Forgiveness Is the Key

Wish I had a magic wand to make hurt go away. Well, as a human being on planet earth, it appears that uncomfortable feelings are a reality. Thank goodness, though, for forgiveness. I still can’t prevent emotional injury from harming loved ones. But I can dig into my bag of tricks and transform hell into heaven for myself. Or at least head in the direction of relief.

Here are a few tried and true methods:

Ø  Pray for the Person:
Pray for the person who caused you harm for 30 days. (A go-to for students of Course in Miracles teacher and author, Marianne Williamson as well as 12-Steppers.)

Ø  Perspective:
Imagine how you might react if you had the person’s upbringing and/or circumstances.

Ø  People are Trees:
Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now and a seminal leader in spiritual studies, says, “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn't get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don't get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.”

New York Times bestseller author, John-Roger, DSS in this video says that others are mirrors. When judgments arise, it’s because we have yet to forgive a similar quality in ourselves. His words about not expecting instantaneous forgiveness are stellar, too!

Love to see your thoughts about forgiveness in the comments section. Better yet, delighted if you can share them on Tuesday, February 20th. We’re dedicating a whole evening to the subject of forgiveness at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Click here for more details.



Love Is the Healer

Fletchers straighten arrows;
Carpenters bend wood;
The wise master themselves.
~Buddha

Almost one week before V-Day, Tuesday, February 6th , Valentines arrive in all sizes and colors at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G.) They’re here to attend a Loving Relationships workshop.

What’s your definition of loving? When “Loving” facilitators, Paul Kaye and Anna Sugai pose the question, immediately a hand shoots up. A man with a big grin (and a gorgeous girl at his side) replies, “Even on a cloudy day, I know the sunshine is always there.”

Paul invites everyone to “this exploration of Love.” I put on my safari hat; ready to go on an expedition through a jungle of passion, pleasure and pride. Oh, yes and maybe a few slips in the mud.

Time to pay attention. “Probably the most intimate relationship [you have] is with your phone,” quips Paul. The Eagles were prophets when they wrote Hotel California: “We are prisoners here of our own device.”

Anna suggests stellar connections are a choice. “The relationship out there,” she says, “is a mirror of the relationship with myself.”

In his crisp British accent, Paul observes, “The energy is a bit heavy in here.” Maybe it’s my imagination or the rebel inside; but there seem to be silent shouts of, “Who? Me? Nooo way!!” 

Cheerfully Paul continues, “One way to lighten up is Light” We can “dial in the higher energy.” Human beings are instruments. We can tune into higher frequencies like a radio syncs up with stations transmitting classical music.

Bowing his head, Paul says a Light prayer:

Just now we ask for the purest Light from the highest and purest source;
and we ask this Light surround and fill each person here.


Quietly, Paul says, “It can be as simple as saying that out loud. It’s a super power that we have.”

Anna proposes that, “We have everything we need right now.” 

In other words, loving is a choice. To help us along we’re given questions to answer in groups of four.

Two Simple Questions:

1.     What gets in the way of your loving?

2.     What is holding you back from moving into greater loving?

FEAR: False Expectations Appearing Real seems to take center stage. So what do we do about it? Paul says, “The antidote to fear and judgment is forgiveness.”

But why forgive when they hurt us???  “Resentment is the poison we take hoping the other person will die,” says Paul.

I understood him to say we are not condoning the evils of the world. Rather we are forgiving, touching into the center of our being and sending ourselves and the other a Valentine of compassion.  

Anna and Paul reiterate the importance of taking responsibility for our perceptions. Crooked experiences may have shaped ugly behaviors. Behavior of a “wrong-doer” may feel personal but it’s not. (It helps to remember Course in Miracles teacher, author Marianne Williamson saying, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to go to lunch with them.”)

Paul quotes popular Hay House author Alan Cohen, “To love yourself, just as you are, is to give yourself Heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.”

The groups of 4 charge into rounds of  “I forgive myself for judging myself for_____”

The facilitators note the lightness in the room. “Why do you feel better?” asks Paul.

One pipes up, “I tapped into my heart!”

Another notices the expansive feeling of freedom. “Loving is possibility.”

Freedom is the reward for choosing Love.  Early on in the event, Paul played a video. In less than 2 minutes I knew This is Love.

Heavenly piano playing by Lucy P. Dickinson, perfect for meditating on loving, captured my heart, too.

More songs of Love are expected on Tuesday, February 13th  at PAL&G.  A Valentine’s Music, Meditation and Sound Evening will be a great gift for yourself, your significant other…Or who knows you may find that a loving relationship blossoms on that very night!


