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Each September 21st the world is invited to observe the UN International Day of Peace. It falls this year, a day before the fall Equinox that shows us the balance of night and day and invites us to move into the fall season with hope, love and the opportunity to transform our world. Enjoy this video produced for the UN peace day.  It is wonderful video that will inspire you through wisdom of the speakers and songs.

FEATURING BAN KI MOON, KOFI ANNAN, POPE FRANCIS, THE DALAI LAMA, JIMMY CARTER, JOHN F. KENNEDY, JANE GOODALL, DESMOND TUTU, PREM RAWAT, MALALA YOUSAFZAI, AHMED ALHENDAWI, MARILYN BAPTISTE

HUMANITARIAN MESSAGES FROM SHAKIRA, DAVID BECKHAM, DANIEL CRAIG, LEONARDO DICAPRIO, PHARRELL WILLIAMS, ANGELINA JOLIE, LIAM NEESON, KRISTIN DAVIS, RUSSELL BRAND, SELMA HAYEK, KATY PERRY, HELENA CHRISTENSON, THE KIN, TEGLA LOROUPE, SEAN CONNERY, PRINCE EA, GET LIT, KHALED HOSSEINI, HUSSAIN AL AMRY, TUCKER ROBBINS, KIM CHURCHILL, FOREST WHITAKER

 Video: PEACE BEGINS WITH YOU

http://peacechannel.com/

The time for peace is now!  Throughout our world billions of people desire peace.  Let us make peace be our way each day through forgiveness, compassion, integrity, tolerance, deep love and respect for one another.

May we move deeply into our hearts to reveal peace in our lives each day. Love and peace to all.

In peace, there is love,

Peacefully, Jane

 

Jane2 (469x640)

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking

Author, In Silence Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

http://www.janebooth.wordpress.com

 

 

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I am pleased to share a guest article by JoAnne Dodgson. Please click on each link for the ceremony.  There are 4 videos.

http://www.joannedodgson.com/equinox-ceremony/

Equinox Ceremony

 

 

My deep appreciation to JoAnne Dodgson for sharing her wisdom and this Equinox Ceremony,
Peacefully, Jane
Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW, Reiki Master
Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

 

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A guest article “What is Oneness?|

What Is Oneness?

by: Roger Gabriel (Raghavanand)

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Imagine that you’re the whole universe; you live in total joy and bliss. Imagine there is no past or future, only now. Imagine there is no space or time, just an unbounded eternity. Imagine endless peace, harmony, and unconditional love. Imagine no fear and equality in all things. This is Oneness.

Unfortunately, we can never imagine it fully. To understand or experience anything, we need to compare it to something else, which immediately brings us into duality. Oneness by definition is incomparable.

So is it ever possible to know Oneness? Yes, but only by direct experience, when we go beyond the mind, intellect, and ego. Oneness is the coming together of all opposites. It’s always with us as the basis and underlying essence of everything. It’s nothing in itself, but holds the potential for everything.  We have to go beyond the senses, beyond duality to find Oneness.

We’ve all had random, unexpected glimpses of Oneness. Perhaps you were watching a beautiful sunset and had that moment when you felt like you merged with the whole of creation; or saw your newborn child for the first time and fell in love with the whole world.  We even have expressions for these glimpses, we say, “It took my breath away” or “Time stood still.” This is Oneness. We became one with the totality of the experience. When we return from the moment of Oneness, we find it impossible to properly express it. It just was! There are no words to describe Oneness. In Vedanta, it’s simply referred to as Tat, which means that.

We can also have direct experience of Oneness through meditation, which provides a systematic path by which our awareness settles to quieter levels of thinking until we finally transcend thought completely. All duality is in the realm of thoughts. When we slip into the spaces between our thoughts, we become Oneness. Oneness isn’t just experiencing something; it’s a state of being.

Deepak Chopra has told us that, “Every single thing is an aspect of One Field of Consciousness.” Chopra has also said, “The Whole never loses contact with its parts, they are never lost or forgotten.”

Modern quantum physics talks about a unified field, which underlies and connects everything in creation. Who we are, is pure consciousness or Oneness, expressing itself in different forms at different times in our evolution. Pure Consciousness, which is eternal and timeless, is the Oneness; we are the separation or the duality.

