Sat Nam Fest West 2018

Sat Nam Fest Joshua Tree is finally here! And it is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the happiness, rejuvenation, and transformation of Kundalini Yoga, mantra music, and creativity as you re-discover your authentic self.

Every year Sat Nam Fest presents a variety of sacred music performances, teachers, workshops, Kundalini Yoga classes, and much more.

See you there!

love, k 🙂

 

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Laws of the Universe

Thinking back on when my life

was a mess, I would blame the Universe. Over and over I would say, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? It’s unfair. Why does this happen to me all the time?”

Then I read THE SECRET. The Secret introduced me to the Law of Attraction and I believed that this was how I could get the Universe to work for me rather than against me. I didn’t know much about the Law of Attraction. I didn’t really understand how it worked or how it was connected to the Universe. I thought the Universe was a space where if I sent out positive thoughts I would get positive results.

During the time of reading the Secret I lost my job, my car, my home, and my ex-husband at the time. I was devastated and I felt I was a failure. I gave up reading the Secret or thinking about the Law of Attraction. Its funny though, when you feel your life is at rock bottom and you come to a point where you have a choice – do I continue on with this downward spiral or do I try and figure a way out of this?

The easier option is to do nothing but I chose to try and figure a way out. I decided to put the Law of Attraction and the teachings of the Secret to the test. I set out to manifest my perfect job according to how I thought it should be done. I did find a job eventually but I took the job for all the wrong reasons. I knew this job was not for me the moment I went into the interview. I did not listen to my intuition. I had made a deal with the Universe to using the 3 step formula (ask, believe, and receive) from the Secret to manifest this perfect job into my life. This was the first job offer so this must be the one and I took it.

Three months later I quit the job. I found myself again, feeling like a failure, zero self-esteem, zero confidence and very little self-belief. Again I had to pull myself out of this deep hole and start over.

The question I asked myself was; “How could I get the Universe to listen and work for me rather than against me?”

I discovered that my relationship with the Universe now operates on these four laws – action, consequence, positive energy and the power of choice.

When you start working with the universal laws that resonate with you. You will find overtime that the Universe will respond and start working with you to achieve all that you desire in life. I began to see why some people including me never achieved positive results because the conscious thoughts which are positive are not aligned to the unconscious beliefs, habits and values. When you are not aligned in your mind, body and soul although your conscious mind desires greatness your subconscious will block it.
Once I understood how to work with the different energies that are the essential elements of setting and achieving goals I felt more confident about my abilities and myself. I also found that I began to have more positive experiences in my life and my relationship with the Universe improved. Over time I stopped bargaining with the Universe and became more open to receiving from the universe.

Events can happen in our lives that are traumatic and painful. It is times like these that it becomes very hard to be positive and upbeat about life especially when you feel so bad. There are also times in our life where we just feel sad or frustrated. I was spending too much time focusing on having to be positive and feeling good that I was not dealing with my feelings of sadness, grief, pain and fear.

I do agree that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook about life is powerful and you do have more energy and happiness in life. However ignoring your feelings of pain or sadness only results in you burying these feelings deep within you. These feelings are real. They will not stay buried for long and at some point they will surface.

It’s a fine balance to manage and process these feelings and not get drawn into the vortex of negativity. From my experience I’ve learned and like to share is that you spend time acknowledging your feelings but then move quickly to finding more positive things to focus on in your life. I found that by dealing with my feelings of sadness, pain and grief I became more self aware and more resilient. As a result my thoughts and energies were more aligned and my relationship with the Universe became stronger.

To the Universe, k:)

Getting Sober

When I recently learned of the death of a musician I think highly of. Besides of being a talented musician, she was something of a comic spark plug, performing brilliant songs with clever lyrics wove into their band and dj performances. I enjoyed watching them for years. She died suddenly at a young age.

I was surprised at how moved I was at the news of her passing. I found the incident sobering. The word sober is usually used as the flip side of being drunk. But when an event sobers us, it dashes cold water on our face to free us from the drunkenness of the meaningless activities we often engage in. We are awakened from the addictive behaviors we use to distract ourselves from our pain. The list of our addictions, hard and soft, is substantial: Drinking, using, drugging, Internet, smartphone, gaming, anxious eating, overworking, compulsive shopping, disconnected sex, neurotic cleaning, mindless babbling, arguing, continual drama, and so on.. All tricks we play on ourselves to stay on and on and on—all tricks we play on ourselves to stay enraptured by emptiness. We each have our preferred escape.

