9 Differences Between iRest & Yoga Nidra

You might like to read this blog post for A Brief Introduction to iRest and Yoga Nidra.

  1. Differences in Culture Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra (TYN) is a meditative practice which stems from ancient Indian culture whose original works were written in the Sanskrit language. In part, TYN directs the student to use images such as a crocodile in the pelvis (which is associated with the sacral chakra), a ram in the solar plexus (manipura chakra) or an antelope in the heart (anahatta chakra), etc.

iRest has been secularized by removing references to cultural images and language in order to make it more accessible to Westerners.

2. Differences in Purpose Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra was developed as a method to attain enlightenment or Self-Realization, not as a treatment for trauma or psycho-emotional distress. Classical Yoga Nidra “imposes” imagery (as above) and makes other suggestions which have the potential to cause psycho-emotional flooding or overwhelm to those with traumatic PTSD or other combat stress conditions.

iRest is designed to support a person’s healthy defences and conditioning and to allow practitioners to uncover and integrate challenging material and experiences at their own pace and in their own time.

3. Differences in Use of an Inner Resource Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra does not include the use of a  an inner resource or safe, happy place.

iRest practices always begin and end with time to develop, rest in and absorb the felt safety and security of an inner safe haven. The student is assisted by the teacher in developing and enriching their own unique inner refuge especially to give them the resilience to meet challenging emotional arisings both during the practice and also during life.

4. Differences in Responding to Emotional Releases Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

While emotional catharsis is rare in practice it does occur. This is a good thing and does not necessarily mean the tears or crying are being experienced negatively by the person. In many instances it is a welcome cathartic release after which the person feels better and lighter. Like all things, these are passing experiences that are welcomed fully within the safety of the teacher and the group. They may occur during a Yoga Nidra practice just as they might in a regular yoga class.

Traditional Yoga Nidra

iRest teachers receive instruction during their training on how to meet, greet, and welcome the person and their emotions in a supportive but non-invasive way that supports healing without repressing or re-triggering the trauma.

5. Differences in Method Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra instructors guide all participants in a class through a standard process that is the same for everyone. Choices  are not provided.

iRest offers each and every participant the choice in how and when they want to participate. Each person is given the option to follow as much or as little of the teacher’s guidance as they wish, and are encouraged to follow their own personal inner process over the teachers guidance. Also, each participant has their own unique Inner Resource, and may choose the sensation, emotions, thoughts, memories, beliefs and images, s/he wants to work with during the practice.

6. Differences in Guidance Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra is more directive, “feel this,” “feel that,” “relax” and imagine X.

iRest helps people learn to radically accept themselves and their life just as it is in this moment without judgment or refusal. It doesn’t encourage avoidance or denial of challenges but rather offers the opposite, a radical meeting, greeting, welcoming and engaging so that their meaning, value and purpose can be discerned and integrated leading to living a wise and compassionate, vital life.

7. Differences in Use by Military Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra has not been used to treat trauma, PTSD or other combat related injuries.

iRest has been in use in military settings since 2006 following a successful pilot program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which showed its effectiveness in treating combat related PTSD in veterans. The Army Surgeon General has approved iRest as a Tier II treatment for PTSD in the DOD. Following the pilot study in 2007 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6 more studies have been done with the military. There are now approximately 20 VA and active duty U.S. military programs utilizing iRest. These programs have not been adopted by the Canadian Military to my knowledge.

8. Differences in Research Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Rest is formulated as a 10-step flexible process that is suitable for research. Between 2007 and 2015, 22 iRest research studies were published and all of the research on Yoga Nidra in military settings has been done using the iRest protocol.

9. Differences in the Yogic Sheath Model (Koshas) Between iRest and Traditional Yoga Nidra

Traditional Yoga Nidra is based on, and works with, the 5 traditional koshas; the Annamaya kosha (body), the Pranamaya kosha (breath), the Manomaya kosha (sensation and emotion), the Vijñ?namaya kosha (cognitions) and the Anandamaya kosha (bliss). These are elements with which we wrongly identify ourselves. We see ourselves as, or identify with, being a body, having a breath, experiencing sensations and emotions, and having personal thoughts, beliefs, memories and images. We can even identify with bliss when we think, “I am happy.”

iRest also uses the traditional 5 sheath model but adds a 6th kosha, the Asmitamaya kosha. Admit is a sense of “I-ness” or being a separate self. It can be that even when experiencing happiness or bliss the ego-I comes in and appropriates the experience by saying, “I am happy/blissful.” As part of this non-dual inquiry, iRest asks, What is this I-ness that is happy? What is the felt-sense of this I-ness?”

Eventually this sense of being a separate “I” is seen as just another thought that is impermanent. It can now be sees that the sense of separation is just another movement in consciousness, and in doing so realize ourselves as the container for that I-thought. We can then redirect our attention back into that Unchanging Presence that is Aware before, during and after all change, including happiness.

Knowing your True nature is of profound benefit to yourself, friends, co-workers and society at large. Taking right action and making ethical decisions is crucial to healing violence and the degradation of Earth’s environment. When we see others as ourselves then it makes no sense to go to war or to steal. Then health, harmony and peace are possible.

NB: Many thanks to Karen Soltes and Robin Carnes at IRI for their work on defining these differences. This posts has a special emphasis on trauma, such as PTSD.

Next Week: The 1 Big Hurdle to a Successful Meditation Practice & 19 Solutions

PNB HeadShot Preferred rnd cornersPhilip Beck is a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher, a graduate of the Spiritual Psychotherapy program at Transformational Arts College, and a 500-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher. He lives in Toronto and works with people who want to reconnect with themselves and their passion. Free discovery sessions are available in person, by Skype or FaceTime. You can email Philip here or  book Philip here for your complementary first session.

For a free 11 minute mp3 & PDF for relaxation, sleep and focus check out the home page. You’ll also receive blog posts and information about courses and workshops. Want to be inspired? You can follow Discover Yoga Nidra on FaceBook, by clicking here.

Please comment and keep the discussion going…

The post 9 Differences Between iRest & Yoga Nidra appeared first on Discover Yoga Nidra.

Pieces Of A “UFO” Fell From The Sky And Landed In Remote Cambodian Village

Residents of a small, remote Cambodian village were woken up to quite an unusual – and somewhat dangerous – surprise last week when pieces of metal were seen raining from the sky. At the time of publication, officials are still stumped as to what could be the cause, leading some to believe extraterrestrial forces could be behind the incident.

In a statement sent to IFLScience, residents of Preah Vihear Province said they heard a loud sound around 6am local time. They ran outside to find dozens of pieces of aluminum weighing more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) striking homes and causing damage across a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

”I heard a big noise in the morning. I was shocked and thought something bad had happened,” said villager Sok Nol. “When I went to look there was one big piece in a field and other smaller pieces around. We thought an airplane had crashed but there was no big engine.”

