KIRTAN with Ram Vakkalanka at Restless Spirit!

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We’re starting the year off right with Mantra chanting! Ram Vakkalanka is coming to lead the chanting on three Thursday evenings! I am so excited! If you haven’t attended a Kirtan before it is a beautiful way to imbue your life with Spiritual Energy. These mantras have been sung for centuries and so carry the blessings of the souls who have gone before us. If you have attended Kirtan before but it’s been a while – I can tell you that these three Thursday sessions will remind you why you loved it so much! And if you’re a regular – welcome!
Welcome to all who come to ignite the fire of the Spirit with the vibrations of the Universe!
Revitalize yourself thru Mantra chanting:
Mantras are unique Vibrations that embody specific energies of the Universe. Repetition of Mantras attracts the Cosmic Energies, channels them inward and ignites corresponding energies inside the practitioner. Mantras help energize and centre ourselves, calm the negative chatter of the mind, deal with addictions, improve self-image, break thru obstacles in life and induce inner peace and harmony. Mantra chanting promotes concentration, leads to deep meditative state and helps discover your inner source of strength, courage, peace and well-being. In these Kirtan and Mantra chanting sessions, we will not only chant Mantras in a call-and-response fashion but also learn about the various Cosmic Energies, accurate pronunciation of a few energizing Mantras and practical applications of Mantras. Music may be used sometimes for extra fun in chanting Mantras but participants need not have any musical skills/training.
Please join us for the three first Thursdays in February:
When: Feb 6th, 13th or 20th
Time: 7 – 8:30pm
Where: Restless Spirit 688 Richmond St. W., Toronto, ON, Canada
Cost: $15 (includes HST) at the door

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Ram is inspiring in his devotion to passing on this lineage of this practice.
Bio of Ram Vakkalanka:
Ram Vakkalanka is an internationally known Nada Yogi, Sanskrit expert, Yoga philosopher and Meditation instructor.
Ram is a Master of sound energy and vibrations.  So far, ten CDs and one DVD of his works have been released with a book on its way. For more about Ram, please visit www.aksharayoga.com.
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Conversations between two Yoginis…

Yogini:

How can I simultaneously be overwhelmed with teacher training and wanting to add more workouts?

I’ve been taking around 5-6 yoga classes a week, including Mysore, and I’m starting to miss a more well-rounded routine with a bit of running and strength training thrown in (also, I’d love to look really, really good for Mexico).

But at the same time, I have very little time, feel constantly tired, and I’m very stressed with work. Not sure how to work this all out in my head.

My response:

“The distance between what you desire and what your reality is, is in exact proportion to how much pain you’re in.” – Wayne Liquorman said something like this…

Meaning that your desire for what is not yet reality (that’s your belief): “to look really, really good for Mexico” or to have the time to have a “well-rounded” training, is getting in the way of you being fully and completely in the present moment. When we’re not fully in the present moment, meaning appreciating – those who are with us, or the task at hand, then our lives feel empty and we believe we are lacking.

As far as I can see, there are two things going on for you: 1. you are not appreciating (but trying to) your effort and work in your yoga training because you think – one, that you should be doing more, and two, that there is some goal you’re not reaching if you don’t run or strength train…, and 2. you are not aware of the work that is actually happening. You may be “constantly” tired because you worry about not doing enough and can’t see that you might be pushing you too much – perhaps.

Go deeper.

I used to think like you. I did yoga. I worked out. etc. But when I finally relaxed into the practice and did nothing else I found that yoga gave me my body back! I wasn’t looking like every one out there because I am not every one out there. I came to appreciate my body more and stopped fighting against it.

Really what I have to say, or anyone else, will not do anything for you until you (your organism – not your head) are ready for a change.

All you need to know – truly – is that: you are in the place you need to be right now at this moment. This is your moment – the confusion, the dichotomy – it’s not a bad place to be. Listen to it. Be aware of how it rises and falls this feeling of being not “good enough” yet… Be aware and give yourself permission to feel this way. Identify the feeling. Where is it? Then just sit with it.

Immerse yourself in the present moment. When thoughts arise about the future, let them go as quickly as possible and say these things: I am here right now. I feel my… (hand on my lap – insert what is appropriate), I see… (insert what is appropriate), I smell… (insert what is appropriate). Repeat this over again, siting different things. Relax into the not knowing of where you’ll end up.

Learn to trust the universe!

Good luck!

Peace!

Christine

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Restless Spirit Hours the Week of December 16th…

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Come in for a visit and let’s chat! We’ll sit here and do cards or a session for your deepening. Or we’ll sit in meditation in the space right behind me and let Grace take over. Whatever it is that you would like to do, Restless Spirit is a very harmonious, spiritual place and you are welcome anytime to come talk with me!

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I’m planning to be in the studio Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11-7pm, and maybe Friday. Oh of course it all depends on the weather.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I have some appointments so I’ll be there for sure. Text me to make sure I’m available at the time you want to drop in.

Hope to see you all soon!

Remember to book your appointments with me here or email, or by texting or calling. Thx.

