Nov 16, 2009
Nov 16, 2009
Nov 14, 2009
Here is a tiny post to acknowledge the fact that it has been way to long since I posted any images in the “art” section. Please stay tuned. I appreciate your patience!
Nov 9, 2009
I receive the e-mail newsletters from a Zen center in New Mexico called Upaya.
I first heard of the Upaya Zen Center a few years ago when I went on an amazing retreat here in the Twin Cities on care for the dying.
Upaya sent this passage today and I’d like to share with you:
To meet suffering and bear witness to it without collapsing or withdrawing into alienation, first we must stabilize the mind and make friends with it. Next, we open the mind to life—the whole of life, within and around us, seeing it clearly and unconditionally from that stable inner base. And then we fearlessly open our hearts to the world, welcoming it inside no matter how wretched or full of pain it might be. I’ve come to call this the “threefold transparency”—us being transparent to ourselves, the world’s being transparent to us, and us being transparent to the world. Roshi Joan Halifax
Nov 8, 2009
(sign up to get julie and/or chakra khan’s e-news here)
I hope you are all well as the winds of Fall blow in. I have some news, recipes, and a contest to share with you below.
You can always keep up with my latest thoughts, activities and tips at juliekesti.com.
JULIE’S ART & CK HOLIDAY SALE~ Jess and I will be hosting a fabulous holiday gift sale at Chakra Khan on Saturday, December 19th in the afternoon…stay tuned for more details. It will be festive and fun. It also will double as the reception for my new body of small gouache paintings of god’s eyes, third eyes and evil eyes~they are small paintings that burst with color–I hope you can come check them out and visit with me! Down the hall at the Vine Arts Center they’ll have great artsy gifts for sale, too. What a day!
RETREATS~ My friend Sarina Lamarche, Life Coach, and I are creating a series of seasonal day-long retreats that will begin this winter. One for each season–reflect, vision, and move towards your most creative and empowered life! Stay tuned to juliekesti.com for details.
REIKI~ I attended Reiki Level 1 again in September, and went on to Level 2 in October. We learned some crazy things like using a pendulum to see if your chakras are spinning freely or not, using a singing bowl on the body, and incorporating essential oils. I’m still in the learning phase with it all, so if you’d like to come in and try it out, mention this note for a $25 session (about an hour). Get the run-down on what this Reiki business is here. (it’s pronounced “ray-key”)
Don’t know about WALK IN first WEDNESDAYS yet? Read here
I am often having to answer the question “How is Shiatsu different from Massage?” I have my own lines I often use, but I would be curious to hear it from your perspective. So…I introduce the WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? CONTEST!
Email me your 4-8 sentence answer to this question. The first four people to submit an answer get $10 off a session. The BEST answer gets a FREE Shiatsu! May the best client win!
If you belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share like I do, you probably have a whole community of squash living in your kitchen right now. Don’t let them intimidate you! I want to help you (and me) embrace the squash, so I am sharing this super-simple, yummy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.
Now when I say, “super-simple” that applies to everything except peeling the darn squash! So maybe you want to read this link first. Be careful with your knife!
And…if you also have a legion of sweet potatoes in your pantry, and want to try something fancy, try THIS~ and tell me how it goes. I hope to attempt it soon! It’s good to accept a challenge from Martha now and then.
I just finished a wonderful weekend of Thai Massage training, which we were happy to host at Chakra Khan. It was really great–much of it was review of what I’ve already learned, but it was great to go through the beginning steps again, remember little pieces that had slipped away from the front of my consciousness, and give and receive work for two full days. And once again I realized how much I enjoy Thai Massage–it is such great work. It’s truly enjoyable to keep exploring the dance of this practice. The plan is for Ariela to return to Minnesota this winter, and continue the journey…I can’t wait!
Oct 25, 2009
Well, I felt a little bummed this morning realizing I missed seeing Prince at Paisley Park last night, but I redeemed my mood when I went to my 6th and final class of this week’s “Kundalini Challenge!”