Sole of the Labyrinth

By September 2018 Jack Favor will have clocked 500 miles on the labyrinth at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G).  Jack finds the labyrinth an invaluable tool for “refocusing.” As he strolls the 11 concentric circuits, “more important ideas come to the forefront.”

As a student in a Doctor of Spiritual Science course, Jack was encouraged to pay attention to his dreams. Pythagorean philosophies and prime numbers surfaced in his sleep. (Before landing in his present profession, Jack was literally a rocket scientist.)  The “labyrinth helps me clarify those ideas.”

Serendipitously, labyrinths are created using the principles of sacred geometry…one of Pythagoras’ pet projects. Shapes and forms which repeat in nature when incorporated into a labyrinth produce a sacred energetic. (Maybe that’s why a labyrinth is also referred to as a moving meditation.)

“MSIA (Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness) is all about providing tools for awareness,” says Jack. “Less important matters fade and more important matters come to the forefront [when walking the labyrinth.]”

Plus it’s a good way to stretch the legs and escape a desk job. But Jack differentiates a labyrinth walk from a stroll on the beach or jog around the block. At Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens “The inner landscape is reflected with the outer landscape.”

Jack maintains that areas surrounding the labyrinth reflect consciousness. He sees the reflecting pool as a symbol of the unconscious; the pergola crowned by Madame Butterfly, the kingdom of emotions. And the Asian accented gardens? A foray into fantasy/imagination and the physical world.  With all its ways of awakening awareness, Jack believes the labyrinth is reflective of the mental realm.

Inspired by Jack, I took a turn in the labyrinth. After saying a prayer at the entrance, I solemnly stepped and silently chanted HU (the ancient Sanskrit name for God.) Looking up, a fat chipmunk was furiously swishing his tail. He seemed intent on capturing a nut or some sort of morsel. I laughed. He reminded me of my tabby cat. The ice cream truck music decided just then to serenade me with It’s A Small World.  I stepped off the labyrinth feeling lighter. No brilliant formulas. But some say joy is synonymous with soul. 

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Keys to Long-Lasting Relationships

Cupid’s bows gleam golden and the scent of roses infuses the air. Yes, that month of red hearts and rich chocolates is around the corner. The debut of romance is dazzling. A stream of serotonin rushing through the system may be better than any roller coaster.

Yet, there could be the inevitable day when the ride dips; reality hits. Yikes! Is Romeo giving Juliet the cold shoulder? Juliet’s smile has melted. Sigh. There is an empowering solution.

Do you know the answer? 

  • Yes--be that wonderful loving one to yourself! (That doesn’t mean dive into a pint of ice cream!)
  • When tuning into your sunny self, life reflects back brighter scenarios. And more perfect partners.
  • In fact, everything and everyone appears to be divinely ordained.

Even with a few loving tricks up your sleeve, if you’re open to expanding your self-care repertoire, then read on. Paul Kaye, author of Momentum: Letting Love Lead is sharing his tips at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) on February 6th. Paul is also a popular meditation teacher. The processes he’ll use in Loving Relationships Workshop will actively involve your beautiful spirit and heart. In fact, the only prerequisite is your willingness.

Even if you are not in an intimate relationship, you may discover the love of your life – YOU!


Loving Relationships Workshop takes place Tuesday, February 6, 7:30pm at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (3500 West Adams Blvd. LA CA 90018). A Meet & Greet with refreshments follows the workshop.


Virgil, Veritas (Truth) & 100 Ways to Health & Well-Being

“Health is the Greatest Wealth”~ Virgil

Philosopher, poet and pal of Roman emperors is the poster child of wealth. His dad was a cattle farmer. (Think Texas in Rome.) He went to law school; switched majors and published popular epic poetry. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Aeneid. (It’s considered one of the masterpieces of Western civilization…which this writer didn’t know until researching the prolific poet.) Oh, yes, and Virgil hobnobbed with the elites of the 40s and 50s. (BC.) He liked parties. In fact, one of his works is called Copa (The Barmaid.) Hmmm. The point is the fellow knew a thing or two about living well. Virgil was sincere when he said, “Health is the greatest wealth.”

So, it makes sense that admired author and meditation teacher, Paul Kaye is sharing his 100 Ways to Health & Well-Being at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. (Not 500,000 Ways to Strike It Rich in 5 Minutes!) Looks like there are no loopholes to: “Seek ye the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto to you.” (Matthew 6:33, KJV) Or as my Great-Uncle George used to say, “There ain’t no free lunch.”

