Universal Responsibility

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Thought of the Week

Whether others are beautiful or ugly, benevolent or cruel, they are all sentient beings like us. And like us, they want to be happy and not suffer, which is their right, just like us. Recognizing that all beings are equal in their aspirations and their right to happiness, we feel a sense of empathy that brings us closer to them. As we get accustomed to this impartial altruism, we finally experience a sense of universal responsibility.

Summarized and adapted from Les voies spirituelles du bonheur, Presses du Chatelet, Paris, 2002; Points Sagesse, Seuil, 2004. English version: The Compassionate Life, Shambhala 2003

FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA, TENZIN GYATSO (B. 1936)

Hope Offers Forgiveness Meditation

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Mantra: Om Sarvatva Namah
This mantra means, “I open my individuality to its true universality, the wholeness of cosmic awareness.” As we connect with our essence, we are revitalized, restored, and renewed.

 

 

By: Deepak Chopra

Mindfulness On The Trails

Practice Mindfulness on Your Next Hike
“We all deserve to have more peace in our lives, and I truly believe nature and hiking can bring that to us.”
Last month co-founder Karla shared her top tips on practicing mindfulness on the trails presented by Aftershokz.

When Ego Reigns

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Through my own spiritual walk in life I’ve dealt with my own inflated ego from time to time and having to kick myself down a few notches in the past. And Karma has stepped in on more than one occasion and taken me backwards on my path and even just put severe halts to any advancement or windows of opportunity opening for me until I sorted that crap out. Spiritual superiority we could call it. Many on a spiritual path will encounter this phase in their spiritual development in varying degrees. This is a period where the ego is forced to undertake a spiritual journey of its own and course correct. In other words FIX IT.

People from all walks of life with skills of any kind go through this, but especially; people with artistic skills (like actors, artists, performers, etc), people who are in a position of perceived power, spiritual path walkers (priests, nuns, monks, etc..) and those on healing paths (doctors, nurses, holistic healers, etc..). This high and mighty ego attitude needs to be worked out asap. And believe me, it has to be faced. 

I’ve recently been exposed to a spiritual person who is dealing with a huge ego complex. I doubt I would have seen the signs had they not been so much like me a couple years ago. It was painful to watch. Yes, painful for those who seek wise counsel and healing from this person, but also painful to see this person not see it within themselves. And here I was standing in front of them, seeking counsel and direction. Considering I was one who was purposefully choosing to take two steps back in my own personal development because I needed clarity on which way to turn. The solid ground I had when I lived in Virginia was such a clear path but when we moved to New Jersey it was like I was back in high school not knowing what I wanted out of life. And somehow this incredibly gifted individual standing before me as a potential teacher and mentor turned into a mirror reflection of what was once me (and who knows may try to get me again some day). And in turn it was not their teaching and guidance that gave me clarity, but it was their own ego that reminded me I already knew the answers to the questions I sought. But more importantly I also needed the reminder of where I stood not so long ago, so that I don’t have to relive those lessons learned right now or subject others to it here on my present path.

And I think also to share with you as readers of my blog, to remember that we ‘re all human and prone to the ego no matter how white light and pure our intentions. People turn to spiritual people and healers during their their darkest hours at times and may overlook an ego riding high because they need a powerful in charge person to guide them. Or, they may just be so overwhelmed with a persons gifts, insight or positive spirit they don’t see that the healer forgot to check their ego at the door. And while that person will likely very much be able to help you, may be super equipped to heal you, give spiritual guidance, give oracle readings, reiki, or even be able to teach you and pass on gifts to you, be sure not to adopt the ego they may carry into a session and bring it home or into your own practice. Learn to see the signs. And if you are close with someone who may be a gifted spiritual being of light who also happens to be riding high on their own ego, help them. Talk to them. It tarnishes their halo and only makes the karma they have to clear on themselves that much heavier.

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The essence of true faith and spiritual devotion are beyond the scope of ego and beyond the scope of just pure book knowledge. There’s a difference between knowing a path and walking the path. The same holds true as a holistic healer. You can be taught but you also must FEEL that healing energy, just knowing it in your head doesn’t make it so. And when it comes to comparing yourself to other people who do holistic healing, stop and check yourself. Believing your way is the ONLY way or is the BEST way for everyone is a nasty trap of an inflated ego. Watch your words, they should only be to heal.

As Lao Tzu says, “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.”

