Posts Tagged ‘divine mother’

Lotus Love Blog

The Divine Mother by Genevieve McClendon

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 1 Comment

“Among the trillion mysteries of the cosmos, the most phenomenal is light.”

-Yogananda

Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in Divine white light? Do you believe there is a life force existing within and around us at all times that is beyond the understanding of our naked eye?  I have a real life account of an apparition that I experienced with the sacred feminine.  In preparing to write this blog in light of the Divine Mother I couldn’t help be drawn to share a miracle I experienced with Her many years ago that I have already written about and I’m still in awe of to this day.  I feel the need to tell my story repeatedly to share that miracles are real and love is all around.  We just need to open our hearts, minds, and listen.

Let me first start by saying, the Divine Mother is omnipresent. She is the incarnation of love that takes countless shapes and forms. Not bound by religion or dogma, the divine mother is the infinite light and love that lives inside and surrounds all of us in all spaces, places and things at all time. She IS the sacred source of unconditional love and light.

In Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi, he states, “God’s command brought into being the structural essential: light.  On the beams of this immaterial medium occur all divine manifestations. Devotees of every age testify to the appearance of God as flame and light.”

Here is my miracle with our Sacred Mother:

She appeared to me when I was twelve.  It was a Saturday, I had fallen asleep and was awakened by the brightest white light you could ever imagine!  It was the light that you hear about in scared texts. A light so bright I felt like I should be blinded. The Divine Mother herself had awakened me! Time stopped, space no longer existed. She was gazing at me with the sweetest radiant love you could ever imagine! She took me with her for a moment, I don’t remember where.

Just for a moment, think of your own mother’s love times a billion and then some! The frequency of love was so high she was in me, outside of me, taking up my entire room. She was hugging all around me. As she gazed at me with the most ultimate beaming motherly grace, I could see every detail of her. I feel that she took this shape so that my human mind would be able to make sense of her forever-moving force. The crevices and folds of her were so clear, perfect, radiant, loving and peaceful, so peaceful.

She was with me for a long period of time. Though she never said a physical word, she spoke loudly through energy. She just oozed love through every pore and make up of my body and washed my soul.  As I write, recollecting on this, I feel overwhelmed with the beauty I saw.  Her beauty and love is so calm and intense; Ya’ll, it brings me to tears!

I was permanently changed by this event. Being in the presence of her divine love truly affected me on a cellular level. There is never a day that I don’t think about this miracle happening in my life. I am still in utter awe of it. I have never experienced anything that has come slightly close to this miracle. I have so much love for the divine mother in every way and am forever devoted. I feel she is with me at all times. I know that she is all love and loves us more than we could ever truly know! And that is the ultimate message and why I feel the need to share this miraculous apparition.  Her message was, she Loves us so much and don’t forget it!  Connect to her, dance with her, talk to her, love on her behalf, reach out for her.  She is Here.

“I am your moon and your moonlight too. I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come all this way, eager for you, without shoes or shawl. I want you to laugh, to kill your worries, to love you, to nourish you.”

-Rumi

Genevieve is committed to serving and helping others come into their wholeness. She is a compassionate teacher that invites all her students to live their truth and celebrate who they are as they are. She is a passionate Reiki Master/Teacher. Genevieve teaches Restorative Yoga with Reiki at Laughing Lotus on Friday from 6:45-8:00pm and Sunday from 6:15-7:30. Her website is http://www.InLightandSoul.com


Kali’s Fight

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 No Comments

by Jen DeSimone

Kali

Statue of Kali I bought at Mount Madonna last October

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Sri Yoda

Kali is one of the fiercest incarnations of the Divine Mother. In pictures and statues, she is often depicted wearing a necklace of human skulls, a skirt of human arms, holding a severed head in one hand, and stepping on the body of a god, her husband Shiva. This illustrates Kali at the critical point in the most famous story about her: how she vanquished the demon Raktabija.

The gods were fighting a horde of demons including Raktabija, whose name means “blood seed,” but they could not defeat him because every time a drop of his blood fell to the ground, a duplicate of him would arise. Unsure of how to subdue such an enemy, the other gods turned to the goddess Parvati. Parvati transformed herself into the warrior goddess Durga and then rode into battle on her magnificent lion to fight Raktabija. With her many arms each wielding a weapon, she was able to cut and wound him, but when his blood fell to the ground, still new copies of him would arise. Soon, there were thousands upon thousands of Rakabijas.

When it became clear to Parvati/Durga that she too could not conquer Raktabija, Kali sprang from Parvati/Durga’s forehead. She devoured all of the clones of Raktabija and then she grabbed hold of the demon. She cut off his head and then caught and drank all of his blood so not a single drop fell to the ground.

Afterward, she turned her attention to the other demons and tore them all apart. Still drunk with Raktabija’s blood, she began killing all living creatures in her path. The gods started to worry that Kali was out of control so they turned to the god Shiva, her consort, for help. In response, Shiva threw himself beneath his beloved’s feet. When Kali realized she was trampling on her husband, the effects of the bloodlust burned away. Eventually, she turned back into Durga and then reverted back into Parvati.

