For the coming month of November, we will focus on practicing and chanting the Mahishasura Mardini Stotram.
This mantra is very powerful for activating the divine mother energy within us. The word Shakti means divine energy/force/power, and Durga is the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother/Brahman(Supreme Absolute Godhead).
As a goddess, Durga's feminine power contains the combined energies of all the gods. Each of her weapons was given to her by various gods: Rudra's trident, Vishnu's discus, Indra's thunderbolt, Brahma's kamandalu, Kuber's Ratnahar, etc.
This chant was composed by the great sage Adi Shankaracharya some time around 810 AD. This chant is sung in praise of Goddess Chamundeshwari and describes the way She destroyed many demons.
I enjoyed invoking the blessing of this mantra in dance.
Below is the sanskrit for practice. I am excited to learn this Mantra!
Why Bother to Chant in Sanskrit?
Holistic Group Sanctuary targets individuals interested in learning about themselves on a deep psychological and spiritual level. We offer majestic tools for healing that includes meditation, contemplation and reflective work. Our unique group practice creates an environment that stabilizes and clarifies group attention. We can then explore the nature of mind, experience, and reality. Holistic Group therapy is grounded in Eastern meditation and Western phenomenology and weaves ancient and modern tools for understanding and maintaining a healthy mind. It supports practitioners interested in interweaving private and shared meditative experience. Despite centuries of scientific research and philosophical explorations, we have to agree that the nature of the mind, emotions and the self is yet to be fully understood. Our educational and cultural systems do little to provide the tools for understanding, clarifying and maintaining body, mind and emotion.
Our groups comprise of contemplative therapy, sound healing, mantra therapy and paths to enlightenment. Sessions are weekly for two hours and cost $50. Less than the price of getting your nails done or a massage, you can opt for consistent happiness and peace of mind irrespective of your circumstance.
Seven Keys to Consistent Peace
The most important key to consistent peace is to learn the art of being present at all times. Being present is quite simple. All you have to do at every moment is to gently remember to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on something that occurs at that moment. If you can see it, hear it, taste it, touch it or smell it, you can be present with it.
From the moment you wake up in the morning, spend a few minutes being present with your breathing. When you are having a shower, be present with the warmth of the water, the smell of the soap or the way you cleanse your body. Be present as you eat your breakfast. Be present as you drive to work. When you notice you have drifted off into the world of thought, memory and imagination, bring yourself back to the present moment.
Presence is the only way you can become unconditionally loving and accepting of yourself. It allows you to become fully aware and accepting of all those things you would like to change about yourself. You are present with the qualities like such jealousy, possessiveness, control, judgment, helplessness, inadequacy, blame, guilt, uncertainty, unworthiness, arrogance, expectation, resentment, anger, sadness, frustration, just to name a few.
The desire for change is a subtle rejection of these qualities, which in turn produces a feeling of need and more sadness or anger. With needy feelings, you will not be able to accept yourself unconditionally. The key is to become aware, identity, acknowledge and confess all of these qualities, as they arise within you. Hide absolutely nothing from yourself. Accept and acknowledge all of these things with love and compassion. The more you acknowledge and accept whatever arises without judgment, the more you will relax and be released out of the past into deeper and deeper levels of Presence.
The second key to awakening to peace is to come into complete relationship with your feelings. This is only possible as you become present. There are many emotions from the past, which you repressed for good reason. But now they want to be released, so it is necessary to find an opportunity to feel and express repressed emotions like anger, hurt, pain and sadness.
Simply be present with the feelings whenever they arise within you. Allow them to have an authentic expression, but do not get stuck on the story is woven into the feelings. The feelings are trapped energies from the past, which are projecting onto the present. Do not try to get rid of these feelings. That would be a judgment of them. Do not blame anyone or thing or situation, that would be avoidance and projection- the egos greatest device. Simply allow them to complete their journey through you. Once released, they will be gone forever.
It is important to take full responsibility for your emotional reactions. No one can make you angry unless you have anger repressed within you from your past. No one can hurt you unless you have hurt repressed within you from your past. As these repressed emotions are liberated from you, you will begin to feel a level of love, peace, and freedom that you did not know was possible.
The third key to consistent peace is to own and acknowledge every aspect of who you have become. You are saying, “this is me, this is who I have become. I am possessive and controlling.” Or, “I am blaming. I get angry when I don’t get my own way.” Or, “I will not allow myself to get too close to people because I am afraid I might get rejected.”
By confessing and owning what you have become, with love, acceptance, and compassion, it is released. And you are freed to the level of Presence where none of these qualities exist. They cannot exist because they are not a part of the true nature of Being. They exist only at the level of mind.
