Friday, 30 December 2016

New Year with Capricorn New Moon: Reinforcing Intentions, Manifesting Dreams!

So here we are in the end of the year, a good time for reflection...
An inspiring thought adapted from my partner Kris Deva North:
Reflecting on the challenges and triumphs of 2016, wondering if I treated those just the same, and looking ahead to the Monkey swinging away and the Rooster crowing in.

A few things for you to meditate on, whatever works for you: seated in meditation, lying down on the bed or simply contemplating the view. Here it is:
  • Everything and everyone you are grateful for.
Give them a hug, (energetically or physically), ah, and this includes self-hug! (appreciation for your body and whole self!) ;) As well, to everyone you are grateful for, let them know!
    • What you have done and have not done this year? (Based on the goals and ideas you set out to achieve, put in practice on 2016.)  
    Although be light hearted about this: I believe it's not an understanding from the mind, but more from the heart, which cultivates the acceptance of your own nature and life circumstances. It's really no point to focus on the negative, just take it as ways to improve something or even to change it; as well as motivation and goals to achieve in future, as everything happens in the right time... the Divine Plan, transcends us all!...
    So going a little bit deeper: 
    • What was your biggest challenge and your bigger satisfaction?  
    To stir a bit of philosophy into it, something I received from my family when I left my country, to embrace the unknown, a card with this sentence:
    "The bigger the challenge, the bigger the satisfaction."
    (From a Greek philosopher that I forgot the name), this made lots of sense, and still does. Challenges are incredible gifts, some really hard; but I think they are our great teachers, indeed gateways for growth and evolution, along with so much wisdom and self-awareness.

    And being in the 'quoting mode', another thought:
    "Never lose your faith. The best beginnings come after the worst endings." Bob Marley.
    In Portugal we have a saying: After the storm comes the calm.

     And finally something for you to write down (or just run it through your mind, whatever works better for you) :
    • Where have you been? (Different places, travels you have done, doesn't matter the distance.)
    • What did you do? (The highlights of the most exciting things you did this year, in any level, something that really means a lot to you...)
    • What did you learn? (In the different levels of your being.)
    If is something that no long serves you and you don't want to see repeating in your life, just not external situations, but things in yourself you want to let go, to give space for the new! You can write them down in a small piece of paper and then:
      • Take a quiet moment to reflect on everything you wrote, read it out loud and in a place in nature, you burn the paper. As the ashes fall to Earth, the smoke rises to the Sky, as above, as below, so within! (If you have any sacred place where you do your rituals indoors, like a cauldron or a stove, it's fine, but then give the ashes to Earth). The fire has the power to transform, supported by the unconditional nurturing of Mother Earth and divinity of Father Sky.
      And finish the year with the New Moon in Capricorn, this new moon cycle reinforcing the energies of new beginnings for the New Year and specifically: the energy of determination to accomplish your goals, dedication and confidence to do what you want to do, to achieve ambitions and have the stamina to do it.  
      Capricorn being connect with the earth teaches about grounding, essential to help us in our achievements and indeed embody presence - be here in the now!
      •  Write down your goals and dreams for 2017!
      Be specific in your goals and dreams, and less is more, so make the list that you believe with your mind, heart, and soul can be possible to achieve in the coming New Year.
      Then you just have to do your bit in the mundane dimension, along with visualisation (that is actually happening, even when not yet!), to make into a living reality!


      ***Wishing you a wonderfully fantastic 2017, with the willpower to fullfil and live your dreams***

      May your radiant Feminine self keep shining and contributing for a better and more beautiful world!
        © Anamarta

        Wednesday, 21 December 2016

        HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!!

        Also known by MidWinter, Yule!

