Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Ten Taoist Precepts



The Taoist precepts were adapted from Buddhism in the 5th century, CE. These precepts are about attaining liberation in order to benefit all living beings. These precepts are similar to other traditions and emphasize avoiding unwholesome actions such as lying, killing, stealing, sexual abuse and intoxication.

The Ten Precepts

1. Don’t harbor hatred or jealousy in your heart! Don’t give rise to dark thieving thoughts! Be reserved in speech and wary of transgressions! Keep your thoughts on the Divine Law!

2. Maintain a kind heart and do not kill! Have pity for and support all living beings! Be compassionate and loving! Broadly reach out to bring universal redemption to all!

3. Maintain purity and be withdrawing in your social interactions! Be neither lascivious nor thieving, but constantly harbor good thoughts! Always take from yourself to aid others!

4. Don’t set your mind on sex or give rise to passion! Be not licentious in your heart but remain pure and behave prudently! Make sure your actions are without blemish or stain!

5. Don’t utter bad words! Don’t use flowery and ornate language! Be straightforward within and without! Don’t commit excesses of speech!

6. Don’t take liquor! Moderate your behavior! Regulate and harmonize your energy and inner nature! Don’t let your spirit be diminished! Don’t commit any of the myriad evils!

7. Don’t be envious if others are better than yourself! Don’t contend for achievement and fame! Be retiring and modest in all things! Put yourself behind to serve the salvation of others!

8. Don’t criticize or debate the scriptures and teachings! Don’t revile or slander the saintly texts! Venerate the Divine Law with all your heart! Always act as if you were face to face with the gods!

9. Don’t create disturbance through verbal argumentation! Don’t criticize any believers, be they monks, nuns, male or female laity, or even heavenly beings! Remember, all censure and hate diminishes your spirit and energy!

10. Be equanimous and of whole heart in all of your actions! Make sure that all exchanges between humankind and the gods are proper and respectful!

If we can try to incorporate even a few of these precepts into our life, then we shall see a new world.

Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Master & Yoga Teacher
Body Space Alignment
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
 By Matthew Gagliano


Pacific Northwest ~2011

Today’s post was written by my nephew Matthew Gagliano, who is studying Neuroscience in San Diego, California. Here he explores the meaning of "true self," and some ways to go beyond the ego to find it.




As the culmination of some five or more millennia worth of development, today's culture continues to socialize youth as thought-driven individuals. Much of what leads to the development of "ego" is so subtly woven into the language and habits we teach that we have no idea what’s happening, much less any intent to have done so.

It simply is a product of society, and this isn't unique to our much-maligned western culture, it is a worldwide phenomenon. Culture simply hasn't evolved beyond this yet. Sometime off in the future, there will be no confusion about ego, and the pure awareness that underlies all superficiality will finally be seen and taught as who "you" really are. In order to get there, however, we must first recognize the problem at hand.

Now, because our eyes could not see our own heads, we invented the mirror. Other people can tell us what we look like, but that is no substitute for seeing it through your own eyes. If only we could invent a psychological "mirror", and thus be able to see ourselves for who we really are, without the clouding of ego. For many of us, we look through the lens of the ego in an attempt to look back upon it, which as we all know is quite difficult if not impossible! In essence, we’re trying to leave out the ego in order to gain knowledge of the ego. Although life would be much easier if it did, this does not work.

There is a saying that goes “the fool who persists in his folly will become wise.” In meditation, many learn to leave the ego out to a great extent in hopes of gaining knowledge of the “true” self, because knowledge is the mainstay of learning in our culture. These people are only “fools” because they haven’t yet realized that there is no knowledge of self. No description can be made of it, “self” is simply awareness. Due to the difficulty of this approach, these meditators become wise by practicing for such a long time that they become very skilled at releasing the ego. It is as if their failure to see their folly was their guiding light to their true self.

