Category Archives: life-style

GOLDEN EYES – NETRA TARPANA

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Ayurvedic “Golden Eyes”

If you use a computer, this treatment is for you.

Netra tarpana is an Ayurvedic treatment for the eyes. It strengthens and protects the eyes from the sun’s strong rays.

Therapeutic Purposes: Netra tarpana is a rejuvenating treatment. It relieves tired, achy and sore eyes and improves vision. It is an ideal treatment for people who use computers, drive long distances, operate machines and those who keep long hours.

Experience:  First a marma (vital) point face massage is provided. Next, sterilized, warmed ghee is gently poured on the eyes while the client is led through relaxing, simple eye exercises. It is an enjoyable, relaxing and effective treatment that lasts about 20-30 minutes.

Benefits:  I addition to aiding the conditions above, this treatment aids in gradual improvement of eye conditions and has the added benefit of improving mental clarity.

  • Whitens the sclera of the eyes
  • Cleanses eye of environmental particles on the cornea
  • Decreases sensitivity of light
  • Relieves eye strain
  • Moisturizes dry eyes
  • Improves blurred vision
  • Relieves burning sensation
  • Reduces darkness around eyes

My Body, My love

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Loneliness is an illusion—we are never truly alone.

I say this as someone who used to feel lonely most of the time.

Even with my spouse, even with my best friends, in my heart I felt separate, as if behind an invisible wall. At first, I chalked this up to poor socialization. Beset by frequent moves, childhood trauma and family unhappiness, I had grown up isolated. I hadn’t learned how to relate to others, so I could not connect with them.

Years later, I learned about attachment theory and realized the problem ran deeper. My mother suffered from low moods (she died in a psychiatric hospital when I was six years old). I have good reason to believe she was feeling poorly after my birth, a condition now called postpartum depression. She probably found it hard to resonate with me, her infant son, so my feeling of being walled off seemed traceable to gazing at my mother’s face, who was pained and distant rather than joyful and attuned.

Understanding that my feelings of isolation grew out of my earliest experiences, did not lessen them.

There seemed little to do but muddle through life as best I could, alone behind my wall.

Luckily, I was wrong.

There has turned out to be a way I can feel profoundly connected with another being, not just on occasion, but all the time.

Who is that being?

My own body.

How I came to appreciate my body as an intimate partner is a long story

Key factors include my training as a surgeon and familiarity with the body’s biology. Then came a series of medical crises, that both ended my clinical career and forced me to pay attention to my health. When a yoga institute enlisted me to teach anatomy and physiology to its trainees, I found that these sciences could be used to deepen my self-understanding. In meditations and yoga poses, I explored how human awareness relates to the organism who supports it.

This led to the key insight: the body isn’t a mechanical conveyance, as I’d assumed on the basis of medical training, it isn’t a blood-filled robot.

The body is a lively, responsive animal.

Like a beloved dog or cat, the body is capable of wordless love. In other words, my body and mind are in a relationship. My mind, who felt so lonely, is not alone—at every moment it is embraced by the warm animal who surrounds it. By upholding my consciousness in myriad ways (breathing air, circulating blood, digesting food), this sensitive, vulnerable body is holding me with love.

Consider: If another person did as much for us as our own bodies, we’d have no doubt about that person’s affection.

One of the main points of yoga is to help us recognize the unity of body and mind.

How can the body love the mind if the two are one?

There are many answers to these questions—here, I’ll offer an analogy:

Two people in a marriage are separate, yet in their loving partnership, they are one.

Perhaps the goal of yoga practice isn’t to erase all distinctions between the mind and physical body, but to build a sweeter relationship between them.

To get a sense of how this relationship can be developed, here’s a simple but useful meditation.

It is best done after relaxation practices or a period of mindful breathing.

Bring to mind an adored partner, child or pet. Visualize the beloved in your arms. Feel the warmth that blossoms in the center of your chest. Now imagine holding your body with that same tender regard, feeling the same sweet glow of affection. As your mind honors the organism who gives it life, recall how the body supports the mind with its own encompassing embrace.

Your body works on your behalf every minute of every day.

Feel how your consciousness arises within this living, vibrant animal we call a human body. Appreciate how your body surrounds you with boundless concern for your wellbeing. Even in times of illness, it does its best to keep your life on track. You are your body’s beloved.