There are many ways to interpret this fight between Kali and Raktabija. Some see this as a struggle between the ephemeral and the eternal, where Raktabija represents the present moment and Kali, whose name means time, is eternal. Some see this as the victory of being able to look beyond who we think we are and see who we truly are, where Raktabija is asmita (“ego”) and Kali is Atman (“Self”). In rereading the story today, however, I viewed the battle to be between man and fear. With his blood, Raktabija plants his seeds of fear which sprout as anger and then blossom as hatred.

We are all Kali, thrust upon a battlefield to conquer fear, anger and hatred. Fear is a slippery foe as it can manifest in many different forms and in many different ways. Fear is also highly contagious. Raktabija’s blood, in just touching one particle of dust, can plant fear. Kali herself, we see from this story, is not immune. After she drinks Raktabija’s blood, she goes on a lethal rampage and it only when Shiva sacrifices himself that she realizes that she had become the very thing she was fighting against. With this realization, she is able to stop.

This is a relevant story today because we live in a time where fear has been sown, anger has taken root and now we are reaping the fruits of hatred. People are being murdered because of their religion, race, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Terror has taken the world hostage.

When faced with these atrocities, this is when we are Kali fighting Raktabija on that battlefield. We are using everything in our intellectual, spiritual and moral arsenal to fight against others’ fear, anger and hatred of us. But, as we see from Kali, it is so easy to be infected by Raktabija, and then we too can become agents of fear, anger and hatred. We see that happening all the time in the news where key political figures counsel bigotry and division.

Unfortunately, it’s become a daily if not moment by moment struggle to keep fighting the good fight. When it becomes overwhelming or I start to lose hope, I remember what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says about conquering hate: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

This struggle is hard and there are days when we want to just throw in the towel. But, as yoga tells us, everything is a practice. All we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try it again. Again and again and again until no trace of Raktabija is left on the face of this planet.

Jen first discovered yoga in 2001 and has been practicing it ever since. Since completing her 200 hour teacher training with Laughing Lotus four years ago, Jen has been offering classes where students are met where they are. You can follow her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bloomingfloweryoga/.


Teach Me, Mama Earth

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 No Comments

by Tina Spogli

Big Sur_Half Moon

Often the best thing we can do for ourselves when life gets crazy is to get outside. The summer season can leave most of us feeling a bit overwhelmed with activities and obligations. In the world of ayurveda (the science of life), summer is pitta season, meaning more fire and action. We need grounding Earth energy to find our center more than ever during this time.

So last weekend when a spontaneous invitation to camp in Big Sur was presented, amidst the craziness of things to do, it felt right to choose nature. Something undeniably happens when we return to the arms of Mama Earth – all of the other ‘stuff’ sort of just melts away. You’re left in the moment, with an indescribable connection with everything around. It’s only when we become fully present in nature that we’re able to receive her messages.

When we arrived in Big Sur, we drove to a camping spot at the top of one of the mountains. It was sunset, and words can’t really describe the incredible views, though I’ll try. We were so high up that you could see the cloud line below. Across the way there were more mountains with rows and rows of beautiful green trees, and an ocean that seemed to go off into infinity. The magic continued into the night, as one by one the stars appeared before us, and the crescent moon shed light onto the darkness. The Big Dipper and the Milky Way also made their appearance. Since we were above the clouds, it felt like we were so close to the cosmos that we could feel the vibrations of the stars.

When we look up at the cosmos, it’s a reminder that there is something beyond our scope of understanding. One of the things we know about space is that it has no end. Yoga teaches us that everything is linked together by Shakti – a feminine power source responsible for the creation of all things in our world. Wherever there is energy, Shakti is working – and everything is energy. Alan Watts says, “You didn’t come into this world, you came out of it, like a wave from the ocean.” We are indeed connected to all life – we are tied to the mountains, the wildflowers, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars…and even to that unknown space in the cosmos!

Our yoga practice aims to connect the two selves – the known physical self, and the unknown cosmic self. The path to the unknown begins with our feet firmly planted in the known. Now is the time to connect with Mama Earth, to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to her great lessons. The mountains remind us of strength and foundation, the trees teach the importance of stillness, the ocean tells us we are vast and deep, the flowing streams show us the beauty of adaptability, and the cosmos reminds us that there is an unknown. David Polis says, “Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the stars and mountains above. Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on Earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.”

Now go get outside!

Tina developed a deep love for quieting the body and mind during her time living in one of the loudest cities. Yoga found Tina in 2007 while she was living in New York, and the practice quickly became her sanctuary amidst all of the hustle.

She believes in the transformative process of yoga, with its ability to bring us back into our bodies and breath, and stretch our mental limitations of what we think is possible – both on and off the mat. Her mantra is to come as you are, and observe what unfolds. Tina’s classes are thoughtful and intentional, sharing inspiration from her personal practice and life.

Tina is a 250 RYT, and a graduate from Laughing Lotus in New York and San Francisco. When she is not on the mat, you can find her in nature, exploring
photography, and hanging with her animal friends! She is very grateful to be a
part of the Laughing Lotus community of the east and west, and is thankful for
this space to share her heart and energy with you.


