Archive for February, 2011

Tibetan Monks-Sand Mandala, Closing

February 25, 2011

Yesterday was the final day of the Tibetan Monks visit to Penn State Berks Campus.

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After three days of construction, the Mandal was breathtaking.

The destruction of something so beautiful and painstakingly created is hard to watch.  The Ritualistic demolition ceremony is lovely and melancholy.

The monks conclude their creation of the mandala with a consecration ceremony.

The Beginning of the Closing Ceremony (Video Here)

During the closing ceremony, the monks dismantle the mandala, sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. When requested, half of the sand is distributed to the audience as blessings for personal health and healing.

 

 

The remaining sand is carried in a procession by the monks, accompanied by guests, to a flowing body of water, where it is ceremonially poured to disperse the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world.

Amazing Chanting (Video 2 – 4:16)

Chanting (video 3 1:02)

 

 


Instruments and Chanting

(video 4 0:59)

 


Flower Drop

(Video 5 0:33)

 


Mandala Destruction (video 6 1:39)

Mandala Destruction (video 7 1:27)

 

Channel 69 News Story Here:
Art Made, Destroyed At Penn State Berks

Reading Eagle Story Here
Striking, and spiritual, images in sand

See Monk and Mandala Post Here

Mystic Art of Tibet Pose Here

Learn More about Mandalas Here

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The Mystic Art Of Tibet

February 24, 2011

Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing
With the famed Multiphonic Singers of Drepung Loseling Monastery

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The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours features the famed multiphonic singers of Drepung Loseling Monastery and are endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a means of promoting world peace and healing through sacred performing art.  I was lucky enough to see their performance at Penn State Berks Campus last night. It was truly amazing.

Durdak Garcham:  Dance of the Skeleton Lords (See Video Here)
To remind the world of the ephemeral nature of all things, and of the liberating and balancing impact of an awareness of this reality, two monks appear as the forces of goodness manifest as Cemetery Lords. These are Dharmapala, or “Protectors of Truth,” with the message to point the mind toward authentic being.

Tak-tsey Tong-ya: Intense encounters of the Third Degree (See Video Here)
A demonstration of the tradition of Tibetan monastic inquiry. Two monks engage one another in a process leading to the deeper levels and implications of spiritual experience, thus enhancing the mind of enlightenment.

See Video 4 Here

 

Shop for Tibetan ritual objects, arts and crafts HERE

See Monk and Mandala Post Here

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Mandala Coloring Meditation 1

February 23, 2011

Mandala is Sanskrit, loosely translated to mean circle. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Coloring a mandala is a combination of active meditation and color therapy.  It’s a blend of spiritual insight and mental healing that has been used for thousands of years.

1. Use crayons, pencils, chalk, pastels, paint, or markers in a variety of colors.

2. Find a quiet and comfortable place.

3. Start coloring.

4. Don’t think about your choice of color too much and don’t worry about matching colors. Let your instincts guide you. After you’ve begun with the first color, the rest will follow.

The Circle represents the wheel of life.  The circle is whole, it represents everything & nothing.  There is no beginning and no end.  It represents NOW.  It is  Universal Consciousness, creation & unity.

More Mandalas HERE

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Monks and Mandalas

February 23, 2011

Mandala Sand Painting:  Tibetan monks hold mandala sand painting exhibition
Penn State Berks
, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24. Free and open to the public.

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“From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks is one of the most unique and exquisite. In Tibet, this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “mandala of colored powders.” Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks.”

I love Mandalas.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see “Healing the Earth: A Sacred Art by the Tibetan Lamas of Drepung Loseling Monastery” at Penn State Berks Campus.

See a short video clip here.

The outline of the mandala is drawn on a wooden platform. Sand is held in a chak-pur (traditional metal funnel) and a metal rod is grated on its surface.  Symbolizing life’s impermanence, the mandala is ceremoniously destroyed after completion.

The 10 Monks, who live in India, have been traveling for a year in the United States.
View the tour schedule here.

Tomorrow brings an end to the llamas visit to PSU-Berks.  The Mandala will be completed around 6 PM (2.24.11).  A ceremonial dismantling of the Mandala follows.

Click HERE for Mandala Coloring Meditation Sheets.

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Dhyana-Perfect Contemplation

February 17, 2011

Dhyana focuses on Meditation. When one focuses their mind in concentration on an object the mind is changed into the shape of the object. Dhyana is the stage of meditative trainings that lead to Samadhi.

