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


Conscious Aging Workshops

Jane Rosalea Brown   Follow me on twitter @janerbooth


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.


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.


  • 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.  

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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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!


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

Peacefully, Jane




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 Rosalea Brown

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation


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…


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~


 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,
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