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.”
 
 
 

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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.

4 Powerful Pranayama Techniques That Can Change Your Life

Just breath. it’s simple advice but something you need to take more into consideration if you want to manage stress and feel your best.

Pranayama is an ancient form of specialized breathing that can have amazing health benefits. This article will give you a good understanding of the importance of breathing and pranayama techniques you can do to find more peace and balance.

What Is Pranayama?

Pranayama is all about breath control and being able to control it so you can achieve different results. The name comes from ancient Sanskrit with prana meaning “life force” (specifically the breath) and Yama which means to restrain or control the prana.

In the ancient world, this concept was thought of as the “vital air“. They understood the breath to be the most subtle material form and that it is also present in the blood. Pranayama techniques have connections to Hinduism and traditional yoga.

It also has connections to Buddhism as the Buddha would incorporate meditative breathing techniques to help find enlightenment. We’ll get to the pranayama techniques but first, it’s important to look at this issue of deep breathing and what benefits come from it.

The Importance Of Breathing

Most people are shallow breathers meaning they are not getting that deep inhalation that expands the belly and brings oxygen deeply into the body. Many people breathe short little breaths that tend to not go into the lungs and this may prevent them from being as healthy as possible.

With shallow breathing, you can get less oxygen to the blood and this makes it hard to combat things like stress and anxiety. You may also raise your stress hormone levels as your body isn’t getting all the oxygen it needs to its organs.

You may remember always hearing gym teachers telling you tobreathe in through the nose and out through the mouth” and this is a helpful reminder.

When you breathe through your mouth too much, it can be a signal to the body you’re struggling for oxygen as breathing should be through the nose.

When it’s through the mouth, this can elevate your stress hormones as your body doesn’t know if you are in peril or have to face some external threat. Martial artists, athletes, and MMA fighters work on this specific breathing through the nose to keep their bodies calm during competition.

Combatants will train themselves to breathe deeply in through the nose and expel sharply out of the mouth during combat or engagement. When they are walking around in between moments of combat, they will focus on breathing in and out through the nose slowly. This keeps the stress hormones down and allows the body to relax and prepare.

It’s a good tip for whenever you find yourself in stressful situations whether they be physical or mental. Remember to breathe slowly in through the nose. You may notice in moments like this that you hold your breath without realizing and you need to always remind yourself to breathe.

When I write I tend to hold my breath, especially when I’m focused, and I realize I’m doing it right now. I have to constantly remind myself to breathe deeply and make it slow and controlled. But I’ve become better at recognizing this.

What Are The Benefits That Come From Pranayama Techniques?

Most of the benefits will come from controlling stress. Stress can lead to a lot of nasty conditions in the body as constantly elevated cortisol can lead to a lot of chronic inflammation. Inflammation can be seen to be at the route of a majority of illness and conditions. You will never eliminate all stress but you can learn to control it.

A big thing to remember is it doesn’t matter if stress is real or perceived, your body responds in the same way.

When you learn pranayama breathing techniques it can help with:

That last one may seem weird but it comes back to controlling stress. When your cortisol levels are elevated this can cause weight loss to come to a screeching halt. When cortisol levels are high weight loss is the last thing your body wants. Your metabolism will drop when stress hormones go up as your body thinks it’s facing a trauma.

Your body doesn’t know it’s living in a modern era with everything at its fingertips, it imagines stress can be from drought or famine, environmental trauma or other external threats. It doesn’t know if it will be fed soon so it wants to preserve everything it has, specifically body fat.

Your body fat is a backup energy source and is needed during times of threat. As long as stress hormones are high losing weight will be difficult.

How Do You Do Pranayama?

Pranayama breathing techniques get more advanced than the regular “in through the nose, out through the mouth” concept and it helps you to recreate a sense of happiness at any moment. Your thoughts control your breathing and when you are happy your breathing is steady and controlled.

When you are stressed, however, your breathing becomes irregular, shallow, and interrupted. When you can master the art of breathing it can put you into a calm state in any situation. Here are 4 pranayama techniques

1. Being Aware of Your Own Breath

This is where you want to start if this concept is new to you. When I mentioned earlier about most people being shallow breathers, or holding your breath while stressed, you need to train yourself to breathe. You need to pay attention to what makes your breathing speed up and to recognize those signals in your body.

Make it a point to slow your breathing down by taking those deep inhalations through your nose. Imagine you’re filling your stomach up with air and slowly release it. This is the first step to improving your breathing techniques.

