Do you always feel connected to what you’re doing? Do you wish to be more connected and aware?
As promised in one of my last articles, On Being Childlike we’re going to start talking about this mystical connection that is always available to us…
The mind body connection.
When you’re used to driving the same road everyday, you might find yourself being caught up in driving, it can even sometimes happen that you forget the way you just drove through.
Take a deep breath with me.
And then release it.
Here, you’ve just made a step further into connecting your mind with your body.
Connecting your body with your mind have many meanings. One of them is to bring life into some parts of your body that you tend to forget.
Your tongue for instance. If you think about it, you’ll realize that you have a tendency to keep it up on the roof of your mouth. You do this without even thinking about it.
Just like when you’re used to driving on the same road everyday. And it is proven that what is happening is that you are hypnotizing yourself for a short time. That’s called auto-hypnosis, which will more likely happen when your mind isn’t connected to your body.
You will tend to loose focus on yourself.
Take another deep breath with me.
Bring your attention to your mouth now, are you able to relax it even more than it already is? Where is your tongue? Up or relaxed at the bottom of your mouth?
Don’t you feel more relaxed now?
The first step into connecting your mind with your body is simple. Breath and realize that you have a body, notice all the parts of it and learn to relax it more and more everyday.
If one looses focus on oneself it is more easy to stop controlling what one is doing. I told you in the article 4 Ways Our Body Ingest Energy that I stopped smoking. What will happen if I’m not in control of what I do?
What will happen if my mind isn’t connected to my body?
I will forget the benefits of stopping smoking, I will loose myself into listening to the voice that tells me to enjoy things and to loose the benefits of my efforts.
Which takes us back to saying that when we loose our mind-body connexion we stop being our best self, we stop stepping into ou power and therefore loose our time, efforts and energy.
The next article will teach you more clearly about meditation and its benefits. You will also learn about a new meditation course that will soon be available on the blog.
Thanks for reading this article, I hope it introduced you well to this topic and made you even more curious to know more.
Being more aware can be considered as being magical in so many ways. We’ll see that soon enough.
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In the meantime, stay connected to your surroundings by simply trying to notice all that exists in your field of view, all that you’ve never noticed before and more specifically all that is alive around you, from plants to humans and animals.
Do you also feel the need for more simplicity? New methods for “eating better” and “feeling better” are beyond you?
Ayurveda is a science sister to yoga – my article about Yoga as a Path to Transformation is also available – that wants to equilibrate our mind and body so we can live in harmony with our mental, physical and emotional health.
A lot of people are used to running to the doctor once they are hurting somewhere in their body. Do they think about the fact that pain is a way for our body to bring to our awareness that there is a problem that can be fixed without any drugs?
My body is hurting, so I go see a doctor, I get a prescription, I pay for all this and then my heart is hurting. It’s a vicious circle when we think about it. And even if sometimes, drugs are necessary, we must think twice about what we are making our body ingest. I talk a more about this in my article 4 Ways Our Body Ingest Energy.
Didn’t you ever tell yourself that your doctor was only treating symptoms and not the cause of your problems? A very wise woman once told me that if my knee was hurting it might be because my relationships were as well. As a matter of fact, she explained the French word to me – knee in French is genoux – and told me that she was writing it JE and NOUS – I and WE. I even went back to her some other time and she had another explanation for the same word, she told me that we could also write it differently, JE NOUE – literally I tie – meaning I tie problems with myself, so my relationship with myself was bad.
In our run for knowledge and always going faster and longer, we want our body to go faster and so we highjack our own body and its own way to function.
Ayurvedic medicine was born in ancient Vedic times, about – 1 000 BC. It is based on a set of Vedas – knowledge in sanskrit-, it is literally a science – or knowledge – of life. This ancient medicine is going to take care of our whole body to lead us to a balance of the being of the person in need.
Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.
According to this science, by taking care of our mind and body, and so our spirit, we attain an inner balance. A balance I talk about in my article about meditation, Stop Running and Listen to Yourself.
Ayurveda assumes that all that is present in nature is also present in ou body. We are made of the different elements, fire represented by ambition, joy of living, air with incessant thoughts for example, water with creativity or even earth by anchoring.
According to the World Health Organization, Ayurveda is known to be a “a traditional medicine including different practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs and health matter, using herbal and/or mineral-based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual technical exercises, with the aim of maintaining well-being, as well as treat, diagnose or prevent the disease.”