        At the darkest moment of the year, light is reborn. From the womb of night is born the child of light who is the returning year.
        Solstice reminds us that the Goddess is, beyond all, associated with regeneration. Death gives way to birth, ending to new beginnings. Another reminder that every quality contains and gives to its opposite. There can be no light without darkness, no darkness without light.
        Winter is officially here, time of death and conception, the Yin peak of the year in the Taoist calendar, special time for us women, where the yin prevails...!
        We dive into the Water Element represented by our kidneys, guardians of ancestral QI/CHI, storehouse of genetic energy, holding the reproductive essence, our life force. Associated with the virtues of wisdom, gentleness and calmness, (and the negative emotion of fear).
        • Jade is a great crystal to heal the kidneys, you've one more reason to keep connected with your Jade Egg!
        A Good Tip for this Winter and actually you can apply all year around:

        ***Keep your kidneys warm, don't forget they look after your life force, (your creative energy which is present in everything you do!...) - give them a good rub everyday. 
        *And if you're rubbing your kidneys just bring the movement down and give a energetic rub, and some tapping in your sacrum (the triangle bone in the base of your spine), keep it warm! The sacrum is in the back of your sexual, creative centre, connect with all pelvic nerves, for the Taoist the sacrum is the gateway to the Universe beyond the visible... This is a simple thing to keep this important area of your body healthy and free of tension and lower back pain!
         Here an extra:
        **When people ask me what to do if they feel this part of the body cold, I recommend to wear a scarf around their waist, keeping the kidneys and sacrum warm. This can apply to everyone who spends long time in the same position (like sitting with their computers, playing an instrument, etc...)
        *And of course, ladies, it is especially good to keep your kidneys warm when you're with your moontime (your period) and if you are cold or tired. 

        Another great practice for the above and to keep your kidneys and adrenal glands (a little helmet above them) rejuvenated and healthy, is to do the kidney breathing - for those familiar with this practice, to the others who want to learn, keep posted for next year workshops and evening circles!

        © Anamarta

        Tuesday, 13 December 2016

        Happy Gemini Full Moon ~ The Power of the Mind and Communication!

        This powerful Gemini Full Moon relates with our ability to communicate; with all our relations (family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, neighbours); with our mind, logical thought; learning and sharing knowledge.
        So for me this brings a very interesting insight about the mind and communication...
        The power of mind that can create anything we wish and like this can be delusional as well: the most dangerous thing to believe is what one wants to believe.
        Communication, which I remember to learn in my first Public Relations class, when doing my BA (looks like another life, but was part of academic journey) that communication always involves two people, a talker and a listener, so one would listen and respond accordingly...
        Very well, then through the spiritual journey in my Healing NLP course, made me realise that what people call communication most of the time is actually a monologue... have you noticed how many times people are talking to themselves or not really listening... And at that time this made me think, do I talk more or do I listen more?
        Listening is such a yin, feminine quality, and takes me back to my granny saying the wise ones are the ones who listen, starting from within...
        Starting with the Taoist Practice which evolved into my creation of the Jade Egg Holistic Practice, I found a very easy and natural way to work with my mind in a harmonious way.
        One of the benefits you get from these practices is harmonisation of the the left and right side of the brain, so I trust intuition to be my guide, and have my logical and rational mind working in balance with the unknown and artistic other side of the mind, and vice-verse...

        Regarding communication: to express our creativity (which comes from the sexual centre), to express our truth (which comes from our heart), to express our ideas (which come from our mind), are the three energy centres, or the Taoist call Tan Tiens, or organs if you want: genitals, heart and brain.
        Are they all acknowledging each other, listening to each other, and agreeing with each other? Whatever is the way (voice, writing, dance, any art, anything!...) you are expressing these.

        Now just stop for a moment and answer yourself:
        • How can you improve your ability to communicate based on the above?
        Going back to the Full Moon you can use this time of sparkle, bright, ideas, jokes, laughter and repartee to: bring light and life close to you as Yuletide approaches, make arrangements, swap ideas, improve communication, work with impartial and detached thinking, travel short-distances, heal the lung! (arms and hands too - any movement on them as Qigong, Tai Chi, Dance will do!;).
        In the Taoist Calendar we are still in the season of the lungs, the Autumn, the Metal Element. 
        The lungs negative emotions are sadness and grief. We can look upon them as a process of letting go... And its such perfect time of the year to do so!  Look at Nature, trees getting stripped, everything dumped in the Earth, preparing to enter the dark, the Winter, the Yin peak, time to Be!  
        "The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities." Jamie Sams

        To help you in your process of letting go, here is the lungs' Healing Sound: 
        • Become aware of your lungs resting within your chest. Take a deep belly breath to slowly fill your lungs, breathe out SSSSSSSSS as you release sadness, grief, loneliness, depression. Allowing the sound to vibrate in your lungs, breath then in the crystalline white light of courage, self-confidence, uprightness, and self-esteem.*
        *Adding the lung meridian stretch: as you breathe in, raise your arms overhead, elbows slightly bent outwards, hands palm up and extend your arms above your head. Let your eyes follow the movement.

