Svaha S.S ~ What is Nirvana?

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IMG_0066Enlightened Monk Thich Nhat Hanh gives his insight on Nirvana ~ ‘the cessation of all suffering, the removal of wrong perceptions. Wrong perceptions is the cause of fear, violence and hatred. Removal of wrong perceptions is the only way to peace.

Nirvana is the removal of ideas that serve the base of misunderstanding and suffering.

We fear death because of our perception of it. There is no death there is no birth. We can not become nothing, there is a transformation and continuation…we do not die, we continue.

Non-fear is the true foundation of great happiness.

Nirvana is the capacity of removing wrong notions, wrong perceptions which is the practise of freedom. Nirvana can be translated as freedom, freedom from views. In Buddhism all views are wrong views. When you get in touch with reality you no longer have views you have wisdom you have a direct encounter with reality and that is no longer called views.’

Svaha ~

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Spiritual Journey~

TracyIf you decided to go on a “Spiritual Journey” where would you go and what would you do?


“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
Caroline Adams

Spirituality has long been associated with religion, deities, the supernatural, and an afterlife.  Many equate spirituality with religion, but the two are separate entities, religion being one way man experiences spirituality.  Spirituality may include introspection, and the development of an individuals inner life through practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation.

Spiritual Journey’s can change and enrich your life.  Whether you ride your motorcycle down to Monument Valley or Hike in the Himalayan Mountains a spiritual journey is a very personal exploration of ones self.  We usually embark on such quests when we are aware that our spirituality need attention.  It can be described as an “Aha Moment” even.  It’s when you venture out of your comfort zone and look inward for answers to questions we all have.  “What is my purpose or path in life?”

If I were to go on a ‘Spiritual Journey’ I would pick one of two.  I would love to spend time with Buddhist Monks to learn about Meditation, Intention and Karma and I would also like to learn about Kabbalah. I have always believed that meditation is a huge part of being spiritual and can calm our souls and shed light on issues we all have.  Meditation means awareness.  “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation.   As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.  Meditation is not a technique but a way of life.  Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’.  By meditating you are able to let go of your physical self and get in tune with your metaphysical side.  That is the Spiritual Journey I would like to embark on!

Post Insert Jacquie When I was in my twenties I had small kids that needed to be taken care of and the journey I was on was one of survival.  Mine and theirs.  I believed it was my sacred duty to make sure these young souls felt safe, secure and loved.  Now that I’m no longer necessary in quite the same way, I’ve felt the need to find other  ways to feel complete.  I’ve decided for me that means reaching beyond my comfort zone, past established boundaries and out into the community I share with my global neighbours.

I could answer this question metaphysically, but what I really think Tracy is asking in this post is for a literal description of where I want my spiritual journey to begin, or take shape.  I’ve actually been looking into a place in the Kootenays, about 9 hours from Vancouver near Nelson, BC, called Yasodhara Ashram.  I’ve never been anywhere near this area but I’ve heard of it’s natural beauty and peaceful majesty.  Yasodhara offers yoga, meditation and spiritual guidance for beginners like me all the way up to advanced practitioners.  I would love to spend a week or two by myself totally immersed in the everyday Ashram comings and goings and at the complete mercy of the program.  I would arrive with an open mind and heart and actively seek enlightenment or whatever came my way.   My spiritual journey is about enriching my life with experience and knowledge and I know a stay at the Ashram will only begin to heighten my awareness of all the work I have yet to do, but it’s a good start.   Think of it like an all-inclusive for the spiritual cherry-picker.  It may take several pilgrimages to find what works for you, but each attempt brings you closer to your goal.  Keeping an open mind is key.

Bonnie Johnson's Post

There are many places in the world that are considered “holy” or “spiritual” places to visit.  Places like Jerusalem, Tibet, Machu Picchu, etc.  Eckhart Tolle, who wrote “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” has said he felt that the west coast of North America and specifically around Vancouver, BC had a strong positive energy which he was drawn to in order to write about his own spiritual journey.  I don’t doubt this.  I have been in different places in the world that seem to awaken something deep within me.  But a true spiritual journey is really about going within your Self.  I don’t think it matters as much about the ground beneath your feet as it does about the degree in which you can tune in to your Source (God/Spirit/Universe/insert whichever label you are comfortable with).

I believe a true spiritual journey is one that inspires you to connect with your own spirit.  I have felt that way when sitting on a flat rock beside a babbling creek in North Vancouver, while floating in a canoe in an underground river deep inside a cave in New Zealand, while looking out at the ocean on a beach in Australia, while exploring our beautiful British Columbian outdoors, and even while watching a spider working on its web in my own yard.  If a place inspires and stirs your soul then it is worth a journey to.  It may be its beauty, its energy or simply a memory it stirs up for you.  Wherever that is for you I hope you are able to go there often.