Practices, like this one, gradually melted my sense of isolation.

As my mind grew to understand its intimate partnership with my body, it no longer felt walled off. Instead, I felt nurtured and realized I was never alone.

At every moment, human awareness is wrapped in a sort of biological hug.

How wondrous! How healing!

SOFIA BONATI

 

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I’ve set up a collage of my favorite pieces of Sofia Bonati’s paintings. I simply love the sentiment I get when looking at these.

So beautiful and etherial, you can find the link for this artiste at the end of this blog.

Enjoy the art!

LOve love love!

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https://society6.com/sofiabonati

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guy Who Built A Golden Pyramid House

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I’ve watched this documentary and not only is it only scientifically interesting. It is funny, radically kitchy and inspirational.

It just shows that anything in life is possible if you have focus, perseverance and a vision. Rome was not built in a day. Our time on this earth is short, let’s try to create the unthinkable, the unimaginable and manifest our hearts desires!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvZVmO39uo

A FLAWLESS EXPLANATION ON THE MEANING OF LIFE

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can recall so often hearing questions around the meaning of life.

I have to remind myself that there was a time when I didn’t know.

In all areas of my spiritual evolution, there was a time that I was too far from the truth to see it. When the understanding comes, or returns, it’s so penetrating that you forget that you were once lost. This concept itself is a huge part of the meaning of life: remembering.

Life is suffering.

As has been so often pointed out by my teachers: you suffer over what you want and you suffer over what you don’t want. When we get what we want, we suffer when it changes—which is inevitable. When we don’t get what we want, we suffer due to our craving. When we get what we don’t want, we suffer due to our aversion to what is.

All of this suffering stems from our relationship to what is occurring in our lives. We create the suffering because we attach ourselves to externals that are guaranteed to change.

My previous article touched on the absurdity in our practice of creating our identities out of externals that are, by nature, impermanent. Nature has seasons: life and death. And everything on this plane of existence is subject to the laws of nature.

We choose to sign up for suffering when we cling to what must—by nature—change.

The meaning of life is in dancing with this suffering. We cannot avoid it, so we must learn to engage with it in a manner that evolves us as beings. Only in the human existence do we get the privilege to consciously work through these episodes of suffering.

And yes, it is a privilege.

Every bit of suffering that comes (or that we create) in our lives, is there for a reason. We are to work with it. And how well we work with it determines the meaning of this life.

There is no external puppet master determining what the meaning of our lives is; we are the creators. We design our own heaven or hell based on how well we dance with our suffering. If we teach ourselves to dance with suffering with the grace of love and compassion, we create heaven. If we choose instead to dance with the darkness of fear and anger, we create hell. These are not places we are sent to based on the accumulated behaviors of this lifetime, these are places we create within every second of every day.

The meaning and purpose of life is love.

We are to spend our human existence learning how to better love ourselves, and then to love others (as ourselves). While this may sound like a romantic notion, it is exponentially greater than romance could ever be. It is not a sappy, surface-level concept, it is truth. This realm of love is not tied to the humanization of the term, as God is not what our limited minds have conjured. They are one-in-the-same. You want to get to God? Learn to love. You want to learn to love? Be God.

We’ve been given the music of love to dance to, we only have to get quiet enough to hear it. We know all the steps, we simply have to look deep enough inside to remember them.

The meaning of life isn’t something we must find, we are already it.

We must experience the body for what it is-an accumulation of sensory perceptions and a mind that has created an ego-concept that it is separate. This body and mind are not who we are. We are love. And the meaning of life is to find our way back to love, to God, to ourselves

The Ayurvedic Path to Rejuvenation

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Rejuvenation

Rasayana, or the science of rejuvenation, is ancient; for around 5,000 years Ayurveda has been reputed to increase the body’s resistance to disease and slow down the ageing process. Scientific evaluation of plants and Ayurvedic treatments have borne out the fact that Rasayanas can protect the body against the ravages of age by enhancing its ability to fight pathogens by non-specifically activating immunity. Many Rasayana herbs contain antioxidants which prevent damage caused by free radicals. According to Ayurveda, Rasayanas bring about proper nourishment, growth and function of all seven tissues (Dhatus).