Residents collected the wreckage and reported it to police, who were unable to identify where it came from. Yin Chamnan, police chief of Preah Vihear, confirmed that rubble had been recovered in the village, continuing that regional police have not been able to pinpoint where the pieces came from. The case will now be handed over to a team of specialists.

Altogether, 17 pieces of aluminum and rubber reportedly fell from the sky. Viral Press

”We have found more than 17 fallen fragments of aluminum and rubber. But, we are continuing the search and are collecting further information from the people at the scene,” he said.

It has some thinking something out-of-this-world could be responsible.

”Now I think that it has come from space and landed in our village. It’s confusing because nobody knows what it is,” said Nol.

Chamnan, however, has a different explanation: ”Maybe these fragments are parts of a drone that someone flew. The parts were not relatively big,” he said.

Villages say they awoke to the sounds of metal dropping around 6 a.m. local time on October 25. Viral Press
It’s estimated the fragments weighed around 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Viral Press
The fallen fragments damaged buildings over a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Viral Press

The fallen fragments damaged buildings over a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius. Fortunately, nobody was injured. Viral Press


By Madison Dapcevich

What is restore yoga and why do we need it? | acacia studios power vinyasa yoga studio in westlands, nairobi

When to listen to your body (maybe more than the instructor)

April 3, 2017

Are you new to yoga? Here’s what to know before your first yoga class…

December 22, 2015

Please, STOP comparing yourself to others in yoga class

Restore yoga provides us with an opportunity to disconnect from our hectic day-to-day lives and go inward, both in body and mind.  The purpose of the practice is to do exactly as it’s name suggests- restore the body- giving it a chance to rest and recover from all that life throws at us.

So what is it?

Although different types of restore yoga offer different physical benefits, like yin which stretches the fascia, or a full restorative yoga, with allows us to surrender to poses by using a variety of props and supports; all forms of restore yoga provide us with a chance to rest and relax and encourage mindfulness. Like other forms of yoga, we also link the breath to the body, thus bringing awareness to our quality of breath. All poses are held for 3 minutes or more and there is are ofter long moments of silent which allows time for introspection. We practice in stillness or gently move from one pose to another

Love quick paced yoga? Think restore yoga is not for you?

 The term yoga means to “yoke” or “unite”. Yoga is about finding balance of strength (sthira) and ease (sukha). Therefore, a restorative or meditative practice is as important as an active practice, as it contributes to balancing out all aspects of our being –physically, mentally and emotionally.

Not yet convinced?  Here are 10 reasons to practice restore yoga:

Slows you down- in the fast paced world (Nairobi!) this practice gives an opportunity to chill out

Calms the nervous system– with all the input we get now with smartphones, computers etc, our nervous system has difficulty calming- practicing in a dark, quiet room soothes our nervous system

Improves sleep – with a quiet nervous system, we learn to let the body relax thus leading us to better quality sleep

Builds Body Awareness- moving slowly from one pose to another helps us to become more aware and accepting of our bodies

Deepens Emotional Awareness– sometimes we hide or ignore our emotions, yet in a restore class, as we move inward, we develop a deeper understanding of, and maybe compassion for, our emotions

Encourages feelings of Safety and Security- as most restore poses are done on the ground, we connect with our root chakra, which is responsible for our feelings of safety and security

Improves alignment –holding poses for a longer amount of time allows us to see what feels right and what feel off, thus improving our alignment  

Builds patience- the slowness of the practice helps us to build patience with ourselves and others

Accessible to all- restore yoga is great for the elderly, injured athletes, pregnant women and those suffering from trauma

It’s like a vacation- the feeling of relaxation, ease, and calmness after a restore class will keep you come back for more! 

Ancient Aliens on Mars? Massive ‘bright sphere’ spotted by NASA satellite on Mars | Ancient Code

A Massive sphere—casting a large shadow onto the surface—has been found on the surface of Mars in an area where once a massive lake existed. Is this the ultimate evidence of ‘artificially’ created structures on Mars? 

Countless images of Mars show what many refer to as ‘countless mysteries’ on the surface of our neighboring planet.

As we explore new images sent back from NASA’s rovers and satellites on Mars, in some of them we encounter things that according to many shouldn’t be there—at least not if Mars is in fact a desolate planet which never had life.

However, a new image promises to change everything we thought we knew about the red planet: There is a massive sphere on the surface of Mars. The image, taken by NASA’s satellite orbiting Mars shows what appears to be a massive sphere on the surface of the planet.

The image, snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows a massive structure on one of Mars’ ancient dried up lakes.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been carefully orbiting and studying Mars ever since entering orbit around the red planet in 2005.

The odd strcuture—which casts a large shadow on the surface of Mars—was spotted by Alien Hunters over at MarsMoonSpaceTV.

In a video uploaded by the group, UFO hunters zoom into the image seen on NASA’s website. The area pictured is a region on Mars where once—millions of years ago—a lake existed.

The odd structure—which according to many is the ultimate proof of a civilization in ruins—is located on the edge of a GIANT dried up lake that was once covered in water.

As SecrueTeam10 tells us: “The massive white spherical object is unmistakable.”

“As you look around the image you don’t see anything else like this and that’s why it stuck out like a sore thumb. From the shadow its casting I would have to say that this thing is not only large but it may have some height to it, so we may have a tower structure here.”

However, the ‘structure’ may not be as alien as many believe.

One ‘scientific’ explanation is that we are looking at a so-called Martian ‘spherule’.

Martian spherules (also known as blueberries due to their blue hue in false-color images released by NASA) are the abundant spherical hematite inclusions discovered by the Mars rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum on Mars. They are found in situ embedded in a sulfate salt evaporitic matrix, and also loose on the surface.

However,  as noted by national geographic, on Mars, most of the hematite rocks are about 0.16 inches (4 millimeters) in diameter, and no larger than 0.24 inches (6.2 millimeters). By contrast, Earth spherules exhibit a large range of sizes, not limited to only a quarter of an inch.

Dr. Hap McSween an Opportunity science team member from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has warned that “a number of straightforward geological processes can yield round shapes.”

What do you think this alleged structure really is? Is it just another massive rock on the surface of Mars? Or is it possible that this object—and countless others—are the ultimate evidence that Mars was once inhabited?

Why Tai Chi Is On My New Years Resolution List | RheumatoidArthritis.net

When I first heard about Tai Chi I was in my twenties and had just moved to a new city. Someone told me that it could help arthritis, and I wanted to get out of the house and meet some people so I decided to try it. Before I do any kind of exercise class I try to talk to the teacher to let them know about my fused wrists and movement limitations because in the past I’ve had teachers who try to correct me not knowing that what they are asking me to do is impossible. I called and talked to John, the instructor, and he told me that Tai Chi has been done for over a thousand years and can help with pain, stress, balance, and strength. Originally Tai Chi was a martial art practiced in China but over the years it has transformed into an exercise routine for the whole body, that utilizes the breath and visualization in order to create a walking meditation. The name Tai Chi Chuan, translates to Supreme Ultimate Exercise, and if you walk around any park in China you’ll see why. People of all ages and in different levels of health practice Tai Chi, and every one of them looks like they are slow dancing to a soundless tune.