It was funny, because before I started the “challenge,” someone said to me, “oooh, your arms are going to hurt from all the arm waving exercises!” All week I thought, “oh, that wasn’t so bad, not too many arm exercises.” Of course I spoke too soon, and we made up for it today. Little did I know, you can really work up a sweat just sitting cross-legged and waving your arms around…
To sum up the week, I really liked the classes. There’s something about the combination of activities that I find both intriguing and also simply enjoyable. Sometimes you chant, sometimes you sing, sometimes you dance, sometimes you roll like a bundle of logs across the floor….it’s different every time and that is appealing to my Saggitarian nature. :)
In addition to physical benefits–stretching, strength building, better posture–I also had emotional benefits. Which is true with almost any yoga, but this style is fascinating in that they really approach it a “science” of exploring how the human being works, so the exercises have very specific purposes to help you learn more about how being a human works. It’s odd, and I don’t totally understand it yet..but that makes me curious!
There is a strong connecting of the physical sensations to an emotional metaphor. (Like if you can keep up with the arm waving, you can keep up with more important challenges, too. . .) Sometimes the exercises even connects well with Chinese Medicine–where the meridians lie, and their characteristics.
One exercise we did today was said to be great for releasing old grief, andstimulating immunity. (Oh I know the immune-boosting stuff is all over the news right now…) But the movement goes across some great Lung and Conception Vessel points from a TCM standpoint–both great for keeping healthy, energized, and for dealing with any latent sadness/grief. (and fall is the time of re-experiencing old grief from a TCM standpoint).
I’ll try to explain the exercise. Sit comfortably, either cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Make a fist with each hand, thumbs on the outside. Raise your elbows and hold your hands with your thumb knuckles pointed towards you. Then proceed to “drum” across your chest–left to right and back and forth. Do this for a few minutes–music is a great help. Breathe deeply and imagine any thing that comes up drifting away and evaporating. Helena said that you may not re-experience the old emotions, but they will just drift off on their own. Hm..interesting. If you do try this out, I’d be curious to hear what you think of it!
At the end of class, when my arms were like rubber noodles, we did a lovely bowing exercise. Kneeling, we bowed down and up, down and up, inhaling and exhaling. When we inhaled we said a wish/prayer/intention for ourselves, and when we exhaled we thought of something we are grateful for. (or I may be remembering that reverse). I took the opportunity to do a bow of thanks for everyone in my family, as the practice today brought many of them to mind. So with each bow I thought a different person~~
Mom, Dad, Ann, Dennis, Joshua, Mike, Jennifer, Matthew, Nathan, Scott, Kaara, Luna, Benson, Greg, Kim, Stephen, Olivia, Sean, Mike, Julie, Daniel, Kaija, Millie, Jack, Sue.
And the in-between bows I said thank you, for having all these people in my life to teach me about life.
My arms will be sore tomorrow I suspect, but I feel really grateful for having realized the Center for Happiness is just across the river, and taking a week to try it out. I hope you find something new this week that intrigues you and brings you insight and grace. Oh–and some laughter–another thing I like about Kundalini Yoga is that some of it is just plain silly!
Oct 22, 2009
Don’t worry, Kundalini week is still on…I just have been spending all my spare time at class so I haven’t had much time to type about it!
Some brief snippets:
* Wednesday night we did an exercise where we pretended to “pet a cloud” to increase our angelic natures~can you tell? ;)
* Did I tell you yet about the one where you stand, lean back, then proceed to lower yourself to sitting cross-legged on the floor, then up again withOUT using your hands? Again and again. Uff-da!
* Each class ends with singing a song called Long Time Sun. It repeats three times: Once for yourself, once for a friend, and once for everyone. That’s nice!
May the longtime sun shine upon you/
All love surround you/
And the pure, pure light that’s within you/
Guide your way home
* Today the teacher talked a little about the book that is read aloud all day, every day at the Golden Temple, the final Guru of the Sikhs. Read my old, old post from when I was lucky enough to visit the Golden Temple here.
* I’m really enjoying it! Only two days left, boo hoo!
(that’s sort of a fake boo-hoo, because of course I can keep going–but the challenge has been fun!)