Chopra said, “The origin of life forms is the differentiation of pure consciousness into multiple forms of life expressed as qualia conglomerates which create the relative world.” John Lennon simplified Oneness as, “I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.”

Author Damian Mark Smyth says, “We’re One, we’ve always been One, we’ll always be One, until we think we are not.” And herein lies our challenge, we are one but we think we are separate; we have forgotten our Oneness.

As a result of forgetting, we create an illusory world of duality, which leads to suffering. All disagreements, conflict, and wars are due to the mistaken belief that we are separate. When we realize we are one, who, or what is there to fight against? On a cosmic level, two people fighting is as ridiculous as if your hands decided they didn’t like each other and started fighting.

Are we then doomed to a life of separation, where Oneness always remains an elusive dream? Not necessarily. Vedanta and its great teachers have illuminated a path that guides us to the place where it is possible to live fully in this relative world, with full remembrance of Oneness. Vedanta gives us a vision of 200 percent of life.

Here are a few suggestions to take you in the right direction.

Community 

Being part of a harmonious community helps to foster the principles of Oneness. Community supports us on our own journey and allows us the opportunity to serve others. Community helps us open up to new and different ideas; to begin to dissolve our barriers and limiting beliefs. Community can connect us with a sense of Oneness.

Meditation 

Meditation can give us direct exposure to the Oneness deep within. When we transcend thought, we enter a field of pure awareness—the non-local, ground state of existence. By making this journey back and forth from local to non-local awareness, we begin to witness the state of Oneness along with our waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states of awareness. This opens the door to higher states of consciousness and the full re-integration of Oneness in our lives.

Conscious Actions 

Begin to be more conscious of everything in your life. Be conscious of your thoughts, emotions, and how you react to situations and people in your life. Try to be conscious of your choices. Being conscious of how your actions affect your life and of those around you can help to create a sense of belonging—a sense of being part of something greater than just your own ideas.

See Your Own Oneness 

When you stand in front of a mirror, pause for a moment, and look directly into your eyes. Say silently or aloud AHUM BRAHMASMI (a hum brah mass me), which means I am the Universe or I am the totality. You can say it in English if you prefer. This is your soul reflecting back into itself and reminding itself of its Oneness. Practice this at least once a day or whenever you catch your reflection in a mirror.

See the Oneness in Everything

The Bhagavad Gita states, “If you can see God (the Oneness) in everyone, you can never do harm to anyone.” Wherever you go, whatever you experience through your senses, keep reminding yourself that it is all part of the same Oneness. Begin to recognize the world as a reflection of yourself.

Namaste 

The Indian blessing Namaste (nam ass tay) is accompanied by bringing the palms together in front of the heart center, when meeting or taking leave of someone. It means, “I recognize the Divinity in you which is also the Divinity in me” or in other words, “We are the same Oneness.” If it’s not comfortable for you to say it aloud, think it silently every time you meet someone.

OM 

Oneness is the potential for all sounds but is, itself silent. In every moment of existence, the whole of of creation is constantly emerging from the silence of Oneness. The first sound or vibration emerging from the silence is OM. This vibration then expands into all the sounds and vibrations of the Universe. When we chant OM it draws our awareness back to the dawn of creation, and into Oneness.

Love  

Love is the greatest, most powerful unifying force in creation. When we are in love, we become one with the object of our love. These inspirational quotes that tell the story of the relationship between love and Oneness.

The Sufi poet Rumi wrote, “The lover asked his beloved, do you love yourself more than you love me? The beloved replied, I have died to myself but I live for thee.”

Ram Das said, “Oneness is the source of love. Real love is the One celebrating itself as two.”

In the Vedanta it says, “The ignorant man (engrossed in duality) desires material things; the intelligent man (seeker on the path) desires enlightenment; but the wise man (knower of Oneness) just loves and receives everything.”

The Yajur Veda tells us “It is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. It is all-powerful, all-pervasive. It pervades, permeates, and penetrates all things and all hearts.”

Live your life from love, recognize that you are the Universe. Be the Oneness and everything will be yours.

Join Deepak Chopra and 30 world-renowned speakers, authors, artists, and scientists at Sages & Scientists where you will have the opportunity to come together and discuss consciousness through spiritual and scientific expression. Click here to learn more.

