Friday, January 28, 2011

Donate your old ipod classic to a good cause

If you have upgraded from an ipod classic to an iphone or ipod touch, and have that old classic collecting dust, perhaps you have it in you to donate it to ~Enlighten~.

I do not want to arouse anger in anyone, so please don't feel upset, but our ipod was stolen. As you know, our ipod supplied all of the tunes for yoga, bellydancing, kid's classes and more.. I feel inconvenienced, not angry. Anger only harms the one which feels it.

So, if you have an old ipod to donate we would greatly appreciate it. Even if you don't, you can help us by sending a lovingkindness meditation (or prayer for) to the one(s) that stole from us, hoping that they'll be free from suffering, have happiness and have a change of heart. We should wish that for their own sake and the sake of all of us, they will stop harmful actions like stealing. Who knows, maybe our ipod will come home.

Everything that happens is a direct result of karmic seeds that we have planted throughout countless lifetimes. Instead of harboring ill-will or anger, the best we can do is diffuse the negativity, accept the situation, and make sure not to perpetuate the same error ourselves.

no anger, only love. Namaste.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Natural Solutions for Insomnia (c/o

For those who have sleep difficulty, please take a look at this article. Remember the solution to natural well-being always lies in treating the root causes, not the symptoms. Symptoms are signals that something is wrong. I hope this article serves you well! Namaste!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Glimpse of the Ultimate Reality

There are moments in life when, through a touch of grace, we can catch a glimpse of how the universe works. These are the moments when something we've longed for (or never knew we longed for) finally comes to be, and our mind flashes on numerous ways it was foreshadowed throughout our whole life.

Sometimes its something big, like becoming a parent or finding our life's calling. Sometimes its tiny, like finding deep fulfilment in trying a new hobby, travelling or finding something small out about ourself. What all these kinds of openings or discoveries have in common is that they trigger a feeling of release, a feeling of excitement and peace at the same time. It feels like one more heavy layer of illusion is dissolved, one more piece is in place, there is a small liberation that for a moment feels infinite..

Have you ever felt that way in your life? Have you felt liberated in any way, reborn, or suddenly more clear? It is as if we finally understand something that has been whispered so softly and for so long, that no matter how deeply we tried or struggled to hear it, we never could.. Until now. Its like we've been drunk for so long, and finally realize a new level of sobriety. Back to our senses, we are crystal clear once more, but like we never were before.

These moments that leave us feeling more whole, these peak experiences, trigger the reflection of those whispers, the foreshadowing of this powerful experience.

Upon that realization that years of your life built up to this very moment, it is tempting to indulge in wasteful and useless wondering "what if", what if you figured it out sooner. But if we can resist that purposeless lamentation, we can feel and see, as an artist sees, how life works, how life is constructed, how the universe unfolds. At least for a moment, just this one thread of this one life, which is but a thread of the infinite tapestry of the One Life that is omniscient and omnipresent.

Words are mere symbols pointing to an idea of an experience so big, it cannot be contained. Every time we touch it, we are opened, and the next time experience it more fully, consciously and clearly. The experience is much more real than words can ever be, and certainly more real then the "business as usual" way too many people live.

May the beauty of reality shatter the heavy chains, sober us all up to the infinite ecstatic bliss that is this life. May we all experience the ultimate reality, for much more then a glimpse.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Only Secret to Lasting Beauty

The Only Beauty That Lasts is the Beauty Cultivated Inside...

Our culture is so fearful of old-age, so afraid of losing our youthful looks, and so distrusting of our value beyond the outer appearance.

 As we grow out of our angelic baby body into a full-sized adult body and reach the peak of growing, then hitting the beginning of our dissolution back into the earth, many people panic. 

We are shown in the media that we are supposed to look the same forever, to never age or if we do age, we should never wrinkle, or if we should wrinkle, we should immediately seek plastic surgery.

All too infrequently are we told, or less frequently shown, that the only beauty that will last is the beauty we have cultivated inside of us. As we age and our body dissolves slowly back into the earth, the world will see how we have lived, how we have loved, and what goodness and light we have liberated within us or what darkness and hate we have allowed to fester.