Then something happens that forces us to face ourselves and our lives. A death, divorce, accident, business setback, health issue, legal problem, or weather disaster. Some crisis or emergency. Then we have to think about what is really important and what our priorities are. While such challenges are painful, they are also liberating. They push us to dig into our soul rather than hang out at the shallow surface of our lives. When we go through such difficulties, we resist them. After we graduate from the lessons they bring us, we find deep gratitude.

None of us knows how long we or our loved ones will be here. It could be a very long time or a short time. Some people disappear quickly, without notice. For that reason we must appreciate the people and gifts in our lives while we have them. Don’t take anyone or any situation for granted. Bless it while you have it. Tell your close ones that you love them. Thank them for the good they bring you.

Hopefully you will have lots more time with your loved ones. Just don’t wait until they are gone or almost gone to express your heart to them. Likewise, don’t wait until you find your soulmate, lose 30 pounds, get your dream job, make your first million, or attain nirvana before you appreciate who you are. Now is your big moment to fall in love with yourself. Right where you are. As you are just enough.

love, krishna (kelly)

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Love is Respect

Healthy communication is important in every relationship, but especially after trust has been broken. When you are able to talk honestly with your significant other and feel that your partner, and you should feel secure in being open and honest then here are a few tips for healthy relationship.

Be on the same team. Your relationship may not look the same on the “other side,” but it is possible to build something new. It’s encouraged for both to be focused on building that new relationship together.

Stay “present-oriented.” One of the most difficult things about rebuilding trust is staying in the present moment and building toward the future, rather than living in or worrying about the past.

Trust yourself and intuition. This might be the most important thing to do. Learning to trust yourself, your own feelings, and that you’ll be protected moving forward is key to having a healthy relationship with anyone.

Before we can open to the flow of the Universe, we have to be open and honest with our self. We have to accept our self, and able to say, I trust myself, I love myself, I am myself. With that, everything flows toward you because you are vibrating as you.

Infinite Blessings,

k

Cleansing Crystals and Gemstones – HOW TO?

There are many methods today for cleaning crystals and gemstones in order to increase the effects of their metaphysical energies.

Gemstones are believed to have an extensive memory, remembering where they’ve been, who they’ve touched, and all forces and energies that have surrounded them. A crystal or gemstone can pass onto others any energy that it has stored within it.  Often, gemstones need to be cleansed of any unwanted energies that they may have collected from you, from others, or from the environment.

 

gemstones

 

Healers, Light workers, take care to clean their healing stones after each use because the stones might take pain (both physical and emotional) into themselves and pass it onto others if they have not been cleansed of those energies between uses. If a stone has absorbed negative energies, it may not work well for whatever purpose.

 

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Methods for cleansing stones:
Fire – carefully pass the stone through the flame of a candle several times until you intuitively feel it has been cleared. The fire will burn away any negative energy. (Always use care when dealing with fire to ensure safety for yourself and environment).
Smudging – carefully pass the stone through the smoke of a white sage smudge stick several times until you intuitively feel it has been cleared. Read more about smudging gemstones here….
Water – rinse the stone in moving water. This can be done in one of three ways:
by holding the stone in a river or brook (placing it into a mesh bag will make it easier to hold onto) for several minutes,
by leaving it out in the rain for several hours,
by holding it under the faucet for several minutes. The water will wash away negative energy and return it to the Earth where it can be neutralized.
DO NOT USE WATER on soft stones such as angelite, some calcites, howlite, aragonite, azurite, dolomite, malachite, selenite, sulphur, etc. as it may dissolve the stone to a greater or lesser degree.