Right Relationship with the Ego
The fourth key to consistent peace is to come into right relationship with the ego. The ego is not the enemy. It is your friend and protector in a painful world where no one is truly present. Once you know the ego’s true role in your life, you will come to appreciate it. You will befriend it, and gradually the ego will relax and it will allow you to be more present. As you become established in Presence, the ego will surrender and its role in your life will be transformed.
Don’t Look Outside of Yourself
The fifth key is to bring conscious awareness to all the ways that you lose yourself in others. If you look to others for love, acceptance or approval, you are losing yourself in them. If you fear judgment or rejection from others, then you are losing yourself and you are giving away your power and your freedom. To awaken to peace is to come back to yourself, and to release yourself from entanglement in others.
Take Full Responsibility
The sixth key to peace is to accept full responsibility for yourself. This will release your mind from the world of expectation, resentment, blame, and guilt. It will lead you to "total freedom".
The final key to awakening is to let go. Dance, celebrate, lose control!
The Healing Power of RAM
One of the most potent medicines of all is the sound of RĀM. Many will, of course, be wondering how a sound (like RĀM) can be a healing medicine. The sound of RĀM has many qualities such as active goodness; positive energy; goodwill; courage; compassion; helpfulness; service to all; intelligence; wisdom; bliss; peace; constructive activity; the presence of God; Enlightenment; perfection; fearlessness; physical, mental and spiritual strength; righteousness.
To discover the magic power of RĀM, is to understand something of the Primordial Language of Sound (also called the Sacred Language or the Divine Language). The ancient mystics of many centuries ago, discovered that the Universe is actually made out of sound-atoms. When they went into the core of Cosmic Consciousness they arrived at the Source of Creation, they discovered a tremendous energy-field that in various languages came to be called “God as Sound” in various languages. They discovered that all life, all beings/entities/planets come from a mighty Sea of Sound that is the Sound of God or, if you like, the Name of God. The Ancients also discovered that within this tremendous, all-potent Sound there are seventy-two Seed Syllables, powerful Sound-Vibrations that produce every possibility of manifestation, ability and development imaginable by the human mind and beyond. These make up the Primordial Language of Sound, and one of these sounds is RĀM, which is particularly powerful and beneficial to the human species on this planet. Remember that RĀM is more than just the sound you make when you say it. The physical sound is just a microscopic atom of RĀM. RĀM is a stream of the Sound that comes from the universal reverberation of the creative process and descends through the planes, becoming the Bright Light-Vibration of Nirvāa, the Pure Light-Vibration of the Buddhic dimensions, the Sounding-Light Vibration of the causal dimensions, the subtle Sound-Vibrations of the Mental and Astral Worlds and finally the physical sound of the physical world. So how does this relate to healing? The sound of RĀM sets up a rhythmic vibration on whichever level you use it. When you use it on the physical level (when you intone it aloud), it sets up a rhythmic vibration in your physical body that harmonizes the atomic structure of the body and gives it physical health. When you take the sound of RĀM inside (when you intone it mentally), it sets up a rhythmic vibration in the etheric body that evens out the disjointed etheric currents, your own life-force, so your etheric body becomes healthy.
As you take the sound further inside by internal repetition and reach the Astral Plane, it evens out the vibration of your astral body, so your negative emotional vibrations—depression, hate, anger, violence, self-pity—are neutralized. When you go further inside and reach the Mental Plane, all your negative thoughts are also neutralized as your mental body begins to vibrate more harmoniously. And then finally on an even higher level, when you can start working with it internally on the causal level (the Soul level), it will harmonize your causal body and therefore stop the release of negative karma. So, the sound of RĀM is the most amazing, all-purpose medicine ever invented, and it is applicable to everybody, regardless of religion or background, because it works with the Science of Sound, by Sound-Vibration. This is also preventative medicine. If you intone and meditate on RĀM regularly, it will help your nature adjust itself to Cosmic Law because it produces a state of harmony in whatever realm it is being used in. It puts your causal body in harmony with the Causal World, your mental body with the Mind World, and so on down to your physical body. But if you are one of those perfect specimens who are always in total health physically, emotionally and mentally, then RĀM is preventative, by maintaining you in that state of harmony and keeping you from attracting negative, disease-producing factors in the first place.
