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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Inspirational Quotes on Joy

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”. - Buddha

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” - Leo Buscaglia 

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” - Mother Teresa 

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” - Mark Twain 

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it.” - Chuck Palahniuk 

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” - Helen Keller

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” - Eleanor Roosevelt 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” - Khalil Gibran 

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment.” - Tony Robbins 

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.” - Richard Bach 

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.” -Albert Einstein 

“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.” - Jim Rohn 

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” - Richard Wagner 

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” - Tecumseh

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Light Meditation

Aloha Everyone,

This is a beautiful meditation but don’t worry if you are unable to “get it” on your first attempt.  Eventually, just as in other meditation techniques, the Light Meditation will help expand your awareness about yourself and the universe


Sit in a chair or if you are sitting on the floor, come to an easy pose with legs crossed

Elongate your spine, stomach relaxed, chest lifted

Both hands in Gyan Mudra

Bring the right hand about 4 - 6 inches further up than the left hand.

Check to see that the fingertips of the left hand are in line with the wrist of the right hand

Maintain this position throughout the meditation

Imagine you are standing in an open field

Visualize yourself walking as the day is breaking

Visualize a single morning star, it is bright and shining directly above you

Enjoy the coolness of the morning, immerse yourself in this beautiful scene

(Meditation Music May be Used)

Visualize a beam of pure white light from the star above you is penetrating your heart chakra

This beam of light is a pathway leading up to the star

Visualize that you are walking up this pathway of light

Imagine the beams of blessing lights are removing the darkness, sadness, disappointments, fear and anger

Begin mentally chanting “I am beautiful.”

“I am light.”

Imagine yourself merging into the light.

Imagine yourself becoming more subtle.

Imagine yourself becoming more aware, more beautiful.

Take a deep breaths, hold out your breath as long as you are comfortable

Feel yourself becoming the pure light.

Bring your arms up, palms open 60 degrees

Feel the light.

Be the light.


Cathi’s note:  I first learned a form of light meditation in one of my Kundalini Yoga classes in San Diego. The above is a combined version as taught by Master Meditator Anmol Metha and another meditation teacher who used music to help the students with visualization.  .  Do not expect immediate results.  Be patient, relax, enjoy and be at peace.  Suggested time is 1 minutes for beginner and 3 – 7 minutes for more experienced meditation students.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Joseph Campbell, Inspirational quotes

Aloha Everyone,

Joseph John Campbell, an American writer, lecturer was best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion.   (3/26/1904 – 10/30/1987).  His phrase "Follow your bliss." is often mentioned to summarize his philosophy.   To read more about Joseph Campbell and his work, go to:

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
--Joseph Campbell

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
-- Joseph Campbell

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
--Joseph Campbell

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
--Joseph Campbell

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
--Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“If you are falling....dive.”
--Joseph Campbell

“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”
--Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology

“Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
--Joseph Campbell

“Sit in a room and read--and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.”
--Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
--Joseph Campbell

“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
-- Joseph Campbell

“We're not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
--Joseph Campbell

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.”
--Joseph Campbell

“Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.”
--Joseph Campbell

“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.

I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”
-- Joseph Campbell

“Regrets are illuminations come too late.”
--Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
-- Joseph Campbell

“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.”
--Joseph Campbell

“We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
--Joseph Campbell

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Music, and Its Benefits

Namaste Everyone,

Prior to taking exams, some students listen to Mozart or other classical period music as they believe it would improve their test scores.  Studies on how music can help your brain and concentration have been administered by professional as well as informal sessions by nurses and care givers who take care of patients from infants to elderly with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Positive impact from listening to rhythmical music can be both direct and long lasting.  Immediate impacts can range from improved attention, calming effects, relieve stress, improve moods thus help combat depression and insomnia.  Alzheimer’s and dementia patients who have trouble remembering may be able to recall their past as music may help with their lost connection to evoke their memory.

Mental and Emotional Benefits of Music 

Creates a desirable atmosphere in learning
Increases attention span
Improves memory and concentration skills
Inspiration and motivation
Improves mood
Improves mathematical and reasoning skills
Increases creativity
Heighten emotional intelligence
Brings joy and happiness
Heighten imagination

Physical Benefits of Music

Slows heartbeat
Slows breathing
Slow down blood pressure
Release tension in your body
Changes brain wave states

Happy listening!  

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Meditation for Departed

Namaste Everyone,

In many of the yoga classes I have participated over the past 20 plus years, mostly at the conclusion of the class, teacher led us through some type of meditation.  It could be just listening to your heart-beat or chanting Om (AUM) for 3 minutes.  However my real interest in following the path of meditation was triggered when a substitute teacher of a Kundalini Yoga classes said, “Meditation teaches us how to live and die well.”  I was hooked.

