October 1, 2014 on 11:11 am

Ask the Spiritual Explorer

Dear Spiritual Explorer: Can I chant a healing mantra over the phone to some one who is far away? He is sick and claims that someone put a curse on him. Thank you. Lyn S., Long Beach, CA

Dear Lyn: I myself do not subscribe to that set of beliefs that someone is capable of cursing another. I sometimes feel that if you feel that somebody is putting a hex on you, that you are already susceptible to that kind of belief and thus have agreed to be vulnerable to somebody attempting to use that power.

Of course, in my travels, I have met people who attempt to engage in a form of what I call “enslavement” of another person through fear and words. What I have truly found is because of these person’s own disempowerment issues, they attempt to victimize others through fear and threats of curses and other practices. These people use the power of suggestion to terrorize others.

My basic recommendation for you is to attain and ascend to the light, thereby empowering yourself while refusing to surrender to anyone else’s fear based threats. I have heard of people in similar situations who have “gone towards the light’ and refused to deal with these methods of intimidation.

Yes, there are healing chants for various illnesses, and I would like to suggest some of those for you. These are simple chants that just by their recitation already place you into a higher vibration. Curses, witchcraft and other black arts lower your vibrations and hence your resistance.

Om Namah Shivaya

Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” in Sanskrit

Most popular chants are Hindu chants such as Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Kali, Om Namah Hanuman. When you chant the name of a Hindu god or goddess for a certain amount of time this can purify the atmosphere. The advantage of these chants is that they place you in the company of thousands of people who are doing them at the same time, thus adding to their power. If you are Christian, you might want to call upon Jesus and chant his name or any other deity that you feel can empower and purify your life.

These sacred figures want nothing more for you than happiness, health and prosperity. There is no mumbo jumbo from an enslavement that you have to be frightened of. Feeling fear from somebody else is a sign that you are surrendering to a harmful force that is not good for you. Walk away from that.

There are many books around that give various chants and groups of words and phrases whose sole purpose is to bring you into the light and a higher vibration in your life.

As to healing people who are far away, I have known great healers who through the power of their healing words have been able to heal others even from long distance. Before you start your healing practice, you can call in any deity or force that you feel is a positive influence, place that person in a circle of light and pray that any negativity be removed. Then see them free of such negation and light surrounding them.

Do not allow darkness to come into your life through fear or the dark arts. Those people are trying to take your power. Do not allow that to happen.

Thanks for writing, Spiritual Explorer

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September 19, 2014 on 10:48 am

Ask the Spiritual Explorer

Dear Spiritual Explorer: How do pendulums work? Laura L., Salem, MA

Faceted Pendulums

Faceted Pendulums

Dear Laura: I picked up one of our Faceted Pendulums and thought I would ask a few questions of it. I have a friend who uses most anything as a pendulum; I have even seen her use her wristwatch in a hurry when she was without one. I have always called her incorrigible. She seems to combine the irreverent with the reverence necessary to make her believable, a strong suit of hers I might add.

However, when I looked at our faceted pendulums and other pendulums which we have sold at the store, I found that for the most part these pendulus were made of some crystalline structure if not crystal itself. It seems obvious that a pendulum’s transparency and absorbency has something to do with their ability to pick up signs or signals. I know that when I use my pendulum I put it over my hand to ask a question, not necessarily the right way to do. I feel that the pendulum then reflects my true wishes because it is being receptive to the energy emitting from my hand. Some pendulum users will hang it over what they wish to ask about, such as, “ Is this avocado useful for me today?”

And then are those who make decisions without consulting their pendulums. I consider obsession with pendulums to be a major mistake similar to people obsessively using the tarot cards or I Ching or whatever item they consider to be their “totems of choice.” It is in the obsession with these items that someone’s mind and fear will eventually intrude on the item’s ability to give an objective answer.

An example is a friend of mine who took a pendulum class from an eminent pendulum practitioner. She advised him to initially perhaps consult with the pendulum not more than once a week when learning it and to use this divine tool as but a tool of accessing one’s intuition. She teaches that one’s intuition is always available and can eventually be relied upon without a device such a tarot card or pendulum. Well, this fellow had a serious ailment arise and began to consult his pendulum daily; eventually it appeared that the pendulum gave conflicting answers. Still this fellow persevered unsuccessfully until one day he called his teacher, who admonished him, saying, ‘These items are gifts and as such are never to be abused.” It is similar to abusing a child. When one harangues a child, eventually that beautiful light that is present will disappear. So too the cards or the pendulum will retract their gift. Unfortunately, he did not listen and because he took so many months to consult the pendulum rather then listening to advice of people who cared for him, his condition became much more serious and demanded more medical help.

Our pendulums are but reflections of our own divine consciousness and as such, always reflect back to us. Our job is to become as objective as possible when using these items, thus allowing their assistance to blend with our own awareness and ability. Pendulums and tarot cards are but extensions of our ability to contact the divine and intuition within and should be treated with respect. Thanks for writing, Spiritual Explorer

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September 16, 2014 on 10:46 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I see a lot of people wearing yin yang jewelry.  What does that concept of yin yang really mean? Aster P., Washington, DC

yin-yang-necklace

Yin Yang Necklace

Dear Aster: I find it necessary to mention that we also carry a Yin Yang Necklace in sterling silver which I like because it is both exotic and simple at the same time, reflecting the yin yang philosophy here.

