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Mindful Mastery and the “Groovy” Teachings of Samskara

Ancient Hinduism — SAMSKARA .We all know grooves are formed by repeatedly going over something in the same place time after time after time. Whether it’s a groove on a road from common traffic, a riverbed from the push of pressing waters, or what I’ll be focusing on here, neural pathways in our brains.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “Samskara”, which comes from two Sanskrit word roots that mean “to flow together”. Basically, Samskara is symbolic representations of the neurological grooves that form over time the more and more that you choose to do something. And every time you choose to do something, whether you are aware of it or not, it becomes more difficult not to choose that thing the next time you are faced with the choice. Good for working towards positive goals, bad for addictions, right? BINGO.

This is technically how it all works. Intention and follow-through are half the equation when faced with personal change and so many of us let some mere negative self-talk steer us away from even starting, that we never even know how far we could get or how good we might feel afterward. But do we even have a choice? After which point do the grooves become so deep, so embedded that they truly do affect our free will? Perhaps this is why some of us never take the first step, to begin with. But that is a whole other article in and of itself we’ll save for a later time…

I know one of my biggest issues when it comes to not getting things done is that I never start. And in making THAT choice over and over I have come to find out that I’ve mastered the art of procrastination. This has resulted in many hours of self-reflection and shadow work to raise my self-esteem and regain my own trust that I won’t make promises that I don’t plan on following through on like I’ve done so many times before. And it took simply learning that something was controlling me for my stubborn ass to say, “Oh hell no!” and start learning how to smooth out these not so positive grooves I have going on.

It all comes down to the choices you make, and when you are aware of Samskaras, you can give yourself the power to actually overcome them and make it work for you in your favor. The simple yet seemingly near-impossible task is to simply stop choosing. Get to a point of neutrality about or around whatever it is that has this control or power over you. It’s not so much about reacting to your emotions as it is acknowledging them, accepting them, and allowing them to freely flow by as they were meant to do. It is only when we grasp and pull and hang onto our emotions do they cause us pain, confusion, etc. Why 'Samskara' – Samskara Digital Marketing

If you are trying to master an art or talent, then this is obviously a good thing when deep grooves have been formed. This is proof of hard work, dedication, and practice and these are the types of grooves you most likely want to keep around. Use this simple observation and a new way of looking at it to approach the so-called “bad” grooves. This helps the ego to let go and to stop judging. If you have been trying to quit smoking for 20 years to no avail, then that is a perfect example of a really deep “groove” or Samskara that has formed within the brain and has now manifested as a “bad habit”.

There has to be a deeper, more important groove formed to encompass your attention and dedication away from continuing to contribute to the “smoking groove” and this usually comes in the form of a life-threatening health scare from your doctor, an ultimatum from your spouse or just a strong inner will to finally change. All are equally effective and aid us in attaining the neutrality that we need to have towards the “bad” groove.

When we are born, we are for the most part a clean slate. We come into the world with our Soul essence of who’ve we’ve been along with our blueprint of what we have planned to accomplish while we’ve incarnated here on Earth this time around. However, we risk influencing both our very own Souls and our soul plans the second we make a choice; and being a human being, we are inevitably faced with choices seemingly almost every other moment of our conscious and perhaps even unconscious lives.

So, in my humble opinion, one would be wise to take a few moments to work on re-training the mind and figure out where you are forming your grooves and to see if they are best serving you in your life. If not, perhaps look into creating new grooves, or maybe do like what’s her name who went and got an old one back. LOL Hey, whatever works for you! 🙂

If you are interested in learning more about Samskara and just want to read a bad-ass book that will seriously help you out in many ways if you’re looking to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally, I highly recommend Deepak Chopra’s, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life.

 

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

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This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Many Paths

My teacher once said, “When you understand something all the way down to its root, you understand everything else.” This is one of those time-lapsed lessons, like a photo of the night sky, taken over several hours that shows you in one shot what actually takes a long time to occur.

 

 

Enlightenment of Everything

The Gayatri Mantra is a mantra which essentially states that if I truly understood that everything originates from the same source, I would see that everything is integrally connected and therefore I have everything I need. What I’ve been practicing lately is understanding how through my different disciplines of focus and study in life, yoga/mediation, music, and human relationships, I can see the SAME truths manifest whether I’m practicing sun salutations, playing Coltrane on my sax, or learning to truly listen to my wife and life-partner. Like the Gayatri mantra states, understanding something to its core, means understanding that everything comes from that core.

The ancient yoga sutras give us insight on how to achieve Samadhi, the fullest experience of yoga when one realizes the connectedness of all things and becomes all things. There are several paths to this end—the sutras list 8. Through practicing, yoga, and meditation, I’ve come to understand that it’s foolish to think that one can only get the knowledge and wisdom of Samadhi by practicing yoga. Once I get a taste for what it is, I can feel Samadhi in yoga, hear it in Coltrane, I can feel in when my wife and I are truly connected. Sometimes it takes practicing a discipline and arriving at the finish line, or even at mile markers along the way, to realize that there are several paths that could have brought you there.