2. Victorious or Ocean Breath Technique

They use this in yoga and it’s also called Ujjayi Pranayama. This is done to help enhance the relaxation response of your slower breathing. It’s called ocean breath not because you’ve eaten too much tuna. 🙂 It’s actually meant to mimic the sound of soothing ocean waves. To do it, you breathe in slowly through the nose. Then, open your mouth and exhale slowly out but make an “HA” sound.

This is not a laugh at my hilarious tuna joke but the noise you’d make when fogging up glasses lenses to clean to them. You then want to keep the back of your throat closed (as it is when making the HA sound) while you inhale again through the nose.

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is alternating breathing between your left and right nostril and can also be called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. It helps to unblock and purify your “nadis“, which is the energy passage into your body that carries the life force. To do it, you would have your fist in front of your face and close your right nostril with your thumb.

Inhale through your left nostril then close it with the ring finger of your hand. You then open your right nostril back up and exhale out. Then you inhale through the right nostril, close it, and exhale through the left. That’s once cycle and you can do it 3-5 times.

4. Breath Retention

This is about holding the breath in called Kumbhaka Pranayama. You will inhale and inflate your lungs as much as possible and hold for ten seconds. When ten seconds is up, you will try to inhale a little bit more. Then, hold it as long as you can then slowly exhale.

This will help oxygenate your blood more that is going to the heart, lungs, and muscles. If this is difficult, try holding for three seconds. This is deeper breathing that wouldn’t be good for those who are pregnant or have any heart conditions.

Final Thoughts On Pranayama Techniques

Hopefully, you will come away from this being more aware of your breathing. You may not have thought about it much before. But you can see how important it is for combating stress and keeping you relaxed. If this is all new to you, start with just being aware of your breathing and how you react in different situations.

As you become more in tune with it you can move up to more advanced pranayama techniques.

Are there any other of these techniques you like to use? Please share below!

Copyright © 2018 Life Advancer. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

How to Strengthen Your Mediumship Abilities

The Art of Mediumship

What is it about October that makes people interested in the spirit world? It could be the Hunter’s Moon, Halloween/Samhain events, and the longer nights—or a combination of some or all of these elements. This is the season that inspires people to wonder what’s waiting for them on the other side of life. Perhaps they also want to contact those who have crossed over too. As a California Psychics reader, I notice an uptick in the request for readings involving mediumship.

Wondering what life is like on the other side? Get a reading with a psychic medium and find out!

I would be remiss if I didn’t add this disclaimer: You must study in earnest and never attempt contact without the supervision of a well-established psychic medium. Just as you would never leave your front door wide open throughout the night, you also don’t want to leave your psychic energy wide open in your early attempts at mediumship. Therefore, it’s a prudent idea to begin your studies by asking a trusted psychic what books or classes can help you in your pursuits. Many of my students have gone on to become very successful psychics but first, they had to learn how to listen and how to be patient with their advancements. The study of mediumship (like any divination) takes a great deal of time and dedication in order to fully embrace and utilize it.

Mediumship Begins With a Simple Exercise

Once you have begun your studies, I offer you a simple exercise to try which is a rather rudimentary effort, but it’s also a wonderful way to get accustomed to the interactions of energies that exist in other dimensions. To begin, make sure you are in a quiet and safe place. A small alcove in your home you can designate for meditation would be a great place to sanctify for this process.

Turn off your phone, television, and any other kind of distraction. Bring a white sheet of paper, a marker, and a pendulum into the center of what will become a sacred circle. The pendulum can be an actual pendulum used specifically for this purpose or it can be a necklace, etc. Be sure to drape the chain OVER your first finger and hold the remaining chain between your finger and your thumb. This cuts down on the possibility of your subconscious mind making micromovements to change the outcome of the answers you seek.

Making Your Sacred Circle

Stand in the center of an imaginary circle within your sacred space. Place sea salt at eight places along the circle: north, south, east and west and then in between each of those directions. Now settle into the center of your circle. Make whatever kind of declaration you feel in order to declare that space as a place of love and protection. Remember, that this is YOUR space too. Therefore, nothing can influence anything in that circle without your consent and invitation.

Align your pendulum with the energy you are exhibiting. You can do this by holding it over the white paper and asking a question for which you already know the answer. Does the pendulum swing in a circle? Does it swing back and forth? Whichever direction it’s going will be the way to determine the answer. Any question will do as long as you already know the answer. This is known as getting a baseline read. Now you know how your pendulum will communicate its answers.