We’ll talk about this more in a future article but to keep things simple, according to Ayurveda, we can rank ourselves in 3 différent doshas, that are bio-physical energies by which we are all formed.
VATA, refering to air element and space. Vata means “to move” and people in this category like to move particularly.
PITTA, energy of fire and water. Pittas are always in need of transformation and like to sacrifice in their work.
KAPHA, earth and water. Kaphas are stables, and have a tranquility of mind, they are calm and home-loving.
By knowing your type, you will be more inclined to know when and where you are out of balance in your body and mind. Thanks to Ayurveda, we can be taught to choose certain type of food, or even meditation and yoga poses that fits our type and that balance our doshas so we will feel better.
When we feel better, it is more easy to step further into life. I would even say that life give us the tools necessary to go forward by ourselves, by listening to us and let us be guided by our instinct.
For instance, I have a tendency to run everywhere and to overload myself with work, that’s my Vita side. But, if I make sure I eat enough vegetables that are good for grounding and so that I balance my Kapha side, I will feel better and more balanced.
If you want to know your type, I invite you to take the quizz on this website.
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This year is punctuated by no less than 6 eclipses visible from the planet. 4 lunar eclipses and 2 solar eclipses. While one of the lunar eclipses happened last January, I had to write an article about the next one happening on June 5th.
Eclipses happen only when there is a full or new moon and can be more or less strong depending on the alignement of the sun, moon and earth.
The next lunar eclipse will be what we call a penumbral eclipse, that means that the three celestial bodies won’t be precisely aligned, the moon will be in the shadow of the earth.
We’ll go deeper in the subject in a future article, but in my opinion, the moon is underestimated and unknown. If we think about it, studies have already shown that the moon influences the tides and therefore the water of our oceans. And what are our bodies composed of? About 65% of water on average. Therefore, it is natural to think that the moon is going to influence our body, and not only our mood as some joke about this.
Eclipses affects us, precisely because they happen during new and full moon. It is said that during those periods of time, humans can use the cycles of the moon to do basic things like cut hair or less basic things like see their wishes realised.
For the next solar eclipse, don’t wait for something spectacular like you would on a solar eclipse lunar you’ll be able to see the eclipse during (the picture below shows from where we can see it) during at least 3 hours. The June 5th lunar eclipse will be at its peak at 7:29 PM.
That said, we also will be able to witness the solar eclipse on June 21th if we’re in Asia, Africa or South-East Europe.
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Welcome back! I hope everyone is feeling great and holding tight during these weird times. Today we are going deeper into the meditation series.
I see a lot of people trying to meditate, trying to be more aware of themselves and what they do or just trying to listen to something that makes them go deeper into relaxation. But they only try, they don’t seem to be able to sit and actually meditate. The thing is, in meditation you don’t even have to do anything to do it. You juste have to Be.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like meditating but still I know it could help me. And trust me, it is during those moments, when you don’t feel like it that mediation is going to be the most beneficial to you. It’s like when you go to the gym, you don’t want to go but you’re glad you did when you come out of the place. And it is something I could also say about yoga. Check out my article about yoga Yoga as a Path to Transformation.
But I know things aren’t always safe and sound, and you have a lot on your mind. This is why we are going to talk about meditative musics, and more specifically about mantras. And today we have the great privilege to welcome Carrie Grossman in the blog. Carrie Grossman is a singer and meditation teacher on the Insight Timer app. You know, the app I told you about in my article about meditation, Stop Running and Listen to Yourself. Carrie has a 10-day course on the app called Awaken the Heart through Chanting and Mantras. A course I advised you to take if you have a profile on the app! Carrie has a really beautiful voice and talks about mantras like I never heard better before, simply, truthfully and from the heart. She is going to be our host today and will be answering some questions I asked her specifically for this article. Carrie will be talking all along this article, when the text is put on italic. You’ll find links to her music and website at the end of this article.
Therefore, when I have trouble being still and keeping my mind steady, I think it helps to put on some music. I like listening to loud music but it is also refreshing to listen to something that talks to your soul. I sometimes like to listen to meditative music when I’m working or just cleaning my place. A YouTube channel I like for that is Meditative Mind. They’re sharing musics like this one. And I also listen to mantras.
For those who don’t know, Carrie Grossman explains what they are : mantras are sacred sound formulas. They are ancient sonic tools that can help to quiet our mind and open our heart. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit words: “man”, which means “mind” and “tra”, which means “to cross over” or “to protect”. So a mantra is something that helps our mind go beyond thought, and it also helps to protect our mind from itself.
