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Ellen's moon

April 29th/30th is the time of the full moon.  Some people call it the ‘Pink Moon’ and Sun Bear in Dancing with the Wheel said it is “The Frogs return Moon” and it brings awareness to the qualities of the Beaver. Working with Beaver “can teach about stability, balance, tradition, true value, adaptability with the environment, healing…self reliance.”  In Native American spirituality animals are great teachers.

In my book, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation, I have the teachings of my animal teachers. Beaver is an animal that I have loved since I was a child.  I used to sit near a beaver dam in hope to see one, but I only saw their magnificent home, but I new they were near.  There are Beavers near my present home.  I have not seen them but I have seen a small tree that they had cut down. What sharp teeth they have. Canadians love Beavers and are trying to protect them after years of fur trapping.

American_Beaver

Beavers mate for life and are good parents to their young.  They teach me the importance of ‘commitment’.

From In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

The Wisdom of BEAVER ~ Commitment

 A builder in endless time

A worker of the heart

Whose commitment and persistence

Brings success

Make a decision and a commitment to your goal.  Let your intention be heart centered.  Then let the Universal energies go to work for you.  Trust always in the process.  Miracles will happen!  Jane Rosalea Booth, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Enjoy the energies of the full moon today.  Each full moon gives us the opportunity to release what is not working for us and to begin something new.  Take time to think of your intentions and take action to renew and blossom with the energies of spring.  Follow your passions.  If you really have a dream or passion, make a commitment to allowing it to unfold.  Release, envision, make intentions and commit…begin…the full moon supports your transformation and embraces your whole self.

Blessings of the full moon,

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Graduate of IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Healing

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

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As I sit at my window watching two robins searching for worms, a woodpecker pecking a tree in the forest and a bright red cardinal perched on a trim limb, and daffodils and tulips poking through the earth, I know spring has arrived in spite of a few lingering mounds of snow. It truly is a sign of how life renews and blooms. I love this poem by John O’Donohue, the Irish poet whose wisdom and deep connection to the earth and spirits is so beautifully shared in his poetry.IMG_2637

In Praise of the Earth
~ John O’Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)

Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth.
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

May we kiss the earth with each step today!

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Graduate of IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Healing

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

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This morning I was looking at a book on Auguste Rodin, the French sculptor who is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture.  I have had it for over 25 years.  I opened it at the page about the passionate love story of Rodin and Camille Claudel who was his lover, student and assistant. (Rodin also had a lover named Rose and many other affairs) She was 20 years younger than Rodin and only 18 when they met. I became intrigued by their relationship t-hat greatly influenced both their works.
220px-Camille_Claudel Camille Claudel (1863-1943)
 Camille was a woman who was a brilliant sculptor but eventually mental illness took over. She became paranoid that Rodin was copying her works.
Her passion for Rodin is seen in the photograph of her bronze “The Waltz”. Interesting that her erotic art sculptures were looked down upon because she was woman, but Rodin’s works that also shocked the art world were accepted and praised. Rodin bequeathed a room for Camille’s works in the Rodin Museum, but they did not make it into the Rodin Museum till 1953!  The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to Claudel’s works.
camille claudel The Waltz Rodin
Rodin’s work caught my attention a few years ago after the Ghost Ranch retreat I facilitated.  I watched a documentary on Alfred Steiglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband, who showed some of Rodin’s works in his New York studio. Georgia O’Keeffe was determined to be free of Steiglitz’s control and lived on the Ghost Ranch for years, but she remained married to him and Steiglitz promoted O’Keeffe’s art. Unlike Camille, O’Keeffe’s works flourished and evolved till she was in her 90’s!
But it was Camille’s story that touched my heart this morning…so I thought I’d pass it on to my artistic readers. It shows how hard it has been for women to express freely who we truly are. Camille broke away from Rodin’s dominance, but unfortunately could not sustain her creativity for very long. She died in 1943 after 30 years in a mental institution.
If you are interested here is a link to more of Camille’s sculptures and story:
Art is sacred breath and soul…expressing who we are…let it flow in and out whatever way you desire…
Peacefully, Jane

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Most of my writing over the years has come after my meditations.  It is a free flowing writing that does not have form.  It is my inner voice speaking to me and it has been a wonderful way to remember the insights I had during my meditations.

