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Monday, November 7, 2016

SHEEP SKIN:

Before there were yoga mats, mystics and yogis used animal skins not only as a surface on which to sit, but a surface to pray and practice meditation. For one that does not know, one would think that an animal skin is primitive. But as with any tool, intention can turn an ordinary object into a sacred one.

The use of a sheepskin is both practical and spiritual: an animal skin provides a barrier between your body and the surface on which you are sitting but it also provides a barrier to the earth's magnetic field. The earth's core pulls your subtle energy down making sitting in meditation for long periods of time draining. Using a sheep skin serves as a barrier facilitating the rising of the Kundalini energy through the higher chakras expanding and strengthening the aura.

When we use the skin as a spiritual tool, we liberate the animal's soul as we work to liberate our own. There is an exchange that occurs with every sentient being, (living being of animal, vegetable, human consciousness), we come in contact with. In regards to the use of a sheepskin for a spiritual practice, the animal skin absorbs your subtle energy, the vibration of your mantras and projections, becoming a fortifying tool that can be used when you are ill, in need of protection and/or fortification.

There are vegans that would argue against the use of an animal skin and opt for the use of a wool blanket, or mat, to minimize the earth's pull. But in my opinion, acknowledging this exchange between the living and the dead and the cyclical nature of life is a vital part of one's spiritual practice. We practice to liberate our own soul, preparing our selves for our own transition, all the while assisting our ancestors and our beloveds. 

In the collective unconscious, and as an archetypal symbol, sheep and lambs are symbolic of "the sacrifice" one makes when one is in service of the One. This exchange is portrayed and celebrated in Abrahamic traditions of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and also in religious practices of the African diaspora. The use of a sheep skin is entirely individual and a matter of perspective. As a rule of thumb, as you find your way along the spiritual path, always do what resonates in your heart. A heart with sincere intention will never be led astray.

- Mama Luz

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Meditation to Reverse Childhood Patterns

In order to have a better understanding of our childhood patterns, let us first get a general understanding of early childhood development. Here are a few bullet points from my parenting book, "Kinnecting: Healing the Difficult Child with the Creative Arts" to give us increased insight:
• When a child’s survival and emotional needs are met promptly and consistently by the mother (primary caretaker), typically, the child will thrive physically, cognitively and emotionally (Stern, 1973)
• Negative feelings (fear, hunger, discomfort, etc.) permeate a child’s being because their survival is dependent on their mother (primary caretaker)
• Children use their bodies to communicate because they lack the verbal and cognitive skills to get their needs met
• Children are receptive to verbal and nonverbal forms of communication through energy level, vocal tone and body posture
• Parents/caretakers help mold a child’s body boundaries by providing safety and containment through structure and limitations
• Child development during the formative years (0-6) will set the precedent for the way in which he/she problem solves, expresses feelings and relates to others

Our childhood patterns are developed as a way of getting our needs met and a way of dealing with stress and/or early childhood trauma. These patterns become our means of survival. The way in which our brain normalizes the toxicity in our lives in order for us to function. For a time, these patterns serve us and for that they should be honored. But the environments to which we become habituated and the ways in which we deal with these challenges as a child do not always serve us as adults. These patterns become habitual and rigid and limit us from living an abundant, fulfilled and radiant life. Oftentimes these patterns are borne of fear and doubt and stifle our true essence prior to psychic wounds. To function optimally as a fully healed and integrated adult, we must operate from a place of: Knowledge of Self, Self analysis, Critical thought, Self correction, spiritual connectivity and energetic flow. That is why I love Kundalini Yoga so much! It is the quickest and most effective way for one to re-parent one's self from a Divine perspective with courage and clarity. It is the Warrior Healer's Path. For the individual willing to put one's Self in the healing fire and emerge transformed. I've been feeling the effects of this meditation even before we have begun. This is going to be a power-full journey. Let's do this!

BEGIN: Sit in EASY POSE, with a light JALANDAR BANDH (elogated spine, lifting behind the head and slightly tucking in the chin). Rub your hands together and bring them to PRAYER POSE with your thumbs against your sternum and your shoulders rolled back and down. Your eyes rolled in and up towards your THIRD EYE. Inhale through the nose and chant ONG NA MO GURU DEV NAMO (I bow to the Divine Teacher within) on two breaths. Listen here for the correct pronunciation and cadence of the ADI MANTRA which is found on my CD URBAN MANTRA: VOL I. Please purchase if you have not already and show your support of Rhythm & Breath. All proceeds from the album go to Rhythm & Breath's continued effort to bring affordable and accessible mystical tools to urban folk.  
MUDRA #1:
1. Sit in Easy Pose. Place left hand in front of you at chest level. Keep the fingers straight with the palm facing right. Press the fingertips of the right hand into the mounds at the base of the fingers of the left hand. Palms face each other. Right fingers are bent. Thumbs rest alongside each other. Eyes are closed. Begin to breathe long and deeply through the mouth with a ‘throaty breath.’ Hear the sound of it. Regulate it from the throat. Feel the breath and the energy it creates. Continue for 3-5 minutes. Then inhale deeply and suspend the breath for up to a minute. As you hold it, go through your psyche deeply. Gather all thoughts, feelings, memories  you want to release. Exhale through the mouth like a cannon. Expel the impressions. Release the feelings.