Rasayana therapy is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. It is recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, post partum, for children, those who are debilitated, emaciated, convalescents, for anaemia, nervous exhaustion, and Vata conditions. It is contraindicated in conditions associated with ama (toxins), for obese people, during colds and flu, fevers, infectious diseases and allergies.

Ojas – the Subtle Essence of Life

A substance known as Ojas is central to the discussion of rejuvenation. It is said to be the eighth tissue, or the essence of all the body tissues, the ultimate product of nutrition and digestion, and the prime energy reserve for the entire body. It provides the energy, vitality, and joie de vivre that gets us through life. Our immunity, strength and resistance depend on the quality and quantity of Ojas; when depleted it predisposes us to lowered immunity, low spirits and ill-health. All rejuvenation therapies are, therefore, targeted at improving Ojas.

There are many Rasayana herbs and foods, but for these great healers to have their fullest rejuvenating effects we need to prepare ourselves first by optimizing digestion, cleansing toxins from the system and resolving imbalances of the doshas.

The Digestive Fire

Agni, or digestive fire, is central to health, enabling food to be transformed into nutrition that can be metabolized by the body to keep us well. Low agni can result from eating badly, stress, over-eating, and the resultant poorly digested food particles ferment and produce toxins, lowering vitality and predisposing to ill-health. It is always important to detoxify the system using, for example, massage techniques, diet and herbs for two to three weeks before using Rasayanas. Cleansing diets, such as a kitchari fast, are recommended, as well as herbs/formulae such as guggulu, ginger and Triphala.

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Rejuvenating Foods and Herbs

Kitchari is one of the best tonic foods and is easily digested. Milk (including cow, sheep, grain and nut milk), oils, ghee, nuts and seeds restore vitality, nourish the nerves and increase Ojas. Grains (wheat, oats and brown rice are said to be the best) and sweet tasting fruits and vegetables, such as dates, raisins, figs, pomegranates, grapes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions, cooked in ghee, improve vigour and help re-build tissues. Spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, cloves, fennel, cumin, coriander and asafoetida are warming and strengthening, they stimulate the digestion, and can improve vigour especially when cooked with ghee. Raw sugar, particularly jaggery, is considered to give strength and help to build body tissues. Adequate salt intake is important, especially rock salt.

Ashwagandha: Withania somnifera, Winter cherry

The most highly acclaimed Rasayana, Ashwagandha is a famous tonic, particularly recommended for adults to increase physical and mental stamina and vitality. Taken daily, it is particularly good for balancing Vata,  and strengthens both the muscle and reproductive tissues. It is helpful for insomnia, poor memory and concentration, depression, lethargy and anxiety. Research has demonstrated that Ashwagandha has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It enhances leucotcytosis with predominant neutrophilia.

Shatavari: Asparagus racemosus, Wild Asparagus

Another excellent tonic and rejuvenator, Shatavari root has immuno-modulatory and antioxidant properties, and acts as an adaptogen, enhancing resilience to stress, whether physical, environmental, mental or emotional. It is used for general debility, hyperacidity, urinary problems, infertility, and more frequently to balance female hormones, for PMS and menopausal problems. Shatavari is one of the main Rasayanas for Pitta.

Pippali: Piper longum, Long pepper

With its pungent taste and heating effect, pippali increases agni and clears toxins. It is excellent for catarrhal congestion, and is the main Rasayana for Kapha. It increases circulation, particularly to the lungs, and has a beneficial effect on the immune system. It has been found to significantly increase macrophage migration inhibition and phagocytic activity.

Triphala

A famous compound composed of three fruits, all rich in antioxidants: Haritaki, Amalaki and Bibhitaki. This helps to maintain overall health by harmonizing the digestive functions, and working on all three doshas as tonics and Rasayanas.

Gotu kola: Centella/hydrocotyle asiatica, Brahmi

A rejuvenative tonic for the nervous system, Gotu kola balances all three doshas and helps improve memory, mental clarity and concentration. It is widely used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, learning and behavioural problems, fatigue, chronic skin conditions and non-healing ulcers. It improves blood flow, thus enhancing tissue repair.