If you find yourself or a spiritual adviser belittling that which they don’t have first hand knowledge of in order to sway someones belief system towards their own, red flags should be thrown down. You can speak your truth without diminishing others. Even the most spiritual of people have bad days, and having enough courage to be honest with your emotions is a key ingredient for liberation from self centered ego. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you’re having and off day, say so.

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A “Messiah complex. ? Though it’s important to be of service to others, as human beings we are above no one. We are all only human and what one may be able to do better than their sister the one day, the next day sis may rise above. Those on a spiritual path who deal with holistic healing ebb and flow, evolve, regress and evolve again. This is something we need to acknowledge. There is no high and mighty.

 

 

 

Signs your ego is in control and not you – Awareness is key!

  • Does it feel empowering to talk about others flaws? Perceived or otherwise? Do you negative talk fellow spiritual leaders and teachers instead of just focusing on your own path?
  • Do you just have to WIN that argument? I’m not talking clarity of point, I’m talking do you have to make the other person agree with you to justify your own beliefs. Make them come over to “Your Side”?
  • Do you play the comparison game? Do you elevate yourself above other’s in the spiritual community? Do you imply or otherwise say your healing gifts are better than so and so’s?
  • Are you jealous at the success of others? Especially within your community of healers and teachers?
  • Do you promote your business during a session instead of focusing on the session and the person you are helping?

Take a step back and analyze why you’re doing it. Is it fear? Is it lack of belief in yourself? Is it for financial gain? I know that this experience and choosing to write about it and leaving it here will serve as a constant reminder to me to always take a step back and humble myself and check on the status of my ego. Often facing the truth is the hardest to do but the easiest and quickest route to getting past it and taking that crown off your head and just come back to being the amazing beacon of light you really are.

 

 

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*Ultimately the people who have unwittingly chosen abusive teachers along the way on their spiritual path sometimes have mixed feelings about the experience, feeling strangely grateful, because it can teach you a lot and make you much more careful. 

Thank you to Nouk Sanchez for writing such an important insightful article, please continue on to Nouk’s Blog to learn traits of the ego phase and the spiritual ego checklist. It’s am important read about Ego and the holistic healing arts. 
SIGNS OF THE SPIRITUAL EGO

 

My thank you, to you…

 

Thank so much for stopping by and wandering

through the pages of my heart 💜

Mandala Coloring Book

Mandala Coloring Book 2

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Ever think of coloring as an adult? Every think of coloring as meditation? I’ve benefited from coloring to quiet my mind when I get stressed. It improves my focus and relaxes my whole body.

Benefits of coloring for adults:
  • Your brain enters a focused meditative state. Much like gazing at a candle but more active than that. 
  • Stress and anxiety levels have the potential to be lowered.
  • Negative thoughts release and positive feeling and emotions have room to grow.
  • Keeps you in the “now”. In the present which helps you attain mindfulness.
  • Unplugging from technology promotes creation over consumption
  • It’s an inexpensive way to add art and creativity into your life.
  • It can be a relaxed social gathering.
  • It’s portable!
How to Color a Mandala:

It’s easy!

  1. You will need crayons, pencil crayons, chalks, pastels, paint, or markers in a variety of colors.
  2. Print a mandala or stop at any dollar store, book store or craft shop and purchase a coloring book. You can find a ton on amazon.com too!
  3. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can work comfortably with no distractions. You can even increase the meditative qualities by finding a spot in a nature where you won’t be disturbed. Here you can take in the scents and sounds while you create your art. 
  4. Color!

Try not to think too much about what colors you choose, or what’s matchy matchy. Let your instincts guide you. After you begin with the first color, the rest will follow naturally. Susan F. Fincher, the author of numerous mandala coloring books, says, “One color on the mandala invites another, like a guest who asks to bring his friend to your party.”

 

heart white©S.Halloran-runningtozen.org

Mantras for Meditation

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  1. “Aum”, “Om”
    Sanskrit/Hindu, meaning “It Is” or “To Become”.  Also used in Buddhism and other traditions. It is a sacred word. One translation being that it is the first breath of God. It can also be reference to; the soul, the self within, the entirety of the universe, truth, the divine, the spirit, energy, or ultimate knowledge. Listen here.
  2. “Om Mani Padme Hum”: Buddhist, meaning “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus” (perhaps the jewel being Buddha, perhaps our sufferings) Listen here
  3. “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”: “shanti,” which means “peace,” is chanted three times. As a spiritual aspirant, one chants shanti in desire for the occurrence of circumstances conducive to a spiritual education. But these mantras can be chanted for peace in a general sense as well. Listen here.