– See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/what-is-oneness?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=CCL%20Newsletter%20160405&utm_campaign=April#sthash.FRiOAfUt

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statue and baby dancing

I love to dance in Sacred circles with the intention of expressing love, peace and harmony.  Paneurythymy is a sacred dance that is wonderful for opening our hearts and is great for our health on all levels.  It was created by Peter Duenov, a Bulgarian spiritual teacher in the 1920-30’s.  St. Augustine saw the value in dance as well.  Here is a poem that is attributed to St. Augustine about the value of dance in our lives. Below I am posting a video of Paneurhythmy.

I praise the dance,

for it frees people from the heaviness of matter

and binds the isolated to community.

I praise the dance, which demands everything:

health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.

Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,

who are in constant danger of becoming all brain,

will, or feeling.

Dancing demands a whole person,

one who is firmly anchored in the center of his life,

who is not obsessed by lust for people and things

and the demon of isolation in his own ego.

Dancing demands a freed person,

one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers.

I praise the dance.

O man, learn to dance,

or else the angels in heaven will not know

what to do with you.

– Saint Augustine

Enjoy Paneurhythmy, The Dance of the Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gotu-_RRU54   This video shows the dance in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria.

 

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1506755_10152720755117087_4243760738665513747_nGrowth or Protection: Which is Most Important To You?
by the passionate Canadian advocate for conscious aging,
 our dear friend who passed last year,
Cathy Carmody
There is an old Cherokee story that goes like this:  An old grandfather is speaking to his grandson about what causes the violence and cruelty in the world. “In each human heart,” he tells the boy, “there are two wolves battling one another—one is fearful and angry, and the other is understanding and kind.” The young boy then asks, “Which one will win?” His grandfather smiles and says, “Whichever one we choose to feed.”

In the context of ‘Living Consciously While Growing Older’, ask yourself:  which wolf do I feed, the wolf of growth or the wolf of protection?

I believe the term Growth, in the context of growing older consciously, is about evolution and change, often gradual sometimes abrupt, but always moving forward.  It is about facing new challenges, reflecting and acquiring new learning, new experiences, new knowledge and/or skills.  It is about being curious, fearless, and continually cultivating a greater love for life and for the people in your life.

Protection, on the other hand involves a constant turning in on oneself – putting a wall up, developing a pattern of second guessing choices, being reluctant to try new things, of saying ‘no’ to a chance or a risk, and hanging on to who we used to be, where we came from and what we believe is tried and true, as our main identity.  If we live in such a state of protection, we probably are very fearful about the future, growing old, and our eventual death.

Biology of Belief

About 12 years ago I read The Biology of Belief, by Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist, and then subsequently I met and spoke with him.  His story of observing human cells in his extensive research was simple yet complex.  The way Bruce tells it, when human cells are put in petri dishes and nutrients are put in front of them, they will move toward the nutrients.  If you put toxins in front of them, they will move away from the toxins.

As go our cells, so go we as full human beings!  Dr. Lipton claims that when we’re in a state of growth we’re open to the world, are attracted to positive things, assimilate them and ultimately, grow.  When we’re in a state of protection, we are shutting down, putting up walls and stopping our forward movement.

Dr. Lipton observed during his research that a cell cannot be in a state of growth and protection at the same time, nor can we.   Growth is thus a biological imperative.

The Drive for Growth

The vast majority of us move through the early parts of our lives with an unwritten desire and curiosity to grow, helped along by a societal expectation of growth.  We spend a lot of time acquiring our education, finding the work we want to focus on, finding a mate, and/or having a family, among many other choices.  It’s about growth in varying degrees.  In our work we strive to improve ourselves, do better and make our families proud.  We grow naturally, or so it seems.

The Unfolding of Protection

For many people in today’s world, something seems to happen that aborts the growth spiral, sometimes early in life, and more commonly as we move beyond midlife.  And the majority of the time it happens unconsciously.  Even though our bodies and spirits are desirous of growth and evolution, old negative beliefs about growing older acquired early in life, can surface, beginning a spiral of protection.  As well, if we choose to surround ourselves with those who also hold negative beliefs based on fear of growing old, and if we listen to external forces, including the media, we can fall deeply into a state of protection.

Without realizing it, we then shut ourselves down, becoming immobilized by fear.  Fear and denial of dying, fear of getting old, fear of not having enough money, of being left alone, of getting cancer – there are many fears to occupy our minds, when we live our lives in a state of perpetual protection!

