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We all wonder about life and all its mystery. Our faith and religions try to answer our questions.  However, Mary Oliver asks a thought provoking question at the end of “The Summer Day”.  How will you answer it?

At my ‘elder’ age, I seem to be moving away from ‘planning’ to ‘being’…peaceful, happy, playful, curious, content, and compassionate.  But haven’t I been striving all my life for these qualities?  What is different, as I age, is the ‘stuff’ of life, the doing is not as important as how I am doing?  Am I keeping an open and accessible heart as I age?

I am trying to come from my heart in all my thoughts.  Some days I am really good at it.  Others, something may annoy me, and I slip out, feel angry. However, the good thing is that I am aware if I have moved out of my heart so I can consciously change back and feel differently.  I meditate and reflect on what has happened and feel more peaceful.

I think Mary Oliver wants us to be aware of the preciousness of life each day.  It is not important what you are doing but how you respond to all the pressures and chaos that can be around us, either on the news or in our personal lives.

Ask your own questions about life.  Questions move us on to examine, to explore and to create something new!  Life is an experience, ups and downs, but we can always choose love as our way.  Make a ‘plan’ but allow for openness and change so you can go with the flow of the universe.  I always think the universe has this huge design and I am part of it.  My life is important.  What I do contributes to the design.  How thrilling is that?

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Follow Mary Oliver on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PoetMaryOliver

Have a precious day,

 

Peacefully, Jane

11709538_10152829565162303_6161609573751527717_nJane Rosalea Brown,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

Author ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation, Jane Rosalea Booth (author name)

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

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Conscious Aging Workshops

Jane Rosalea Brown   Follow me on twitter @janerbooth

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I have shared mantras taught by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand in my Peaceful Way workshops and retreats.  Here is an article to share from a Deepak Chopra Newsletter.  #7 Mantra works well for me and my workshop participants have told me things cleared in their lives after practicing it.  Mantras calm our mind and take our focus within where we can reflect and find a place of peace.  Peacefully, Jane

7 Mantras for Creating the Life You Want

woman with eyes closed

Successful, happy, adventurous, safe—we’re all dreaming of an amazing life for ourselves! Whether you think that the grass is greener in a stable nine-to-five job or you find the freedom of roaming gypsy life more appealing, next time you ask yourself, What kind of life do I want?, remember that there’s a mantra for that!

What is A Mantra?

Mantra, or vehicle for the mind, is the ancient practice of repeating a word or phrase multiple times. You may unconsciously work with mantras on a daily basis. For example, do you ever catch yourself saying, “I hate my body” or “This is never going to work” or “I’m not good enough”? Those are indeed mantras, though negative ones, which only serve to feed the thousands of other Automatic Negative Thoughts in your mind. In fact, most of the thoughts you think are ones repeated from the day before, and the day before that. Each thought you think creates a little groove in the circuitry of the brain. Since that’s the case, you really ought to be more selective about which ones you’re polishing!

In Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Health, Happiness, and Wisdom, author Rick Hanson explains that you can change your mind … to change your brain … to change your mind! What luck! This means if you intentionally choose positive, more expansive thoughts, you can change your life for the better.

Since the thoughts you think create the reality you live in, singing, chanting, speaking, or repeating the following mantras silently can make a difference. As author Thomas Ashley-Farrand writes in Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing, mantras can be used by people of any religion or spiritual practice, or during any activity—of course during meditation, but they can also be used as you walk, clean, cook, and during other mindless tasks.

1. AUM or OM

AUM or OM is the universal vibration, with each sound (Aaa—Uoo—Mmm) said to represent creation, manifestation, and destruction. Consider what are you sending out into the world on the sound waves of your OM and focus on an intention. Dedicate your OM to your own well-being, to your family, to your community, or to the world. Like a pebble dropped into a still pond, allow your OM to ripple out.

Practice suggestions:

  • Chant one to three times before beginning your yoga asana practice
  • Chant one to three times to close a yoga asana practice
  • Chant before or after seated meditation
  • Chant anytime, anywhere

2. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

A sweet Sanskrit chant with a lovely translation: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May our thoughts, our words, and our actions, contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.” This mantra may be chanted or sung as an offering of loving-kindness to all beings, including yourself.

Practice suggestions:

  • Chant before or after yoga asana practice
  • Chant before or after seated meditation
  • Sing it with kids as a lesson in compassion, inclusivity, and tolerance
  • Write it down in your journal after a challenging day

3. So Hum

Translated from Sanskrit, this mantra means “I am.” “I am” is a complete sentence! This mantra is great for balancing the Root Chakra, getting grounded in self-love, and connecting with your “enoughness.” Try taking on further affirmations if it feels right for you: I am here now. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am safe. I am becoming. I am enough.

