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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video Teaching:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    (Ringing Bell)

                                    (Music Playing)

Om Muni Muni Maha Muni Ye Soha

(Shakyamuni’s mantra)

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

H E Zasep Rinpoche teaching in 2016 at Gaden Choling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About H.E. Zasep Rinpoche

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

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

About Yoko Dharma

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

From her website:

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

Related Post

How Guided Meditation for Sleep Improves Your Mindset While Awake

Could sleep be the key to improving your mindset while awake? If you have difficulty sleeping and often wake up feeling tired, before you crawl out of bed and turn on the TV, try using a guided meditation for sleep. The toughest thing about being a high-achiever is understanding how much sleep you should get each night. Studies say an adult between the age of 18-65 should receive 7-9 hours of sleep.((Sleep Health Journal: National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendation: methodology and results summary)) I am willing to wager this is something you have heard before. I am also willing to bet even though you knew how much sleep you should receive each night, you are not actually sleeping that much. You probably have a ton going on during the day, and late at night is the only time you have to catch up on your work. You may even try to get some sleep, but you find yourself lying in bed thinking about something else you could be doing. Sleep can seem like the most unproductive thing you do each day but that is simply not the case. If you want to improve your mindset while awake, using a guided meditation to help you sleep is a great place to start.

How Guided Meditation Works

Just as it sounds, guided meditation is when a guide walks you through a journey to accomplish a specific goal. The first step is to ensure you are calm and relaxed in both the mind and body. Oftentimes, your meditation guide is going to play relaxing music to help you concentrate your attention. Traditionally, you can expect to hear birds chirping and waves crashing. However, if that is not relaxing for you personally, do not listen to it. There is no rule on what is “relaxing”. Relaxed is a personal feeling. As you walk through your journey of peace and relaxation, you will want to make sure you are taking deep breaths to help you stay relaxed.

Breathing

Your breathing should be controlled, allowing you to focus. If you are focusing on your breathing, then anytime a thought enters your mind, you must visualize yourself placing that thought in a different room and closing the door. Only when you have done focusing on your breathing can you explore the thought.

Thoughts

If you are focused on your thoughts. Then you can engage each thought that enters your mind. Once your exploration is finished, you can properly place the thought on a shelf in your mind. Think of this shelf like an book shelf, and each book has a thought. The shelf is organized in alphabetical order, so that you are comfortable releasing the thought as you clear your mind for bed. Continue exploring your thoughts until they are each categorized on the shelf in your mind.

Concentration

You also have the option of simply focusing on one object when you meditate. This item should be small enough that you have to concentrate when you look at it. The goal is to keep your eyes from wandering all over the place. Something as large as a chair for example will not work. You are going to need to choose something as small as the tip of a pencil or the nose of a doll. Your goal is to find something you do not mind focusing on and then choose a smaller aspect of that item to concentrate your attention.

What Does Meditation Have to Do with Sleeping?

Our brains conduct measurable electricity, which we call brainwaves. The four brainwaves are alpha, beta, delta, and theta. Your alpha waves are where your focus, emotions and ability to relax are located. Your beta waves house your ability to concentrate, as well as your anxiety and fight or flight response. Your delta waves are associated with deep and dreamless sleep, while your theta waves are where you dream. As your mind relaxes and your mindset deepens, you will pass through the different brainwaves.

Misconceptions about Guided Meditation

There are some misconceptions about meditation that we should go over before we continue. You do not need to clear your mind to get started. In fact, your mind may feel like a noisy place, as you take a moment to complete the thoughts you had throughout the day. There is also the misconception that you need to meditate in a certain position, for a certain amount of time. Neither of these are true. You can meditate while sitting at your desk, on the couch, or in the lotus position. You can meditate for five minutes, fifteen minutes, or even an hour or two. This is completely up to you. The power of meditation can be found in the frequency in which you meditate. This means you can meditate for fifteen minutes multiple times a day, or you can meditate for one hour every day. You simply want to get into the habit of meditating.

The Benefits of Guided Meditation for Sleep

1. Reduces Stress

Insomnia does not cause all stress, but people who find themselves dealing with stress on regular basis can have insomnia. If you can efficiently manage your stress, you can effectively manage your difficulty sleeping as well. As your guided meditation brings you into a deeper state of relaxation, your brain wave activities will slow down. Studies show that meditation can help reduce and remove symptoms of stress, emotional irritability, and depression by as much as 31%.((Psychosom Med.: A Randomized, Wait-List Controlled Clinical Trial: The Effect of a Mindfulness Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Program on Mood and Symptoms of Stress in Cancer Outpatients)) By helping you become aware of your feelings, meditation allows you to detach yourself from them. By detaching yourself from your feelings and emotions, you can free your mind to help you sleep. This in-turn empowers you to realize that your emotions do not define you, nor do your emotions control you. How would you like to wake up feeling invigorated by the fact that you do not have any stress or anxiety weighing on you?

