Believing What You Think

Byron Katie once said, “All fear is about believing what you think.”  My experience tells me she is right.   And so, this piece of wisdom  has become part of the Guidance Cards in Happily Ever Now, a unique and powerful course I teach a few times a year.

flat,550x550,075,fJust a short time ago, I had a dream that typifies this idea.  In the dream I was sleeping peacefully on a bed outside.  It was snowing.  The feeling was peaceful, as though there was nothing unusual about sleeping outside on a bed in the snow.  In revisiting the dream, there was a sense that I created the scenario, as though on some level I knew it was a dream.  So I could relax and enjoy the feeling of it.

Next in the dream, some hikers came along who were walking on a trail that meandered right by my bed.  All bundled up and booted, they were astonished that I had slept in a bed outside in the snow. In a wink of an eye, my peaceful feeling vanished.  Gone was the understanding that the scenario was self-created…that all was as it should be. Instead I  began to believe their perspective, and with a bit of panic, agreed that this was not only strange, but possibly dangerous since I was wearing only pajamas.

I woke with a start, and had the immediate realization that the dream creation posed an  interesting idea to ponder:

All players in the dream were different perspectives of myself.  I was the innocent one enjoying the feeling and wonder of the scenario.  I was the “nay-sayers”, pointing out the illogic and the danger.  And I was the one who forgot that I created the dream, and began believing what I thought!


imagesWould love to open a discussion here:

What experience have you had that is similar to this?  Whether it is prompted from a dream state, or  a thought you catch in your day to day life–what insights and realizations have come to you in this state of awareness?

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The Bluebird Story Comes to Life

fledgling1As some of you know, Checka Antifonario and I have made two albums* of guided meditations/relaxations for kids of all ages (including adult ones!).  One that Checka wrote, which is on Rainbow Walk  is the Bluebird story.  In the story, the child finds a baby bluebird who has fallen out of its nest.  With care, love, and patience the child is guided to provide a piece of bark and wait.  The baby bird finally hops on and as the child is guided to be “your most gentle self”, the bird is lifted back to the nest.

This morning I had a similar experience.  My dog, Zeus, was focused on the 4 ft-deep window well that provides light for the back basement room of our retreat in the country.  Peering in, I saw a fledgling desperate skirting the edges of the well, circling round and round while its parent’s call could be heard in the trees above.  When I first walked out this morning, I noted that the bird’s music was louder than usual, and how lovely it was to hear their songs.  Having seen the predicament the fledgling was in, I now understood that the loudest and most persistent birdsong was from the parent; a song of emergency, of watchfulness, and perhaps of guidance.

After putting the dogs inside, I found a couple of branches long enough, and with enough perching places.  I set those inside the well and left.  When I came back with my camera (see video),  the ending video bleep startled the bird.  It fluttered against the window and fell down in the well again.

Taking lessons from Checka’s Bluebird guided practice I realized….”PATIENCE, SHAKTA!”

With that I went back indoors myself and sent good thoughts, being my most gentle self toward this little fledgling.  A half hour later the well looked like

Success!   No more parent-bird song in the air….

Thanks Checka for the remembrance—it is not about me, it is about helping!

* Album titles:  Rainbow Walk (ages 3-8) and You are Made of Energy (ages 9-14)

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Small in body, Grand in Spirit!

Giselle, who loves yoga!

Giselle, who loves yoga!

In the words of one of my Radiant Child Yoga students…..

“Children show us what truth is on a daily basis, as they aren’t inhibited by what standards or rules society has brainwashed us to follow. Children can giggle uncontrollably, dance like no one is watching, and question the world with such wisdom when we–their shepherds–stand paralyzed in fear, having forgotten the feeling of our truthful existence by worrying so much what the world thinks.

In each moment I am with a child my truth is ever present, my giggles revisit, my creativity flourishes, and my spirit is plumped full of juicy energy.

To my wisest teachers, the young bodies that play freely, you are truly divine radiant souls…. and I thank you for helping me experience what my own soul has been yearning for since I landed here on earth.”


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Old Continues to be the New New, post 3

I remember reading this about 20 years ago, and thinking “Wow..did I really write this?”  I vaguely remembered sitting on my bed at my parents house in 1975, home from college.  Sometimes in the contrast of being back in my past, the best writing would rise up.  

And so, I don’t specifically remember writing this poem.  That’s probably why it is so good.  Maybe I channeled it….hmmmm.  It was before I knew what channeling was.  

It was before I did formal meditation, and somehow the meditative quality is completely intact.

