Monday, October 31, 2011

Spider Woman

On this Halloween day, I share this Native American myth of Spider Woman - a goddess or deity. This beautiful meditation from Madonna Gauding's, The Meditation Bible, introduces you to the power of myth to invoke spiritual understanding of our interconnectedness.

Long before the universe existed, lonely Spider Woman sat down to think. Suddenly she had an idea. She was the weaver, so she set up her loom and began to weave. As she wove, a star appeared each time one thread crossed another. Before long she had woven thousands of stars. Each one was tied to every other one in the web. She stopped and looked at it, but it was not quite what she wanted.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

F.E.A.R.

Halloween is tomorrow and the ghosts and goblins, scary faces and skeleton bones are just waiting for their chance to come out! Sometimes it's fun to be scared and feel a little fear; to watch a scary movie with your BFF or do something daring for the thrill or shear terror of it! Fear serves a valuable purpose. Without it, we wouldn't know safety. But fear can keep us confined to our safety net and prevent us from branching out and growing. How nice it would be if we could turn it on or off at will like a faucet!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Gift For You


I am always striving to improve the quality and breadth of what I design and offer in my art. There are lots of choices out there and I want to keep my current customers coming back and referring others, as well as growing my business by attracting new customers.

I would love, love, love your support by filling out this brief survey. It's 100% anonymous, so be honest! We're all busy, but hopefully you have connected with what I do for a reason and will find two minutes to help me gather important information about what people like or don't like when buying jewelry and accessories.

When you have completed the short survey, you will receive a super, duper, secret code for 15% off your next online purchase! Just in time for the holidays...We both win!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Greet Your Day

Did you know that most contemplative monks and nuns, Catholic and Buddhist, begin their day around 3 or 4 a.m.? They greet the light with prayer and meditation. Native Americans of the Lakota tribe greet the sun rising as the manifestation of Wakan Tanka, the equivalent of God in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Your daily ritual may involve getting up to an alarm, rushing to shower, dress, eat, and then dashing to work. For a change, set your alarm early and begin your day with the sunrise -- Mother Nature's daily expression of hope;

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Meditations: Do The Dishes


Wait - don't X-out of this yet! This one could be just for you. And your significant other. And your mom, your dad, your best friend, and ESPECIALLY for the guy that's teetering on the brink of road rage because he can't accept the moment he is in.

This Monday Meditation is called "Do The Dishes". Yes, you heard me right. Doing the dishes (or any household chore or mundane activity) can actually be done as a form of meditation. As long as you do it with awareness and attention!

In the Zen tradition, one is encouraged to perform every action with total, one-pointed mindfulness. I once read that when Deva Premal (if you don't know this spiritual musical artist - check her out - especially her Love is Space album) was a young girl, she would repeat to herself whatever she was doing at any specific time to help her stay in the moment. So imagine, when she was setting the table her mind might sound something like this: "I am walking on the cold floor with the basket of bread. I am putting the bread on the dark wood table. I am looking at how many forks are on the table. I need another fork. I am walking to the kitchen to get another fork..." and so on.

By getting in the habit of doing this, you make it very difficult for other distracting thoughts to keep you off track -- thoughts that create worry of something to come, or thoughts of regret for something that happened in the past.

Practice

The next time you have a meal to clean up try this:
1) As it may be easier to accomplish this meditation if alone, send anyone else out of the kitchen (they'll be thrilled!).

2) Pick up your first dish and begin washing it. Focus exclusively on the dish and the sink. If thoughts intervene, return your focus to what you are doing. When the dish is clean, slowly and mindfully place it in the rack. Pick up your next dish and continue in the same manner.

3) Your mind may stray but try to stay in the present moment and the task at hand. Notice the movement of the water, the soap suds and the comforting warmth of the water on your hands as you rinse a plate. Notice the dishes, the glasses, and pots. Approach the experience as if it is the very first time you have ever washed the dishes.

4) Even though it will take much longer than usual, wash every item in this manner. Although exaggerated, try to bring this level of awareness and deliberate attention to more and more of what you do throughout the day. Keep your mind present and engaged.