Amalaki: Emblica officinalis, Indian gooseberry

Amalaki is the main constituent of the famous Ayurvedic jam, Chayawanprash, a superb rejuvenator for all three doshas, the lungs and the reproductive system. It is also one of the ingredients of Triphala. It has cardio-protective effects, and reduces serum cholesterol levels as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. With its high vitamin C content, it is an excellent antioxidant and is the Rasayana for Pitta.
NB. Tonic herbs are best taken as powders and cooked in milk. To enhance their tonic effect add one to two teaspoons of ghee/raw sugar, and a little spice, eg. ginger or cardamom.

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Behavioural Rasayanas

There are many activities that promote health and happiness by engendering positive emotions and experiences, which in turn promote the production of Ojas. It is suggested to:

  • Discourage negative emotions, such as anger, hostility, and cynicism, and promote positive thoughts and actions that increase happiness;
  • Choose to be with wise people who uplift and inspire;
  • Always speak the truth with kindness and compassion;
  • Maintain personal integrity which helps to inspire confidence and self-esteem, as well as cleanliness, both mental and physical. Keeping a clean harmonious environment will uplift and inspire;
  • Be charitable and generous;
  • Cook for your family with love and respect;
  • Follow your own spiritual beliefs, devoting time for spiritual practices;
  • Do what you love to do and experience joy, for example singing, painting, being in nature;
  • Avoid work and activity (physical and mental) in excess, and get plenty of rest and relaxation.

http://www.positivehealth.com/article/ayurveda/rasayana-the-ayurvedic-path-to-rejuvenation

THE POWER OF WORDS!

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Dear friends,

I feel inspired today to share some ancient well-known wisdom.

My brother is highly none religious and the most scientific and perfectionist person I know. He shared something with me many times and it highly resonated with my mind and my heart.

One day, I had made a mistake and I called myself stupid.

He reprimanded me and told me NEVER, EVER, to call myself stupid and to let go of diminishing my self-worth with words. In his philosophy, this would eventually connect with my mind. He told me that this had changed his life and had helped him improve his self-esteem and his life through the subconscious mind. He told me that our mind is like a computer and we re-inforce our thinking threw words. Words effect the way we think on a much deeper level that we can even be consciously aware of. Not only does it effect us but it effects others.

Since I have been reading the Autobiography of a Yogi from Yogananda, I have noticed the way a a Guru speaks to his disciples. The subconscious mind and the vibrations of word are much stronger than we think. The power of a Guru or a teacher is great, we are completely in awe of their accomplishments and we become very open to their opinions and words. If someone you trust and admire expresses to you that you are AMAZING, you feel amazing. Maybe sometimes you will even believe it deeply because it comes from someone of admiration.

I encourage kind words from your mouth, beautiful predictions for your future and to simply be mindful of the power of words. Dr. Anita Sharma expressed in our Ayurvedic classes many time; Turn your tongue 10 times before your speak.

To me this is a metaphor that applies on many levels in our lives. We are so much more powerful and beautiful then we know or that we could ever imagine. I wish for all of you to let go of the negative and jump into gratitude. Do not waste energy on useless people or useless conversation. Express the good and the bad but be aware of what you are truly saying. Don’t keep the negative emotions inside express!! But don’t stay in a repetitive negative hamster wheel. This is the ego that does not want to turn the attention to the heart and the soul. Be aware that there is a way to transform a negative into a positive. You can do this the moment you have come to peace with any situation and you are ready to look inside.

I personally always ask myself the question: Why am I really angry or sad? What button did this person push to affect me in this way?

Often my answer is, expectation! I expected something else, these are my emotions and no one has the capacity to hurt me but myself. If I had no expectations; how can the pain or hurt touch me? We must first respect our own self if we want others to respect us. We must give the same amount of unconditional love and space for freedom to others, as the amount we wish for ourselves. Love is space, love is space to be yourself and when you give yourself this gift, you will more and more allow others to be themselves.

We must allow others to make mistakes or be who they are fully and truly. Just like we must practice self-forgivness, we must look at others as our mirrors. They deserve the same forgiveness, there will never be the perfect conclusion you want in any relationship or the definition of a perfect relationship. We are made of different stripes and we have so much to learn everyday. Let go of the negative and sprinkle your magical words everywhere. It will change the way you live and it will change the way you think. As a self made gift by your own efforts, a nice feeling will be living in your heart at all times. Be humble with yourself and others. This is the only way to grow, learn and constantly let go to allow space for new energy.

