Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  William Arthur Ward

We are well versed in the merits of gratitude. It alters our outlook turning obstacles into opportunities and loss into lessons. Gratitude creates a spiritual viewpoint that allows us to ride the waves of human experience with equanimity, softening the hard edges with grace. Gratitude attracts like a magnet more of what we hold in appreciation into our life.

As with any practice, the virtues are only bestowed once we embody the teachings. In order for gratitude to bless the life we are living we must first weave them into our soul. How do we ensure gratitude does not exist merely as a concept or good idea? How can we ground gratitude into our bodies so the goodness of gratitude informs our actions?

One place to begin a practice of gratitude is to bring appreciation to the body in which you dwell. Do you know anyone who would work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a break or vacation and never once receive a thank you for their tireless efforts? Think of all the jobs your body performs every day. Your heart has not stopped pumping since your time in the womb. Your lungs continually regulate the flow of oxygen essential to your survival. Like an ever-running steam engine, your digestive system converts what you eat into fuel, providing energy to function. The jobs required to sustain your life every day are endless. Treating your body with appreciation helps heal and restore right relationship between you and your body. Holding your body sacred helps bring the sense of sacred to everything in your life.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I offer Attitude of Gratitude, a guided meditation, to help us embody the blessings of gratitude, not merely as a concept, but as a living and breathing teaching within us. This practice awakens a sacred awareness of your body temple. It offers an opportunity to give thanks for all the service your body so willingly provides. Lie comfortably on the floor, or as close to the Earth as you can. If you are distracted by any discomfort in your body, try placing a pillow under your knees or beneath your head for support.

Take a moment to reflect on your experience during this practice. What stood out or seemed significant to you? What, if anything, changed or shifted in your awareness? Ask your body what it needs to feel nourished and supported? It may require more rest, more water or more greens. Maybe it needs more movement or fresh air. Listen to the wisdom within and wait for a response. What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate this appreciation for your body and honor its needs? What is one thing you can do today to embody the goodness of gratitude?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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The times we live in have been prophesied by ancient maps of many different traditions. They all point to a time of the birthing of a new consciousness. And that time is now. Our evolution is driven by creation which is accelerating at unprecedented speed. The same creative force that drives the evolution of the Universe, drives the evolution of our very own Soul.

Evolution. A time of birth. A time of death. A time of change. 

Conditions that tend to make us all a bit fearful. Our human nature prefers a more predictable path. We like things we can count on. We like to feel safe and in control. In the midst of these transiting times, cultivating stillness is essential.

In stillness, we become a receptive vessel. We source from an infinite consciousness into which we are all linked. This information lands in our body as a knowing, a felt sense. There is no need to justify, defend or make sense of this information, we just know. It is our truth. The more we listen to the voice of this truth, the more we allow our life to be guided by the infinite intelligence of Spirit.

What if we were to trust that what we need would come to us in stillness?  This is in direct opposition to mind that needs to figure out, have a plan and do something.

Last month a practice for cultivating stillness came through from the Stone People that bears repeating here. We have much to learn from the element of stone as teachers of stillness.

Find three stones. Cleanse them in a sea salt bath overnight. Once the stones are clear they will be used to nourish and sustain our bodies on all levels. For the practice, lie on your back. Place one stone on your belly. Place one stone over your heart (the center of your chest) and one stone on your third eye, the center of your forehead. Let your breath start to deepen and slow down. Feel your body resting more deeply on the Earth. Let your self be still to receive the steadfast stillness of the stones. Let this absorb into your body as you lie quietly. This medicine is recevied in stillness. Stay quiet until you feel a sense of stillness in your body. This will deepen with practice. 

We are birthing new levels of Soul consciousness now. With this birth, comes death. Let us learn to recognize what it is that is ready to die. What limited beliefs, worn out identities or ways of seeing ourselves and the world can we let go of so we can make way for what is to come? And that my friends we do not know. We stand at the precipice and trust. Let stillness hold this space.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit 

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Fresh Air
Morning Practice
Restorative Yoga
Bare Feet on Sand
Soul Community

A simple list.

I intend for this list to grow. Add something new everyday if I can.
I invite you to do the same. Start noticing, each and every day, what nourishes you.

What puts a smile in your heart?
What gets your juices flowing?
What brings you to center?
What stills your mind?
What calms your heart?
What connects you more deeply to your body?
What connects you more deeply to Spirit?
What brings your life a sense of purpose and meaning?

We will bring this list to our next New Moon Despacho.
We will feed, in ceremony, what nourishes us.
Let Spirit guide us to shape a life
that nourishes each and every one of us,
each and every day.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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I am inspired by the many souls that gathered through the synchronicity of heart to meet for our most recent New Moon Despacho. Profound shifts in awareness and healing were shared in these virtual realms of ceremony. Creation is evolving more rapidly than ever. The Despacho accelerates our intentions even more. Shifts from ceremony can be quick and severe in order for us to awaken in our own consciousness. Allow everything to happen and trust in Divine Order. To be reborn, we must also die.

Meditation is essential in these times of great change.

As we step from the fire of ceremony, with the moon waxing into fullness, we walk straight to our heart. As I sat with our Despachos through the dark of three nights, messages came through to show us the way. Restoring the right relationship of our heart, or what shamans call ayni, is what is being asked now. Purification, nourishment, gratitude and stillness will shape our practices until the next New Moon.

  • How can we ground gratitude in our bodies so it does not exist simply as a concept?
  • How can the embodiment of gratitude guide our walk so we may be of service in the world?
  • What do we need to align with stillness to receive what we need?
  • How do we stretch our hearts wider to find the softness of our vulnerability?
  • How do we manifest our heart in the world?

These questions spoke through our despachos. The divination of ash concurred as well. On the fourth night, our Despachos were offered to the fire. Here, in the ashes, Spirit showed us the way. At the level of the heart chakra, a black hole sits. To the right, where we manifest, lies a long dark log. The reading of the ashes reveal this relationship between what sits in our heart and what we create in our life. What fills this black hole, this black hole in our heart? Here we are still clearing.

Ashes after Fire Ceremony

These questions will guide us as we prepare for our next New Moon Despacho. Our practices will emphasize the feeding of our hearts. Reflect on what nourishes you, mind, body, soul.

Pay attention to the foods you eat, the thoughts you tell yourself. Where are you in alignment with your heart? Where are you not? Look to what you are creating in your life to show you the way. Honor what is dying in order to be reborn. Let us come into deeper conversation with our most tender and vulnerable heart so we may fill the black hole with the blessings of gratitude.

Continue clearing all attachments to the victim. Clear from your system anything that gets in the way of being in right relationship with your own heart. Here is a simple purification ritual to make part of your daily practice:

“Using sea salt during your shower is a powerful purification and energy cleansing practice. Start by stepping under the shower to wet your body. As you step out from under the water, scrub your entire body with fine sea salt with the strong intention of clearing anything from your system that no longer serves you. Scrub vigorously while you hold the intention of clearing the energetic patterns that have created the old stories, belief systems and ways of being that you want to release. You can work with a specific and personal intention such as clearing anger or resentment towards someone. Spend a few minutes with this process so that every part of your body feels clear. Follow your sea salt scrub by standing under the shower as you feel the water wash these patterns from your very essence. Thank the waters for their cleansing and purification with your prayers.” (excerpt from “A Structure for Spirit”)

This time of ceremony was powerful for me. In my next post I will share my own experiences of death and rebirth. Stay tuned for practices to nourish the right relationship of heart so we may embody gratitude to guide our path of service in the world.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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