For me, I know this will be challenging. I typically look at meal cleanup as something I want to get over with as quickly as possible so I can get to my other priorities such as helping my kids with homework or relaxing with my husband.

Maybe I'll begin practicing this meditation with the breakfast and lunch dishes. Once I get that mastered, I'll move on to the dinner dishes!

Happy (or should I say, "Mindful") Cleaning!

This meditation was adapted from The Meditation Bible by Madonna Gauding.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Art Glass Patio Sale at Balboa Park



Come see Cocoon's new home accessories and jewelry this weekend at the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. The Art Glass Guild's is having it's annual Fall patio sale from 10-5 Saturday and Sunday.

Jewelry, vases, accessories and more created in the medium of glass using various processes such as blowing, flame-working, fusing, stained and mosaic glasswork. Come take a look at the amazing talent in our area and get some of your holiday shopping done early!

See you there!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Meditations: Flower Power



This week’s Monday Meditation is about Flower Power!

Flowers are exquisitely alluring and a potent source of inspiration. Their fragile beauty captivates our imagination, and their very presence uplifts and heals. A single rose, an iris, an orchid or lily - all bring to mind a fantastic, almost shocking splendor.

Concentrating on a flower as a form of meditation can elevate your spirits and soothe your soul. A single flower can provide focus for our attention while energizing and calming our stressed-out bodies and minds.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mandala Meditation

This week's Monday Meditation involves coloring a mandala while visualizing what you'd like to manifest in your life.
Closely associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, a mandala (Sanskrit for "circle" or "completion") is typically a two dimensional painting or drawing of a three dimensional sacred space. It is usually circular and ranges in intricacy from a very simple design made for children, to an incredibly elaborate design that can take hours to complete.
(Personally, I am really looking forward to practicing this meditation and reverting back to being a little girl when I could become totally immersed and present while coloring.)
How can a Mandala help?
People utilize mandalas for many reasons. Most commonly they are used as meditational aids and in ceremonies of peace. But even psychotherapists are using them to help their patients (including children) resolve problematic emotional states and gain insight into hidden problems. Other opportunities to create or use a mandala include:
- to aid in prayer
- to help focus

- for spiritual and emotional healing

- for relaxation

- for awakening

- for personal growth


The Sand Mandala
The sand mandala is an ancient art form that is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. The artwork is made by placing fine sand, which is ground and dyed by hand, into an intricate design of the world in its divine form. It is intended to serve as a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind. One of the most interesting aspects of Tibetan sand mandalas is that the diagram is meant to be impermanent. After days or weeks of painstakingly creating the intricate pattern in sand used in a peace ceremony, the sand mandala is swept up and spread into a nearby body of water as a blessing. Many people find the dismantling and scattering of the sand to be the most moving part of the ritual.
Time to Practice Your Mandala Meditation
There are many types of mandala meditations you can try. The one I selected, Manifesting What You Desire, is just one of many from One Million Mandalas by Madonna Gauding. Take your parent and/or adult hat off and let that little kid in you come out for a bit.
1) Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and try to clear your mind of any thoughts. Simply concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes.
2) Open your eyes and select a pre-drawn mandala that feels right for you and what you would like to manifest in your life. You may print this mandala to the left, or do an online search for a printable mandala that appeals to you. You can even create your own mandala.
3) Begin to color your chosen mandala with colored pencils, or any other traditional media. Start at the outer ring and work your way to the center. Choose colors that you feel drawn to in thinking about what you desire.
4) As you color your mandala, visualize what you would like to manifest -- perhaps a job, a relationship, a house, a more mindful parenting style, or something as simple as a new pair of shoes. Feel what it would be like to have what you desire, and imagine it in as much detail as you can.
5) Depending on how intricate the mandala selected is, you may not finish coloring it in one sitting. That's ok, you can return to it as often as you need to, practicing visualizing while coloring it. Once finished, place your mandala where you can see it on a daily basis until you manifest what you desire.
Make sure to let me know how it goes for you if decide to try it. Have fun with it!