        The Jade Egg Holistic Practice is a continuous invitation to turn inward and get in touch with one's body (and organs), teaches us about the Inner Alchemy, starting with the first practice of the Inner Smile meditation.
        Let the moon too inspire you to look within - the Lunar Alchemy.

        Alchemy was more than attempt to turn base metal into gold, it was a spiritual quest. The alchemist's power came from the conjunction - the union of the God and the Goddess. The God was symbolised by the Sun, the Goddess the Moon. This is a reminder to look deep within ourselves, to the balance of male and female internal energies, yin and yang. By attuning ourselves with to the needs of our male and female sides, we then can work towards healing the parts of self that need assistance.
        Without balance there is no place to creativity, without true awareness of ourselves there is no place for progress. By looking deeply into ourselves we grow.
        As in all the Full Moons, you have the opportunity to energize yourself with the power of moon yin energy and unite with women from all over the planet, here my suggestion: let's meditate at 10pm in the moonlight; by your window (or outdoors if is not too cold where you are) or use three candles or one large silver candle as a substitute for the moonlight. (If you don't have any of these, no worries, your intention is what matters, just put your heart into it!) 

         © Anamarta

        Friday, 16 September 2016

        ***Harvest Powerful Moon***

        Today is a very special Full Moon, the Harvest Moon, the one which occurs closest to Autumn (Fall) Equinox, sometimes a few days after or before, depends on the year. It's usually the biggest full moon in the year and more 'pumpkin colour'. Perfect time for an abundance ritual!
        The Moon will be in Pisces and comes with a Lunar Eclipse, presenting us the Alchemy of light and dark, yin and yang - Full Power Time!!
        "Eclipses are the most powerful transits that you can experience." Kelly Rossano

        This Pisces Moon relate with sensitivity, intuition, mysticism and dream power, spiritual evolution, expansion of consciousness and subconscious seeking inner truths.
        With your Moon Magic (even if just lighting up any candle: what is important is your intention and focus) you can ask the Grandmother Moon to support you in all the above and anything related with this energy, specially to your dreams come true!...
        And what is Moon Magic? Magic is no more than a change of consciousness, and the Moon representing psychic energy, or the unconscious that holds the secrets of wisdom, can be a great ally or supporter in this.
        Here a my suggestion:
        Light a turquoise (or violet) candle and burn oil or incense of ylang-ylang, or eucalyptus, or sage. Repeat an affirmation three times, facing the moon (if possible) even when indoors
        .
        Let the candle burn until the end. 
        You can create your own affirmation based on the Pisces virtues, here an idea:
        "Moon in Pisces, bright your beam, Bring to me my sweetest dream".

        Why not put you Pisces Moon magic with a ritual of Abundance to make the most of this energy in the air!
        'Magically speaking' this is indeed a great time to focus on abundance.
        You can create your own ritual to connect with your inner self and let this golden moon illuminate and inspire you; be clear and assertive in your requests and be aware of the same (be careful that what you ask the Universe is what you really want...).
        Ideas of things you may use in a ritual for abundance:
        • Gold (or/and green, orange) candles, oranges, rice, milk, corn, cinnamon, money (big notes and coins), gold. Some crystals relate with abundance: citrine, carnelian, jade; and totems: buffalo (or/and cow) and sardine.
        Remember follow your intuition you can never go wrong, and for something to happen, the belief must come, not just from the mind but from the heart and soul.
        My Last year Harvest Aries Moon (is why the red candles) Abundance Ritual.
        © Anamarta

        Tuesday, 13 September 2016

        How to Embrace Abundance?


        We are now in transition of seasons: in the Taoist approach we just left the Heart season (the Summer, the Fire Element) to the Spleen season, the Earth Element, Harvest time, also known as Indian Summer, time of abundance, gratitude and enjoyment for the sweetness of life!