Meditation for someone you loved or for someone who has recently lost their loved one is consoling and comforting.  It should be approached with respect and calmness of your mind.  The following mediation for departed is universal and appropriate for everyone regardless or your religious faith.  It is suitable even for non-believer.


Come to a comfortable sitting pose or sit in a chair with the soles of your feet touching the floor

Your knees are shoulder-width apart, bend them 90 degrees

Elongate your spine, relax your stomach

Lift your chest, lift your shoulders up, back and down to relax them

Bring your hand in Gyan Mudra, pressing thumb and index finger tips, other fingers are straight

Your head should be lifted, your chin slightly tucked about 1/10th of an inch to allow the natural curvature to your spine

Now bring your awareness to your breath

Inhale deeply, exhale fully

Begin to consciously slow down your breathing, keep them long and steady

Visualize a beautiful scene, it could be a long, sun-drenched sandy beach, open sea, mountain, green rolling meadow, wild-flower field, deep green pine forest, dense bamboo forest, a place you have been or a place you would like to be
It would be more effective if the beautiful scene you are in is also familiar to the deceased person

Visualize the deceased person.  Try to see as much detail as possible of this person’s physical size, features, and facial expressions.

Can you hear the deceased person's voice?

Imagine that this person is standing right next to you.

Can you feel this person's positive energy?

Imagine that two of you are surrounded and engulfed in the peaceful light of total love and joy.

You and the deceased person is seeing the beautiful blessing light.

You and the deceased person is listening to the sound of absolute joy.

Now express in your own word to the deceased person.

May you be at peace. 

May you be blessed. 

May you feel joy and happiness. 

May you be aware of my love now and always.

Bring your awareness back to your physical body as you return your breathing back to normal pace.

Cathi’s Note:  This meditation could have a profound effect on you so please approach it with caution and open-mind.  This meditation also affects people differently.  If you are feeling sad, lonely and agitated when you do this meditation, it may temporarily intensify your emotions.  On the other hand, if you are feeling joy and loving-kindness, you will experience increased happiness and compassion.  Suggested duration of this meditation is 3 to 11 minutes.  It is important for you to remain calm for the same amount of time as the time you spent on meditation.     

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meditation Has Made Me Comfortable With Uncertainty

Namaste Everyone,

Meditation has helped me be comfortable with uncertainty.  I no longer suffer with the fact that we never know what will happen next.  There is no security, no certainty, and no guaranty in life.  Fear used to grip me thinking about my health and that of my love ones. Fear and sometime deep sadness used to keep me awake at night.  Of course there was no resolution as bad things just happen without anyone's fault.  Since learning to meditate on regular basis, I am able to look at the big picture and learn to accept life as it unfolds.  I am much better at navigating small and large challenges of life.  Learning Kundalini Yoga and Meditation also gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge with others who can benefit from them. 

Drop all preconceived notion of what meditation is.  Meditation practice should be approached with open mind and heart and curiosity to learn.  Now is the best time to start your meditation practice.  Don't wait for tomorrow, don't wait until your birthday, no excuses, just start now.  Try to set a definite time to practice meditation.  Meditation requires mental and physical commitment.  The best time to do meditation is in the early morning before you get involved with your daily activities.  Create a meditation space. Set aside a little corner in your room that is devoted to doing meditation.  Clear any clutters, place Zabu or cushion to sit on, have any other meditation tools such as the AUM symbol, calligraphy or painting, a lit candle or whatever else that would put your mind into a meditative mood.  For anyone who is new to meditation and wants to establish a long term practice, my best advice is don’t give up. 

Sat Nam


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stay Healthy During the Flu Season

Aloha Everyone,

Have you gotten your flu shot for 2013-2014 flu season?   According to the American Red Cross health news, it is not too late for you to get one as we still have at least 4 - 6 weeks of flu season.  It is recommended that adults 65 years and older should get the flu vaccine every year.  One of the reasons is as you age, your immune system weakens. 

According to the CDC website, "The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May."
The flu vaccine is usually given in the arm via a small needle.  As in any preventive measures, how effective the flu vaccine depends on the person who is being vaccinated such as their age and health and if the flu vaccine matches the flu virus it is designed to protect.

To read about the seasonal influenza (flu) go to

Foods that help you when you have the flu.

1. Popsicles - to sooth a sore, swollen and dry throat. Popsicle can also help keep you stay hydrated.

2.  Turkey sandwich - gives you lean protein for body energy

3.  Banana - especially if you have nausea, diarrhea or vomiting

4.  Meal replacement drinks for property nutrients and calories intake

5.  Vegetable juice

6.  Garlic 

7.  Ginger 

8.  Hot Tea

9.  Toast 

10.  Chicken soup

Here are some simple things doctors do to stay healthy
Wash your hands with soap and water
Use antiseptic wipes to keep things you touch
Exercise to strengthen your immune system
Change your pillow cases often
Do not share towels
Rest frequently
Get 8 - 10 hours of sleep at night

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye - Book By Ellie Phillips DDS

Aloha Everyone,

Kiss Your Dentist Good Bye, is a book by Ellie Phillips DDS and talks about how to keep your mouth healthy through do-it yourself techniques.