Connect to a Specific Energy

Now you can begin by asking for a specific energy to contact you. Perhaps a parent or other loved one who has crossed over would be a good starting place. It’s very important that you ask only “yes” or “no” questions and patience is vital when it comes to mediumship. Connecting with those beyond the veil is not a proven science and each person has a variation of how they prepare to contact the other side. Spiritual direction, dedication, and ethics are the most important attributes brought into this particular form of divination.

Next, record whatever information was offered to you. When you have finished your initial exercise, be sure to send the energies back to the dimensions from which they wandered. Release the energies with appreciation and gratitude, but also with a clear, concise firmness of declaration. Remember, you are in charge!

The Onset of Vivid Dreams

After the circle has been closed and things have returned to the way they were earlier, be prepared for very vivid dreams for a few days. Many energies may find it easier to contact you through the dimension of dreams. Be sure to bless your home and keep a good balance of energy so you can maintain control over your new attempts at mediumship.

Most professional psychic mediums study for many years—even those who are bonded to this gift through a bloodline. Remember, mediumship is not an “instant” line of study. Instead, it requires patience and determination, as well as an open mind and a confident, respectful heart.

Seek advice from a trusted psychic medium, like me. They can certainly give your recommendations for classes and books that can help steer you in the right direction!

Death is not the end of your strong bonds. Apsychic medium can connect you to those who have crossed over. During apsychic medium reading, you can share messages, get closure, and so much more.

About California Psychics
California Psychics is the most trusted source of psychic readings. We have delivered over 6 million discreet and confidential psychic readings by phone since 1995. More than a prediction, we are your guide for life’s journey. Serenity, happiness, and success are just a phone call away. With over 400 psychics online to choose from, you’re sure to find the best psychics for you. Call one of our trusted and accurate psychics today! Confidential and secure, real psychics, accurate predictions, 100% guaranteed.

If you want to practise mindfulness, the garden is the place to be

Many of us have had a perfect day in the garden, the kind of day that we hope would never end. A day when the herbaceous borders burn brightly with colour, and the trees and shrubs stand green against the blue sky. A day when the grass is soft and rolling. A day when there is a warm sweetness in the air while you prune and weed and plant out seedlings. It’s a kind of day that leaves you feeling calm, collected, and aware.

If you’ve ever had a day like this, there’s a good chance you’ve achieved, at least for a few moments, a mental state known as mindfulness. In the last few years, mindfulness has had a great deal of media attention. Simply put, mindfulness is about being more aware of what is happening both inside and outside ourselves. Mindfulness stems from eastern Buddhist traditions and practices. In the west, it has been embraced and modified and is now considered a useful tool to help focus the mind. Many have found it particularly useful for mental health problems, and it is recommended for issues from anxiety to depression. Even the NHS has endorsed mindfulness. Their website states that, “Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.” There are now hundreds of books on how to become more mindful. There are classes being offered in church halls and offices. There are apps, CDs and DVDs.

For me, the perfect activity to truly become mindful, the thing which allows me to genuinely engage with the world around me, is something I can find right outside the back door – my garden. I do practise mindfulness meditation in the classic way (eyes closed and belly breathing), and I have found it to be very useful. I’ve even been known to light the cliched stick of incense or two. In short, guided meditation is good. But nothing connects me more to my surroundings than gardening. We gardeners know that on a good day, when all the plants around us are reaching toward the sky, when the soil in the vegetable beds runs richly through our hands, that we feel totally connected to the present moment. There is a calm in gardening which cannot be found anywhere else.

My peace comes in those long days adrift in the garden. As I pot on seedlings, carefully lifting them by their new bright leaves so as not to damage their delicate stems, or saw strenuously on the branches of an overgrown privet hedge, I disappear into the act of gardening. The horizon in my mind seems to become smooth and level like the open sea. At this point I have entered what psychologists call “flow”: a term used to describe a person’s state of mind when they are completely absorbed in an activity. The feeling of flow is closely associated with mindfulness. When I’m lost in the act of gardening, few things can draw my attention. Yes, I’ll stop what I’m doing if my daughter asks me to play with her on the grass or if the grumbling of my stomach tells me it’s time to stop and get something to eat. Family and food always come first – after that, it’s the garden.