Introduction to Tai Chi

My first Tai Chi class was a bit intimidating. The movements that look so easy and fluid take time to remember. For the entire hour we practiced the opening sequence which takes maybe twenty seconds. By the next week I’d forgotten most of what I learned and I realized quickly why John said it was important to practice. But my body loved it. Within a few weeks I felt steadier on my feet. I was riding a bicycle one day and I rode through a small gate that had always had to get off and walk before because I was afraid of falling or hitting it. I started sleeping better. And I felt stronger, both in my body and in my mind. Something about imagining I was a tiger when I was doing the tiger claw move made me feel like Rocky, stronger than I knew! I became hooked and was an avid Tai Chi student for the next few years until I moved to another state.

Since then, I’ve taken more Tai Chi classes, and branched out by trying Qi Gong as well, which is similar to Tai Chi, but more focused on moving Chi, or life force according to Chinese medicine, through the body in order to influence healing. There have been hospitals in China that utilize Qi Gong as a healing modality and when I’ve done it I have experienced a similar overall relaxation and improved balance that Tai Chi gives me. The one difference I’ve found for me is that since Tai Chi is more dynamic, it helps my pain more than Qi Gong, which you do standing in one position for the whole time.

If you are interested in looking into Tai Chi for yourself I’d suggest looking up a man named Paul Lam, an Australian physician who began to practice Tai Chi after he was diagnosed with arthritis and found it made a dramatic difference in his pain. He went on to develop a program called Tai Chi For Health, and has specific programs for arthritis, fall prevention, and osteoporosis. If you look on his website:https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/about-us/ you can even search for a certified instructor near you, or if you are lucky enough to live near Portland, Oregon, you can attend a workshop with Dr. Lam himself in June of next year. I had the pleasure of meeting him about fifteen years ago when he taught a class in m small town of Durango, Colorado and it was well worth the time and expense. Or just go to your local community center and ask if they have any programs there, because often they will. There are different Tai Chi styles, some more martial art oriented, and some more focused on general health but all of them will give you similar benefits.

I doubt I would have done Tai Chi if RA wasn’t a part of my life, but one of the many things that life with rheumatoid arthritis does for a person is to make them try things they never would have imagined doing otherwise. And it’s a lot more fun than most other things I’ve tried. So this year, starting a Tai Chi class again is my number one resolution. Maybe it can be yours too!

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Star Signs + Strains: March 2019 Horoscopes | Leafly

Buckle up, stargazers! Mercury enters its first retrograde of 2019 on March 5th, and it will stay there almost the entire month, going direct on March 28th. This transit is going to ask us to look deep within and see what it is that’s been holding us back. Not just on the surface, but really underneath. Like when you finally clean under your couch cushions and find that earring you lost in 2001. That’s the depth we’re talking about here.

The theme for March is: In My Feelings.

Uranus moves into Taurus this month on March 6th, where it will stay for the next six years. Any stale ways of being, both on a personal and global level, will be challenged. This can be a volatile time, especially when the energy of Taurus craves stability, but this is only happening so we can move into better and more compassionate ways of being.

Venus will begin the month in freaky Aquarius before moving into super-freaky Pisces, so expect the unexpected in your relationships. The new moon in Pisces on March 6th will help lessen the Mercury retrograde blow, and the universe bestows upon us the dreamy gift of balance with a full moon in Libra on March 20th.

Bottom line? March may feel like a Lifetime movie. And we’ll get through it, together.

Happy Birthday, you tender dreamer! Mercury has been moving directly through your sign since early February, and you’ve likely felt an uncommon ability to express yourself clearly as a result. That could all come crumbling down on March 5th, when Mercury stations retrograde in your sign, and you could become tangled up in an identity crisis of sorts as you begin to question everything and everyone around you.

Don’t fall for the trickster energy Mercury retrograde likes to stir up. The new moon in your sign on March 6th is a good day to release old fears so you can go into this retrograde period free of unnecessary baggage.

When Venus moves into your sign on March 26th, a soul connection should come to your rescue exactly when you need it. You want to believe, and there’s no better time like the present.

March Strain: We can’t see those new shimmery scales you’ve been working hard to develop ’til you are ready to shed the old. There is no better time than your personal new year to let this transition take place. Pineapple Kush, a lovely hybrid, rocks a generous ratio of THC to CBD and sweet aromas of pineapple with accents of caramel and butter. It makes for one tasty birthday strain, and its combo of mild body and cerebral highs will help you keep an even keel as you begin this new transformative period. Compliments on your newfound shine will be April’s bounty.

Beware this Mercury retrograde, firestarter. If ever there was a good time to pause before you express yourself, it’s this month. Mercury retrograde moves through unpredictable and watery Pisces, so the opportunities for you to say the wrong thing will increase. The silver lining is that if you can hang on until March 20th, the sun will enter your sign and you’ll get a little fiery love from the cosmos.

Do not force things this month. We repeat, do not force things this month. Make like a cat and nap. Your abilities to rest and show restraint will reap hearty rewards.

March Strain: In order to wield your forces for the good of the universe, we encourage imbibing in a little Yoda OG. Known for its ability to decrease anxiety and stimulate relaxation and appetite, this heavy indica boasts a rich citrus flavor, and much like Yoda himself, a surprisingly small dose can knock you out. May the force be with you.

Uranus enters your sign on March 6th, where it will stay for the next six years. Uranus is a planet of combustion, electricity, innovation, and change. Along with Mercury stationing retrograde in unstable Pisces for most of the month, March will test your boundaries.

What can you do? Trust that this energy is productive and encourages you to lean into whatever transformation is available. The full moon in Venusian sister Libra on March 20th could bring you much-needed respite from the strife, so be open to giving yourself a treat.

March Strain: Combustion, innovation, and change are positive forces if you let them be. Take on this six-year period by accepting your cosmic shake-up and running with it. Treat yourself well and often with goodies like Himalayan Gold, a happy, uplifting, and creative hybrid internationally known for its buzz that starts in the body and moves to the brain. Notes of chocolate and pepper, and a pungent aroma are also notable in this mild strain.

Your ruling planet stations retrograde on March 5th in watery, emotive Pisces where it’s been since early February. You may have found yourself struggling with your emotions or difficult memories from your past, and it’s only going to get more intense with this retrograde.

The good news is that these things come up so you can move through them—but only if you show up and avoid disassociating. Focusing will be a challenge, but harness some of the cosmic balancing energy from the full moon in Libra on March 20th, and you’ll come out of this retrograde having slain some demons and feeling lighter overall.

