Loving Kindness

With good will for the entire cosmos  Cultivate a limitless heart.
Above, below and all around unobstructed

Without hostility or hate.    

                         

~ Karaniya Metta Sutta: Good Will ~

Start the new year with love: 5 Elements of Effective Intentions

By Halina Kurowska

January 31, 2017

Ahhh January … the month of beginnings and restrictions after the debauchery of December. Everyone wants to fix something and scrambles to set up resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise. Diet. Get organized.

 

One of the meanings of the word resolution is to find a solution to a problem. Most of the resolutions are about fixing yourself. But, you are not a problem. You don’t need to get fixed. Usually, resolutions are guided by the ego, by the belief that something is wrong with you and you need to correct it. They reflect the mentality that you don’t measure up to the expectations the world has of you and mirror what you perceive as not acceptable within yourself.  Most of the time resolutions are based in self-criticism, not love.

 

It is normal, honourable even, to want to improve yourself and to evolve. But instead of looking at resolutions (guided by self-criticism), seek to make intentions. These will help you to evolve but in a gentle and loving way.

 

Intentions spring from the wisdom of your heart, from deep desires of the heart not mere shallow desires of your ego mind. With intentions, you go deeper, beyond your mind.

 

Intentions are powerful because they are in alignment with your Higher Self. They are about the states of being and desires that are authentic. Examples of intentions are: to be more peaceful, to practice daily gratitude, to open up to more love, joy, health and wealth in your life. Intentions are higher ideals.

 

When creating intentions, you invite the Divine as your partner in co-creation of your new reality. You experience a positive shift, established in self-love, with inner knowing that feels right.

 

These are the elements of setting effective intentions:

 

  1. Clarity – Get really, really quiet, meditate to get in touch with your Inner Wise Being. Then ask, what are my truest desires? What’s my highest good? What gifts do I want to offer to the world? What do I want to receive? This step is about authenticity and alignment with the Divine. Finding out what the Spirit wants for you. Be very clear about what you really want. Once you are aware of your deepest desires, write them down. Alternatively, you can create a vision board, or create affirmations that reinforce fulfilment of your desires, or write down the statements that describe your best life ever. Anything that imprint your subconscious mind with the pictures of your desires.
  2. Now comes the tricky part: detachment. That’s right; after all that work getting clear about your desires now comes the time to let it go! You see, desires manifest faster when you are casual about their manifestation. When you have a light approach to them. Like, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to drive that new forest green Mercedes’, rather than, ‘I MUST have that new forest green Mercedes otherwise I will be utterly miserable forever.’ With detachment comes TRUST. You’ve stated your desires and you trust that you were heard but you don’t know how the Divine will bring these to you so you remain open to all possibilities.
  3. Keep quiet about it – this might seem like surprising advice, however there is a deep wisdom in that approach. Many esoteric wisdom traditions emphasize this step. Sharing your intentions might invite criticism and doubts from others and this in turn will lower your vibration. If you must share, make sure to share it with someone you are sure supports you fully, who is as open to limitless possibilities as you are.
  4. Do not worry about the details – Mike Dooley aptly calls them “the cursed hows”. The big picture of a dream coming true, with the feeling of how wonderful it is to have it all, is important, but the little details pertaining to how the dream will come about, the little steps that you might start envisioning that need to happen to make your dream a reality, these are not helpful. Remember you are working with the Divine by your side, so leave the details to the Divine. The higher organizing force wants to impress you with the details. They are not yours to figure out. Your job is to dream big, to trust and to be grateful. This brings us to the next important element:
  5. Gratitude is the magic ingredient that helps you to relax and see how blessed you already are, how much you have to be grateful for. In this relaxed state of gratitude for what you already have, you are able to increase your gratitude for the things that are coming to you. Daily practice of gratitude for the good that we already have, brings more good into our lives.

 

Examples of intentions that increase self-love and self-acceptance and allow miracles to unfold:

  • I intend to manifest joy naturally
  • I intend to witness Divinity in everyone and everything
  • I intend to open up to success and prosperity

 

May your year be blessed with magic and miracles!

 

“Article featured on www.tut.com

 

Copyright © 2017 Halina Kurowska Living With AWE: Awareness Wisdom Empowerment

All Rights Reserved

 

7 Hawaiian Concepts to Advance Your Spiritual Practice

By Halina Kurowska

July 18, 2016

As we travel on our spiritual journey we encounter many techniques designed to advance us on our path. Affirmations, visualizations, the tapping … the list could be quite long. Personally, I’m a big fan of mirror work in its many forms. There is an immense transformative power when we gaze deeply into our eyes in the mirror. Through this practice, negativity is lifted, healed, and transmuted into self-forgiveness, self-compassion, and self-love which translates into forgiveness, compassion, and love for others.

 

Combining the mirror work with Huna principles is an empowering process.

 

Huna is an ancient Hawaiian healing practice and philosophy.  As our modern psychology, Huna recognizes the three aspects of ourselves: the Lower Self (subconscious); the Middle Self (consciousness); and the Higher Self – Spirit. Each of these has its own characteristic and through Huna, we gain understanding of how they interact. Delving deeper into Huna philosophy, we learn that there are seven principles that govern every moment of our daily life. These principles correspond to the concept of Chakras, the energy centres in our body, and they are the seven principles to freedom.