So instead of wasting precious moments of our lives looking for cold creams, expensive treatments and surgeries, or painting ourselves up because we can't stand to face ourselves in the mirror, perhaps that time is better spent cultivating the only beauty that is true, lasting and real.

I found this picture on a blog, the title links to it. It is an American Buddhist monk's blog. He shares a video about the magnificent yoginis and nuns of a special place in Tibet. When you look at her, do you see her as beautiful? Do you see the light that shows through the surface, illuminating her? Inner peace, inner beauty, shines from us. The more we cultivate it, the more brightly it shows, making the otherwise "less than beautiful" of the world look gorgeous, even to the eyes of some materialists.

Yet another reason to practice mindfulness, yoga and meditation, they make us beautiful, or they unleash our inner beauty. Let the practice of kindness, compassion, joy and equinimity be your beauty regime. Let the goodness you live and the bounds of your love be your make-up.As your body dissolves back into nature, let the light of your heart shine brighter and brighter.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

new logo

I look forward to doing a photo shoot in some of our classes soon, if anyone is interested to be there/shoot for us! namaste!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meditation at home: as little as ten minutes a day can change your life

Starting a meditation practice sounds so daunting to the beginner. The numerous varieties of meditation techniques can be overwhelming to those that may be interested in starting a simple practice.

Yet, the benefits of regular meditation range from balancing bloodpressure to easing or eliminating anxiety. Meditation practice can improve depression, anxiety, frustration, anger, immunity, digestive and eating disorders. It can help the body to heal itself and is great for aiding cancer treatment. It can heal broken self-confidence, helping to create stronger, more positive thought patterns and is phenomenal in changing negative habits into healthy ones.

Regular meditation practice can increase health and vitality, grow inner peace and release lasting joy. There is only one catch: to realize the myriad benefits, one has to practice regularly. That simple fact is enough to deter many people from ever trying in the first place. It is actually easy to get started meditating and with a month of regular practice the habit can become more natural to maintain. After a few months, many encouraging results may manifest, making meditation a practically self-sustaining habit.

To practice at home, it is important to set up a small, comfortable space that can be devoted to practice. A little cushion or floor pillow in the corner of your bedroom can be enough. It is highly recommended that you keep this space set up, undisturbed and don't let others use it. A closet or small room could be set up for meditation if you would like something more elaborate. You can set an inspirational picture or decorate a small table or altar with inspiring and beautiful things. Try to keep your space neat and uncluttered. Think calming and soothing as your motif.

Set a regular time in the morning or evening for practice, or practice twice a day for faster results. First thing upon waking is conducive for most people (after answering the call of nature). Sit cross-legged or kneel and practice for ten minutes each session to start. Over time, as you feel benefits from practice and are encouraged, you can add two to five minutes every couple months, up to one 30 minute session or two 20 minute sessions daily, or more if you wish. Some teachers recommend up to two sessions of an hour each, daily.

Regularity in practice is key, both in establishing the habit and in increasing concentration. Seated meditation is easier after practicing yoga poses until your body feels harmonized and lighter. Upon completing your yoga practice, or after a few tension-relieving stretches, kneel or sit cross-legged in your meditation space.

Settle your body into a steady upright posture, being as effortless as possible while sitting up straight. Begin taking a few comfortably deep breaths, noticing the sensation of breathing. Relaxing any unneeded tension you become aware
of. Slowly become aware of the sensations throughtout your body- the feeling of your body in space, the sense of energy or aliveness flowing through you, and of course, your emotions and thoughts.

Don't try to force the thoughts to quiet down. Instead, let them run in the background, not giving them any reaction, judgement or energy. Let them be a small part of your experience instead of the whole they often are. Focus most of your attention on what you are actually experiencing
in the present moment.

For added concentration, with your eyes closed, focus your inner gaze at the point in between your eyebrows. If your eyes tire, relax your inner vision to the general "screen" seen with closed eyes.