The great teachers espouse the concept that when we are healthy and wise, there’s a greater chance for the wealth to slip in. Bravo, you may be ahead of the game and arguing that Tiffany rings and Mercedes are not the end-all, be-all. True enough. Seeing a baby smile is indeed a treasure. (But I still cherish the few times I’ve flown first class!) Whatever your goals or definitions of success, without health or a sense of good feeling, life isn’t fun. Fortunately, Paul Kaye lives in the New Millennium and we are able to receive his tips first-hand and in person at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Paul promises that attendees can “expect to go away with at least one additional key to bring greater health and well-being into their lives.”


For more info and tickets, visit PeaceLabyrinth.org/Events or click here. Or take a chance and show up in person on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 3500 West Adams Blvd., LA, CA 90018 for the 7:30 p.m. event.

New Year's Resolution "Spiritual Spa Morning" - Enjoy Pics!

We were "packed with peeps" - enjoy the pics!

Over 200 beautiful people gathered January 6 to start the new year deepening their commitments, intentions, and devotion. We enjoyed a workshop, sacred labyrinth walk - followed by a lavish buffet brunch - making the day like a "spiritual spa."

Enjoy the slideshow images.  

Sneak Peek into 100 Ways to Health & Well-Being Workshop with Paul Kaye

Author, educator, and meditation expert, Paul Kaye, has created a workshop called 100 Ways to Health & Well-Being. I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul.

I found he not only walks his talk, he makes it dance with the enthusiasm he infuses into his projects. His research while co-authoring books such as Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being, and What’s It Like Being You? with New York Times bestselling author, John-Roger, DSS, has given Paul abundant material for this workshop.

Some of Paul’s Health and Well-Being Tips

Best Way to Feel Good?

1.  MOVEMENT

When I questioned Paul about his favorite ways to feel good, he promptly responds, “Movement!”  He ducks into a closet. He returns brandishing a wooden sword à la Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. He asks, “Have you ever seen a tai chi sword?” (Did you know there was such a thing? Neither did I.) 

He goes on to explain, “Everybody can make time for movement.” Paul puts the sword down. “Not hours, but 2 minutes here and there.” Demonstrating he says, “Like a plié!”

2.  SLEEP

“If I don’t get eight hours, my performance suffers mentally, physically, and emotionally. It shows in my behavior.”

3.  SPIRITUAL EXERCISES

Another key is spiritual exercises, which is an active form of meditation. (Paul facilitates a popular Introduction to Meditation and Sound evening.)

 

Favorite Health Foods?

Paul’s favorite health food? “Sprouted flax seeds.” Hmm. Intimidation creeps into my consciousness.

Do You Allow Any Cheat Days?

“Ice cream,” says Paul very matter-of-factly. “It’s important to keep the basic (inner child) happy and not be in deprivation.”

"Foods don’t work the same for every person"

While on the subject of food, I mention the superhero blueberry. Many call the cute purple berry a super food. Some studies state the "happy hormone" serotonin increases and inflammatory issues decrease by eating the fruit. “But (the consumption of) blueberries doesn’t work for everybody,” says Paul. “Some say it also causes joint problems.”

So in this vast arena of health, which expert has Paul’s attention? “Gary Taubes.”  Apparently the Harvard, Stanford and Columbia University educated writer “took the lid off fats, grains and sugars.”

What About Sugar?

How does he counsel someone who likes sugar? Paul doesn’t mince words: “Stay off refined sugar because it puts on weight. We have an obesity epidemic in this country." Hmm. I don’t know if I’ll be giving up Oreos soon. I have hope though.

What Can We Expect to Receive from the Workshop?

“Expect to go away with at least one key to bring greater health and well-being into your life.”


100 Ways to Health and Well-Being will take place Tuesday, January 23, 7:30pm PT. 

Sneak Peek into An Evening of Abundance

An evening of abundance is about getting together with others to explore how to create greater abundance in our lives.

"You will receive in direct proportion to your clarity of vision, your definiteness of purpose, the steadiness of your faith, and the depth of your gratitude." John-Roger, DSS

It's about taking an opportunity to explore "opening to the blessings of abundance, clarifying our visions for the New Year, and giving thanks for our lives exactly as they are." 

We asked Marizita and Rinaldo Porcile, ministers and business owners, to come volunteer and lead the evening for us. They have combined a life of service with a life of taking care of themselves and their family--and they just naturally created abundance in the process.

A sneak peek into some Abundance Keys:

  1. Giving
  2. Gratitude
  3. Receiving graciously

Join us and learn more!   

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Better than Champagne Wishes, a Sacred Entrance into 2018

Congratulations. You have successfully thrived (or survived!) another year. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, will you toast with champagne? Or will a chocolate truffle melt in your mouth as you dream of a blissful future?