Earth – bury the stone in the ground for one full day, placing a marker over it so as to be able to find it later, or bury the stone in a pot of ground soil. (Do not use potting soil as it has been treated.) The soil will absorb negative energy, disperse it, and transmute it into positive energy. Stones feel very comfortable in the earth as it is where they formed and grew.
Air – smudge the stone on all sides with a sage smudge stick, or with dried sage or cedar, or pass it through the smoke of sandalwood or sage incense. Sage is a very effective cleanser, neutralizing negative energy and transmuting it into positive energy.
Sea salt – the most common method of cleansing stones is with water and sea salt. You can do this by placing the stone in a mesh bag and rinsing it in the ocean for several minutes, or by soaking the stone for several hours in a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt. CAUTIONS: *Salt may damage the finish on some stones. * Water may damage soft or friable stones. *Placing a stone in dry sea salt (without the water) may damage its electromagnetic field.
Light – place a stone in bright sunlight, either outside or on a windowsill, for at least an hour. NOTE: solar energy may be too violent for some stones, having been formed within the Earth devoid of any light. CAUTION: over time, sunlight may fade the color of some stones. An alternate, and gentler, method is to place the stone in moonlight for at least one night under a full moon, longer if the moon is not full.

 

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Good luck! All cleansing methods are compatible with each other; so use whatever combination feels right for you and your stone. Intuitively, using a combination of methods is especially good for cleansing new stones, clearing stones for programming, and cleansing and recharging heavily drained stones. Combinations cleanse the stones more effectively and sometimes more quickly.

love, #krishna

 

Autumn Series: Carve out some good times!

To inspire your own celebrating this season, sit for a spell and have some brew.

It is beginning to feel alot like Autumn! Holidays are right around the corner, ten days from today we will be witching you a Happy Halloween!

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Caution! Skeleton Crossing

love, k 🙂

Interview: Tzu Chi embodies Charity through Compassion and Good Work

Interview with Tzu Chi and LA Yoga Magazine By Kelly Dunn aka (Krishna)

In Chinese, Tzu means compassion, and Chi relief.
The worldwide nonprofit spiritual organization Tzu Chi spreads a mission and a message.

In Southern California and beyond, the worldwide nonprofit organization Tzu Chi spreads the message that giving awakens kindness and love in our hearts. Master Cheng Yen is the founder and leader of the Tzu Chi Buddhist charity organization.

 

Over the past five decades, Tzu Chi has dedicated itself to the missions of disaster relief, charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture. The focus of these is to offer material aid and psychological support to those in need, spiritual and moral guidance through education, in addition to protecting the environment and providing international disaster relief.

 

Wherever Tzu Chi goes, good health, peace and love follow closely. As part of their worldwide mission, they are hosting a series of inspiring evenings through the Charity Art Performance Tour. The tour will be coming to LA on October 1.

 

In Chinese, tzu means compassion, and chi relief. Tzu Chi’s mission includes eight categories called One step, eight footprints. Its mobile food pantry travels to impoverished communities in California weekly, benefiting 20,000 families annually.

 

Around 900 inmates have received spiritual support through books, magazines, and over 1,200 letters that were answered, offering guidance towards a meaningful life of helping others. A Tzu Chi principle is that illness, while creating pain, can become the root of poverty as well, which is why the organization makes it part of its mission to offer quality and free medical care.
The Compassionate History of Tzu Chi
The organization was founded when the devoted Buddhist nun, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, was moved by the pain and misery she saw around her. She made a powerful commitment to help the poor and relieve suffering.

 

She collaborated with five other female disciples and thirty housewives. In order to fund their work, the disciples made and sold baby shoes while the housewives set aside some of the money that they had for food. Their mandate: to help the poor and ill with love, joy, compassion.

 

The footprint of Tzu Chi’s work at the forefront of disaster relief and poverty reduction has spread throughout the world, reaching 94 countries. They have over 10 million volunteers and supporters worldwide, the volunteers serving with steadfast dedication, grateful for the opportunity to provide relief that people can always count on.
Sharing Charity through Art
In advance of the Thousands of Helping Hands Charity Art Performance Tour, we sat down with the Tzu Chi’s CEO, Dr. Han Huang, to learn more about this inspiring organization, its vision, and initiatives.

 

LA YOGA: We understand that businessman Stephen Huang was inspired to bring the work of Tzu Chi to the United States in part by Taiwan-based Master Cheng Yen‘s emphasis on work and self-sufficiency as part of a spiritual organization. This is demonstrated in how the organization was founded and operates, the fact that she built six hospitals in Taiwan, and spreads the message of service.

 

Tzu Chi: Yes, yes. I think most people are pretty amazed by that.

 

LA YOGA: Was Master Cheng Yen’s commitment to medical care inspired in part by what drew her to the dharma, her mother’s surgery, personal challenges, and her father’s death?