I have joined a poetry group and the poets in this group write some stirring poems.  When I try to write in form, my poems seem a little stiff or forced to me. Then I came across Japanese Haiku.  Basho is a famous Japanese poet and I have some of his poems on my blog and people always love to read them.

So during our recent snow storms, I have been reflecting on spring and I wrote a few Haiku.  Haiku has 5 syllables in the 1st line, 7 syllables in the 2nd and 5 syllables in the 3rd.  Give it a try if you like to write poetry! I think it is fun!

Jane’s Spring Haiku 2018

Cluster of blossoms

Call to the awakening

New birth peeks out

 

Spring snow covers

Still Crocus waits in silence

My impatience grows

 

Buds before blooms

Cherry blossoms soon to grace

Snow tipped branch

 

A promise always

To return to love’s blooming

Upon a spring day

Happy Spring everyone!  We will be celebrating the return of our spring blossoms soon.

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Graduate of IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Healing

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

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Rachel Freed talks about having ‘aspirations’ as we age. Here is a guided meditation by guest Ron Pevny who specializes in Elder Consciousness that can assist you to envision your aspirations. Althoug Pevny is speaking to elders, I think this meditation can benefit any age.

Envisioning Your Ideal Elderhood
An Inner Journey Toward Wholeness
By Ron Pevny

I invite you to use this guided meditative journey in whatever ways work best for you. You can have a friend slowly lead you through the process. Or you can record yourself slowly reading the script, and then periodically set aside time to take the journey and see what arises. Or you can use the sections as prompts, slowly reading each one and then in a relaxed state seeing what images arise. However you use this evocative imagery, I encourage you to pay special attention to images and feelings that evoke a strong inner sense they are showing you something important about the wholeness that is possible for you in the elder stages of your unique and precious life’s journey.

A magnificent life stage characterized by your commitment to wholeness awaits you. These next moments are a time to let your spirit soar, to ask your most authentic inner knowing however you understand and name it, for glimpses of what this wholeness can look like for you. As you choose to let go of doubt and attachment to your younger self, you have the opportunity to co-create with the divine spirit within you the fulfillment and fruition of your growth in this precious lifetime. You live in a unique time in known human history, have unique resources at your disposal, and have precious opportunity to embrace an elderhood of growth and fulfillment beyond what you have been able to imagine. So I invite you to allow yourself to get in touch with your soul’s dream for you as you look toward your future.

Begin this journey with several deep in-breaths and exhalations. Breathe in the energy of life and possibility, and exhale stress and limitation that keep the eagle in you grounded. It’s time to rise up and gain your soul’s-eye view of your next chapters. Imagine yourself soaring on the warm air currents, relaxed, free, joyous—and looking down at the elder you can become.

As you soar, focus your attention on the elder you doing all you can to enjoy health of body and mind. See and feel yourself gratefully supporting the best health possible for you in that elder body that has served you so well and enabled you to experience so much of life for so many years. Envision yourself thriving in your elder body, and feel how important it is for you to do all you can to make such thriving possible. Solidify your vision by making mental notes of this experience.

Now it’s time for a shift in focus. As you soar through the sky of possibility, see the elder you living a life enriched by meaningful relationships. See and feel yourself thriving, as you find the right balance for you between truly supportive relationships and private, quiet reflective time. See what having true community in your life looks like. Feel how important it is for your wellbeing to do all you can to make such life-enhancing relationships possible. And make mental notes of this experience.

Now another shift. As you savor the freedom of seeing your life as your soul sees it, see and feel how beautiful is the life of the elder you can be as you live unburdened by emotional baggage which distorts and saps life energy and keeps you bound to your past. See and feel the elder you enlivened by freely flowing life energy pulsing through you in each present moment and guiding you toward your future. Feel how important it is for your well-being to do all you can to make such healing possible. Make some mental notes of this experience.

