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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
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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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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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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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Meditation now provides me with a shelter of protection, a place of peace and the courage to see each day as a “beginning…”   The messages in this book are manifestations of my discoveries about love, daily life, nature’s teachers and the infinite beauty of our mysterious Universe.  It is in silence, the place of quiet stillness within, that I discover the truth of the loving essence of the Divine Spirit that begins to merge with my inner self and then becomes reflected in each moment of my life.   It is in the experience of Divine Union of Oneness that  leads me from seeking for “something” to just “being”.  From this space, I am accepting and feel blessed for all my experiences and look forward to new adventures and the unknown.”  From In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation, by Jane Rosalea Booth

Ten years later….

I wrote those words 10 years ago and they still ring true for me. I am still on a life journey of knowing my ‘self’ and shedding ways and habits that do not resonate with my inner self’s call to be loving and peaceful in each moment.  Still a challenge at times!  But in the past 10 years I have become more aware of those ‘experiences’ of my life that still hold wisdom and guidance to assist me through my next 10 years if I take the time for reflection and for letting go of past hurts or regrets.

I am looking forward to ‘new adventures’.  I am growing each day in greater trust that my life will unfold in mysterious ways, wonderful ways, greater ways than I can ever imagine!  It is this ‘unknown’ factor about life that keeps us moving forward even in our elder years if we stay open, flexible and never lose our curiosity about what life is all about.

In silence, in meditation, I discover my soul essence, my soul voice, my connection to all life, all spirit and all the love that permeates through the universe.  I open to the cosmic universal rhythms when I dance, sing, write poetry, walk by the water and woods or meditate.  I feel a deep purpose for my ‘being’ here in this moment.

I still meditate on the messages in my book, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation and receive new insights.  I am not the same person as I was ten years ago but what amazes me is how the words from my meditations have even greater richness and meaning for me now!  So I encourage you to write down your thoughts or ‘messages’ you receive after you meditate.  In my book, I share with you how to meditate and to manifest the life you desire!  Discover tools and insights to expand your views, to age well and to live with an open and accessible heart in the most challenging of times.

Peacefully Jane

Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Author of In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name ‘ Jane Rosalea Booth’

 

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Enjoy the beauty and radiance of the Full Moon tonight!

Full Moon Meditation

Everyone seems to feel the affects of a full moon.  Some people appear very restless and uneasy.  Others feel energized.  Somehow the energy of the moon calls us to pay attention so we may transform and grow.   Since ancient times, people have gathered and prayed during this time as they honoured the energy of the moon.  Native Americans call her Grandmother Moon.

A full moon on a clear night is always breathtaking.  In the stillness of the night Grandmother Moon’s brilliance radiates to us.  We can feel an energy that opens us to be our ‘fullest’ at this time.  The time of the full moon is a time to give and share with others and a time to receive understanding, guidance and abundance.   It is a time to receive clarity so we may transform so all our actions and thoughts evolve through our heart love.  The full moon is always a time of cleansing as we release our fears and ways that no longer serve us. It allows us to bring forth our inner power and beauty.

Full Moon Meditation

If you can, take time outdoors during the full moon and soak up its beauty.  Feel the energy of its rays expanding you so you may have a broader view, a wiser view, a cosmic view of the universe.  Raise your hands over your head and feel the joy of the moon.  Open your heart to send love to other beings on earth and to the earth herself.  Bring your hands over your heart and feel the deep love of Grandmother Moon within.  Allow this Divine Feminine love to flow into every part of your body to comfort and heal and balance your energy.

Now send this love out into the universe. Ask for blessings for Mother Earth and all peoples.  Envision a peaceful world with clean water, abundance of food and compassionate hearts. Give great gratitude for experiencing this beautiful moment in the moonlight and for all your blessings…for the gift of life.

If you cannot go outside, you can still connect indoors.  Light a candle to represent the moon or simply close your eyes and meditate about the beauty of the full moon and all her blessings.

Enjoy your meditation in the moonlight.  Feel the joy within and celebrate as if all your prayers and dreams have already happened.  Each day hold the feeling of joy and allow the universe to bring to you what you desire to manifest.  Share these joyful feelings of Grandmother Moon’s radiance with everyone you meet.

Pay attention to how you are feeling during the next full moon.  Grandmother Moon may have some guidance for you.

Peacefully Jane

 

 

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

IN SILENCE FRONT COVER smAuthor ~Jane Rosalea Booth  In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

12115553_10153664369192422_7716424410471290604_n

Conscious Aging Workshops

 

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To live without fear is to live in the present moment with love and compassion.”

How we deal with our fears determines how we view our world.  Our world view determines how we make choices about how we live.  Our fears affect all parts of us…emotions, physical health, mental wellness, spiritual growth.  What we fear may be rooted from our past or something we are afraid might happen to us in the future.  They seem very real to us and can control our thoughts and actions.  However, if we realize that fears are our ‘what if’s’ in life it helps us to move through them and release their power over us.  By learning to release them is a huge step to healing and well-being.

However, learning to release our fears can sometimes be difficult especially if we are feeling alone and not sure what our next step should be.  This is when being in the present moment is so important.  It is only in the present moment that we can create change by shifting our present view.  For example, you may have an exam or test to complete.  Your fear is that you will fail.  In the present moment, you have not failed.  You can make the choice to study and learn as much as you can.  In the present moment, you can relax, enjoy your studies, focus on what you need to learn and only hold thoughts of success.  If the thought of failing comes in, take a deep breath, acknowledge your fear and release it.  Replace it with a positive image of your success.  I had this deep fear of failure for years.  I did not think I was smart enough to go to university.  It took me till I was 40 years old before I took the steps to try some university courses.  I put aside my fears of failing and began my studies.  Two years later, I had completed my degree…and graduated on the Dean’s Honour roll!!!

So I learned to overcome my fears by focusing in the present moment.  I had a dream of completing university and I worked hard to make it come true.  I learned that my fears were truly my ‘what if’s’ and that they are my made up thoughts…not what was really happening in the present moment.

Once you realize that you can create your future from your thoughts and feelings, life can begin to change.   There is always a new way to look at life where we can feel love and compassion for ourselves and others and this love is only created in the present moment.

So I began to open my heart to discover more about myself and to live in the present moment, instead of worrying so much about the future.  I felt grateful for what I had in my life and this made me feel much better.  Through my meditations I found wisdom about how to live more fully.  Life is ever changing with new challenges but meditation, connecting with Spirit, helps me through and keeps me balanced and peaceful through difficult times.

Mindfulness means to be present to what is, rather than losing ourselves in thoughts of what is no longer or what has not yet come. Mindfulness is an awakening to life, a nonjudgmental awareness of the wonder of the present moment.” ~ Joan Borysenko

Blessings of inner peace and love,

Jane

 

 

11709538_10152829565162303_6161609573751527717_nJane Booth Robertson,BA, CSW, USUI Reiki Master

IN SILENCE FRONT COVER smAuthor ~ In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

A Peaceful Way Gatherings and Retreats

12115553_10153664369192422_7716424410471290604_n

Conscious Aging Workshops

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