 

Many Ways to Roll

So knowing that there are several ways to roll, and I get to choose the one that work best for me, I still choose yoga/meditation, music, and love as my pathways to my personal wisdom and fulfillment. And when someone tells me of their passion for their path, be it Pilates, badminton, painting, or death metal (that’s right), I am offered an opportunity to practice listening and compassion to understand how that pathway could bring that soul to the same place. Critics might say that death metal couldn’t possibly bring someone to the same place that yoga or meditation could. To critics, I would proffer: start listening to death metal.

If yoga and meditation speak to you, I’d be honored to offer you my free Tranquility Tool Kit, which gives you many resources to find your own path.  I’m thrilled to have a job where I get to practice and teach one of the very things that brings me toward my highest truth and I celebrate the opportunity to meet like-minded people along the way. And if what takes you there is death metal, my earphones are ready.

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




Learning to Be Lost

Paris. Rush hour. I was on a crowded bus, daydreaming. Someone bumped into me, breaking my reverie. “Excusez-moi,” a man said happily. “Pas de problem,” I responded and looked up to see a blind man with a wide smile groping his way, inch by inch, toward the front of the bus. He spoke to the driver and a moment later the bus made an unscheduled stop.

The blind man offered a heart-felt “merci” and he tenuously felt his way down the bus stairs to the busy street. A walking stick would not have helped in this concentration of people. He stepped brazenly and alone into the rapid current of foot traffic. After a few steps, just enough to avoid the bus he stumbled up onto the sidewalk, stopped, lifted his bright face upward, and asked the deaf ocean of people if there were anyone who could might point him in the right direction. Immediately a lovely and stylish woman materialized from the busy crowd, a complete stranger. The woman gently touched the blind man’s arm, wrapped her other hand affectionately through his bent elbow, and the two of them made a quarter turn. Then the two strangers set off together across the crowded Pont Neuf, talking and laughing as naturally and casually as if they were on a date, strolling toward the opera matinée. The smile on the blind man’s face never once strayed as if he had expected this woman to be right there when he stepped off the bus. He had set a date with destiny. As I sat in the bus again staring out the window, I wished that I could somehow, magically hear their conversation as they dissolved into an ocean of people. 

 

I think about that experience sometimes. Sometimes, I feel like I’m stumbling through life like a blind man, walking around busy streets, tripping off the bus, bumping, into the sidewalk, and graciously, not without some self-deprecating humor, asking humbly for some kind soul to give me direction, to hold my arm and steer me to the other side of the river, over the bridge. And sometimes I think, “don’t give me the answers right away. Nor give me back my sight. At least not yet. Let me be blind, if only for a while, so that I may learn to feel my way, so that I may learn to ask for help and know of something deeper within, so I may learn to trust my deepest hearts direction. Let me look inside to find my vision.”

 

To find my way I close my eyes, like the blind man I suppose, and look inward. I find my way onto my yoga mat and mediation cushion and by so doing I hope to find my way. There, I discover a faith inside that says that what’s more important than figuring out the specific details of my life, my true work lies with first coming to know my deep inner-Self. That’s true sight. I see that I must learn to feel with my heart and trust that feeling and not just intellectualize each direction. Armed with inner sight and feeling, all of the details and particulars of my life will naturally grow and evolve as they should. I can go on blind. My gut tells me to go ahead and make my plea to the Universe against the din of the world and ask for what I want, where to go, and what to do, and then watch to see what emerges. It tells me that I must learn to be lost, to ask directions, and ask permission. I must risk a little. I must keep my heart open and ask myself regularly how my heart feels. I have faith, just like the blind man, that by feeling, I will find my way to where I need to be and that along the way I should expect something lovely. 

 

I hope you stumble onto your mat this week and find some inner vision. Let’s expect something lovely as we move blindly through this life together, arm in arm like we’re heading to the opera matinée. 

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




The Messiah is Here – Parts 4 and 5

By Karma Singh | Harmony Energy Consultants

Editor’s comment: Karma Singh’s ongoing Messiah series continues with these three videos, which are meant to empower you in general and in particular during these difficult times.

Here is Part 4:

Conditioned, as we are, to believe that we must pay for everything that we need to live, our focus lies outside of ourselves, upon that which we “need” to do to justify our existence. The belief is, of course, not true but it does get in the way of recognizing and accepting much of what does belong to us as our right of birth. One of these is known as the Golden Flower, The Flower of the Sun, Apollo’s Shield and a variety of other names across the planet. It is very gentle and very powerful: If you try to take it, it will go away. If you let it be, it will enter you and enhance your whole being experience.

Here is Part 5:

Much of human activity is coloured and contorted by fear. But what is fear? Karma Singh defines it as the only thing that a human being can experience which has no existence whatsoever; it is nothing other than a hole in your own energy fields. Nothing can enter this hole other than you, yourself. The moment you enter, the hole ceases to exist.

There is, however, a much practiced habit of looking away from fear; of trying to justify it. This is something that we have been most deliberately taught over many centuries in order to keep us subjugated. A hero is one who has overcome this conditioning and uncovered his/her power hidden behind it.

Here is Part 5A:

And, finally, here is part 5A, which contains a transmission which can reportedly help to address the “fear” mentioned in Part 5:

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




7 Benefits From Owning A Clear Quartz

Clear Quartz

If I was to suggest one crystal that everyone could benefit from owning either for personal and professional use, it would be a clear quartz crystal. These crystals are a composition of silicon and oxygen and are easily found all over the world and are extremely affordable.