The Divine Mother and all her forms

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 No Comments
by Astrud Castillo

astrud meditation green heart

My experience with this theme always comes back to the way I relate to the Earth and Mother Nature and how that reflects in my relationships and Yoga.

This topic now has a name, it is called Eco Yoga. This would be the study of the environment in which plants, animals, and humans live, and the application of moral and spiritual principles of Yoga, an ancient practice, while applying it to our modern situation.
We can apply the Yamas (how we relate to others) and the Niyamas (how we relate to ourselves) to how we relate to Mother Nature.

I heard the acronym G.O.D standing for the Great Out Doors.
I believe in the sanctity of the great outdoors and know the power of connecting to spirit through a walk in the woods, a hike on the mountain, or a nap in the park.

So I ask myself: How can I apply the Yama-Ahimsa (nonviolence) to consciousness about what our planet needs? In what ways am I harming the environment? And how can I lighten my carbon footprint?

I picked some examples of how we can apply these principles starting with the Yamas:

AHIMSA translates to Nonviolence or reverence to ALL forms of life. The main practice here would be to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. We are invited to be mindful of how we may cause suffering to animals and even plant life. If you choose to consume animal products, be mindful to not support the widespread and cruel practice of factory farming. Get educated! Join P.E.T.A

SATYA means truthfulness. Can we be honest about our situation with the environment? How can we stay informed and not fall into a pit of ignorance around these issues. We must remain awake on all fronts, not just for our own salvation but for the salvation of our surroundings. We might be concerned about the local air quality if we practice pranayama (breath control). And in order to sustain healthy bodies and eating habits we want to make sure our fruits and vegetables have not been laden with pesticides. Here is a site to keep you informed and to inspire you! earth911.com

APARIGRAHA means not hoarding or taking only what we need and relating to life in a balanced, non-grasping manner. Do I respect the rights of others to share limited resources? If you take something, consider how you can replenish it.

Here are a few examples of some Niyamas and how they help us relate to the environment:

SAUCA means cleanliness. I may consider how respectful of the environment I am. Do I pick up after myself or ask how I contribute to pollution? How I can eliminate it from the environment and my own life?

TAPAS means discipline or commitment. Am I personally committed to making an effort and making a difference no matter how small?

ISVARAPRANIDHANA translates to devotion to the Divine or to reality. G.O.D, the Great Out Doors! Do I revere nature and make an effort to commune and connect to my source and have respect for not only my inner environment but my OUTER environment too?

There are numerous efforts we can make. Maybe riding a bike instead of driving a car, or changing light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs to avoiding products with a lot of packaging (reducing your garbage by 10% reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 pounds). Planting a tree (a single tree absorbs one ton of carbon dioxide over it’s lifetime) or turn off electronic devices when not in use. The most powerful effort you could consider would be going vegetarian. 51% or MORE of global green house gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture!!!

These are some basic concepts most of us are familiar with.
We are now starting to look at them through the Yogic lens.
It is said we have two eyes we look out of, but really one we truly see from. Developing a relationship with the natural world and what sustains us as a species helps us to rediscover wisdom and live in the harmony and balance we seek as Yogis.

Jai Ma…
Astrud

Astrud teaches Yoga, leads her Kirtan group https://www.facebook.com/Astrud-and-the-Cosmic-Caravan-126578667531850/ and leads retreats to India. *Upcoming retreat to India October 20-November 17th 2016 – For Info on all the above check out http://yogawithastrud.com/ Or my FB page https://www.facebook.com/AstrudMaitriYoga/


Mother Pie

Posted on: July 6th, 2016 2 Comments
by Adriana Feliciana

Adriana

*repost*

As a kid I read a book about a teen who was looking for a mother figure because she felt her own mother was lacking in some “mothering departments.” She would find qualities and strengths amongst the women she was around and began to construct the mother she was looking for, she called it her “mother pie.” The idea of a “mother pie” had a profound impact on me.

My mother has always been a kind and loving soul who made sure that my sister and I always had the very best of things, but she was not much of a communicator or a homemaker. I was always searching for a mother who would dispel sage advice to me and make me a comforting meal. So, when I became a mother at age 17, I felt like I had so much to learn. While I couldn’t provide the material items my mother had, I made sure to be the “domestic mom” to my son, which I had been craving for in my own mother. When my son Tonio was going into preschool they had a potluck dinner and I remember strolling in with my homemade apple pie so proudly. What no one knows is that it took three attempts at a pie that day, it just had to be perfect because that was what a good mom did in my teenage way of thinking.

By the time my daughter was born five years later, I was already over the domestic scene and into finding some financial stability. We lived in the Marina, where restaurants were everywhere. I remember my 2-year old daughter, Audrey, telling me one evening “I’m hungry! Call somebody.” That was a shocking truth that perhaps I needed to find some balance.

