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Sunday, April 28, 2013

John Lennon – Being Happy

Aloha Everyone,
John Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician, singer and songwriter with worldwide fame.  He was a founding member of the Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.
Some think of John Lennon, as a genius.  Whatever your opinion of him, here is something I would like to share with you.  This article was posted on February 20, 2012 by Neil Crofits and it is titled, “What do you want to be when you grow up, John Lennon?”
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Now that is very profound and I am including this among the Teaching of Masters section.
Namaste — Cathi

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tai Chi - New England Journal of Medicine Study

Aloha Everyone,
In our healthy life style class I try to share with you my knowledge of yoga ( focus is on Kundalini yoga), meditation, t’ai chi, quigong and daoyin.  In our class last week, I spoke on subject of  Meditation Techniques, Types and Practice and I mentioned that yoga asnas, walking, dance and martial arts are classified among Body Meditation Technique.
According to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, practicing  t’ai chi, a Chinese martial art may help alleviate Parkinson’s symptoms by improving with balance and fall prevention. The study was conducted by scientists from the Oregon Research Institute who, compared three different types of mediation in the study. T’ai chi was practiced by the Group 1, the Group 2 were assigned to do the resistance training and the Group 3 did physical stretches.  The study called for all 3 groups to do twice a week session for an hour each time.
At the end of the 24 weeks of monitoring, the research team concluded that Group 1, who practiced tai chi had improved strength, balance, reach, and control of movement.  The Group 2, people in the resistance training showed some but not a very significant improvements.  The research team also noted that Group 1, the tai chi and Group 2, the resistance training both experienced fewer falls than the group that did stretching exercises for 24 weeks.
Falls are common causes of serious injuries for seniors. One out of every three people over 65 falls every year in the U.S. And that accidental fall could be fatal. In 1995, a fall was fatal to nearly 8,000 Americans over 65. Another study in Age Ageing demonstrated that tai chi can improve balance and perception in visually impaired adults over 70. Tai chi has also been proven to be effective for pain management and may also ease pain in fibromyalgia sufferers. Another study showed that tai chi can be effective for managing lower back pain.

Namaste — Cathi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jiddu Krishnamurti's Teachings

Aloha Everyone,
More often  known as J.Krishnamurti (May 12, 1895 – February 17, 1986) was considered and revered as a World Teacher.  He was a writer and speaker with world-wide audience.  Subject of J.Krishnamurti’s writings and talks included but not limited to: meditation, learning, life, education, fear, kindness, understanding, love, compassion and  human relationship.  Here is a selection of his quotes which is still contemporary and relevant in today’s society.
The flowering of love is meditation.
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.
In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.
What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.
So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.
Namaste — Cathi

Monday, April 15, 2013

Guided Meditations for Manipura (the 3rd chakra)

Aloha Everyone,
Surya Mudra – Mudra of the sun Bend the ring finger and press it with thumb.    Mantra:  Ram (may be said in silence)
1)  Sit in an easy pose, relax your stomach, if you are sitting in a chair, make sure your feet are grounded, toes spread open, knees 90 degrees angle and facing straight.  Elongate your spine, chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin slightly tucked in then bring awareness to the spinal column, your internal reservoir of prana.
3)  Inhale deeply. Visualize the physical location of Manipura Chakra between navel and base of sternum.  Exhale fully.
4)  Continue to inhale and exhale, even breath from your nose.   Manipura chakra is responsible for digestive system, will power, motivation.  When Manipura Chakra is unbalanced, you feel anger, frustration, and loss of self confidence and feel that life is unfair. 
5)  Focus on your out breath.  When Manipura Chakra is balanced, you are confident, full of life, feel that you are your own person and know that you can choose how to think and how to behave.  You are assertive, full of creative energy. You are open to receiving and giving all life has to offer.
6)  Inhale; let your breathing become effortless.  You are comfortable with who you are.  Exhale.  Know that you are perfect.  You do’t need to change anything. 
7)  Inhale; surrender yourself to the bright yellow light swirling around your 3rd Chakra.  
8)  Exhale, feel your 3rd Chakra healing and vibrating. 
6)  Slowly bring your awareness to the rest of your body, to your arms, hands, feet.  Open your eyes.
Namaste — Cathi

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kriya of Balancing the 3rd Chakra