To help keep focused you can use internal mantra repitition. If you don't have a mantra you can use "om" (aum). Hear the mantra repeating in harmony with the breath.

Be patient. Each day is different. Concentration comes slowly. Be non-judgmental. Throughout practice aim to keep open, passive awareness as best as you can.

With regular practice you will find encouraging results. Be dilligent. Practice kindly, don't make practice stressful.

Your little meditation practice can transform you and your life. Respond honesly according to your awareness in each moment. Be dilligent, be compassionate and don't give up!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Aspire to Inspire: an intention of positivity for 2011

Resolving to make a change can be an inspiration to start fresh and be your best, but it has to begin in a positive way. Please don't set self-depreciating goals that come from anger or other negative emotions. However, a goal can be set from remoarse, genuinely not wanting to commit the same mistake again.

Taking your yoga practice off the mat can play an integral role in helping you to make positive changes by helping you to be mindful-thus noticing where, why and when you go off track. Mindfulness helps us to develop patience and perserverance, two crucial qualities for creating new positive habits that replace the old negative ones.

Be dilligent and learn from your mistakes, don't beat yourself up nor be so lax that you keep repeating the same mistakes continuously.

Using mindfulness will help you to find the root of your vice, and as any gardener knows, if you remove the root and all, the weed will not come back. If you just keep pulling the leaves and shoots off at the ground, if you only focus on the symptom, your negative habit, it will continuously arise. If you find and destroy the root, you will succeed in preventing the plant, the negative habit will vanish, because you destroyed the cause.

Remember that in addition to destroying the root of negativity, we need to plant positive seeds to spout in the garden of our mind. Not only will this help us to accomplish our goal faster, but we will benefit others as well, at the very same time.

Using the Four Limitless Thoughts, as they are called in yoga, we can plant seeds of goodness in ourselves and others, speeding our path to lasting inner peace. The limitless thoughts are kindness, compassion, joy and equinimity. Limitless kindness means devoting ourselves to making sure those around us are happy. Limitless compassion means doing everything we can to end suffering and discomfort for all. Limitless joy means taking action to help others find inner peace. Limitless equinimity means applying these feelings and efforts to all, equally- not just our friends and family, but all people, all living beings, everything and everyone.

This is a tall order, but every positive deed done intentionally sows positive seeds within us that make it more and more natural to live with the 4 Limitless Thoughts as our primary motivation.

So we can set our goal on one petty or superficial change for ourselves alone, or we can set a higher goal for the good of all, which includes us as we help others.

I can say from experience that if you set your goal just for yourself, you may or may not succeed, but it won't give you the same quality of inner peace that a selfless goal will. In 6 years of practicing yoga & the 4 Limitless Thoughts, nearly all of the personal goals that I used to struggle and suffer to achieve have been met- naturally, almost without effort relatively speaking. Through doing the very best that I can (which some days doesn't seem very good at all!) to live with the 4 Limitless Thoughts as my primary motivation every day, I have achieved not only lots of little superficial goals, but I have found great deal of inner peace. At the same time, I have helped others to find some peace. There is perhaps no greater joy.

I may have a way to go, but I also have come so far. I have lots of gratitude for the grace, teachers and teachings that have illuminated my way so far.

I am renewing my intention to live the 4 Limitless Thoughts as my thoughts, and to dilligently practice yoga, mindfullness and meditation so that I can bring more happiness into the world for all, freeing all beings from suffering...

I hope that you will join me too.



If you are interested in finding and sharing inner peace this year, I recommend starting by reading these two books- quick and helpful reads:

THE ESSENTIAL YOGA SUTRA by Geshe Michael Roach- the basic text of yoga, this is a phenomenal translation, a book that I personally study and re-read often

THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle- if you agree or disagree with his introduction that is disatisfied with organized religion, the bulk of the book offers poignant and universal teachings to help understand the human mind and habits that create suffering. Quotes by Jesus and Buddha round out his offerings on being present