Words by Yogananda

Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired….Sincere words or affirmations repeated understandingly, feelingly, and willingly are sure to move the Omnipresent Cosmic Vibratory Force to render aid in your difficulty. Appeal to that Power with infinite confidence, casting out all doubt; otherwise the arrow of your attention will be deflected from its mark.

“After you have sown in the soil of Cosmic Consciousness your vibratory prayer-seed, do not pluck it out frequently to see whether or not it has germinated. Give the divine forces a chance to work uninterruptedly.”

— Paramahansa Yogananda
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“As one uses different affirmations, his attitude of mind should change; for example, will affirmations should be accompanied by strong determination; feeling affirmations by devotion; reason affirmations by clear understanding. When healing others, select an affirmation that is suitable to the conative, imaginative, emotional, or thoughtful temperament of your patient. In all affirmations intensity of attention comes first, but continuity and repetition mean a great deal, too. Impregnate your affirmations with devotion, will, and faith, intensely and repeatedly, unmindful of the results, which will come naturally as the fruit of your labors.”

— Paramahansa Yogananda
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FINDING INNER BALANCE THROUGH LOVE!

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How to cultivate a healthy mind?

A healthy individual whose mind is healthy and sane is capable of looking at himself without judgment, criticism, and without listening to others. When the essence of your mind is pure and healthy, it is fully connected to the source and you are fully connected to your self.

This brings the mind and the individual in a place of health, compassion and spirituality. Compassion is the fruit of perfect health and a peaceful inner life. Logic has no compassion but compassion can use logic. Logic has no wisdom but wisdom could use compassion. We need logic and we need intellect. We also need love and compassion. According to Ayurveda, we must use our intellect and our knowledge with love. Ayurveda is the science of love, intuition and intellect. To have a healthy mindful essence, a person must maintain a balance between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. Why be present on the earth if you simply want to be spirit. Connecting with your mind, body and spirit is the base of Ayurveda and the base of enjoying our lives as human beings.

There are tools to achieve a feeling of balance and inner peace no matter what is happening in your life. Practicing self-love will bring you into a state of love and bliss, which is your true nature. The molecules of bliss will start flowing into your body and into your life. Love is profound because it has its roots in the universe and its fruit in the heart of every human being. When your heart, love and the intellect merge. You allow your true self to bloom like a flower.

Learn who you are. Learn not to imitate other’s, imitation is a lie and it is going against your true nature. Let go of expectations and self-judgment! When we begin allowing our true nature to come out and shine bright like a diamond with all our faults and all of our qualities, we become whole! To know happiness, is to know sadness, to know sadness allows us to experience happiness. In other words, our duality is a gift, we would not have our qualities if we did not have our faults. Always remember that everyone in this world is not perfect, even a Saint.

This to me is true beauty, beauty is simply a perception. We need to unlearn what we have learned to grow in life. Our race to perfection creates great discomfort because it goes agains all the rules and laws of nature and the universe. We must unlearn what we perceive as perfection, this will create space in our minds and in our hearts to be the perfect-self that we are with all of our beautiful imperfections. Learn to take all the good with all the bad. This is living in humbleness and truth.

Live you life! When death comes you will be happy to not have lived YOUR LIFE for others. As long as the intentions are good and you are not hurting anyone! Strive and never be afraid of change, never be afraid of fear. We our the heroes in our own lives and a hero is not someone who does not feel fear but surpasses fear by facing it.

Self-love is the key to a healthy mind. Observe your mind and when negative thinking comes up, allow a space and fill this space with compassion towards yourself. Your are not the mind, your are not your thoughts and you are not this body. Take the thoughts from the mind and filter them threw your heart. The heart is the root of all unconditional love. Ask the pain or the anger, the emotion your are feeling and transform it into love and knowledge. Life is a flow of energy and if the flow is present between your mind and your heart, unconditional love will poor out and a deep feeling of inner balance will become your inner world.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

Author: Mélika Emira Baccouche

THE GODDESS COMES IN MANY FORMS

From the beautiful movie “Ponyo” a Japanese animation directed by Hayao Miyazaki!

He has made many of my favourite movies. A common theme is true love, with innocence and the spirit world. I love his images, truly inspirational art in every way. It doesn’t matter how old you are, magic is all around and we all need a little magic in our every day lives!!!

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