She told me she was waking up at 3:30 every morning like clockwork. Instead of being able to turn over and go back to sleep, her mind would spring into gear and she would toss and turn for an hour or more…only to be rudely awakened by her alarm clock at 6:00, when she would drag herself out of bed, tired, cranky and not at all ready to face the day.
Sound familiar? It’s really hard to stay positive when you’ve got anxiety beating down your door – even when you’re trying to sleep!
So I want to give you a few suggestions I have found to be helpful, even when you’re dragging.
“Look at something that makes you smile”
When you wake up anxious and beat down, look at something that makes you smile right away. Maybe that’s a picture of your child or grandchild. Or of a favorite holiday when you all laughed and laughed. Or maybe it’s your silly dog who just jumped up on your bed, tail wagging and trying to lick your face.
Use a physical cue to turn your mind to a happy place. As you look at that picture or hug your dog, take just 30 seconds and enjoy the moment. Take a deep breath and think about that happy vacation or how warm and soft your dog is. As my 10-year-old son says, “Savor the moment, Mama!”
“Take time to be grateful for this”
Using the energy of those happy thoughts, the next step is to start being grateful for this positive thing in your life. You can say it out loud or just to yourself. It might sound something like this…
“Thank you for this sweet dog who makes me laugh. Thank you for her soft fur. Thank you I get to hug her and snuggle her close this morning. Thank you that I have money to take care of her and buy her food. Thank you that she brings me joy.”
I must warn you that what invariably happens is that right about now your anxious thoughts will try to intrude. Our mind is crazy like that.…lost in the moment with your sweet dog, you suddenly start thinking about that horrible employee who is causing all kinds of problems with your team.
So when that person comes to mind, instead of jumping into anxiety about the strife she brings, just picture her. Then control the thought about her intentionally, turning it to gratitude.
It might sound like this…
“Wow. Carley. Hmm…Thank you for Carley. Thank you for the way working with her is allowing me to learn and grow. Thank you that I get to figure out how to either get her back on track or let her go for career redirection. Thank you that I’m capable and know how to either work through this or get help to work through this…Thank you for my job that lets me use my skills and talents. Thank you that I get to have so many awesome people on my team. And as difficult as Carley is, she just shows me how fortunate I am to have so many other great employees. I’m confident I can handle this today.”
Just writing that made me feel better!
“Repeat as needed”
Repeat as needed throughout the day. During difficult times, I know anxious thoughts are never far away. And when they overwhelm, I find we often allow ourselves to obsess on all the possible things that could/would/might go wrong and it becomes a negative spiral that never ends. It just gets darker and deeper.
That’s why it’s so important to recognize that you can have the victory and find the positive if you choose to. These simple steps…Observe, Give Thanks, Repeat will help you do that.
Have you tried to turn your anxiety around to find the positive? If so, what works for you? Let me know as I’d love to hear your solution.
The way you react to just hearing someone’s voice tells you how strong the love-bond between you still is – and, yes, this could surprise you both.
You need to give plenty of attention to your working life as Pluto sees a new role for you. It is demanding but you’re ready to find out how far your talent could take you.
April 21 to May 21
Saturn, the strongest planet, doubles your determination and links up with charm planet Venus. Keep going with the plans that mean the most to you until they work as you want them to.
This new you attracts extra love interest – whether reviving a partnership or starting a new one, especially with a Scorpio.
May 22 to June 21
You get smart with your heart and consider facts as well as feelings for a love candidate. And you can work out who has genuine partnership potential.
Taking the lead with home decisions may not be the role you would choose and yet you do it so well. Your in-laws could be a surprising source of luck.
June 22 to July 22
The moon helps you see the hidden side of a partner and you understand each other on a deeper level. If you’re single, you see qualities you missed before in a Capricorn and love takes over.
At work, you make real progress by solving problems that perplex even the bosses. A new family member is so talented.
July 23 to August 23
As Venus and the sun are side by side in your teamwork chart, partners take equal responsibility for the success of a relationship – with good results.
Single? “T” identifies new love. You find wise words repair friendships faster than the blame game. Luck begins via an unexpected call from a former workmate.
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August 24 to September 22
A fresh tide of good love chances sweeps through your chart and asks you to look again at the person who’s always first to arrive, or last to leave, an event.
If you’re in love, two passion plans merge into one. Imagination blocked? Try getting words out one by one and writing them down.
September 23 to October 23
Romance could be irresistible today as the moon opens up your emotions and you have the conversations that can lead to love.
Your family zone suggests a clash of opinions about a home revamp. Your role in this is to find a compromise and remember you can be fond of people without liking their ideas.
October 24 to November 22
A family-focused moon introduces new names and faces that will matter most over the next few days. So be alert to who can offer the most to your home set-up.