 

It will take about five to eight minutes to go through them in the mirror, yet the benefits of this daily practice are truly priceless and will lead to profound change. I know, I’ve experienced it!

 

So, standing in front of the mirror, look deeply into your eyes as you state these principles. Of course the statements I’m proposing here are just to guide you, use your own words, make it yours, but use it daily.

 

IKE – The world is what you think it is: Be Aware (corresponds to the Crown Chakra) – say to yourself, “Today be aware of your thoughts, they do create your reality. Today, think only good, positive thoughts, thoughts that bring health, and abundance, goodness and joy into your life. Today, I’m choosing to think new thoughts that will create the life I want.”

  1. KALA – There are no limits: Be Free (Root Chakra) — say “You are free to create the life you desire. The only limits are your limiting thoughts and feelings.” A Course In Miracles says, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.” Talk to yourself as you would talk to a dear friend, the one you truly care about. Say to yourself, “whatever limiting beliefs I have, I let go of them now. I let go, I let go. I have the desire, right and determination to heal myself, my relationships, my financial situation.” Fill in whatever you feel you need to work on now.
  2. MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes: Be Focused (Sacral Chakra) — Say to yourself, “My thoughts have power and carry enormous energy within them, they create the circumstances in my life.” Focus on the good that you want to see in your life. Focus on LOVE and on what you would love to attract into your life.
  3. MANAWA – Now is the moment of power: Be Present (Solar Plexus Chakra) — The point of power is in the present moment, so let go of whatever disappointments you encountered yesterday and do not worry about the future. Instead, focus on this moment. Breathe into it with full awareness that this moment is all you have and that this moment is your life. And, it is good, so good.
  4. ALOHA – To love is to be happy with: Be Happy (Heart Chakra) So, be happy! Love who you are and what you have and all about you and everything around you. Love yourself deeply and fully because this love is what creates the good in your life and the good life. Love yourself and be gentle with yourself, offer compassion and forgiveness toward yourself and, once your cup is full it overflows and spills that love and compassion toward others. Then, filled with love, you have something truly valuable to offer to others. So, focus on LOVE.
  5. MANA – All power comes from within: Be Confident (Throat Chakra) — You are directly connected to the greatest power and wisdom, so don’t dismiss that with feelings and thoughts of unworthiness. Remember your magnificence and your brilliance. As Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” So, look deeply into your eyes and affirm to yourself, “Yes, I do have the power within me to create the best life for myself. I am a channel of that Power. I trust my Higher Self and I know that I am loved and supported at all times.”
  6. PONO – The effectiveness is the measure of truth: Be Expectant/Be Positive (Third Eye Chakra) – Always expect the best, expect good things to come to you. Know and expect that all the work you put into your daily practice will bring wonderful results to you.

 

This is your program for success. Develop deep, loving relationship with your own self and watch your life unfold in new and wondrous ways. Tune into your inner guidance, your Inner Wise Self and stay open to the wonderful possibilities life is preparing to offer you. Trust the wisdom the resides deep within you.

 

Excerpt from the chapter written by Halina Kurowska, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Mirror talk: Steps to achieve tangible results in your own life” in the multi-author book “The Empowerment Manual” compiled and published by Visionary Insight Press.

“Article featured on www.tut.com

 

Copyright © 2016 Halina Kurowska Living With AWE: Awareness Wisdom Empowerment

All Rights Reserved

 

 

Mothers and Children


By Halina Kurowska
May 08, 2016

As May rolls in and motherhood is on our minds, I’m reminded once again about the sublime poem, “On Children,” by the great mystic poet Kahlil Gibran. The insight into mothering that he shares with us greatly influenced my parenting. Remembering that ‘my children are not my children’ helped me to realize long ago that they are Souls that chose to come through me and spend this lifetime with me, yet they do not belong to me. “They belong to life itself.”

My role as a mother is simply to love and cherish their presence in my life while supporting them on their journey through life. Guiding gently and loving deeply while fully realizing that they are their Own Beings. I must say, it is a privilege to honour and celebrate the beauty of their lives.
Here I’m sharing these beautiful words that had a huge and wonderful impact on my life.

ON CHILDREN

An excerpt from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
“Speak to us of Children”.
And he said:

Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but are not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So he loves also the bow that is stable.

 

Copyright © 2016 Halina Kurowska Living With AWE: Awareness Wisdom Empowerment

All Rights Reserved

 

INTO THE WOODS

By Halina Kurowska

April 18, 2016

The day is just waking up with the first gentle rays of sun and I’ve already completed two hours of morning meditation and had breakfast. The morning is still somewhat cold and damp, and the path is covered with a fresh dusting of snow. It is very early spring in Canada after all.

 

At dawn, just a few minutes after seven o’clock, into the woods I go.

 

As I walk deeper into the forest, it becomes denser and darker. I stray slightly from the path as I approach the ravine to see the creek down below …that’s where the animals are the easiest to spot. Beaver is gathering wood for his feat of engineering; a new dam is being build and the little creek is already wider than it was last year when I was here.

 

On the trail, I see the footprints of coyote on the pristine white snow, he was here just a moment ago walking the same path. I look down towards the creek and I see him heading into his den. The night is over, time for the creatures of the dark to rest.

 

On my path I meet another soul puttering around the forest and then another. I begin to realize that in a way, we are all in the forest — the forest of our own mind. Signing up for this meditation retreat is very much like entering the woods, not knowing what to expect, and being ready and willing to encounter whatever will present itself. And, very much like the forest, our mind is a peculiar place, quite often an unknown and uncharted territory.

 

We came here to this sacred place to have a deep look at our minds and to get to know it well … or at least better. To have a glimpse into the dense, at times dark, recesses of our minds.

 

Meditation is like walking in the woods of our own psyche, where we get in touch with our own thoughts and feelings: with our fears, our ‘boogey-man’, our perceived inadequacies, and our deeply rooted negativity. We meditate, observing all this without judgement, thus eventually freeing ourselves from the burdens we carry. At least that’s the goal.

 

We go deep into the dark, scary, and not always pretty or pleasant places, and we are encouraged to face all this and just look and observe without judgement, without aversion, with compassion for ourselves and our own nature.

 

We are asked to look at our lives without aversion towards the unwanted things that did happen, and the wanted things that did not happen. We are asked to accept it all exactly as it is, to look at our lives with equanimity, and to treat ourselves and other beings with compassion.

 

However, this journey towards achieving a calm, equanimous, and compassion-filled mind takes us on a long, winding path infused with perils.

 

The meditation I practice is called Anapana, (I also practice Vipassana meditation but that’s for my other article),  it is about observing one’s breath: ’pure breath,’ ‘bare breath,’ ‘nothing but breath.’ First the observation is about the deeper breaths and then, as ones mind gets more and more quiet and is able to discern the subtle breath, one is advised to observe the subtlest breath for prolonged period of time.

 

Although this might not be clear at the beginning, there is a purpose and a goal to observing our breath. Through this process we achieve what’s called the purification of our mind. Being aware, alert, attentive, and vigilant about observing our respiration, we achieve an alert and attentive mind. A sharp mind is able to focus on breathing which will eventually lead to awakening and transcendence.

 

If you are thinking, “oh, big deal, it is just observing the breath,” I suggest you try it for a continuous period of time and you might find out how difficult this simple activity really is.

 

The first obstacle in this exercise is … can you guess? … my own mind. The moment I settle down on my meditation cushion, the mind starts working — and not in any coherent, sensible way. The thoughts that pop up are the strangest thoughts one can have. And they are jumpy! I look at them puzzled … where is the sense? Why this thought now? What does it even mean? No wonder Buddha called our untrained mind, the monkey mind, jumping from one branch to another. No offence to monkeys, they might be jumping with a purpose, but my mind does not.

 

I’m told to observe all this with compassion, and gently, lovingly direct my attention to my breath. Observe the breath.

 

And when I do that, I notice some awesome things I was not aware about that pertain to my breath, even though I’ve been breathing for over fifty years. Like, for example, there is a special spot where the air touches the nostrils when entering it; ‘the touch of the breath’. It is quite an amazing feeling to discover this about yourself. But one has to get very quiet and very attentive to notice that.

 

That’s why on this meditation course we observe what’s called Noble Silence for ten days. This might seem excessive to some, yet there is a deep wisdom in it. When we get silent like that, for the first two or three days we still carry within us the conversations of the world we just left behind, but by the third day, they start fading away and silence embraces us all more and more.

 

As my mind gets more and more quiet, the noise and chatter of the world outside depart, the space opens up for beautiful lights dancing in my mind’s eye.

 

Going deeper and deeper into my own being, with relaxed body, and calm and quiet mind, I reach what Buddha describes as the bangha state, the state of total dissolution. In this state the normal perception of the body as a solid matter is lost and there is no separation between my body and the outside world. I experience myself as a mass of tiny wavelets, bubbles — a mass of kalapas as Buddha described the subatomic particles. Quantum physics describes the Universe as tiny vibrating strings of energy; Buddha came to the same conclusion 2600 years ago, stating that there is no solidity in this world, everything is waves and bubbles, arising and passing away with great rapidity.

 

All is in a constant flux.

 

And now, on this meditation cushion, I’m experiencing this. I feel like I have melted, there is no boundary between my body and the world around me. If, for example, someone asked at that moment if my hands are touching, I would not know.

 

This very insight and awareness of no separation removes fear and expands LOVE. The consciousness expands as it’s free from fear and free to love All.

 

Taking this experience with me into the world of everyday life allows me to have new understanding, love and compassion for all living beings. All is One. I Am One with everything.

 

So, we go to and through the woods, until the physical forest and the forest of our minds are bathed in the divine light. I stand in the forest elated by its beauty and I sit on the meditation cushion immersed in Oneness.

 

Article featured on www.tut.com

Copyright © 2016 Halina Kurowska Living With AWE: Awareness Wisdom Empowerment

All Rights Reserved