For your consideration for December 31, 2017: A New Year’s Eve Sacred Tones workshop. The evening event takes place at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens from 8 to 10 p.m. (So, you’ll still have time to attend other parties--or get home in your jammies early!)  Popular author and meditation teacher, Paul Kaye leads the group in powerful practices. A path to 2018 is prepared with ancient sounds of peace. Masterful meditations invoking soul wisdoms are played. Heart-centered processes also allow participants to burn past sorrow and open to new opportunities.

Clarinetist, Alethea Lamb, chuckles about her Sacred Tones experience “Getting paid for playing more music” was on her wish list last year. Alethea won’t be at Sacred Tones 2017.  She’s playing a “gig” with musicians she loves.

Sacred Tones is more than a mere goal-setting event though. As Alethea says, “You go really deep. There’s so much peace…It’s like being in a womb.” She also warns that the event is “well-attended.” (So get there early!)

More good news about the New Year’s Eve Sacred Tones Workshop:
Complimentary admission
Available online.
Detailed info at peacelabyrinth.org/events


The Best Holiday Gifts Ever

“We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to look upon Him present within us.” ~St. Teresa of Avila

Faster than FedEx, gifts are delivered with each heartbeat. You don’t even need a saint or Santa to deliver the present. Yes, you already know you are:

·         A precious child of God

·         Adored by the Creator

·         At One with the Universe

·         All the Above

Wouldn’t it be wonderful though to know how truly, truly divine you are? Better than any Porsche or Jimmy Choo shoes!


HERE ARE TWO NEW YEAR'S EVENTS. 
Embrace all that is great and holy. Let go of 2017. Welcome in a shiny Light and Love filled 2018.

New Year's Eve Sacred Tones Workshop, Sunday, December 31, 8-10pm PT

New Year's Resolution Spiritual Spa Morning, Saturday, January 6, 2018, 10am-2pm PT

 


5 Tried & True Ways to Sweeten the Holidays

“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle.” ~Walt Whitman

Shadow fingers stretch across the sidewalk. Christmas carols blare as a car blasts down the road. Cinnamon and ginger, the star spices of winter, waft from the kitchen. The holidays must be here.

Sparkly diamond happiness is supposed to be the sentiment du jour. Yet when malls are jam-packed and competition for parking spaces mounts…Well, rekindling the childhood exuberance of the season can be daunting.

5 Tried & True Ways to Sweeten the Holidays:

1.     Give, Give, Give…to Yourself.
I know. This is a season for giving. Reduced sleep and increased sugar though may turn you into Mr. Grinch. Altruism is awesome but not at the expense of yourself.

2.     Take the Easy Path
Seriously. Your child will survive without homemade cupcakes. Swap time in the kitchen for conversations…even if it is via text!

3.     Be Sneaky
Slip extra time onto the parking meter. Tip your server with an extra dollar or two. Surreptitiously do something super nice for someone.

4.     Headspace Vacay
When the monkeys are chattering up a storm, turn up the meditation music. Even Western MDs agree that moments of Zen tune out stressors.

5.     Tell the Truth
“The Truth Shall Set Ye Free” Not a Bible person? Twelve steppers know that honesty is the key to healing. And the first law of Spirit is acceptance…which leads to cooperation…which hopefully leads to a happier you during the holidays!

Light the Menorah. Set the star atop the Christmas tree. Let your authentic joyful self shine.


Finding Forgiveness & Love

 “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love is the answer. How many times have you heard that? It’s a truth, but getting to love and forgiveness can be a curvy road. Judgments, justified or not, are major culprits.

“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” says Prince Hamlet. He was one soul-searching fellow. (Maybe that’s why Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.) Wise words, yet he landed into ill fortune. He lacked tools.

In matters of the healing heart, techniques and classes can be of assistance. Techniques presented at Paul Kaye’s Introduction to Meditation and Sound, A Deeper Experience, held at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G), can offer such assistance. My experience is these techniques help me create peace of mind. Labyrinth walks (designed using sacred geometry) also help me unwind my disturbing beliefs.

As one who has led guided labyrinth tours for over four years, I often see smiles appear on visitors walking the labyrinth. People tell me of the comfort they experience here. Part of the healing may come from a sort of pampering that takes place at PAL&G. Not the champagne and mani-pedis sort, but by taking time out and opening ourselves to up to our inner core--it’s as if heaven bestows blessings and healing. An hour or two walking the labyrinth and gardens, or steeping in a meditative sound bath, are opportunities to put aside Facebook. It’s a time to remember how we are cherished and adored by higher beings. The experience lingers after the gates close behind us.

Poet, William Wordsworth wrote, “Trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy!”

It’s nice to know that during our short stint on planet earth there’s a place where we can re-member ourselves to that glory. 