I had also wanted to be the “cool mom”, the type of mom with the perfect hair and eyeliner, dressed in all black with the sleek black designer handbag. I frowned at the moms in the brightly colored comfy pants and ponytails who always had tissues and cough drops in their big floral canvas “mom bags.” I used to think they were crazy to extend their mothering skills to other kids that were in need. I made great efforts to close myself off from the outside world because it seemed like too much effort to love everyone.

A lot of times, I felt completely overwhelmed because I was so young and for the most part on my own. My mothering advice was sporadic and unpredictable because I was still just a child in so many ways. I had some severe addiction problems, which I needed to address before I could really flourish into being the mother I was knew I could be.

Once I became sober, I took a long hard look at my lifestyle and made dramatic changes. Gone are the days of expensive leather handbags and other expensive luxuries. Today I embrace a life of simplicity and colorful comfy yoga pants. I carry a large canvas bag filled with spare tissues and cough drops for everyone (now vegan cough drops, thanks to some mothering advice from our Beautiful Lotus Mother Jasmine). I have also changed my perspective on mothering.

I am not only the mother of the two I gave birth to, but also to anyone who needs a slice of “mother pie”. The Universe has provided me with many children who need some special mothering. It has been such an honor to be a part of the Laughing Lotus community, I really feel like everyone who enters the door is my family. I love to greet everyone by their names, hearing about their triumphs with inversions and encouraging them when they get discouraged with their setbacks. I especially love mothering the new Yoga School Students, seeing their faces light up with all the possibilities Yoga can provide truly warms my heart every time. I actually tear up with great pride when I attend graduations and come to their first Community Classes.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: “It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community-a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth.” Such beautiful words, I am so thankful that I can be part of such a loving community that is Laughing Lotus.

Catch Adriana on Tuesday & Friday mornings for sunrise flow as she subs for Erica all summer loving long.


Mamaste! Bowing to the Divine Mother, Within us and all around us

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 No Comments

by Jasmine Tarkeshi

10499387_749364415106827_8653600985209624218_o

As soon as I met my daughter I joined my hands in prayer at my heart and with tears streaming from my eyes I said “Namaste”. Meaning the light in my bows to the light in you. A reflection of myself I had never seen before! I did this ritual all through the first crazy, beautiful, life-changing year of motherhood. Then one day, she said it back! But instead of Namaste she said “Mamaste” with a big goofy toothless grin. I kept correcting her, but nope, it was MAMAste. Although, surrounded by the love of her devoted father, grandma and auntie and community of adoring family, “Mama” was the world she came from. And through her the “ Mama” within me was born! A patience I never knew I had, the most intoxicating Love that cannot be described, protection and fierceness of a tigress, caring and nurturance I never knew myself. This has extended to my relationship with the world.

I recently became active on instagram, vowing to participate in social media with a lot of personal resistance. So many of my Yogic guides kept reminding me of the importance of staying connected to my students and sharing my practice with them even if it was through an iPhone. So I set out to document my yoga practice and share what inspires me, but if you check me out on IG, there are only pictures of my daughter, Indigo! Perhaps it’s because I don’t know how to take pictures of myself, but she IS my Yoga! Through her I feel connected to the universe, Mother Earth and all beings. Through her eyes I see oneness, the miracle in all experience, joy for no reason, complete emotional expression and bravery and courage that inspires. I am tested, challenged, on a daily – moment to moment basis to live my yoga to the fullest, since I am her world from which she learns. And WOW, am I tested! THIS is my Tapas (purifying practice) like I have never known. My Motherhood is messy and imperfect; I lose it, I do things I said I would never do – like have her watch a video while I get work done, order take away a few times a week instead of my vision of making every organic meal in a handstand 🙂 But she has no judgment; she still looks at me and says “ Mamaste” even as I beat myself up. In Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion, this is known as Pusthi Marg or path of the Divine Mother where we look at the world through the eyes of a devoted mother. Like the Buddha said, “Like a caring mother holding and guarding the life of her only child, so with a boundless heart of loving kindness, hold yourself and all beings as your beloved children.”

In Yoga Philosophy and the great Guru Mantra, our first guru is our mother—Guru Brahma our creation/creator is guru. We all have different relationships with our mother or caretaker. We have fought with, disagreed and misunderstood our parents or guardians from childhood on, some which may not yet be resolved to this day. Teachers come to us in many ways. This first teacher was our mother by birth as the Earth is our mother by creation. To appreciate the power of creation is to see all life as valuable, ALL human life, as well also the life force that flows through all living beings.

The love of a mother is unconditional. She knows that through our existence we cause harm to her—yet she continues to nourish and support us with all her heart. Each year thousands of forests are being cut down, oceans, rivers and lakes are polluted and giant holes are mined into Her. But it is not only the Earth herself who is exploited; it is also her human and nonhuman inhabitants.

The Earth itself is referred to as the Mother, Divine Mother or Ma. She is the sustaining and creative force providing food and water for the survival of all the beings that inhabit her. In the west, we endearingly refer to our beautiful blue/green planet as “Mother Earth” as a way to express our interconnectedness with all beings. Our own relationship with the Divine Mother may be very similar to the relationship with our own mother! Sometimes we fight; sometimes we ignore her and definitely do things that we know will upset her! But through both our birth mother and the Divine Mother we are undeniably linked to the source of all life.