The goal of meditation is not unconsciousness or nothingness. It is heightened awareness and oneness with the universe. How do you tell the difference between concentration and meditation? If there is awareness of distraction, you are only concentrating and not meditating. The calm achieved in meditation spills over into all aspects of your life.

What is Meditation

  • Focused, concentrated awareness
  • Elimination of distractions
  • Setting mind upon one thing

A simple meditation
Sit in a comfortable position, either in a chair or on the floor, with your back and head straight.

Close your eyes.

Breathe through your nose.

Focus on your breath — cool air in, warm air out.

If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.

That’s it.

Start with a 5-10 minute meditation and work your way up to 15, 20, 30 minutes or more.

A variation that may make things a little easier at the beginning is to count your breaths. Count up to four and then repeat, over and over. You can add an “and” between counts to fill up the space between breaths. It goes like this: inhale (1) – exhale (and) – inhale (2) – exhale (and)…and so on up to four.

Notes:
There are various ways in which you can meditate. Some effective ways of meditation include meditating while breathing, walking, sleeping, cosmic, and even guided meditation

When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning your focus to the breath.

Learn More about Meditation HERE

Learn More about the 8 Limbs of Yoga HERE

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Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 2

February 14, 2011

Layback to Center

Warm Up:
Neck Rolls, Side to Side
Twist
Active Bridge Pose
Knees to Chest
Spinal Rolls to Sit
Reverse Table
Seated Forward Fold
Table
Thread the Needle
Down Dog
Rag Doll
Mountain Pose

Flow and Standing Asanas:
Recenter, Repeat Mantra
Come to the top of your mat
*Beginning Sun Salutation A to Down Dog
Modified Side Plank, Right Knee Down
Down Dog
Modified Side Plank (Left)
Down Dog
Feet to Hands
Look up, flat back
Fold Forward
Reverse Swan dive to Mountain Pose
Repeat from * Replacing Modified Plank With Plank Bow Pose on each side
Dancers Pose Forward Fold Modification (both sides)
Mountain (top of mat)

Back Down to the Mat:
Beginning sun sal. To belly
Superman Pose
Child’s Pose
Bow Pose
Wide Leg Child’s Pose
Table
Thread the Needle modification with back leg raised, hold foot with hand (both sides)
Child’s Pose
Roll Up
Sit
Yin Tripod (both sides)
Reverse Plank
Roll to mat
Bridge or Wheel
Knees to chest
Twist

Savasana- repeat mantra

Click HERE for Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 1

Learn more about your HEART CHAKRA HERE

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Open & Heal your Heart Chakra with Yoga

February 14, 2011

Saint Valentine’s Day (February 14) is a day to honor Love.  Opening and Healing your Heart Chakra is an excellent way to celebrate.

The Heart Chakra (Anahata) is the Fourth Chakra and is located in the center of the Chest at Heart Level.   The Heart Chakra is where feelings of Love, Joy, Honesty and Compassion emanates from.  It’s how we connect to others. “I Love.”

Color: Green (Symbolizes: Health and Creativity, Harmony and   Abundance in Nature.)
Element:
Air
Metal: Copper
Sense: Touch
Stones: Emerald, Jade, Peridot
Sound: YAM
Foods: Vegetables, Green Teas
Animals: Antelope, Birds, Doves
Image: 12-Pointed Circular Lotus Flower with the Star of David (2 intersecting triangles) in the Center
Deity: Ishana Rudra Shiva
Mantra: “My Heart is filled with Love” or “Hum Dum Har Har (We the universe, God, God)
Mudra to open the Heart Chakra:
Place your left hand on your left knee, palm down, index finger and thumb touching (like the ‘ok’ hand symbol).
Bring your right hand to heart center (Anahata Chakra) palm to body.  Join index finger and thumb (like the ‘ok’ hand symbol).

If your Heart Chakra is out of Balance or blocked, you may experience:
Relationship Challenges, No Self Discipline, Grief, Distrust, Despair, Depression, Heartbreak, Hate, Envy, Heart Issues, Circulatory Problems, Asthma, Lung &/or Breast cancers, Upper Back, Shoulder Problems, Pneumonia…

Yoga to Open and Unblock the Heart Chakra

Begin your Heart Chakra Yoga Practice with a few minutes of Centering.