Their method of approaching the issue is to remove their “lens” slowly and then feel the true nature of self. In other words, they’ve learned to “go outside” of the ego. Meditation can only be effective when the mind is clear, and it takes a special individual to be an effective meditator without a lot of practice and learning. Many people lack the kind of truly honest self-discipline that is required in order to meditate in such a manner. It is not outlandish to think that there are some people for whom sitting in quiet, self-less meditation is not the only lane on the road to enlightenment. Useful meditation is excessively difficult to get started at, it is like a drawn out version of the first few weeks of going back to the gym after the fitness-hiatus of an extended holiday season. Speaking of which...

Luckily, there is another side to the coin of self-exploration, and it is not one of going “outside” of the self, but one of diving right into the center of it. We harbor anxiety for situations like being embarrassed, or being turned down on a date, or for our future success, or we may (and most of us do) have the residue of former traumas sticking to our mental gears, slowing us down. We have such an acute response to this anxiety that when something triggers it, we shut down and refuse to really “feel” our fear, whatever it be.
As the Buddha says, every thought is a seed. Every time we anxiously suppress one of these thoughts, the seed is forced to germinate as a weed gnawing upon the roots of the lush forest of our psyche. We see this in effect when we’re angry about something. Anger underpins our reactions to everything, even to our loved ones, until we reach down, grab the stems and leaves of the anger, and uproot the plant.

Just as you must securely grab a weed as near the roots as possible, and carefully dig it up in order to make sure it doesn’t grow back, you must thoroughly and carefully experience your anger and the causes for it in order to truly rid yourself of it. This works the same way for all negative emotions, for all suffering.

Use moments of anxiety and fear as opportunities to truly get to know yourself. Dive into why you really care if people see you with your pants down in the hallway, and the true reason will do nothing but make you laugh in the end.
Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner ~ Feng Shui Master & Yoga Teacher
Body Space Alignment

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Avatar in Us All

Pacific Northwest 2011


We all have the potential to be Avatars, as we all possess the inner Atman. The Atman in Hinduism is that core of life in absence of which the existence of the body itself gets negated. The Atman in Hinduism stands for our soul which resides in the heart within the body.

By and large, we tend to identify with our limited individuality or the ego body and human powers. This narrow minded viewpoint leaves us with constant struggle and desire. The true Avatar, and the potential Avatar, by contrast is always aware that he is one with God in  human form and therefore has full power of the Universe and beyond.

By negating the egocentric mind we put an end to our constant struggle, the should's in life and move towards neutral mind awakening the Atman or true self.

Some of the greatest sages of all time realized this and as a result their human form simply was God to assist and teach man how to find that higher being that dwells within. The following quotes are very powerful. Take your time to read them and digest the power within.





When goodness grows weak,
When evil increases,
I make myself a body.

In every age I come back
To deliver the holy,
To destroy the sin of the sinner
To establish righteousness
(Bhagavad Gita)
 
 
 "Once one is established in infinite consciousness,
one becomes silent and though knowing everything,
goes about as if he does not know anything

Though he might be doing a lot of things in several places,
to all outward appearances, he will remain as if he does nothing."

Nityananda
 
Today, let's make a point of finding our inner Avatar and let it shine.

Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Master & Yoga Teacher
Body Space Alignment
www.fengshuiyoganj.com
Dented face blog: http://bodyspacealignment.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three Steps To Being You

Siwash Rock - Vancouver, BC 2011


Being yourself is not as simple as it sounds. Being original is a great source of wisdom and inspiration. I think the teachings of Lao Tzu say it best from his book The Tao Te Ching.

Chapter 20
   Stop thinking, and end your problems.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?
How ridiculous!

Other people are excited,
as though they were at a parade.
I alone don’t care,
I alone am expressionless,
like an infant before it can smile.

Other people have what they need;
I alone possess nothing.
I alone drift about,
like someone without a home.
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.

Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharp;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don’t know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.

I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother’s breasts.

From Lao Tzu's quote here are three simple steps to take in being yourself.

1. Be Simple: When you get rid of all the "stuff," you'll find that everything "as is" is already perfect. It's not about adding anything but rather releasing all the false things from your life. In other words, Stop Thinking!

