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Dogs and the Art of Being Zen

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Living in the moment is not so easy for us humans. We find ourselves dwelling on the past or thinking about the future or focusing on the tasks ahead of us to complete our day.

Dogs know better. They live in the moment.

Many times I will find myself sitting cross legged, with my little Chihuahua in my lap, and we go through a guided meditation together. He lays quite still and clearly enjoys the energy that radiates through both of us as we gravitate towards a higher level together.

I tell this story as I had an interesting experience recently with Prana Yoga meditation in a group setting. As I was participating in the session, my dog was participating from many, many miles away.

The teacher, Simplicity Love, offers retreats and classes that focus on the art of self-healing through Ayurveda. In the meditation, I rested the top point of the back of my neck where it joins the skull on a rubber block and pair of rubber balls. This is the Feng Fu trigger point (GV 16 in the diagram).  I have long known that placing ice on this point is a great way to eliminate a headache caused by sinus pressure. Little did I know that minimal movements – rolling the neck ever so slightly using micro movements  over the rubber balls – would eliminate body pain and bring balance between Yin and Yang. Using this technique, along with breathing once in and out through one nostril and then the other while gently depressing the alternative nostril, brought me into balance again and set up an opportunity to release myself into a deep, meditative state of being.

So how does the story about my Zen dog fit into a story about meditation? One minute before the instructor announced to the class that it was time to “reconnect” with our bodies and come out of the meditative state of being, I saw in my mind’s eye, that my little dog had stepped out of the front door of my home and looked into the world. He was clearly looking for me. Could it be that my dog had joined me in the meditation from so many miles away and was bringing me back to the land of the living? This stunning revelation brought me great joy as I realized that my dog understood meditation far better than I. Not only had he joined me in the meditation, but he searched for me in the higher realm to bring me back.

An Animal Understanding: A Trip to South Africa

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We communicate with our animals in a variety of ways. Sometimes their needs are simple: they want to play, or they are thirsty, hungry or tired. Animals have a different way of looking at the world. They are attuned to our emotions, the weather and danger. They may protect us, feel threatened by us or ask for our help.

Recently, I had the rare opportunity to see all manner of animals in a somewhat natural habitat: Krueger Park (about the size of Florida in land mass) and nature preserves along the South African Coast. There were prides of lions; herds of elephants and zebras; a jackal stalking prey; a leopard eating an impala in a tree; giraffes eating green leaves from the tops of tall trees; hippos submersed in a watering hole; a hornbill feeding its babies in a hollowed out tree; a family of warthogs; monkeys and baboons; lone hyenas and groups of hyraxes. I saw hundreds of penguins that seemed perfectly content living at a shoreline nature preserve with easy access to the ocean.

Sometimes I would reach out with my mind – sending healing energy and love – to see if I could capture an animal’s attention and get a closer look.  Often, I was ignored, but sometimes I was lucky. At one point, a baby warthog ran up to me as if to say, “Hi! I’m a baby warthog!” If I didn’t know better, I would think he was smiling. Another time, a hyena edged towards me with his sore foot, and I sent healing energy towards him until he ambled off.

To see all of these animals “in the wild” was an indescribable experience. It provided a much better understanding of how animals relate in the wild and to each other. It also prepared me better for helping a pet after my return.

 

A Dog That Was Ready to Depart
At the end of October, a friend mentioned that her dog was not well and was being treated for a common disease. I told her I might be able to help as I was a healing channel.

Her name was Bella. She was a 10-year-old bulldog rescue. When I first saw her she was lying on a mat on the floor panting. I began talking to her and did an energy check. I felt rather than saw that she had a cancerous tumor that was making it difficult for her to breath. She also had cancer in her stomach. She had been misdiagnosed by the vet, unfortunately.

I worked on her for some time and told her mom that she had cancer, and she was ready to go. I cried as I worked with her. On a positive note, she was stoic about her condition and kept reaching for me with her paw because the energy work made her feel good. Her mom said, “I don’t want to let her go.” I asked Bella if she was willing to stay just a little while longer. She agreed. For the next three days, Bella showed her mom that she could walk and eat and be affectionate just as she always was. On the third day, she laid down and died. I think it gave her mom comfort and an opportunity to say goodbye.

I tell this story because it relates to the South Africa experience. Even though the animals were in danger of being eaten, or lacked water because the land was so dry, they were stoic, happy even and accepted the life they had. Perhaps, we too, could learn to accept life as it is and enjoy the special moments just as the animals do.

Does Karma Exist?

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Many believe that “what comes around, goes around,” meaning that someone who has committed a wrong against another will pay for it via the Law of Karma. Another way of understanding this principle is by understanding its equivalency to Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Another reference can be interpreted from this passage in the Bible, James 3:18: (And a) harvest of righteousness is grown from the seed of peace planted by peacemakers.

Water Crystal
Thank-You

Masaru Emoto conducted experiments with water in the 1990s. In his book, Messages from Water, he illustrates with photographs the impact words have on water crystals. Since we ourselves are composed of about 60 percent water, it may be inferred that words are powerful and impact us just as words can change water crystals. But do angry words result in Karma?

What is Karma Anyway?