Aloha Everyone,
1)  Kundalini sufi grinds (stomach grinds) 1 to 3 minutes one direction then change direction.  As your spine warms up exaggerate the circular motion to feel the full effect of this exercise.
2)  Breath of fire in Kundalini Eagle Pose – 3 minutes
3)  Sun meditation – visualize your own bright, hot sun shining in your solar plexus.
4)  Dhanurasana – bow pose, rock back and forth with the breath of fire.
5)  Child’s Pose
6)  Knees bent, legs straight, arms straight out to the side of your body  Breath of fire
7)  Low Cobra with Breath of Fire
8)  Child’s Pose
9)  Hands under your buttocks to protect your lower back, head up, alternate kick with Breath of Fire
10)  Tuck Pose with Breath of Fire
11)  Child’s Pose
12)  Hands under your buttocks, head up, alternate leg crossing, with Breath of Fire
Other effective poses include Bridge Pose and Camel Pose
You are now ready to do meditation for Manipura Chakra.
Namaste — Cathi

Saturday, April 13, 2013

3rd Chakra – Manipura

Aloha Everyone,
3RD CHAKRA – Manipura (Navel) 
Also known as the solar plexus chakra
Location: Between navel, behind the physical stomach and base of sternum (breast bone)
Color:  Yellow like the sun
Element:  Fire, Sense of sight
Mantra: Ram or Rang
Main Issues:  Self-esteem, self confidence, will-power, core energy anger
Body: Digestive systems, muscles
When the 3rd Chakra is balanced and energy is flowing, you are dynamic with full of creative energy.  You will have sense of vitality, assertiveness, inter-activeness and motivation.
Namaste — Cathi

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Aloha Everyone,
With our island “winter weather” lasting longer and colder this year, many of us are prone to catching cold and flu.
Here is a sensible advice from Kaiser Permanente to keep ourselves and others from getting sick..
1)  Wash your hands often. Frequent hand washing helps protect you from whatever bug is going around. Plain soap works just as well as antibacterial soap.
2) Use hand sanitizer. The alcohol in sanitizer gels and wipes helps kill cold and flu viruses you pick up from any surface you touch.
3)  Keep your face hands-free.  Try not to rub your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Germs can enter your body this way, or be spread from your hands to others.
4)  Get your flu vaccine.
Additional tips are from from our family doctor.
5)  Eating well and start with a nutritious breakfast.  Consume a lots of fruits and vegetables. Add yogurt to your diet to help boost your good bacteria.
6)  Drink plenty of water.  Our body is made of 65% water.  Therefore it is important to keep it hydrated.  Try to drink at least 8 glasses (8 glasses x 8 ounces) of water everyday. 
7)  Sleep longer at night and take naps during the day for your body to regenerate and get healthy. 
Namaste — Cathi

Monday, April 8, 2013

Qui Gong Excerise to Prepare for Meditation

Aloha Everyone,
Here is a Qui Gong Exercise we do to prepare our body for sitting meditation.  These exercises may be done either sitting in a chair or standing.
a)  Rotate the elbows
b)  Rotate the wrists
c)  Rotate the shoulders
d)  Rotate the arms
e)  Rotate from the lower Dantien
f)  Rotate the hips
g)  Rotate the knees – one direction, reverse direction
h)  Rotate the ankles
i)  Rotate the toes
j)  Point your right index finger to 1 o’clock, left index finger to 7 o’clock, reverse direction
k)  Open arms to your sides – push out with hands
l)  Arms open pursh towards front and back, change hands
m)  Bend your right knee, 90 degrees, right hand on your right knee – stretch your left leg, with left hand on your left thigh
n)  Bend your left knee, 90 degrees, left hand on your left knee – stretch your right leg with righ hand on your right thigh
o)  Go back to the right side, lift your right foot keeping the heel on the ground, stretch
p)  To the left side, lift your left foot keeping the heel on the ground, stretch
q)  Raise the left knee, push out to the side with your left hand, open your right arm palm down for balance
r)  Raise the right knee, push out to the side with your right hand, open your left arm, palm down for balance
s)  Arms stretch up, palms facing up,- reach for the sky, push up
t)  Bend your knees, gentle forward bend, touch the ground, if possible
u)  Place your fingers beneath your toes, if possible
v)  Straighten your knees as your run your hands behind your leg
w)  Bend your knees, place your palms on your thighs and slowly raise your body, let your head be the last to come up.
x)  Sitting horse for 1 minute
You are now ready for sitting meditation.
Namaste — Cathi

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wahe Guru Mantra – Mantra of Ecstasy

Aloha Everyone,
WAHE GURU is the Guru Mantra, the mantra of ecstasy.  The phrase is not really translatable in another language.  It is roughly interpreted to mean indescribable wisdom.  This mantra is often chanted for happy occasions as chanting it elevates the spirit.
Namaste — Cathi

