Category Archives: Asian

What’s New For June?

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First up, a jam-packed Tibetan Lu Jong Workshop in NYC.

 

WHEN: Saturday, June 24th

WHERE: Three Jewels NYC ~ 61 4TH AVE, 3rd FL

TIME: 1:00 to 3:30pm

FEE: $30 early bird ends June 21 | $35 after June 21

 

How do I register? CLICK HERE

 

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Curriculum

  • The Five Elements movements (for opening the spine and general balancing)
  • The Five Body Parts movements (for the musculoskeletal system)
  • The Five Vital Organ movements (for improving function of the kidneys, heart, lungs, spleen, and liver)
  • How to work with the Breath and the Subtle Body
  • Principles of Tibetan Medicine and the Five Elements world view
  • Why it is important to nurture the subtle body and release blockages

 

How do I register? CLICK HERE

I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Yes, it’s been a while since my last post, but the absence has not been without purpose.

I deepened my Lu Jong studies with the exploration of more vigorous poses, adding an entirely NEW level of movements to the Lu Jong core practice. These movements are the next level of training for students comfortable with Lu Jong Level I.

I’ve been working on yoga workshops and retreats, in addition to Lu Jong Teacher trainings, drawing upon all my skills and knowledge to create purposeful and fun experiences in different locales. Oh my!

In addition, I’m preparing to launch an exciting and dynamic practice: Tog Chod – The Dance of the Wisdom Sword. I mean c’mon, who can resist learning how to work with a sword?

More information about this incredible Tibetan Martial Art and the chance to take exclusive classes will come very soon!

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Posture & Meditation

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The basic method for taming our hyperactive mind is to bring our awareness to the body and breath. When we do this, we notice that the state of our body and breathing affect our mental state and that our mental state affects our body and breathing.

This is why posture is important in meditation.

The seven point meditation posture, also known as the Seven Points of Vairocana, is commonly practiced to achieve balance in mind and body through the sitting posture. If the position of the body is correct, it will calm an agitated mind, cheer up an unhappy mind, and produce clarity in an overwhelmed mind.

– The First of the seven points of posture is to sit down, to sit on some kind of cushion. If you are flexible, you can sit in the vajra posture, which is usually known in the West as the lotus posture. But if you’re not that flexible, or you find this posture uncomfortable, or you can’t sit cross-legged at all, and you need to sit in a chair, don’t worry about it. Don’t feel that it will harm or inhibit your meditation to sit in a chair.

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– The Second point is to place your hands evenly. This is referring to the left hand being placed palm up in your lap and the right hand is placed palm up in the left. But it can also be understood as keeping our hands at the same height, such as placing them on your knees.

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– The Third point of posture is that your spine be straight. This is quite important because by keeping our back straight, we straighten out the subtle channels within our body through which our subtle winds or energies flow. This will allow our mind to relax naturally and become calm.

– The Fourth point is that the shoulders be pushed back a little bit. Here the shoulders are really just an example. It means that all parts of our body are held in a proper and wakeful posture, so that they are relaxed, but not so relaxed that the posture becomes sloppy.

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– The Fifth point is that your chin is brought back in and down. This should happen naturally by straightening your back.

– The Sixth is to touch your tongue to the palate.

– The Seventh and final point of posture is the gaze, which is what we do with our eyes. This is important because our thoughts tend to follow our gaze, or our eyes. We should be relaxed looking into space, at nothing in particular, somewhere about 16 fingers width in front of the nose.meditation-posture-drawing

Although it may be hard for beginners to get used to this classical Buddhist meditation posture, the rewards of a few sessions help the mind find peace, strength and control. It also benefits the physical body by bringing its energies into balance.

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TIBETAN MEDICINE ~ A Lu Jong New York Learning Series – Part 1

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When I teach LU JONG I explain the practice has its origins in the merging of three sources of wisdom: Tibetan Medicine, Bon, and Tibetan Buddhism.
I usually get many questions about Tibetan Medicine so why not, in the spirit of ‘Back To School’, take a brief look at what this is all about?