7 Benefits From Owning Quartz Crystals

  1. This crystal repairs and strengthens the biomagnetic field. This means you will not leak energy from your auric field.
  2. You can grid your home, property, or workspace with quartz points. When the point faces inwards, we are bringing in energy, when they point out, we are clearing energy.
  3. When placed in your vehicle, it helps reduce gas consumption.
  4. It amplifies the energy in its environment. When acupuncture needles are coated with clear quartz, the treatment is enhanced by 10%.
  5. Replace midday coffee with a clear quartz elixir by placing a crystal in your drinking water. (Be sure the crystal is washed before placing it in your water).
  6. They are excellent for dream recall. There are many messages for us in the dream state, therefore remembering our dreams is important for our soul growth.
  7. This type of quartz activates and opens the crown chakra and soul star chakra. When these two chakras are open and activated, it is easier for us to connect with our intuition and divine soul energy.

Keeping your crystals cleared is an important part of working with crystal energy. They often become dull and lose their oomph when used frequently. You can clear your crystals by saging them, putting them in a running body or water, or by placing them in a sea salt mixture. I recommend clearing them at least once a month.

 

Blessings and Light,

Laurie Barraco

Laurie Barraco

Laurie Barraco

Laurie Barraco is a professional intuitive counselor, medium, author, recording artist, teacher, and the owner of The Mystical Moon, a healing center in Fort Myers, Florida. Laurie offers readings, courses, and healing products through The Mystical Moon Online Store. You can connect with her at The Mystical Moon Facebook Page.

Click here for articles written by Laurie




Living Courageously

Often when we think of courage, we conjure ideas of running into a fiery building to save someone or jumping out of an airplane however, perhaps an even truer definition of courageous means to live your life connected to your heart. Through mindfulness practices like Yoga Nidra meditation you may learn to connect to your heart to listen to the message of your heart, and to have the courage to prioritize your life according to what matters most to you. In so doing, you share your heart’s gift with the world.

Living Full of Heart

Courage comes from the french word, Coeur, meaning heart. Therefore, courageous means being full of heart. Living courageously means loving the world and bravely prioritizing what you love. It means having the courage to share your heart’s gift with the world. Howard Thurman was an author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader who once said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Giving your heart’s gift to the world means offering your love and the fruits of that love as a gift. You give it because it’s a joy to do so, whether or not there’s any reciprocity. 

 

How do you give your gifts to the world? Do you prioritize sharing your gift? The world needs what only you can offer. Some people’s gift to the world is very public and for others it’s quite private. You might love the world through music, raising children, or practicing law—there are countless ways to love the world. The way you love the world might simply be the way you can observe and appreciate it. Regardless, every one has a gift to share the world and that gift is equal to the way in which you love the world.

Image Credit: Waking Times

Sourcing the Heart

In searching for our heart’s gift for the world and how to share it, sometimes, we need to gain wisdom about ourselves, wisdom that may lie deeper than our conscious, rational thinking mind. Yoga Nidra is an excellent (and relaxing) practice to plumb these depths and hear the secret message of our heart. It does this by placing you into a state between waking and dreaming, one of relaxed alertness, which acts as a secret doorway to visit the Source that is within you. It’s like a doorway to your heart. This is why I’ve dedicated several sessions in my live online Yoga Nidra class (on Wednesdays and Sundays) to explore sourcing your heart’s gift and set the conditions necessary to hear the wise Oracle inside you whispering what your gifts are for the world and how to share them with the world. 

 

The Oracle Inside of You

The Oracle Inside of you, whispering your gifts of your heart, may be closer and easier to hear thank you think. I’m passionate about Yoga Nidra, a relaxing form of meditation that uses layered Awareness and relaxation to tune into hear your heart’s message to yourself. Please enjoy this free Yoga Nidra practice: Waking from the Dream, Opening to Awareness. I’ve made it just for you and hope that by listening to it you too will learn to hear what’s inside of your heart and how to courageously share it with the world.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 

 




The Power of Loving Kindness (Metta Meditation Practice)

By Forrest Rivers

Two of the primary purposes of meditation is to learn to let go and to recognize one’s interconnection to all things. During this period of mass sickness and poverty, Metta is a profound meditation technique that at once achieves both goals. Metta roughly translates to “benevolence” or “Loving Kindness” in Pali and comes to us from the Buddhist tradition. The purpose of this exercise is to focus on cultivating and sending feelings of goodwill to all beings. 

I was first introduced to it in the first group meditation I ever attended. The session was led by an inspiring dharma teacher named Dave Smith. Smith, who has made it his life’s work to aid in the recovery of those with substance abuse issues, led us through a 20-minute Metta practice. In that first sitting, we were asked to imagine sending rays of love to all sentient beings. This guided meditation so moved my spirit and opened my heart that I began attending Dave’s Sunday evening session each week.