Carrie also specify that mantras were not created by anyone, but it’s said that they exist in nature. The Rishis, or great seers of India, heard the sounds in the depths of their meditations, and they articulated them. Then, these sounds were passed on in an oral tradition for thousands of years. Today, we’re blessed to have access to them.
This subject is really large and it is difficult to talk about it in just one article but basically, I advise you to use mantra in your daily life, or just even during your meditations for a start. It’s only when you tried one and made the effort to feel its vibration that you can truly understand. I asked Carrie the best way to use them and this is her response :
There are many different ways to use mantras. They can be spoken, chanted, sung, whispered, or repeated silently in the mind. One popular mantra practice is known as Kirtan. This is a call-and-response singing practice that can be done in a group. It’s a very joyful way to experience the power of mantras and chanting. This kind of devotional music is widely available by different artists, and it’s a wonderful aid to meditation.
And believe me, she truly has a gift for singing them. I love listening to some of her interpretations and I really think she has a way of demystifying this ancient spiritual technique. You don’t have to be religious to sing them but sometimes it can feel like it and I advise you to go check Carrie’s music. As I said, she has a gift for modernising mantras, I think her way of doing it is more accessible than the traditional way.
Carrie talks about it like a sonic tool. Actually, scientist know that all that is present on earth has a vibration correspondant. We are indeed made of vibration, we can feel it when we are connected to others emotionally, we tend to feel their love, fear, joy, excitement … this all has to do with vibration. We also know that the earth itself has a vibration (we can think of the schumann resonance). You might have heard people chanting “Om” when they meditate or do yoga for instance. This sound is simply the vibration of the crown chakra (the one on top of the head), dedicated to our connection to the universe. Therefore, when I chant “Om” I am re-aligning myself (my chakra) with the universe. It is the same for mantras, as Carrie put it, they are sacred sound formulas, they are a succession of sanskrit words and “magic” sounds. Or as she put it : Everything in this world is made up of vibrations—including our thoughts and emotions. Since mantras are the purest sound vibrations, they can help to shift our vibration and uplift our mind and heart. Mantras can also purify the atmosphere.
So it’s not necessary to chant them, you can just listen to them and their magic will happen anyway. Since they are vibrations, playing them will make the vibration live and do its work on your being, on the planet and on your home.
However, this can be considered as a religious practice because of the repetition of the sounds. It is said, as in other religions as well that one has to chant a mantra / say a prayer enough time for it to make it work. So what happen for people who don’t really believe in that kind of things? The good thing about mantra is that you don’t really have to believe in them, neither do you have to count the number of time you’re chanting them. As a matter of fact, you don’t necessarily even understand what you are saying when you do sing them. Carrie answers this as well :
When chanting or listening to a mantra, it’s not necessary to believe anything—the power lies in the vibration of the sounds. While it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of what the mantras mean, ultimately they’re beyond any conceptual understanding.
Necessary during this times of need, help has to come from many places and I think dedicating some time of our quarantine to help others during this big “war” against the virus should be beneficial and a priority to everyone of us. The more we do it, the more vibrations are working for us and therefore the battle will be won way easily! Carrie also addresses this :
One very important mantra that can be chanted anytime is Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which means “May all beings everywhere be peaceful and happy.” You can chant this every day, or find a recording to listen to or sing along. This is a beautiful way to send prayers and healing thoughts to all of creation.
Here is Carrie’s song dedicated to this particular mantra. Believe me, you can feel the benefits of the mantra within the first minute.
Here’s another one of her mantras that I love, Ang Sang Wahe Guru. It is a mantra for oneness that means “the lovely energy of the universe vibrates in every cell of my being”. When I first listened to it, I could basically feel my being coming back to itself and in alignment, a very powerful tool. And with Carrie’s voice, it is felt like sweet, trust me.
Of course, you can find many artists singing mantras, here are two of them I chose for you. Bhagavan Das, you can listen to one of his tracks here ; and Craig Pruess, enjoy his music here
We are only talking about thoughts, songs and time dedicated to this. You don’t have to pay anything and you don’t have to do a big ritual to make it work so why not give it a try?
I think this was a lot to take in already. I’ll let you digest everything and we might come back to this subject in the future. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you like.