All diseases are wrong vibrations, whether they are wrong vibrations in your physical body, etheric body, astral body, mental body or causal body. Wrong vibrations cause disease. Only that which is working in harmony with the Cosmos produces health or is in the state of health, beauty, truth and order. So, when we have any kind of a disease it is simply a disharmony in the part that is ill. If your physical body is ill, you must have done something physically that produced disharmony. If you are emotionally sick, then you must have done something emotionally that produced disharmony. And if you have a mental illness, you must have done something mentally that was not in harmony with the Cosmic Law. This also includes your karma, because you must have done something disharmonious previously to precipitate the karma you have now.
The magic, or the beauty, of RĀM is that it produces harmony inside you, and the more harmony it produces inside you, the more it neutralizes the negative state or situation you are in. And when your whole being is in a state of harmony, not just your immediate personality expression, you will be in harmony with the Cosmos itself. Most people are living out of tune with themselves and have accepted that life is a state of disharmony. Very few people think about why life on this planet is such a mess; they just accept that it’s messy and there is nothing they can do about it, except to blame the government or God. The mass consciousness does not realize that the planetary situation need not be as it is, that it is caused by billions of human beings producing disharmony on every level, in their thoughts, feelings and physical actions.
How to Release the Layers & Improve Your Life
Life is challenging at times. And, for some people the challenges happen more often.
So, how do you overcome them and flow through life more easily?
Imagine for a moment that your heart is underneath the center of an onion. Each thin layer covers that onion’s center.
Those layers represent your preconceived beliefs (like beliefs about how you think things should be), the conditions you apply to life, and the social constructs (such as religion), as well associetal rules and norms you believe and hold to be true.
The more onion layers that cover your heart center—or the God within you, the more difficult it is for you to hear your true calling.
In this analogy, the layers represent the ego, hence the ego onion. And, they prevent us from moving forward in the direction of our spiritual map (or our life’s destiny). To move forward in life more easily, you must let go of these “ego onion” layers. Then you can hear your heart and move in the direction of your intended path.
The Soul’s Creation & Purpose
Your soul’s infinite Divine intelligence created you at conception from a single cell that multiplied into 100 trillion more. Those cells are associated with a set of energetic bodies which the physical body coalesces from. Your soul arrived in your physical body from that first cell, and that’s why a baby is such a miracle.
During this human construction, your soul creates an ego personality. The personality is how your soul expresses itself and crosses into the earthly or physical reality to experience life in a particular way. But once life is set in motion,the Creator cannot interfere with how you choose to live because of free will. Once in your body, you choose how to engage with life.
The problem is the ego onion layers prevent people from hearing the messages from our inner God center, which tell us our soul’s purpose (or spiritual map). This is the contract you have with the Creator. Its deepest desire is to align the earthly self with your soul’s spiritual map, which is the real reasonwe incarnate on Earth.
How do you know if you’re achieving your soul’s purpose?
You’re meant to bring gifts to the world by the nature of who you are. However, those gifts are often times realized when you experience a challenge or difficulty. The trouble is many people avoid the challenges and difficult times. They also avoid seeing the layers of beliefs (their ego onion), because they believe what society expects of them and behave in that prescribed way. So, they don’t deal with their ego onion issues
Instead, they judge those things, blame others or themselves for what happens to them, feel bad or guilty, and/or project those feelings onto others by becoming angry with them. People also avoid the ego layers and the difficulties by numbing the hardships consciously and unconsciously with alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, gambling, and so forth. Or, they simply avoid challenges altogether by not talking about them or addressing them head on and changing.
These distractions only cover up the truth. And, this is the way we separate from our emotions and keep our hearts tightly sealed by the ego onion layers. Society’s messages also don’t help, especially maxims like, “Suck it up.” As a society, we don’t acknowledge emotions or actively learn how to deal with them.
But, this is not entirely ours or society’s fault. Avoiding difficulties also happens because the ego generates fears when facing adversity. For you to achieve your soul’s purpose (and for your life to happen) you must face challenges, assess them from a deeper level, and be consciously aware of them and what they mean in your life. But, the ego mind tries to block you from feeling, and by doing so blocks you from healing from your karmic challenges. You can overcome this, but to do so you need to feel the pain and discomfort of those challenges. Of course, that is not fun.
The Ego’s Fears & Perceptions
Unless you’re hunted down by a huge lion or being shot at or robbed, your mind (through the ego) creates imagined fears. But if you understand that fear is only in the mind, then you can recognize that you’re an integral part of all that is (including creating those fears).You can then accept the threat as the ego’s fear in the mind, instead of believing a real, external threat is present.
There is also a difference between understanding and perception. Perception is an ego device, but understanding produces a change in our soul’s vibration, which gives rise to a shift in consciousness. This type of understanding comes when we take an issue into deep meditation and contemplation.