A Chat with Soul Dance Creator, Alisha Das

Alisha Das is a spiritual counselor, former DJ, and holds a doctorate in Spiritual Science. Sixteen years ago, she created Soul Dance and has been facilitating these events twice monthly, volunteering her time as a gift. We recently interviewed Alisha. Here are some highlights from our chat.


PALG: What gave you the idea for Soul Dance? 
AD: During a trip to Israel and Egypt, I asked my spiritual teacher, John-Roger, “How can I learn to have more conscious experiences while meditating?” His answer: “Do sit-ups while chanting your spiritual tone.” I did this for about two hours and moved into bliss. I now had a technique of using outer movement to enhance inner movement, which I continued to utilize and explore. I later expanded that practice to other forms of physical movement such as dance.

AD: I had always been terrified to dance in public but on that trip, I found myself spontaneously dancing in temples in Israel and Egypt. At Giza, I began dancing with subtle movements, eventually leaping into the air, though I had never before felt free or comfortable dancing. This came from within; movement straight from my soul.

After this, I found myself wanting to dance with a spiritual focus more. I wanted to dance free-form with others in communion with God. I tried many dance classes and gatherings all over Los Angeles but didn’t find anything close to what I was seeking. Fortunately, your former PALG Administrator asked me to create a dance class for you.

My experience as a former professional DJ and sound volunteer helped me create (and facilitate) Soul Dance. I wanted to play uplifting music in a spiritual environment, but I also wanted fun dance music. (A key to DJing is the art of knowing what music to play to keep the crowd dancing.) I play a wide range of music, from current pop to world music. It just has to be uplifting. I have two kids, teenagers now, who help me keep my musical awareness current.

PALG: How has Soul Dance evolved?
AD: In the beginning, I simply played great music. Then I was led inwardly to guide people to get freer as the music played. I watched people to see what they liked and what seemed to “move” them, both inwardly and outwardly. Later, I added playing short audio meditations, excerpts and soul moments. I tell folks that if they want me to stop talking all they have to do is dance freely and blissfully. I usually talk less as the evening goes on and folks let God take over.
 
I thought, “Now that I’m facilitating Soul Dance, I should learn to dance.” But I really did not like choreographed dance classes, the Spirit was not there for me. I said that to John-Roger before a dance performance. He said that no, in choreographed dance you learn the steps, but the Spirit may want to do different steps. He said you don’t follow the Spirit--you are one with Spirit. You can’t do that in choreographed dance classes the same way. That inspired me so at the beginning of that “performance” I determined I would not move until the Spirit moved me. I stood and stared at the audience until Spirit started moving me. I have no idea what steps I did, but I came off stage to a standing ovation. John-Roger looked at me and said, “Very, very good” That experience was transformational for me and reinforced what I am doing with Soul Dance.  

So my facilitating became helping people discover how to let themselves be danced by Spirit and to use dance as a spiritual exercise to allow Spirit to move them.  

PALG: What makes Soul Dance special or different?
AD: My whole intention is to support people to reach into their True Self and let their Soul guide them and to assist people to be present and spontaneous. For me, it’s about staying in the moment, in the Divine unknowing, trusting Spirit will guide me with the words and music that need to be heard at that time.

Soul Dance quiets the mind, the body, the emotions, and releases deep seated blocks to freedom and awareness. Then bliss and deep peace comes. I love to see people transformed, joyous and free.

PALG: What would you say is the key to get free through dance?
AD: I tell participants, “You’re safe. Just keep moving, don’t think, dance. Allow each move to be discovered by you. Allow each move to be healing." "I am endeavoring to guide you into a moving meditation, into a dance with the Beloved.” 

They start to forget what they look like. I keep the lights low so people feel safer to go within. People realize they are really dancing with God—and discover how they move.

People express more when they feel safe, and they feel safe at Soul Dance. I tell them, “If you just keep moving outwardly, it will move you inwardly.” Sometimes folks say they’re too tired to come dance. John-Roger used to say, “If you want more energy, demand more energy.”  I tell them, just come “call in the Light” (an invocation) with us. Almost invariably, if they dance one dance, they will stay the entire evening.

PALG: What keys have Soul Dance given you that you take into your life?
AD: Leaping into the Divine Unknowing and allowing God to dance me through my life. Getting out of my head. Risking looking stupid. Waiting, not moving until I feel Spirit move me—I use this in my work as a counselor. That we are all one people. One of my favorite Soul Dance memories was watching a really “Goth looking” guy with body piercings and tattoos dancing with a Muslim woman dressed in robes and head piece. Love is the healer. Seeing different types of people dancing in communion with one another is uplifting.