If you look up Karma online, you will find all kinds of definitions. From Wikipedia, “Our actions, both good and bad, come back to us in the future, helping us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people.”

A Theory of Karma from the Jainism Literature Center indicates that the translation of the word means deeds, which include thoughts and words. In the Jainism belief, Karmas are fine particles that sit around us creating layers that separate our souls from knowledge and reaching our potential. In Buddhism, Karma is based on the law of cause and effect.

“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.”

There have been many examples of Karma. I saw one the other day involving a local business. It’s top officials believed that cheating others was an acceptable business practice. The court system disagreed and they must now pay a hefty fine. Sometimes Karma takes a long time to impact someone, and sometimes it’s immediate. For some amusing examples of immediate Karma, visit: http://www.seenox.org/instant-karma-gifs-funny-examples/.

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Deeds

Can Karma, good or bad, stay with us from our past lives? Does it impact our financial and life goals today? There are different schools of thought on this issue. Personally, I don’t believe we bring the heavy burden of old Karma with us from a previous life. I believe we are born again and begin anew when we enter this lifetime. However, that doesn’t mean that our thoughts, words and deeds don’t have an impact down the road for ourselves and for others.

So How Do We Avoid Karma?

Making it a practice to be kind to yourself and others is a good first step. Appreciating your own positive traits, skills and characteristics can impact your level of happiness in a positive way. If you practice being kind to yourself, you will find that negative self-talk feels alien to you after a very short while.

On the contrary, negative self-talk or angry words with others can raise your blood pressure, create an upset stomach and other health issues, simply as a result of how you think of ybutterfly blogourself and others. If you are concerned about your health, stop focusing on the negative impact it may have and find the value or lesson in it. Change how you see yourself – focus on the outcome of a more perfect you without defining the process of getting there – and feel better. Say to yourself, “I feel GREAT today,” regardless of how you feel. Adversity can be tough, but it does provide a teaching moment, forcing us to grow, change and adapt. However, loving yourself through the obstacles and knowing in your heart that nothing remains the same (the wheel goes round and round), makes the challenge much easier to accept and conquer.

Love, too, can come to you. It may not be with a partner. It may be with a child, or a pet, or a neighbor or someone else, and that’s OK too. Learning to love unconditionally is one way to understand the potential it has to transform your life. One day, I was surprised by an intense feeling of unconditional love towards a pair of three-year-old twins I had just met. The feeling was incredible, and I was freed by the thought that it was possible to feel unconditional love in many ways.  Learning to appreciate yourself and everything that is around you WILL CHANGE YOU for the better.

 

Taking Time to Set Intentions on the New Moon

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Have you experienced a time of reflection in recent months? Have old issues and fears cropped up, forcing you to face those fears and deal with them … finally? Astrologically speaking, all of this deep thought may be due the planet Mars transiting the sign of Scorpio. Today marks the end of its cycle as Mars re-enters the sign of Sagittarius in the Leo New Moon, giving us an opportunity to “let go of things that no longer serve us.”

This is an optimal time to set intentions for the next 28-day lunar cycle. Leo is a fire sign, radiating an atmosphere of courage and confidence. – Belinda Dunn

For more on the subject of planetary changes in 2016 please view: http://www.lynnkoiner.com/astrology-articles/mars-in-scorpio-2014 and http://www.kelleyrosano.com/kelley-rosano/2016-astrological-events/.

The Power of Setting Intentions

An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that
contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. – Deepak Chopra

The first step when releasing your heart’s desire into the cosmos is to freedirection of dreams thoreau your mind of ego and outcomes. Meditate first. Set intentions second. Don’t determine the path your desire will take, and don’t determine the outcome. Why? Because we never know what great possibilities, opportunities and experiences lie in the path, and the outcome may be much greater than we can possibly imagine. Deepak Chopra, M.D., describes the process in, “5 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions.”

When choosing a new career path – name the subject of interest then release it. “I am interested in pursuing … or I am looking forward to … (state what you want),” then thank the universe for bringing it to you. At times, the universe may give you “action steps,” which are things you must do to set your intentions in motion. Listen to your heart (rather than your mind) for direction. Other times you may receive messages that things are proceeding as planned. These signs can be in the form of bumper stickers, banners on websites, roadside signs, unexpected words of encouragement from a stranger or a friend – all of these things represent clues that you are on the right path.

Remaining Positive Keeps Intentions Flowing

In Buddhist philosophy, Buddha said that insight and vision brings peace, while suffering buddha-lessonsis due to dissatisfaction based on one’s need to cling to beliefs around situations that blind us to what is. In other words, right thoughts, right actions, right deeds, can create an awakening within you that may not otherwise exist if you remain in a state of worry and negativity.

If someone is mean to you, look beyond the situation. Ask yourself, “What was the intention of the person in this instance? What circumstances is the person facing in his or her own life that created this series of words or actions?” The situation may also be a message for you. Keep yourself in a positive light and ask yourself, “What have I learned from this experience?” Be thankful there are lessons to learn that can lead us to a state of enlightenment.

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Advice and opinions provided here are for entertainment purposes only and is not to be construed as legally binding in any way. If you have a medical or legal concern, please contact a professional who can address the issue. Thank you!
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