March Strain: Good news Twins! Both sides of your nature are about to receive universal reprieve. You’ve held your ground through a lot of messiness the past few months, and it lifts with the next full moon. There is hardly a strain as focused and feel-good as hybrid Purple Arrow. As its name implies, this straight shooter keeps your mind in the game while your anxiety melts. Earthy, sweet, and woody, its smell and taste serve as a reward for your previous struggles this year. Enjoy this hybrid all day long as it’s a mellower smoke.

You’re always in your feelings, but with Mercury stationing retrograde in fellow weepy water sign Pisces on March 5th, you could easily be swept out to sea if you don’t plan ahead with a life raft of sorts. Our advice? Let that life raft be self-love and self-appreciation. Make a list of all the things that set you on fire about yourself before March 5th and refer to it when things feel like a tsunami later in the month.

The new moon in Pisces on March 6th is a smart time to get rid of bad vibes you’ve obsessed over. If it doesn’t make you happy, it isn’t worth your time and energy. Practice letting go. There’s some juicy magic on the horizon.

March Strain: It’s time to Marie Kondo your emotional house, Cancer. If “juicy magic” isn’t an enticing enough cosmic reward, what is? Take advantage of this decree and love yourself ‘til it hurts, little crab. Use Marie’s method for every thought you ponder this month and if it doesn’t bring you positivity and joy … Let it go. Spend the month happy, creative, and relaxed with Blue Goo, a hybrid known for a smooth berry taste and all-day usability. With parentage derived from Afgoo and ever-popular Blue Dream, this sturdy strain smooths out moods and relaxes the body in an enjoyable buzz.

The first fire season of 2019 is just around the corner when the sun enters Aries on March 20th, so hang in there, kitten! Mercury retrograde in moody and murky Pisces is going to do its best to trip you up, but if you can use your on-brand, elevated self-esteem for good this month, you’ll be able to stay on track and rise above any retrograde-related obstacles.

Venus will be in extroverted Aquarius beginning on March 1st, which could spell adventure time for your lust life. Listen more than you speak this month, and you’ll sparkle your way into some exciting situations.

March Strain: Remember you’re a fierce creature this month, lion. Let that mane blow in the March breeze and let retrograde roll right off that gorgeous fur. Your lusty, luxury-loving self is going to make the best of the cosmic chaos. Cherry Skunk is your personal prescription. A palate of sweetness, berries, and earth combined with a happy, euphoric relaxation and boost of creativity make this a Leo treat you’ll be adding to your recreational regime.

Your detail-oriented, organizational nature will be provoked this month when your ruling planet Mercury stations retrograde in expansive, unstable Pisces, so practice non-attachment where possible. Uranus moving into fellow earth sign Taurus won’t do you any favors either, as it challenges you to embrace change and surrender to the unknown.

You can’t control everything, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s good for your status quo to get shaken up. What else is out there for you in the universe? Be open to the mystery.

March Strain: Few star signs will experience this retrograde like you this month. No one is as hard on you as you are. Self-care and opening up to the wonder of the unknown is the best shield for what gets thrown your way. Lemon Thai stimulates the more cerebral aspects of the smoking experience allowing users to feel introspective, focused, and thoughtful. Featuring a pleasant lemon taste with notes of additional citrus and tea, this stress-free sativa keeps your mood lifted and spirits bright during a tumultuous month.

The month begins with Venus in fellow air sign Aquarius, which means your flirty and charming nature could earn you some hot hookup opportunities. Think outside the box and get ready to be dazzled. When in doubt, use that trademark (over) active imagination!

Mercury retrograde in Pisces could try to throw some shade and confusion your way, but the energy available to you from the full moon in your sign on March 20th and your natural ability to weigh all options before moving forward will save you.

March Strain: Energy, calm, and focused creativity are essential to keeping those scales balanced during one of the universe’s most challenging periods. The full moon is your guide and stabilizing force. A hybrid like Blue Widow (a.k.a. Berry White, White Berry, or Blue Venom) with its heavy notes of earth, blueberry, and pine make consumption a pleasure. Best used in doses, Blue Widow can have effects ranging from a mild buzz to a sleep aid depending on the amount of consumption.

When Mercury stations retrograde in Pisces on March 5th, you could get tangled up in some sticky webs. You’re an expert at playing games and hoarding secrets, but if you’re not paying attention to who you’re spilling what to, some wires are bound to get crossed. Don’t fall into the Mercury retrograde trap!

With Venus in unpredictable Aquarius for the first three weeks of the month, this trap could very well revolve around your romantic liaisons. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s or prepare for the unraveling. With the right amount of prep you won’t sting yourself.

March Strain: It might be your nature to swing that tail when things get out of sorts. To deal with Mercury’s mischief this month, you’ll need a canna boost that soothes your body and mellows your mind. Fire Alien Kush, a hearty hybrid known for heavy resin production and a lofty buzz, is a happy, euphoric, creative strain that keeps you in a state of well-being and awareness. Dankness (along with earthiness and wood notes) is a notable trademark of F.A.K. so proceed accordingly.

Venus enters kindred adventurer Aquarius on March 1st, so don’t be surprised if your love life and/or close friendships get exciting for the first part of the month. You’re going to feel ultra-stimulated and inspired by your loved ones during this period, but don’t forget that Mercury will also be moving retrograde in watery Pisces at the same time.

Opportunities for miscommunication and misunderstandings that could kill the mood are at an all-time high. We know you like to be blunt, but it could easily be misconstrued as unwanted meanness. Use those Sag smarts to your advantage. This month practice restraint. Or, better yet, gratitude.

March Strain: This will be a month that requires smart self-medicating. Keeping yourself in a state to receive and give the best of you is no easy task. Rest will be key. The wise archer doesn’t want to shoot themselves in the foot or a loved one in the heart. Pink Kush, an indica-dominant hybrid is near candy-like in its palate. Sweetness, vanilla, florals, and earth accompany a gorgeous bud with glistening pink hairs, making this as attractive to view as it is to smoke. Let it be the first thing you are grateful for this month.

Uranus moves into fellow earth angel Taurus on March 6th and this could be a buzzkill for your love of tradition, stability, and tried-and-true systems. Uranus is going to ask you over the next six years to live a little or a lot. Release some of your more rigid ways and embrace spontaneity. Be curious what you might discover about yourself if you can loosen your grip and your expectations about your personal reality.

Our tip? Take a dance class or do some yoga flow. Self-expansion should be your goal this month and beyond.

March Strain: The potential new you is looking bright and beautiful. Polish those horns, practice overabundant self-love, and the next six years will be your most productive to date. Earth elements will enhance your development and hybrid Dr. Who, boasting heavy earth (along with berry and grape) notes, will be most beneficial. Be relaxed and uplifted when taking on yoga, dance or new movement, and creative tasks. Your energy flow and positive new vibes will be absolutely contagious.