Looking back now on that fateful day in early 2013, I am amazed at how completely this simple, yet meaningful practice touched my soul. After seven years of reflection on the power of Metta practice, I have come to realize why it is so impactful: loving-kindness meditations simultaneously quiet our restless minds and open up our wayward hearts. In these times of fear and uncertainty, what could be more inspiring than sending our deepest wishes of love and goodwill to the planet when we wake up in the morning or go to bed at night? 

Through the ages, it has been said by more than a few sages that meditation is the highest form of prayer because it breaks down the separation between the external world and our own soul’s inner yearning for peace and oneness. If it feels right for you, you might find the following COVID-19 adapted Metta practice helpful:

“Find a comfortable position either sitting cross-legged or on the floor or seated up right on a chair of your choosing. Then, slowly close your eyes and bring your awareness to the center of your heart as you begin to inhale and exhale long deep breaths. As you deeply breathe in and out, imagine filling your heart with pink or green light(colors of love) on the in breath and then imagine sending that same light out to the world from your heart on the out breath as you repeat these words to yourself: may all beings be free, may all beings find peace and may all beings be blessed with good health as this pandemic passes like the seasons.” Try this practice for 15-20 minutes. But by all means, feel free to do it for shorter or longer intervals than what I suggest if it feels more comfortable for you”. 

Metta meditation has the power to heal our minds and hearts. Remarkably, too, it could also heal the whole world in a time when we are in desperate need of healing. Two studies on the power of loving-kindness were conducted in Jerusalem and in Lebanon in the 1980s. In both studies, Scientific researchers found overwhelming evidence of a powerful link between the practice of mass Metta (loving-kindness) meditation circles and lower incidences of war. 

As originally reported and published in the academic journal of Conflict Resolution (1988), during days of high attendance at a peace meditation held in Jerusalem, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon decreased by 76 percent. On those days of intention filled Metta Practice, crime and traffic tickets in the near vicinity went down as well. Incredibly, the exact same study was replicated again (with even stricter controls) and produced the same results as reported in the academic journal of Social Behavior and Personality (2005). 

If Metta meditation practice can bring peace to a war-torn people imagine what it could accomplish in terms of alleviating all suffering related to COVID-19! When love meets prayer full intentions the possibilities for the evolution of human consciousness are endless. However, one question does arise: how can one go about starting a meditation or prayer circle during a time that requires social distancing? 

Max Reif, an inspiring writer for the conscious writing collective, the Mindfulword.org, may have the answer. In one of his many thoughtful articles written for this online publication, Reif relates how he has learned to tap into virtual online spiritual communities through Zoom(the interactive web interface program that has soared in popularity during the crisis) to cultivate the feelings of loving-kindness. In Reif’s Words

“I rise, as often as possible, at 5 a.m. At 6:30, I attend “Virtual Morning Arti,” an international Zoom gathering of Meher Baba devotees. We recite prayers, sing two spiritual anthems, and then spend an hour sharing whatever songs, poems, messages, or anecdotes people are inspired to contribute. This event often leads me to great heights of joy! While the external world continues its hard slog, my internal world is brought to a point of shining—more than before the pandemic, I think.”

Maybe, we can all follow Reif’s example. Is it really a stretch for our imaginations to envision meditation circles popping up all over the world through virtual connections? I don’t think so. Besides spreading some much-needed peace and love right now, the emergence of such gatherings (even if they are only virtual) will also inspire hope…..the true motor of the human experience.




Tuning Your Heart Strings

On my personal blog, I wrote something called Unique Tunings for Guitars. It essentially explains the phenomenon of “sympathetic vibration,” for example how a guitar string is tuned to ring at a certain frequency and if I’m playing an A on my another instrument on the other side of the room from the guitar hanging on the wall, the A string which is tuned to ring at the same frequency, will hear its song sung by the other instrument and spontaneously begin to sing along, regardless of the fact that nobody’s around it. It’s like a ghost decided to play along. 

Our hearts strings are tuned in a similar way. When they sing when they hear their song they tend to vibrate as well. Perhaps the best way to approximate what Source is would be to call it love. So, when you love something or someone and you feel your heart strings a hummin’, well, that’s Source hearing it’s song. To find out what Source has in mind for you in this life, what your heart’s gift for the world is, just notice what you love. 

So, what resonates with you, what do you love? Even if you don’t know what your heart’s gift for the world is—your purpose for life— loving the world IS your purpose. Period. Focus on what you love and prioritize your attention on those things. Do you love ceramics? Do you love to ski? Do you love to teach? If it feels like the only thing in the world you love is your cat, then maybe your heart’s gift for the world is to love that cat for all you’re worth. Lucky cat. Give up the notion that you gotta be Ghandi or Lady Gaga to bless the world. Someone’s already been assigned that job. You’ve got your own job and it has something to do with what makes your heart sing. That’s it. It can be that simple. 

 

Keep in mind, though, that everything in this Universe is in some sort of orbit and subject to change, even your heart’s gift for the world, so don’t get too attached. Be connected enough to Source, to the love that is within you, to know when you might be called to love in a different direction.

 

Whether you know your heart’s gift for the world or not, it often takes  getting quiet, becoming introspective, and a ton of courage to learn to know it and/or organize your life in order to share it with the world. 