PALG: How do people respond to Soul Dance? 
AD:  At every class I get people sharing with me with tears in their eyes sharing gratefully about their experiences. Some just come to be in the energy and maybe don’t even dance that much but meditate the whole time.
People share with me about their emotional release, mental release, or that physical things start to clear. People tell me about a spiritual attunement they experience, about feelings of intimacy with others. People often spontaneously “puppy pile” on top of one another after class or stay to share with one another.

One women works with terminally ill children. She said Soul Dance keeps her going. With every move, she lets go. Another person told me she came in the deepest, darkest hole, suicidal and by the end of class she was joyous and hopeful.  

Many people share, “I stay in deep peace long after I stop dancing.” After every Soul Dance, people wind up laying on the floor at the end. They go into the Spirit. People want to stay there for quite awhile, the room is still and quiet at the end. 

PALG: What would you like to tell people who haven’t come before?
AD: I play fun, current, dance-able music. Soul Dance gets a range of people anywhere from terrified to dance, to professional dancers. Every class has new people and people from all walks of life. I tell people, “You might come nervous, but you’ll leave in bliss. It’s about dance, but it’s much more about letting God and Spirit move you.

Let Go, and Let God.


Editor Note: Soul Dance celebrates its final evening Thursday, November 1, 2017 at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Soul Dance continues monthly in Santa Monica.

>> Click to register for Soul Dance Santa Monica.


Fabulous & Free: The Magic of Completion [with Video]

 
One of the most useful things I can say to you for living in this world is if you want to have greater health and more energy, move things toward completion.
— John-Roger, PAL&G Founder

Yes, I’m fabulous! And I feel freeeeee! How often do you catch yourself saying that? Even if affirmations are your strength, I mean, really, who doesn’t want more fabulousness and freedom in their lives? One of the magic keys, according to author and consultant, Martha Ringer is completion. In fact, she’s written a whole book about completing: Complete.Done.Finished. The joy of doing, the freedom when done.

Here at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) Tuesday, Oct 17, Martha Ringer and Heartfelt Foundation Director, Skyler Patton explored Reclaiming Your Energy – The Magic of Completion. Just in case you missed the event, here are a few gems from the dynamic duo:

Freedom and Completion are a Tight Couple:

  • Unburden yourself of tasks that are not in your wheelhouse.
  • Cross off crocheting that doily for your elderly aunt. Buy one and call it complete!

Listen Deeply:

  • Remember to breathe – consciously. And listen deeply.
  • Where do I go next? Seems like a simple question. In reality, many of us go to overwhelm instead of action.

Break Down Your To-Dos into Mini Tasks:

  • Instead of doing a dance of dizzy confusion, break down your to-dos into mini tasks.
  • Promise yourself (and/or a pal) to do the small action by a certain date and time.
  • Focus on the task until done. Just do it!

Keep the agreement. This is soooooo key to freedom, trusting yourself and owning your fabulousness.

Tip - An Easy But Oh, So Revealing Exercise:

  1. Write down all the incompletes in your life. Including childhood dreams, bucket list items and doing the laundry.
  2. Once you’ve got your mountain of musts and maybes on your mobile or notepad; circle the most important one. Which one calls to you?
  3. Well, done! Now identify a mini-step that you can complete right now.
  4. Take your mini-step!
  5. Next, acknowledge yourself. Celebrate!!!

Key - Acknowledgment and Appreciation:

Major keys to continue charging ahead with your to-dos are acknowledgment and appreciation. Martha revealed her sophisticated method at the event. Jumping up and down, she shouted, “Yes, I’m fabulous!” She added, “The executives I work with always look at me funny but it works.”


Learn more Practical Tools for Everyday Spirituality at our upcoming events at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens.


Labyrinth Featured in L.A. Times Article, Oct. 25, 2017

PAL&G does it's part to help the South L.A. Community

The labyrinth at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) was pictured on front page of the Los Angeles Times, October 25, as part of an article about the impact of changing jet patterns in South Los Angeles. PAL&G attended community meetings on the matter and was interviewed by the Times. 

The Journey of Dey Young’s Madame Butterfly Sculpture [with Video]

If you’ve walked the labyrinth here at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens in the last few months, you’ve been in the presence of "Madame Butterfly," a figurative sculpture that was recently donated by sculptor, Dey Young. This piece feels right at home in the gardens of the Guasti Villa (the former name of this mansion) whose architecture was inspired by Renaissance Italy and that once had a sculpture garden of its own.

Just as the marble in this mansion was imported from Italy, so was the stone for Madame Butterfly, which comes from Pietrasanta, which translates to sacred stone. It is Carrara Marble, the same marble that Michelangelo used when carving his most famous sculptures: the David & the Pietá.

Dey Young works within the line of sculptors who has sought the angel in the marble and carved to set it free.