In Hindu mysticism, the earth is always referred to as a very patient mother. She has to bear with all our misdeeds. We are all her children. Perhaps there is no greater sorrow for a mother than to see her children quarreling among themselves. In my village, two brothers quarreling or two sisters quarreling will be taken up as a village issue, since this is considered to be something that should never happen; it’s no longer a domestic issue, but a community one. “The word for sibling in Sanskrit is sahodara. Saha, “together,” udara, “womb”: they come from the same womb. They have lived in the same womb. So they should always help each other. Similarly, we all come from the womb of Mother Earth. We are all brothers and sisters.

Just as a human mother is in agony when she sees her children fighting against one another, so mother earth is in agony when she sees nation fighting against nation, race against race. Through the enthusiastic practice of meditation and the allied disciplines, each of us can become instruments of peace and harmony, drawing upon our deepest resources to prevent nation from rising up against nation, race against race, and brother against brother.

Peace is not created by governments and fighting forces. Peace is made by little people like you and me getting to know other people, other countries, other races.– Eknath Easwaran

Our personal relationship with the Divine Mother Earth lives within us in the Muladhara Chakra. Chakras are energy centers within the body that correspond with the elements as well as the endocrine system and physical, emotional and mental systems. “Mula” means root and “adhara” means to support. Located within the perineum at the base of the spine from the tailbone through the legs and feet, it connects us with Mother Earth as well as our own roots, our maternal mother or support when we were children, as well as our ancestors. It is within this most important Chakra that our early childhood experiences are recorded like magnetic tape and influence all we do including our feelings of survival, belonging, and guardedness and whether or not our basic needs were met. When Muladhara is in balance, we feel strong and confident; we can stand up on your own two feet and take care of ourselves and feel connected to the earth and others, grounded and present. We are trusting in others and feel a part of nature, a family, tribe or community. We feel safe in the home of our bodies and create a safe environment to live. We care for and nurture others and ourselves and stand up for others and ourselves. We take care of the planet and see the Divine in a all beings and the sacred in everything. We care as much about our own survival as the survival of others.

This is the philosophy behind most shamanic and indigenous healing. That our own well-being is interconnected with the whole.

When it is not in balance we feel like victims and blame everyone and everything for our misfortunes or are over materialistic, hoard and disrespect others and the planet. When it is blocked or out of balance, we can become needy, have low self-esteem, or have self-destructive behaviors.

Here are a few ways to become aware and honor the Divine Mother, our own, Mamma Earth and the Divine Mother within! Jai MA!

1)Create an ancestral altar: Place pictures of your parents, family and ancestors, artifacts from their countries of origin to connect to your roots and feel the support of this deep connection as well of the pain that may be associated with it. We cannot change our pasts but we can vow not to be lineage barriers of past traumas by healing the wounds of the past through actions and sadhanas (spiritual practices) we can take today.

2)Practice Yoga and care for your physical body through diet and exercise. Cook your own food as much as possible, eating organic food from local farmers markets. Move toward a vegetarian diet, which lessens the suffering of other beings and damage to our mother planet. This self-care and discipline wakes up the Divine Mother within as a doorway to truly care for all beings. Nourish your self with healthy habits and move away from toxic ones. Surround your self with a “tribe” of like-minded but diverse people to create community and healthy family, work environment and relationships based on mutual respect. Look for ways you can use your privilege to be of service to others less privileged due to the color of their skin, sexual orientation or class.

3) Connect to Mother Earth. This does not have to be only through spending time in nature, although, get out and spend time in nature! Get your feet in the dirt and your body in the water and the sunshine, smell the flowers and taste the fruits, meditate on the moon and stars. At the same time, Our Urban/ Concrete jungle is just as sacred along with beings that inhabit it. Have plants and animals in your home. Walk the city streets to connect with the world around you, yes, the muddy, mucky mud and try to see the beauty and divinity that surrounds you within it. Meet your brothers and sisters from different cultural backgrounds; go to cultural events with music, dance and food celebrating diversity. Do selfless service and volunteer. Oneness does NOT mean we are the same in every way, the true nature of oneness to celebrate the uniqueness in every being by acknowledging equality and non-duality and honoring the sacred within every being.

With my hands at my heart in prayer, “Mamaste”!

This beautiful Mantra honors the Divine Mother in all her forms and sends me into an ecstatic state!