        And in this time of abundance, here's an invitation for you to reflect upon:
        • What abundance means to you?
        • How does abundance manifest in your life?
        • Which areas of your life would you like to bring more abundance?
        • How can you manifest the abundance you wish for?
        From my experience I felt to embrace abundance in all levels in my life, I needed to create space in my whole being and for that to open wide my heart, my mind and my soul to everything the Universe can provide! And with this came a sense of trust, that everything I need is provided in the right time. Also, besides this it's obvious that I had to do everything I can in the 'mundane dimension', to work and give my best, in order to achieve what I want. And last, but not least the Great Mother Earth, being such an inspiring and wonderful teacher, by observing Her perfect cycles and tune with her as a source of continuing learning and empowerment.

         And today, by chance (if exist such a thing!!...), I came across this "When we approach our lives with trust rather skepticism, we are allowing our minds to be fertile ground for enrichment." by Jamie Sams in Sacred Path Cards.

        Do you know Jade is associated with Abundance and Fertility?
        Actually not only physical abundance, but opens the path to open our heart to Divine Abundance and sharing with others in affirmation of plenty. And I mean just not fertility to create a baby, but to create the life you want as well! To reinforce this: the shape of the egg is being worship as a symbol fertility since ancient times.
        The Jade Egg after a decade of deep personal exploration and sharing with other women I found it to be an amazing tool, jewel and talisman! And indeed to support abundance in all levels of my life... And create the fertile ground to live my dreams!

        For the ones in London and around Join me Tonight for Jade Circle Evening - Embracing Abundance! 
        Click Here for Details - All Women Are Welcome!

        © Anamarta

        Thursday, 12 May 2016

        Sexuality & Spirituality in the Taoist Tradition in Modern Lives

        How are sexuality and spirituality bound together in the Taoist tradition, in a way that's relevant to modern women?
        In the Taoist Tradition sexuality and spirituality are bound together, as the Taoists focus on harmonising mind, body and spirit.  Spiritual development requires a balance of physical health and mental clarity, and our sexuality plays an important role in that.
        Sex is natural and we are sexual beings – women, born with hundreds of eggs, they have the capacity to generate hundreds of lives! (And man with a single ejaculation could repopulate North America!).   The Taoist believes that if we were not to use this energy to create life itself, we can use it to enhance our own life. This happens by internalising the intense sexual energy, all the hormones and nutrients; the ancient secrets of the Art of Bedchamber that can be applied to benefit our modern lives.
        In this light sexuality is beyond sex, being the most powerful energy of creation, the expression of our creativity, that can be used for pleasure, healing, to cultivate health, rejuvenation, longevity; to attain goals, to realise dreams, and ultimately, to connect with the Divine, the universal source or ‘Re-Union with the Tao.’ In other words, by using the sexual energy for spiritual development, we come by ‘the short path to enlightenment’.
        When we consciously tap into the energy of creation, we have in our hands the power to heal, transform, and create what we want!  Creativity is present throughout our day, from the moment we get out of bed and choose what to wear, what to eat…  And the fact is that when we get up our sexual organs don’t stay in bed: they are always with us! 

        Why and how is this energy important for having sex that is spiritual. Is this energy a fusion of body & spirit?
        There is no ‘sacred’ focus, all human sex being sacred in the union of Yang, the force of Heaven, with Yin, the power of Earth.
        The idea is that by keeping the body – the vehicle to generate, transform and project energy – healthy, we keep mind, soul and spirit healthy too. And to keep the body (also seen as the ‘temple of spirit’) healthy we learn how to avoid losing energy, which women lose through menstruation and childbirth (and men through ejaculation). We also learn to take the most of our energy circulating it through all our being, which includes redirecting the orgasmic energy through the whole body, instead of just staying in the genitals.
        These Taoist Healing Love practices are internal alchemical methods to harmonise both right and left sides of the brain, balancing the intuitive and the rational, when to do and when to be. Besides the enhancing of sensation, transcendental pleasure and becoming a more effective lover, the practices bring the benefits of hormonal balance and vitality, empowerment and fulfillment in all levels (physical, emotional and energetical).   Being holistic, merging qigong and meditation, the specific yin (feminine) and shamanic practices, also bring the benefits of grounding, being centred in one’s own power, and unconditional self-love and self-acceptance.
        The Taoist holistic practice brings awareness of our infinite inner resources and opens the path of self-healing and self-mastery to live life to the full!