The discovery of Madame Butterfly began in California when Dey created a maquette of the sculpture to practice her theme. She captured the female form in movement, resting between figuration and abstraction. A crescent moon, full hips and breasts, flowing draperies.

Next Dey traveled to Italy in search of the perfect block of statuary marble, the one from which Madame Butterfly would emerge. She worked with artisans for three months before returning to her studio in California where she carved and polished for another nine to complete the sculpture.

As we stand before Madame Butterfly, I picture what the initial block of marble might have looked like, 2500 pounds of solid stone, holding the angel within. It is no mistake that this process of carving marble has been used as a metaphor for spiritual awakening.

As we talk to Dey about her work, I am transported. I picture the confident touch of Dey’s hands and tools, working to free this butterfly from its chrysalis of stone.

I remember visiting Dey in her studio. Remember the rough blocks of different colored stone waiting for their turn to be carved. Some of them marked with crayon, hinting at the figure within. Heavy and peaceful, filled with potential.

I remember the peace that was present in the studio as Dey carved a figure in alabaster. With her loving attention on the stone, everything else faded into the background.

I think of Madame Butterfly’s journey. I think of her traveling from Italy to Dey’s studio in California, then to a gallery in New Mexico, and finally resting in the Gardens of Prana.

Dey shares about her journey as an artist, about the way that sculpture has been a teacher in her life. She tells us about her other teachers, John-Roger and John Morton and tears of gratitude come to her eyes.

As the sculpture has found its home, so has she.


We invite you to visit to see the sculpture for yourself. Click the button below to sign up for a tour today. In the meantime, keep seeking the angel in the stone. God bless you.


David Whitaker with Video by Lucia Doynel.

The Sound of Heavenly Music - Rx for the Stressed

Paul Kaye, President of MSIA, soundscape artist.

Paul Kaye, President of MSIA, soundscape artist.

 

Hop into a candlelit bubble bath.  
Sooth tension-weary muscles with a massage.
Stroll on the beach.
Gaze up at a night sky sparkling with stars.

All of the above works wonders. And so does meditation. Imagine soaking in sounds of serenity from faraway lands. Visualize an expert guide leading you through the chambers of your heart. Feel yourself shimmering in Light.

This is not fantasy. Paul Kaye’s Sound Bath at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens (PAL&G) embraces methods for de-stressing. You may hear instruments from the Himalayas and Japan echoing through a historic mansion. Riding atop the waves of harmony is the gentle voice of Paul. A teacher of forty years, he guides participants into a deep-dive meditation.

The event is titled "Introduction to Meditation and Sound, A Deeper Experience." However, even long time students of meditation exit the event declaring:

“For the first time in 10 weeks, I felt no pain.”

 “It took me to places that were frankly ineffable.”

“Best meditative experience this decade.  Left with a great sense of serenity, and crystal clarity.”

Falling in love and meditation are similar. Both are highly personal and individual. Yet, we all agree it can be a fabulous experience. Dating for most is about finding "the right one." It takes time. So does discovering the method(s) of meditation that work best for you. Of course (and thank God!), miracles can happen and some immediately experience their soul sing joy. Yet, like all relationships and practices, improvement is always welcome, right?

 

Experience an Introduction to Meditation and Sound, A Deeper Experience evening at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens.

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Spring Into Action - Tips for Freeing Up Energy

Getting Your Energy Loose and Free

Excerpted from the book, The Rest of Your Life, Finding Repose in the Beloved, by John-Roger with Paul Kaye 

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“I cannot emphasize enough that completing what you start is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for your health and well-being. It’s a joyful process because, as you complete, the unconscious starts clearing, your energy is returned to you, and you begin to live in the present making conscious decisions and completing them on the spot.”
— John-Roger, D.S.S. with Paul Kaye

We humans don't like to think about our incompletions. So what we have not completed gets pushed down into the unconscious realm inside of us. Although that realm doesn't see, doesn't hear, and doesn't think or feel because it is asleep, it does have information and it does pull on our energy. You can feel it when it's time to do something about an area you have been avoiding or procrastinating about. As you approach that area, you will start to get tired, achy, and sometimes you will even start nodding off. That is because you are in the area that is sleeping.

This is the time for you to stay present and awake, for this is where you have been avoiding living. You have found the area inside of you that is unconscious, that's not aware, that's sleeping, and that has a large amount of your energy locked into it. Imagine getting that energy loose and free.

You can free that energy in this moment, by moving your body into action and starting the process of completing. As you start to do this, you will feel the energy coming loose and free inside of you, and you may find that all sorts of aches and pains will release.

This is a healing action, not necessarily healing in terms of disease, but certainly healing in terms of completing your life patterns and your goals. It's so extremely important because as an area inside of you that was asleep awakens, your energy stops leaking away into it and becomes immediately available to you as a conscious, awake person.