It’s time for another shift in perspective. See your elder self waking each morning with eager anticipation of a day lived with commitment to service. There are so many possibilities each day to be of service. So many needs that you can help meet. So many ways to serve the community as elders have done throughout human history. Many of these will come in delightfully unexpected ways, and while others may be reflections of your abiding sense of an ongoing contribution that is uniquely yours. See and feel how important purpose and meaning are to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to make such a life of purpose possible. Make some mental notes of this experience.

Now, with only a slight shift in focus, you look down and see yourself as an elder whose days are brightened with laughter, joy, pleasure, excitement. You see yourself doing things that exhilarate you, that give your body and mind exciting, enlivening, and sometimes new, experiences. At a time in life that becomes bland and dull for many people, you add rich spices with your commitment to feeding yourself experiences and emotions that help you to feel alive in your body, mind and emotions. See and feel how important laughter, joy, pleasure and excitement are to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to bring such qualities and experiences into your life as you grow older. Make some mental notes of this experience.

Take a moment to allow yourself to feel the joy of soaring in the realm of possibility. And now see your elder self experiencing the satisfaction and challenge of learning new things and developing new talents. Can you identify what you are committed to learning? Can you see what talents you are striving to develop. Can you feel the satisfaction of knowing that you are stretching beyond your perceived limits—that you are growing and not allowing limiting, disempowering ideas about age to stop you? See and feel how important continual learning and stretching are to your elder well-being. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to continue growing in knowledge and talent throughout your elderhood. Make some mental notes of this experience.

As you soar on the updrafts, you become aware of the incredible beauty, power, diversity and interconnectedness of life in the world in which the elder you is privileged to live. And you see how the wellbeing—in fact the very existence of yourself and the generation to follow you—is threatened by your fellow humans not realizing how vital is a strong, mutually supportive relationship with the natural world which is truly our earth mother. See and feel how important it is to you to regularly be enlivened and healed by the energies of the natural world, and to find your ways of helping to support the health of our mother. Make some mental notes of this experience.

As you continue to soar, reflect on the reality that the currents that allow you to rise above the limitations of your personality self are the currents of the spirit in you expanding your vision and amplifying the life force that flows through you. Look down and see your elder self embracing that spiritual dimension that is your source and your essence. See and feel the elder you continually deepening your relationship with your spiritual essence as other aspects of your younger self are gradually shed. And then look ahead to the time of your death and see your inner self alive with the peace of knowing that, as your body and personality end your life’s journey, the spirit in you is shining brightly as you fulfill the ultimate purpose of your life. See and feel how important your spiritual deepening is to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to support your spiritual growth. Make some mental notes of this experience.

And now this experience of soul-soaring is coming to an end. There will be others if you allow them, because soaring is part of what you are built for. As you gently make your way back to the earth, and this room in this time, you have been blessed with glimpses of what your inner self knows to be your ideal elderhood. Now your task is to remember these glimpses, and to begin to transform them into the goals and commitments out of which wholeness in your elderhood can be shaped. So take one last minute to remember the joys of soaring. And then take three deep breaths and feel the privilege of having a body and personality, here on this beautiful planet with so much support for enjoying the wholeness that can be your elder destiny.

You can find Ron Pevny at http://www.newsite.centerforconsciouseldering.com/

Thanks to Ron for this lovely and insightful “soul-soaring” meditation

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Graduate of IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Healing

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

 

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I always feel excited about the first day of Spring. Perhaps it is because I know that the Vernal Equinox brings with it the balance of light and dark.  It is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making day and night approximately equal length all over the earth. It means our days will be warming and our earth will soon be ready for planting.

Yesterday, March 20th, the first day of Spring, was a sunny day here. After many months of winter in Canada, the first snow drops are popping through my garden in spite of the -8C temperature in the mornings.  The robins have returned as have our Canada geese.  As I walk along Georgian Bay in the mornings, the birds are singing.  Yet we still have some snow on our lawn and in the woods.

Following the inspiration of creating balance by the Spring Equinox, I am thinking of ways that I can bring more ‘balance’ into my life.  About 15 years ago, the word ‘balance’ was used by lots of holistic healers and spiritual teachers.  It was used so much that I think many now tend to ignore its significance.