See what you think, what you feel….

lightStanding on a Streak of Love

my life is with You live in me in you

come be inside me now i sing for you inspire all songs

no whispers in other rooms can touch me now

my pulse beats songs in my ears of life and love with You



my voice runs through channels of beams of love, through caves of echos in my head carried by my breathwind

the speed of light comes traveling

You are standing on a streak of love

i open my eyes and see the time is here for striking hour of love

open door dark and dust scatter brilliant sparkling splitting love

Infinite Spiral

Infinite Spiral

all things crystallized now flow

all things solid brick now melt

all things wound tightly tangled now stretch now curve

all muscles are felt

all braincells are unlocked

are given wings

are told the sun is just the beginning

that there are more beyond than beyond

are told that bodies are jobs to be carried out

that the design is loving

is told that words can do this

is told that the song doesn’t end when the singer does

is told that the singer’s end is in body only

that the voice and breath find new homes in higher love, in redder hearts


fire in my heart

fire in my heart

my life travels to black space and white light and back to You

boomerang curve swiftly running you catch me

and hold me like dear life

You are the spawning ground i return to

whoever is to thank, i thank You

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Old is the New New, post 2

Isn’t it fun to see where you once were and how far you have come…and yet the Truth of the older understandings shine through still? How much you actually knew when you mostly thought you didn’t know anything?  In revisiting,  wisdom shines through.  The image that goes with this feeling is one of carefully opening the clam and seeing the softly glowing pearl that has been growing in the dark.  The dark has its purpose…..

Here’s today’s offering.  Enjoy and share some of your own pearls here if you like.



We’ll be allies when we can

live in canyons where rivers ran.

We’ll be lovers in our sleep.

We’ll wear faces we can’t keep.

Lack in love then be repleted,

call the cards, then swear they cheated.

Write in rhyme, talk analogy,

pan for gold to glint reality.

Keep an eye for love that’s pure,

blink and find it can’t endure.

Be tightly joined in a loose slip-knot,

we’ll be friends to learn what we’ve taught.



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Old is the New New, post 1

The next few posts will be some old poems I wrote in my early to mid-twenties.  I am appreciative that I still understand them, believe in them, and honor these poems as the beginning of my spiritual search.  They are as true now as they ever were.  Maybe you will catch the spirit of them and benefit.  I hope so….and in any case, it has been fun for me to revisit them.  And maybe you have some spiritual beginnings to revisit and honor?


I’ve got blisters on my eyes from trying to see You,

knots in my stomach from trying to free You.

The words in my head tumble around

like scrabble game letters, making no sound.

They all come to me with their pretty eyes,

voicing their love, but waving their lies.

It seems that a touch isn’t so much

and we might as well be in heaven as in hell,

but I can’t buy what they want to sell.


It must be my Fate–

my fortune’s tied up in the Real State.


Shakta @ 1970, about to embark on her spiritual search and discovery for the next many decades.

Shakta @ 1970, about to embark on her spiritual search and discovery for the next many decades.

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 Reclaiming the Dream of Your Life

My partner in spirit and on this earth plane, Kartar, wrote this as the inspired themes of the upcoming Shenandoah Retreat, which starts today and is sold out.  Thought to share it so all can be inspired whether they are at the retreat or not.

Reclaiming the Dream of your Life, the Pure Joy of the Experience of your unlimited Self.

This retreat is about pivoting to lay a seed, to set a vibration, to reawaken yourself as a Dreamer.

The idea here is to recreate the world of the Dreamer, the world of the eternal child, into which you were born in this lifetime.  It is a time to experience yourself as unlimited and fully able to create your own reality.

A child does not know the concept of limitation.   These shackles are gradually transferred to the child by well-meaning adults as teachers.  As development progresses, his desires are thwarted and his dreams are dashed by the rules of a reality with which he is force-fed.  Soon those rules become a belief system. 

Ultimately, the magic of the dream and the accompanying joy of dreaming it become lost in a realm of logic and strategy

This is an opportunity to begin to become clear as to what it is you truly wish to do, or experience, or know, and that very clarity will magnetize the circumstances through which one may explore one’s heart’s desire. 

As you progress you begin to perceive a new reality—a new beginning marked by unprecedented freedom of choice.  At some point there is a realization that there are no limits.  And there is a concurrent realization that one must now take total responsibility for the focused intent that underlies one’s choices.

It is time to set aside a mindset of a journey that is standard and mass produced.  It is time to set aside the distractive programming of busyness and doing and focus clearly on the experience you want to have as being-ness.  It is time to take full responsibility for the focused intent with which you are calling your reality into being.

For at the level you are entering now it is not possible to manifest one’s heart’s desire by continuing to drift along, waiting for life to “happen to you”.  At the higher levels it just doesn’t work that way.  If you expect the universe to manifest your dream you must with your clarity provide the energetic seed template to magnetize it. Unknown


contributed by Kartar Khalsa 


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Heart-Cross Meditation

Heart-Cross Meditation

Heart-Cross Meditation

Kundalini yoga has a plethora of meditations, some with mantra, some with breath work, some with visualization.  I generally have 4-6 “go-to meditation” that I choose from as part of my morning sadhana practice.

Lately I have been enjoying the Heart-Cross Meditation, which came to my attention while looking for a good helper for a dear friend who is going through divorce.  I gave this to her, especially because it feels nurturing (with the arms crossed over the heart center), and because of its purpose.