In all areas of life you are ready to step up and at work. A “yes” may take a while but it will be worth the wait. New love has your favourite name.
November 23 to December 21
You use words so well and get straight to the point and a conversation should get the reaction you are hoping for.
You’re such a fast learner, with an ability to see the best in everything, including love. If you’re single, singing or laughing with “G” starts something special. But some friends could be jealous.
December 22 to January 20
Deep down you know what you value and it’s time to share. If you’re in a love bond, a partner’s ability to pull together keeps you close.
If single, you are ready to commit to a health expert. Stick with an ideas project even when it challenges you, and you’ll soon turn it into such a satisfying success.
January 21 to February 18
Your moon moment is a surprising one, bringing the opposite of what you expect – in love and life – and you realise who is secretly falling in love with you.
Do ask for help at work as you seem so capable, others may not realise. With family, you can be captain of a winning team made up of three generations.
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February 19 to March 20
Everything you dream of being you can become. Think about who or what you really, truly want – then plan two steps towards getting it.
Pacing yourself in love, and at work, is your smartest tactic. And the kind of luck that draws friends closer has a link with a community entertainment programme.
In all kinds of yoga, we use props. Your yoga mat is a prop that keeps your feet and hands from sliding, and it gives some cushioning too. The mat does a little work on your behalf so you can focus on other aspects of the postures. It creates the potential to experience more in your practice.
Using a chair as a yoga prop follows the same principle. With a chair, you can move deeper into postures, with more confidence and stability. Energy can be redirected into fine tuning your alignment, and increasing your strength and mobility. Wherever you are in your practice, you will find an edge of challenge that will help to improve your quality of life.
Heather Dawson teaches a weekly drop-in Chair Yoga class on Saturdays from 11:45am – 12:45pm. On Saturday April 21st from 11:45am – 12:45pm, come try the class for free! Friends and family are welcome. Register Here.
Heather Dawson on Chair Yoga
Kushala Yoga:What made you interested in teaching chair yoga? How long have you been teaching it?
Heather: I have always believed that yoga is for everyone, and using a chair makes yoga poses beneficial and accessible for more people. I have been teaching chair yoga for 6 years.
KY: In what ways do people benefit from chair yoga?
Heather: Everyone has limitations in their bodies. For some people, this makes mat yoga especially difficult – it can be hard to get in or out of a pose. For others, even if mat yoga “works”, they may risk injury or just not be able to get the full benefits of the practice while working with the mat alone.
While standing or sitting, having the chair for support, we can adapt the poses creatively, and go deeper into the alignment. The chair is a tool, not a crutch. It makes yoga less formal, more conversational, you may even meet new people in class! With chair yoga, the real benefits of yoga can be directly gained; increased mental clarity, better proprioception (awareness of your body), strength and flexibility of course, and it lowers stress hormones levels.
KY: What surprises people the most about chair yoga?
Heather: People are surprised that the class is really like doing an all levels Hatha class. They leave feeling they have had a work out, and a good stretch. We do a meditation at the beginning and at the end of class, and work on breathing exercises too. Members have said they are sleeping better, feeling more relaxed, and less achy in their bodies.
I Adore Myself ReikiIt’s simple to focus on big decisions, and the way they altered the course of your existence, however the enormous choices we make in daily life are established by our each day selections.
Mahatma Gandhi encouraged getting the modify we wish to see on this planet. Day by day Reiki self-practice would be the simplest way I’ve identified to engage that transformation.
There are as lots of tips on how to practice Reiki self-treatment as there are actually Reiki practitioners, and the very best solution to practice is plainly the way in which you really will practice.
That mentioned, in case you don’t possess a protocol, right here certainly is the 1 I use, and a few pointers to help you preserve training for existence.
Reiki self treatment protocol
I’ve practiced every day Reiki self-treatment considering the fact that I very first learned to practice in 1986. To provide myself a total Reiki self-treatment, I spot my hands on these regions of my entire body, within this purchase:
• Crown of head
• Back of head
• Upper chest
• Lower ribs
• Lower abdomen.
I lie on my side together with the pillow doubled in excess of for the 1st three placements, choosing it even more relaxed when my head is somewhat elevated, and roll onto my back for your rest.
My practice time is when I awaken within the morning, just before opening my eyes. My hands linger at every single placement as feels right. My awareness is current with my practice, observing my breath and whatever sensations happen as I savor the practical experience of Reiki essence. Regularly, I am drawn deeply inside, surfacing only to replace my hands. I linger in the finish to contemplate the working experience.
That operates well for me, but it’s necessary you organize your practice so it will work to suit your needs.