Reclaiming Your Energy--the Magic of Completion workshop was held October 17, facilitated by Martha Ringer, DSS, Productivity Expert, and author of Complete.Done.Finished. The Joy of Doing, The Magic of Completion. She may offer this workshop at a future time. 

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What does completion mean to you?

Coffee Break? Or Meditation?

Coffee Break

Slow down…

Everything you are chasing will come around

And catch you.

~John De Paola
1

That second cup of coffee calls. I take an extra gulp of fresh air instead. Amazing how breathing can bring balance. We’ve all heard the statistics about meditation, right?

Meditation:

  • Reduces stress
  • Increases acceptance
  • Slows the aging process (Yes, please!)

Hitting the snooze button on our goals seems so counter-intuitive. Yet, the sacred moments taken to listen to our hearts pays off. The mind clears. Inspiration increases. The monkey mind stops chattering. All right, not completely sometimes. But meditation – concentrating on the breath – allows in an intention for peace. And miracles! Countless are the times, a divine idea warrior has vanquished the worrywart in my mind when I surrendered to meditation.

Practice, practice, practice may get you into Carnegie Hall. Repeating mantras like Ani-Hu2 may, however, get you into Heaven! As a beginner, sitting for 15 minutes was excruciating. (Bravo if you are a longtime meditation student and this was not your experience. Maybe you’re a saint.) Meditation is a lifeline to sanity.

Nature is another soother of frayed nerves. Studies at University of Michigan found a stroll with Mother Nature improves short-term memory. Japanese scientists discovered that forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) brings stress levels down and boosts the immune system.

Angelenos may not always have the luxury to run away to Walden Pond (like Henry David Thoreau.) A mini escape is possible. In the heart of the City of Angels, we have Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Fountains sing serenity, butterflies kiss flowers in towering bamboo groves. On Tuesday evenings, the Italian Renaissance Villa on the property plays host to events such as an Introduction to Sound & Meditation and  Sacred Mysteries of the Labyrinth.

Put the coffee down. Give yourself a real break.
 


References

1.      John-Roger, D.S.S., Kaye, Paul, D.S.S. (2010) Living the Spiritual Principles of Health and Well-Being, Los Angeles, CA, Mandeville Press

2.      Ani is a tone of empathy. Hu is the ancient Sanskrit name for God.

 

Sources:

Huffington Post

8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life

Quartz Media LLC

The Japanese Practice of “Forest Bathing” is Scientifically Proven to Improve Your Health

Business Insider

11 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outdoors

Celebrating the U.N. International Day of Peace

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What Does Peace Mean To You?

#PeaceDay #JoinTogether #PeaceLabyrinth

 

September 21 is the U.N. International Day of Peace. Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens, together with the Institute for Individual and World Peace took part in celebrating and honoring this day with several events.

We started with a Peace Concert, listening to the exquisite, healing music of Merrill Collins, global peace song finalist. Her music swept us away with her beautiful, healing sounds. What a perfect way to help put our bodies, minds, emotions, and our spirit into peace.

We followed with an Acceptance and Peace Seminar. Many say the way to world peace is through individual peace. Using this principle, we came together to explore how to come to greater inner peace by simply accepting what is.

Lastly, we moved forward into celebration and action with a Peace Day Open House. 

We celebrated by sharing refreshments, music, taking fun "selfies," and with getting to know new people. We shared our love, togetherness, oneness, and our common purpose of wanting to create a better world internally and externally for ourselves, others, our planet.

We moved into action by placing our peace intentions and "blessings" at the Labyrinth, the Peace Pole, the Peace Tree. Many shared their photos on their social sites - spreading peace intentions into the world. 

At 12 noon we participated in the U.N. Global Minute of Peace/Moment of Silence. Paul Kaye, President of MSIA and Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens, led these moments as we all circled around the labyrinth. He spoke a bit about what is peace and what we can do to create peace. 

Lastly, we took it inward again, to what many call our "Source" by attending Peace Sound Meditations led by Paul Kaye. Paul sounded chimes, singing bowls and meditative instruments, and played guided meditations by John-Roger. These meditations assist us to attune more deeply to where many believe it all begins, within. As someone said, "Peace begins with you."

Some ways to create peace

Paul Kaye mentioned some points for how to create peace. 

  • Peace is present. 
  • Peace is an inner process. 
  • Peace is the cessation of againstness.
  • Peace is a choice regardless of circumstances.

 

Listen to Paul's Global Minute of Peace Address

 

 

What does peace mean to you? 

 

#KeepPeaceAlive #PeaceEveryday #SpreadPeace

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