2. Engage in New Experiences

Meditation is the process of accessing your subconscious mind. Once there, you can implant your intentions, thoughts and goals into your imagination and experiences. Since your mind does not recognize the difference between imagined and real events, the imagined experiences are real to your mind. This gives you the ability to imagine yourself completing your tasks. Each task you complete in your mind allows your mind to relax a little more. As your mind continues to slow down, you will find yourself more relaxed. This will also provide you the added benefit of feeling like you know exactly what you need to do the next day. The more vivid your meditation, the more powerful the imagery. If you imagine yourself completing the task multiple times before you start it, you will improve your productivity and efficiency. Think of it like putting a puzzle together and then taking it apart. Each time you see all the pieces come together, the easier it is for you to repeat the outcome.

3. Increase in Productivity

Can you recall a time when you were working so hard it felt like you were burning both ends of the candle? There was probably a point when you realized you were unable to solve even the simplest of problems. You just kept looking at your work and your mind was drawing a blank. Frustrated, you went to sleep, thinking the task was nothing short of impossible. However, when you woke up the next morning, it was as if the answer came to you in a vision. You suddenly knew exactly you needed to do and you were able to complete the task in minutes. So, what happened? Not getting the proper amount of sleep negatively impacts your productivity. When you do not get enough sleep, your focus and attention suffer. They are both exhaustible resources, which means the more you use them, the less times you can use them throughout the rest of the day. When you get the proper amount of sleep, you allow your focus and attention to replenish.((Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience: Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention )). This allows you to start each day rejuvenated and ready to attack the day. When you do not get the proper amount of sleep, you can suffer from poor memory, poor reaction times, and poor performance.

4. Improve Your Physical Health

In addition to the positive impact meditation can have on your stress and immune system, it can also have a positive impact on your physical health. Meditation is known to increase testosterone levels. As meditation reduces your stress levels, your testosterone levels increase as a byproduct. When you have higher levels of testosterone, your body’s ability to produce muscle increases as well. An additional benefit of a guided meditation for sleep is an improved quality of sleep, which will improve your body’s ability to recover after workouts.

5. Change Your Mind(Set), Literally

Meditation can increase the grey matter in the frontal cortex. Your grey matter is involved in muscle control and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making and self-control. Studies show meditation not only can improve “higher-order cognitive functions, but also to alter brain activity”.((Science Direct: The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter)) As you sleep, your brain is busier than if you were awake. It spends your sleeping hours organizing and storing the information you absorbed throughout the day. Therefore, you often find yourself dreaming about the last thing you watched or read. By engaging in guided mediation to help you go to sleep, you can help filter through and organize your thoughts before losing consciousness.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of guided meditation videos and audios you can find that will guide you through a variety of goals. Do not try one and say guided meditation is not for you. The benefits are there, it is up to you to find one that works for you. Experiment with different voices, different goals, and different time lengths until you find one that works.

Try This Durga-Inspired Guided Meditation for Strength

Here’s how to call on this powerful diety when you need your strength

Meditating on the legendary goddess Durga can help empower you when you need to find strength.

Become aware of the Durga shakti as a shimmering presence around you. 

You can visualize her seated on her lion (sometimes she rides a tiger—see which feels right to you!). Her dark hair streams over her shoulders. She wears a golden crown, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and a scarlet silk sari. See her magnificent arms, strong and bristling with weapons: bow, sword, trident, mace, discus. See also the lotus she carries. Offer your salutations to her. 

Ask her: “What is the major inner obstacle I have to face now? What do I need to let go of? What should I be paying more attention to?” 

Or, ask her for guidance in a decision or for the strength to stand up for something you know is right. Close your eyes and ask the question in your . 

Begin to write. Let the writing come naturally, without thought. Keep writing until you feel there is no more to say. Look over what you have written. Offer the obstacles to Durga, saying, “I offer all this to the Durga shakti, asking that your grace dissolve all obstacles, inner and outer.” 

Now, with an inhalation, feel that you breathe in the goddess’s energy. 

Exhaling, feel that you breathe it through your body and into the world. 

When you come out of , see if you can move with the feeling that you are walking or moving with the power of the Durga energy. Walk with the sense that Durga is walking. Speak with the sense that Durga’s power comes through your words. Notice how you feel when you let yourself be filled by the energy of Durga.