One example is, you may want the framework of obtaining intervals timed to suit your needs, especially should you are just starting to practice. If so, look at employing a chime timer that emits sweet tones to remind you to move your hands and let you know when your session ends (the sound of the kitchen timer is substantially too harsh). You will find Reiki timer apps accessible for your mobile phone.
I inspire you to work with a protocol. This provides your hands a habit to follow without needing to give it some thought, leaving your awareness open to love your practice. And you should definitely support your self in a at ease place so you’re able to overlook about the body and simply just be with your practice. (In case you have issues concerning the placements over, you will find illustrations on the back of my book, REIKI: A Extensive Guide.)
Really don’t be random along with your practice. Decide a time of day that’s easiest to suit your needs, and really don’t let that time go by devoid of putting your Reiki hands on your self.
Needless to say there are going to be days once you will not finish the many placements. Self practice for 30-40 minutes would seem to get a great range for many persons, many of the time, but you want to be flexible and responsive to your desires on any provided day. Keep in mind Hawayo Takata’s* encouragement – just a little Reiki practice is much better than none. When existence imposes in your practice time, as often takes place, do everything you can that day to retain the rhythm of one’s day-to-day self-care, and return towards the complete protocol the following day.
You could possibly prefer to stick to Mikao Usui’s** instance and recite the Reiki Precepts as portion of your daily practice.
Even so you customize your practice, holding it straightforward usually means holding it doable: Practice, observe, contemplate, repeat.
It’s uncomplicated to target on large decisions, and just how they altered the course of one’s existence, but the huge choices we make in daily life are established by our everyday choices. Turned out to be the transform you desire to see on this planet (and within the consumers all over you); practice regular Reiki self-treatment.
What keeps you practicing every day? Please share your guidelines inside the comment segment below. And when you get started a daily practice, allow us know the benefits you notice.
Hawayo Takata and her Reiki master Chujiro Hayashi, a student of Usui, brought Reiki practice from Japan to your US during the late 1930s.
Mikao Usui started the practice which has come to get known as Reiki in Japan during the mid 1920s, and is the founder in the residing lineage of Reiki masters.
Bedroom Feng Shui through the thousand photos on the web with regards to Bedroom Feng Shui we choices the top libraries having ideal quality just for you all, and this images is one among photographs series in this best photographs gallery with regards to Bedroom Feng Shui, we hoping you might want it.
How To Feng Shui Your Bedroom. A good feng shui bedroom is a bedroom that promotes a harmonious flow of nourishing, vibrant and sensual energy. A good feng shui bedroom is a bedroom that invites you, lures you in, excites and calms at the same time.
How To Place Your Bed For Good Feng Shui. According to feng shui principles, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in your home because it represents you.. Just think about how many hours you spend in your bed. You probably devote more time there than any other place. And the time that you are in bed, you are typically sleeping.
The Best Way To Feng Shui Your Bedroom. How to Feng Shui Your Bedroom. The ancient Chinese method of Feng Shui helps us to balance our homes and create happier, more successful lives, room by room. We often turn our attention to the bedroom, the sanctuary where we can rest and
How To Feng Shui Your Bedroom (25 Rules With 17 Layout. This ultimate bedroom feng shui guide sets out 17 layout diagrams showing good and bad bedroom feng shui as well as lists out 25 feng shui rules with pictures. – Advertisement – For over 3,000 years, Feng Shui has always been an important part of the Chinese culture.
Best Feng Shui Bedroom Layouts. Here are 3 Best Feng Shui Bedroom Layouts #1 Feng Shui Bedroom Layout. The #1 good feng shui bedroom layout is with the so-called feng shui commanding position of the bed. A bed in a feng shui commanding position is placed diagonally from the bedroom door and has a solid wall behind it.
Feng Shui Your Bedroom. In the bedroom, “Feng shui helps you arrange the space to support your best rest and connection with your partner and with yourself,” says Los Angeles feng shui consultant Jayme Barrett, author of “Feng Shui Your Life.” Follow these simple feng shui strategies that will turn your chaotic, uninspiring bedroom into the serene and sensual
The Ideal Bedroom According To Feng Shui. The ideal bed placement allows you to see the bedroom door while you’re in bed without being directly in front of or in line with it. According to feng shui, having a view of the door from bed without being too close to it gives a sense of safety and is conducive to relaxation and sleep.
6 Key Design Tips To Make The Best. The best feng shui bedroom colors are those that match skin tones. They could range from white to brown and everything in between, including beige, ivory, khaki. Another school of thought says that the colors in your room should match your “element,” which could be wood, fire, earth, metal or water. Each element has an ideal color.
How To Feng Shui Your Bedroom To Attract Luck And Money In. In 2019, to counteract the influence of Feng Shui Bad Luck Star, place in your bedroom one or more of the following remedies: 10 Powerful Feng Shui Advices for Bedroom. 1. The ideal choice for setting the bedroom is to pick the farthest room from the main entry door of the house.