Trite as it may sound, I feel as if all the individual threads of my mind are woven properly together by the act of gardening. We’re taught in school that humans have five major senses (though in reality I’m told there are many more), and if mindfulness means being fully aware of the world around you, fully engaged with your senses, then I can think of no better task than gardening to become more mindful, for what keen gardener has not closed their eyes and bent down to inhale the gentle fragrance of a flower? When I’m gardening, a great point in the year is when I can begin to harvest early peas. It’s always exciting to pull the first one from the vine, pop open the pod, tip my head back, and with a flick of my thumb pour a handful of sweetness into my mouth. Then there’s the other senses: the dazzling sight of cherry blossom in spring or the sound of grasses dancing in an autumn breeze.

These experiences are not the preserve of the elite; nature is all around us. My garden is no rural estate; I live in a quiet suburb attached to a larger city. My plot of land is typically narrow and long. There is nothing unique about where I garden. And that, is the beauty of gardening; it is an activity which is available to almost anyone. Most of us do not have acres of land, but around 90% of British households do have access to some kind of garden. For those who do not have any outdoor space, there are allotments and community gardening schemes across the country. With a modicum effort and a decent trowel, we may all be able to find our little piece of Zen.

Gardening and mindfulness seem like a perfect match. There are so many aspects of modern life which people seem to disconnect from – long monotone office meetings, spreadsheet filled computer screens, cramped train rides or traffic jams. Due to the stressful and fractured nature of life, people often want to be somewhere else. It doesn’t need to be like this. If you want something that reconnects you to the world around you, which makes you more mindful of the present moment, than look no further than the green grass beneath your feet. You really won’t find a better meditation mat.

Taurus Daily Horoscope: Thursday, February 14

Mars enters your sign today, dear Taurus, and will fire you up until March 31st. You’re on the verge of a once-in-a-lifetime Uranus transit to your sign that will challenge your independence and encourage a more authentic presentation for the coming seven years.

This Mars transit is certainly not as rare as it happens approximately every two years, but it serves to motivate you and enliven your life, increasing your assertiveness and go-getting qualities.

It brings out the fire in your personality, your desire to innovate, and your dynamism, and it’s probably the perfect time for you to explore your desires as you prepare for the exciting Uranus transit.

It’s a period of innovation, new beginnings, and increased courage. It doesn’t take much to get you all worked up, which can support you or set you back, depending on the situation!

Use this period for tapping into your natural bravery and shaping your life in ways you want it to be, but avoid rash decisions and behavior. Today, watch for pushing ahead too soon. A brief lull or slump is possible, but ultimately motivating.

Your passions are stirred today, and you zap back into action. A feeling of depletion vanishes. You may want to burst with movement, exercise, or dance.

On another level, you’re so mad that you’re not going to take being pushed around anymore. Anger is often a sign that a boundary has been crossed.

Find a non-confrontational way to reset your limits with the violating party, so that you resolve the issue without damaging the core relationship. Let your impassioned nature advocate for the benefit of all.

Welcome to some of the most exciting weeks of the year for you and also to what is a brand new starting point. Your birthday month might still be two months away, but as Mars spends his first full day in Taurus, he is already opening new doors.

Over the next six weeks, Mars will not be content to just open new doors, but to make doors where there currently are none or even knock down walls if need be. With Uranus just weeks away from his seven year visit, this the start of major new journeys and adventures.

Today’s Quote: “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”

Lucky Numbers: 23, 28, 31, 38, 39, 48

Daily Compatibility: Cancer

Creativity: Good

Love: Good

Business: Fair

The Most Powerful Type Of Empath – Are You A Heyoka?

Empaths are individuals who are physically sensitive to other’s feelings and often more spiritual than the rest. These people have a gift to “read the mind” of people.

More precisely, empaths can feel what people are feeling and thinking, thus often, their lives are under the influence of other people’s intentions and moods.

But being an empath is not something you could easily learn. Even if one wants to be an empath, they might not succeed no matter how hard they try. Being an empath is something you take with you from birth.

Being an empath can have its own consequences, though. Many people born with this trait experience the feelings and thoughts of the people around them.

At times, they can even feel the physical symptoms of an illness or anxiety. As a consequence, they are often misdiagnosed as hypochondriacs.

Many people misunderstand empaths and fail to relate to everything they’re experiencing. And the empaths themselves know that because they can read the emotions of others.

Empaths are affected by other’s energies and their life is influenced by their environment unconsciously. Thus, when they’re anxious or sad, those emotions might be just a reflection of someone else’s feelings.

The Most Powerful Type of Empath

Some empaths manage to block out emotions and may even appear ignorant. However, there is one type of empathy that is most powerful – Heyoka.