        If you want to learn more about these you are welcome to our**:
        Coming Annual Jade Circle Workshop: Tao of Feminine Empowerment, where is laid the ground for deeper exploration and understanding which comes with the Taoist Healing Love Practice - Greater Alchemy of Yin and Yang, for a mixed group** you can find more events in our calendar.
        ** With myself and my beloved partner Taoist Master Kris Deva North founder of the Mantak Chia Taoist Training in London 1992.

        Questions answered to Angela Kennedy from UK Soul&Spirit magazine I was featured in the beginning of the year. 
        © Anamarta
        Image of the Taoist Eight Immortals by Shen Quan

        Wednesday, 11 May 2016

        LOVE or LUST?...

        Both!...
        ***Love or Lust - How can you tell the difference and does it matter from a spiritual point of view?

        Love is the warm feeling that starts in our heart and can spread through our whole being, with the power to heal and transform.  Love and the way it is felt is unique to each individual, transcending mere words.
        Lust triggers desire, which can also spread through our whole being, releasing sexual hormones, bringing a sense of vitality, stimulating all our senses, like the Spring when everything bursts into life!


        Love and lust, both have the power to energise, and are equally important: as in the Taoist philosophy of Yin & Yang. The aim is to find harmony within which will spread into our outer world - to tune into the feminine and masculine, the emotional and the sexual, and to bring this balance into our life. 


        We have meridians (energy lines) in our body.  As blood flows in the veins, energy flows in the meridians.  The ‘Conception Vessel’, running from the perineum (the point between the anus and genitals) up the front of the body to the tongue, connects our heart center (in the middle of our chest) with the energy of love, with our sexual center (our womb, genitals) and the energy of lust.


        You are welcome to learn more about this in our** coming Annual Jade Circle Workshop: Tao of Feminine Empowerment, where is laid the ground for deeper exploration and understanding which comes with the Taoist Healing Love Practice - Greater Alchemy of Yin and Yang, for a mixed group** you can find more events in our calendar.
        ** With myself and my beloved partner Taoist Master Kris Deva North founder of the Mantak Chia Taoist Training in London 1992.

        ***Question answered to Angela Kennedy from UK Soul&Spirit magazine I was featured in the beginning of the year. 

        © Anamarta

        Monday, 8 February 2016

        Happy Chinese Monkey New Year: Follow Your Heart Desires!

        Today with the New Moon we enter in another cycle, a New Year in the milleneum Chinese (Taoist) calendar.
        The Wood Yin Sheep trots out, the Yang Fire Monkey swings in!!

        "This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightning pace and fantastic motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humour and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success"

        The Monkey is a trickster, playful, funny, intelligent, inventive (great problems solvers), strong minded, adaptable, curious, creative and last but not least youthful! 
        Fire Element: "Fire dances, fire warms, fire burns, fire creates and fire destroys" Kris Deva North in Finding Spirit in Zen Shiatsu
        A year  that anything can happen, the way to respond to the unexpected is to be flexible and grounded - sounds contradictory? Well it's the principle we use in Tai Chi, as the flexibility strengths our ability to respond to any situation without letting the situation itself take over, and the grounding gives the necessary stability to be in the here and now: this makes us centered in our power, open to wide vision and harmoniously living.
         
        And you heard the expression "monkey mind"? The mind jumping around, being faster than the body, so practice breathing in and out, and focus on the moment rather than yesterday, or tomorrow, or later.  The scientific world is already agreeing with the benefits of ancient methods of meditation and body movement as Tai Chi, Qigong, Martial Arts, dance, yoga, etc...

        The creative mind may also be bubbling with ideas - great!! Channel them, put them in practice, even if involves taking risks... Monkey energy supports success and innovation!!
        But be aware if you find yourself spending too much time in mind, remember your body, the grounding helps: even if this just being barefoot, especially in nature. Our body needs more activity: exercise more, move more, whatever works for you and in an enjoyable way. Otherwise if the mind takes over can be overwhelming, depleting, and losing touch with inner wisdom; and for us women the most powerful compass we have within filled with ancestral knowledge, our womb!
         