See also 10 Best Yoga and Meditation Books, According to 10 Top Yoga and Meditation Teachers

Meditation Improves Leadership Skills

Mindfulness research suggests that meditation increases emotional intelligence, attention, memory, creativity, and resilience. Wildly successful business leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Arianna Huffington credit meditation for their ability to lead with compassion and a competitive advantage.

About the Author

Sally Kempton is an internationally recognized teacher of meditation and yoga philosophy and the author of Meditation for the Love of It. Find her at sallykempton.com

How Guided Meditation works and creates noise in your mind which is bad for you?

Guided meditation can be a good thing at the same time there is a down side. In this article, we will explore those and see how guided meditation can be productive for your self growth, and when it is a good time to move on. And go on your own path. Let’s take a simple example of learning to walk.

Do you remember how you learned to walk? Well, not really I don’t either. how guided meditation works link

But you and I have seen how a little child learns to walk. The baby crawls first, then they try to stand-up and they fall down so many times in the process.

The good thing: they don’t give up, and eventually they learn to walk. That’s how you and I learned to walk as well. But adults help them as well like holding their hands or gifting them a walker.

So guided meditation is similar it is kind of someone holding your hands or someone gifting you a walker. But you need to remember it’s only temporary. Once guided meditation walks you through the first few days, and it gives you a certain direction you should not use it any more. Why?

Remove the Noise

Guided meditation has noise in it (sound, voice, music etc.) – this is not helpful in settling your mind. Most guided meditation in YouTube is noise.

Don’t get me wrong – you may like them, and I have no problems with that but it can only help you to a certain degree – nothing more than that if you are interested in experiencing the truth (not just knowing it – there is a difference between the two).

But if you’re like most people you would love to do what everyone else is doing, and follow them blindly like a sheep, good luck with that!

But if you want to do what great teachers like Buddha or Yogis do, please continue reading. That’s what I do and I strive every single day in that path.

Let me share with you my story

I learned meditation in India more than thirty years ago and the concept of guided meditation does not exist there. Yes I have met some of the renowned yogis, gurus or teachers in India – only thing which everyone said to me ‘sit quiet long enough’ you’ll find what you’re looking for. After almost 35 years of meditating I know from within it is true!

The concept of guided meditation comes from hypnotherapy. I am not saying it is bad or anything like that but what I am trying to tell you: it is not meditation in real sense. It will not quieten your mind completely.

Yes, it will provide you some relaxation for a while no doubt about that. But that’s the same thing as crawling while learning to walk.

Ask yourself: do you want to crawl all your life?

If you truly want to move forward and want to walk then you have to leave that and start to sit quiet in meditation, which I will teach you in my program and you can learn for free in one week. Use the link in this page to find out more or join above instantly.

Meditation will bring you huge benefits – I don’t know where to even start – but I can tell you few things from my own experience and more than thirty years of meditating and this list is tip of an ice-berg:

Join my free program and I will show you how?

My teachings are not for the faint hearted or for people who are not seeking the truth – Deb Chowdhury.

Meditation is about letting your mind settle down by sitting quiet, nothing else. If someone says anything else they are ignorant or they are lying to you (without knowing what they are talking about).

Interestingly, like you and me Buddha did not have a headphone when he went to the forest nether do the Yogis do. Rather they find a calm and tranquil place and sit quiet, observe their mind, their breath and maybe use a mantra. Why?

Because they do not want noise they want to experience peace. When they reach an advanced stage they don’t even use a mantra because that becomes a noise at that time. Hope you get my point!

When we learned meditation, we were asked to sit quiet, and be quiet for as long as we could minimum was twenty minutes. And we did that even though it was hard to sit quiet for twenty minutes at the beginning and keep our eyes closed.

Things got better with time and practice and the same will happen for you but you have to put in the effort. Don’t expect someone else will do it for you. If you are hungry, you have to eat. There is no short-cut my friend. This is another good article on how crying in meditation releases bottled up stress with no effort.

Take care and see you in the program.

A Guided Meditation to Encourage Deep Breathing

What is Belly Breathing?

With belly breathing, you simply take long, conscious breaths. Ideally you breathe in for a count of three and breathe out for a count of five. Repeating this cycle will trigger the relaxation response—it’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight stress response in that you engage the nervous system to tell your body to relax and your mind to be at ease.

Two Basic Belly Breathing Tips

1. Breathe deeply. When you breathe deeply, your diaphragm at the base of your lungs pushes your belly out. This is belly breathing and is a natural way to breathe—you can see babies doing it.