2. Be Spontaneous: When your life is simple you are able to be more spontaneous. If you trust yourself and the Universe all will be well.

3.Be Original: Don't be afraid to be different. There is no one greater than you. Have confidence and find your way back to true self. That is enlightenment.

Be original today and go with the flow of whatever comes your way.

Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Master & Yoga Teacher
Body Space Alignment


Friday, January 13, 2012

Quotes to Ponder for Inspired Living




Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible.
Allan Watts
Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
Aitken Roshi
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Atisha 

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I do.
Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Master * Yoga Teacher
Body Space Alignment

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So Hum - The Mediation for Connecting to Divine Souce



One of the oldest meditations from the school of Hindu that belongs to Japa medtations is the So Hum meditation. This mantra meditation can bring about complete transformation of individual consciousness. The words "So Hum" actually mean "That I am." This mantra meditation is a powerful way to bring about a union between self and divine source.

The main benefits of so hum meditation are to realize your divine nature, bring about joy, relaxation and peace. Why not give this meditation a try and incorporate it into your daily meditations.

Steps:

1. Find a comfortable position either sitting or in a reclined.

2. Set a timer or alarm clock for 20 minutes, as this will be the duration of the meditation.

3. Relax your hands into gyan mudra (knowledge position), index and thumb tips engage.

4. Take 5 deep slow breaths to cleanse and oxygenate the body.

5. Remain still and on the inhalation repeat the sound "soooo" and then exhale with the sound of "hummmm."

6. As you continue with the breath and silent chant, feel the energy of the meaning of the words move through your being.

7. Rest in the space of the breath.

May you experience the joy of the breath and connection to divine source.

Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner, Feng Shui Master * Yoga Teacher

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Mind and its Power Over Us

The Mind and its Power of Us

Japanese Gardens - Oregon 2011


Have you ever given much thought to how your mind runs your life? The sages were all very familiar with the power of the mind. Negative mind, positive mind and conscious mind all play a part in how we experience life.

Negative mind is one that lives in fear and what if's. When we live in negative mind we are not living through the soul but rather hiding in the cluttered mind. One tends to repeat patterns in life and then wonder why circumstances do not change. It is easier to stay in a static state rather than move into a conscious mind. Living in a conscious state of mind sees opportunity as a blessing and not a threat. 

On the other hand, positive mind is all about finding opportunities and acting upon them. A balanced positive mind is enthusiastic, optimistic and constructive. But sometimes a good thing can get out of alignment and when that happens to positive mind there is an over confidence and a forcing nature to get what you want in an over expansive way.  

A neutral mind is somewhere in between. It deliberates the information from positive and negative mind and makes a conscious decision. The neutral mind sees things for what they really are. The neutral mind then acts on fulfilling you and your destiny. 


The key then is to move towards a neutral mind, as it helps you to open up to your soul and this is the way to changing your life and living fully.

Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner - Feng Shui Master & Yogi
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Discover Your True Passion in 2012

 


                                                         Discover Your True Passion in 2012


So many people go through life wondering what their soul's mission is. 2012 is the year of the Yang Water Dragon and a time to think big and be creative. There will be plenty or resource to reach your goals but you need to work from a firm foundation. The best way to center yourself is through meditation. Here is a simple meditation to help move you in the right direction.




  • Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  • Focus on the breath and let go of everything else.
  • Now call to mind the following questions and tell the universe you are ready for answers.
1.What is it you like to do for its own sake without any any concerns of reward or compliment?

2. If you won the lottery how would you like to spend the rest of your life?

3. If you were informed you were to die shortly, what would you regret most not spending your time doing?

4. No matter where you are on earth, what do you see yourself doing regardless of location?

5. What activity do you find yourself coming back to in life?

6. What activity can you not seeing yourself do without?

Without a doubt what you love to do may not be easy to actually move it into action, but when you commit to doing it you will no longer work another day in your life. So take the time and make the effort to realize your dreams in 2012!

Namaste,

Mary Jane Kasliner ~ Feng Shui Master & Yoga Teacher
www.fengshuiyoganj.com