Daily Practice: Rethinking Safety And Security | Touchstones Of The Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred - Part 2


Daily Practice: Rethinking Safety and Security

May 21, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit, Teachings


This morning I found myself thinking about a day I spent with my 4-year-old niece. We walked to a park near my house and she ran from tree to tree bestowing hugs and proclaiming her love quietly to the rough bark. She was determined to master the play structure and I helped her climb. Whenever she reached a point that felt too high, too unsteady, I felt her small body tense up, the vibration from her tightening grip moved through her slender limbs to my own body and I could feel her confidence falling like dominoes.

During those shaky moments I held her firmly and said that I had her safe, I wouldn’t let her fall. Sometimes this reassurance was enough for her to rebalance, find a foothold and climb higher still. Sometimes though she found she really had gone too high and she would fall back grateful and laughing into my arms.

Can’t we all relate to joy of a pair of strong arms to fall safely into?

In Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living Pema Chödrön shares with us why she practices Buddhism:

We can discover the process of letting go and relaxing during our lifetime. In fact, that’s the way to live: stop struggling against the fact that things are slipping through our fingers. Stop struggling against the fact that nothing’s solid to begin with and things don’t last. Knowing that can give us a lot of space and a lot of room if we can relax with it instead of screaming and struggling against it.”

As my mind chewed on this revolutionary approach to life I began to see glimpses of what it would feel like to let go like this. It was both liberating and deeply comforting. I think one of the biggest ways that we resist letting go is by chasing perfection or in another way never reaching to climb higher because we fear failure. Read more »

When the ants come marching in…

May 10, 2010 By: celedra Category: Living with Intention, Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit


Would you let ants hang out in your kitchen?

Assuming your answer is “no”, then why do we let negative thoughts roam around in our precious brains?! And the damage is SO much more detrimental:

  • feeling bad about ourselves
  • imagining all kinds of unfriendly thoughts from people
  • feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty, powerless etc etc etc
  • spending lots of potential fun time on worry, worry and more worry
  • generally missing out on life – how can we be present to enjoy it when we are all lost in our little ant piles?

And it’s a choice! Granted, it doesn’t feel like a choice at this time, but indeed, it is a choice. It is a choice based on awareness, intention and action, all of which comes beautifully to light through the practice of meditation. Read more »

Meditation – a life changer that’s free!

May 03, 2010 By: celedra Category: Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit


I hate to think of who I would be without my spiritual practice. It’s actually really scary.

I remember probably 28 years ago working in a hospital, just having graduated from nursing school (a profession that I was not well equipped for). There was a wonderful, loving nurse that seemed as though she was pure love. No pretense, no trying, just open and present. Someday, I said to myself, I will be like that – open, loving and present. Read more »

Sacred Living and Daily Practice

April 24, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit


It happens to all of us sometimes – waking up on the wrong side of the bed, a transient case of the blues, or a sudden flare of impatience that grips you with a blinding insistence.

With the pace of life moving faster and faster, many of us find it overwhelming to try to give adequate attention to all aspects of our busy lives. Our days are filled with email, telephone calls, doctors appointments, tennis lessons, meetings with clients, paying bills, grocery shopping, parent-teacher conferences, board meetings, cocktail parties whew – amid all of that it’s no wonder our souls resort to such drastic measures to get our attention.  Read more »

Raw food, P90X and Meditation

April 19, 2010 By: celedra Category: Mind Body Spirit, Raw Food


I love Tony Horton and I love what he has created.  There is something about his P90X workout that has inspired thousands of people, including me, to work our butts off (literally) every day for at least 60 minutes – and love it!  This week my favorite is Kenpo – so much fun.

Time.  It takes time to tend to our body, mind, spirit. Long ago I read a quote that said something like, “instead of letting time take me, I will take time”.  It’s kind of crazy really.  If we don’t take the time to prepare the best food, exercise our bodies and cultivate the true nature of mind ie. find inner peace, then we’re probably not going to live a long and vibrant life. Read more »

Questions for the Universe

April 16, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


Often in meditation I go inward seeking an answer or clue to a question that thinking will not deliver. As I close my eyes on this earth,  my inner eyes open into the universe. All around me stretching forever, trillions of stars sparkle like diamonds against velvet black space and fiery, milky galaxies bob in the myriad dimensions. I let words go and slip into mystery, I am a soul poised to take flight, heading out into the real information superhighway in search of pure knowing. Read more »


February 01, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit

Lakshmi, Hindu goddess of wealth & prosperity

The word abundance comes from the Latin word for “overflowing” and indeed the word carries with it the energy of a boundless, rushing spring creek and the ultimate joy of a heart brimming with love and compassion. At its root the word refers to a state of prosperity in all aspects of life including our material, spiritual, and emotional situations and outlooks.

