These are turbulent times and I'm feeling called to bring forward some specific spiritual practices to bring illumination, softening, grounding and clarity for women.
I am noticing that many women are feeling tossed about in an ocean of overwhelm. There are forces surfacing that are pushing women to take action, calling women to stand up and speak out and there is understandable outrage in our society. With the outcries of #metoo, and #timesup women have been breaking through long-held patriarchal systems and now many are feeling fatigued and disheartened because the battle is real and draining.
There have been more weather related natural disasters in the past year than any of us have ever witnessed in such short time which have taken lives and un-hinged entire communities. Violence and threats of nuclear war have created levels of anticipatory stress beyond measure.
We gather in online spaces to share, learn, escape, connect. And while social media offers an abundance of support, resources, connection with others and vast information, these online spaces can also open portals of conflict and disappointment that can lead us further into stress, confusion, and exhaustion. The rapid waves of "breaking news" and the angry debates that break out as a result on social media can take it's toll on our sense of resolve.
I believe people are longing for something to help them feel anchored to solid ground while also receiving soft support and clarity.
In my 25 years of spiritual learning and teaching others, I have gathered specific spiritual practices which have assisted me in my own process of rising above the fray and aligning with my truest Self and this has brought me great solace.
I share these spiritual practices with my private clients and now I want to share them more widely. It's a time of returning to softness for there is great strength in our softness. The soft flow of the water in the stream is what rounds the rough edges of rocks and carves canyons. It is the softness of a beam of sunlight flowing in a window where a cat is drawn to lie and bask. It is the softness of loving touch or the whisper of soft song in a baby's ear that soothes.
Spiritual practice takes many forms. There are countless ways you can dig in to connect to your inner Self in order to heal, integrate and expand.
This ancient Hawaiian practice is one I first trained in with the great Kahuna Haleakala in 1999. Recently the practice has been simplified within more mainstream spiritual circles to the point of being watered down, losing the power of the practice. I am bringing forth the depth and richness of this teaching to people now because it is one that powerfully clears the heavy energies. It is a practice for those willing to step out of blame and take on the responsibility for the pain and suffering in the world.
Ho'oponopono translates to mean "moving from darkness into light."
The intent of this practice is to see the unity of all of Nature including humanity, the animal and plant kingdoms and all the lineage that came before, clearing the negativity that clouds and blocks our ability to experience that unity. It is a deep practice of forgiveness and personal responsibility.
It is not enough to only repeat the four phrases below. It is essential to feel the deep essence of this practice, to envision the clearing, to do your own inner work of caring for your own inner child and so much more. But, to begin with you can take these four phrases below and silently repeat them in your own mind and heart whenever you witness pain and suffering of any kind.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
I thank you.
Metta is an intentional concentration practice. It brings a vast opening and purification to of the field of intention. This opening can then take whatever seated meditation practice we may have to a whole new level. and enrich all the areas of our relationships and life. Through Metta, you can experience the palpable power of the energy of love and kindness.
With all the turbulence in our society, there is no better time to practice Metta, directing loving-kindness to yourself and others. Through the principles of compassion and loving-kindness practice we open our heart and direct our loving-kindness to self, others and ultimately to those people and situations that are most difficult.
Here are some simple steps to practicing Metta:
Find a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Take a moment to feel the surface on which you are sitting and your breath as it naturally enters and exits your body.
Bring into your mind a person whom you want to send loving-kindness. Soften the space in your mind around your image of that person. Repeat the following phrases in your mind directing these toward that person:
May you be safe and protected.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you be at peace.
Next turn that same loving-kindness toward yourself.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I be at peace.
Gently open your eyes and allow that same loving-kindness to extend to everything and everyone you see around you and throughout your day everywhere you go.
Bhakti: Devotion, Rituals & Offering
In most all religious practices there is an altar and some form of offering. It is a practice observed in most every culture throughout humanity. Bhakti is a Sanskrit word which translates in English to mean devotion.
It is the reverence and devotion we bring to any spiritual practice which brings the practice to life.
Without devotion, we are only going through meaningless motions.
There are many ways to create a sacred space in your home where you can practice daily devotional ritual.
If there is a particular Being with whom you feel connection (i.e. Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Buddha, Kuan Yin, Ganesha, Shiva) you can call upon that Being to bless your sacred space and perhaps have an image or a figure representing that Being on a special table or shelf along with a candle.
One ritual is to bring an offering of water, tea, candy or incense to the altar with a lot of devotion. Light the candle and make your offering with a bow of reverence and respect to the essence of what you hold sacred in your heart, Then sit in meditation before the altar, holding that love and respect you feel, that connection in your mind and heart. It's the most wonderful way to begin your day, setting the tone for all your experiences in softness.
Arise and Align: a 6 Week Spiritual Practice Course
Beginning April 1 I will be leading a 6 week course teaching in-depth study of spiritual practices to soften, clarify & lighten the load women are carrying for a small love offering of $21.
During the 6 weeks we will gather in a private Facebook group where I will offer videos, handouts and discussion threads around the following agenda:
This is a sacred circle for women who wish to gather, learn and experience the emotional safety of spiritual community while soaking up the love and grace of these teachings.
Week 1: Teachings about and from the Wisdom of the Kuan Yin, Bodhisattva of Compassion
Week 2: Teachings from the ancient practice of Ho'oponopono: Learning deep forgiveness, transmutation of negative energies and personal responsibility for unifying and healing our planet.
Week 3: Teachings of Buddhist Non-Attachment and Compassion, Metta: Loving Kindness and more
Week 4: Teachings about and from the playful energy and entity dear Ganesha
Week 5: Teachings about the importance of Devotion, Simplicity, Consistency and Ritual in Spiritual Practice
Week 6: Exploring the Light Language and bringing the Gentle Spiritual Teachings together into one integrated practice and path