Yet, as Susan Jefferies points out, in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, most of our fears are unfounded.  It is reported that over 90% of what we worry about never happens.  That means that our negative worries have about a 10% chance of being correct.  Yet strangely we persist in believing them to be true.

The Possibilities for Growth

If our bodies and spirits are desirous of growth, and only our fearful thoughts – based on old stories, or the opinions/thoughts of others, or media propaganda – are shutting us down, how can we rid ourselves of our fears?  How do we awaken and become conscious of our innate desire and impulse to continue growing and savoring life until the day we die?

If you are in your 50s, or 60s or 70s or above, any time is a good time to seriously consider hitting the pause button and taking a break, even a series of breaks or time outs to focus inward.  Commit to taking time – even one day at a time – or a weeklong organized retreat to reflect on your life to date.  Ask yourself if you feel you’re satisfied and fulfilled with your life, or believe there is much potential and possibility remaining?  Ask yourself what you want to take along on the journey for the next 25/30+ years, and what you want to leave behind.  Be curious and dig deep to find what you feel passionate about, and that which will give your life meaning in the future.  Seriously question the fears you hold, and ask ‘who says?  Most of our fears are not based on any kind of solid reality.

Perhaps you will discover new work or ways of working, perhaps you will find that you wish to continue along the same path, expanding it, yet ‘being’ and living in different ways; and perhaps you may even find something so new, so different, so meaningful, that it will take your breath away.  Be aware, however, that these pauses or breaks, where silence and reflection is needed, may feel as if you are stepping into ‘what you don’t know that you don’t know’.  And that won’t always feel pleasant.  I know from experience that when we are conscious (self aware) enough to challenge our beliefs, and choose to change/revise them, we grow.  We must go inward to discover what we truly believe.   After all is said and done, our beliefs do indeed create our reality.

As we grow older consciously, growth means that we let aspects of our past that do not serve us fall away, and while being mindful of, and having learned from past history we do not allow our future to be identical to or dictated by the past.  We stay curious, open and welcoming of whatever our future brings.  Living in protection/fear is not a life worth living.  Growth is indeed a biological imperative.

Reflections:

  • How or when do you know if you’re in a state of growth or protection?  Do you believe you are ‘right’ when you think about your future, or are you curious enough to accept that there could be much more potential in your future than you previously thought possible?
  • What would be your personal story of the two wolves?  Which is winning, growth or protection?

                                                                                                                        
  © Cathy Carmody 2015.  May be reprinted in part or in whole with acknowledgement of author.  

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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

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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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july_10

A few years ago, my dear friend Maddy gifted me a poem that she wrote about the Summer Solstice.  Throughout history, people have celebrated on this day that brings in a new summer season in the northern hemisphere.  I have posted it before and I always read it each year on June 20-21st.  The Summer solstice is the time of blooming of the seeds planted in the spring.  It is a time to be grateful for the warmth and beauty of summer with its fruits and vegetables that are growing.  Summer is a creative time and a time for play, to connect deeply with nature and soak up all the beauty.  The sun’s rays are powerful and bring us life each day.  Let’s celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year with gratitude for the sun (Ra) and share our love and gifts with others.

Here is Maddy’s poem

Namaste, dear glowing Jane!!! Ra Ra Ra !!!

Today’s song…sitting in the sun…

This day brings to me

The gift of glorious RA

Of warmth and light and growth.

How mindfully I breathe this day

Fulfilled in this nourishment

Conscious of this JOY filled gift!

As the sun rises within me, and fills me

How natural it is

To allow this warmth to radiate

And fill the World.

 

I smile at you,

And you are no stranger to my heart

Angel of the Sun

I gaze at my own reflection

In the eyes of the other

And there is no other,

Only our shared divinity.

The boundaries disappear

To touch the places of Oneness

Within our common heart.

 

Such an auspicious NOW

Stretching our limits.

“Thy Will Be Done”

Is the name of the river

That carries me along.

This day, I surrender my ego, my spirit–

To this eternal river.

 

Within me lives the birther

The builder

The center of the sun

Creating monuments of Love.

How right it is to play our wonders in the world!

Empowered by the sun within!

AMEN RA!!!!

With thanks to Maddy.  And may we all be radiant suns! Blessings to all,

Peacefully, Jane

 

 

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