 

TC: We have to go back 50 plus years ago, when she, well there are a few things, a few reasons that she really wanted to set up the foundation. One of them is that she went to a local hospital, it was a hospital, but the scale was in no way comparable to what we have here.

 

She saw some sort of blood on the floor and then she asked around, “What happened? Why is there blood on the floor?” And then, this lady told her “There is a lady, she had a difficult time to deliver the baby.” There are some residents in the mountains in Taiwan, and it’s difficult for them to travel so they are carried down the mountain.

 

But then this lady had a hard time delivering her baby and she didn’t have the money to pay the required deposit, so the hospital refused to take care of her. Then they had to hand carry her back, which means that she would just die with the baby.

 

Master Cheng Yen heard this story and she was so shocked, and she asked, “How could this happen?” But it was a policy of the hospital at the time, and pretty much in all of Taiwan. She was afflicted with grief and sensed the importance of financial support in times of critical need. This incident turned into the catalyst that prompted her to set up a charity.

 

Master Cheng Yen established the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Her dedication and determination to change medical care and her commitment to medical care is what drew her to the dharma.

 

Some other experiences that strengthened her commitment include when she witnessed the suffering of sickness and pain while caring for her debilitated brother in the hospital for months. When her mother needed a risky operation, she prayed and offered to give up years of her own life in exchange for her mother’s health. Her mother recovered without surgery.

 

Master Cheng Yen’s spiritual calling intensified when her father died and she was left bereaved and full of questions about the meaning of life. The shock and trauma of her father’s death marked a turning point in her life. She began to search for the truths behind life and death, and often visited a Buddhist temple in her hometown to study the Buddhist sutras and to seek answers to her questions.

 

After her father’s death, she ran away from home to become a Buddhist nun, needing to expand the love for her family to all of humanity. The conditions there were harsh, but her commitment to the Dharma only grew stronger. Her auspicious first contact with Buddha Dharma at this crucial moment offered the wisdom and guidance she was seeking.
Tzu Chi Spreads the Dharma through Compassionate Action
LA YOGA: It sounds like these experiences strengthened her resolve to focus on healthcare as a means of reducing suffering and making a difference. It looks like healthcare is one of the missions of Tzu Chi in the US. What are some of the ways in which this commitment is implemented?

 

Tzu Chi: In 1993 we had the first clinic, a free clinic in Alhambra, not far from where we are speaking now in El Monte. If patients can prove that their monthly income is below the federal poverty line, they are qualified to receive free medical and dental care. We decided to do a health fair in San Bernardino.

 

From that we expanded and we developed a portable unit for dental care. We developed a dental bus with two dental chairs, X-rays, everything that a dentist would need. You could even do some light surgery in the van. This progressed from supporting a Dental Van to offering a Vision Van with same-day glasses.

 

We have a program called See 2 Succeed which is a collaboration of community partners such as, Kaiser Permanente, CalViva Health, Health Net, Eye-Q Center, and many more. Tzu Chi’s Vision Mobile Clinic is serving 10 school districts in Fresno County with the support of community grants and in-kind support.

 

LA YOGA: What are some of the reasons why people volunteer for Tzu Chi and do you have any stories about the impact of this work on the volunteers themselves?

 

Tzu Chi: I think they volunteer for the Foundation because we are a faith-based foundation. There is a philosophy behind volunteering. Our volunteers came here to Tzu Chi not just to help; they also want to learn and improve their lives. Some of our volunteers, volunteer with their kids from when they are in primary school until they are teenagers.

 

The work they do has an impact on their own lives. For example, a group traveled across the border to Tijuana to volunteer for our health fair, and when they came back their attitude completely changed. Now they appreciate everything they have.

 

LA YOGA: Oh they’re in gratitude.

 

Tzu Chi: Yes, and the parents are very happy about it because somehow through this opportunity of volunteering the kids learn that the most important thing is to really appreciate everything that you have. The kids especially learn this through volunteer work.

 

LA YOGA: We understand that Tzu Chi USA began by mobilizing volunteers, then hosting tea parties where they could share their thoughts, experiences, and joy of volunteering. The events quickly inspired the creation of additional chapters gaining supporters.

 

Today, Tzu Chi USA has more than 60 service centers, with over 100,000 volunteers working to make a difference in their communities. It sounds like the movement has gained traction with the Chinese and Taiwanese communities in the US. How is Tzu Chi reaching beyond their roots to connect with a wide variety of people?