2. As you exhale, gently press on your belly. As you breathe in, encourage your belly to expand, and as you breathe out, allow your belly to contract. You could even gently push your belly in with your hand when you breathe out to help you to do this, if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Check Your Stress Levels with This Belly Breathing Practice

 

If the hand on your chest is moving but not your belly, you’re breathing in a shallow way.

  1. Begin by finding a quiet place to sit or lie down. If practicing for the first time, lying down may make it easier for you to understand what barely breathing actually feels like. Remember that belly breathing is a natural way of breathing. If you look at a baby or young child, you’ll see that their belly seems to naturally expand and contract slowly and smoothly as they breathe in and out. 
  2. Once you’re settled and comfortable, place one palm gently around the area of your navel and the other palm on your chest. Continue to breathe normally, and just watch the movements of your hands. Does the hand on your belly move as you breathe in and out? And what about the hand on your chest? Which one moves the most, the hand on your belly or the hand on your chest?
  3. If the hand on your chest is moving but not your belly, you’re breathing in a shallow way. By learning belly breathing, you’re likely to feel more relaxed and have more energy, and your body will be fed with more fresh oxygen 
  4. Keeping your hands on your belly and chest, begin by imagining there’s a balloon in your belly. When you breathe in, you’re inflating that balloon and when you breathe out, that balloon deflates. Now breathe in so that you fill the imaginary balloon in your belly as much as possible. 
  5. Hold your breath for about two seconds. And then breathe out slowly and smoothly as you can, using your mouth as if you’re blowing through a straw. Now let your breath be normal and natural again.
  6. Notice how you feel. That was one belly breath. It was more exaggerated than an actual belly breath, but this technique helps to engage your relaxation response, making you counteract your feelings of stress. Just one breath in this way can help me to find some relaxation when you’re feeling tense, and you can do it at any time, wherever you are.
  7. Now you can experiment with counting as you do belly breath. If you want, on your next breath, breathe deeply and smoothly, expanding your belly as you slowly count to four. One, two, three, four. Hold for a count to one, two.
  8. And now slowly exhale to count six. One, two, three, four, five, six. And now breathe as you normally do. Notice how you feel this time, by extending the amount of time you breathe out compared to breathing in.
  9. Encourage your body to relax and your mind to calm. Your breath has a direct link to the systems in your body that make you feel relaxed. By doing belly breaths you send signals to your body that it is safe for you to feel relaxed and at ease. Your blood pressure goes down, your muscles relax and you can think in a more creative and holistic way. You can enhance the experience by bringing the attitudes of kindfulness into the experience, by really feeling the sensations of your breathing.
  10. Let the warmth of your hand against your belly represent a friendly, caring support. Allow yourself permission to be kind to yourself and not force anything too much. 
  11. Now when you’re ready, try counting four belly breaths in a row. One, two, three, four hold one, two. 
  12. And breathe out. Two, three, four, five, six, rest one, two. Belly breath in. One, two, three, four, hold one, two and breathe out again. Two, three, four, five, six. 
  13. Do the last two belly breaths on your own, using a pace that feels right for you. Notice how you feel now, consider how relaxed you feel. Are you more or less relaxed than when you started? If you’re less relaxed, don’t worry about it too much. You’re just starting to learn this new technique.

Use a few belly breaths any time you feel excessively stressed, to make you feel more calm and relaxed. You can even practice some belly breaths before you begin the meditation, to give you a nice relaxing start. 

This article was adapted from Shamash Alidina. View the original article.

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Take Ten Minutes for Self-Care and Listen to a Guided Meditation (You Deserve It!)

Keeping afloat in this fast-paced world means that each day we face challenges—whether it’s finances, family, career, or relationships—and it can be easy to go, go, go! until suddenly we’re running on empty, our self-esteem is plummeting and we feel disconnected or numb.

Consider that when you’re feeling exhausted, uninspired or just plain ‘off’, it may be your mind, body and spirit sending signals  to ‘check in’ with them!

Meditation is the practice of diving deep within yourself to access the wisdom we inherently possess. With guided meditation, you’re effortlessly directed to your subconscious mind to harvest the raw, ingenious ideas that are calling out to be manifested!

There are also fascinating physical benefits to meditation, including:

In February, SWIHA celebrates Self-Care and Self-Love.  We invite you to take ten minutes for yourself and enjoy one (or all!) of these guided meditations our online education team has created:

Soul Date
You’ve got a date with destiny! This uplifting meditation will reaffirm your purpose in the ‘grand plan’ of the divine and help you discover the mystical, magical wisdom of your soul.