The issue is that people have been programmed to unconsciously project God as being a phenomenon outside of themselves, which misdirects the healing process to the ego. By recognizing God as the real self within, you can go beyond the ego onion layers and into the deeper levels of the mind.
To align with the soul's purpose, you must overcome ego based fears and perceptions by bringing consciousness to them. And, the first step is to feel the negative emotions generated by your life’s challenges. This is difficult, because the last thing your ego wants to do is feel. The more you consciously feel what’s bothering you in life, the more easily those fears can be healed and transformed layer-by-layer into positive qualities.
This is how you peel off the layers of your ego onion. Each time you feel and let go, you release one of those layers. Then you can move on to the next layer, and the next, and the next until you reach your heart center or the God light within.
The Ego’s Illusionary Technique
When our lives begin, we believe things just happen to us randomly. But as we mature, we notice some patterns repeat themselves and understand there is an order to our life. The problem is some people go through life dealing with one crisis after another (repeating a pattern) and ask, “Is there deeper meaning in all this chaos?”
Many souls incarnate in earthly bodies but never manifest their spiritual destiny, because once living life on Earth, they become imprisoned by fears in their minds. They become too afraid to step out of the norm. And because of it, they repeat the same life experiences until the soul achieves what it came to do.
This is the ego’s illusionary technique—creating this mirage of imaginary challenges within the mind, and it is repeated over and over during a lifetime. And, it makes learning on Earth such a slow and arduous processand the societal catch phrase, "Life is hard and then you die,"so believable for some.
We can’t let the ego do that to us. So, if you’re experiencing something like this, know there is indeed an underlying plan, a carefully designed spiritual map the soul uses to create your life in every moment. It’s a matter of having an awareness of the plan and aligning to it by listening to your heart.
Divine Healing Requires 5 Things
Divine healing has only five requirements. First, you must identify the issue. Second, you must have the courage and willingness to face the polarities and/or contradictions within. Third, you must take responsibility for the issue (and avoid blaming other people or things). Fourth, you must forgive yourself as in realization of karmic illusions in the mind and claim others involved as innocent. And fifth, you must surrender the issue to your higher self (or God).
The point in which the onion is released from us is by divine grace or the higher self. Just as a broken arm cannot fix itself without divine grace, the ego cannot be released without it as well. The key is that the higher self is invited to heal us through our acknowledgement, forgiveness and surrender to it.
To find the source of your ego onion issues, you must feel the feelings you don’t want to feel. (In other words, what you feel, you can heal.) What makes healing work challenging is when a person numbs, buries, or avoids the issues. Sometimes this happens due to survival instincts in abusive situations, but even more so is because we have learned to control our emotions with our prefrontal cortex. So, we have to let go of that control, allow ourselves to feel the pain, and then allow ourselves to heal. That’s when the energy shifts. This is why feeling sadness, anger, jealously, and frustration from hardships is important.
Through identifying the issue, bringing the feelings to conscience awareness—and feeling it, and having a desire and willingness to heal that pain, you can begin to release yourself from the ego onion. When you clear the emotions, you have more access to your higher self. This access is what the Buddha calls the antakarana (or life force). And, it expands as we release the ego onion layers. In that release, you’re able to feel and understand what your soul needs to express in this lifetime.
There are gifts to be found in your struggles.
When you experience a challenge or difficulty in life, know that there is a beautiful gift to be found in that pain. Those are the soul’s gifts—the gold you’re to bring forth to share with this world. And, this is an integral part of why your soul came to Earth through your physical body. When you start to claim your gifts, your life will truly unfold.
To uncover these gifts, you must clear a number of karmic patterns by looking deeply at your fears, because your soul’s energy is transmitted through the limitations of your ego onion. So, feeling in order to heal is important and takes a considerable amount of work—and perhaps is the reason many avoid it. But, it is worthwhile, as it’s key to living a fulfilled and happy life.
The turning point, though, in your life is releasing enough of the ego onion layers so that you can begin to feel your heart. Then you’ll know the right action to take next. This is because your heart is the connection to your soul’s guidance system, which aligns you with your spiritual map—your life’s destiny. The more you develop your ability to feel, surrender, and trust your spiritual map (or signature) the more gracefully and easily your life will flow. So, if life is hard for you, it’s because you’re not following your spiritual map.
Psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology is really about helping people deal with the ego onion layers—one layer at a time. It is identifying the painful feelings and true source of those feelings, actually allowing yourself to feel the pain from those life challenges and accepting them, and having the desire and willingness to heal from those things. At KUADRA, I help people through the process using several different advanced integrative therapy techniques, including hypnotherapy, Reiki meditation, intuitive counseling, and behavioral mapping. These techniques help make releasing the ego onion layers easier. It is also a safe wayto feel the painin the sanctuary of my office space.
Wishing you enhanced physical, emotional, and spiritual strength,
KUADRA Counseling & Consulting, LLC
P.S. If you need assistance peeling away your ego onion layers (i.e. overcoming a deepfear or challenge) and employing daily lifestyle practices to help you listen to your heart (your inner guidance system)and discover your unique skills, talents, or spiritual gifts, call the office and make an appointment today, (210) 314-7687.
As a counselor, I regularly hear about the challenges people face. Sometimes there are concerns about the unknown and safety after a tragic event—like the recent shooting in Las Vegas. But, often, the challenges are about relationships and acceptance of what is in those relationships.
The world is full of chaos, and most of us want order. So, we reject chaos. However, our souls, which temporarily inhabit our human bodies, are pure awareness. This means to experience complete peace or nirvana we must accept everything in life as it is … which can be very difficult at first.
Ancient wisdom tells us to embrace all of life. Buddha, for example, says to embrace the dualities of life—the good things and the bad, what we like and what we don’t like. You can’t have one without the other, so instead he says to become an observer of this “game” of life.
Our bodies, though, have been conditioned to perceive life through the five fundamental human senses: seeing, tasting, touching, hearing, and smelling. As humans, those senses may at times prevent
us from tapping into the dimensions that exist beyond their physical scope. The connection to the unseen helps us to understand and accept the dualities of life.If we become too focused on the
conscious part of living—what we experience through the five senses—then the body is like a virtual-reality suit. Here’s what I mean … everything we experience from the five senses is converted into
electrical impulses that formulate perceptions inside the brain. But at the conscious, five senses perception level of experiencing life, the energy vibrates at a lower and denser frequency. At that
frequency, it is difficult or impossible for you to receive intuitive messages from The One Mind (i.e. God). So, if you want to experience a higher consciousness and a peaceful, nirvana-like state,
then you must train your mind to become more
aware of this game and accept life’s dualities. When you do this, the brain will begin functioning at a higher vibration frequency, which makes it easier to accept those dualities.
In the evolutionary transition of humans, we are learning how to live from this multidimensional perceptive state—to accept the physical senses, but to also sense and accept the information we receive from The One Mind or that gut feeling or God-like sense you might feel. But, it can only happen if the brain is unified with the Higher Mind of our soul, and your energy is vibrating at a higher frequency.
Are your emotions hungry?
Life is full—just as it is. Your life truly doesn’t need more. One way to apply this Higher Mind concept is to simply enjoy the daily functions of your life. You won’t become enlightened by eating dinner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat dinner. The problem lies in emotional hunger. If your emotions are not accepting of the dualities—the things you like and don’t like, then you will desire things, i.e. hunger.
Relationships are a great example of people trying to fulfill an emotional hunger, particularly sexual or marital relationships. If you believe the relationship will give you something or make you happy, then one day you may realize it is not fulfilling that emotional hunger. What we refer to as peace, joy, and love exists on a higher level of awareness, which is that of the Higher Self or soul level.
Acceptance for all the parts of life and seeing them simply as they are is a powerful solution for the emotional hunger. This is because the part we don’t want to accept feels empty emotionally to us. In the example of marital relationships, if you look for someone to love you and fill the void of your emotional hunger you may attract someone who is also looking for the same thing.
The problem is the void you feel (the emotional hunger) is really the unacceptance of some part of yourself. If you loved that part, you may not feel the need to be with someone. What happens is
you end up expecting the other person to love the part of you that you yourself don’t love—and they may expect you to do the same for them. So, you get married and live “happily” ever after,
but each of you will still feel that emotional hunger. It hasn’t been fulfilled…because you have not accepted that part you’ve
deemed unlovable about yourself. In the end, you both will still be emotionally hungry, and perhaps unhappy with the relationship you’ve created together.
Why do people choose to be in a romantic relationship?
Many believe a soulmate exists for everyone. Sexually, the soul technically cannot mate with anyone or anything. The soul also does not need to. That is because the soul is absolute and limitless. Humans mate to continue the species or to fill an emotional hunger. But, a person’s soul does not need a mate or to mate.
People choose romantic relationships, because they want to fulfill an emotional hunger. They may want their body to feel better or experience an erotic release, which is referred to as sexuality. People also want their minds to feel better, which translates to companionship. And, people want their emotions to feel better, which can be called love. Emotional compatibility makes romance very beautiful and sweet. However, that is as far as it goes.