 

Tzu Chi: Yes, that’s a very good question. That’s the thing that I am trying to work on now. I think every foundation has its history, its story to being with. But I think it’s time that we should think about how we invite more people to participate.

 

We want to reach out to people who are looking for a philosophy, message, and work that involves the mind, body, and spirit. We are spreading our vision and message through publications such as LA Yoga and other media and talk radio, sharing the spirit of Tzu Chi, which inspires the heart, encourages putting compassion into action, and advocates giving as a way of life.
LA YOGA: In addition to the initiatives such as the Back To School Kick- Off, what are some other Southern California-based programs run by Tzu Chi?

 

Tzu Chi: Some of the other Southern California-based programs run by Tzu Chi include individual aid cases, disaster relief, Happy Campus Program, mobile food pantries, free medical services, job referrals, charity distributions, character education, and scholarships. There is a lot of variety in the work that we do.

 

LA YOGA: You mentioned being a faith-based organization and one focused on body, mind, and spirit. What are some of the teachings that are integral to the organization and the mission?

 

Tzu Chi: Gratitude, Respect and Love. Especially Love.

 

We are a foundation based on love, and encourage people to take care of others, and to give without asking for anything in return.

 

LA YOGA: Does Master Cheng Yen share dharma teachings with her students and members of the organization?

 

Tzu Chi: Yes. Every day in the morning, she offers a sutra teaching. You can listen online here.

 

You can watch Tzu Chi Teachings related to the spirit of gratitude here.

 

LA YOGA: Is there any emphasis placed on a daily or personal practice? How is the charity work influenced by the dharma teachings?

 

Tzu Chi: It is a daily practice. Here is a typical example how our charity work is influenced by dharma, say when we do disaster relief. We will give those impacted some blankets typically because the weather is cold, and then we give them some kind of emergency financial aid, ($300 or $500 depending on the size of the family), and perhaps a hot meal, or some kind of easy to eat nutritious food.

 

But the manner in which we offer this aid is integral to our practice. The typical way our volunteers deliver items to people is to hand things to them with a 90 degree bow. Through this gesture, we want demonstrate our respect.

 

We want to show that people care, we care. We want to send the message to people not to give up because a lot of people care, we don’t even know who you are but we’re here! We want to give the message, “Don’t give up, just keep going, we know that you are suffering and we do what we can do to help. The point is you, don’t give up, because we don’t give up, so you don’t give up, just keep going, you’ll be fine.” Hopefully by doing that we encourage and inspire people.
Tzu Chi’s Thousands of Helping Hands Charity Art Performance
LA YOGA: Los Angeles hosts the Charity Arts Performance on October 1. What is the connection of the upcoming Charity Art Performance series with the mission of the organization?

 

Tzu Chi: The Thousands of Helping Hands Charity Art Performance features the astonishing artistry of the world-renowned China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe ( CDPPAT ).
Tzu Chi: They may be visually, hearing, or physically impaired, but they’re able to move, dance, keep a rhythm, and do so much more because of how they inspire others. The message here is that “Everybody can contribute.” Hopefully this can serve as an inspiration to everyone.

 

The world can use more helping hands to join together and do good deeds on behalf of those in need in their communities and beyond.

 

Right now, Tzu Chi has truly taken the suffering resulting from Hurricane Harvey to heart. We mobilized an extensive disaster relief mission for this catastrophe, which has begun, and will continue for some time.
But then Hurricane Irma appeared on the horizon. Our mission will simply embrace this disaster as well.
When it comes to love, there are no boundaries, no limits, and no obstacles that can’t be overcome. That’s what every Tzu Chi volunteer believes and practices daily. In a way, we’re planting seeds of compassion in each aid recipient too – because we have seen how those who receive unconditional love, are then motivated to give and to pass it on to others. It’s a beautiful thing, it really is.
Let’s come together and do more for society! May these two hands that we each possess, and our activities, help others. It feels great, and what greater meaning is there to life, than that – being of benefit to others.
LA YOGA: We are inspired by the mission and work of Tzu Chi. Please support this work by attending the Charity Art Performance to celebrate and support.

 

To learn more about the Tzu Chi Foundation click here

Read more? Click here

love, #krishna