**Before we proceed any further I would like to clarify that I am NOT a doctor of Tibetan Medicine, nor do I diagnose and/or treat people in this area of expertise.
My knowledge comes from what I have learned from my teacher and Root Lama, the venerable Tulku Lobsang Rinpoche, who IS a doctor of Tibetan Medicine in addition to being a high Buddhist master.

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TIBETAN MEDICINE – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Tibetan Medicine is one of the oldest medical systems practiced in Asia, along with the Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicines. All of them have several thousands of years of history and practical experiences and offer combined aspects of spirituality, philosophy and psychology.

By the 7th century AD,  Tibet had become the center of cultural, artistic and spiritual development. Tibetan kings specially recognized three foreign medical systems (Persian (Galenic), Indian and Chinese) and allowed them to be practiced and diffused along with the native Bon Medicine. From that historical background and from the Buddhist ‘Four Medical Tantras‘, the Tibetan art of healing developed and shaped its own characteristics, evolving into that which today is called Tibetan Medicine.

Tibetan Medicine is a holistic system that honors the interconnectedness between the body, mind and external environment. Each of these areas must be addressed to live a  healthy life. The basic concept of the cause of disease and its symptoms, or suffering, as being part of life and its evolution; and the method to cure and prevent suffering temporarily and permanently, are the foundation of this system.

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The first official training systems were established from the 7th century AD to the 9th century, however until the 17th century, the education offered among the schools in monasteries and those of family traditions were probably not similar.

During the 5th Dalai Lama’s reign, his regent Desid Sangye Gyatsho (1653-1705) built the Chakpori Medical College and made an official curriculum for medical training and certification system. Even if changes in curricula have happened over time, the present Tibetan Medicine trainings in Tibet and India are still made on this basis.

By their practice, based on Buddhist ethics and a doctrine without discrimination of caste, race or wealth, Tibetan physicians quickly won the hearts of the Tibetan people and spread this precious art to the central Asian countries, keeping it alive until now.

Tibetan Medicine explains that everything existing or non-existing in the world derives from the mind and the five elements of space, wind, fire, water and earth.
The mind and the elements manifest particular energetic qualities that, in their densest states, also take on their familiar forms:

  • Wind has the quality of movement.
  • Fire has the quality of heat and transformation.
  • Water has the quality of fluidity and cohesion.
  • Earth has the quality of solidity and stability.
  • And space is the balance of the other four elements in addition to being responsible for creating separation—space—between things.

 

 

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On a more subtle level, the mind and the five elements manifest in the form of energy and gross materials into three aspects – Body, Energy and Mind, which in the human body are reflected in the form of ‘three principles of function’, or three Humors:  Lung (Wind), Tripa (Bile) and Beken (Phlegm).
The three humors are the vital substances of the body and collectively are responsible for all bodily functions. They are the energy that constantly flows in the human body and sustain physical health with mental awareness.
Tibetan Medicine first puts forth a specific definition of health in its theoretical texts:

To have good health, Tibetan medical theory states that it is necessary to maintain balance in the body’s three humors.

 

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Speech & Breath Training

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OM AH HUM Meditation

This brief mantra represents the transformative blessings of the Body, Speech & Mind of all the Buddhas. Mantra literally means ‘mind protection’.
With this mantra we request their blessings to purify our own Body, Speech & Mind.

Feel the vibrations as you chant. Feel the connection with your breath. This meditation is also very helpful for lengthening the breath as you calm the mind.

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PREPARATION

Sit comfortably and relax your body. Let your breath and energy flow naturally.
Relax your mind by letting go of any other thoughts. Don’t think “I’m meditating”, “I’m humble”, “I’m bad at this”. Don’t think anything – just BE.

Decide to keep your attention focused on the meditation for the duration of the session.

Close your eyes and envision a white OM at your third eye, a red AH at your throat, and a blue HUM at your heart.

PURIFICATION OF BODY

Concentrate on the white OM at your head and see it as the energy of the body of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Make the sound “OM” and recognize it as the sound of Universal energy, the representation of enlightenment.
Visualize a white light emanating from the syllable filling your entire body with radiant, white light energy cleansing and purifying you.
FEEL it as you continue making the sound “OM” several times.
When you stop, don’t do or think anything. Remain perfectly still, aware without expectation.