Venus enters your sign on March 1st, so expect things to get a little spicy and unpredictable in your romantic interludes this month. Mercury stationing retrograde in imaginative and freaky Pisces could have positive implications for you if you lean into the weirdness of it all. Don’t be married to a specific outcome or series of events and you will be rewarded.

The good news is that you’re here for it, whatever it is, so practice surrendering to the flow of the universe and prepare to have your mind blown.

March Strain: Openness invites sexy fun this month, so swim in those warm and delicious waters while they last. You are one of the few signs that will not be wrecked by retrograde fishy friends. Celebrations are in order. Tasty indica Wonder Woman OG is a tingly, euphoric smoke flavored with mint, tobacco, and citrus that will prep you for accepting the new libidinous surprises that await.

Video: Vipashyana Mahamudra (Vipassana) short teaching on Madyamuka and brief guided meditation

Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, spiritual director of many meditation centres in Canada, U.S. and Australia, returns to Gaden Choling Toronto Canada March  23-April 4 2018. He is currently teaching in Mongolia.

In a short 20 minute video teaching (followed by a brief guided meditation), H.E. Zasep Rinpoche introduces and clarifies the complex concepts of Vipashyana Mahamudra (Vipassana in Pali): literally: “liberating the mind.” [Video plays below. Full transcript below video (pending)].

Practices include, mind observing the mind, mind as object and mind as subject, mind as object and “I” as subject. Although the teaching is an advanced topic, Rinpoche helps clarify a subject that sometimes baffles students.

Meaning of Mahamudra: “Maha” means “great” and “Mu” means “Emptiness”; “Dra” means “Liberating.” Literally: “When you experience shunyata — emptiness — then your mind will be liberated.”

After the teaching and the short medtiation, enjoy Yoko Dharma chanting the Shakyamuni Mantra: Om Muni Muni Maha Muni Ye Soha.

NOTE: H.E. Zasep Rinpoche will be on a teaching visit March 23-April 3, 2018 (See details below.)

Video Teaching:

Quoting from numerous texts, and eloquently illustrating with examples, Rinpoche helps spark at least an initial understanding of concept — then, encouraging students to study and learn more on this important topic.

Rinpoche explains the two levels of Mahamudra: Sutra and Tantra. Sutra Mahamudra has two levels: Samatha (which is common amongst Buddhist practitioners) and Vipassana (which is much less practiced.) “Usually when we do Mahamudra, we meditate on the mind… the subject is the coarse mind. The object is the subtle mind.”

(Note: any errors are the errors of the transcriber)

The subject of the teaching and meditation is Mahamudra. According Gelug tradition, we call also Ganden tradition. Some people maybe haven’t heard Gelug Mahamudra, and yes, we do have a wonderful Mahamudra teachings, very profound teachings. The Mahamudra practice, according Gelug lineage, is a direct one. It came from Buddha Shakyamuni then to Manjushshri. The lineage from Manjushri to …  Lama Tsongkhapa. And then it gradually come down to the first Panchen Lama Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen. And then, come down to current, until now. It’s unbroken lineage, we have. And a very unique practice.

So, there are different levels of Mahamudra. First of all, Sutra Mahamudra, Tantra Mahamudra, two levels and Sutra Mahamudra, also has two levels; Samatha Mahamudra and Vipashyana Mahamudra. At this point I was requested to talk about Vipashyana Mahamudra, because Samatha Mahamudra is quite common, especially in the Kagyu tradition. And there are a number of books and you can find them. And some of the Mahamudra teaching according Kagyu and Gelug are more or less same, or similar. I should say similar.

And Vipashyana Mahamudra is different. For this is why I am talking here, Vipashyana Mahamudra. And Vipashyana Mahamudra is also known as a Madayamaka. And Uma Chenpo, a Tibetan word. Uma Chenpo means great Madayamaka. Lama Tsonghkapa himself used the term, uma chenpo instead of Mahamudra, then the first Panchen Lama Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen, he compiled root texts of Mahamudra and auto-commentary, his own commentary. So there’s lots of details on Mahamudra teachings. I have received this teaching from my Guru.

So at this time, I will explain little bit, Vipashyana Mahamudra… So, usually when we do Mahamudra meditation, we meditate on the mind. The subject is the mind. The object is the mind.

The subject is coarse mind. The object is subtle mind. So it’s like mind to mind, according Theravadan Buddhist Vipashyana meditation, there’s a word called mind to mind, body to body. Okay, kind of like that mind to mind. So, here the object is the mind.

Now, I should actually say, the literal meaning Mahamudra, Mu is shunyata, emptiness. Dra is liberating quality. When you experience shunyata, Mu, emptiness of the mind, then your mind will be liberated. This is the great one. This is why Maha means the great one.

Very famous Indian Buddhist philosopher, Master Aryadeva, said in his Four Hundred Verses…  said even slightest doubt or when you have a doubt or some inquiring mind about shunyata, that is marvelous. That inquiring mind of shunyata will eliminate or destroy your samsara, like you’re holding chopping knife and chopping down vegetables or chopping some material. So this is example, very beautiful and powerful.

So here, meditating on the mind, and you focus the mind on the mind. But here, now Vipashyana Mahamudra is meditating on emptiness of the mind. Okay. So first of all, I should say a few words about the mind. What is mind anyways? So, mind is consciousness. We have primary mind, and secondary mind and mental factors, and so forth. I’m not gonna go into all this detail. And you can study text Pramanavarttika, and Abhidarma, and Madyamaka, and so forth.

So, according to Prajnaparamita Sutra, states mind doesn’t exist within the mind. The true nature of the mind is clear light. Okay. So, when it says mind doesn’t exist within the mind, that means when you look at the mind, you cannot find the mind on the level of inherent existence. You cannot find. That’s why mind doesn’t exist within the mind. True nature of the mind is clear light. The more you meditate on the mind, you experience the nature of the mind is luminous and clear light. And spacious. And stillness.

Okay. So the Tibetan word for this is ‘Semla sem mache! Sem kyi rangzen osel wa wo!’ Okay, this is from the Prajnaparamita Sutra. Semla sem mache! Sem kyi rangzen osel wa wo! Okay, ‘Semla sem mache’ means mind doesn’t exist within the mind. And ‘Sem kyi rangzen osel wa wo!’ means nature of the mind is clear light.

Now, when you meditate on the mind, look at the mind and you can’t find mind. It’s like you peeling the onion, keep peeling, peeling, nothing left. All you have is the onion, there’s no seed, there’s no solid substance. Okay, that’s one example.

And the true nature of the mind is clear light. Clear light here referring to emptiness. It does not mean some kind of bright light, like sunlight, moon light or a torch or a flashlight. And emptiness …

So now, I will explain the technique, how to meditate. According in Ganden Tradition, and Gelug Tradition, first we’ll, first of all you meditate on emptiness of personality… that make emptiness of personality. And emptiness of the mind. As the Buddha said in the Heart Sutra, form is emptiness. Emptiness is also form. There is no form other than emptiness and no emptiness other than form. Likewise, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness. So consciousness emptiness. Emptiness is also consciousness. There is no consciousness other than emptiness. There is no emptiness other than consciousness.