It is difficult to have complete balance in our life…balance between work…home life…recreation…rest…contemplation…study…spirituality and so on.  But it helps us with our stress levels if we can attempt to find balance as it creates harmony in our lives.

We want to strive to move with the rhythms of the seasons, of the universe, and then we can flow and evolve in a way that does not restrict us but allows us to trust in our spirit, in our soul’s guidance that we will be guided to make good choices and opportunities for us to create the life we want.

So wherever you live, as spring renews your plants and foliage, think about some new steps you can take.  We all have a powerful creative consciousness that can evolve our entire lives.  Tap into your inner wisdom through meditation, quiet walks, listening to music.  Look for inspiration in small things in your life.  Simplicity is the key to finding new ideas, space and balance.

Each first day of spring, a dance called Paneurhythmy is danced at sunrise.  The first part of the dance is called “The First Day of Spring”.  The spiritual teacher who created it is Peter Duenov who lived in Bulgaria.  He wrote music and songs for Paneurhythmy, a spiritual dance.  I love this dance as it is a rhythmic dance that teaches us to awaken and find sacred balance and harmony. You can find lots of videos on youtube.  Here is a little poem by him.

In the earliest of dawn

Come to the rays

Rise to the early morn

Be one with all

Listen to the sweetness

Breaking at dawn

Dance with the cosmos

(Peter Duenov-Paneurthymy)

So dance, feel the joy of  spring.  Allow its energies to fill you!  We all need to be open to the gifts of spring.  Each season brings its own energies, but I love spring as it brings hope that there is always new life and new opportunities birthing!

May the blessings of new growth, warming days, gentle rains, awaken our hearts and souls to move with the natural rhythms of spring.

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Sessions

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

 

 

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I welcome Julie Hunt as a guest writer who shares about Meditation.

4 Tips for Enhancing Your Meditation Practice By Julie Hunt
11534351-yoga-meditation-in-lotus-pose-by-man-silhouette-with-moon-and-purple-dramatic-sunset-sky-background-

Meditation, perhaps once-radical, is now virtually mainstream. People all over the world practice meditation to calm the mind and de-stress the body. A 2012 national research study reported that 8 percent of U.S. adults, 18 million people, used meditation. The popularity and accessibility of meditation continues to soar.

The positive effects meditation has on physical health, emotional well-being, and high performance is not exclusive to individuals. Corporations, schools, and hospitals have brought meditation into the fold for stress release and mindfulness. Competitive athletes, artists, and musicians use meditation for present moment awareness. The masses have begun to sit up and take notice of the benefits of meditation.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to:

Reduce stress and anxiety.
Enhance emotional balance and positive experiences.
Increase longevity and studies are beginning to look at its effect on immunity.
Improve brain functioning.
The following are four lessons to help you meditate more easily, maximize your meditation benefits, and become an experienced meditator.

The More Effortless the Meditation, the Greater the Results
Many are taught that the more effort you exert in life, the greater the results. In meditation, the opposite is true. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the greater its benefits. Allow meditation to be a simple pleasure. It is luxurious to allow yourself to settle into stillness and return to your natural state of being.

Use these techniques to meditate more easily and effortlessly.

Settle into the most cozy, comfortable, upright-seated position possible.
Put aside the worries of your day. You can always pick them back up after meditation, if you choose. (Be aware that after meditation, there may no longer be worries.)
Gently close your eyes and turn the senses inward. As you inhale, take immense pleasure in the rest you are about to receive.
Allow your breath to flow naturally without forcing or controlling it.
Before meditation, put your attention in your heart and silently ask four questions. These questions begin a dialogue with the universe. As you ask these questions, don’t force the answers.

Simply listen to the answers that come to you.
Who am I?
What do I want?
Why am I here?
For what am I grateful?
Let go of formal meditation do’s and don’ts. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Meditation recommendations are mere suggestions. Follow your intuition and find the technique that is most natural and comfortable for you.