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Here’s One Thing You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Bonnie Johnson's Post

Bonnie’s Take~

Apparently my partners are struggling to come up with something to write for this post.  I, on the other hand, have a number of options to go with.  Hmmm.  I wonder what that says about me.

I’ve decided to share my fire walking experience.  Yes, that’s right, I am one of those freaks who willingly walked on white hot coals for about 20 feet.  Why would anyone even want to do that you ask?  It began for me when I decided to enter a martial arts contest and I really wanted to win.  I was training with a variety of people for this particular bout.  One of the guys I trained with told me that if I went to the “fire walking” course and successfully walked on the hot coals I would be guaranteed to win my bout.  He said that once you have accomplished that feat there is nothing you feel you cannot do.  It’s a huge boost to your confidence.

I was just fascinated by the thought of learning to control my mind to the point that I could actually be able to have my physical body perform this amazing act.  I signed up for the full day course.  It was many years ago now but I remember that I enjoyed the experience immensely.  Looking back on my notes I wrote 3 things that I hoped to accomplish that day:   1.  Build confidence   2.  Overcome Fears   3.  Become the Best I Can Be In Any Endeavor.   I also see in my notes that it was important to me to prove to my young son that anyone can accomplish whatever they put their mind to.

I remember the main focus of the day was to obtain a peak state of energy.  I did, and at the end of the course the coals were white hot and waiting for us to prove we could “walk the walk”.  When it was my turn to step on to the coals I hesitated with doubt for a moment.  My mind was screaming “are you crazy!?”  So I jumped off.  Disappointed that I had failed I suddenly thought “NO! You can do this!”  I stepped back on with determination like I’d never known before and slowly walked the entire 20 feet.  When it was over I put my socks and shoes back on without looking at the soles of my feet.  I drove the 2 hour long drive home wondering if I had actually really done this crazy act.  Were my soles burnt and blistered?  When I got home I gingerly took off my shoes and socks and examined my feet.  Not a blister, not a mark.  I had done it!  I felt like I was invincible.  A few days later I had my martial arts contest and won my division.  The power of the mind is an amazing thing.

TracyTracy’s Two Cents~

I have to admit this topic was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Although I am a very private person when it comes to how I spend my time, I think I am also a very open person when it comes to sharing my life through thought and opinion especially now with Tara Cronica.

The one subject that I have yet to address is my religious beliefs.  I think this is one of the very few things people don’t know about me.  I would describe myself as a very Spiritual person.  I find interesting aspects of many different religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, African Traditional Religion, Wiccan Beliefs to name a few.  I believe in life after death, reincarnation.  I believe in Karma.  I believe we all come from an energy source.  We all have a destiny or life path that we follow to learn the lessons that we as individual souls need to learn in our time here on earth.  I believe we meet for a reason.

Religion is such a wide topic to cover which is why I have yet to explore it here on Tara Cronica.  I try to live by ‘The Golden Rule’  “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them  Do Unto You”.  But I am far from perfect.  It’s pretty basic really.  I believe it doesn’t matter what religion you follow, whether it be one or many, but that you are living your life authentically being aware of others and being true to self.  I look forward to writing a more in depth post of what I specifically like about different religions or religious beliefs that I personally find interesting.   Great topic Bonnie it really got my mind thinking.  How about you Jake?

post-pic-4-11Jacquie’s response~

In 1981 I auditioned for my first ever film role and landed it after about 5 call backs.   I eventually turned the part down because it called for a little bit of nudity and at 16 I was slightly uncomfortable with that.  The movie starred Diane Lane and the Sex Pistols as well as a very young Laura Dern.  It was released on the indie and festival circuit as Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains and has enjoyed a cult following ever since, I’ve been told.  Could’ve been my big break.  Apparently Daryl Hannah was originally offered my role but she turned it down as well, so I’m in good company.

I watched it for the first time last night on some cable channel and I also TiVoed it in case one of my kids is interested to see what their mom might have been if she’d had the guts to pursue her dreams instead of worrying what the rest of the world would think.   I have to laugh it’s so bad!  Courtney Love bad!  Train wreck bad.  So bad it’s good… in an ‘I’m-having-a-mid-life-crisis-why-can’t-I-turn-back-the-hands-of-time’ kinda way.   If I had a do-over I’d take it.  And now you know…

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