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Matri Rupena Sansthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah
(repeat after each line)

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Buddhi Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Shakti Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Nidra Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Chaiya Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Daya Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Kanti Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Bhranti Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Shantih Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Tushti Rupena Sansthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Lakshmi Rupena Sansthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah

Translation:
Salutations to the Goddess who resides in all beings in the form of:
{wisdom, light, abundance etc}
To that constant, eternal Presence, I gratefully offer myself again and again.
The feminine energy or nature resides in all beings (RupenaSansthita). As the flow of life, she is expressed in us as wisdom (Buddhi), sleep (Nidra), the shadow (Chaiya), misunderstanding (Bhranti), peace (Shantih), contentment (Tushti), abundance (Lakshmi), Matri (Mother), Daya (Compassion, Kanti (Radiance) and Shakti (primal Source Energy).

resources : Doug Whitiker, Eknath Eashwaran, Amma’s Mantras

#Mamaste #DivineMother #JaiMa #MuladharaChakra #Yoga #GuruBrahma #LoveIsMyReligion #LaughingLotusSF #JasmineTarkeshi

Jasmine Tarkeshi is Co-Founder of Laughing Lotus Yoga Centers in NYC and SF. She is a humble student of the ancient and transformative teachings of Yoga and has been sharing the passion for the practices for 20 years. She comes from and bows to her mystical heritage of Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Yogic backgrounds that all merge into her love for the performing arts and healing traditions of the world. She is a dedicated activist through her life and practice and beloved foundation Love Saves the Day and teaches nationally, internationally and daily at her home studio at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in San Francisco with the belief in everyones ability to awaken and heal to be true agents for change as intstruments of Love.


The Source

Posted on: June 22nd, 2016 No Comments

by Genevieve McClendon

HEART-26

The Source
The lovely melody of a flute
is found neither in the instrument
nor in the player’s fingers.
You might say it comes from the composer’s heart,
but if you opened his heart
you would find no melody.
Where, then, is the source?
It is beyond—in the supreme cosmic Energy
which the ego will never know.
Only if you act from your heart
will you know life’s divine power.
-Amma

When we are born our heart is one of the first organs to develop along with the spinal cord, its beat setting the tone of our lives. We are then born into the world and given the constant rhythm of breath, synchronizing all the sounds and tones of life force. Nada yoga is the union through sound, inner transformation through sound and deeper listening. We honor them as the source and vibration of Om (also know as AUM, broken up into three letters) and anahata, the sound that is always in you, the vibration within the sound, the sound within the sound. It is the vibration within each cell of our being. Nada yoga is to feel the sound of God within us.

This past week I went to visit Amma, the “Hugging Saint” at her ashram in San Ramon. Being there was like being bathed in a celebration and party of blessed sounds and an intoxicating vibration of omnipresent love. Whenever first entering Amma’s ashram there is a restoring of harmony within my inner sounds as I receive all vibrations and sounds of the temple. It takes moments to synchronize myself with her loving presence and the sounds of chanting, repeating mantras, and the vibrations of all the people. There is a change in the atmosphere when a true Guru is present. The vibrating sound of the crown chakra and OM is everywhere. Communing with the Guru I am left feeling focused and relaxed. A feeling of hOMe.

As I was sitting in my seat waiting for my turn to receive a divine Amma hug I was mesmerized by her japa, or repetition in hugging one being after another. To me it was as if each hug was a mantra on a mala bead. And these aren’t just hugs, she snuggles you into arms with all her divine love and it’s as if a thunderbolt of love moves through your body. This alters your vibrational field and awareness. I could feel my heart’s capacity expand and my energy cleansed. Being in her energetic vibrational field I could feel all the cells in my body shift by the immense love she was radiating. Helping tune every one of us back into who we really are. Showering everyone in the purest vibrations of love. Restoring our hearts divine rhythm and tone. Shedding pain and suffering.

Patanjali states, “vibration is still there in the mind in an unmanifested condition. Scientifically, we can say that when manifested objects are reduced to their unmanifested condition, they go back to the atomic vibration. Nobody can stop that atomic vibration.” The omnipresent vibration of love is never changing – it’s always constant. Whether it’s through chanting mantras, thinking good thoughts, giving silent empathy, prayer, singing your heart out, dancing, being in nature, visiting a Guru, laughing with friends, we are given the opportunity to vibrate with our truest self, the sounds of divine love. The rhythm of our heart, the tide of our breath, the sound of divinity that vibrates inside and outside of us are reflections to the ever present Om and love in the universe. Nada yoga transforms our inner and outer sounds into love, vibrating our truest self. Sending waves and sounds of love from me to you through this blog. Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

“Your heart is the real temple. It is there you must install god, good thoughts are the flowers, good actions the worship, good words the hymns, love, the divine offering.”
-Amma

Genevieve is committed to serving and helping others come into their best self. She is a compassionate teacher that invites all her students to live their truth and celebrate who they are as they are. She is a passionate Reiki Master/Teacher. Genevieve also teaches Restorative yoga with Reiki at Laughing Lotus on Friday from 6:45-8:00pm and Sunday from 6:15-7:30. To learn more, please visit her website at www.InLightandSoul.com


Divine Mother by Erica Martin

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 No Comments
Erica Martin
There is a love of wild nature in everybody an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties. – John Muir

I remember the first time I saw the Sierra Mountain Range. I was 21 and flying west on a whim to work at a camp just outside of Yosemite for the summer. As my nose pressed against the thick airplane window, I felt a tug in my navel. I had never seen anything like those mountains before, but I was sure that I had felt this same tug. It felt familiar, important, and fierce, even in the face of such unknown landscape.