Bright Idea
Are you seeking a creative boost? Allow yourself to be guided through this beautiful imagery as you envision yourself tapping in to the pulse of the universe.

Become a Prosperous Receiver
Open your mind and become receptive to the abundance awaiting you! Manifest your best life through visualization and breathing techniques.

I Am Reliable
This meditation is an essential message for any holistic entrepreneur.  Clear the path for success and gain confidence with this soothing reflection on conscious decisions.

Let us know of any ‘Ah-ha!’ moments you experienced during your meditation by getting in touch with our community on Facebook or Instagram!

A Guided Meditation for Virgo Season to Alleviate Anxiety & Restore Well-Being

Tend to your inner garden and tune into the practical magic of Virgo season with a guided meditation to help you stay calm during this mentally active and anxious solar spell.

This year, August 23, 2018, marks the end of the Sun’s four-week tour of razzle-dazzle Leo, as it shifts to by-the-books Virgo until September 22. After a month of hedonism and excess, it’s time to slow down and tune in. As the masterful helper of the horoscope wheel, Virgo is the star sign that teaches us to serve, do impeccable work and prioritize well-being—of ourselves, our loved ones and the planet. But analytical Virgo, which is ruled by mental Mercury, can put us into overthinking overdrive. We invite you to slow down, get grounded and de-stress with this guided meditation for Virgo season.

To help you tap into the savvy, efficient energy of this star sign, we’ve asked our friend Terri Cole—a psychotherapist, meditation expert and awesome Aries—to give you a guided meditation for Virgo season to restore well-being and inspire us to be of service to others.

To get started: Find a quiet, private nook or set up a sacred space in your home. Simply press play, and enter the “Zen Den” with Terri, allowing her soothing voice and words of wisdom to ground you in stillness. Be sure to check back next month for the continuation of this ongoing series for more guided meditations with Terri.

Image via Tumblr

Meet Terri Cole, Astrostyle Meditation Expert

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, author, speaker and meditation teacher. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered celebrities, professional athletes, and individuals alike through television, radio, her popular TEDx talk (What if FEAR was just a Feeling?), workshops, and a thriving private practice to redesign limiting mental blueprints to create extraordinary lives. Terri’s strategies combine practical psychology, Eastern mindfulness practices, and harnessing the power of intention to create sustainable change. Her wicked “tell it like it is” sense of humor and razor sharp insight combined with deep empathy and understanding gives her a unique ability to reach people and inspire transformation. 

MIDYEAR SALE: 50% off all 2018 Horoscope Guides!
Make the most of your 2018 with The AstroTwins’ 2018 Planetary Planners to guide you through the whole year—your must-have map for love, money, health and more.Get yours now >

The post A Guided Meditation for Virgo Season to Alleviate Anxiety & Restore Well-Being appeared first on Astrostyle: Astrology and Daily, Weekly, Monthly Horoscopes by The AstroTwins.

Empathic Practice in Pensacola offers guided meditation and more

Empathic Practice, located at 801 E. Cervantes St., Ste C, in Pensacola, focuses on helping people find their path to a more balanced life.(Photo: Courtesy of Felipe Muñoz)

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A new year means a new beginning. As we look to the year ahead, we often hear of friends and family members resolving to exercise or eat healthier. While those traditional resolutions are good to make, another aspect of healthy living involves having a sound mind and a balanced life. 

That’s what Felipe Muñoz hopes to bring the people of Pensacola in 2019. 

Empathic Practice, located at 801 E. Cervantes St., Suite C, in Pensacola, focuses on helping people find their path to a more balanced life. 

“We believe in knowing yourself,” Muñoz said. “We believe in knowing your body, and we believe in knowing your mind.”

The idea for Empathic Practice came when Muñoz, a professional creative, started feeling lethargic, scattered and shortsighted. 

“Every day, it was my job to bring feeling, vision and life to ideas,” Muñoz said. “Over the years, I started to see the same problems over and over again. Where was the connection? I started looking for answers.”

Read more about new businesses in our area

It wasn’t until his father-in-law, an anesthesiologist, moved back to Pensacola, that they started talking about medical marijuana and wellness. 

“We realized that he was seeing the same problems with his patients,” Muñoz said. “Lack of focus, hopelessness, misdirected energy. So, we decided to do something different. Not the same that people have been doing with medical marijuana practice, wellness and meditation, but a different approach that merges with a new time when people are ready to be more open-minded and look into a different direction for health answers — within.”