First of all you sit on the cushion, comfortably, meditate. And you do mindfulness breathing. We do nine-point breathing exercise and do some of the Mahamudra and observing your mind. Your mind is observing the mind. It’s called resting the mind in the natural state. So you sit down, resting your mind.

Resting the mind in the natural state. So, resting, the word resting is very important one because our mind is restless, as you know. And always thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, asking questions, this and that, busy, busy, busy. And you, your mind becomes so restless and thinks so much, and your mind is exhausted. So that’s why we need to do resting mind. Just like your body, when the body’s tired you need to rest. Right, you sit down or lie down and so on. Resting the mind in natural state. Why natural state? Unfabricated and unaltered mind. Just be here and now in the present moment. Just be. Just rest the mind in the natural state. Try cultivating a calm abiding mind. Not intentionally. When you are sitting resting your mind in a natural way, natural state, then calm abiding mind is happening naturally. So that’s the foundation.

Then you do the Vipashyana Mahamudra. So you observe your mind, okay look at the mind. And you don’t see the beginning of mind. You don’t see the end of the mind. And you don’t see the mind right now, right here in front of you. And all you see is the subject of the mind and the awareness. Your mind is the awareness and knower and cognisor. That’s all you have here. You should know that. And you see now, where is mind. You experience some aspect of emptiness of mind and what we call the dawn of emptiness of the mind.

Then suddenly, some thoughts come, right? And you see it all, this thought, that thought. But that is your mind, but that thought already came. Not here. You cannot see the mind and in other words, your mind, the subject mind and object mind cannot be same time. Cannot be simultaneous. They don’t exist simultaneously.

You only see the second moment of the previous thought that is already rising. So that’s previous thought now, and that’s okay. You see that, and then it’s gone. But no longer holding, just let it go, let it go and stay in this moment. Then naturally, awareness of the mind is here. Awareness is here. And stillness is here. And spaciousness of the mind is happening. And some level of emptiness is happening. Experiencing little bit. This is your focused mind on that. And this is Vipashyana Mahamudra.

Then, that’s the mind, right focused mind on the mind. But then what about I? What about self? I am the person who’s meditating on Mahamudra. I am the meditator of Mahamudra. Where is I or self? Same way you look at the I. Okay, so now your mind is the subject. The object is I. Where is I? What is I? Not so much, about where is I, but what is I? Also, what is self? I or self or me, all those different labels right, it’s the same thing.

So what is self? What is I? I is only the concept of I. Self is only the concept of self. There is no self other than the concept of self. There’s no I other than the concept of I. It’s a label. We’re imputing the label of self and I on this form, this body. We got this habit of doing this. It’s there. Now, is that wrong? Putting the label of I or self? No, nothing wrong. Not only you do have to put label I or self in order to communicate on a conventional level, right? Nothing is wrong.

As long as you’re not grasping onto self and I. As long as you don’t grasp on self and I, this is the point. So when you meditate in this way, your grasping mind of self or I will be subside. Gradually become less and less. You only have the concept of self or I. Nominally and you function yourself in this light in this way, dependent arising an emptiness, both at the same time.

Lama Tsongkhapa’s advice: one should mediate on emptiness, dependent arising, both co-exist. They do co-exist. There is no emptiness without dependent arising. There’s no dependent rising without emptiness of self.

Going back to the meditation, so you observed self and me. There’s no self and me. Where is self? There’s no self. It’s like you are imputing the label on a car and a machine — car —  let’s say Toyota or whatever, or Honda, or Hyundai and Kia, whatever. So you impute the label on car and you have all the parts of car; engine and wheels and transmission and et cetera, et cetera. And you impute the label, made in Japan or made in Korea, and then it becomes a car. And when you take them all apart, there is no Toyota or Honda, just parts.

Like that, our own person or self doesn’t exist, when you meditate on them, when you investigate by intellectual mind. This kind of meditation is known as an analytical meditation. First we have to do analytical meditation when we do meditation on emptiness of personality. Analyze. But not too much analyzing. You analyze then you stop and make closure. You say, “Okay, now I experience glimpse of emptiness of self or I. Or emptiness of mind.”

But at the same time, on that relative level, there is mind, there is consciousness, there is I. I am the one who’s meditating. I am the one creating good kharma. So you make the conclusion, closure this way. A brief explanational emptiness of the mind and person and Vipashyana Mahamudra meditation according to Gelug Tradition.

So I like to leave the meditation on resting mind in the natural state. I would like to ask everybody sit comfortably on meditation cushion or on chair. Keep your back straight. So, resting your mind in a natural state. Which means, your mind is in the present moment and here, right here. Do not go to the past. Do not go to the future. And only be here, in this very moment.

                                    (Ringing Bell)

                                    (Music Playing)

Om Muni Muni Maha Muni Ye Soha

(Shakyamuni’s mantra)

H.E. Zasep Rinpoche’s Toronto Teachings March 2018

H E Zasep Rinpoche teaching in 2016 at Gaden Choling.

When H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche returns to Gaden Choling, Toronto — after yet another extensive teaching tour that took him from Vancouver to Mongolia — he will offer some very rare and treasured lineage teachings and initiations. One in particular — Guru Padmasambhava and Amitayus empowerment — is a long-life practice very rarely given, from lineage of famed Gelugpa Yogi Mahasiddha Takpuwa Dorje Chang. Details at Gaden Choling’s website (new information likely will be added between now and the visit.)

Rinpoche will also teach a weeekend retreat on Medicine Buddha at Owen Sound, Ontario.

Fri., Mar 23rd, 7pm-9pm: Vajrasattva Yab-Yum Tantric Initiation.

Vajrasattva is a manifestation of Buddha Conquerer Vajradhara and his practice is one of the most powerful healing and purification techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism. For a feature story on Vajrasattva, please refer to>>

Sat. & Sun., Mar. 24th & 25th, Both days 10am-4pm: Commentary on Yamantaka Tantric Practice

Yamantaka is the Anutara or Highest Yoga Tantra aspect of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. This practice is at the heart of the Gelugpa Tradition and a source of the highest spiritual attainments. H.E. Zasep Rinpoche will give detailed commentary and instruction and lead discussion on the many aspects of Yamantaka practice. A “must-have” for those who have received the Yamantaka Empowerment. Open to Initiates of Yamantaka practice. (This is a Highest Yoga Tantra practice. Please only attend the commentary if you have initiation.)