Like I said, maybe discovering what your heart’s gift for the world is takes being a little more familiar with Source. If you and Source aren’t really on a first-name basis, you might want to try some meditation. But sitting down, lighting some incense, and closing your eyes, while trying to focus despite the scratchy licks from the textured tongue of your beloved cat, may not instantly open up that deep wisdom you seek from your heart. Sometimes, to hear those secrets from your heart, you gotta set the conditions right to “listen.” Sometimes this means starting with some movement, some breath work, some gratitude,  and then do your meditation. Even still, the message might not come right away but as you regularly draw inward, slowly, you’ll learn to hear the quiet but sure voice of your heart. As you do, it will undoubtedly tell you what your heart’s gift for the world is and how to share it. I promise.

 

Scott Moore Yoga (Photo by Alex Adams)

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.




A Meditation on Freedom During COVID-19

By Forrest Rivers

As the United States begins relaxing stay at home orders it has made me reflect on the meaning of freedom in the age of COVID-19. During this period of self-quarantining and social distancing, freedom has come to mean many different things to people. 

For the most conservative anti-shutdown protesters in the United States (and to a much lesser extent in Great Britain and Germany) freedom has meant the right to work and operate one’s own business without undue interference by the government. For these protesters, it has also implied the liberty to make one’s own personal decisions free of state tyranny. Yet, for other folks, freedom has come to mean something different. For many liberal urbanites and senior citizens, freedom has come to be seen as the right to be protected from the threats posed by others’ irresponsible actions. In the context of this pandemic, some shoppers’ insistence on not wearing face coverings in crowded public places is an example of such a threat.  

Medical workers on the frontline of fighting the virus have also arrived at their own unique perspective of freedom. My sister, who is an ER doctor, has expressed to me that she and other medical workers would just like the freedom to be able to perform their (very vital) jobs without encountering institutional roadblocks along the way. A prime example of such a roadblock is the US Government’s colossal failure to provide an adequate number of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits for hospitals. 

In an inspiring development, a growing number of spiritual seekers, too, are coming to their own profound realization of freedom. In the context of the times, seekers of truth are regarding freedom as something that extends beyond the individual AND as one’s conscious choice to use their free will to alleviate the suffering of all beings. Such an understanding of freedom is akin, in a Christian sense, to be our brother’s keeper. And, in a Buddhist sense, rising to the level of becoming a bodhisattva or one who devotes their life to service. This perception of freedom has everything to do with the right intentions and challenges us to step outside ourselves and to flow with the great river of life. In the end, this acknowledgment of the interrelation of all things (oneness) is possibly the highest truth that mystics of every faith have discovered. Very fortunately for humanity, it appears that more people now are beginning to understand that true freedom springs from an awareness that we are all connected. Below, are two brief examples of this kind of freedom in action:

  Example 1: My friend Jamie

 For as long as I have known him, Jamie has been passionately devoted to the path of spirit and spreading the light of love. Recently, he began a live stream on Reddit centered around the themes of positivity and personal self-improvement. In just a few months, his platform has drawn up to 500 people from across the world. However, it is not the number of participants that matter in this story, but how Jamie has chosen to use his vehicle of expression to uplift others in this anxiety-filled time. Recently, Jamie related a touching story to me about how he has been coaching (in his terms) one of his live stream participants through a difficult period of depression and sadness. Most significantly, he revealed how this individual has been finding peace and comfort through their correspondence online. Incredibly enough, this participant lives in Australia! Jamie’s inspiring story is a testament to the fact that the vibrations of love can literally transcend all space and time barriers!

Example 2: My friend Austin

Austin has to be one of the kindest souls I have met in my life. And, as an inspiring musician, he has always succeeded in moving others to God through his creativity. During the thick of the stay at home orders, Austin could sense that his neighbors were feeling a little down from this extended period of isolation. So, he took out his guitar and started playing soulful melodies daily with the intention to uplift everyone around him. Austin brought so much joy through music that he received humbling letters of gratitude from some of his neighbors for spreading peace and love during an otherwise dark time for many. 

The examples of Jamie and Austin are powerful reminders that you can still (responsibly) respect social distancing guidelines while positively impacting other beings through your freedom of choice to acknowledge the cosmic threads that connect us all. In these unprecedented times of suffering and hardship, shift your perspective of freedom from what is good for you to what is also good for all your brothers and sisters!




Benefits Of Wearing Compression Clothing While Doing Your Meditation

Meditation is the art of increasing awareness within yourself and your surroundings. Several people think of this activity as a method of developing concentration while removing stress. Aside from a quiet place, consider using other essential elements to supplement your meditation sessions. One vital component that should come to mind is compression clothing.

Compression clothing can promote various advantages while doing your meditation. Here are eight of these benefits:

  • Strain Prevention

Meditation beginners can start meditating about five to ten minutes per day. Some people might spread their meditation activities throughout the day. For example, you can meditate for one minute after waking up in the morning and two minutes during your mid-morning snack.

During these few minutes, you’re going to sit still and stay put. Staying in one place might not seem like a challenge, but some people might find it challenging as the nerves won’t be comfortable.

Reduce muscle and nerve strain by wearing compression clothing. Specific compression wear can be an excellent option for meditation practices.

For example, compression socks made with copper technology boost circulation in the legs. Meditation practitioners who sit in a lotus position should find the activity more comfortable than usual, thanks to the reduced risk of veins constricting during the process.

