- Protect your hands. The smudge stick gets HOT, make sure use a heat-proof bowl, Abalone Shell or place sand in the bottom of a clay bowl, you need to prevent the heat generated at the tip from scalding your hands.
- Cinders will fall from the smudge stick as it burns - some of which may still be hot enough to burn - so it is important to use a rest of some kind.
- Disable or turn off smoke alarms before smudging indoors - and then remember to turn them back on when you are done.
- Smudge sticks can be difficult to light, so you may find it easier to use a candle, cigarette lighter or taper. These will keep a flame longer and give you a better chance of getting your smudge stick going.
- Walk in an anti-clockwise direction for banishing and a clockwise direction for attraction.
- Avoid smudging around people with respiratory problems.
- Never leave a smouldering smudge stick unattended.
- Ensure the smudge stick is extinguished fully, before leaving it or putting it away.
- Do not extinguish the smudge stick in water, this will ruin it. Instead, smother it by pushing the burning end firmly into a container of sand or fine salt.
- Smudging is often used in conjunction with a chant, or prayer - your choice.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Smudging is often performed to clear a sacred space before rituals, you can also smudge yourself to to cleanse and purify - especially if you have been weighed down with stress and worry. Smudging is commonly used to cleanse crystals, before dedicating them for healing, and periodically to remove the energies they pick up from doing their work.
Sometimes life creates stresses within families, plunging them into bickering disharmony. Smudging is wonderful for cleansing the whole atmosphere and restoring balance and harmony. Smudging is akin to 'wiping the slate clean' before imprinting your own energies on it.
You can smudge just about anything that needs cleansing. If you move into a new home, it is nice to cleanse it of any residual energies from the previous tenants before perhaps blessing it to create harmony and peace.
Herbs traditionally used in a smudge are sage and sweetgrass, but many other herbs and fragrant grasses can be used. Insense and essential oils can also be used. Choose what "feels" right, and do some research into the meanings and the effects of whatever you decide to use.
Hints and tips on safe smudging can be found here.
Friday, September 28, 2007
I'm tired of you being brave
Turn your face to me
And feel the skin peel off your skin
Hear the shell crack and smell the yolk
That murky film between your eyes and your eyes?
It melts – weep like a fool, loudly and in public
with shame and without shame, either or both
Now, finally, you are beautiful – on your knees, torn down and so, so fresh…
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This mantra ignites a fire within that consumes all negativity and purifies entire system. It is also said to have a strong healing power and can cure diseases declared incurable even by the doctors. Many believe Maha Mrityunjay Mantra to be a mantra that can conquer death and connect human beings to their own inner divinity.
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:
Om Tryamlakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pusti - vardhanam
Urva - rukamiva Bandhanan
Mrtyor - muksheeya Ma - amritat
Om. We worship The Three-Eyed Lord Shiva who is fragrant and who increasingly nourishes the devotees. Worshipping him may we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding stalk.
The mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as Sankara and Trayambaka. Sankara is sana (blessings) and Kara (the Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one (where the third eye signifies the giver of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and releases us from the cycle of death and rebirth).
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
These beautiful batik mandala paintings depict the Shiva Linga encompassed by the Lotus Flower. The Linga is representative of the "divine phallus" and fertility. The Lotus symbolizes ... and the serpent represents the the power that enables seeds to germinate and animals to conceive. More batik paintings can be found at Exotic India.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
To give tangible shape to the idea of Shiva is not easy. He is after all, Maheshvara, the greatest embodiment of godhead, the cosmic spirit. Most people prefer to worship a symbol, one that fills the mind with awe and gives shape in the unconscious to the fabulous idea behind the image.
Shiva’s symbol, the linga, is perhaps the simplest conceivable. According to the Matsya Purana, Shiva’s linga is the divine phallus, the source of the soul-seed which contains within it, the essence of the entire cosmos.
The linga itself is an ordinary stone that rises from the fertile earth, reaching out to touch the radiant sky. The serpent represents the coiled energy of Kundalini, the power that enables seeds to germinate and animals to conceive. The serpent is also said to be Ananta Sesha, the great serpent of eternity, on whose coils rests the universe.
In this image, Shiva dances inside his Linga. More authentic Indian Art can be found at Exotic India.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
the clouds of love have gathered,
raining over me,
my soul soaked within,
green woods around.
do not be proud,
seeing your mansion.
tomorrow you will lie beneath the earth,
tufts of grass over you.
those who do not love God
know no joy -
like a guest in an empty house,
they come and depart.
Your God dwells within you
like fragrance in the flower,
musk lies within the deer,
yet seeks it afar.
Worlds pass away reading scriptures,
none the wiser.
he who understands the word `Love'
is the wise one.
The Hindu says Ram is supreme
the Muslim, Rahim.
both die fighting each other,
neither knowing the Truth.
Remembering You ever
egoless, I have merged with You.
no more the cycle of births and deaths,
wherever the eye goes I see You.
Brimming with devotion to God I am.
this world tires me no more.
a pitcher once baked, says Kabir,
needs no potter's wheel again.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
A primal root chakra mandala to bring passion into your relationships.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
"I am the sky," says the Hindu bridegroom to the bride. "You are the earth. We are sky and earth united.... You are my husband. You are my wife. My feet shall run because of you. My feet shall dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes see because of you. My mind thinks because of you and I shall love because of you."
~Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure
Monday, September 17, 2007
These kohbar paintings often have a lotus motif pierced by a bamboo shaft representing sexual union of the bride and the bridegroom. Parrots, which represent the lovers, are often painted around the rim of the central lotus mandala.
On either side of this central motif are the faces of the bride and the bridegroom. The auspicious kalas, fish and turtle, symbolic of fertility are also painted around the outside of the mandala, as are symbols of prosperity and longevity such as the elephant, tree of life, and bamboo.
The lower half of the painting is usually narrative in nature, showing the couple performing various religious ceremonies. Here, too, are painted images of the bridegroom in a palanquin followed by another one carrying the bride to his home.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
There was a child made all of salt who very much wanted to know where he had come from. So he set out on a long journey and traveled to many lands in pursuit of this understanding.
Finally he came to the shore of a great ocean. How marvelous, he cried, and stuck one foot in the water. The ocean beckoned him in further saying, "If you wish to know who you are, do not be afraid." The salt child walked further and further into the water dissolving with each step, and at the end exclaimed, "Ah, now I know who I am."
~ancient teaching story
Let thought become the beautiful Woman.
Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth
That it can give you everything
A warm body can.
Why just keep making love with God's child-- Form
When the Friend Himself is standing
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover
And become free,
Become free of this whole world
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of a mandala is to put an end to human suffering, to attain enlightenment and to attain a correct view of Reality. It is a means to discover divinity by the realization that it resides within one's own self. Concentration on its form and content is an aid to prayer and meditation, leading eventually to a complete at-oneness with the world. At the center of every mandala is the Bindhu; the point, which is the symbol of emptiness.
Shown below, is an interpretation of The Cosmic Mandala from a mural painting at a wall of the Zong in Paro-Bhutan. It is an abstract form representing the the primary movement of the universe, the cosmic motion of the planets and the elements.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here's how it works:
- Print the picture of the peace mandala.
- Choose some favorite music.
- Color the mandala and feel the peace and centeredness.
- Pause periodically and send that peace out to the world family.
- The finished mandala can be cut out and mounted on tag board and placed in a special spot to remind you to send peace to the world.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
~Rachel Naomi Remen
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Sit in an upright position in a chair, with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and hands comfortably in your lap. If you wish, play soft inspirational or sacred music in the background.
Slowly take three deep breaths. On each exhalation, release all tension or negative thoughts from your mind and body.
Keeping your heart open and receptive, close your eyes. Imagine a ball of rainbow-colored light at the top of your head. Visualize it descending into the center of your brain.
Concentrate on that glowing energy, and direct it down through your neck and into your heart, feeling warmth and love. Continue directing it downward into your stomach and the rest of your organs and finally down through your legs to the soles of your feet and into the ground.
Now visualize this healing and centering energy and light coming back up from the ground and up the back of your legs. Slowly direct it up through the core of your spine and back into your head.
Imagine yourself being lifted gently into the universe. Keeping a sense of your meditative posture, see and feel yourself floating gently in outer space, surrounded by the stars and planets.
Realize that your body and the manifest universe are an inseparable cosmic creation of vibrating atomic polarities.
Realize that all the atoms in your physical body are billions of years old - composed from the exploding light of ancient stars and other electromagnetic energies.
Imagine yourself being pulled into a black hole of radiation, going past time and space into the dark womb of the universe. The silence of this black hole is beyond description - it is intelligence, as yet unthinking. Experience the peace and bliss of this all-pervasive intelligence.
Imagine this intelligence beginning to think and creatively to dream. Suddenly you experience a roaring sound and a spark of visible light spreads. Somehow originating in the sound, the light begins to radiate throughout the darkness. Creation has begun. You perceive vast clouds of many-colored lights that are the formation of galaxies and all the other creations of Earth, including your physical body.
Imagine yourself as the soul within the human body and that the sun's rainbow-colored light is entering into your physical body. Now imagine streams of electromagnetic energy and waves of visible light pouring out of your body and creatively interweaving with the streams of energy that compost the universe.
Meditate for a momentum this web of light streams that connects your soul, mind, and physical body to the universe. Realize that through the divine inner light of your consciousness you are participating in the creation of this tapestry of light and life.
Gently bring your focus back to the planet Earth and the spot you occupy physical. See with new eyes.
~from Mandala by Judith Cornell
art by Shirley Gibson
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
A seeker seeks him out and asks
Master, what can I do to attain what you have attained?
A year goes by while the sage waits for a reply to come to him
The stars and moon and sun and clouds wheel around his head
And not a single thought crosses his mind
The same year goes by for the seeker
He prides himself on his patient endurance of such a severe test
Surely this is the straight and narrow path, he thinks to himself
At last the sage focuses his eyes and clears his throat
I have done all I can do to answer you, he says…
And still after a year you hold onto that need to attain perfection
The seeker suffers the shock of that reply and staggers blindly from the cave –
And there, confronted by a ring of mountains draped in blue snow
He stops caring about enlightenment
And there, with his bare feet on cold stone he wakes…
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007