Dharm Khalsa

Karena Virginia

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Karena Virginia is a certified healer and registered yoga instructor who has taught in the Kundalini and Hatha schools for nearly 20 years. Before her career as a spiritual teacher, she worked in the entertainment industry as an actor and model. Karena’s work encourages us to connect with our own personal truth through love, compassion, inner beauty, and radiance.

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interview with Karena Virginia:
Tapping into the Light: Essential Kundalini Yoga »

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Sometimes life is complicated, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We may be able to cope with everyday stresses, but when we have multiple traumatic events happening at once, we can feel frozen by fear and uncertainty, stuck in our painful circumstances. We may feel victimized and incapable of making a move. As our modern age speeds up, this feeling can intensify to the point that we make ourselves sick. What can we do when we feel so confused and empty that we become immobilized and exhausted?

This kundalini meditation is designed to help center your consciousness and channel all your confusion out of your psyche. You give your feelings of uncertainty, pain, and blame to the universe and replace them with the pure, clear light of your soul, accessing what was actually there all along.

 

  1. Sit up with your spine straight. Center yourself with your breath.
  2. Interlace your fingers in front of your heart with the index fingers pressed together pointing up.  Close your eyes, focusing internally on the third eye point.
  3. Begin chanting the mantra “Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Jio” (pronounced “wah-hey guh-roo, wah-hey guh-roo, wah-hey guh-roo, wah-hey jee-oh”). Our translation of this mantra is: “As in amazement, here and now, all darkness is transformed to illuminating light in my soul.” Practice doing this chant with the following visualization:
    • On the syllable of “wah,” feel the sound vibrating at your navel.
    • On the syllable of “hey,” feel the sound vibrating at your heart.
    • On the syllables of “gur-roo” and “jee-oh,” feel the sounds vibrating at your lips.
  4. Continue chanting the mantra for up to 11 minutes.
  5. Inhale deeply and hold your breath in. Feel the echo of the sounds still vibrating in your navel, heart, and lips. Suspend your breath for as long as you comfortably can and then exhale very consciously.
  6. Inhale a second time and again suspend your breath. Release the feeling of being trapped by circumstances. Surrender it to the universe. Surrender your pain and feelings of blame. Release your stress and your uncertainty. Give it all to God. Hold the breath for as long as you comfortably can and then exhale, still holding your concentration.
  7. Inhale a third time and give your life to God. Surrender. Whatever God means to you, offer your existence to that. Allow yourself to feel the purification this action creates in your psyche. When you are ready, exhale and sit for a while with the whole experience of this powerful meditation.

 

Looking for more great reads?

 

Excerpted from Essential Kundalini Yoga by Karena Virginia & Dharm Khalsa.

Karena Virginia brings 20 years of experience as a certified healer and registered instructor in the kundalini and hatha schools. Before her teaching career, she worked in the entertainment industry as an actress and model. She lives in the New York City area. For more information, visit karenavirginia.com.

 

Dharm Khalsa is a board member of the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation, the nonprofit overseeing kundalini yoga in the US since founder Yogi Bhajan’s passing. Trained directly by Yogi Bhajan, for whom he was a personal assistant for nearly a decade, Dharm has taught kundalini yoga since 1980. He lives in New Mexico.

Yoga for Activating the Heart

Dear friends,

Are you feeling it? Our planet is going through a major energetic shift. People all over the world are feeling called in a new way to align their deepest soul callings with their external lives. There is a global energetic shift contributing to both a magnificent spiritual longing as well as a lack of ease, and the everyday stresses of modern life—along with changes in the Earth’s electromagnetic field—can make us feel strangely separate from our own authenticity. It can feel like standing on the shore of a whitewater river, looking across to the calm green peace on the other side, and wondering how to get back over there. We know there is something genuine that we are missing, but we need a bridge over the separation to return to our own peaceful heart.

We are all spiritual beings expanding into the vastness of our potential. The connection to our heart is a reminder that we are so much more than our bodies and minds. The stillness is where the miracles come through us, and the chaos is the distraction. How do we return to the silence of the heart that gently guides us towards our destiny?

We have found an effective bridge in the simple techniques from Kundalini Yoga. In our new book, Essential Kundalini Yoga: An Invitation to Radiant Health, Unconditional Love, and the Awakening of our Energetic Potential, we explain how to use ancient tools from the Himalayas to shift the frequency of our prana, our inner energy, our bio-magnetic field, and our nervous system so we can align with our highest calling. These tools allow the beautiful energy of your own highest self to be directly accessed and the stillness of your heart to guide you. This form of yoga helps to clear energetic blocks and resistances so our natural brilliance can flow into our body and into our lives from the inside out.

Our goal in writing this book was to present deep concepts in a way that would be accessible, demystified, and easy to follow. We envisioned that the layout could evoke a sense of peace and depth. We wanted to get past the rigmarole and provide clear instructions so you can get to work actualizing the truth of your own vibration, and allow the beautiful shine of you to expand into your life.

YOGA FOR ACTIVATING THE HEART

Here is an example of a very effective exercise that can help you reduce stress and bring you back to your heart center at any time during your day. It works in a very short amount of time.

