Thank-you, once again, for bringing your whole self to class today. Your focus, pure intention and presence was palpable. It is truly an honour to facilitate such a gathering.
Johanne, welcome to the circle!
I wish you all a week of unconditional love. I hope you try my suggestion of Embracing Yin and Yang first thing in the morning (inhale, extend arms all the way up; exhale, cross arms and fold inward)...while doing this, set an intention to be very present today. :)
HEALING PRAYER (shared at the end of our seated meditation):
"I call upon the presence of unconditional love. Be here now, without restraint. Fill me and fill this space. Touch all beings with your grace. I feel the presence of unconditional love within me. I acknowledge the presence of unconditional love all around me. I am the presence of unconditional love and in this love, no fear can remain. May unconditional love guide any fear back to the light of love, or back into the earth, as serves the greatest good My body, mind, heart and soul are now completely bathed in and protected by unconditional love. Through my own free will, this is so."
- Alana Fairchild, Sacrel Rebels Oracle Cards # 11 Diving For Light
Today there was an extra focus on the honouring of ancient teachings, beginning with a brief exploration into the Toltec tradition and followed by a practice of the Eight Silk Brocades, one of the oldest and most widely practiced forms of Qigong.
Thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as "women and men of knowledge". Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or a race, but, in fact, the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones. They came together as masters (naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where "Man Becomes God."
Over the millennia, the naguals were forced to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in obscurity. European conquest, coupled with rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, made it necessary to shield the knowledge from those who were not prepared to use it wisely or who might intentionally misuse it for personal gain.
Fortunately, the esoteric Toltec knowledges was embodied and passed on through generations by different lineages of naguals. Though it remained veiled in secrecy for hundreds of years, ancient prophecies foretold the coming of an age when it would be necessary to return the wisdom to the people. Now, Don Migual Ruiz, a naguals from the Eagle Knight lineage, has been guided to share with us the powerful teachings of the Toltec.
Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honours all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.
A Toltec is an artist of Love,
an artist of the Spirit,
someone who is creating every moment,
every second, the most beautiful art -
the Art of Dreaming.
Life is nothing but a dream,
and if we are artists,
then we create our life with Love,
and our dream becomes
a masterpiece of art.
GOD WITHIN YOU:
There is an old story from India about the God, Brahma, who was all alone. Nothing existed but Brahma, and he was completely bored. Brahma decided to play a game, but there was no one to play the game with. So he created a beautiful goddess, Maya, just for the purpose of having fun. Once May existed and Brahma told her the purpose of her existence, she said, "Okay, let's play the most wonderful game, but you have to do what I tell you to do." Brahma agreed, and following Maya's instructions, he created the whole universe. Brahma created the sun and the stars, the moon and the planets. Then he created life on earth: the animals, the oceans, the atmosphere, everything.
Maya said, "How beautiful is this world of illusion you created. Now I want you to create a kind of animal that is so intelligent and aware that it can appreciate your creation." Finally Brahma created humans, and after he finished the creation, he asked May when the game was going to start.
"We will start right now," she said. She took Brahma and cut him into thousands of teeny, tiny pieces. She put a piece inside every human and said, "Now the game begins! I am going to make you forget what you are, and you are going to try to find yourself!" Maya created the Dream, and still, even today, Brahma is trying to remember who he is. Brahma is there inside you, and Maya is stopping you from remembering what you are.
When you awake from the Dream, you become Brahma again, and reclaim your divinity. Then if Brahma inside you says, "Okay, I am awake; what about the rest of me?" you know the trick of Maya, and you can share the truth with others who are going to wake up too. Two people who are sober in the party can have more fun. Three people who are sober is even better. Begin with you. Then others will start to change, until the whole dream, the whole party is sober.
- Don Miguel Ruiz, "The Mastery of Love"
Eight Silk Brocades (Ba Duan Jin)
The history of the Eight Silk Brocades series of qigong exercises can be traced back to over 800 years ago. The legendary founder was the famous general in the Southern Sung Dynasty, Yue Fei, who used the exercises to train his army. His army was never defeated and its success was traced back to these exercises. The Eight Silk Brocades is recognized by the Chinese Health Qigong Association as one of four official Qigong exercises, and is practiced around the world.
The first syllable is A, pronounced as a prolonged "awe." The sound starts at the back of your throat and you stretch it out. You will start feeling your solar plexus and chest vibrating. The second syllable is U, pronounced as a prolonged “oo,” with the sound gradually rolling forward along your upper palate. You'll feel your throat vibrate. The third syllable is M, pronounced as a prolonged “mmmm” with your front teeth gently touching. You will now start to feel the top of your vibrate. The last syllable is the deep silence of the Infinite. As intelligence rises from the deep silence, you have to merge your chant from the ‘M’ to the deep silence. Symbolically the three letters embody the divine energy (Shakti) and it’s 3 main characteristics: (1) creation, (2) preservation and (3) liberation.
Why do we chant it?
Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is really standing still! The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature. As such AUM is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe. In addition the vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation also have a physical affect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind similar to meditation. When the mind is relaxed, your blood pressure decreases and ultimately the health of your heart improves.
- Sam Saunders, www.mindbodygreen.com