33 Bedroom Feng Shui Tips To Improve Your Sleep. In this post, you will find out how your bedroom Feng Shui is affecting your sleep. Meanwhile, you will get 33 bedroom Feng Shui tips that can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep through the night. Because sleeping habits differ from individuals, some of these tips may work wonders for some but not the others.
For a long time now I have been following the teachings of Abraham, a collective consciousness.
Esther Hicks is the fabulous lady who “transcribes” Abraham’s message into words.
How can Jin Shin Jyutsu help?
Jin Shin Jyutsu is a great way to still the mind, thereby releasing tension or resistance.
Resistance to what, I hear you ask? Well, very often we go about our lives beating the drum of what we DON’T want. When we do that we send out a message to the universe and ‘guess what?’ the universe sends us back more of what we focus on.
Very simply, by focusing on what we DO want, we can change our reality. I have found that an infinitesimal shift in focus to what I DO want can bring about great relief to how I FEEL. And that is the key to Law of Attraction.
Not only that, when I reduce resistance and increase allowing then it’s much easier to get momentum going for what I DO want in my life (relationships, happiness, money, new car – whatever that may be).
Jin Shin Jyutsu and the Law of Attraction
Adding simple Jin Shin Jyutsu self help exercises to your daily meditation routine, for example, calms the mind and relaxes the body. It helps you EXHALE and LET GO a bit more easily.
It can be as easy as holding the thumb while you sit quietly and close your eyes, clearing the mind of worry.
Many videos on YouTube
There are many many videos on YouTube about Abraham-Hicks and the law of attraction. Here’s a Law of Attraction YouTube video/podcast where I introduce the Universal Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu and how it can help.
In 1978, a young engineer and an aspiring English teacher wed in Chennai, in southern India. They’d met only once before, for an hour, but everyone was convinced this was it—this was the match. Jōtiṭars—family astrologers—on both sides confirmed: The houses of their births were aligned; therefore, the union was extremely auspicious.
Twenty-six years, a move to Canada, and two children later, they’d divorce—as bitter a separation as any you can imagine, replete with hidden bank accounts and withholding alimony. When the not-so-young-anymore English teacher broke the news to her family in India, the phone filled with silence that was more than shocked: It was also offended. Even in the early 2000s, divorce remained relatively uncommon in India. And, more importantly, “the jōtiṭars had guaranteed it,” as the English teacher’s father said. Unfortunately, he said nothing more. The English teacher—my mother—hung up. After that, she would not return to India. “Why should I go back just to be shamed for not living up to the jōtiṭars’ predictions?” she asked. I didn’t blame her; I understood.
I was in high school when all of this unfolded, affording my first glimpse into the power these astrologers had wielded over my family, both then and now. I at once hated and was fascinated by these mysterious fortune-tellers. Every day after school, I started spending hours online, trying to decipher why so many Indians trusted them for decisions on something as crucial as marriage.
Quickly, I learned their power was even greater than I’d imagined: Astrologers in India are not only consulted on marriage, but also on business and financial decisions—everything from when to buy and sell stocks to branding and marketing campaigns. They’re also regularly asked to advise on home building and medical issues. Astrology is a multi-million dollar industry in India, with predictions even driving disaster preparations: In 2000, for example, Indian astrologers predicted catastrophic tidal waves, causing an entire sea-side village to abandon their houses. (No catastrophe occurred, except the houses were looted while empty.)
Where did this unquestioning loyalty come from? “From some Hindu God or another,” my mother shrugged. After the divorce, she’d taken down the small idols of Vishnu and Ganesha from the altar in the kitchen where she used to pray.
Practiced by 80 percent of India’s population, Hinduism, I learned, confers a sacred status to Jyotisha, also known as Vedic astrology. It differs from the Western system not only in its charts, the planetary placements, and the calculations, but also in the credentials its students can earn: In India, you can get a graduate degree in Vedic astrology. And despite continuing complaints by Indian scientists that this undermines India’s scientific credibility, it’s not uncommon to find former military, accountants, engineers and the like entering these programs.
All of this shed some light on my grandfather’s reaction, even if neither my mother nor I could forgive it. I’d always thought of my thatha, the dean of an engineering college, as a man of science. I hadn’t realized how important Jyotisha and the temple also were to him: sites of both refuge and revelation. And neither had I understood that the turns of my mother’s life—including, most recently, her sharp veering away from Hinduism—challenged the foundation of his.