You can see me lead the meditation here.

Some fascinating information about this meditation:  It is from the book,  The Mind: Its Projections and Multiple Facets, by Yogi Bhajan with Gurucharan Khalsa, an amazing work of spiritual art that is rich with yoga technology and over forty meditations.  Here’s what the book has to say about the Heart-Cross Kirtan Kriya meditation:

“Memories flow constantly into our awareness. The Negative Mind sorts these to use only the ones that support your action and identity.

(If this quality is) too strong:  You can become fearful of past mistakes and traumas.  you may be slow to change and need high levels of confidence before committing to a direction of action.  You require evidence and repetition of things already certain.

(If) too weak:  You are blind-sided by things you could have avoided through using past lessons. You let anger and frustration from the past submerge and develop subconsciously.

Balanced:  You learn quickly from the past.  You avoid your own traumas and those of others, and can rapidly come up with new plans to avoid old errors and clean up past messes.  You will be highly ethical and feel best when you can forgive all the errors you find others have made, as you create new ways to move ahead.”

Enjoy with my blessing.  May the meditation give you the boost you need to move forward in life.

And if you enjoy this, check out some of the other Kundalini Yoga sets and meditations on my You Tube Channel.

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The Yogi’s Lesson: See the Big Soul

When my son, Ram Das, was four he got an orange and blue plastic Fisher-Price camera. This was around 1995.  It was interesting to see what he chose to photograph…the dog’s tail, a finger, his shoe.  And equally interesting was how they turned out– kind of wacky, and somehow kind of artsy too.  People smiled into the camera for him. They couldn’t help it.  A young child with a camera?   The combination of innocence and seriousness is both darling and disarming.

One day we were at a banquet where our spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, was giving a talk.   Yogi Bhajan was surrounded by twenty or thirty students and staff at one of the hundreds of round tables covered with white tablecloths.

As Ram Das and I walked past him, Ram Das held his camera.  He indicated that he wanted to take a photo of Yogi Bhajan.  People at the table and those nearby were amused at how cute the whole thing was.

Not so Yogi Bhajan.  He turned toward Ram Das and gave him a gaze that didn’t even see the cute.  That gaze penetrated to the Soul.

See for yourself:

Yogi Bhajan, circa 1995, taken by Ram Das Khalsa, age 4

Yogi Bhajan, circa 1995, taken by Ram Das Khalsa, age 4

I got the message.  A few years later, I began the Radiant Child Yoga Program, where children claim their radiant, wise selves…and adults reclaim it.

It is my wish that you see and feel the photo’s message:  “See the Big Soul, no matter what size or shape the package.”

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Intending as a Pediatric Therapy Tool

From Jessie M., Physical Therapist and participant in Radiant Child Yoga 1-3, and Yoga for Children with ADHD/Autism:

“I’m still just starting out and I know I have a long road to go but I really feel that the tools from RCY are helping me stay calm and less stressed about work and the everyday things.  I’m trying to just close my eyes and take a few breaths if something happens that’s stressful or unexpected.  Also, I’m doing this before treating my kids.  images-1

In the course, Shakta discussed segmental thoughts and I really loved this idea so I’m trying to use this technique in my daily life instead of dreading something that is going to happen later on, I just break it up into parts and get through each part before thinking of the next one.  This also helped since I’ve had a lot of very chaotic days at work lately with numerous evaluations in a week and it allowed me to just work on one thing at a time.

I feel that my attitude has changed and I’ve allowed myself to be happier and find the joy in simple things, instead of always focusing on the negative.

One of the other experiences I’ve had was with a child who I visit at a school who was diagnosed with Autism.  Upon walking into the school I had at least 3 administrators and teachers stop me to tell me how bad he’s been this week and that he’s been inconsolable.  He had been jumping out of mom’s car when he got to school in the morning, and he had his jaw open and locked and fists clenched.  This continued throughout the days for a full week.  They told me, “Don’t even bother–you’re not going to get anything out of him.”  It was frustrating to hear all of these things because I felt as though their “heads up” was setting up each person with a bad attitude as they were about to walk in to work with this little boy.  So I thanked each person for their advice, and went into my room to put my equipment down and set up.

imagesBefore I went into the classroom to bring him to PT, I took a few deep breaths and said a few words to calm myself and say to myself “whatever happens is okay and we’re just going to see what happens and go from there.”  And what happened was amazing.  He didn’t have any fits,no yelling or hitting.  He did a few of the activities we were working on to meet his goals and he did a wonderful job.  He listened and calmed right down.  I was so happy that I went in with a clear mind and it made a difference.  Instead of letting other people change my mindset and attitude I went in with an open mind and great things happened.  Doing this has changed the way I try to work with my kids who I treat because it was so successful.”inner sanctuary

Posted in ADHD, appreciation, autism, awareness, Children's Yoga, kids yoga, meditation, mindfulness, Radiant Child Yoga, school yoga, yoga, yoga therapy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment