In today’s fast paced lifestyle, people constantly keep complaining about being stressed. Either physically, mentally or by both ways, men & women are getting stressed these days. Stress management has become a great, important need of hour for such men & women. There are many effective ways of managing stress at work, life. Meditations, yoga, Aromatherapy are some of the important & popular among them. Meditation has been proved scientifically to combat stress and stress related disorders like high blood pressure, insomnia and heart diseases. Using an Incense Aromatherapy Meditation to Help With Stress & managing it effectively is getting increasingly popular.
Incense, is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term “incense” refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, masking bad odours, and in medicine. It is widely practiced therapy, commonly called as ”Meditation aromatherapy” which is a type of meditation where one uses essential oils or incense in conjunction with meditation to help produce those desired states of well-being and raising consciousness.
Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils. The forms taken by incense have changed with advances in technology, differences in the underlying culture, and diversity in the reasons for burning it. One of the most important reasons why incense is used is that it purifies the air and has an extraordinary soothing effect on the mind. Just like candle brightens up a darkened room, the aromatic effect of incense offers tranquility to the senses.
Incense is said to have several medicinal effects too. Many earlier civilizations used incense as a herbal medicine for treating health disorders. This in fact forms the basis of aromatherapy. Many incense ingredients are used as medicines all over the world.
In normal term, relaxation indicates that we leave ourselves free of anxiety. Peaceful mind may indicate that the mind is not suffering from strain or vigorous. In today’s method of life, this seems hard. Is it not? These days, a good number of us consider to be feeling anxiety for the duration of most of the week & loosen up only on the weekends. This is considered as the regular style of life. Is this the right style of living? Is having a calm life forever not our liberty? Lets regain it.
Tibetan Buddhist art started in the subcontinent of India with the intent of using art to document the life of Gautama Buddha in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. As the Buddhist religion spread throughout the Asia and the rest of the world, the prominence of Tibetan Buddhist art spread along with it. The earliest Buddhist art generally followed the practice of aniconic Indian traditions. This is the use of Buddhist symbols and iconography without any actual representation of the human figure involved. However, it was about the first century CE when an iconic art period came about and represented the Buddha in human appearance; a practice that continues to this day. As Buddhism spread and evolved in each new country or region, Buddhist art followed those adherents to the faith and developed throughout Asia if different ways.
Buddhist symbols are generally considered in relation to a particular culture or religious affiliation. Everebody heard about Eight Auspicious Symbols, dorje (vajra) and bell, stupa etc. In India, it is not surprising to find some commonly used Buddhist symbols, despite the fact that Hinduism is the main religion there. However, their representation and role serve totally different purposes. The Buddha lived about the 6th century but there has not been found any Buddhist art or symbols from this time. According to the Buddhist holy writings, the Buddha used such images and forms of art like the Wheel of Life in his teachings as symbolic representations to explain or elaborate a particular Buddhist teaching. Some artifacts dating to the time of Emperor Ashoka have been found and his conversion to Buddhism is believed was the first step to the spread of Buddhism around India and its neighboring countries.
by Matthew Firestone, gadling.com
Zen is about as intricate, layered and complex as a lotus flower in full bloom, though the mysteries of this ancient Eastern philosophy are not as incomprehensible as you might imagine. On the contrary, the ability to calm the body and mind, and experience insight into the nature of your existence, is entirely within your grasp.
For starters, it helps to know that the fundamentals of Zen Buddhism lie in a practice known as zazen or literally ‘seated meditation.’ Since practitioners of Zen believe that new perspectives and insights on existence will lead you down the road to enlightenment, meditation truly holds the key for unlocking your inner self.
On that note, today’s post is all about the 4 easy steps to blissful meditation.
Looking to discover the Buddha-nature within through meditation and mindfulness of daily experiences? Here are some quick and easy steps for reaching nirvana:
1) Assume the position. In Japanese seated meditation or zazen, there are three different types of leg positions: full-lotus, half-lotus and seiza (kneeling posture). All three have their varying degrees of pain and discomfort, though no one ever said that the road to enlightenment was easy!
2) Mind your posture. Your mother was right – a straight back and a strong spine really will serve you well in life. If your body is threatening to turn into a jellyfish, you can reinforce your posture by sitting on a small pillow or cushion. You can also fold your hands together over your belly, which is the body’s natural center of gravity.
3) There is no spoon. Start breathing deep from the belly, lower the eyelids halfway, and then find that sweet spot between conscious distraction and unconscious sleep. In the early stages of learning zazen, you need to develop your concentration skills by focusing on the natural rhythms of your breathing.
4) Reach nirvana. The fourth and final step in blissful meditation isn’t something you can expect to achieve in the first session, but it’s a respectable goal nevertheless. The key in zazen is to develop what is known as ‘one-pointedness of the mind,’ which allows you to focus all of your attention on a kōan or singular object of meditation.
Here is the cool part:
Kōan generally contain aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, such as the famous question, “Two hands clap and there is a sound, but what is the sound of one hand clapping?”
So, if you want to answer questions that are not answerable by mere intellectual reasoning, then practice these four easy steps to blissful meditation, and start uncovering the secrets of the universe.
What Buddhism Teaches About Sexual Morality
Most religions have rigid, elaborate rules about sexual conduct. Buddhists have the Third Precept – in Pali, Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami – which is most commonly translated “Do not indulge in sexual misconduct.” However, for laypeople, the early scriptures are hazy about what constitutes “sexual misconduct.”
Monks and nuns, of course, follow the many rules of the Vinaya-pitaka section of the Pali Canon. For example, monks and nuns who engage in sexual intercourse are “defeated” and are expelled automatically from the order. If a monk makes sexually suggestive comments to a woman, the community of monks must meet and address the transgression. A monk should avoid even the appearance of impropriety by being alone with a woman. Nuns may not allow men to touch, rub or fondle them anywhere between the collar-bone and the knees.
Clerics of most schools of Buddhism in Asia continue to follow the Vinaya-pitaka, with the exception of Japan.
Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), founder of the Jodo Shinshu school of Japanese Pure Land, married, and he authorized Jodo Shinshu priests to marry. In the centuries that followed, the marriage of Japanese Buddhist monks may not have been the rule, but it was a not-infrequent exception.
In 1872, the Meiji government decreed that Buddhist monks and priests (but not nuns) should be free to marry if they chose to do so. Soon “temple families” became commonplace (they had existed before the decree, actually, but people pretended not to notice) and the administration of temples and monasteries often became family businesses, handed down from fathers to sons. In Japan today — and in schools of Buddhism imported to the West from Japan — the issue of monastic celibacy is decided differently from sect to sect and from monk to monk.
The Challenge for Lay Buddhists
Let’s go back to lay Buddhists and the vague precaution about “sexual misconduct.” People mostly take cues about what constitutes “misconduct” from their culture, and we see this in much of Asian Buddhism. However, Buddhism began to spread in western nations just as many of the old cultural rules were disappearing. So what’s “sexual misconduct”?
I hope we can all agree, without further discussion, that non-consensual or exploitative sex is “misconduct.” Beyond that, it seems to me that Buddhism challenges us to think about sexual ethics very differently from the way most of us have been taught to think about them.
1. Enhances Concentration & Focus. 2. Stimulates Creativity. 3. Increases Motivation. 4. Boosts Confidence. 5. Heightens Sexual Desire. 6. Prevents Infections. 7. Relieves Headaches. 8. Fights Depression. 9. Reduces Anxiety & Tension. 10. Aids Insomnia.
How to Tune and Balance your Chakras
The techniques of chakra tuning are similar whether you are working with your own energy centers or assisting someone else. If you are working on another person, you may have them lie comfortably on the floor or bed. This will allow them to relax physically so that they may experience the maximum healing effect. If you are working on your own chakras, you may also sit or lie comfortably as you so desire. It is best to be in a soothing quiet atmosphere so that you may focus and allow the tones to be heard and felt more completely. Soft lighting, candles, soothing scents or other elements may help enhance a chakra tuning session.
If you are aware of which chakras may need tuning, then you can proceed with the instructions for balancing. If you have not done a chakra tuning before, it may be helpful to do a simple chakra awareness meditation to help you become more aware of them and any blockages of energy which may be occurring.
Chakra Awareness Meditation
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. If you are sitting, you should try to sit with a relaxed but upright posture, so that your spinal column is aligned and straight. If you are lying down, you should avoid fluffy pillows which lift the head out of alignment with the spine. Take as much time as you feel is necessary for each chakra. This mediation may also be repeated at any time to help you become more aware of what is happening with the subtle body on a day to day basis. This meditation is designed to help you get in touch and create awareness, not to balance.
Once you are comfortable, take some deep relaxing breaths and try to clear your mind of distracting thoughts. If you need to, you can imagine a peaceful scene where you like to go. When you are fully relaxed, move your awareness to the location of your first chakra, which is located at the base of your spine. Become aware of how the energy center located there feels. Is it rotating? Which direction? Is it glowing? What color is it? Is it large or small, does it feel energetic or quiet? Is there energy flowing through the area? Make note of what this area feels like, and then move on to the next chakra. Repeat the process on all of the chakra centers in your body. If you like you can do this with a small notepad on which you can write down the impressions you receive of each chakra, or perhaps take notes with a tape recorder.
If you are assisting someone with this meditation, you can use your hands held at a distance of a few inches from their body to help sense what is happening, or you can take notes for them as they do the meditation.
How to Balance Chakras
Once you have a better awareness of which chakras may need work, or if you would like to do an overall “tune-up” then you can follow the steps below. However you choose to work, be aware that most people have their own ways of working with their chakras, and it is important to recognize that a way of working that resonates with one person may not work for another. It is critical to learn how you personally work best. Some may have difficulty visualizing light entering a chakra, but can “sing” along with the bowls just fine. Others may choose to “massage” the area with their hands while concentrating on sending love to the chakra. There is no wrong way of doing things, as long as the intention of healing and love is present. Again, a soothing atmosphere is more conducive to doing healing work. You or the person being worked on may choose to sit or lie comfortably.
It may help to specifically state your intention or offer a short prayer at the beginning of your session. We have found that doing so helps to set the tone and contributes to the overall effect.
Sound the singing bowl by striking the rim three times and then run the striker around the rim of the bowl to begin the resonance. If you are using a bowl for a specific chakra, then you may visualize filling the energy center with light that is the color of the chakra while the bowl plays. You may also simply imagine love pouring into the area and filling it with warmth and healing. If you would like to tone your voice with the bowls, you can feel or see the vibrations from the bowl and your voice joining to balance the chakra. If you are using a Practitioners Bowl, or smaller singing bowl, you can sound the bowl then move it over the area in a clockwise direction. The use of positive affirmations (i.e. “I am filled with love and healing”) can be effective.
If you are doing an overall “tune-up” it is best to start with the root chakra and work your way up to the crown and then back down. If you are working with a single chakra, you can also do a quick once-over of the other chakras to ensure that they are all resonating in tune with each other, or simply feel the energy spreading up and down from the chakra you are working on. If you are working on another person, you can help direct energy into the chakras by moving your hands or a singing bowl in a circular pattern (clockwise) above the energy center while focusing on sending love and healing to the chakra. You can also use stones or crystals associated with each chakra, colored candles or other aids to assist in balancing and tuning the chakras.
You may do the balancing as often as needed and for as long as needed.
No medical claims are made about the use of crystal bowls to replace the need for medical advice.
If you experience any health problems you should always consult your regular physician.
Do not place a person’s head inside a crystal bowl while playing it.
Do not strike or play bowl too loudly, especially near a person’s head.
Place bowls at least 12 inches apart, or the vibration may shatter a bowl.
Bowls may also shatter if several are playing in a small room.
Some have noted discomfort or pain if they have metal pins or stainless steel ball joints. Ask before sounding the bowl.
Chart of Chakra Correspondences
by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Dzongkaba, and Jeffrey Hopkins (and ed.)
The Dalai Lama opens the door to the topic of Yoga Tantra with an extraordinarily detailed teaching on a classic text. Rarely in the Dalai Lama’s lifetime has he given teachings of such a nature on this topic. There follows a translation of the Yoga Tantra section of Dzong-ka-ba’s The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, one of his most important works and a monument of Tibetan Buddhist literature. Jeffrey Hopkins concludes this book with an outline of the steps of Yoga Tantra practice. This is an invaluable book for anyone who is practicing or interested in Buddhist tantra in general.
This is the third book in a series presenting The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra. The first two books were Tantra in Tibet and Deity Yoga. Tantra in Tibet, part one of The Great Exposition, describes the differences between the Lesser and Great Vehicles and between the Sutra and Mantra Great Vehicles. Deity Yoga, parts two and three of The Great Exposition, presents Action Tantra and Performance Tantra.
“In this extraordinary book, the Dalai Lama opens the door to the topic of Yoga Tantra with a detailed teaching on a classic text. In a Snow Lion newsletter last year, translator Jeffrey Hopkins explained that ‘magical feats’ are not just walking on water or finding treasures–rather, knowing all treatises is a magical feat in itself. And in the same way, accumulating merit in order to benefit all sentient beings is an important accomplishment on the path to enlightenment. This invaluable book includes a translation of the Yoga Tantra section of Dzong-ka-ba’s (Je Tsongkhapa’s) The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, which is a monument of Tibetan Buddhist literature. In this section, the focus is on the development of calm abiding and special insight, and the book concludes with an outline of the steps of Yoga Tantra practice.”–Mandala Magazine
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan people and Nobel Peace Laureate, is a remarkable Buddhist teacher and scholar, versed in the teachings of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dzong-ka-ba (1357-1419), founder of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism and of Ganden Monastery, was a prolific writer and one of Tibet’s greatest philosophers.
Jeffrey Hopkins is a seminal and influential scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. Professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, he is the author and translator of numerous books on Tibetan Buddhism.
Introduction Into Tantra
From the beginning of time there have been those rare women and men who, following their hearts great yearning, have answered the existential question of birth and death with realization of who they truly are – who we all are. Pranama is such a one. He invites, cajoles, dares us to join the dance. Read his words, let them enter your heart and smash the taboo against unreasonable happiness. The flame of being is passed from master to disciple in the great silence of the heart – these words are an engraved invitation.
“What is Tantra?”
an interview with Tantric Master Prem Pranama
This interview occurred in the summer of 1994. The interviewer, Ralph Abrams, has been a spiritual seeker for the last 25 years. He has worked with Swami Muktananda, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Chagdud Tulku, Nagkpa Chogyum, Native American teachers and currently lives in the Crazy Cloud Hermitage where he studies the Tantric path with Pranama.
R: The word Tantra is thrown around quite a bit in spiritual circles these days, and it often means very different things. I’d like to start off with the simple question: What is Tantra?
P: Tantra is the hot blood of spiritual practice. It smashes the taboo against unreasonable happiness; a thunderbolt path, swift, joyful, and fierce. There are many different types of paths. Some touch you like a gentle spring rain, but Tantra is the wild summer thunder storm churning with creation, destruction, bliss and emptiness. Tantra is a wild mother tiger – if you approach her with right motivation, right intention, and integrity, she’ll suckle you at her breast; but if you come to her in a sloppy way, she’ll rip apart your body-mind, eat you for dinner, and shit out what’s left.
R: Wow! I think that this sense of joyful abandon and the force and bliss you’ve described would make the Tantric path attractive to many people. Plus the fact that it is known to be a very swift path to enlightenment.
P. Swift, yes. But the Tantric Vajrayana path is complex and can be dangerous. It requires a strong, well integrated sense of self prepared through careful preliminary practice. Otherwise it is possible for the practitioner to make gross errors in judgment. On the Tantric path, it is perhaps easier to become the ultimate form of egohood and delusion than it is to become free. You can start off intending to liberate the tyranny of ordinary appearance into primordial awareness and end up crystallizing the ego into diamond-hard delusion. There is no authentic Tantra without profound commitment, discipline, intelligence, courage, and a sense of wild, foolhardy, fearless abandon.
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Incense offering, or Sang-sol, is a ceremony performed by Tibetans from all walks of life to mark important events in their lives. A widespread national custom, it can be preformed individually or in groups, on occasions such as the Dalai Lama’s birthday, marriages, third day of the Tibetan New Year, or preceding other important events.
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Using an incense is an important part of Tantric Yoga.
The most suitable incense for any tantric practice are Tibetan Incense.
Tibetan Incense is made from a blend of different herbs, spices, plants and minerals from centuries’ old recipes.
All natural ingredients are used such as flowers, leaves, grass, wood, bark, spices, and aromatic herbs found in the high altitude regions of Tibet and Nepal.
The tibetan incense, unlike Indian one, is made from rolled herbs, so there is no wooden stick inside and no chemicals used that could be allergenic or harmful to inhale.
Many tibetan incenses are actually made for inhalation.
The medicinal incense are prepared using strict vedic formulas which are based on ancient medical tantra texts that have remained unchanged for centuries.
In Tibet, tradition of making and using incense exists since the very beginning of human existence.
The art of making and using of incense was flourished in Tibet even before Buddhism, along with a ancient Bon mystic tradition.
Buddhism evolved in Tibet to a great extent in the 7th century AD under the reign of religious kings of Tibet, along with the development of making incense based on the sacred Indian tantric texts.
This way, the art of making and using of incense is a combination of Bon and Indian tantric traditions.
Burning of incense gives you much needed mood and environment that is crucial when you do Tantric Yoga, Tantric Massage and any kind of tantra or mystic practice.