Experiencing a good physical compatibility, companionship, and a strong sense of love in many ways can make your life wonderful. But if you are willing to look at all this carefully and sincerely, you will see there are limitations and anxieties that naturally follow such an arrangement. It is natural for a human being to want these things. However, there are limits to the relationship, especially when you cannot love the whole of yourself and expect the other person to do so.
The nature of marital relationships is like being limited to a specific area, like a garden. As beautiful as the garden is, you must live in just that garden area. If you are unwilling to stay in
that one place, then that
relationship will inevitably become suffocating. Many humans want to experience a marital relationship, but it is not a matter for the soul. All connections you make on this human level relate to the body, mind, or emotions.
The more you accept all of yourself, the more you’re able to accept others. Thinking back to the limitations … if you’re expecting the other person to love the part of you that you don’t love, then the relationship at some point may become ugly. During those times, people also tend to lie to themselves about the reality of the relationship. It is better to be honest with yourself and accept that both you and your partner have limitations regardless of if that person can or cannot do the same. It doesn’t matter what he or she does, you must do what you feel is best for you and come from a place of acceptance and self-awareness yourself. You have to accept you—all of you—and in that gesture, you can accept the all of someone else.
What you do with yourself involves your soul. When you accept yourself sincerely and honestly, you will see life clearly and with less melodrama. In this way, you will quickly become less entangled with another person. This makes you more available to receive the grace or the light of paramatman, i.e. The Higher Mind or God.
In our soul state, we are only pure awareness.
The Hindus say we become spontaneous and intuitive when the Higher Self (our soul) is in charge of our life. And, the more aware you become the more you realize that society values hold less meaning to you. The soul feels peace and love. If you’re working to achieve something that is not prompted by the soul to do, then you won’t feel that peace or love through those activities. You may have moments of peace or love, but it will not be at a deep soul level—and it will be short lived. This does not mean you should do nothing. Instead, think about the motivation and intention of what it is you do want to do. Do you feel propelled by something greater to do something or be in a particular relationship? Or, are you coming from a place of “I should do” something, because somebody or some societal rules say that you should? It’s important to be honest with yourself about if you’re doing something because you care what someone else thinks or because you feel a calling from the soul to do it.
The Zen Approach to Life
When new Buddhist monks are in training, they desire to stop desiring …until they realize that in and of itself is desiring something (i.e.wanting to stop desiring is a desire). So, the more you desire something, the more you’re coming from a place of suffering—because you lack something or feel a void. However, the more aware you become of this, the more you can become an observer and accept all that you experience and feel in life, void and all.
We each have God within us. Life is about loving all the parts of yourself, and in that process, we find the God within us. It is the intimate relationship with the self.
The world is filled with people and society rules that want to tell you who you are and what you should do and think. Buddhist monks, though, suggest getting away from all that world noise and instead, meditate. In that mediation, you can find yourself and be one with those empty places—those emotional hungers you don’t want to love. It’s the chaos … we all want to rid ourselves of. But, it is important to quiet our minds through meditation and accept those feelings of chaos and emptiness.
There is only one answer to problems—acceptance. In our minds, we’ve been trying to change the world in one way or another. We are telling others what they should do as much as we are being told by others what to do with our lives. You may find a solution, but only until a new problem surfaces. Each time we look for solutions, we really are trying to find ourselves. There is only one problem in life and that is how to accept the parts of ourselves we do not want to accept.
You don’t need to change yourself at all. The anger or sadness you may feel is really associated with not accepting yourself. When others do not accept us, it is a reflection of them not accepting themselves. Once you can accept yourself completely, the self becomes pure awareness. We accept our intuition … and we can accept all of us, all of others, and all parts of life. In that acceptance, we can experience a closeness with the Higher Mind (i.e. God) and receive the language of that light intelligence. At that point, you become an observer of the “game” of life—and experience peace.
Wishing you enhanced physical, emotional, and spiritual strength,
Meditation is such a big part of my life. It’s how I begin and end my days. And, I’m often asked how to do it. So, I thought I’d share with you a bit about what it is, *how *to meditate, and some ways you can get started.
First, meditation is an easy, simple process and doesn’t cost a thing. You begin the same way as you would any lifestyle change—like losing 50 pounds.
You would never do a two-hour CrossFit workout the first day you worked on losing weight. The same is true for meditation. You would never meditate for two hours your first time.
