Meditation

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part of a grander plan

On the walks I take every day, I listen to songs that inspire me and this one has definitely been over played!  I’m the kind of person who keeps an open mind to signs and divine guidance, which keeps me in a place of believing in what is possible

I was walking along the road, noticing the cracks and how they lead toward the edge into the grass, the wild flowers blowing in the wind, tree branches reaching up to the sky, and how the whole scene winds around to somewhere I can’t yet see until I walk a little further. And while listening to this song, I thought about how there is a grander plan, and that God has blessed this broken road.

This moment filled me with gratitude for every relationship I’ve had, (siblings, friends, parents, lovers), for they have all made me who I am today, and led me to where I am now. Like northern stars, each one has been a guide. Then that thought created a gentler, forgiving version of the past, and a feeling of peace in my heart.

We don’t always see the signs, but like the song says, bless the road that might seem broken, for it is in this imperfection that a grander plan is coming true.

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Double Header Sunday at Chopra Yoga Centre

Summer YellowThese days in Toronto it’s a bit of a fashion crisis, figuring out what to wear when one day the temperature is 20° Celsius, and another day it dips to 6°. Today is a perfect cool-ish sunny Sunday,16° (feels like 10°), and I’m heading out to Chopra Yoga Toronto, to participate in one of their community events, in the hot yoga studio, where the temperature is set to 32° (feels like 32°).

In so far as Sunday’s go, I often take the day to disconnect from the grid, but remain connected with people, if you know what I mean. I don’t have a garden to tend, or perhaps my earthy side might be digging dirt, or planting flowers. Sometimes I go for a walk and find quiet places for contemplation or meditation.

Today, I’m called to a different kind of “double-header,” Power Vinyasa Foundationclass, followed by a guided Meditation. According to Deepak Chopra’s “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” today is the “Law of Pure Potentiality.”

“The source of all creation is pure consciousness … pure potentiality seeking creation from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that our true self is one of pure potentiality, we align with the power that manifests everything in the universe. Pure potentiality is the field of all possibilities and infinite creativity.”  ~ Deepak Chopra

As I place my mat down, with all the essential accoutrements, I am aware of my belief that how we are on the mat is a reflection of our selves in the world. I give thanks that I’m here after a long hibernation period, and just in case, (I become overwhelmed or verklempt), I’ve brought plenty of water, a towel, bolster, and blocks for support. I am feeling vulnerable, but trust the process, and I know that even if I simply sit on the mat, there is power in support from the energy of the group.
Power Vinyasa Foundation is a slower practice, geared to beginners or anyone wanting to take more time to review the asanas. Ultimately, any level benefits from the intention to slow down and connect.

Here in this moment I surrender to spirit, and forget about any worries, relationships, the weather, other stuff, (over which I really have no control anyway), and focus on the mind-body connection instead. This reflective Sunday, my escape to engage pure potentiality, helps me lean into my body, noticing areas that need tending, not unlike gardening, watering a plant, or deepening roots.

After the class, there’s a break to enjoy some tea in the tea lounge, a little snack and some conversation. The event is hosted by “Lole” active wear for women, a Canadian clothing company which aspires to motivate well-being and peace. Besides being a clothing brand, Lole is committed to giving back to the community. This summer they’re taking their cause on tour, stopping in Toronto on June 22, 2013 (www.lolewomen.com/whiteyoga). Aptly named “The White Yoga Session” where everyone dresses symbolically in white, it is a practice dedicated to peace: “peace in motion.”

“The White Yoga Session represents us, creating space to come together and to share one message, one emotion, which is peace”  ~ Grace Dubery, (Yoga Instructor leadingthe #LoleWhite, Toronto)

Part two of the “double-header” is a meditation. Sitting comfortably, the warmth of the room and candlelight is soothing.  After the vinyasa class I can feel my body settling and more relaxed,

Leading the meditation is the Director of Chopra Yoga Toronto, Vivian Wong.

“You don’t have to have all the answers today, but take the time to ask the questions and they will manifest when the time is ready.”

“Who am I?

What do I want?

What does my body and soul need in order to be nourished?

What is my dharma? What is my purpose in life?

How can I serve those around me with my unique abilities?”

Focusing on the breath, the mantra we use is “so-hum.” I first learned about it from one of my favourite books written by Deepak Chopra, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire,”  but he often explains the mantra in his teachings, as well as in the 21-Day Meditation practice, offered online 2-3 times throughout the year, (https://www.facebook.com/ChopraMeditation).  So-hum is the mantra of the breath; as you inhale, the vibration is “so” and as you exhale it is “hum.”

We focus on our breath, with eyes closed, inhaling (so) and exhaling (hum), where gradually our breath becomes very quiet. It’s ok if thoughts come into the mind, just observe them and let them go. Soon the breath is so quiet and the silence in the room is like a blanket, gently wrapping us with love. At some point I forgot I was sitting in a yoga room full of people, and yet I always notice a stronger vibration of relaxation when I meditate with a group. After about 15- 20 minutes we release the mantra and return our focus to the room, and feeling freer, lighter to carry on with the day. One thing I know forsure is that I always feel better after yoga, and after meditation, than when I arrived.

