical, private, contemplative, integrity, humility and service.

It’s no mistake we often associate September, the season of Virgo as the time we go back to school. Virgo very much reflects her thinking ruling planet Mercury in her logical and analytical approach. As a grounded earth sign, she seeks to convert knowledge into practical applications. Virgo is associated with food, nutrition, exercise and positive routine. This is the month to set some new intentions for your own education, habits and schedules. Include plenty of private time to give yourself the opportunity to just breathe and contemplate.

This is also a good time to de-clutter your physical environments as symbolic of releasing some of the mental clutter as well. Reserve a room or space where you can meditate, read, study, or just be by yourself. If you are attracted to one or more stories of goddesses or ascended masters this is the time to get a picture, book, statue or some other representation of their energy as a reminder and to bring the essence of their energy into your space.

If we want to be of true service to our families, communities and world it’s wise to follow the lead of Virgo and nurture ourselves with healthy habits and environments and by creating a dynamic balance between being and doing.

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach
You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2
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Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for August 2013

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

It’s time to shine with the Sun and communicating Mercury both in sunny Leo this month. Leo is the sign of self-confidence and self-expression. Under the influence of Leo we get in touch with our need to be our authentic selves and to be appreciated by others. You don’t’ need to be born under the sign of Leo to help yourself to a heaping helping of attention and recognition.

This month we will also be treated to a New Moon in Leo on August 6th reinforcing our desire to get in touch with the innocent but precocious side of ourselves. The energy of this Lunar Cycle conjures up images of a young Shirley Temple – adorable, talented, outspoken and not afraid to be seen. Now you may not sing and tap dance, but you were born with innate and unique talents that when you allow them to shine, they contribute to the light of all consciousness.

The Full Moon in Leo’s opposing sign Aquarius on August 20th balances the potentially aristocratic Leo energy with a healthy dose of appreciation for differences and the unique qualities of individuals. Ruled by the revolutionary planet Uranus, Aquarius is the  sign of originality, humanitarianism, and social reform.

The first few weeks of August are the perfect time to take a good long look at your environment and think about how your home or office does or does not support your sense of self. What does it say about you? Use the Leo energy of self-expression to rearrange, re-design and re-create your environment to reflect your unique personality. After the Full Moon, take your cue from Aquarius and give away or donate those gently used clothes and home furnishings to a good cause.  Your choices and possessions speak to the world about you. Make sure they are representing your most authentic self!

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern. Leo

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2