Empathic Practice offers guided meditations at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday. In addition to the weekly meditations, open seminars will be held periodically to provide information about specific topics. An open seminar to discuss the basics of essential oils will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 15, and an open seminar to discuss the hype about medical marijuana will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17.
    
“We invite people to come over and understand,” Muñoz said. “We want to clarify those questions and misconceptions that some people may have.”
    
Empathic Practice is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Medical marijuana evaluations are by appointment only. For more information, visit www.empathicpractice.us or call 850-777-3334. 

Fastest Labs opens new Pensacola Franchise 

The Pensacola Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon on Fastest Labs’ newest franchise in Pensacola on Friday. Fastest Labs, a Texas-based drug testing franchise, is committed to providing quick drug testing results. 
    
Fastest Labs, located at 600 University Office Blvd., Building 8, Suite 8A, provides a wide variety of drug testing services such as urine and saliva drug screens, breath alcohol testing and hair and fingernail drug screens. 

For more information, call 850-929-8884 or visit www.fastestlabs.com/pensacola.

Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to pcolanewbiz@gmail.com.   

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How to Perform a Full Moon Release Ritual + FREE Guided Meditation

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” -Mary Manin Morrissey

Ready to release the drama in your life? Try this Full Moon Release Ritual.

Ever notice how some days you are full of exuberant energy and some days you’re completely drained and lethargic?

We’ve learned there are natural cycles and rhythms of the universe and we even use the stars to calculate our navigation and the changing of the seasons and full moons have a highly charged energy!!

There’s no doubt that if the moon has the power to pull ocean tides, surely it must affect us, humans, too, whose bodies are made mostly of water. Just as the phases of the moon affect the seas, they can also send waves of emotions through us.

Creating rituals at the new and full moons will allow you to tune into your inner world and use the energies available to manifest in the external world. While it might sound woo-woo, it’s not really that “out there” if you consider our ancestors planted, hunted, fished and traveled by the seasons and cycles of the moon.

What is a Lunar cycle?

Each month, over the course of about 28 days, the moon goes from completely invisible to full, then back to invisible again. Think about it – 28 days is also a woman’s period or “moon time”. These two cycles govern creativity and hold the key to manifesting with moon magic.

After realizing these two cycles went hand in hand, I began tracking my own cycles by the moon to see if there was a correlation between my “cray-cray” and the phase of the moon. Turns out, each phase offers us a different level of energy. Lunar energy is feminine based and all about receiving. The new and full moon energies last for a few days before and after the main event, so it’s totally ok to perform your moon rituals during the 3-day phase.

LUNAR CYCLES

New Moon // Make some Moon Magic!

New beginnings, new relationships, new adventures, and positive changes. This is a time of turning inward, tapping into your intuition and setting intentions for what you want to manifest in your life over the next 2 week or 6-month cycle. A great time for evaluating your life and deciding what you want to create or how you want to grow. Natural time of menstruation. Sloooow down and get some rest.

The new moon’s energy is wonderful for visualizing, setting intentions, and gathering energy for the coming work at hand. This time isn’t good for action, but more planning, dreaming and scheming. (Ready to manifest? Try this New Moon Manifesting Ritual.)

Waxing Moon // Pick up the pace.

Growth, learning, creativity, healing, and transformation. As the moon appears to grow, energy builds and the time for action begins. Think of your intention and take strategic steps forward to begin materializing your desires. Action initiates the Law of Attraction. Patience required.

When we have trouble welcoming something new into our lives, an internal shift is needed to create the change we seek. The active waxing moon is a time to notice all the inner obstacles so you can release them at the upcoming full moon.

Full Moon // Ready, Set, Manifest!

The full moon is a time of releasing and receiving. During this time we are letting go of the old so we can grab on to the new intention we manifest at the time of the new moon. Full moons are a time for celebration! Gather with your closest friends and harness the powerful magic of the full moon. Natural time of ovulation.

Waning Moon // Do the work.

Letting go, cleansing, releasing, opening up. When the visible moon starts to darken, it’s a reminder to slow down, relax more and do less.

Now is the time to do some internal work. Journal, meditate and ask your higher self or spirit guides for help working through whatever needs healing.

Balsamic Moon // Sweep + Sleep

Feeling worn out or fed up? Check your calendar because there might just be a Balsamic Moon in the sky which happens three to four days before a New Moon.

As we wind down and complete a month-long lunar cycle, the Balsamic Moon reminds us to clean house. Let go of draining obligations, toxic emotional ties, and anything else that’s gotten more complicated than it’s worth. Go take a nap and pay attention to vivid dreams during this time. Instinct and intuition are high.