Most of us do not like to see our dentists.  It seems every time we see our dentist, new cavities are discovered.  So when I spotted this provocative title in the library, I was more than intrigued.

According to her autobiography, Ellie Phillips, DDS, has 35 years of dental experience, with a special interest in caring for geriatric patients and special needs children and adults. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the New York State Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists. She graduated from Eastman Dental Center, Rochester, NY, with qualifications in pediatric and general dentistry, and an honorary member of the Eastman Academy, University of London, England.

The book teaches us how we can maintain a truly healthy mouth.  It helps empower us what we can do to prevent cavities and gum disease and take care of your oral health in between your dental visits.

To learn more about Dr. Ellie Phillips and her preventive oral care system, go to

Praise for Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye:
''An excellent, simplified discussion of complex issues you need to understand to achieve optimal oral health.''
--Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th surgeon general of the United States
''This book, despite its intriguing title, does not denigrate dentists. What it really does is tell readers how best to work with dentists to achieve true preventative care.''
--Milton B. Lederman, PhD, retired director of public affairs, University of Rochester Medical Center; co-author of Co-existing with Cancer
''As a dentist, the title of this book is shocking! But the information in the book is vital to anyone who wants to minimize dental problems, maximize dental health, and enjoy their smile for a lifetime.''
--Corky Willhite, DDS; fellow, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Aloha Everyone,

All living things have the aura.  It is the electromagnetic field that surrounding all beings, human or otherwise. The aura may be referred to as the energy, the body heat or radiation from the body since it is associated with the health of the physical body.  The strength and the size of the aura is impacted by all the elements including the mental, emotional and physical states of the living being.  The size of the aura can also vary from a few inches to many feet in all directions.

We practiced the following techniques for cleansing aura:


Stand straight with feet slightly wider than your shoulder width, toes facing forward

Raise your arms in about the same width as your feet

Elbows straight , fingers spread wide, eyes open

Begin bending forward in seven counts, count 1, straight pose,

Count 2, forward bend to 2 o’clock position

Count 3, forward bend to 3 o’clock position

Count 4, forward bend, arms straight, try to touch the ground

Count 5, deep forward bend, bring your body closer to your knees

Count 6, bring your arms back to 7 o’clock position

Count 7, bring your arms back as far as you are able without over-doing

Reverse the process

Repeat this 7 times

If you are able to, do Breath of Fire, if not, do long, even inhalation and exhalation throughout this practice


Kundalini Eagle Pose

Sit in rock pose with Breath of Fire – 1 to 3 minutes         

Kundalini Yoga Criss Cross

Sit in a chair or in an easy pose

Place your thumb at the base of your small finger, other fingers are extended

Raise your arms, palms facing up and place them above the top of your forehead

Eyes closed

Focus  on energy surrounding your physical body

Criss-cross your hands about  your body-width as you do Breath of Fire with even inhalation and even exhalation

Imagine your body filled with bright white light

Imagine this light purifying and restoring your body getting rid of any negative energy

Now expand the light, the pure energy, beyond your body

Visualize the light purifying and restoring your energy field, your aura

Envision your aura and sense your aura

Visualize your aura shining bright

Slow down your breathing, bring your arms down and give yourself time to enjoy this calm, wonderful sensation

Suggested time is from 1 to 7 minutes


Helps you physically stay well with more energy

Helps you emotionally balanced

Helps get rid of the energy of the negative person you have come in contact with

Strengthen your energy field as it helps remove any blockages to the natural flow of energy

Employing Breath of Fire during these kriyas can help improve your respiratory system

Helps tone muscles of your chest, shoulders and arms

Helps improve your mood and you will feel calm

Helps bring joy and happiness

Helps you think clearer, more clear-headed

Bestows sense of peace and tranquility

Cathi’s note:

Hydrate yourself with a glass of water after the aura cleansing kriya.  Rest in sitting pose or if possible Savasana (Corpse Pose) on the floor for at least 5 minutes.  The color of aura is different from person to person.  It is also based on the level of physical, emotional and mental health of the time.  To strengthen your aura, everyday spend some time in nature, get some sunlight as it is a natural energy cleanser.

Take a walk in a forest, open field, the beach, stand under a tree, mountain and large body of water all have wonderful cleansing effect to our aura.

Namaste -- Cathi