The most important trait of Heyoka empaths is their ability to show the negative traits of the others. As the term (which means “sacred clown”) reveals, these individuals act as expressive reflectors to people in their environment.

The traits of a Heyoka empath may even include dyslexia or young appearance. In addition, they are born with the ability to help the people who express their negative traits.

Sometimes, their intentions may be misinterpreted and they may be accused of being intrusive or irritating. But being irritated or anxious after a conversation with Heyoka empath might mean that they were only mirroring the emotions you are releasing to the world.

Similarly, if you feel happy and confident afterwards, it might be that they have tried to show you how important it is to feel that way.

Many people would leave and not think about this experience. It is easy not to accept your flaws and always blame the others for your misfortunes. Or you could learn from a Heyoka and let them help you.

You could be open minded and share the experience with the Heyoka. It’s good to accept your negative traits and try to improve instead of running away from them.

Because there will be time when you will realize that you could’ve improved many things and you could’ve influenced other lives with your positive example.

The Heyoka empath will help you overcome everything and you will learn from them to be satisfied with yourself. They are wise and they have practiced their gift since they were born.

They will be your support when you need it and they will give you the best advice you could ask for when you find yourself in the middle of a crossroad.

By Elizabeth via curious mind mag

The Law Of Attraction Is Not Going To Work For You Unless You Do These 7 Things

The Universe is an intricate web of energies. We are but minuscule parts of matter and energy and we obviously derive our unique frequencies from said profound energies of the Universe.

When we dream of something or we really desire something in life, it is the matter half of ourselves asking to harness the more profound energies of the Universe for its own ends.

But this is not as simple as asking for candy from your parents. This is literally asking for ability to do things that are probably far beyond your current reach.

This is a profound thing, with implications in both our dream world and our real life.

The key is, with the universe, wishes and dreams have to pass through rigorous webs; this takes time, often a lot. At the same time, it takes a wise man to know how to do things better.

Given that asking for something from a higher power, like the Universe, is in itself a very tricky thing to do, it always helps to know what you are doing.

These seven things are just that:

1. Be succinct

Do not faff around. Be precise and be direct. Ask exactly what you want. Think of it like refining a Google search; if you don’t tell the universe EXACTLY what you want, is it not possible that your wishes will get mixed up with the billion others wishing and dreaming?

If it helps, write things down, enumerate and concentrate on it.

2. Do not get your hopes up

The Universe is not a customized customer service office. Sometimes wishes aren’t strong enough, they have bad intentions, things get delayed and, in worse cases, people die.

Hope is a very dangerous thing. No wonder it chose to come out last out of Pandora’s Box; once you cling to it, it can ruin you and bring everything to bits.

3. Do not get impatient

Again, the web and its complexity is beyond your wildest imagination. Whenever even a small wish of yours is fulfilled, be sure that the web in which it went is beyond all man-made internet-like things.

So, patience is the key. If your wish is worth fulfilling and your intentions are selfless and noble, there is a higher possibility of your desire being fulfilled.

4. Wait for the subtlest signs

The universe does not communicate on human terms; there is no way that, to quote Jules Winnfield, “God came down from heaven and [insert anything miraculous]”. Things don’t happen that way.

The effort has to come from within. The universe clears out a lot of the hindrances from your path.

The universe however, does produce signs of the subtlest kind for your pleasure and ease. The signs themselves will tell you that they are here as harbingers of what you are hoping for.

No two signs are the same just as no two people are the same.

5. Have faith

Desolation and despair are indeed the worst of friends when it comes to having your desires fulfilled by the universe. What the universe loves is effort on the wisher’s part. “[The universe] helps those who help themselves” as the adage goes.

Faith is the hardest proof of continued effort on part of the wisher. That is the kind of thing that gets dreams fulfilled.

And now, the skeptic’s argument: So, is it the universe at all, or just the wisher striving harder towards a goal he/she/they want to achieve?

My argument is that if the belief in a higher power system gets someone going towards a better world, is it bad at all?

6. Do not let the complaint rest

Do not just ask for something and not follow it up. Think of it in bureaucratic terms; you have to follow up on your request. Make sure your urge is strong and your intentions are clear.

Do not falter, because that is the kind of thing the universe hates. Strength and patience all the way!

7. Be thankful

Whatever happens in our life happens for a reason. And this is the whole universe we are talking about: it has existed for billions of years before you and will survive for billions more after you.

So, it definitely knows what it is doing.