To End: Inhale and exhale a few times then suspend the breath again. Repeat this two more times.
MUDRA #2:
1. Still in Easy Pose, bring the hands in front of the shoulders with the palms facing forward. With the left hand, connect the little finger to the tip of the thumb. With the right hand connect the ring finger to the tip of the thumb. Close the eyes and begin Breath of Fire through your mouth. Steady breath. 3 minutes. Inhale deeply and concentrate through the top of the head for up to 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
MUDRA #3:
3. Cross your hands on the Heart Center, right over left. Focused at the tip of the nose through closed eyes. Breathe normally in your own rhythm. 7-11 minutes. Meditate on a feeling and quality in your heart. Feel your innocence. Connect to your sense of totality and vastness. Extend your sense of peace. Any thought or people that come to your mind, grant your blessing. Bless your Self, any thought in awareness. Enter a state of gratitude, light and blessing. Survey each year from birth to 11 years old. Bring in the sense of light, kindness and blessing to each memory. See what happens as this entire period is cleared and released by touching it with your light and openness

TO FINISH: Recite the Warrior Healers Affirmations in GYAN MUDRA, your index finger pressed against your thumbs. Or in BUDDHA MUDRA one hand resting in the other with the thumbs touching.

TO CLOSE: Rub your hands together, bring them to prayer pose and chant SAT NAM (Truth is my Identity) on one breath 3 times. Bring your hands up to your forehead and bow bringing your hands and head to the floor. This seals the work in your frontal lobe.

Well there it is! Let us reclaim our innocence and our birth right to a prosperous, radiant, content and complete life! I will meet me you in the Rhythm & Breath circle with your questions, comments and impressions. I look forward to healing individually and collectively.

Sat Nam, Salaam, Shalom,
Mama Luz


Thursday, December 24, 2015

TUNE IN - TUNE OUT


"Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo: I bow to the Divine Teacher within."
 

TUNING IN

I cannot stress enough the importance of tuning in before you begin your Kundalini Yoga  practice and tuning out as you conclude. We tune in to disconnect our Self from our current reality and plug our Self into a higher vibration. By tuning in, we open our Self to the possibility of what is: connecting with the present state of one's inner most Self while at the same time being open to the possibility of transformation and deep healing. We begin every session with the Adi Mantra

ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO

The translation from Gurmukhi:
I bow to the Divine Teacher within

We chant this mantra three times either on one or two breaths depending on lung capacity and preference. I prefer two breaths because I have more power in my breath and it also gives me an opportunity to vibrate the mantra from my heart center and not my throat. Remember, chanting is not singing. Listen here for the correct pronunciation and cadence of the mantraThis mantra links you to the Golden Chain of teachers that came before you while acknowledging that you are that which you seek. There is no need for a master, a teacher, a guru. They only provide the map for you to reach your destination. The true work is done by you through your daily practice. 

When one deepens one's practice, and if time permits, some yogis follow the Adi Mantra with the Mangala Charn Mantra. The Mangala Charn Mantra is said to surround the individual's electromagnetic field with protective white light.

AAD GURAY NAMEH
JUGAAD GURAY NAMEH
SAT GURAY NAMEH
SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH

Translation:
I bow to the Primal Wisdom.
I bow to the Wisdom through the Ages.
I bow to the True Wisdom.
I bow to the great, unseen Wisdom

TUNING OUT

After you conclude your meditation you may do a "sound bath." You can use a gong, bells, chimes, or tibetan singing bowl. You can learn how to play the gong with one of my teachers, Hari Jiwan here. I call sound meditations, "meditation from the outside...in." The gong is the sound of creation that washes over your subtle body and brings integration of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The sound vibration "washes" over your subtle body clearing it of negative energy, psychic chords, and parasitic entities.  

Now, you may close out your session "as taught by Yogi Bhajan" with the LONG TIME SUN:

May the long time sun shine upon you
All light surround you
And the pure light within you 
Guide your way on. 

This comes from a Keltic prayer that was popular during the 60's when Yogi Bhajan began to teach in the U.S. We are in different times and yoga appeals to a more culturally diverse population. So in my classes, in lieu of the Long Time Sun, we close out with The Warrior Healer's Affirmations which came to me during a meditation:

I am infinite abundance and boundless prosperity.

I have unlimited potential, at this and every moment; I am the seed of creation.

I patiently await for what is mine; My destiny is already written.

I accept everything that comes to me, light and shadow, with graciousness and humility; Every thing is an extension of my Being.

I have a healthy detachment to objects and situations because I realize the transient nature of things; Nothing is permanent.

I use my awareness to raise my own consciousness, that of my family, my community and the cosmos; My existence is not in vain.

I am protected on all sides, at all times; I walk the straight path with no fear.

I trust and surrender to the process; Divine Loving Hands move all.

However you decide to close out your session, whether with the Long Time Sun or the Warrior Healer's Affirmations, it is important to do what resonates in your soul. You may even choose to say a prayer in your own religious tradition or recite a beautiful poem. I believe we are multi-faceted hu-man be-ings. It is important to honor all of your incarnations and integrate them in this life-time. The science of Kundalini Yoga can help you to do that. No sense in getting caught up in religious dogma if it doesn't sit well in your heart.  

If you are still feeling spacey after a session, drink water and/or touch the earth with bare feet.

And there it is R & B Yogis! More tools to live by. If you have any questions, you know where to find me.

See you in the ethers,

Mama Luz