Practice suggestion:

  • Say it five times out loud before an interview
  • Say it while standing in a power pose
  • Do a journaling “free write” and fill three pages with add-ons to “I am …”

4. Asatao ma sadgamaya / Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya / Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya / Om shanti shanti shanti

This mantra comes from the Upanishads, one of the ancient philosophical yogic texts from India. It translates to “Lead me from the untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light, lead me from death to immortality, Om peace, peace, peace.”

Practice suggestion:

  • Chant it in Kirtan with a group of people
  • Chant before embarking on a journey
  • Chant at the beginning of the year, change of the season, or birthday

5. LAM-VAM-RAM-YAM-HAM-OM-(silence)

Use the bija mantras, or one-syllable seed sounds, to stimulate and unblock each chakra. Respectively, each sound aligns with the seven major energy centers: Muladhara, Svadistana, Manipura, Anahata, Visshudha, Ajna, and Sahasrara. Chant these mantras when you’re feeling out of balance in any area of your life.

Practice suggestion:

  • Use this mantra as pranayama: inhale fully and then chant all the sounds on the exhale
  • Sing this mantra seven times, once for each chakra
  • Choose one sound that really resonates with you and repeat that one several times

6. Om Namoh Lakshmi, Om Namoh Lakshmi, Om Namoh Lakshmi, Prema Devi Mataji

This mantra calls on the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi for abundance, beauty, health, luminosity, and love. There are many chants for Lakshmi. This mantra translates to “Oh Mother Lakshmi! Goddess of good fortune, prosperity, and beauty. Goddess of love, I bow to you.” Call on Lakshmi when you’re feeling dull or preparing for a big change.

Practice suggestion:

  • Say before or after a heart-opening yoga asana practice
  • Say before or after meditation focused on abundance
  • Chant this mantra with a group of women
  • Sing when starting a new business

7. Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

This mantra summons the Hindu Deity Ganesha, the beloved elephant-headed trickster known as the remover of obstacles and master of knowledge. This mantra translates to “Salutations to Ganesha, the remover/breaker of obstacles, we call your name!” Call on Ganesha to clear your path when you feel stuck or creatively blocked, when you need a change of perspective, or when life feels especially challenging and you’re not sure why.

Practice suggestion:

  • Say before embarking on a journey
  • Say when you feel afraid
  • Say silently during a difficult work meeting
  • Say during a tense period in a close relationship

If you’d like, set up a dedicated time of day to practice mantra with an altar. Place items on your altar associated with the life you desire. Consider areas of change and areas that are already working. Move your fingers across a mala necklace or use your fingers to track the number of times you chant your chosen mantra.

These powerful sounds can be practiced just about anywhere. How about on a walk or a bike ride? What about in the shower or in the car? Or chant while you move through asana. It truly does not matter where or when you practice mantra, the question to ask is: What is the intention behind the chant? The act of repetition is meditative in itself. And if none of these are doing the trick, make up your own mantra to create the life you desire!


Get 21 days of powerful mantras to create a life of passion and purpose with Desire and Destiny, Oprah and Deepak’s free online meditation program starting July 17. Register for free.


 

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We are grieving together, again, for those who lost their lives from terrorism in Afghanistan and England. This morning we learned a Canadian was killed in London during the attack.   It is most difficult for us to understand this kind of madness that keeps unfolding.  However, we also are witnessing great humanity, courage, strength and love, the qualities that rise in times of darkness.  This brings comfort but does not negate the suffering of all the victims and their loved ones.

In honour and with deep condolences to the families of those who were killed, I am offering this song…My love is like a red, red rose.  It is a Scottish song by Robby Burns, the Scottish poet.  My father sang it to me.  May love fill and heal our hearts as we join together, as brothers and sisters of the world…with no separation in our hearts.

“My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose”

My love’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like a melody
So sweetly play’d in tuneAs fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Though all the seas gone dry.

Though all the seas gone dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will love thee still my dear,
Though the sands o’ life shall run.

So fare-thee-weel, my only love!
And fare-thee-weel awhile!
And I will come to you again,
Though it were ten thousand miles!

Though it were ten thousand miles, my dear
Though it were ten thousand miles.
I will come to you again.
Though it were ten thousand miles.

 

May we join in a prayer by Maya Angelou

Lord, Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days, for then we can share that which we have with those who have less.
And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days, for then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends.
For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak. For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most—Peace.