Tues., Mar. 27th, 7pm-9pm: Chittamani Tara Empowerment

Chittamani or “Mind-Jewel” Tara is the Anutara or Highest Yoga Tantra aspect of Green Tara, the Buddha of Compassion and Wisdom. Chittamani Tara is a relatively new practice, coming from a cycle of 13 Initiations from the “Clear Vision” of famed Gelugpa Yogi and Mahasiddha Takpuwa Dorje Chang in the 19thC and is unique to the Gelugpa Tradition. A peaceful, direct but very profound practice of Green Tara, Chittamani Tara is a source of the highest spiritual attainments in Tantra. For a detailed story on Chittamani Tara, please refer to>>

March 31 – April 1st  Weekend Medicine Buddha healing teaching in Owen Sound

Medicine Buddha practice is a strong healing practice. (Visit https://sittingatthegate.wordpress.com/ for details)

Tues., April 3rd, 7pm-9pm: Guru Padmasambhava and Amityus Empowerment

This Initiation is extremely rare, again from the “Clear Vision” of famed Gelugpa Yogi and Mahasiddha Takpuwa Dorje Chang in the 19thC, like Chittamani Tara and is both unique to the Gelugpa Tradition and unique in that it combines the Deity practice of Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life with the Guru Yoga practice of Guru Rinpoche. In terms of Gelug practice, this makes it very singular & special. It is a healing and long-practice as well.

Wed., April 4th, 7pm-9pm: How to do Tantric Sadhanas and Tsog offerings

H.E. Zasep Rinpoche will teach and give commentary on how to do basic Tantric practice & rituals as well as Tantric Feast Offerings.

Events: $25. Members / $30. Non-Members per event

Mar. 24th & 25th weekend package: $40. Member / $50. Non-Member

About H.E. Zasep Rinpoche

Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is Spiritual Director of Gaden for the West, with meditation centers in Canada, Australia and the United States. Rinpoche is popularly known for his approachable teaching style, strong humor and teachings based on a long lineage of great lamas. His own gurus included the most celebrated of Gelug teachers: His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Thupten Wanggyel, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Venerable Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Tara Tulku Rinpoche and Venerable Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche. Rinpoche is spiritual director of many temples, meditation centres and retreat centres in Australia, the United States and Canada. He was first invited to teach in Australia by Lama Thubten Yeshe in 1976.

H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche with a line from his “long life prayer” which was composed by his teacher HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche.

About Yoko Dharma

Yoko Dharma sang the beautiful Shakyamuni mantra at the end of the meditation. Buddha Weekly has featured a number of her gorgeous mantras in stand-alone videos. Please refer to here for other Buddha Weekly videos>>

From her website:

 “Sometimes when you wait, it gives you time to grow and flower into something much more beautiful then you had ever imagined. This is the case with Yoko Dharma. The last 5 years for this Canadian born recording artist has been full of growth opportunities as she has patiently been waiting to record her RnB debut album “Freedom Reign.” Now her album is almost complete!  Producer Marty Rifkin is working on this album with Yoko, bringing “Freedom Reign” to life and helping Yoko manifest her vision into the world. Marty has recorded with JewelBruce SpringsteenElton John and numerous other well-known artists. The culturally diverse world music influences drawn on to make “Freedom Reign” album, stem from Yoko’s passionate love of world music and unique world instruments, which are all a part of Yoko’s intriguing sound.
Her motivation to break through cultural barriers using music as the conduit for positive global change and peace, is a call to action and  transformation of one’s mind, which is given to the listener through Yoko’s conscious lyrics throughout the album.  Steeped in the basic human qualities of love, compassion and awareness, Yoko draws from the deep rooted wisdom that Tibetan Buddhism has given her in her life and reflects this in her songwriting. Between Marty Rifkin’s expertise and Yoko Dharma’s strong message and powerfully sweet voice, I have no doubt that Yoko’s debut  RnB album will shake the globe, stirring international fans everywhere!
     Growing up as a Tibetan Buddhist in the west was a slightly different childhood then most Canadian kids have. This had a profound and deep influence on Yoko from an early age, especially when she started adapting Tibetan Buddhist meditations and practices more seriously at the age of 13. This definitely makes Yoko unique in the way she writes music and in terms of what she has to say based on her own understanding. This seems to spill out to people because many of her fans resonate with what she is singing about . Her ability to connect with the listenersweather it is on stage or through a recording is profound because of some basic truths she sings about which transcend culture, race and religion. Essentially, the science of the mind, the truth of all phenomena and some fundamental human qualities that we all possess like love, kindness and compassion. This is why so many people relate to her music and I think this is why she can move people so deeply because somewhere inside they also know these truths or have had similar experiences.”

Related Post

What is Hatha Yoga – Living Smart Girl

You may already know there are several types of yoga out there. In fact, that knowledge may be what started you on the path to finding out what type of yoga may be suitable to your needs and to your lifestyle. Hatha yoga is appealing to many people for a variety of reasons. If you have never heard of Hatha yoga here are a few quick facts to get your started.

This post contains affiliate links..Should  you make a purchase I will earn a small advertising fee at no cost to you.

The Technique

The first thing to understand about Hatha yoga is that it is a gentle form of yoga. In fact, it is considered the ideal yoga practice for someone that is new to the world of yoga. It has gentle slow movements. It also allows you to learn different breathing techniques and to grasp them before moving into more complex and intense yoga styles. The technique is an ancient technique that works on not only breathing techniques but the flow of the movements.

The Movements

Most of the Hatha yoga movements you see are ones used in other yoga traditions. The difference with Hatha is that the movements connect. They flow from one to the other instead of breaking up with a small break and movement in between. This is ideal if you are looking for a set routine that you can memorize and use while you are at home or on the go. In some other traditions, you can learn the movements and poses, but they may not join. In Hatha, they do join and move as a flow.

Hatha Classes

If you plan on going to Hatha yoga classes there are a few things you should expect. It is a low energy and quiet environment in most cases. This is ideal for someone who wants a stress free environment where they can concentrate on the yoga and not on the world around them. You will also have an instructor that likely moves around the room and helps you with your poses. This is a hands on class, but a silent meditation class. It is peaceful and the flow of the class moves with the flow of the poses.

These facts should let you know if you want to continue pursuing your path of Hatha yoga. If you do, you will find there are several poses to help stress as well as ways to incorporate Hatha into your natural healing and health routine.

You can find more yoga resources here.

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way 🙂

I love working online and spend most of my day blogging, and researching new topics and tips to bring my readers.

Join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LivingSmartGirl

Reiki Practice: Magic or Medicine? with Pamela Miles

You don’t need much experience with Reiki practice to know the results can seem magical. But does that make it magic?

The improvements that come with Reiki are medically documented–improved breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and heart rate variability. But does that make it medicine?

Reiki practice

If Reiki were magic, we’d need a single treatment and all would be well. It’s true one Reiki session can bring amazing improvement, but we’re smart enough to know it takes more than a single Reiki session to maintain our health and well-being.

To stay happy and healthy, we need Reiki treatment consistently, a daily “dose” if you will. But there are many things we need every day–food, sleep, hugs. Our daily need doesn’t make any of them–or Reiki–medicine.