Come to a seated Position.
Bring hands to Mudra to open the Heart Chakra (see above)

When you are ready, Begin to bring your attention to your Heart Chakra.  Concentrate your attention to your Chest Center.
Feel your Heart Chakra glow a deep healing green light.
Begin to chant ‘YAM (y-aaaaaaaa-mmmmm).

Visualize your Green Light expand and travel through your entire body.

Set an Intention for your practice, perhaps “My Heart is filled with Love

Choose your Yoga Practice by clicking below:

Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 1

Heart Chakra Opening Practice 2

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 1

February 14, 2011

(After Centering)

Begin in a Seated position

Warm Up:
Neck Rolls
Seated Twist
Switch cross of Legs
Rainbow Side Stretch
Cat/Cow
Chest Expansion
Table
Tiger
Child’s Pose
Table
Down Dog
Rag Doll
Mountain Pose

Flow & Standing Asanas:
Recenter, Repeat Mantra
Come to the top of the mat

Begin Sun Salutation B to Down Dog
*Right Leg forward in a lunge
Peaceful Warrior
Warrior II
Reverse Warrior
Warrior I
(View Warrior Poses HERE)
Half Moon Balance (Modification:  Hold Left Foot with Left Hand)
Warrior II
Down Dog
Repeat from * with Left Leg
Feet to Hands
Look up, flat back
Fold Forward
Reverse Swan dive to Mountain Pose
Back Down to the Mat:
Sun Salutation to Belly
Up Dog
Child’s Pose
Table
Down Dog
One Legged King Pigeon-Right Leg  (half pigeon, back leg bent, hold foot with hands)
Down Dog
One Legged King Pigeon –Left Leg
Wide Knee Child’s Pose
Roll to Sit
Fish Pose
Knees to Chest
Bridge or Wheel
Happy Baby
Twist

Savasana-repeat mantra

Click HERE for Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 2

Learn more about your HEART CHAKRA HERE

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Centering to Begin your Yoga Practice

February 11, 2011

Come to a Comfortable Position:  Seated  (Easy, Half Lotus, Lotus Position), Laying back in Corpse Pose, Standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) or Child’s Pose (Balasana).

Settle in, Close your Eyes and begin to take a few slow, full deep breaths.

When you are ready, begin to transition to Dirga Pranayama

Inhale and exhale through your nose.

Fill your Belly Ribs and Chest with Air on the Inhale.

Allow your Chest, Ribs and Belly to contract on the Exhale.

Begin to let everything from the outside world slip away.

Give yourself permission to be present here in this space and this time.

After a few Minutes set an Intention or Affirmation for your Practice.

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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Yoga for the Hips and Hams

February 9, 2011

Savasana for Centering

Neck Rolls

Active Bridge Pose

Knees to Chest

Eye of the Needle Pose & Twist (Both Legs)

Knees to Chest

Spinal Rolls

Table

Down Dog

3 Leg Down Dog & Hip Opener (Both Sides)

Mountain – Recenter

FLOW:

*Sun Salutation A to Down Dog

Right Foot Forward…

Warrior 1

Lunge (one hand on each side of right foot)

Lift Right Arm into a Twist to the right (Remain up on toes)

Hands to floor, Drop Left Knee & Toes to floor

Modified Crescent Lunge (Keep hips sinking forward)

Bring hands to the floor on the inside of the right foot

Allow your right knee to the move out to the side, rolling onto the outside of the right foot-look up

Bring right knee back to center

Bring one hand to each side of the right foot (Modified Lunge)

Begin to shift Hips back, straightening the right leg

Lower hips to floor

Half Hero-Forward fold

Inhale-look up

Right Knee to HalfPigeon

Sleeping Pigeon

Come back to Half Pigeon

3 leg Down Dog

Dog at a Hydrant- look up

Down Dog

Feet to hands

Look Up

Standing Forward Fold

Inhale arms up

Mountain Pose

Repeat from * with Left leg forward.

Dancers Pose to

Figure Four Balance (Both Sides)

Come down into a Squat

Cobblers Pose

Rainbow Side Stretch

Cobblers Forward Fold

Seated Straddle

Forward Fold

Cobbler’s Pose

Cobbler’s Balance

Release Legs, windshield wipers

Hero

Reclined Hero

Hero Forward Fold

Release Legs, windshield wipers

Seated Forward Fold

Fish Pose

Lay Back

Happy Baby

Knees to chest

Twist (both Sides)

Savasana

Click here for more Asanas for Ailments

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