Peace, deep peace,

Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

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We spend our whole lives trying to seek love, to define and express love and hopefully to become love in the present moment. But turbulent times can turn us away from love and bring up our fears.  Fears change our actions and we have great difficulty forgiving those who harm us.  When we release our fears and anger and move our thoughts to connecting to the feelings of our heart, we begin to have the awareness that love is dwelling…always…in our heart.  Then forgiveness makes sense and all our senses respond in a new way to love.

All we have to do is tap into this loving energy, embrace and allow love to become the way of our being in our daily life.  This transformation into love consciousness is what each of us is here to do.  Michael Jackson understood about staying ‘in love’…with ourselves, with others, with nature and all the universe!  John Denver felt that love is an everlasting memory that shelters, embraces and at times is turbulent but love is in all the elements…it is everywhere and always there for us.

Love By Michael Jackson

“Love is a funny thing to describe. It’s so easy to feel and yet so slippery to talk about. It’s like a bar of soap in the bathtub-you have it in your hand until you hold on too tight.

Some people spend their lives looking for love outside themselves. They think they have to grasp it in order to have it. But love slips away like that wet bar of soap.

Holding on to love is not wrong, but you need to learn to hold it lightly, caressingly. Let it fly when it wants. When it’s allowed to be free, love is what makes life alive, joyful and new.  It’s the juice and energy that motivates my music, my dancing, everything.

As long as love is in my heart, it’s everywhere.”  from Dancing the Dream by Michael Jackson

 

John Denver – Perhaps Love…

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John Denver also sought for the meaning love. One of my favourite songs about the meaning of love was sung by John Denver is “Perhaps Love”  This video show John performing in London where he explains the transformation that took place for him as his thoughts transformed from sadness to love and these words and music came to him while he was driving his car in California.

I hope you will take time to listen to his story and song~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKhBPps7_Fc

 John Denver – Perhaps Love Lyrics
 
Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

 

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don’t know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Oh, love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don’t know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it’s cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

Songwriters: J DENVER
Peacefully with love,
Jane

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The Way of Devotion

In one of my meditations last year I was presented with a question. “Can you see a world without conflict and war?”  This question led me to reflect upon such a world.  It came to me as I listened to the news about Syria this morning that there has always been a war going somewhere in the world since I was born.

War has not been part of my personal life, but thousands of Canadian soldiers have died in wars overseas so I am able to live in a peaceful county.  I am so deeply grateful and humbled.  Tomorrow, we remember and honour those Canadian soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge in France in the 1st World War. But war continues…affects millions…is killing children.

I have been deeply blessed by living in Canada, so perhaps I can begin to envision a world without war, to envision a world that so many fought and died so we could have an opportunity to create peaceful living.  “Can you see a ‘world’ without conflict and war?” These are the words that I wrote after reflecting and meditating on this question and an answer unfolded.

A world without conflict and war ~ A place of devotion ~

“A world without conflict and war is a place where each person lives in devotion to one another.  Each one is precious with gifts to offer and to receive in humble gratitude.  There is a flow of energy in this world that only supports love.  From love…all else flows to create a place of devotion.  A place where each person says, “I am devoted to you and my life extends and creates from that devotion” The devotional ‘way’ comes from a loving heart, a center of harmony, joy, excitement and creativity.

This way of devotion is personal for each being. It is ever growing, ever moving, ever transforming as there is a devotion to self-knowing, self-acceptance, self-loving that flows into each cell, into each soul.  A cycle of devotion unfolds from one to another and all embrace the light of devotional love and light.”

Devotional Light

I am devoted

See only your perfection

Beauty, love and grace

By Jane Rosalea Brown

I know that some of you who are reading this will have the reaction that this world can never exist, that people will never change, that I am an idealist, a dreamer.  Yes, I am.

I can understand those views but our world will never change if we do not have a beginning, a vision, a dream and a deep understanding of what kind of major transformation has to occur to create a world of peace, social justice, compassion, integrity and freedom for all.  It is a huge transformation…a movement into forgiveness…letting go of old ways that perpetuate conflict…and begin to love one another.  Each person must be willing to heal, to transform and to have a deep understanding of a way of devotion.

How do we begin this transformation?  I would like to share the Reiki precepts/affirmations for all Reiki practitioners and teachers that were given by Dr. USUI, the founder of Reiki practice, to bring this way of devotion into our daily lives.

“THE REIKI AFFIRMATIONS

Just for today,

I will not worry

I will not be angry

I will do my work honestly

I will give thanks for my many blessings

I will be kind to my neighbour and all living things

May these words assist you today to live with devotion to yourself, to your loved ones and to others.  In devotion there is freedom to love, to give service and to join our hearts with all beings, all nature and spirit.