Soon, my fixation on Vedic astrology faded. As I grew older, I developed the same vague interest in Western astrology common to millennials—the stressed-out, constantly online generation desperate for a spirituality that didn’t ascribe to any traditional religion. Like most women I knew in my twenties, I started following astrologers on social media as much for the memes and Mercury retrograde alerts as for the horoscopes hinting that next week could be better, fuller, holding less of that sinking feeling that nothing matters. Or maybe I was looking for signs that I could be(come) better. I can tell you this: In an age of endemic loneliness, the reassurance of my thought patterns and neuroses as a “typical Virgo” eased both my aloneness and my anxiety.
Towards the end of my twenties, I returned to India for the first time in nearly a decade. By then, my thatha had passed away; before that, he and my mother had reconciled—somewhat. They’d spoken on the phone occasionally, usually nothing more than pleasantries, but it was something. As he neared his end, she began telling me stories of her youth with him: him teaching her Sanskrit, the two of them debating themes in The Count of Monte Cristo—her favorite book, and his. And then there were the stories of him “screening” dozens of potential suitors with the jōtiṭar, determined to locate the best match for her, his beloved youngest daughter.
The arc of this difficult love replayed in my mind as I sipped chai in my aunt’s living room. Outside, the sinking Chennai sun was burnishing the sky gold.
“It’s all exactly how he predicted,” my aunt sighed.
“The jōtiṭar—I remember exactly—said your mother would eventually live far away, and only her daughter would return here. He said all that when we were still children.”
“Was this the same jōtiṭar who predicted the perfect match between my parents?”
“The very same,” she nodded miserably.
Stunned, I said nothing. We sat there for a while, the room silent except for the whirring of the ceiling fan. My mother had never mentioned this other prediction. Did she know about it? And how would she feel about it coming true, especially when the other one—the happier one—had collapsed ?
Despite the jet lag, I couldn’t sleep that night, my mind tracing over and over again the constellation of factors that had brought me here, and kept my mother away. Really, I was there mostly as a tourist: Like any other visitor, I wanted to experience the temples and beaches and food. Ideally, I would’ve experienced them with my mother, but we both knew she could never be only a tourist here, no matter how long she’d been away. How had the jōtiṭar known that things would unfold this way? And if he’d been right about this, why had he been so wrong about my parents’ compatibility?
Or had he? In so many ways, my parents had been a good match: They’d held the same political views, came from the same caste and socioeconomic class, parented and disciplined with the same strictness. They both enjoyed travel, classic Carnatic music, the same Bollywood movies and Indian comedians. They even looked good together, her heart-shaped face coming just below his square jaw. No dating service could have configured a more perfect pair. In the end, compatibility hadn’t translated into love or even like, and this, over time, soured into resentment: Both yearned for something more, even if imperfect.
Perhaps, I thought, the jōtiṭar’s original prediction wasn’t as wrong as I’d believed it to be after all. The thought of meeting him while I was here flickered briefly, before sleep put it out.
Two weeks and many temples and beaches and exquisite meals later, I was on a plane back to North America. I hadn’t met the jōtiṭar, despite my aunt’s repeated offers to take me.
“There’s many quack jōtiṭars,” my aunt said. “Many, many, many! But not him. The business with your parents’ marriage is the only time I’ve known him to be wrong, and that’s just, well…” she trailed off, shaking her head.
I imagined my mother having the same conversation here, a thousand times over with a hundred relatives. I understood again why she hadn’t come back. To my aunt, I said thank you, but no. Maybe I didn’t want to know exactly what lay ahead, or maybe I feared the jōtiṭar’s predictions would be overlaid with a degree of interpretation that I couldn’t decode.
I did, however, check my weekly horoscope on my phone before the plane took off. Next to me, an older Indian man, in his sixties or seventies, was doing the same, but on a Vedic astrology site. When he noticed me looking, he smiled and explained, “It calms my nerves before flying.”
“Me too,” I said.
And maybe this was at the core of why so many us, around the world, turn to astrology: for something to hang onto in the midst of turbulence. As we fly into the unknown—as we are all doing at every instant—the sense of our lives being stewarded by something divine is perhaps not necessary, but it is enormously calming. And as with religion and other matters of the divine, I’ve realized it’s okay to take what serves you—a weekly horoscope, or a reading of your charts in Vedic or Western traditions or both—and leave behind what doesn’t.
Hua-Yen Buddhism: the jewel net of Indra – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. Cook, Francis H. Published Hua-Yen Buddhism has 41 ratings and 8 reviews. Mike said: I love the Huayen vision, and this book is a lovely introduction to s Cook, now an ad. And yet the many things do not hinder each other. In his book Hua-yen Buddhism : The Jewel Net of Indra (Pennsylvania State University Press.
Aug 29, Jan van Leent rated it it was amazing Shelves: Aesthetics of Change Bradford P.