Pausing to let life catch up with you is nourishing to the soul… Yoga has always been an outlet, for me to connect with people, and to myself, turning inward. Since I’ve been away from the practice for a while, I was curious to hear about something new and different happening in the city. I have taken part in yoga fundraisers, yoga in the park, and yoga festivals before. There’s a kind of feel good, a la flash-mob, fun feeling about“The White Yoga Session,” and I’m down with that.

No matter how I look at it, there’s a sort of natural orchestration, being outdoors in the park, which appeals to everyone, whether you are participating in yoga or simply witnessing and enjoying the weather. Today, 24° (feels like 30°).

Related Links

For more information on The White Yoga session:

Twitter: @LoleWhite  www.lolewomen.com/whiteyoga

View upcoming events at Chopra Yoga:  www.choprayoga.com/Toronto www.facebook.com/ChopraYogaToronto   Twitter: @ChopraYogaTO

(article published first at

http://www.choprayoga.com/toronto/double-header-sunday/

 

 


meditation practice reveals and guides

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There are times when I fall out of regular meditation practice, and it’s mainly because life takes me that way. Certain things occur in my day-to-day experience which cause distraction. It could be stress from a job to a family situation or a change that is taking more of my energy. What flows naturally when I reach a tipping point, is a need to sit and get grounded again through meditation. However, that process did not always flow naturally. I enrolled in group meditation classes many years ago, (learning from an experienced teacher), and have always enjoyed participating in events where a community meditation takes place. I’ve spent time with a few friends where we met once a month to do a healing meditation, and I’ve attended yoga classes that focus on deeper meditation. In recent years I took a course in Primordial Sound Meditation from a Chopra certified instructor. I believe that meditation is helping me by guiding me, through conscious awareness; where I discover things that come to the surface, realizations and synchronistic events, after several days of consistent meditation. I highly recommend learning something about meditation if you are thinking you might like to try it – after all, knowledge is empowering.


5 Ways to Make Your Home Yoga Friendly | Top Five Tuesdays | Yoga Blog | Yoga Journal

Its been a while since I posted anything, and after some time I feel inspired to begin again ! …why not start with an awesome entry about dedicated yoga spaces at home from YOGA JOURNAL !!!!   5 Ways to Make Your Home Yoga Friendly | Top Five Tuesdays | Yoga Blog | Yoga Journal.


meditation space ~ soul sanctuary . . .

Some time ago, I walked past a construction site in a cemetery, where they were building a new monument to house those family members, “resting in peace.” The overall square footage looked approximately the size of a small studio or maybe a nice kitchen, depending on the size of your house.

The church down the street has a sign outside, “Open for Prayer and Meditation;” the yoga studio around the corner challenges you to “reconstruct your body, mind and spirit;” the day spa across the street offers “pure bliss” for sixty minutes of relaxation.

Meditation spaces are more than just naming rooms. They involve transforming vibrations of a space dedicated to the purpose of creative activity such as music, dance, yoga, art, prayer or meditation. The space is a separate room or a simple space that allows you to quiet your mind and detach from external influences.

A meditation space may consist of objects from your travels, calming colours and soft seating, a water feature, plants, natural fibers, crystals, Tibetan singing/toning bowls, deep chimes and perhaps a native drum or two, (but, no particular religious influence is necessary). A sound system could be as simple as a few speakers, or a high-tech surround-sound of birds in nature.

“A building is no more a Temple unless you are aware of its environment,”  (Tibetan monk). We can transform the energy of a space through, sound vibration, multiphonic chanting, dynamic movement, and an awareness of the elements of balance, truth, harmony and liberation from “ego syndrome.” Beautifying an environment, releasing negative energy, represents a progression to deeper levels and implications of spiritual experience.

In a quest for well-being, meditation spaces promote beautiful healing and inspire positive attitudes toward life. In certain parts of the world, (such as the Himalayas, Sedona, Machu Picchu, Lourdes), discoveries of energy vortexes cause a shift in one’s body and psyche, leaving one feeling uplifted and energized. Research shows that time spent at a destination spa, a retreat, or holiday, helps to deepen our awareness and takes us away from the mundane of regular life, yet when we return home, unless we know how to maintain it, that feeling slowly fades.

Meditation spaces are like a sanctuary for the soul; an expression of self, that nurtures body, mind and spirit . A dedicated space in your home can provide a very successful, enjoyable experience for maintaining good vibrations.

 


meditation and creativity: takin’ it to the streets – literally!

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...

Image via Wikipedia

My art is a form of meditation. Sometimes what ends up on the page is not what I’d had in mind, but then I take another look and ask myself, “but where exactly did that come from?”  And then I think about how this image just “‘poof ‘d” out of my head and that somehow my brain connected to my hand to create the lines and paint to form this thing  – this painting… and then I think, “wow… cool… “

This past weekend in New York City the annual Dumbo Art Festival http://dumboartsfestival.com/ was held; from DJ spinning to art installations on the street, to artists creating murals before your eyes, the festival reflects New York’s creative community. I want to share a cool post from MindBodyGreen – Your Gateway to Wellness, by Jason Wachob; an interview with CAM, aka. Craig Anthony Miller, about music DJ ing typically associated with Yoga, art, meditation and what his creative influences are… Check it out at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1427/Q-A-with-Artist-CAM-The-Yoga-Sessions-Series-Meditation-Ganesh.html