Medicine addresses your body and perhaps your mind and emotions. Reiki practice does all that, and restores your spirit.

So if Reiki’s neither magic nor medicine, what is it? Reiki is a practice.

The daily Reiki practice difference

Yesterday I heard from a Reiki professional who had recently taken my Reiki & Medicine Intensive. She wrote, “I cannot tell you how great it has been to have taken that class with you.”

Of course that’s a comment I’m always happy to read. I was intrigued about the details and asked to know more because hearing what makes the difference for different people helps me improve as a teacher.

She replied, “Two simple words. Daily practice.”

I’m still beaming.

Practice is medicine

Your body responds with predictable physiologic changes when you practice Reiki.

Reiki practice accelerates the natural course of healing not magically, but by optimizing your body’s ability to heal. Reiki helps us get (our minds) out of the way so we can heal on every level, body, mind and spirit.

You know that soothing feeling, that sense of safety you often feel when practicing Reiki? That’s not measurable the way physiologic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure are, but it is significant.

Feeling safe feels better. And feeling safe changes your biochemistry.

First you stop hurting yourself. (Today only, do not worry, do not anger.) Then you open to positive emotional states such as gratitude and compassion that have been shown to strengthen your health and bring out the best in you — your very best YOU, the one you so enjoy being.

Practice is an investment

Yes, self Reiki practice requires training, and that involves an initial cost. (I hope you took the time to make a good choice.) You likely earned that money back the first time you didn’t have to pay someone else for care because your Reiki self practice was more than enough to get you back on your feet–or prevent you from being sidelined by illness.

PLEASE NOTE: First degree training is all most people need. You don’t have to keep investing in training if your goal is to practice on yourself, family, friends and your animals. (Of course people who want to become Reiki professionals need more training, but first they need at least a year of daily self practice to strengthen their well-being and begin to understand the depth of what happens during Reiki practice so they can support and guide clients realistically and practically.)

But you can only accrue the profound, continuing dividends of your initial investment in training with a daily, continuing investment of time.

Maximizing the return on your investment

Your investment in self Reiki practice yields both quick dividends–you start feeling better within minutes–and long range improvement in your happiness and health.

How has your Reiki practice helped you? I bet you can think of three things right off the top of your head, things such as improved sleep, digestion, focus, sense of purpose and social satisfaction.

Have you ever wondered how exactly that happens? While we don’t know why the touch of a Reiki-trained hand elicits such a profound self-healing response, we know quite a bit about what happens and why it matters.

When you practice, you’re setting aside time to reverse the ravages of stress. Yes, your stress. Ignoring the amount of stress you live with doesn’t mean it hurts you less.

You also give your body access to the full array of self-healing systems that shut down under prolonged stress. Your body comes back to itself as you practice every day, and you benefit from the gentle yet deep cleansing and healing that the body needs every day.

That’s something worth investing 30 minutes a day. Especially when you can be in bed half asleep as you practice.

So why not give it a try? If you were never taught self Reiki practice, click here for a helpful article.

And if you fall in love with your daily self practice, grab your free I Practice Self Reiki Everyday digital badge, in English or more than 30 other languages! Add it to your Facebook page, your email, your website–anywhere you want to start a conversation about the difference Reiki practice has made in your life!

Reiki & Medicine (and me!) on the road again

I leave today for Europe until 3 July. Please join me at the Reiki conference in Madrid 23-24 June. Or email me to meet for coffee in Paris, Prague or Budapest.

Blessed Boundaries Retreat at Omega Institute August 26-31

I am thrilled to offer the first ever in-person spiritual retreat after offering the online program for several years. Our time will be sweet and transformative. The retreat is open to everyone, whether or not you practice Reiki. Click here to learn more.

Reiki & Medicine Intensives

The Reiki & Medicine Intensives give you what you need to present a compelling and logical case for Reiki practice to anyone, including doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals (and any other reasonable skeptic). You will leave full of enthusiasm and knowledge about how current medical science supports the value of Reiki practice, and how to communicate that.

Double Up: A Feng Shui Guide to Using Mirrors in Your Home

Mirrors possess a variety of special abilities when it comes to multiplying Feng Shui energy at home. When used properly, they’re able to multiply and disperse good energy throughout the different parts of the house. They’re able to expand and brighten any space, and even attract good energy inside the home.

However, it’s important that we pay close attention to few important Feng Shui guidelines to avoid misusing mirrors. Improper use of mirrors could trigger various problems throughout the home, creating bad energy that counters the good chi we strive hard to achieve. Read this easy guide on using mirrors to achieve good Feng Shui in your humble home.

The Main Entry

Mirrors in the main entry play a very powerful role in attracting good energy in to the rest of the house. When placed correctly in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, they’re able to bring in light and good energy from the outside and disperse that same energy throughout the home. Mirrors lined with gold frames are especially able to attract wealth and prosperity into the home. Placing mirrors in the home’s entryway also activates the water element of Feng Shui in the home, which is essential for creating a good flow and balance of energy.

Remember not to position any mirrors facing the front door, as it is believed to reflect the good energy back out the door instead of dispersing it throughout the home. Ideally, mirrors should be placed perpendicular to the door in order to attract good energy into the home.

The Dining Room

A mirror in the dining room doubles the amount of food, symbolizing wealth and abundance, and inviting prosperity towards all those who dine in that area. The mirror can be placed anywhere in the dining room, except on areas facing any exits like doors or windows.

The Bathroom

In the bathroom, remember to never place mirrors in front of the toilet bowl. Otherwise, the mirror will multiply the bad energy from the unpleasant sights and smells coming from inside the bowl. Also, it’s important to make sure the mirror is placed at a height that would allow every member of the house to look into the mirror and see their entire head fit inside the frame. If there are children in the house, provide them with a stool they can stand on.

On the other hand, Feng Shui practitioners commonly recommend that the bathroom should always remain hidden in the home. We recommend placing a full-length mirror on the outer side of the bathroom door. Doing so not only masks the bathroom entrance, but also reflects the more scenic surroundings of the home, which counters the bad energy coming out of the bathroom.

The Kitchen

If you must place a mirror inside the kitchen, which Feng Shui generally discourages, make sure to face the mirror away from the stove. Kitchen stoves are known to exude strong Yang fire energies, which could cause an imbalance in the room if reflected by a mirror. This also applies to microwaves, toasters, and other appliances that produce light and heat in the kitchen.

The Bedroom

Feng Shui discourages placing mirrors in the bedroom because they are believed to disrupt proper sleep. This is because mirrors reflect different sights and sounds in the bedroom, circulating too much energy in the space, preventing those in the room from sleeping soundly. If you must have a mirror inside your bedroom like most modern homes do, make sure to place it further away from your bed. If this setup cannot be avoided, use a scarf or any piece of cloth to cover the mirror before you sleep.

The post Double Up: A Feng Shui Guide to Using Mirrors in Your Home appeared first on MyHome.