If you want to know more about Carrie’s music, please go check her website. You’ll find out more about her work and her music here : carriegmusic.com. You can also find some of her music on her YouTube channel here.
I hope this article gave you a clear idea of what mantras are and made you want to listen to them – even more.
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Thank you for reading me and I’ll see you in the next article.
As promised, let me now introduce you to yoga. I will share the history of yoga, how I went to it and how I find it really beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their life and wellbeing.
Yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice originated in ancient India. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) yuj – to yoke and samadhi – concentration. Therefore, the one who practice yoga wants to connects one body, mind and spirit and go toward liberation. You can find many different interpretations of what yoga is and we can speak about more than 20 different types of yoga, each with its own practice and goals.
As a matter of fact, yoga was originally created in order for one to be able to stay seated longer while meditating. The more you’re comfortable in your body, the more you’re able to stay still and listen to yourself. Originally, Indus practiced yoga in order to grow spiritually speaking. The yogis encourage union with the finite jiva (transitory self) and with the infinite Brahman (eternal self). Brahman is a term used by the Hindus to mean “God”. To say that in another way, yogis want to connect to the inner God everyone holds in their being in order to find peace. Yoga is ancient path to spiritual growth, a system created to rejuvenate the body and prolong life.
For a beginner, I would suggest starting with restorative yoga, which is a very relaxing and grounded type of yoga. Everybody can do it and everybody should do it, because you don’t even have to do the effort or have to use your muscles, you use the ground and the gravity to help you go deeper into the relaxation. Yes, you read well, I’m talking about relaxation, I’m not telling you to force yourself into building muscles. And it is really good for recovery, healing, anxiety, helps you stretch and even practice patience! If you want to build muscles, then there is another type of yoga that is available for you.
In addition, yoga is known to be therapeutic and really good for all sorts of health and mental issues. Studies have shown its effectiveness for back pain, anxiety, schizophrenia, self acceptation, to name a few.
Actually, I think yoga is a very good way to come into contact with your being, with your body. I know there’s a lot of people showing off the postures they’re doing on social medias and I think that’s the opposite of what yoga should be about. Yoga is about working on your impatience and listening to what your body is trying to tell you. It’s a good thing to want to be good at what you do but it’s another thing to help yourself going there.
When you do yoga, you want to be in tune with your breath. As everyone knows, the breath is where life flows, so as long as you breath, you will be able to tune into your body and your dharma (purpose).
Even if your goal is to build strength, you always tune to your breath to be aware of your muscles. The more you do it, the more you’re able to recognise where your body can go and where you want to lead it.
The mind is a calm meditative flow. The more your mind is steady, the more your body will be as well. The mind is a meditative calm steady flow when you do yoga, the body is an expression of that inner state. So here we are, we use this exercise to always build more steadiness in our mind. That’s where yoga is a meditative practice.
The methods used in the yoga techniques cannot be separated from its philosophy. Because yoga is considered to be a practice of psychosomatic exercices. The more you practice the exercices, the more you are inclined to feel the benefits. In the repetition of the movement, the magic arises.
A yoga teacher once told me :
“We’re not here to suffer through the experience but really grow as a result of the experience. Not only growing physically but also growing mentally and emotionally. As you learn to relate to experiences of discomfort, this skill translates directly into your daily life, when you encounter challenging or uncomfortable situations you can remain relaxed there and interact in a much more functional way with the different experiences of your life.”
And that’s what I actually find magical about yoga. Where one comes into the mat, one is dedicated to doing good to oneself. By deciding to show up and just be here with yourself, you come into contact with your own being, discovering what keeps you away from fulfilling your deepest desires.
It’s like an analogy of life, you come into the mat as you would come into your life. Some days you’re lazy and you just want to relax and some days you want to be as good as you can be and build strength. Of course, the more you practice, the more you will find yoga intense, and that’s when you will have to allow yourself to remain relaxed within this intensifying experience. Discomfort is perfectly normal in the context of yoga and in the context of life, if you feel pain, that’s when you know you have to stand back and change your position – or experience if we still talk about life experiences. When having challenging experiences, you learn to breath, to relax with discomfort and learn from it.
Furthermore, I would advise anyone who wants to start this journey to alternate any type of yoga they’re doing. If you want to build strength, it’s good for you to work on your core and always challenge you but it is also good to know when to relax and listen when your body is asking you to stand back. And if you’re doing yoga only to relax yourself, challenging you might be beneficial.