And it was no different once I was down in those mountains. The glacial erratics, the scraggy, pine-lined crests, the deep, green valleys and sheer rock faces, every time I found myself there I felt that same tug; I knew myself to be looking into the face of the Divine. “None of this could be here on accident,” I thought to myself, “it’s too perfect, too great.” And yet, I also felt that I had been in this place before.

Nature itself was no stranger to me. Growing up in Indiana, my parents cultivated our homestead somewhat off the grid. Summers were barefoot feet, gravel roads, and fields with itchy, green-gold grass overhead. In the middle of that upbringing was my mother, elbow deep in the earth, pulling up weeds, earthworms, and other wonders for me to marvel at. Her nails always had dirt under them, her hands roughened by the earth, and arms strong and capable as they carried me through the flowers, trees, and hills of my home.

Hikes with my mother, through any landscape, take twice as long as they should as she marvels at fern growth off the path, identifies mosses like long-lost children, and celebrates flowers. As a child this was endlessly frustrating to me. I wanted to run fast, to climb trees, to run down dunes, and it was my mother who trailed behind me with wonder, examining everything we came across. As an adult now, there is nothing dearer to me then to go out walking with my Ma through a wilderness. My mother’s deep love for nature is something that has been encoded into my DNA, written across my heart, and I know that it was this love that tugged deep inside when I saw the face of the Sierras for the first time.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir

The wilderness is now my favorite form of sanctuary. In everything I see there is the face of the Goddess Durga, the Mother of the Universe, the Ma who puts the work behind creation, preservation, and destruction of our natural world. With every step there is a flower budding, a leaf rotting, a rock face shifting, everything in constant pulse and sway. In a journal of John Muir’s he describes this divine cycle as Heimgang or “home-going.”

“So the snow-flowers go home when they melt and flow to the sea, and the rock-ferns, after unrolling their fronds to the light and beautifying the rocks, roll them up close again in the autumn and blend with the soil. Myriads of rejoicing living creatures, daily, hourly, perhaps every moment sink into death’s arms, dust to dust, spirit to spirit-waited on, watched over, noticed only by their [Mother Maker]…Trees towering in the sky, braving storms of centuries, flowers turning faces to the light for a single day or hour, having enjoyed their share of life’s feast-all alike pass on and away under the law of death and love. Yet all are our brothers and they enjoy life as we do, share Heaven’s blessings with us, die and are buried in hallowed ground, come with us out of eternity and return into eternity.”

I’ve learned much about my place in this world by going out walking; both with my physical mother and my Divine Mother. And just as it hurts me to be separated from my mother by distance, it hurts me to see the distance that we have put between ourselves as a society and our Earth Mother. We’ve taken her work and twisted it to serve our own needs. We tear down trees because we covet the land; we violently alter the lives of animals to fit our taste for them; we take from the earth without restraint, and then we lie about the hurt we are causing.

As yogis there is no practice more important than our practice off the mat. The yamas, ethical guidelines for our relationship with our external world, implore a practice of right living with nature and the creatures within it. Who can protect her child better than her mother? Why do we presume that we know better than our Earth Mother?

We must awake to our origin as children of nature. As noted by my greatly loved, and oft-quoted teacher, John Muir, “brought into right relationship with the wilderness [we] would see that [we are] not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue [our] fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole. [We] would see that [our] appropriation of earth’s resources beyond [our] personal needs would only bring imbalance and beget ultimate loss and poverty for all.”

We all need our Earth Mother desperately and have an innate love for her. We must awaken to the reality of our relationship and right it. Celebrate the shapes of nature on your mat; crow, rock, eagle, firefly, tree, and then go out walking. I promise you’ll find something familiar there.

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – Sri John Muir

Erica is new to the Lotus teaching family is enjoying learning and growing as both student and teacher. Her classes are defined by real-talk, playful push, and groovy tunes. She teaches Friday mornings at 7:00 AM and Alignment Lab on Sundays at 11:45 AM. More information can be found at her website www.wildeheartyoga.com


Vision of the Mother

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 No Comments

by Genevieve McClendon

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I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
-Paul McCartney

I’ve had a secret. This was a secret that I held in my heart for a long time growing up and only told very few. Even then, I didn’t know how to articulate what exactly had happened. It was an experience beyond words, beyond worlds.

I grew up going to Catholic school, going to mass two-three times a week, attending confession once a week, having long biblical conversations with the priests and saying the rosary. I remember feeling my little body sitting in those tall, cold, uncomfortable pews. I would dangle my feet as I sat, smelling the church incense flood through the room. Even as a kid, it was easy for me to sink into that sweet space of prayer and spirit.

While sitting for countless hours over the years in the church, I would gaze at Jesus’ bloody body on the cross and the beautiful statue of the Mother Mary. So often I wondered why we never spoke of her. There was some talk about her but not very much. She appeared so full of wisdom and light, so soft and loving. It never really made sense to the little girl that I was, as to why there wasn’t more focus on the Goddess in the room.