Indra’s net – Wikipedia
Wirunwan rated it it was amazing Mar 31, The Practice of Huayan Buddhism, http: This is probably the best and most straightforward English language introduction to Hua-yen thought. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Books by Francis Harold Cook. Brandon Lott rated it liked it Sep 15, Hua-yen is a cosmic ecology, which views all existence as an organic unity, so it has an obvious appeal to the modern individual, both students and layman.
Authentic English TranslationAgniveer, pp. Thanks for telling us about the problem. None of the other jewels interfere with this. Cook No preview available – Hua-yen Buddhism strongly resembles Whitehead’s process philosophy, and has strong implications for modern philosophy and religion.
Oct 14, Jennifer rated it it was ok. If all jewels are present within each jewel, it is also the case that if you sit in one jewel you sit in all jewels at the same time. By that net, O Indra, pounce upon all the enemies so that none of the enemies may escape the arrest and punishment.
The net was one of the weapons of the sky-god Indra, used to snare and entangle enemies. My library Help Advanced Book Search. The inverse is also understood in the same way.
A good slim read. If we now o select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number.
Dzieglersf rated it it was amazing May 22, I really enjoyed it, and even though the philosophy can be confusing, it was explained clearly and in many different ways. Not for a novice–well, not for an intermediate for that matter. The progression is infinite, like the jewels of Celestial Lord Indra’s Net: It is called Indra’s Net. This book is a description and analysis het the Buddhlsm form of Buddhism called Hua-yen or Hwa-yeaFlower Ornament, based largely on one of the more systematic treatises of its third patriarch.
This individual jewel can immediately reflect the image of every other jewel.
Just as one goes into one jewel and thus enters every other jewel while never leaving this one jewel, so too one enters any jewel while never leaving this particular jewel. Keeney Limited preview – The Indian Background of Huayen. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra’s net. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Huaa-yen is the case with this jewel, this is furthermore the case with all the rest of the jewels—each and every jewel simultaneously and immediately reflects each and every other jewel, ad infinitum.
This stretched my brain and opened my heart – what more could I ask for?
Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra By Francis H. Cook
Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Francis Cook’s writing reflects this to some extent, which lends a somewhat dated quality to the discussion, especially early on.
In the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhismwhich follows the Avatamsaka Sutrathe image of “Indra’s net” is used to describe the interconnectedness of the universe. Alison rated it liked it May 29, IndraAvatamsaka Sutraand Huayan school.
I have been rather quiet on my various blogs recently. This has been a rather busy time for me. During the month of May, I took a course at Kepler College called Crash Course in Indian Astrology, which was taught by Kenneth Miller. The course proper is finished, but I still need to finish the final homework assignment.
I had wanted to study at Kepler College when it was still able to offer Master’s degrees, but at the time, it was not possible for me. I have also been curious about Indian Astrology for a long time. Unlike Western Astrology, Indian Astrology has a living tradition, so it did not seem fitting to attempt to learn it through self-study. It just so happened that I learned about this course at the same time that we got a nice-sized income tax refund, so I decided to go for it.
At the time, I had no intention of “converting” to Indian Astrology. I was only seeking to learn a little more about it so that I could talk intelligently when asked about the subject by friends or clients. A “crash course” seemed perfect for that purpose. Now that I am in the home stretch, I find that I am re-thinking the entire direction of my practice. Before I discuss this, however, I want to talk a little about the differences between Indian and Western Astrology.
Differences between Indian and Western Astrology
Indian Astrology, or Jyotish, is a different astrological language from Western astrology. It is a related language. Much of the vocabulary is recognizable, but it is used in different ways. Below are some of the main differences that I have learned so far.
Even beginning astrology students usually know that most practitioners of Western Astrology use the Tropical Zodiac, which is based on the Solstices and the Equinoxes. When learning this, students also learn that Indian Astrology uses “the” Sidereal Zodiac which is based on the constellations.
As it turns out, this is not really accurate. To begin with, none of the Sidereal Zodiacs in use by practitioners of Indian Astrology truly correspond to the actual constellations. For one thing, the constellations are not all the same size. The largest constellation, Virgo, is about 3 times the size of the smallest constellation, Capricorn. Just like the Tropical Zodiac, the Sidereal Zodiacs divide the ecliptic into 12 equal parts.
The difference is merely in where 0° Aries begins. In the Tropical Zodiac, 0° Aries begins at the Spring Equinox. In theory, the Sidereal Zodiacs begin at the first star of the constellation Aries in the sky. There is a problem, however. There is no bright star at the beginning of Aries to measure by.
As a result, various calculations of what is known as the Ayanamsa exist. The Ayanamsa is the difference between 0° Aries and the Spring Equinox. Apparently, historically, different almanacs were published in different villages with different Ayanamsas, most of which were calculated using one of the bright stars at the end of the constellation Pisces.