Instead, you start meditation slowly. You have to be consistent and persistent. And, more importantly, you must find the meditation techniques that work best for you and fit your lifestyle.
Otherwise, you won’t
Types of Meditation
There are two types of meditation: restful meditation and mindful and relaxed meditation. Both are meditation. Both will give you the same healthful benefits. But, they are a bit different from each other.
Restful meditation is the kind most people think of when they envision meditation.
Restful or relaxed state meditation is when you are physically relaxed and progressively relaxed further during the meditation itself.
Typically, people sit or lie down on a couch or mat, close their eyes, and focus on breathing. Taking deep, slow breaths in and exhaling slowly pushing all the air out of their lungs.
In a more traditional meditation, soft, new age music may be played in the background. Meditation purists or gurus would suggest you sit on the floor. That way you can be more connected to the earth.
But, you don’t have to do that. The idea is to sit or lie still with your eyes closed, quiet the mind (no thinking), and focus on taking deep breaths in and exhaling all the air.
The other type is mindful and relaxed meditation. This is a less obvious form of meditation where a person is awake (eyes open), but he or she is focused and engaged in an activity. The meditation part is that the person is mentally present with that activity and focused solely on that activity. What I mean is, they don’t have thoughts as they do the activity.
For example, if you enjoy gardening, to do a mindful and relaxed meditation you would focus only on doing the gardening. You’d watch yourself scoop a bit of dirt and look at the worm wiggling out of the soil without worry, anxiety, or thought. You just scoop dirt and observe what you’re doing with a quiet mind, allowing your skin to absorb the sun and your lungs to breathe the fresh air. No thoughts about work, your family, or whatever crisis may have arisen earlier in the day. No thinking. Not even about the next step in the activity—you simply do that next step when it’s time. That’s all there is to it.
To do a mindful and relaxed meditation, you choose an activity you enjoy and focus on absorbing what’s going on moment by moment while you’re doing it. There are no thoughts. Just breathing in, exhaling, and enjoying that activity.
The type of activity doesn’t matter either, as long as it’s an activity you enjoy. So, it can be walking, cooking, crafting, playing with a pet, or another favorite activity. The meditation is focused on doing that one activity and doing one part of that activity at a time.
Meditation for Beginners
When you first begin learning meditation, you have to train your mind to be quiet. Think of it like taming a wild bull. It’s been free to think as often as it pleased, but now you’re teaching it
to quiet. It will take some
time. And, that is perfectly normal and okay. You’ll want to find a room that’s quiet and a chair that’s comfortable.
It may be helpful to use a guided meditation for your first time. A guided meditation is where you have someone help you meditate either in person or via a recording of some kind.
For example, the person guiding you through the meditation might say something like, “Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes … take a deep breath, as deeply as you can … hold it for a moment … and exhale … as you release the air … imagine a beautiful beach in front of you … the waves gently come ashore … the sun warms your body … and as you breathe, you become more … and more relaxed …”
At KUADRA, clients can have me guide them through a meditation specific for their situation. But, you don’t have to have a person there with you. You can use guided meditation CDs, DVDs, YouTube videos, and MP3 files in either a male or female voice. Some you must purchase, others are free. It’s important to choose one that sounds relaxing and soothing to you.
When you start meditating, start slow. Meditate for five minutes or less per day a few times a week, and then increase to daily. After some time, gradually increase the number of minutes you meditate.
Most people say not to meditate longer than 15 minutes, but I’ve meditated for two hours before. The length varies, so you want to be flexible instead of analytical. Trust your inner guidance system (that “gut” feeling). Meditate for as long as it is comfortable for you.
It also may be helpful to have a mantra you say during the meditation. A mantra is a simple word or word phrase that you repeat to yourself. It is used to help quiet the mind, such as “I am healthy and happy.” After a bit, you stop saying the mantra and just breathe without thought. Sometimes mantras are part of a guided meditation.
Is There a Wrong Way to Meditate?
Sometimes people think they are doing it wrong when their mind wonders. But, that’s normal. It’s more about stepping back and noticing your mind has wondered. Then gently guiding it back. You can tell yourself, “not now” or “release” to help you let go of those thoughts and focus on your breath again. Sometimes soft music helps.
You also may fall asleep. That is perfectly normal. It’s important to not have pre-conceived ideas about what you should be doing, but doing and finding what feels right for you. The intention of your meditation is key, so do what feels best or comfortable.
If you see images of people you don’t know or colors or past events flash in your mind as you meditate, don’t panic or worry. It’s normal and natural, so relax or repeat your mantra (if you use
one). When you
experience those things, know that you’re in the theta or deep state of meditation.
