Welcome to Cosmic Vibes!

THIS MONTH:

Big planetary shifts in Vedic Astrology

Find out why The Gong is so addictive

The power of commitment in Kundalini Yoga

Peace Out – September 18th!

Mars leaves Saturn & Venus enters Libra

September brings peace and harmony to the cosmos with the entry of Venus into its Vedic sign of Libra on the 18th. After its previous sojourn in its debilitated sign of Virgo, Venus in Libra means that relationships take a turn for the better for everyone, and those with Taurus or Libra in their charts can get their mojo back in motion and experience improved health and energy.

The 3 to 4 weeks after September 18th bring an increased appreciation to all things beautiful and balanced, and favor all artistic and creative pursuits, as well as healing any relationship difficulties by understanding the value of reciprocal compromise. Make peace and love!

And speaking of peace, on the same day (September 18th), Mars finally ends its bad boy association with Saturn in Scorpio and moves into the Vedic sign of Sagittarius, favoring spiritual practices and re-igniting your yoga practice.

This ending of the Scorpionic dance between Saturn and Mars should open up the possibilities for forgiveness and healing and a lessening of violent emotional outbreaks. Mars (as do all planets) behaves well in the philosophical sign of Sagittarius, and with the peaceful presence of Venus in Libra starting on the same day, it looks like a great change of season is in the works with the Fall equinox.

Only Three More Weeks, Mr. Mercury

Mercury retrograde until September 22nd

With all the peace and love tidings this month, Mercury is going to remind you that don’t take anything for granted. It began its third retrograde this year at the very end of August, and it’s going to feel like things are going backwards until September 22nd.

If you are looking for a silver lining in this cloud of Mercury retrograde, take heart that it is occurring in the Vedic sign of Virgo, the best sign for Mercury to be in. Yet I am betting that one thing that happens now is the incessant re-working of details and neurotic over-analyzing of every decision. But, hey, I could be wrong.

If it does seems like Mercury is always messing with you more, we do actually have the rare privilege(!) of four Mercury retrograde periods this year (each one last about 3 weeks) so for 2016 it is like 25% of our life is spent losing our phone, locking our keys in our cars, and crashing our computer software (to say nothing about being able to say anything right the first time).

And you can’t even escape it by going on a trip (unless you made your trip plans before it went retrograde).

I think it’s time to go back and work on your unfinished projects, re-read a good book, clean out your closet, and just plan to leave your house 5 minutes early so you’ll have time to go back inside and get what you will likely forget.

Coming Next Month: Venus Meets Saturn in Scorpio!
Better take a passion pill.

Are You a Gong Head?

No doubt about it – the sound of the Gong is addictive.

There used to be a time many years ago when I did not play the Gong at the end of every Kundalini Yoga class I taught.  I thought it might be a good idea not to get everyone all strung out and dependent on a gong relaxation.  So every now and then I would play some music and mantra and chill instead.

And then I noticed people were twitching, peeking at me during relaxation to see if I might pick up a mallet and then giving me a thumbs up when I turned the music off and struck the gong.

“Man, I am just so only here for the gong,” a rather aromatic student told me one night after my yoga class. But I took his comment well, because after all sometimes I am only here for the gong too.

What is it about the gong that makes people want more and more?

The obvious reason is that the sound of the gong produces a spontaneous state of meditation and integration that only requires you to relax and listen.

The healing power of this spontaneous state of meditation became clear to me when I began to explore using the Gong therapeutically for individual students.

By using the basic techniques of yoga (mudras, guided meditation, postures and breath) with the sound of one or more gongs positioned in close proximity to an individual client, profound healing began to occur.

Over the years, I noticed what techniques were effective and how to create a personalized gong therapy session to address specific health conditions and life challenges. From these experiences, I wrote my latest book, Gong Therapy: Sound Healing and Yoga that I have used internationally in gong therapy training courses.

My next Gong Therapy training is this November in beautiful Austin, Texas, the home of many happy Gong Heads. Grab a mallet and come on in!

First Step to Happiness: Commitment

For any type of yoga, the most important indicator of success is the ability to commit to a daily practice. In Kundalini Yoga teacher training, we learn that in life, the first step to happiness is commitment.

With commitment, all things are possible. Without it, nothing is possible. My teacher Yogi Bhajan said it simply: “Life without commitment is like a flower without fragrance. Life without commitment is like a moon without light.”

Even the word “commitment” is revealing. It comes from the Latin “com” and “mittere” which literally means, “to put together”.  When you have commitment, you put it all together.

So if commitment is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The fear to commit comes from the mistaken belief that when we commit we lose our ability to choose something better.

In reality, until we commit we have chosen nothing and we have nothing.  Non-commitment preserves only the illusion of choice without any reward.

From the very beginnings of yoga, the ability to commit was paramount to success.  In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali of nearly 2000 years ago, it was written:

“This practice of Yoga is built, with devotion and commitment, over a lengthy time period.” (I, 14)

The good news is that you can achieve commitment in your yoga practice on the very first day you decide to do it. And when you do commit, you feel a sense of both relief and happiness.

So what are the requirements to have a committed yoga practice, or a committed relationship or a committed “anything” in your life?

The Yoga Sutras outline five personal commitments that are necessary to achieve success and mastery in yoga or in any endeavor:

  • Shraddha – Trust and confidence

  • Virya –  Energy and willpower

  • Smriti – Intention and mindfulness

  • Samadhi – Oneness and absorption

  • Prajna – Wisdom and discernment

Shraddha is a trust in yourself that you are moving in the right direction. It is a feeling of confidence in your intuition to guide you.

Virya is the positive energy that comes from exercising your  willpower. When you make the choice to move forward on your path, virya is the conviction that brings the power and strength to your commitment.

Smriti is maintaining a constant state of mindfulness about your choice and commitment. As you walk the path, it is holding on to your original intention behind your commitment, being a witness to your progress and mindful of the process.

Samadhi is remembering the Oneness behind your commitment and being absorbed in that union. It is allowing the commitment and the committer to become one and the same. The commitment then ceases being something you trying to do and becomes who you are.

Prajna is the wisdom of your Higher Self that comes from discrimination, meditation and self-study. The more you understand the nature of your own self, the easier it is to hold to your commitment.

Remember that mastery and commitment begin in steps. The steps can be small and modest at first.

The only requirement is that you remain absolutely consistent and constant in your commitment, regardless of the step you take. If you commit to doing yoga twice a week, it is always twice a week.

Realize that life will always challenge you whenever you make a commitment. Without a test, the commitment cannot become strong.

Watch when your commitment is challenged. It will tell you a lot about yourself and the ways you self-sabotage. Sick? Too busy? No money? Not in love anymore? Who cares?

In the face of commitment, all excuses are self-abuses.

Compared to many things in life, a yoga practice is an easy commitment. Its rewards are immediate, rich and continuous.

Whether you chose to commit to a daily personal practice of the great journey of Kundalini Yoga teacher training, remember that commitment is the first step to happiness.

“In every life you are meant to commit. That is why the word is commit-meant.” – Yogi Bhajan