 

  1. Sit up straight, either cross-legged or in a chair. If in a chair, sit forward closer to the front of the chair so you do not lean back.
  2. Hook the fingers of both hands together in front of your chest and pull your elbows steadily and strongly to the sides.
  3. Close your eyes and inhale very slowly. Keep pulling on the grip. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. Exhale slowly as well.
  4. Imagine that with each breath you are drawing in light through the top of your head.
  5. Continue breathing long, deep breaths while pulling side to side for three minutes.
  6. To finish, inhale deeply, hold the breath, and shift your hands to push your palms firmly together, pressing as hard as you can. Focus your attention on the top of your head. Exhale and repeat two more times.
  7. Release your palms, place them on your knees facing up, and take time to connect with your breathing.

Inside each of us is a core of pure love. There is not a soul on Earth who is not feeling the effects of this shift in one way or another. Yet, through it all, our core energetic state is love. We truly believe this book can help navigate your journey back into love, hope, and miracles.

We thank you for being a part of this evolution. May you feel the light of love and the many blessings that are with you always.

 

With our love always,

Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa

 

Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa: Tapping into the Lig...

Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa are two of the most important teachers of kundalini yoga, a form made popular by Yogi Bhajan. Karena has taught various forms of yoga for more than 20 years, and is a respected writer on the subject. Dharm is a Sikh minister and was Yogi Bhajan’s personal assistant for many years. With Sounds True, the duo have published Essential Kundalini Yoga: An Invitation to Radiant Health, Unconditional Love, and the Awakening of Your Energetic Potential. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dharm and Karena about the unique qualities of kundalini yoga and the energies it can awaken in the body. They discuss the history and principles of kundalini yoga, as well as the “love frequency phenomenon” of mantra. Finally, Dharm and Karena lead listeners in two guided practices intended to help awaken their own kundalini energy. (62 minutes)

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What are flower essences?

The goals of flower essence therapy include: ease in accessing higher vibratory states like joy and gratitude; enhanced mind-body-spirit balance, presence, acceptance of emotions and integration of difficult vibratory states; encouraging flow states like creativity; manifesting; supporting balance; expanding awareness of self and the Universe, ancestral connection and healing; and helping us to be of greater service to ourselves, others, and the Earth.

Flower essences work by way of the following:

  • synchronicities—helping us connect seemingly unrelated or previously unseen opportunities or happenings
  • indirect occurrences—positively affecting different environments and interpersonal dynamics
  • insights—supporting mental, emotional, physical, and/or astral awakening; new ideas, solutions, or information may present
  • physical changes—bringing up new sensations, shifts in organ/system functioning or in symptoms
  • emotional responses—bringing up new feelings or memories; stabilizing or releasing them
  • expression—inspiring artistic, verbal, and kinesthetic expression
  • dreamtime—bringing about new or recurring dreams, insights, and subconscious resolution
  • invoking intention—the more time and space you can offer, the more likely you’ll be able to feel flower essences. For example, taking them with a light meditation, a visualization, while doing yoga or some other kind of bodywork or prayer  

flower essence illustration

How to Select a Flower Essence

Flower essences can be purchased from a quality producer, or you can make your own. Here, I will discuss how to select and apply ready-made flower essence remedies. You can learn how to wildcraft your own flower essences with me in this video.

When you’re starting out with flower essences, it can be overwhelming—so many producers and so many essences! I like to encourage people to remember that it’s your relationship with the plant that is the most important thing in selection. Your relationship with the remedy is the co-creation with that plant. The more you work with flowers, the more you will be able to feel and trust this part of the process.

 

The following are some ways to begin exploring flower essences:

  • Depending on what issue(s) you’d like to address, begin by taking one to three essences that resonate with you. Many producers offer sets of remedies that have a particular focus. You may want to purchase a set to experiment with, such as the FES’s Range of Light, Delta Gardens’ Protection Set, Alaskan Essences, or the Bach Essences.
  • Consider flower essences that invite presence, relaxation, protection, and grounding.
  • If you want to study the essences more carefully, consider making flashcards or purchasing the flower cards (Alaskan Essences, FES, and Bach make sets).
  • If you’re curious to learn more about how a plant might connect with your ancestry, consider doing some research on how it was used historically.
  • Perhaps there’s a flower you’re curious about, or have seen in nature. Ask this plant if it would like to work with you.

flower essence

 

Here are five basic ways to select a flower essence:

  • Intuitively: A flower essence might come to you by way of revealing itself in nature, or appearing in a dream.
  • By dowsing: Using a tool of resonance, such a pendulum, to test for essences.
  • Through muscle testing: A simple way to muscle test is to make a ring with the index finger and thumb of your nondominant hand. If you would like to test for a yes for an essence, say the name of the plant and flick the circle with your dominant hand. If the circle holds, that’s a yes. If it breaks open, that is a no.
  • By consulting reference literature: Books, repertories, or flower affirmation cards.
  • Through blind testing: By drawing a card or randomly selecting an essence from a set. This method works well with children.

Any of these methods can be integrated into your ritual. Before making remedies for other people, it’s a good idea to spend some time with the flower essences yourself. The flowers will have much to share with you. Also, the more experience you have with the essences yourself, the better you will understand how the essences will work for others.