HOW TO PERFORM A FULL MOON RELEASE RITUAL:

Supplies: pen, paper, candles, matches, glass bowl Optional: crystals, tarot, sage wands, or oils

Step 1Create a Sacred Space. If you’re not performing this ritual outside, find a serene place to sit and turn on some relaxing music. Place crystals or other special items around you.

Step 2Clear your energy. Light a candle and incense to connect to your senses. Burn sage to clear negative/low energies. Close your eyes and imagine yourself standing under a silver waterfall and allow all negative energies to be washed away.

Step 3Become Present. Become fully present in your body by bringing awareness to your breath and sending each breath into the body from the top of the head to the tip of the toes. Notice any tensions and allow them to relax with each breath you take.

Step 4 Declare it. Write on the piece of paper what you intend to release from your life. What limiting beliefs do you want to be free from? What relationships or job are no longer serving you? What emotions need to be healed and forgiven?

Step 5 Seal it. Sign and date the paper when you’re finished and ready to release.

Step 6 Let go. Breathe deep into your heart and declare “I now release  ________. And so it is” Let the universe handle it from here.

Now for the FUN stuff! Hold one corner of the paper over the candle allowing the flame to burn away what you are releasing. Watch the smoke release your intention to the Universe.

If your piece of paper struggles to light or burn, please consider if you are really ready to let this go! Only when you are truly willing to let go will the page burn – the faster the flames, the more willing you are to let it go.

Step 7 Forgive it. Sit in silence for a moment to integrate the feelings of a new lighter energy. End with forgiveness and gratitude. Let all the negativity you have toward these problems drain away by forgiving the situation or person who wronged you (even if it’s you!) and thank yourself and the Universe for taking care of this situation on your behalf.

BONUS! Reward yourself by taking a hot Epsom salt bath or give yourself a massage with essential oils to honor the physical and emotional release you’ve just experienced.

Essential oils for the Full Moon:

THINGS TO RELEASE

Fear of change || Grief || Shame || Releasing a job || Ending a relationship and the energy attached to it || Belief that you’re not good enough || Comparing yourself to others || FOMO || Worrying about money || Clinging onto things || Fear of success || Letting go of the need for approval from others || Fear of criticism and judgement || Old beliefs that are no longer serving you || Forceful energy || Searching externally for answers rather than going within || Resisting Divine Will

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE FULL MOON RELEASE GUIDED MEDITATION

Smudging cleanses and rejuvenates your energy and even your crystals. Sage smoke changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing your stress response…

Are you ready to eliminate the extra stress, clutter, and negative energy in your life? This guidebook is for you if you’re ready to make your life more simple but don’t know where to start. Download this FREE PDF Guidebook to learn how to eliminate the clutter + crap + chemicals in your life that are weighing you down.…

Hi Brittany, I discovered your ritual while searching for a full moon ritual for the Capricorn full moon that we are in right now. My job ended a few days ago, which I needed to end because the dynamic with my Capricorn boss and the environment was toxic. A new job that I really wanted and thought I would get also fell through because I was overqualified. I am flying without a safety net and it feels very uncomfortable, however, I am using your ritual release my “baggage” before I can move forward. Finding your site was very timely and your meditation was balm for the soul. Thank you.

Hey Sparkle Toes 🙂 🙂 So glad you found this page in divine timing. Sounds like the changes you’ve been asking for on the inside are starting to reflect on the outside. So proud of you for committing to change! xo

Dear Brittany, thank you for the beautiful article. One question: I felt good during the whole”ritual” but, when I burned the paper, the flame unexpectedly grew faster and, even if the papar was burning in a safe bowl, I wasn’t feeling too safe as I was in a room, rather than outside.

So I just decided to open a bit the window to let the wind just calm the fire. Buy as there was a too strong wind that day, this turned the fire completely off. And it left me a weird and incomplete feeling.

Also after that I could take a moment of silence, but still I felt as if something rushed me. Generally I’m feeling better since the ritual, but still there is something missing… Would you suggest me to repeat the same ritual with the same purpose I released last time?

Thank you!

Hello N. Thanks for sharing your feedback! If you feel like this ritual is incomplete, I definitely recommend restarting when you feel ready. Sounds like you have some energy to burn!! Best wishes and BE SAFE!

Hii! Thank you out for the answer. But but: this means I have to do it again on a full moon night?