Guru Gaitri Mantra

Aloha Everyone,
GOBINDE, MUKUNDE, UDARE, APARE, HARING, KARING, NIRNAME, AKAME is the Guru Gaitri Mantra which means “Sustainer, liberator, enlightener, infinite, destroyer, creator, nameless, desireless”. This is a powerful spriritual mantra and works on the Heart Chakra to develop compassion, patience and tolerance, uniting one with the Infinite.
ONG SO HUNG is “Creator, I am Thou!”, a heart-opening and empowering mantra. There are many rendition of this beautiful mantra which can be used for yoga as well as meditation.
SA TA NA MA, the Panj Shabad expressing the five primal sounds of the universe. I frequently use this mantra in our Kundalini Yoga practice.
Sa – Infinity
Ta – Life
Na – Death
Ma – Rebirth
Namaste — Cathi

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mul Mantra – Root of All Mantras

Aloha Everyone,
Translation: “The creator of all is One.  Truth is His Name.  He does everything, fearless, without anger, undying, unborn, self-realized, realized thru Guru’s Grace.  Meditate: He was true in the beginning, true thru all the ages, true even now.  Nanak shall ever be true.”
This is Mul Mantra and it is considered to be the root of all mantras.  I love the meaning of the mantra as well as the tempo and I often use this for our standing practices to get our energy flowing.
Namaste — Cathi

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Adi Shakti Mantra – Ek Ong Kar, Sat Nam, Siri Wha (He) Guru

Aloha Everyone
EK ONG KAR, SAT NAM, SIRI WHA (HE) GURU is the Adi Shakti Mantra.  This is very powerful for awakening Kundalini and suspending the mind in bliss.
Ek means “One, the essence of all”
Ong is the primal vibration from which all creativity flows,
Kar is “creation”
Sat is ”truth”
Nam is “name”
Siri is “great”
Wha is “ecstasy”
Guru is “wisdom”.
Together it means “There is one Creator whose name is Truth. Great is the ecstasy of that Supreme Wisdom”
Namaste — Cathi

Shushmana Mantra – Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung

Aloha Everyone,
RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG, is one of the universal healing prayer mantra and an extraordinarily effective mantra in dealing with health challenges.  This mantra is also known as the Shushmana Mantra.  Shushmana is the central nerve channel which runs in a straight line along the spinal cord.  Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung contains eight sounds that help stimulate the Kundalini to flow in the central channel (Shushmana)
RA – symbolizes the Sun, a source of energy, life and warmth. The sun is the heart of our universe.
MA – the energy of the Moon.  MA calls on the cosmos through the sound of compassion, causing the universe to become the mother and you the child, and this brings you  help and healing. It is cooling and nurturing.
DA – the Earth
SA – Infinite
SE or SAY – the totality of experience.
SO – the personal sense of identity.
HUNG – together.  (SO HUNG  mean “I am, That I am”.)
Namaste — Cathi

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gayatri Mantra

Aloha  Everyone,
Om bhur bhuvah svah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yonah prachodayat
We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heaven.  May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.
Gayatri mantra is over 5000 year old and it is one of the most ancient sacred and powerful mantras to meditate upon.  Chanting Gayatri Mantra benefits mental, physical and spiritual health.  Often repeated 108 times.
Namaste — Cathi

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Aum and Sat Nam Mantras

Aloha Everyone,
AUM (or OM) is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga practice.   Aum (or OM) is believed to be the basic sound of the world, the sound of the universe.  As we chant Aum, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, we begin to sense and feel a stronger connection to the universe.
SAT NAM is the Seed Mantra or Bij Mantra and also one of the widely used as a Kriya in the Kundalini Yoga practice. Sat means the Truth; Nam means to call upon, name or identify with.  Sat Nam means Truth is my identity and I call upon the eternal Truth that resides in all of us.  Chanting this mantra awakens the Soul.
Namaste — Cathi

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mantra – Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo

Aloha Everyone,
ONG NAMO, GURU DEV NAMO is the Adi Mantra that precedes Kundalini Yoga practice.  We chant this mantra three times at the start of our Kundalini Yoga class to tuning into the higher self.  Namaste mudra.
Ong is “Infinite Creative energy in manifestation and activity”.
Namo is “reverent greetings’ implying humility
Guru means “teacher or wisdom”
Dev means “Divine or of God”
Namo reaffirms humility and reverence
Together it means, “I call upon Divine Wisdom”.
This mantra is chanted for protection and often follows immediately after we chant Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo.. This mantra is also repeated three times. Namaste mudra.  Translates as  “I bow to the primal Guru,  I bow to wisdom through the ages, I bow to True Wisdom, I bow to the great, unseen wisdom.”
Namaste — Cathi