This is an excerpt from The Bloom Book: A Flower Essence Guide to Cosmic Balance by Heidi Smith.

 

Heidi Smith, MA, RH (AHG), is a psychosomatic therapist, registered herbalist, and flower essence practitioner. Within her private practice, Moon & Bloom, Heidi works collaboratively with her clients to empower greater balance, actualization, and soul-level healing within themselves. She is passionate about engaging both the spiritual and scientific dimensions of the plant kingdom, and sees plant medicine and ritual as radical ways to promote individual, collective, and planetary healing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner and two cats. For more, visit moonandbloom.com.

 

 

 

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Building the Bridge Between the Heart and the Mind

How can we drop what we are holding on to, if we do not first look for the hand that is grasping so tightly?

Have you ever noticed that you have two distinctly different personae and tend to vacillate between them?

One is very rigid and concerned with the outcome of everything. It worries and frets, its gaze mostly downcast. It doesn’t rest easily, even keeps you up at night sometimes. It acts almost like a dog chasing its tail. It circles obsessively over every detail and unknowable outcome, chasing the same things in a constant repeated pattern. It is cunning, convincing, and tyrannical in nature. It is feverish and ungrounded. Changing, morphing, and flopping from one story or idea to the next. This is your unharnessed mind. The persona you take on when your mind is not connected to the compass of the heart.

For most of us, that’s the dominant persona. But the other aspect of you, as if by some divine intervention, will from time to time slip past the censor of the mind and cheerfully take over your being with its boundless and uninhibited spirit. This personality doesn’t worry. Its face is often lifted, looking in wonder at the shifting sky and swollen moon. Lips curled into a slight smile. It is fluid and flowing, as if it’s on a river of unending joy. It acts like water and reflects light. You feel buoyant. This is your heart-centered self, your true self.

Because most of us moved into our mind long, long ago as a way of protecting our hearts, we now live most of our time in that rigid, concerned first persona. Without even realizing it, we allow our minds to stand between us and our true nature. We have no (conscious) idea how much our minds are acting as a defensive block against our soft and tender core, constantly at work trying to find ways to keep us from feeling, from hurt, from heartache. The price we are paying, however, is that we are also kept from accessing source.

In order to be heart minded, we need to bring the heart and mind into harmony and partnership with one another. For this to happen, we have to train the mind not to fear and close off from the heart, and instead, serve our heart and implement its wishes. In order to do this, we have to undo our mind’s association of feelings of the heart with hurt and harm. In situations that would ordinarily have us retreat or retaliate, we need to remain conscious of what’s happening and choose to soften and lean into our heart’s center. Each time we practice this softening, we send a new message to the mind that signals that we are safe, willing, and wanting to live in this more open, more sensitive way.

Over time, if we are resolute in our intention to step into our heart, our mind will become less rigid in its defenses against feelings and tenderness, and gradually we will become more heart centered.

Remember, we are not trying to pit the heart and mind against one another; we are trying to marry their aptitudes.

Let’s say a wave of anxiety washes through you. You notice your mind begin to race and attach to fearful thoughts. The anxiety then morphs into panic, which courses through you and makes you feel like jumping out of your skin. You begin reaching for an escape, resorting to some form of substance or distraction that can act as a numbing balm.

What just happened? Because you avoided your distress, you are only slightly comforted. A part of you remains braced under the distraction, in fear of the next time this could happen. Your mind’s instinct to protect and defend has been confirmed.

Your heart is neglected and still aching.

But let’s say a wave of anxiety washes through you and instead of looking for an escape route, you go to a quiet room to confront the feeling. You let go of the notion that something is wrong and respond as if something very right is taking place. You know some part of you is calling out for your love and attention.

Let’s say you close your eyes and open your heart to the bigness of the feeling. You create space around it simply by looking without resistance at its contours. You know the only antidote is self-love and hospitality. The mind stops racing away from the distress, which makes room for the heart to begin healing and soothing the body. Your mind learns a new route. You are gifted with courage and resilience.

The only difference between these scenarios was one simple choice: to remain a bystander as the mind continues to ignore the call of the body and heart or to act in ways that support leading from the heart, so the mind can follow.

The two can be wonderful allies if we let them.

As we become heart minded, we begin transforming our human experience from something out of our hands to something very much in them. We begin to cultivate joy instead of haphazardly stumbling upon it when we are willing.

Each moment, our bodies are counseling us to make choices that bring us closer to love. The wisdom of the heart and body is there for us, always, if we listen and let it lead.

For a guided practice in learning to stay in our hearts during difficult times, follow along with Sarah in this video.

 

This is an adapted excerpt from Heart Minded: How to Hold Yourself and Others in Love by Sarah Blondin.

 

Sarah Blondin

Sarah Blondin is an internationally beloved spiritual teacher. Her guided meditations on the app InsightTimer have received nearly 10 million plays. She hosts the popular podcast Live Awake, as well as the online course Coming Home to Yourself. Her work has been translated into many languages and is in use in prison, recovery, and wellness programs. For more, visit sarahblondin.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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