This became a problem not just for astrologers. In India, the dates of most of the major festivals are based on the position of the stars. The different Ayanamsas meant that different villages were celebrating their festivals at different times. To remedy the chaos that this could cause, in the 1950s, the Indian government standardized the Ayanamsa using modern scientific methods. This became known as the Lahiri Ayanamsa.
This did not settle the issue for astrologers, however. Apparently, rather than using stars at the beginning of Aries or the end of Pisces, Lahiri uses Spica, which is at the end of the constellation Virgo, and sets 0° Aries opposite to this fixed star. There is no traditional authority that allows the Ayanamsa to be calculated in this way, so there are quite a few astrologers that reject this calculation.
All in all, it seems like the calculation of the Ayanamsa in Indian Astrology is as chaotic as the quadrant House divisions are in Western, if not more so.
Other Technical Differences
Speaking of House divisions, practitioners of Indian Astrology, by and large, use the Whole Sign House system. This cuts down greatly on the amount of chaos that the different Ayanamsas would otherwise cause.
This brings me to a different issue. Even though most practitioners of Western Astrology use the Tropical Zodiac, there are some that do use one of the Sidereal Zodiacs. There was a time that I did not have an opinion on this, but now I do. My current opinion is that this is not a good idea.
There is some research that suggests that Vettius Valens, a renowned astrologer of the Hellenistic Era, used a sidereal zodiac along with or instead of the Tropical Zodiac. Even if this was the case, the methodology of Western Astrology has developed using the Tropical Zodiac for almost 2,000 years since that time. One of these developments has been quadrant-based House Systems, such as Placidus or Regiomontanus, and there is no real consensus between Western Astrologers as to which one to use. So, if you combine the uncertainty as to the Ayanamsa with the uncertainty of quadrant-based houses, you are increasing the chaos exponentially.
Even if you use a Whole Sign House System, the methodology of Indian Astrology is very different than Western. For example, Indian astrology does not use the five-tiered dignity system that Western Traditional/Classical Astrology uses. It does use exaltation and rulership. It also uses something that is known as debilitation, which corresponds to Fall in Western Astrology. Aside from that, dignity is based on a system of friendship and enmity between the planets and a complicated combination of other factors, many of which are not considered or are considered differently in Western Astrology. Also, Indian astrology does not use the Ptolemaic aspects. Instead, the only aspects it recognizes are planets that are in the same sign and opposite signs and special aspects for Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Given these differences, in my opinion, it does not seem wise to “mix and match” by using one of the sidereal zodiacs with Western astrological methodology.
While there are major technical differences between these two astrological languages, the most profound differences are in their philosophy. While people of other religions can and do practice Indian Astrology, by and large, it is rooted in Hindu beliefs and religious rituals. This gives it a rich philosophical and spiritual foundation that is mostly lacking in Western Astrology as it is practiced today.
For example, in Indian Astrology, the planets do not operate mechanically. They are governed by Intelligent deities. This means that if you are having trouble with a planet, one of the things that you can do about it is to appeal to the deity of that planet for relief. Hinduism also has rich teachings about karma that explain the interaction between Fate and Free Will in a very profound way.
It is also a common practice for Jyotishi (practitioner of Indian Astrology) to say prayers to the planetary deities before reading a chart. Our instructor began each class with one of these prayers.
As I said, when I started the course, I did not intend to “convert” to Indian Astrology. Now, I am not so sure. Obviously, I do not know enough after a “crash course” to switch at this point in time. I will still be offering my services in Western Astrology for the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, I have been working on developing what I have been calling Essentialist Astrology. Essentialist Astrology is more of a philosophy of practice rather than a methodology. After learning about Indian Astrology, I wonder if this is not a fool’s errand.
Much of what I have been trying to do in Essentialist Astrology is a regular part of the practice of Indian Astrology. Indian Astrology is patriarchal, of course, but not as much as one might think. For example, the planetary deities are all masculine, but the stars and the deities of the Nakshaktras (the Indian version of Lunar Mansions) are all feminine.
Also, while Indian Astrology is mostly rooted in Hinduism, there are many practitioners of other faiths such as Buddhism and Jainism. This is one of the reasons that the instructor prefers the term Indian Astrology to Vedic Astrology. When I asked what practitioners of other religions do, I was told that it was perfectly acceptable to substitute the angels or deities from one’s own tradition for the Hindu gods. Apparently, Buddhist practitioners use bodhisattvas or aspects of the Buddha, and Christian and Jewish practitioners use the Archangels.
So, substituting the planetary Janyati for the Hindu gods does not seem like it would be a problem either.
Given all of this, it seems like it may be more productive to study Indian Astrology than it would be to keep struggling with Western Astrology. I do not know yet, but it is something to seriously consider.
