Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRIUTAL GROWTH # 12 Turning our Attention to Nepal,Tibet and India-Love What Matters

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 12 A Blog Post from Anne Christine
Turn Your Hearts To Nepal , Tibet & India- Love What Matters
Greetings All. By now we have all heard and seen the images of the massive devastation of the Nepal earthquake and resulting loss of life, villages , temples and monasteries. This natural disaster, as all of them do, has impacted me strongly.
My first formal teachings into the practice of mindfulness and heart centered meditation was through teachings of HH Dalai Lama. My first mala (108 prayer beads) were carnelian, the stone of enriched heart, that also of His Holiness (unbeknownst to me decades ago)
All of the meditative motifs within Opening Lotus Yoga are from Nepal or India. The hand hammered singing bowls, the statues of Buddhas including Shakyamuni and Tara ,the Great Mother. The prayer flags and malas,symbols of what I feel is my spiritual ancestry. Symbols of the Divine within us all, the great heart of light and love. 
If a great disaster impacted my genealogical ancestral lands , in my case Ireland and England, I would feel a cellular bond of loss along with those that live there. I feel the same way with this loss in  Nepal and  the northern Himalayan region. I feel my spiritual ancestry lineage has been shaken deeply. The lands that birthed the spiritual teachers and temples and monasteries that have illuminated billions of people for thousands of years has been devastatingly  damaged or destroyed. I feel in my heart the pain and suffering of this disaster.
What is one to do when faced with massive loss of life and in this region a thousand years of temples destroyed. The ego may say turn away. Its not your problem or concern. The ego may get on with its multitude of daily distractions. The Spirit will turn towards the pain and suffering.  As the Buddha taught, 'Suffering is the Path.' Through suffering our hearts open into compassion and love.
 Pema Chodron another beloved teacher of Tibetan Buddhism has asked that we practice Tonglen, or the compassion meditation of exchange. This is a powerful and tangible practice to send healing energy to this region.  Breathe in to your heart center the pain, the anguish , the terror of those affected by this quake,see that energy as dark, smoky or heavy then exhale sending out a rainbow band of light and love. Your spiritual heart center like a diamond , the jewel in the lotus has the power to transform darkness into light. Through our open hearts we have the power to shift energy from pain, to support, from fear to trust, from hopelessness to faith and promise.
In addition to the power of prayer and meditation ,please please contribute to one of the many reputable organizations that are providing relief work in the region . Think of creative ways you can raise some funds to donate . Skip going out to a movie or dinner this week and donate those funds. We have so much materials largess in this country , the contrast can feel ludicrous compared to what the Nepal, and Northern Himalayan regions are suffering with. This is when the energy of financials will really matter to getting assistance on the ground for months and years to come.
Take pause to be grateful for what really matters in your life. Is it your job, your possessions, your latest vacation? Or is it your life, your loved ones, Mother Nature and your connection to your spiritual truth that really matter. Love what matters. This is the deeper lesson we can all benefit from when we witness massive loss. Love what matters.
Namaste & Blessings of Light and Love
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth : Blog # 11 By Anne Christine of Opening Lotus Yoga- LOVE YO MOMMA!

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 11 a Blog post from Anne Christine of Opening Lotus Yoga
Greetings All. The sun is peeking out today revealing the new green of the grass . The last of our snow piles has melted and  our much awaited Spring is ready to burst forth here in MA. The eternal rhythm of nature pulses on.
Before you glaze over and pass on another Earth Day post, please take a moment right now to sit down on the floor, the earth, the grass  a stone or a tree and bow your head and heart to your Divine Mother, Lady Gaia, Mother Earth. She begs for our hearts to hear her. She holds us from the moment we take our first breath to the moment we release our last breath. She cries for the end to the horrific imbalances impacting the natural world, our waters, air, forests, mountains and all of the animal kingdom, our relatives. There is no separation . That is Divine Truth. To the degree we use and misuse the resources of this planet is to the degree we survive or die. Thriving is only possible when we close the gap of misperception between Mother Earth as some entity separate from us. She is us. We are her. We are one.
Today, pause, breathe your next breath with the gratitude that its available and perhaps even clean where you live. Hold an intention that all have access to clean air and water. Pause, then the next step you take to recognize you walk on the Great Mother's body, you are nourished by her resources, you are supported by her gravitational field.
Take a precious moment and bow your head and heart upon this sacred Earth today and strive deeply to live in alignment that She is You and You are Her. We are One. Live as you are One with the Great Mother. Let every choice you make honor that truth. You are One with the Great Mother.
Namaste and Blessings for recognizing this sacred Truth.
Love and Light
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 10 Breathing In I Nourish~ Breathing Out I Cleanse

