Friday, March 1, 2013

10 Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat - My Experience

It’s been 12 days since I returned from the Vipassana Meditation retreat and, although I’ve been meaning to write about my experience, I postponed it so feelings would settle down a bit. I do not even know where to start and what to write down. What I keep telling the people that ask me how it was is this simple sentence: “It was a life changing, intense experience; I wish all the people could do a 10-day discourse of Vipassana.” There were bright moments and hard moments, moments of total calmness and tranquility and moments of stress and doubts, moments of mental clarity and moments of constant mind wandering. But all in all, it was hard work, really hard work, that made me explore myself and realize things about me that were hidden within and which I had to confront and let go. When the discourse was over I felt 100 kilograms lighter. Happier, more balanced and calmer than ever before. Almost two weeks later I still feel this way. And I'm going back for a 3-day discourse next month.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vipassana Metta Chant Sabka Mangala Hoye Re

It's been a full week since I returned from the 10 day Vipassana discourse. Still haven't put my experience and thoughts written down since it was a very intense experience and I'd like to allow some time for my emotions to settle. But I find this particular chant coming to my mind numerous times every day. It has a very soothing effect on me and helps me concentrate to positive thinking and feelings.

May all beings be happy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Warrior - Friend Virabhadra and the Asanas Origin

Sati was the daughter of the high chief of Gods Daksha and married to Shiva. One day Daksha decided to throw a yagna (ritual sacrifice) and invited except for the couple since he despised Shiva. 
 Sati got word of this and suggested to Shiva that they go anyway however Shiva, not wanting to incite her father’s anger, prefered not to. Sati was hurt by her father’s treatment and decided to go alone.
Arriving there she got into an argument with her father in front of the guests something that made her feel humiliated. When her father tried to provoked her again she remained silent and decided she wanted to relinquish all family ties, telling her father this: “Since you have given me this body I no longer wish to be associated with it.” She walked past him and sat in a meditative seat on the ground, closed her eyes and fell into a trance. Going deep within herself she began to increase her inner fire through yogic exercises until her body burst into flames.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We must stop hurting Mother Earth.

It is preposterous. The more we advance the more we hurt this lovely planet we are living on and all the creatures that are here with us. I watched this video yesterday and was filled with sorrow. This is the proof that it doesn't matter if there are people living in a specific habitant: we manage to destroy it even when we're not present there. The video is taken from here.

This video is about an island in the ocean at 2000 km from any other coast line. Nobody lives, only birds and yet, you will not believe what you will see here.

Please don't throw anything into the sea. Unbelievable, just look at the consequences.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sun Salutions Literally: Mysore Style Practice Week 1

Photo from Here
I have been meaning to start a Mysore practice for a while now. Unfortunatelythe office I work is located at the other side of the town which takes me more than 1 hour to get there and I have to wake up every morning at 7(plus the yoga studio is about 45-60 minutes away) so  I thought it would not be possible for a while. That is why I chose the led primary series practice in the evenings. However, during the Christmas holidays when the studio was closed some evening and I was supposed to practice at home, I caught a nasty flu and I could not even breathe when I was sitting on my couch so I let practice aside for what I thought it would be a few days. That flu stayed with me for 3 weeks though, really frustrating. Last 2 weekends I attended the 30 hour asana immersion seminar and all this talk about yoga and practicing made me miss it so much that I decided I would give Mysore style practice a try even if I had to squeeze my mornings and wake up at 5 every day.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back from Holidays and got myself a new crafting hobby

I’m back. After a long time of Christmas “vacations” which turned out to be more demanding than the normal days. Too many friends and family to visit, chores to do, cooking, housework etc. Good thing is I took a break from all internet and at the same time learnt a new craft, yay me! I was into crafts ever since I remember myself. In the course of years I did a lot of drawing and painting projects, sculptures, jewelry, scrapbooking, projects with plaster, sea shells, rocks and many other materials. One thing I never got my hands into though was anything that had to do with fabrics and clothes making like sewing, crocheting or knitting. For some reason I was always intimidated by these crafts and although both my grandmas were really great in them I kinda thought these activities would be boring.

Well, things change when a cute little baby girl comes into your life. My soon to be goddaughter was born in October and this was her first Christmas and New Year holidays. As a godmother-to-be I wanted to give some present to the baby but I also wanted it to be something special. And then it hit me. On my way home after the last working day before Christmas I stopped to a local craft supply store and bought baby yarn and knitting needles. Went home, watched some Youtube videos, read some basic information about knitting and dived in. I finished a baby hat, 2 pairs of baby booties and 1 baby scarf in 2 days and LOVED it! I do not have any photos since I gave them the same day I finished them but they were so tiny and beautiful. Knitting is a wonderful craft and it is so meditative, I would never have guessed! In fact I have started more projects. I am now knitting a scarf for my dad, gloves for my best friend and a dog sweater for a lovely Chihuahua. I usually knit either on my way to work or during the cold evenings when I am home and really enjoy it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Or is it? I don’t know.

I always loved the atmosphere during Christmas Holidays and I do not mean religious-wise. I love the scent of burning wood, the ornaments on the Christmas trees, the smell of Christmas goodies baking, the Christmas lights and music on the street, the presents, the family and friends gatherings. I was always looking forward to all the small luxuries I could indulge in during these holidays: small trips in the country, going for skiing or ice skating, visiting hip clubs and bars, drinking champagne, eating a bit more, working a bit less and the list goes on. You get the picture.

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Make your own Zafu Meditation Cushion.

Having my upcoming Vipassana Meditation Retreat in mind I decided I would invest in a meditation pillow. I will have to sit formore than 10 hours each day and it will definitely come handy after I come back from the retreat. However, after researching I found out that a zafu pillow costs anywhere between 40-60 euros, an amount of money that seems a bit too much to me. Being good with crafts since I was a little girl, I thought I should search for a tutorial and make my own pillow. And then I came across this article here:

"The following information was originally published by the Zen Center of Los Angeles and was found in one of their fine books, entitled “To Forget the Self: An Illustrated Guide to Zen Meditation” by John Daishin Buksbazen. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print. It is gratefully presented here as a help for those getting started on their own. 

A sturdy material such as a cotton/polyester blend

Kapok fiber, although buckwheat hulls can be used for those who prefer a firmer seat

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Swimming is Similar to Yoga? Breathing, Meditation and Relaxation in the Pool.

Swimming is my first big love. I used to train in a big team when I was younger for many hours every day, I was actually living most part of my life in or around a pool.  As life’s responsibilities grew more and more I had to quit since there was no way I would find so many hours to train daily. That is how I kissed my big dreams to enter the Open Sea category and participate in international events goodbye.

Well, this year I decided that since I won’t be running during winter time I should find a pool and go for  a swim 3-4 times per week. And I did. Going back after all these years was great but at the same time felt so different. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Food Blog

That's a really quick note to inform you that I have decided to move all my food related posts to a different blog since it seems I will be doing a lot of experiments with cooking and trying out a more vegetarian way of eating. I will keep the once-in-a-week-meat plan I have right now till I feel ready to drop meat and fish 100% and I will be publishing recipes and articles on the other blog. Any suggestions and recommendation are more than welcome.
The link to the food blog is Eat, Love, Yoga. See you there as well!