Finding a Safe Space…

I am a therapist, meditator, yogini.

I facilitate deepening and opening. This is my passion. The real “safe space” for me and what I try to convey is: within you. Trust yourself, your deep heart and you will be able to walk through life unafraid.

This is a difficult journey because a lot of us have walls and defenses (for good reason) around ourselves, our hearts which we don’t want to get rid of and which therefore block any connection we may have with others. We have terms and conditions which we use to weed out the “good” and the “bad”. But if we drop this conditioning, and see that everyone is hurt and afraid in the same way we are, we can start reaching out and extending love. This is the safest place to me – when you always see the world through, not your head, but your heart. peace! C love-2

Why Easter Could Be My Favorite Holiday…

Easter should be my favorite holiday of the year.

Not because of the bunnies. Although I love bunnies!

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Not because of the chocolate and I do love chocolate!

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Not because it is Spring or Equinox although I wait impatiently for it throughout the entire winter.

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It is because it is the only social cultural religious public recognition of Transformation through Death that I know of. It is the only time we, collectively, recognize death as a part of the human experience.

It is also a time that illustrates an aspect of Spirituality that isn’t talked about much: Transformation the cycle of Death and Rebirth.

Of course, if you think about it from a strict Christian stance I think, Jesus was the only one who could die and be reborn or resurrect. But put the word resurrect aside and call it Spiritual Rebirth then it does seem that conceivably I could do that and have done throughout my years of practice.

This kind of Death that Easter represents, to me, is not in the corporal sense as in a person dying, leaving this earth. It is not only about rebirth as in only Jesus can do it. It is about the psyche and the heart’s ability to transform.

We Die And Are Reborn In Every Moment – If We’re Lucky

I think of Easter as a celebration of the Death and Rebirth of our Psyches over and over again. Going through Transformation(s) is a necessary part of the Spiritual process toward Awakening. We die and are reborn in our lives. You may not know it, but you go through small death/rebirths with every moment. You may ignore the signs of wakefulness or ego-death, and in response to it, in fear of the little ego-death (Thanatos), you refortify your self (small ‘s’) every time you run into difficulty thereby starting the death/rebirth process all over again (karma). Without awareness, we slip back into our neurosis that veils the True Essence of our own Beings.

The Work – Practice

Any practice worth its Spiritual Weight puts the practitioner through the throes of a kind of death any time (maybe not every time) they sit on their meditation cushions or stand on their mats, or chant or do breath work, etc.. And any practitioner wanting Samadhi which is a state of transformative essence, has to accept this as part of the practice.

You’re On Your Own – As You Should Be

Growing up Catholic Easter was about suffering and resurrection and what Jesus can do for us.

Now as a mature woman, I realize that I’ve always known there is a flaw in thinking that. No one can do this work but ‘me’. The work is available to me as an adult. It needs a certain kind of maturity that comes with experience. But not the experience that is about traveling a lot or having a lot of schooling or street smarts. It’s the experience of existence, moment to moment, life unfolding that opens you up to this process – only you, the individual can know when that time is to delve into this work.

If You Let The Divine/Universe Guide You

As psyches, we are constantly in flux. It’s like our True Self is in a cocoon for our whole lives and it starts out as an opaque vessel, hard and impenetrable. If you let the Divine/Universe guide you through your life then metamorphosis will take place. The cocoon becomes transparent and it is apparent that growth and change are happening inside. Transformation from the inside out. You can’t see it happening until the outer layer/outer body becomes transparent. And finally what emerges into the world is something other than what it started out as. The butterfly doesn’t need to die corporally in order to change and Be this change. It needs to die to the caterpillar it once was. But not only does the physical body change and it only changes in order to Serve the Essence or Spirit of what has emerged: “Dying ego-ically” as it were, in order to transform is the crux of the success of Transformation.

So then symbolically, Jesus’ story represents the Spiritual Transformation from a Secular life to a life with god, union, Yoga. This is what I would like to think the celebration of Easter is about. The celebration of Transformation from one state to another, the death of one immoveable identity to an existence without labels; An existence of Openness and Self-knowledge.

And although Christians to a certain extent can be very maudlin about the whole process, it is a time of celebration – Spirit over Ego, Awareness over Blindness, Wakefulness over Sleep. It is a celebration to recognize that we all have the capacity to change and grow Spiritually.

 

 

Namaste

Namaste

Namaste – na*ma*ste  – exclamation

Literally “I bow to the divine in you.” A traditional Indian greeting of respect and thanks with spiritual and symbolic meaning. Said with a gesture of the palms pressed together in the middle of the forehead (third eye) or at the heart, and lightly bowing the head and shoulders.

Yes. That’s why I like to translate this word as “greeting” and not “prayer”. It is an expression of and for community not of silent contemplation. You express these words outwardly to others in greeting them. Like similar words in languages such as hebrew, french and hungarian (there are others, I’m sure), these words express a consciousness of the Divine and the Spirit within and our Connection to these – and our recognition of these, the Divine and Spirit, in others.