As you move through the body, there is a lot of energy that we are transmuting. We are playing with the energies coexisting with us, breath, life, laughs, tears, gifts, chakras …
Though the body is how you get to discover your spirit. Even faster than reading books. You drop into the very present moment. Mind starts to go away when you’re in the movement part. Naturally you connect with your heart more and the present is what allows your spirit to blossom, because you’re connected with your body and spirit and the mind is not doing this chatter thing. I find moving in general to be one of the most helpful ways to connect to your spirit.
We are made to move, because if we don’t, we fall.
Personally, I know yoga and therefore meditation has been really beneficial to me. I used to have panic attacks, to speak too fast to be understood and to move through life even faster than my mind was even able to articulate. I come to yoga/meditation as often as I can because when I don’t I feel that my body is not in tune with my being anymore. When I start to articulate my movement with my breath, I am able to come back into my true essence, I encounter myself every time a little more. And it is always a pleasure to discover another part of myself. That’s where I find the magic in life. It’s magical to look at a tree when you remember that it was only a little seed in the beginning. And it is magical to see that one can be even better everyday. I used to think that only self-centered persons could think that way but now, I think that it takes courage and maturity to be able to live in peace with oneself.
Let’s now take my previous article words to articulate the next subjects that we will be talking about and introduce the next article we will be publishing on this website.
We heard, in life, there is two main guidelines :
My life is my own and I should make the most of it.
I cannot exist without others.
There’s this duality between the two. How can I be thoughtful enough towards myself without being selfish? Is being selfish bad? How can I benefit from others without taking up all the space I have? Is working hard compatible with being conscious of what I do?
We always hear “do it better than your own self”, “always work hard”… But, what if letting space in our daily life could actually make us more productive and aware of our own personal road?
We are meant to feel present, conscious and serene at all times. On the contrario of what we can hear on the mainstream medias, being overbooked is not ok, letting society or even someone else decide about your life for yourself isn’t normal, each of us has a specific way of apprehending life. What is happening to others isn’t necessarily supposed to happen to me.
I would say : always be at your best, part time. Learn to listen to yourself and to accept the moments where you need to rest. Enjoy resting, and preserve yourself for that working time.
We won’t be able to live in the world without learning first how to live by ourselves. The qualities that we would love to have are already inside us, but need to be cultivated in those moments where we are alone. Those moments are that opportunity to be patient and to let go.
The more I travel, the more I come across ancient wisdom. That one, which generally comes from Asia, who teaches you to take time to meditate, take care of your body and soul and to listen to your instinct. This wisdom that leads me to take a step back from society.
Thanks to the time I take for myself, at least 5 minutes a day, I can be more present for everything else that is needed from me. The regularity counts, not the time you take for it. It’s not a discipline but instead a time to charge the batteries to their full potential.
A little change in my habits that help everyday to be a better “me”. I stopped eating meat, little by little stopped watching TV, not any loan is threatening me anymore, my anxieties fade away… In short, I move away from society and the problems of the world only touch me less and less.
Problem is, the miracle solution do not exist, everything takes time. I would like to show how necessary it is for our planet on one hand yes but also on the other hand for our own sake to take care of us.
But yes, we indeed are all connected. We wouldn’t exist without others to witness it and live beside us. It would be difficult to work by our own for example, we will always need
the support and help from others to expand our vision, even if that help comes from a simple client. As said here on my first article, we all need each other.
It may seem paradoxical but because we take time for ourselves a little bit everyday, we are more receptive to what life can offer us, and therefore, to others around us.
Even scientific say it now. We are inter-connected beings living in a magnetic field that connects us all. If I’m good, my neighbour will be good as well. Even in psychology. But no need to study to know this. When I smile, my neighbour will want to smile as well. If I’m in a bad day, it’s going to be hard for me to make a child smile. It’s important to be its own example, and by being it to show the way to those in need.
Little by little, I’ve come to learn about this ancient wisdom. I’ve come to learn that meditation is good for you. Yoga will help you dedicate yourself to your life. Being vegetarian opens up your eyes. Ayurveda may be millenary old, it takes you back to the root of our civilisations and wellbeing …
In short, in order to be available enough for others and the world, be thoughtful and do good where you go, you have to be that way with yourself. Be able to listen to yourself means to be able to listen the world around us.
All those are some of the topics we will be talking about for the launching of this website. Having always in mind cultivating listening, cultivating this magic I’m talking about.