My New Shrine
One of the things that I have done is to make a new shrine, which is on the top shelf of the desk that I work at. In Filianism, it is encouraged to use images for Dea and the Janyati from living traditions rather than historical ones whenever possible. This is because with living traditions, we have more confidence that we are using the images correctly. I was able to stick to this practice with my new shrine, as you can see below.
Surprisingly enough, I had the most trouble with Sai Mati. I thought I might use an image of Sophia or even a historical image such as Athena, but I could not find one I liked. I found an image of Uma in a catalog, and I kept being drawn to it. I did some research, and I discovered that She is a mountain goddess of Wisdom. I found a story about Her that I really liked in which She taught Agni, the god of fire, and Vayu, the god of wind, about humility. This reminded me of The Sermon of the Apple Seed from the Feminine Scriptures, which I try to keep in mind in all of the work that I do.
Where Do I Go From Here?
So, the question is, now what? Where do I go from here? The answer to this is that I do not really know. I guess the first thing is to finish the last assignment from my class. There are a few books that the instructor recommended that I have not had the chance to read yet, so that will probably be the next step.
I guess after that, I will let the Janyati lead the way and see where that goes.
Dr. Eric Dickson is Assistant Professor of Music, teaching trumpet at Truman State University. Eric participated in the 5-day Mindfulness workshop at IU last summer and will be completing MBWP Teacher certification in July.
Before starting my current position at Truman State University, I spent several years as a freelance musician and educator in the Indianapolis area. Living an hour south of Indy in Bloomington meant that I spent a LOT of time in the car driving from gig to gig and from lesson to lesson. To help pass the time, I listened to a lot of audiobooks, and was always on the lookout for something interesting.
One day, I stumbled upon Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn. I’ve been interested in the mental side of music since my undergraduate studies, reading (and rereading) books like Zen in the Art of Archery, The Inner Game of Tennis, and Effortless Mastery, and I thought mindfulness might prove useful in performance. When I started listening, I was immediately hooked, not so much by what Kabat-Zinn had to say (although it was pretty cool), but by the way he said it. He delivered everything with a matter-of-fact nonchalance that really struck me. It reminded me of something a former professor said: “People don’t scream about the things which they themselves know to be absolute.” (Imagine a maniac running around, frantically screaming about the impending sunrise tomorrow morning…) I figured, if this guy is this confident about this mindfulness stuff, maybe he’s on to something.
My fortuitous stumbling continued a few years later when I came across the Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning seminar at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Here was an opportunity to integrate these techniques directly into music, without the need to translate concepts from some other discipline. And while I went into the seminar searching for ways that I could integrate mindfulness into my own performing as well as my teaching (maybe I could help my students avoid some of the pitfalls I experienced as a young musician), I’m happy to say I found that and so much more. In fact, perhaps the most profound impact on my teaching has come in the most unexpected place: my jazz appreciation course.
After taking the seminar, I was excited to incorporate mindfulness into my syllabus. I began by replacing online listening quizzes with a number of in-class “mindful listening activities” throughout the semester. After leading students in a breath awareness exercise for a few minutes, I play a jazz recording. When the music starts, students shift the focal point of their awareness from the breath to the music, while continuing to non-judgmentally observe their thoughts. Their only instruction once the music stops is to write about their experience: “Tell me where your thoughts take you today.” The responses have been fascinating: some students choose to write about the music, some describe a scene from a movie (oddly enough, they all tend to describe thesame movie), and others write about how they can’t stop thinking about tests, homework, lunch, or the speeding ticket they got on the way to campus that morning.
In a larger assignment, students listen to 20 minutes of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz, and then write two to three pages about their experience. Reading these reaction papers has quickly become the highlight of my semester! Most are variations on a theme: they hated the first five minutes, but as they continued to listen, they began to find order in the chaos. In fact, many responses are first-rate descriptions of what the avant-garde is all about: throwing out musical structure and evoking a visceral response from the listener. By bringing a little more openness and a little less judgment to their experience, students have been more receptive to the music, and less likely to dismiss it as just “noise.”
For non-majors, having to speak intelligently about music can be as daunting as learning a foreign language. I have found that these activities help students really hear music without having to sift through thoughts like “am I doing this right?” or “I don’t know what I’m supposed to hear.” By allowing themselves to focus on what they can hear instead of what they can’t, most find that they already know more about music than they thought they did. Consequently, they’re more willing to offer their own opinions about the music we listen to in class. More importantly, though, my hope is that, by cultivating a little mindfulness throughout the semester, these students can get a glimpse into how their thoughts function, in a way that will positively impact their day-to-day lives. Perhaps, like me, they’ll be happy they stumbled into mindfulness as well.