“As we purify our own consciousness by extricating ourselves from the grosser vibrational planes, we turn back toward the formless. The practice of mantra is a technique for tuning us to those subtler vibrational levels. As we move more and more deeply into mantra, the sound becomes the vehicle that allows us to experience both halves of the act of creation-and-return, so we’re going from the many back into the One, and then from the One into the many, all on the strength of the mantra.

Mechanical vibration alone won’t do it, of course. The mantra and the reciter of the mantra are not separate from one another, and the power and the effect of the mantra depend on the readiness and the openness and the faith of the one who’s doing it. In fact, mantras in and of themselves don’t do anything at all – it all has to do with the beings who work with them. Mantras aren’t magical spells; power mantras are just sounds, unless you’re the kind of person who has the one-pointedness of mind and the particular personality characteristics that make those power mantras work. That is, what a mantra does is to concentrate already-existing stuff in you. It just brings it into focus. It’s like a magnifying glass with the sun: The magnifying glass doesn’t have any heat in and of itself, but it takes the sunlight and focuses it; it makes it one-pointed. The mantra becomes like that magnifying glass for your consciousness.

Mantras can be used as a way of stilling thought as well as focusing it. If you imagine the mind as being like an ocean, with waves of thought surging along on it, waves going in all directions because of the crosscurrents of the tides and the winds – in that ocean, a mantra sets up a single wave pattern that gradually overrides all the other ones, until the mantra is the only thought-form left. Then there’s just one continuous wave going through your mind – going and going and going.

– Ram Dass – Why Do We Use Mantras

Meditation With The Owl

4K-Owls-Wallpaper-For-AndroidMeditation With The Owl 

Get comfortable in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Find a quiet place outside, or put on nature sounds if either of these options are available and make you feel more connected to owl energy.  Do whatever you feel guided to do.

Imagine you are in a wooded area, perhaps sitting safely upon a tree limb as you watch the owls soar from tree to tree. Imagine the feeling of the air around you, hear the wings of the owls as they fly near. Feel the branches you’re sitting on, feel the wood beneath your fingertips, smell the tree sap and the woods all around you.

As you watch the owls, speak to them, state what it is you would like owl wisdom on. You could simply think,  “Owl Energy. I look for your wisdom” Or you could say, “Owl Energy. I feel that I am stuck in (name your personal situation). Help me see through the darkness. Help me see with wisdom and direction.” 

Continue to become a part of the woods you’re in as you grow more comfortable sitting in the tree as you feel the flap of an owls wings in the air brush against you as it sits next to you on the branch. Note any observance you have; any feeling, words that are spoken or come to mind, symbols, etc.. Stay in this moment with the owl for as long as you feel guided to. Feel your heart fill with gratitude for this moment.

When you feel you are ready open your eyes and feel the lightness in your spirit.

I can’t emphasize this enough, journal your meditation. Write down any information you received. If you received any symbols, google them. You may even be revisited by an owl in a dream. In meditations like these that essentially search for your own inner wisdom to shine through, often clarity of the message isn’t completely understood at first glance. Give it time. 

©S.Halloran-runningtozen.org

Emotional Purification Exercise

I ran across this emotional purification exercise yesterday and found it to be very grounding while still feeling fluid. It’s kind of a mental bath. If feeling mucky mentally it’s a good mental exercise to do for washing away all the stress and worries of the moment. Sometimes all I need is a momentary break in the flow of negative thoughts to feel refreshed, or to even come up with an idea or answer that my head seemed blocked to find a solution for. I get caught up in my own internal drama something simple like this is perfect!

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BY: Katie IndiCrow

Suggested exercise:

Take 3 deep, long breaths.

Allow yourself to come into your body and set the intention to slow down your thoughts and increase emotional flow.

Allow yourself to connect in to the images/videos that appeal to you in this set.

Visualize yourself blending in with the flowing of the water.

Connect to the swirls and waves and colours.

(Allowing yourself to search through the bubbles brings you into them)

As you are doing this, intend to Invite in peace and balance and release all else.

Enjoy the flow of tranquility and relaxation entering your system.

Note: each image does something different. Try one at a time or viewing as a series. Give each a minute to connect!

This activity will also help connect to calm in stress. Remembering to breathe as we feel all of this is important.

ENJOY! REPEAT AS INSPIRED.

In loving co-creation,

Katie IndiCrow @ IndiCrow Energetics

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