Peacefully, Jane

11709538_10152829565162303_6161609573751527717_nJane Rosalea Brown,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

Author ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation, Jane Rosalea Booth (author name)

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

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Conscious Aging Workshops

Jane Rosalea Brown   Follow me on twitter @janerbooth

 

 

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In our Conscious Aging workshops we talked about becoming an elder and what that really means to us.  Being a conscious elder is different than just being old. We discovered that life is a process that leads us on a journey of awakening to ‘self’…who we truly are and what is our truth and passion. We have the opportunity as we age to become an elder who can finally feel a sense of freedom, joy, creativity.
Each of us is a seed of consciousness that grows and blooms.  Life presents us with lots of challenges.  It is how we respond to our challenges that creates healing and love in our lives.  When we discover how to let go of anger, regrets and grief, our hearts open and are full of love and gratitude.   When we ‘go with all your heart’ as Confucius says…an elder can be a powerful being, a loving being and one who brings comfort to those who are afraid of living fully.  Confucius also said if you are committed to being a Sage, you will become a Sage.  If you are committed to being worthy, you will be worthy.  So if you are committed to growing older consciously with awareness, with an open heart and accessible heart, you will be a conscious elder, a conscious being.
I think the greatest gift and elder can reveal to younger people is that they do not have to wait till they are an elder to experience awakening to truly loving yourself.  Indeed, this should happen when we are very young.  It is in our uniqueness that our beauty is revealed.  We can feel unity with others and share in community but not lose who we are.  We simply share what gifts we have with others and love is the biggest and grandest gift you have to offer!
Cathy Carmody wrote a poem about her process of becoming an elder~ a process of letting go or as she calls it ‘leaving behind’…and becoming something new.

 

Becoming an Elder

Leaving behind my journey of struggling and racing through
the white water of many rivers, I become the river,
creating my own unique way.

Leaving behind my self-imposed role as a tree upon
which others have leaned, I now become the wind,
with the freedom to blow whenever and wherever I choose.

Leaving behind the boxes I’ve created in my life, crammed with
roles, responsibilities, rules and fears,
I become the wild and unpredictable space
within which flowers sprout and grow.

Leaving behind the years of yearning for others
to see me as somebody,
I soften into becoming my future,
with permission from SELF to
continually unfold as I choose, without concern
for how others may see me.

Leaving behind years of telling and teaching,
I become instead a mirror
into which others can peer and
view reflections of themselves to consider.

Leaving behind the urge to provide answers for others,
I become – in the silence of this forest retreat
– the question.

Leaving behind the rigor of my intellect,
I become a single candle in the
darkness, offering myself as a beacon for others
to create their own path.

I become an elder.

This poem was written at a ‘Choosing Conscious Elderhood Retreat’ at the Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, British Columbia, Canada in August 2012. This retreat was offered by The Centre for Conscious Eldering.

Cathy Carmody died in 2017; her website www.cathycomody.com, continues to be a source of inspiration.  She gave permission for others to share her poem as long as she is credited as author.

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Spring Equinox pic 4

Spring Equinox Walk – Stillness in the Spring Morning

This morning I walked along Georgian Bay (part of the Great Lake Huron) but it did not look like spring had arrived. Instead I was treated to this wonderful view that looked like pyramids on the ice.  Everything was still as the water was frozen near the shoreline. But these wondrous formations fascinated me.  A lady who has lived in this area since a child said they were water spouts.  Sure enough as I looked carefully the center top of each ‘pyramid’ was open.  She said the water spouts out of the pyramids that she called ‘water spouts’.  No water was spouting this morning but I would love to see the water spouting out of them.

As I neared home, I saw some small green sprouts poking through the ground where the snow had melted.  Yes, spring had arrived!

I love Japanese Haiku poetry.  I wrote this one about the arrival of Spring.

morning snow falling

below roots stir quietly

with spring’s rhythm

By Jane Brown Robertson

May you soak up the feelings of stillness on this Spring Equinox. It is when we enter our stillness that we begin to experience feelings of renewal, hope and new beginnings that the energy of the light of the Spring Equinox brings.  The Equinox invites us to create balance and harmony and to move with the natural rhythms of the universe.  Take a few moments to meditate or reflect and allow your mind and heart to open to something new and allow it to grow.

May the radiant Spring blessings of light fill your heart with peace and warmth,

Peacefully,  Jane

11709538_10152829565162303_6161609573751527717_nJane Rosalea Brown,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

Author ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation, Jane Rosalea Booth (author name)

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

12115553_10153664369192422_7716424410471290604_n

Conscious Aging Workshops

Jane Rosalea Brown   Follow me on twitter @janerbooth

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