For many of us it is difficult to tap into this state of grace. Whether we are tired from working and parenting, or are in the throes of searching our souls, a state of mental, emotional and spiritual abundance soothes a worried heart and assures us that what is, is enough, and that with time, patience and intention, more of what we need and desire is surely forthcoming.

Abundance is also a powerfully magnetic state of mind that draws to us the tools, resources, opportunities and connections needed to actualize our intention. A simple and highly effective method for cultivating abundance is the use of affirmations. My favorite abundance affirmations are:

Abundance is flowing to me from expected and unexpected sources.


My natural state is abundance and joy.

I began using the first mantra during a particularly harrowing period of financial uncertainty. Within days I noticed a shift in how I felt. I began to expect good things to come my way. This opened the door to being able to see solutions when before there was only doubt and dead-ends. Even before more money started to come in I felt a sense of possibility and certainty that the tide had turned.

The second affirmation is chanted as a mantra and corresponds to my jade, garnet and carnelian mala.  The energy of those rich and regally hued stones align us with prosperity and success while supporting motivation to ensure we proactively seek our dreams and goals.

An affirmation or mantra soon becomes an anchor for our attention, a touchstone that we may return to as often as needed. The mantra triumphs over fearful, doubtful and ultimately destructive thoughts that keep us from experiencing abundance; and with consistent practice and intention, the seeds of a coming harvest are sown.

Exercise as Meditation

November 25, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


Exercise is my most important daily touchstone. Without moving, stretching, challenging and invigorating my physical being on a regular basis I quickly sense my spirit stagnating, negative thoughts try to invade and I am disconnected from my true essence, from the sacred. Often I like to exercise alone, as it’s my time to recharge, daydream, or let go of something troubling. When immersed in physical activity I reach a meditative zone – where everything suddenly shifts into perspective, the chatter of thoughts, worries and apprehensions fade away. More than just a “runner’s high”, I find a sense of both cosmic and earthly unity as my muscles, heart, and lungs find their rhythm.

Today was a gorgeous late autumn day and I took full advantage by biking out to Cathedral Park to see a community garden plot I may be leasing. Not knowing where exactly the garden was, I set out for an adventure along Willamette Boulevard, which winds along a great ridge on the west bank of the Willamette River. The view was glorious – evergreen blanketed hills to the west, lovely historic homes to my right, and behind me snowy Mt. Hood, resplendent without the usual cloud cover.  As I pedaled I noticed the sky, filled with sunlight filtered down to me through gauzy clouds and a lacy curtain of brilliant red and yellow leaves still clinging haphazardly to gnarled branches. I  also noticed I’d been smiling ever since my ride began.

When I arrived at the majestic St. John’s Bridge I knew I was close to my destination. The garden plot was sure to be down the steep hill leading to the water and Cathedral Park.  I rode through the park, down toward the river, still not finding the garden. I now faced a steep hill to climb. Empowered and exhilarated from the ride out here and the beauty of my surroundings, I trusted my body to get me up the hill. And not only were my muscles focused solely on climbing the hill, my mind was laser-focused as well. Lingering frustration from a phone call this morning, doubts about making it up the hill, the never-ending To-Do list evaporated, and there to my right, down a quiet street was the garden.

The Source of All Generosity

October 14, 2009 By: celedra Category: Mind Body Spirit


Meditation, Eating (mindfully) and Exercise

I don’t know about you, but I live with the daily challange of doing these three things.  And what is so crazy to me is that, of course, the quality of my life in hugely enhanced when I do.  My, we are funny creatures.


OK,  45 minutes is really spacious.  My goal is 20 mins.  Once I can just light the candle and incense at my alter, I’m good to go and oh, what peace awaits me.  Except when I get those intense spontaneous urges to get up and make a phone call that I forgot about – or some other trivial spontaneous arising of the mind.  So, I just sit and notice the urge and breathe. Ahhh. Read more »

ME 2 Challenge: Meditation and Sacred Archetypes

August 13, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Mind Body Spirit


Participating in the ME 2 Challenge I am taking at least 20 minutes each day to meditate. This almost always involves chanting a mantra while counting the repetitions on my wrist mala. Inspired by Celedra’s interview with Lama Palden I am looking into meditation on some of the world’s beloved goddesses.

As a writer I have always had a deep interest in archetypes as communicators of information from beyond our immediate understanding. I also appreciate how archetypes serve as embodiments of a timeless source and therefore provide spiritual nourishment and illumination. Read more »

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