Category Archives: Peace

#MondayMeditation: The Peaceful Heart

This week’s classes will focus on the theme of the peaceful heart. The peak pose in each class will be a variation of pigeon pose (or swan pose in Yin classes). A deep hip opener, the pose is one that students seem to love or hate. No matter what feeling it evokes, the true goal of the pose is to find the balance between effort and ease. When we find that balance, we uncover peace in the physical body.

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We can find that same sense of peace in the subtle body by meditating on the peaceful heart.

  • Sit or lie in your favorite meditation position with a straight spine.
  • Focus on the breath as it moves in and out through the nostrils. Begin to follow the breath as it moves in through the nostrils, along the back of the throat, and into the heart.
  • Maintain awareness of the breath and silently say to yourself, “I am <first name> <last name,” for 3 to 5 rounds of breath.
  • Continue your breath awareness and silently say to yourself, “I am <first name>,” for 3 to 5 rounds.
  • Begin to silently say to yourself, “I am,” and gradually focus your awareness on that peaceful space and energy after the words “I am”. If your mind wanders or tries to fill in the space, simply acknowledge what arises and return to the mantra.
  • Spend as much time in that peaceful space as you wish.

Feel free to come explore these themes with me this week. Here’s where I’ll be:

Monday, July 16
* 4 p.m. – Yoga at the Museum, The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
*7:15 p.m. – Yin Yoga, Community Yoga

Wednesday, July 18
*7:15 p.m. – Restorative Yoga, Community Yoga

Thursday
* 4 p.m. – Yoga at the Museum, The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

In peace,

Debra

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Watch “Keb’ Mo’ – Stand Up (And Be Strong)” on YouTube

October 3 is Keb’ Mo’s birthday, so here’s a little ditty he wrote about his feelings about the Iraq war. I think it’s a fitting song to revisit in light of recent violence in the world. It’s great to meditate, pray, or send out positive energy as you choose, but we can’t let that be all we do. We have to stand firm against hate and darkness.

Peace,

Debra

Dream Day Quest and Jubilee

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The 3rd of three annual Emancipation Days of Respect, Dream Day Quest and Jubilee honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting unity, respect and remembrance. Held on August 28th to mark the anniversary of  King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Delivered in 1963, the speech calls for the end of racism in the United States. You can read the full text here or listen to it here.

Unfortunately, racism is all too alive in America. We need to own up to that and we need to do what we can to fix it. Mindfulness can help us build self-awareness but should also help us be aware of others’ experiences. We are all in this together and we are all one.

I have a dream that someday MLK’s dream can be realized and that I will have the courage to help it come true.

In peace and unity,

Debra

 

International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

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2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Travel gives us a chance to expand our experiences and get to know the world around us. The World
Committee on Tourism Ethics offers a number of tips for traveling ethically and responsibly. Geared primarily toward international travel, the principles can also be applied to respecting those closer to home, too.

The first of their tips is to “Honor your hosts and our common heritage.”

Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions and social
conditions. It’s a great way to build understanding of the local community
and excitement for your adventure ahead.
Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect
with the local community and its people in a more meaningful way.
Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different
and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress and communication
codes, to its music, art and cuisine.
Always ask before taking photographs of other people as their privacy
matter as much as yours.

Enjoy your summer travels!

Debra

 

Global Love Day

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May 1st marks Global Love Day, a day established in 2004 by The Love Foundation. It is a day meant to celebrate the wisdom of universal peace and love. It’s a great day to practice unconditional love for yourself as well as others. Be aware of your inner critic. Rather than ignore what the inner critic has to say, look at what it is saying without bias. Accept the truth of your own humanity and the humanity of others around us. Reframe any “negative” thoughts in a more positive way. Practice meeting anger with love. Recognize that although we are all different, we are all part of a greater whole and our diversity makes us stronger. Live and love without fear today.

Pink Shirt Day

img_20170222_152456_512.jpgToday is Pink Shirt Day (Canada), a day to rally against bullying. Two Nova Scotia high school students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, rallied friends and fellow students to wear pink after another student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.

Unfortunately, bullying seems to be more prevalent in all areas of our society. So if you see bullying, speak up and stand up.Make a #pinkshirtpromise to spread love, compassion, and other positive energy through your actions and words. We can all take inspiration from Shiridi Sai Baba, “Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Does it improve upon the silence?”.

Kindness and compassion are not naive or weak; they are what makes the world a better place.

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In peace and love,

Debra

National Freedom Day

img_20170201_153826_656.jpgFebruary 1 is National Freedom Day, celebrating the day Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution that would become the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The wording is simple:

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

While the Amendment formally ended slavery, it did not end discrimination nor universally change what is in people’s hearts. It did, however, shine a light on injustice.

Each of us has some bias in our hearts — bias that is most often rooted in fear. It is up to us to evaluate our bias to better understand it and deal with it in ways that are not harmful to others. We must do our best not to live in divisive fear but in unifying love.

Debra

School Day of Non-Violence and Peace/Fred Korematsu Day

img_20170130_143603_119.jpgJanuary 30 is a day calling attention to universal love and tolerance as promoted by two separate observances.

The International School Day for Non-Violence and Peace (or DENIP from Dia Escolar de la No-violència i la Pau) was founded in 1964 in Marjorca by poet Llorenç Vidal. DENIP is observed annually on or about January 30, the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi. The motto is: “Universal love, non-violence, and peace. Universal love is better than egoism, non-violence is better than violence, peace is better than war”. The day is meant to educate students in the ways of harmony, tolerance, respect for human rights, non-violence, and peace.

January 30 has also been established in several states as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. In 1942, Mr. Korematsu defied the military order to report to a Japanese internment camp and was arrested. He later sued the government over his conviction in the Supreme Court and lost. That decision is, with a handful of other cases, “what legal scholars describe as the anti-canon of American constitutional law — a small group of Supreme Court rulings universally assailed as wrong, immoral, and unconstitutional” (via npr.org and The Atlantic). His conviction as formally vacated in 1983 and he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. In Korematsu’s own words, “If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up.” Always seek and speak truth.

In love and peace,

Debra

Welcome to the Year of the Fire Rooster!

265102_1908688881151_5985881_nToday marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and it’s not just the year of the rooster, but it’s the year of the fire rooster!

Ways to celebrate include gathering with friends and family, wishing each other luck and prosperity, and performing acts of good deeds and charity.

May this year bring passion, luck and prosperity to us all — no exceptions.

Much love,

Debra

 

 

 

A Room of One’s Own Day

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Note: This holiday is a copyrighted holiday that was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcat Holidays.

A Room of One’s Own Day marks the anniversary of the birth of writer, feminist, and modernist Virginia Woolf. A Room of One’s Own makes the case for women to have equal access to education and the opportunity to write fiction — resulting in both a literal and a figurative space in a literary tradition long dominated by men.

To best honor and celebrate A Room of One’s Own Day, we can commit to self-study, seeking wisdom, finding our voice, and speaking the truth.

“The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

In peace and unity,

Debra

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