Then the miracle happened when I was twelve. At this time I was becoming more aware of the complexities in life. It was a Saturday, I had fallen asleep and an immaculate divine white light awakened me. Yes, this is a story about a real present day apparition of the divine mother, no joke.

It was the light that you hear about. The light that they say should blind you. The Divine Mother herself had awakened me! Time stopped, space no longer existed. She was gazing at me with the sweetest radiant love you could ever imagine! She took me with her for a moment.

Think of your own mothers love times a billion and then some! The frequency of love was so high she was in me, outside of me, taking up my entire room. She was hugging all around me. As she gazed at me with the most ultimate beaming motherly grace, I could see every detail of her. I feel that she took this shape so that my human mind would be able to make sense of her forever-moving force. The crevices and folds of her were so clear, perfect, radiant, loving and peaceful; so peaceful.

She was with me for a long period of time. Though she never said a physical word, she spoke loudly through energy. She just oozed love through every pour and make up of my body and washed my soul.

I was permanently changed by this event. Being in the presence of her divine love truly affected me on a cellular level. There is never a day that I don’t think about this divine happening in my life. I am still in utter awe of it. I have never experienced anything that has come slightly close to this miracle. I have so much love for the divine mother in every way and am forever devoted. I feel she is with me at all times. I know that she is all love and loves us more than we could ever truly know.

The divine mother is omnipresent. She is the incarnation of love that takes countless shapes and forms. Not bound by religion or dogma, the divine mother is the infinite light and love that surrounds all of us, all of the time. She is the most sacred source of unconditional love.

“I am your moon and your moonlight too. I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come all this way, eager for you, without shoes or shawl. I want you to laugh, to kill your worries, to love you, to nourish you.”
-Rumi

Genevieve is committed to serving and helping others come into their wholeness. She is a compassionate teacher that invites all her students to live their truth and celebrate who they are as they are. She is a passionate Reiki Master/Teacher. Genevieve teaches Restorative Yoga with Reiki at Laughing Lotus on Friday from 6:45-7:45pm and Sunday from 6:15-7:3pm. Her website is www.InLightandSoul.com


Mother Pie

Posted on: July 8th, 2015 No Comments

by Adriana Feliciana

Adriana

As a kid I read a book about a teen who was looking for a mother figure because she felt her own mother was lacking in some “mothering departments.” She would find qualities and strengths amongst the women she was around and began to construct the mother she was looking for, she called it her “mother pie.” The idea of a “mother pie” had a profound impact on me.

My mother has always been a kind and loving soul who made sure that my sister and I always had the very best of things, but she was not much of a communicator or a homemaker. I was always searching for a mother who would dispel sage advice to me and make me a comforting meal. So, when I became a mother at age 17, I felt like I had so much to learn. While I couldn’t provide the material items my mother had, I made sure to be the “domestic mom” to my son, which I had been craving for in my own mother. When my son Tonio was going into preschool they had a potluck dinner and I remember strolling in with my homemade apple pie so proudly. What no one knows is that it took three attempts at a pie that day, it just had to be perfect because that was what a good mom did in my teenage way of thinking.

By the time my daughter was born five years later, I was already over the domestic scene and into finding some financial stability. We lived in the Marina, where restaurants were everywhere. I remember my 2-year old daughter, Audrey, telling me one evening “I’m hungry! Call somebody.” That was a shocking truth that perhaps I needed to find some balance.

I had also wanted to be the “cool mom”, the type of mom with the perfect hair and eyeliner, dressed in all black with the sleek black designer handbag. I frowned at the moms in the brightly colored comfy pants and ponytails who always had tissues and cough drops in their big floral canvas “mom bags.” I used to think they were crazy to extend their mothering skills to other kids that were in need. I made great efforts to close myself off from the outside world because it seemed like too much effort to love everyone.

A lot of times, I felt completely overwhelmed because I was so young and for the most part on my own. My mothering advice was sporadic and unpredictable because I was still just a child in so many ways. I had some severe addiction problems, which I needed to address before I could really flourish into being the mother I was knew I could be.

Once I became sober, I took a long hard look at my lifestyle and made dramatic changes. Gone are the days of expensive leather handbags and other expensive luxuries. Today I embrace a life of simplicity and colorful comfy yoga pants. I carry a large canvas bag filled with spare tissues and cough drops for everyone (now vegan cough drops, thanks to some mothering advice from our Beautiful Lotus Mother Jasmine). I have also changed my perspective on mothering.

I am not only the mother of the two I gave birth to, but also to anyone who needs a slice of “mother pie”. The Universe has provided me with many children who need some special mothering. It has been such an honor to be a part of the Laughing Lotus community, I really feel like everyone who enters the door is my family. I love to greet everyone by their names, hearing about their triumphs with inversions and encouraging them when they get discouraged with their setbacks. I especially love mothering the new Yoga School Students, seeing their faces light up with all the possibilities Yoga can provide truly warms my heart every time. I actually tear up with great pride when I attend graduations and come to their first Community Classes.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: “It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community-a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth.” Such beautiful words, I am so thankful that I can be part of such a loving community that is Laughing Lotus.