Thoughts During Meditation Are Normal

You may become frustrated because you can’t stop your thoughts during meditation. You think that having thoughts during meditation means that you aren’t meditating correctly. Thoughts during meditation, however, are perfectly normal. In fact, they may be something to celebrate. Thoughts during meditation are a sign of stress release.

Controlling your mind or forcing out thoughts is not the purpose of meditation, or even the aim. Rather, the purpose of meditation is to enrich your life. And if you approach each meditation with lightheartedness and accept whatever thoughts arise during your practice, you will receive the full benefits of meditation.

The next time you meditate, recognize thoughts for what they are: an immediate indication that you are receiving the stress reduction and detoxification benefits of mediation. Follow this simple process for the duration of each meditation:

Notice thoughts as they arise.

Avoid following your thoughts down a path. As soon as you notice your attention has wandered, gently bring it back to your meditation.
Be kind as thoughts arise. Compassionately and without judgment, return your attention to the source of the meditation. It is a gentle back and forth from thought to source, which may be your breath, mantra, or another object of attention.
After your meditation, rest in silence for two minutes before slowly resuming back to normal activity.
There Is No Such Thing as a “Good” or “Bad” Meditation
Don’t look for a particular experience during meditation or fall into the trap of labeling your meditations as “good” or “bad.” Every experience you have in meditation is correct.

You may feel drawn to a peaceful meditation with few thoughts; however, experiencing stillness during meditation has no greater benefits than one in which your mind is active or your body is restless. Each meditation is unique and will offer you exactly what you need at that time.

Over time, you may find that you spend more time in inner quiet, but the greatest experience of meditation is felt every day as you move through life.

Before each meditation:

Come with an attitude of curiosity.
Let go of expectations.
Gently remind yourself of the true purpose of meditation: to enrich your life.
After meditation:

Be aware of subtle changes in your mind and body.
Honor yourself for prioritizing meditation and self-care.
Look for the benefits as they emerge in your daily life.
Schedule Time to Meditate
One of the biggest obstacles to meditation is finding the time. Rather than making meditation something you have to fit into your busy schedule, allow meditation to be a time you look forward to.

Where can you weave meditation into your daily routine?
Is there anything you can delegate or eliminate from your life to make time?
What commitment of time can you make that feels relaxing, realistic, and doable?
Experiment with your schedule to find windows of time. In the beginning, you may have to reorganize your day. Consider where you can create time by reducing time spent on electronics, waking up earlier, or clearing out time zappers. The time commitment of meditation is small compared to the benefits you will receive.

Meditation is a profound gift of self-care. It allows you to slow down and unwind the busy-ness of life. And over time, meditation changes your perspective from not having enough time to elevating the way you choose to spend your time. Once you establish a regular practice, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly the benefits begin to show up in your life.

Check in periodically to notice how your life has improved. You may want to start a meditation journal to more easily track your journey. Some of the benefits you will see unfold immediately, such as stress reduction. Others, such as pain relief, improved sleep, or harmonious relationships may evolve over time. Be aware of the days and moments in which you feel better than the ones before.

As you notice benefits starting to emerge in your life, very little will take you away from time in meditation. You will look forward to settling into your practice. Your perception of time will change. You may notice you are more productive and efficient with your time. If you find you don’t have as much time as you’d like to meditate, do whatever you can, when you can. Every minute spent in meditation moves you toward greater health and happiness, and a return to wholeness.

Now go within and ask, “What choice will I make to receive the benefits of meditation?”

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center’s Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Learn a simple, effortless form of meditation and receive your personal Primordial Sound mantra—an invaluable tool for deepening your practice—with our Primordial Sound Meditation Online Course. Learn More.

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About the Author

Julie Hunt
Meditation Instructor and Author
Julie is a Chopra Center certified instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation and author of Shout from the Rooftops in Your Stilletos . She teaches regularly at the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program and hosts meditation workshops and retreats in Philadelphia and San Diego. Learn more about her passion for meditation and transformation at http://www.alittlemeditation.com/ Julie also served on The Chopra Center’s leadership team as Senior Manager of Digital Products where she helped to bring online courses to life for Deepak, Eckhart Tolle, Martha Beck, Dr. Andrew Weil, and others. She created…Read more

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