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PURIFICATION OF SPEECH

Concentrate on the red AH at your throat and see it as the pure speech of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Make the sound “AH” several times and recognize it as the energy of speech as you call forth the manifestation of enlightenment.
Visualize a radiant red light emanating from the syllable filling your body completely as impure elements are cleansed and purified.
Again, when done just sit and be. No need to interpret sensations.

There are two ways to meditate at this stage: One is to place strong awareness on the stillness of the mind. The other, when distractions arise, is to direct awareness of loving kindness upon yourself. You can alternate between the two.

Then, you visualize your loving kindness manifesting as a full moon at your heart.

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PURIFICATION OF MIND

At your heart, on the full moon, concentrate on the blue HUM and recognize it as the wisdom of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas manifesting enlightenment within your body.
Make the sound “HUM” several times and visualize a blue light from the moon and HUM emanating from your pure heart filling your whole body.
All indecision and narrow thoughts disappear, there is only a blissful sense of universal love and compassion.
FEEL and BE without expectations … allow your awareness to embrace all of universal reality.

Meditate like this for as long as you wish.

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CONCLUSION AND DEDICATION

There are two experiences we can achieve with this meditation: Wisdom and Method.
The Wisdom experience is the intense awareness of your own consciousness.
The Method experience comes when you get distracted, and use that as a resource to re-generate loving kindness.
When your concentration is good, place your attention on wisdom; when you are distracted, generate loving kindness (method).

Finish your meditation by dedicating the merit, or positive energy of this practice, to all sentient beings: May they too be free of suffering and its causes, and may they attain perfect peace and happiness.

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May all beings be happy, healthy and whole.
May they have love, warmth and affection.
May they be protected from harm and free from fear.
May they be alive, engaged and joyful.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May that peace expand into their world and throughout the entire universe.

Lu Jong in The Hamptons

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An Invitation From Lu Jong ~ New York

 

What do you have to lose? …  A little STRESS ?

 

Lu Jong is an ancient Tibetan movement practice from the Tantrayana and Bon traditions with origins dating as far back as 8,000 years.  It is a form of Meditation in Motion.

Join us in the incomparable Hamptons for a special opportunity to learn how this gentle practice can have a positive effect upon your Body and Mind!

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Learn the Movements of The Five Elements, a sequence that nurtures the spine in addition to removing energy blockages from your chakras as you focus and calm the mind.

This gentle yet powerful practice is designed to be accessible to all ages and abilities … no prior knowledge is necessary.

 

WHERE?   GOOD GROUND YOGA Hampton Bays, NY

WHEN?  THURSDAY, JULY 286:30 TO 7:45 PM

 

Need More Info? Joelle@LuJongNewYork.com

How it Is

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When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.

She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching

What do You Have to Lose? … A Little Stress?

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Lu Jong is an ancient Tibetan movement practice from the Tantrayana and Bon traditions with origins dating as far back as 8,000 years.  It is a form of Meditation in Motion.

The practice is comprised of a series of body movements done in conjunction with rhythmic breathing for the purpose of self-healing.  With the release of internal blockages and the redirection of stagnant energy within us,  we can develop resistance to disease, mental clarity, and balanced emotions, resulting in a greater harmony of our physical, mental and energetic levels.

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Lu Jong has been transmitted directly from Master to student, to this present day, primarily by means of oral teachings.

Opportunities to learn Lu Jong with a certified teacher are rare, but DO exist for the curious … this week!

http://www.tibethouse.us/programs/full-calendar/view/673792/114

 

 

 

 

Love and Purpose

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Love, maitri, is a mind that is intent on bringing peace, joy, and happiness to others…
I love this thought by Thich Nhat Hanh.
This is my outlook for today (and every day thereafter.)
With the challenges of Yin Yoga teacher training safely behind me, and back in my ‘real world’ of motherhood, work, appointments, and deadlines, I am reminded yet again of what is really important and how easy it is to put into action.
Yes, of course I am thrilled to teach and to share my knowledge; but I am also happy to offer my presence, humility and love.  Mostly, I am quite happy to be a student of Life – with so many wonderful opportunities to grow, people to meet, and moments where I can be of service to others.
These past days I have made new connections and am reminded to cherish the ones I have.  My blessings are many. I feel happy inside and out and greet today, and every day, with open heart.
Hello Monday!