        So: Keep calm and eat bananas!
        Hehehe, joking... But indeed you need energy for this year, so keep an eye how you manage your energy; which for me is about the choices we make. In which, where and whom you decide to spend your energy, choose wisely!...


        And saying all the above: 
        How does the monkey, yes the animal itself, resonate with to you?
        Just take a moment to allow any thoughts, images or sounds to fill your mind...
        I had a few encounters with monkeys in my 13 times in India these past seven years.
        In India one of their beloved Gods is Hanuman - the Monkey God - so monkeys run freely, mostly everywhere.
        I saw so many people being robbed by monkeys from food to objects (not just in India, but also in Africa), and 'monkey gangs' really taking over a place, messing up a kitchen... Can be scary, but I never had a bad experience with them, thus I really respect them and my relationship with them honestly is "hi, bye", as with their unpredictable nature you never know what to expect from them.
        I could share a few stories, but let me pick up the ones who mark me most:

          ** 2009 in Bagsunag, in the Indian Himalayas, when I was teaching my first Jade Circle Workshop, we were a big group on a rooftop which was covered with nice fabrics (imagine a tent); a monkey (red face one, which are the more dangerous in India, the black face ones are more gentle), just come in, the dog from the BuddhaHall Center felt him, ran to him furiously barking and the monkey responding to him showing his big teeth in a very aggressive way... OMG a slight panic started to be felt by the ladies; I thought "this has to finish otherwise is the workshop finishing here for today!..." I got up and went close to them, calm down the dog and look to the monkey and gently asked him if he could leave; the monkey looked at me, looked at the dog, and just before he left did a little jump to the dog (just to scare him, like if he was attacking him) and then off he went!...

          ** This one was more recent, a few year ago, in the edges of the Rajasthani desert. Was early morning and I went to the top of my guest house to sit on a wall (was wide enough for that) where I had an amazing view and breeze and maybe two floors high. I crossed my legs, clasped my hands together, closed my eyes and start to meditate... when suddenly I felt a very fluffy warm 'thing' passing by my back, the first thing that came to my mind, was: "do not panic!!..". So without moving my head I opened my eyes to see what it was: exactly what I suspected: a big red face monkey!! Big enough to just push me down; and I just realised I was in his territory!! I tried everything to keep calm, breathe deeply, closed my eyes again to continue to meditate; but my curiosity made me open them again. Keeping still I looked again and the monkey was exactly copying me!  Ok he didn't cross the legs, but his hands together, looking straight ahead with his eyes closed!!!... Meditating together!!... So I closed my eyes again, and then after a while I felt the 'fluffy thing' passing by again and off he went. I didn't abuse my luck, I found another place to meditate!

          Do you know the Monkey is the 9th animal in 12 Chinese zodiac? And we are in the 9 year = 2 + 0 + 1 + 6 - reinforcing this number of completion; but in the Tao, 9 is our infinitive number.
          Infinitive transformation indeed!... But definitely with this fast paced year, gives the opportunity to complete cycles, and don't waste time with anything that no longer serves us, let it go, thanks for the learning and move on.
          When the energy in the air is strong for me the options are: to tune into it, I mean to understand it, which brings the opportunity to make the most of it and gives strength and ability to take the challenges and quickly transformed them into opportunities to change and grow; or if we resist the change is like swimming against the tide, procrastinating and complaining about things instead of doing something about them, we can have a really hard time.

          "The year of Red Fire Monkey brings to humanity the possibility of tremendous growth and vast fulfilment; we begin to create our destiny through intention, desire and focus."
          Glenn Stewart Coles

          A simple ritual to welcome the Monkey New Year:
          Light up a red candle(s), tune into the fire within and without, smile at your heart where the fire lives, smile at the Fire Monkey, ask to align with his energy and for him to show you how to make the most of it. Then set your intentions (reinforcing perhaps the ones you set for 2016) and speak them loudly.

          I wish you a fiercely Monkey New Year, also filled with laughter and fun, may your passion drive you to follow your heart desires!

          © Anamarta

          Monkey and the girl by "Kindness Blog"; third image monkey by Jandkatl
          Monkey "Joker" Zen painting by Kris Deva North