  • Reduced Muscle Fatigue

Some people use the power of meditation to relax the mind after a strenuous workout session. Meditation can help clear the psychological stress brought about by intense exercises, allowing you to prepare for the rest of the day.

However, meditation relaxes both the body and mind, making you more prone to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Use compression clothing in this regard to help the muscles and nerves relax at a more controlled pace than average.

Wear compression clothing during your workout session, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of changing into your meditation wear after your exercises.

  • Improve Muscle Recovery

Aside from reducing muscle fatigue, compression clothing can improve muscle recovery time while you meditate. Let the body relax after an intense workout session as you attempt to meditate the fatigue away.

At this point, the compression gear you wear can improve the speed at which the muscles recover. Therefore, you can go back to your regular exercise regimen without the worry of feeling intense pain in different body parts.

For example, use compression socks if you just conquered leg day at the gym. The specialized socks help the muscles in your lower legs and feet to recover quicker than average, allowing you to walk, run, or jog without additional discomfort for tomorrow’s cardio session.

  • Enhanced Proprioception

Also called kinesthesia, proprioception is the ability to sense the position and movement of different body parts. During exercise, fitness buffs must notice and isolate specific body parts to improve muscle strength and growth properly. Failure to isolate the right body parts puts yourself at a high risk of acquiring injuries.

Meditation allows you to sense the different elements in yourself, making you more conscious of the muscles and joints to move on different occasions. Wearing compression clothing during exercise and meditation brings your proprioception to the next level.

Thus, wearing this unique type of clothing helps improve your body’s ability to locate and sense movement, allowing you to reap additional benefits, such as improved posture and enhanced stability.

  • Improved Mental Alertness

It can be challenging to meditate while the world is trying to give you unwanted noise. This “noise” can be in the form of different distractions, like office colleagues asking for help on their projects or the sound of nearby traffic.

With meditation, you become alert to these “noises”, but you also learn how to control your emotional balance so as not to react to these distractions. Improve your ability to isolate these annoyances with the help of compression clothing.

Compression apparel helps enhance the senses to help you concentrate on the things that matter at a given moment. With this type of clothing, the world may batter you with different annoyances, but you can still focus on bringing inner peace to every fiber of your being.

  • Reduced Risks Of Deep Vein Thrombosis

A blood clot that may form in a deep vein is referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, and it tends to appear in the thigh or lower leg. Once the vein swells because of the blood clot, it can lead to serious health complications.

Some of the causes of DVT are positions that prevent the blood from circulating normally. One example is a beginner meditation user who wishes to sit in a lotus position for extended periods. You might notice that you have swollen feet after sitting for a significant amount of time. If the discomfort persists throughout the day, chances are you might already have DVT.

You can avoid this health issue by wearing compression gear. Distinct clothing and apparel, like compression leggings and shorts, help the blood flow naturally, even if you’re in a seemingly uncomfortable position.

  • Enhanced Flexibility

A person does not have to be a professional yogi in order to practice the art of meditation. But, you might need a decent amount of flexibility to sit still for extended periods. Having said that, wear compression clothing to help improve your body’s flexibility. You can wear baggy clothing for meditation, but you won’t enjoy the extra benefits provided by compression gear.

  • Ideal For Beginners And Veterans

Compression clothing is an excellent choice for both beginners and veteran healthy lifestyle practitioners. Hence, it doesn’t mean that you need to be a high-level fitness practitioner before you can wear compression clothing.

It can be “Day One” of your fitness journey after living an unhealthy lifestyle, and you can still wear compression clothing. Remember that meditation should be part of your healthy lifestyle as psychological health should be just as important as your physical well-being.

Therefore, you can reap the numerous advantages brought by compression wear, regardless of your skill level in the fitness realm.

Conclusion

Compression clothing is ideal for all meditation practitioners. Use compression socks, leggings, and shorts, among others, to help improve blood flow, enhance concentration, and reduce the risks of particular ailments, like DVT. Contact a reliable compression gear supplier today so you can check which items suit your lifestyle the best.




What Makes You Come Alive? Following YOUR Path.

What Makes You Come Alive?

Philosopher, theologian, and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman once famously said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Making the biggest difference in the world means giving your heart’s gift to the world means offering your love and the fruits of that love as a gift. You give it because it’s a joy to do so, whether or not there’s any reciprocity. 

What does your heart’s gift for the world mean? How do you find it? What does it look like to share it? This is another way of saying following your Dharma.

 

Finding Your Gifts

Ever witness someone else do what they are meant to be doing in this world? Ever see the perfectly mowed lawn and say to yourself, “That dude was BORN to mow lawns!” or sit in a piano recital and say “that kid plays Bach like it’s her JOB!” or that woman is the APOTHEOSIS of a kindergarten teacher”? 

 

 

Seeing them do their thing moves us because somehow it gives us permission and nudges us to find and/or do what we were meant to do. 

 

Sylvia Plath gift to the world was poetry. Mikhail Baryshnikov gift to the world is ballet. Oprah Winfrey’s gift for the world… is being Oprah Winfrey. 