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 10 A Blog Post From Anne Christine
Greetings and Namaste All. Spring weather has FINALLY arrived here in central MA after what has been a super demanding and exhaustingly tough winter. The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and we all feel our bones thawing out! I woke up this morning with this deep appreciation for the cool breeze that was coming in my window. YES, I have the windows open, another sure harbinger of Spring!
In the yogic tradition it is said our first meal of the day is Prana. The life force that animates us and is moved through our breathing. The second meal is water & deep hydration, the third meal is sadhana or your daily yogic spiritual practice and your 4th meal is food.
When you begin to connect to the vast power of your breath and the moving of prana in and circulating its animating energy throughout your body, you will never take your breath for granted again!
Ironically most yoga students I teach come in with imbalanced, stress response breath patterns  learned over time, that are the root of many of their challenges from fatigue, insomnia, GI imbalances, aches and pains, stiffness , mood imbalances and more. A stress response breath pattern is breathing high in your upper chest or up in your collar bones. This pattern of shallow breathing only has a 10-15 % breath capacity , consequently when we chronically breathe this way, we are literally suffocating our system. The belly breath is 65 % of your breath capacity!
When we consciously breathe deeply into our belly's our diaphragm muscle ,just beneath our lower ribs, moves down toward your abdomen, thus the belly pushes out. The prana is also being moved in a downward motion to the base of your spine. This is called apana prana or the downward movement. It energetically connects us to our root chakra, the energy center that when balanced gives us a sense of ground, centering, safety and well being.
When we exhale completely ( and I mention completely) as most of us have unconsciously been exhaling incompletely thus not moving toxins out efficiently, when we do exhale completely, the diaphragm muscle moves up into out lower lobes of our lungs and pushes the exhale up and out and moves the prana up and out.
This is called the Prana Vayu or the upward motion of life force. So in once complete conscious breath you oxygenate your system, you expel toxins, you connect prana flow to your central channel along your spine activating your subtle body and you awaken your body~ mind. This is why the yogis call the Breath or Prana flow as your first meal.
So today, take some breathing breaks. Relax , take a deep belly breath in to the count of 4 or 5, and exhale completely to the same count. Do this a few times and notice with each inhale you nourish your system on all levels and on each exhale your cleanse your system on all levels. Notice how you feel after just one minute of conscious diaphragmatic breathing ! 
If you want to go deeper, commit to a daily meditation of breathing fully 5 min, in the morning and 5 minutes at night for one month. You will be surprised at all the benefits!
Happy Spring and please take this practice as your daily self care. Its the simplest and yet one of the most powerful tools we have to shift our health towards our innate wholeness.
Namaste and Blessings for A Beautiful Week!
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Love & Light
Anne Christine

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth #9 Living Your Karmas or Living your Dharma

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 9 : A Blog Post by Anne Christine
Living Your Karmas or Living your Dharma
A clarity point. A yogi Jai Dev Singh whom I follow gave a teaching during the amrit hour of the eclipse last saturday and one line he shared that has just resonated in my awareness was this." Live your Dharma and not your Karmas. "