If you’re interested in a guided meditation session or want to learn more, let me know at your next appointment. Or, call the office today to schedule an appointment, (210) 314-7687.
Sound Healing May Help
The sounds of summer are here. You may notice them too. From birds singing in the morning to the crickets at night, they remind me of sound healing and how helpful it has been to my clients.
Sound healing is the use of vibrations, particularly sound vibrations to help heal the body mentally, physically, and spiritually. Since negative energy may make you feel stressed, depressed, anxious, or even physically ill, sound healing vibrations can help to soothe your body and radiate outany negative energy [Shrestha (1)].
During shamanic sound healing, a drum is used. The drum represents the heartbeat of the earth and has been used by shamans to access non-ordinary reality. When used during hypnotherapy or meditation, it helps the person relax into a deeper trance state.
In my practice, drums, tuning forks, crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, shamanic rattles, bells, rain sticks, a didgeridoo (the Australian instrument that looks like a large, long tube), and a gong may be used during a sound healing session. In addition, I use the Reiki chakra points to aid in healing.
Sound healing has been around for a very long time. According to Shrestha(1), sound healing with singing bowls dates back more than 2,000 years to Buddha. It has since been passed down each generation.
What happens during a sound healing therapy session at KUADRA?
Before beginning a guided meditation or hypnosis session using sound healing, I may ask two questions. First, if the client agrees to trust theprocess. And second, if they give me permission to intercede on their behalf during the hypnotic trance and guided imagery stages. I also, set an invocation, inviting the assistance of the client's spiritual support system. Then I guide them into meditation.
Once the client is relaxed and moved into an alpha theta state, then drumming is introduced.
This helps the person fall deeper into a trance state. It is also during this time that I sometimes use ancient Tibetan and/or Buddhism chants. The drumming produces Koan (pronounced “coin”). Koan is a sound that confuses the ego mind. During everyday life, our thoughts (from the ego mind) cannot stop thinking and judging.
The ego tries to over control and over analyze the things on our mind which robs the mind of clarity and access to inspiration. So, during meditation the koan sound (created from drumming) breaks up the chaos of the mind and makes it difficult for the ego to function during the hypnotherapy and meditation session. The body tension releases and the mind and body are relaxed. It is in this relaxed state that the higher self can be accessed and I can introduce positive affirmations and affect change.
Sound Healing & Accessing the One Mind
Sound is vibration. Our bodies are movement, which is also vibration.
In quantum theory, it is thought that all particles in the universe interact with one another through these vibrations. Every interaction is said to be a communication between the particle and the matter far away from it(2).
Because of this, during sound healing sessions when a client is in a hypnotic (or trance state), we’re able to access subtle vibrations and the One Mind, referred to as the synchronized universe. The One Mind is the collective intelligence of us all.
What happens after a sound healing session?
After a sound healing session, I debrief about the experience with the client. They will share their experiences, visions, dreams, feelings, and any epiphanies that came to them.
Most clients report a deep feeling of relaxation rarely experienced in daily life, where their body feels heavy and numb, almost as though they just came out of anesthesia.
Some report having spiritual experiences, such as seeing their past trauma images release from their body, images of angels, energies in the form of geometric shapes and patterns, spirit animals, guides or loved ones who have crossed over, past life experiences, and future life experiences. Clients may also have feelings that they are not alone,a release of cold energy from their body, experience epiphanies,and messages or solutions to life challenges.
Later, they may notice a reduction and elimination of anxiety, fears and guilt, improved restful sleep, a sense of detachment from problems, clarity of mind, and the ability to deal with stress better.
Sound healing doesn’t have to be used for an immediate need, but can be used at any time for overall wellbeing, when making a big or any important decision, or to understand the past.
If you’re interested in a sound healing session, let me know at your next appointment. Or, call the office today to schedule an appointment, (210) 314-7687.
Wishing you enhanced physical, emotional, and spiritual strength.
Khadijat Samadhi, LPC, NCC, CHt
Counseling & Consulting, LLC
P.S. If at any time you need to just clear your mind, the healing sounds of nature can also help. Go to a quiet space outside. Listen to those birds singing, the ocean waves at the beach, the wind blowing through the trees, or nighttime bugs chirping away. Take a few deep breaths and listen. It is sound healing in its simplest form.
(1) Shrestha, S. (2013). *How to Heal with Singing Bowls*. U.S.A.: First Sentient Publications, 14, 19.
(2) Swanson, C. (2009). *The Synchronized Universe: New Science of the Paranormal*. Tucson, AZ: Poseidia Press, 241.
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