 

A heart’s gift for the world is what you were meant to do. It’s a gift because you give it to the world to make the world a better place and it’s a joy just to give it, regardless of reciprocity. 

 

Everyone has a heart’s gift for the world. Some of us know it. Some don’t. Some people’s heart’s gifts are very public, others’ are private. Someone’s heart’s gift may or may not be how they make their living. Sometimes you get a job and then through that work, it reveals to you something you didn’t know about yourself, the gift that was hidden inside of you. That’s true for me and teaching yoga and meditation. Through many years of teaching it, I’ve discovered how much teaching yoga and meditation makes my heart sing. It’s taught me volumes about myself and I absolutely LOVE it. If I were stranded on a desert island I’d still practice yoga and meditation and probably teach the sea birds everything I know about the subjects. 

Why Wouldn’t God Be Prince?

 

And think about it, if you were God and could express yourself in any way you chose, why wouldn’t you come to know yourself, at least in part, through playing the guitar like Joni Mitchell, or Eddie Van Halen, or Prince? Answer: there’s no way you WOULDN’T be Prince cuz Prince was incredible and he made the world an incredible place with his music, God rest his soul.

To discover and express your heart’s gift to the world means you gotta be connected to Source, the portion of Source that’s inside of you. Source— you know, Creation, The Universe, God, the Great EVERYTHING, Krishna, Sarah The Magical Unicorn, whatever you want to call that thing that is at once inside of you while simultaneously inside of EVERYTHING else. After all, the Divine is waking up to know itself through and as YOU. The Divine is using your hands, your mouth, your talents to move this whole Universe along and to grow into discovering itself. So if Source is coming to know itself as you, don’t you think you ought to know a thing or two about Source so you can help yourself be what you were meant to be?  

 

Well according to Source, you’re just as much a rockstar as the artist formerly to this world as Prince was. Your gifts may not be as public as Prince’s but you gotta remember, to the gladiolas in that garden of the little white house on the corner— you know the one, it’s the one with nary a weed, the one where the most feral of cats wouldn’t even dare to trespass to do their business in there, the one where you make excuses to walk by it, socially distanced of course, just so you can be near its beauty— well, to the flowers in that garden, the little old lady that keeps that Eden is nothing short of a rockstar. The same Source exists within you as it did Prince and those stunning gladiolas.

Rock On!

 

Yes, you are a rockstar, though your venue for rocking might be raising kids, might be litigating corporate fat cats, or hosting peace rallies. Maybe your venue for rocking is simply the way you appreciate the world— it’s your style. Whatever it is, you are called on to rock and the world needs your heart’s song.

Rock on. Do what you do by following what you love.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




The Messiah is Here, Part 3: Recognizing and Dissolving Causes

By Karma Singh | * Harmony Energy Consultants

In order to truly remove a problem, you need to know what the real cause is. Karma Singh illustrates this point with a great story.

The link to the video mentioned is:

Editor’s Note: The above video is the 3rd video  in the series about sovereign living by Karma Singh, and delves a little deeper into why some people in power may have become evil, and choose to do evil, and the importance of doing what we can to stop it. He mentioned the first 2 videos in this series. You may recall that part 1 explained how to use the power of your heart, and the part 2 explained how you can stop what “they” are doing to you. Here is the link for the earlier parts: The Messiah is Here – Parts 1 and 2. 

* Originally entitled:The Messiah Awakening Part 3 – Recognising and dissolving Causes”

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail




Compassion: Love For Self, Others, and Making Space for the 4-Train

We don’t need to change. We don’t need to improve anything. We practice deep compassion as we extend this same privilege to other people and things around us and allow them to simply be, especially those things that would easily turn our hearts bitter. 

As we practice yoga and meditation, we cultivate and practice being. We also reduce the suffering known as Dukkah, which would hold us back from experiencing our highest self.

One act of holding space is allowing yourself to be with a person or thing and allow them to be just as they or it is. I’m thinking of a friend who is sick or experiencing something mentally or spiritually challenging. Simply being with that person and holding space for them, without the need to fix or change anything, just being, allows a deep compassion to exist between the two of you.

Another act of holding space is the decisive act of making room in your heart for that which would sooner canker your heart with feelings and make your mind fester with “shoulds” and “what-ifs.” When you hold space for someone or something, you don’t have to fall in love with this person or thing but you are simply offering compassion toward them or it by not becoming sour toward it. And by so doing, you ultimately offer your own heart and mind in the same compassion–the heart that flourishes when it feels abundance and love, not bitterness, and the mind that abounds when it is sheltered from “should” and “what-ifs.”

 Here are an example of holding space:

 

The World: The NYC 4 Train once stopped en route causing me to miss my flight home.

Me: bought a NYC 4 Train T-Shirt–holding space for the 4 Train.

World: Just as it is.

Me: Accepting the world as it is.

 

Holding space is often the first part of forgiveness toward yourself and others.

This week, practice holding space for things that you either don’t understand or which bother you. 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Don’t Think Everything You Believe: Yoga Nidra and the Power of the Mind

Thoughts, emotions, and beliefs are powerful elements in our lives. For many, they seem to rule our lives. Yoga Nidra is a powerful tool to understand our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs for what they are and begin to see them with a proper perspective.