Hi! Actually no, you can perform this ritual anytime you have something to release. However, the full moon is a powerful time to do this release process – it isn’t totally necessary. You can release ANYTIME! 🙂

Melanie says:

Thank you so much for this Brittney! Your positivity is such a light in this world. I am so excited to use this tomorrow for the full moon!

I’m so glad we’ve crossed paths! Thanks for trying out my Full Moon Ritual! xo Be sure to join my private Facebook group #SHINETRIBE Sisterhood to join in on LIVE moon rituals! 🙂

brittneycarmichael.com/join

I would like to know what the purpose of burning sweet grass is after smudging with sage… I was told that no entities like it good or bad.. Ty in advance for your time and co consideration

Great question. I love hearing of all natural remedies. I Googled the use of sweetgrass and smudging and found this interesting article:

“Many Native tribes in North America use sweetgrass in prayer, smudging or purifying ceremonies and consider it a sacred plant. It is usually braided, dried, and burned. Sweetgrass braids smolder and doesn’t produce an open flame when burned. Just as the sweet scent of this natural grass is attractive and pleasing to people, so is it attractive to good spirits. Sweetgrass is often burned at the beginning of a prayer or ceremony to attract positive energies.”

I have tried to download the full moon meditation and every time I put in my email address it does not go through. I would love to listen to your meditations, in the past they are really wonderful =)

I thank you also Brittany. I am very interested in the stars and energies so i will definitely try this tonight. I would love to learn more!!

Thanks and Aloha! You look like my twin sister if I were 20 years younger!
Love the purple in the blond…

Thank you for sharing :)! I printed this out and can’t wait to celebrate tonight.

I’m definitely cleansing some negative energy out the house for the moon. I’ve done it a couple times already this month but a thorough one is needed ❤️

Loving the blog btw!

Thank you Brittney for sharing this beautiful ritual! I loooooove the moon and it’s energy! Thanks again!

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A Guided Meditation to Label Difficult Emotions

“Name it and you tame it.” Naming or labeling difficult emotions helps us disentangle, or “unstick,” from them. Research shows that when we label difficult emotions, the amygdala—a brain structure that registers danger—becomes less active and is less likely to trigger a stress reaction in the body. When we gently say, “This is anger” or “Fear is arising,” we usually feel some emotional freedom—there is some space around the feeling. Instead of being lost in the emotion, we can recognize that we are having the emotion and therefore have more choice of how to respond.

“Naming a difficult emotion helps us not get lost in it”

 
  1. Find your seat. Start by finding a comfortable quiet place to sit in a dignified posture, which is relaxed but upright, tranquil, and alert. Close your eyes fully or partially. Take a few deep breaths to allow your body to relax.
  2. Shift attention to sensations in the body. Bring your awareness to your body by noticing your posture. Feel the world of sensation occurring within your body at this very moment.
  3. Notice your breathing. Now place your hand on your heart and begin to feel your breathing: the out-breath and the in-breath. If it’s easier, just focus on one, and rest, waiting for the next breath. Do this for another minute, and if along the way you’d like to let your hand slowly fall to your lap, feel free to do so.
  4. When you get distracted, come back to the breath. When you notice your mind has wandered, as it always does, gently come back to your breath as a touchpoint again.
  5. As you continue mindfulness of breathing, notice what emotions begin to surface. Shift your attention from your breath and ask yourself: What am I feeling? What emotions are my feeling, right here right now? If you sat down for this exercise without any strong emotions, perhaps you’re feeling contentment. Or perhaps you’re curious, or maybe there’s another emotion inside such as longing or yearning, or perhaps sadness or joy, worry, perhaps a sense of urgency. Maybe loneliness. Or maybe you’re bursting with pride or feeling lost or envy. Maybe you’re having a lot of feelings.
  6. Label the most prominent emotion or emotions. Try to identify the strongest feeling that you’re having and give it a name quietly in the midst of your feelings and kind of using your body as an antenna, perhaps only picking up faint signals. Faint signals that first let yourself be aware what emotions are percolating in your body. And when you have an emotion and you have a name for it, have a label for it, then repeat that name three times in a kind, and gentle voice. For example, worry, worry, worry, joy, joy, joy. Return to your breath, feel your breath. And now go back and forth between your breath and your emotions in a relaxed way.
  7. Continue to shift between the breath and the emotion you are holding. So when you feel the emotion, label it and then return to your breath. If you feel overwhelmed by the emotion or it’s very disturbing, then just stay with your breath until you feel better.
  8. Open your eyes. Slowly open your eyes if they have been closed.

As you go about your day, know that you can always find refuge in your breathing and most emotions can be made more workable by labeling them.

Excerpt adapted from The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. 

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