When we make that powerful step to live in alignment with our truth, our authenticity ,our deepest love, we are living our Dharma. We begin to be an expression of the real reason we incarnated on this planet in the first place to share our unique sacred gift that no one else can deliver.
When we are caught in our minds or emotions or the billions of ways ego can trip us up, we are living our karmas and creating more karma every day by the repetitive patterns, our causality or dualities of separation from Spirit. This is the true source of suffering, believing you are anything less than Divine!
The recent solar and lunar eclipse cycle has really brought this to my attention and last week has been a deep shaking up and out of the shadows, the karmic patterns that have ruled my underworld. They are bubbling up, in some cases exploding up in all forms, energy, hot , cold, physical symptoms , dreams and more. The fact that this powerful eclipse occurred in sync with Passover, the Crucifixtion and Resurrection of Christ Consciousness makes it all the more powerful . We all need to die to what is not serving us as to ascend to the Higher truth of who we are and what the real purpose of our lives is.
April will continue to be a month of shifting, of ups and downs or openings and closings, of progressions and regressions. It's all moving us to be present, let go, stay grounded, allow the old energies to release and open to the new heightened aspect of your true self. As we release our karmas, we align with our Dharma. The butterfly is preparing to emerge from her cocoon!
On Sat. eclipse day the weather finally turned above 50 degrees here for the first time since Dec. I was leaving the grocery store, feeling overheated in my fleece. As I got to my car, I noticed this young guy peeling off a heavy red sweatshirt. I said to him" its so nice we can let go of some layers". He smiled (works for a landscaping company) and said " Yes I started out this morning with 3 sweatshirts on, now I am down to one!" Then he said with a big smile " Have a wonderful day! Isn't that what we are all doing, peeling off one heavy "sweat" shirt at a time,thats no longer needed.
Namaste & Blessings for a Beautiful Week!
Anne Christine

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Seeds for Spiritual Growth # 8 Surrendering Your Spiritual Ego

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH #8 Blog from Anne Christine
Surrendering your Spiritual Ego. Its for your Higher Good.

This is a really intense time traveling between these two eclipses, the Solar on March 20 and the upcoming Lunar on April 4. The metaphor is that of crossing over a rope bridge high above a canyon, swaying precariously in the wind, holding onto the ropes and wondering how the heck are you going to get over to the other side! If you are feeling wired, tired, and dizzy, the last few weeks, this is the energetic calling card of this time of transformation.
This Eclipse alignment is putting a powerful punch for us to examine our shadows, our unconscious ways of holding onto what does not serve us be it thoughts and beliefs, or actions and relationships. What are we attached to out of fear? This lunar eclipse is magnifying our emotional body so another reason we can feel a bit adrift off course.
We are all being pointed in the direction of crossing this wobbly bridge and it can feel like life and death. Why? Because we are being initiated into a deeper truth of our Being and in order to emerge into that, we have to be willing to let go of the false sense of self ,especially what can show up as the 'spiritual self'. That tendency to band aid all your pain and disharmony with false affirmations of being in the light and love and' keepin' it positive'. There is nothing more painful than  to witness someone wallpapering their pain with false optimism.
This is a time where false actions will be met with individual and collective discomfort... that can mean pain. Pain will point to where we are hiding out behind our beliefs, projections and shadows. Getting real and honest is not always a natural direction we may choose, We may have lived decades with alot of false ideas of who we think we are. At this time, in this super strong ,planetary evolutionary shift, only honesty will do. Nothing less. We must die to our smallness, our fears, our mistrusts, our unconsciousness.
Each step we take over this bridge from that of ego to that of authentic spiritual embodiment, in order to take the next step, something has to drop off . Death and renewal and resurrection. Another potent timing of Passover and Easter coinciding with this eclipse cycle.
The good news is that we are not journeying alone. We are held every step of the way with our Divine Source, whether you call her God, Divine, Consciousness or Roxann! She is here, urging us to release all fears to her and trust she will guide you on what the next inspired step needs to be. Trust. Scary word for many. Are you willing to truly trust in the mystery of your own Being? This profound time we are in calls for nothing less.This is a powerful time to release all your doubts and fears to Source. Prayers of offering are powerful.
Blessings and Peace to you as we navigate inward and forward.