Yoga Nidra is a Tantric practice. Tantra refers to a school of thought that says everything is part of a non-dualist great whole. In Tantra, the idea is that anything that suggests we are separate from anything else, is an illusion. Yoga Nidra explores perhaps our 5 greatest layers of the ego called the maya (illusion) kosha (sheath or body) By understanding our maya koshas, we can learn to not identify with the changeable parts of our beings but rather to use them as a way of exposing our True Self, Awareness.

LEARN MORE about my Yoga Nidra scripts

The Pranayamaya kosha deals in part with energy and emotions, the Manomaya kosha with mind thoughts and how thought leads to emotion, and the Vijnanamaya kosha, beliefs, dreams, the collective unconscious and even our own  deep wisdom. Just like everything else in the maya kosha realms, our thoughts, emotions, and even beliefs change. To think of them as reality is a misidentification away from your True Nature, Awareness.By understanding your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs for what they are, you dismantle their control over you. Instead you begin to identify with Awareness that experiences emotions, thought, or belief, for example, without confounding your identity as that emotion, thought, or belief.

Like everything, learning to use an emotion as a method of experiencing your True Self may seem like a tall order. Of course it may take practice to be aligned with Awareness enough to become objective about harsh thoughts or emotions but hey, that’s what we are practicing by taking this course, right?

 

The Realm of the Mind: Manomaya Kosha

Research suggests that mindfulness benefits our bodies, not just our minds.

Things like anxiety, fear, or heartbreak, can’t co-exist while you are relaxed. That’s big! It is one reason why we emphasize relaxation so often as we begin the Yoga Nidra process. When relaxed, you may then observe any emotion arise and see it for what it is: an interesting part of you that changes and that ultimately may help you grow greater Awareness. Not Truth, not who you are.

Practicing switching between perceived opposite emotions is a skillful way of stimulating your brain and allowing you to witness and be with, rather than react to, certain emotional states. Remember that sometimes this takes practice but can be very effective even from the first practice of doing this.

In the late 1950’s, Joseph Wolpe added to Pavlov’s work by developing a treatment for anxiety using counter-conditioning. He stated that anxiety symptoms were lessened or eliminated when stressors were presented gradually and also systematically and paired with a relaxation response. Relax and then address your emotion to see it with the right perspective. Remember you are Awareness that experiences emotion, not emotion itself. Yoga Nidra can help some practitioners deal with some of the things that give them stress and even trauma because Yoga Nidra helps you to be relaxed enough to observe all kinds of benign objects, like the sensation of your hands for example, as a way of learning to also witness things like stress and emotions with the same kind of objectivity. When practiced regularly, it weakens your stress response and instead you can merely observe something that otherwise would stress you out.

 

The Only Way To Get There Is To Be Here: Emotions and Beliefs

 

Failure to acknowledge where you are in life ironically keeps you locked in that place like a prisoner. Don’t deny the emotion, for example. Rather, Yoga Nidra helps us to face whatever comes up for you and practice witnessing it. Therefore emotions will often lose their power to control your life.

Some cool things about the layer of beliefs, symbol, and dreams, the Vignanamaya kosha:

It lies beneath our rational mind. P.S. “rational” isn’t Reality (with a capital R)–it’s just the best way our brains seem to create an order in an otherwise chaotic world the best it can.

A compounded thought turns into a belief. Think it long enough and you actually believe it. Like everything else in this Universe, beliefs are neither True or not true. They are just beliefs. They come and go.

Archetypes are a fascinating way of examining the Vijnanamaya Kosha. When I think of a wise person, I think of Gandalf, the wizard from Lord of the Rings. He is my archetype I hold for my inner-wisdom. If I were to summon that wise person inside of me, the one that knows the answers and can tell me where to go, I’d think of Gandalf and see what he says. I know that Gandalf is really just the deep wisdom part of me.

Remember that what comes up when we examine our dreams, symbols, and archetypes, lies beneath our rational mind and therefore doesn’t always make sense, nor does it need to. Just have fun with it and see if it speaks to you. If not, think of it as an interesting way to practice paying attention and move on. It’s like examining your dreams for symbols that might represent something happening in the conscious realm. Just have fun with it.

As always, our primary objective with Yoga Nidra is to cultivate and identify as Awareness. Allow everything that presents itself as you welcome, recognize, and witness it, as a tool to practice Awareness.

Enjoy my FREE Tranquility Tool Kit, including a few Yoga Nidra recordings, some yoga videos, and more.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




The Messiah Is Here- Parts 1 and 2

By Karma Singh | Harmony Energy Consultants

Editor’s Note: When pondering this pandemic, many questions come to mind. Many of these questions, for me at least, begin with the word “why”? The last question I tend to ask is “What can we do? The following videos have some answers, and I have felt very empowered by them. Most of us have no way to have a conversation with those in high places, such as those who are deciding our fates day by day. The second video provides a way for us to communicate with these people in a quantum way. I have tried it, and I feel less helpless after doing so. I urge you to try it.

In part 1 (below) of a series about sovereign living, Karma Singh explains how to use the power of your heart:

In part 2 (below) of a series about sovereign living, Karma Singh explains how you can stop what “they” are trying to do to you:

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.