Buddhas … I LOVE this pic!

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Photograph by Martin Gray

Light and shadow play on a row of Buddha statues in a cave temple at Sanbangsan, a mountain on South Korea’s Jeju Island. About a quarter of South Koreans identify themselves as Buddhist.

I LOVE this image!

New Year. New Lessons.

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“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
L. Frank Baum

(I think this quote best reflects how I feel about The Art of The Blog.)

Ok, Yes …I can do this … but it sure as heck will be a unique learning experience with three tech-savvy sons offering critiques and chuckles along the way!

So … Why Blog?  Well … Why not?

First business – To usher in the Chinese New Year as we are officially in the Year of the Green Wood Horse!

The 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year began yesterday, January 31st, with the first new moon of the calendar year.  The day marks the end of the Year of the Water Snake and welcomes the start of the Year of the Wooden Horse.  For those who don’t know their yin from their yang or who haven’t visited a Chinese astrologist recently, here’s some stuff to ponder:

  • The Chinese zodiac – or Shēngxiào – is a calendar system originating in the Han dynasty (206-220BC), which names each of the years in its 12-year cycle after an animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, in that order.  According to the system, the universe is made up of five elements – earth, water, fire, wood and metal – which interact with the 12 animals, resulting in the specific character of the year ahead.
  • People born in the Year of the Horse are said to be a bit like horses: Animated, active and energetic.  They are quick to learn independence and have a straightforward and positive attitude towards life. They are known for their communication skills and are exceedingly witty. ( Hey!! I’m a Horse … )
  • If none of this rings true, don’t worry. The animal signs of each year merely indicate how others see you or how you choose to present yourself. There are also animal signs for each month, known as inner animals, signs for each day, called true animals, and animals for each hour, or secret animals. (Whew, too much pressure!)
  • According to superstition, in your zodiac year you will offend Tai Sui, the god of age, and will experience bad luck for the whole year. To avoid this you should wear something red, which has been given to you by someone else.  In general, the lucky colors of Team Horse are green, red and purple; the lucky numbers are three, four and nine; and the lucky flowers are giant taro and jasmine.
  • The Year of the Horse is a year in which people are likely to stand firm on their principles, making negotiation difficult.  Years of the Wooden Horse are also associated with warfare.  The last time the Year of the Wood Horse occurred was 1954  — and it just so happens that the United States tested the hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands that year. Just something to think about.
  • If you were born in the Year of the Horse, you’re in good company. Fellow members of the horse club include Genghis Khan, Mongol ruler; Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US; Louis Pasteur, a 19th-century scientist; Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; the singer Aretha Franklin; and the model Cindy Crawford.  If you have Wood or Fire elements in your natal chart you will do well this year, if not – try to buddy up with someone who does (be sure to update your online dating profiles.)
  • The industries that are predicted to do well this year are those associated with the Wood element, including education, healthcare, and agriculture, as well as those that fall under Fire, like marketing, entertainment, restaurants, and (of course), social media.  My view? Tweet and Post til your fingers hurt, and if you are thinking of taking a class …  Do it.  Since education is a Wood industry, which is associated with growth, 2014 will be a good time to learn something new. (Ah! Blogging!)
  • Last notes … In order to stimulate the correct feng shui for the Year of the Wood Horse, consider rearranging the furniture in your home or office to face South, making sure your computer faces that direction too.  You’re also going to want to make yourself more yang — the sun, light, and male elements in Chinese philosophy —  by adding active elements to your home life. Suggestions include playing music in the house and having sex more often. (Hey, I don’t make this stuff up.)

So with ALL of that clarified,  Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) …  Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese) … Happy New Year!