There are many examples ad ways to describe the concept of yin yang.  One of the simplest I have found is that while the symbols seem to be opposite to each other, yet it is in their melting and finally coming together that is remarkable.  The concepts of black and white, good and evil, red and black, all seemingly opposite, stand almost in conflict with each other.  The idea of yin and yang is that yin eventually turns into yang and yang eventually turns into yin.  It is more of a concept of polarity than opposition.

What I have always found undesirable in traditional religions is their tendency to see the world in very black and white ways; instead of viewing gradations in culture and concepts, some wish to stuff differences into categories of good and evil or black and white, restricting harmony, broadmindedness, openness, thus fostering anger and hatred in many cases.  Fundamentalism is another word for that particular kind of view.

When I was 17 years old I would watch philosopher and teacher Alan Watts on television.  Dressed in a white smock, he would draw on this board in a very graceful way, describing the interplay of yin and yang in the world. One of the things he taught was how western thought had a tendency to view things oppositionally and fundamentally.  He said that when a westerner viewed a tree, he or she would see the tree as a separate, discrete item; however, an easterner would see the tree as part of the grass, the sky and the air, thus opening one’s imagination and view.

Yin and yang perspectives are not just limited to cultural views.  Yin represents the feminine, more passive aspects of things such as the moon, darkness, quiet, and receptivity. Yang is more masculine reflecting penetration, the sun and contraction.

When I studied macrobiotics, all food was describe in terms of yin and yang also.  Sugar and drugs were considered yin; and meat and some kinds of grains were considered more yang.  However, even in considering those items, gradations were considered. So salt, which most people would consider yang, might have some yin qualities if minerals were added.  So the yin and yang concepts were never absolutes. There was more breadth of awareness and more flexibility and relativity as consciousness and awareness should be. This is also reflective of a basic  philosophy that allows for difference and tolerance.

Thanks for writing. Spiritual Explorer

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September 12, 2014 on 11:03 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I have been told that journaling is a way to achieve long-term goals. What do you think of that? Rose P., Milwaukee, WI

Third Eye Chakra Journal

Third Eye Chakra Journal

Dear Rose: I too have heard of successful accomplishment of a goal through journaling. Of course, it is but one aspect of attaining a goal. It is a great way to announce your intention to yourself by purchasing a journal to inscribe your wishes. While we have journals that attend to every chakra in the human body, I recommend for you the Ajna Third Eye Chakra Journal.

The Ajna Third Eye Chakra Journal speaks to accessing the third eye, which is the seat of intuition. According to a very intuitive friend of mine, it is the third eye that bypasses conscious deliberation and actually goes right to the subconscious mind where unmanifest dreams and goals begin.

Focusing on the third eye itself is a great way to become quiet within yourself and bring into clarity what is perhaps a wish or desire that you have not allowed yourself to realize. Suddenly in that quiet time, it’s as if your dreams and wishes solidify and materialize and thereby rise to the surface of your conscious mind. I would recommend then that you immediately take that goal that appears and flesh it out with details in your journal.

Journal your thoughts about your dream and how you want to accomplish this. During the day as thoughts occur about this desire of yours, you may continue to insert them into your journal.

Then throughout the day, I would suggest that you unfocus your mind on what you have initially brought to your journal. In that way, without having your ego thoughts about whether or not you can accomplish this dream, you may allow more thoughts to come to the surface without interference of any negativity. Again, remember to journal these thoughts in your Ajna Third Eye Chakra Journal.

My intuitive friend also recommends that you allow your consciousness to focus upon the heart chakra also and bring both of them into play as you plan your intention. When one brings the heart together with the Ajna chakra, you are thus bringing your passion and your insight into the accomplishment of your goal. It is also recommended that you might want to play some third eye chakra music to enhance this experience.

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

September 10, 2014 on 11:02 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am a Tibetan Buddhist from the Kagyu tradition. I do not have a teacher but my spiritual home is Samyeling. I have just bought a red bone mala from the Tibetan Nuns Project. I want it for counting mantras. Is this okay or should I not use it? I am now using a wooden mala. I thought if I used a yak bone mala, it might help the yak it came from. Thank you for your time. Many blessings. Kay M., Middlesborough, CLE

Bone Neck Mala

Bone Neck Mala

Hello Kay: I thought that was a wonderful sentiment you shared when you said that if you were to use the yak bone mala, it would help the yak it came from. It shows that your heart is certainly in the right place. Bone from your average bone mala usually comes from the yak, ox or water buffalo. We have a bone neck mala which utilizes buffalo bones.

In bone malas coming from Nepal which traditionally uses yak sources, the bone is left over after using the yak for food. And since they do not believe in being wasteful, every part of the yak, which includes its bones, is used to make the bone mala.

I have also seen the bone malas sold by the Tibetan Nuns Project, which is a worthy organization that cares for Tibetan nuns. These bone malas are very beautiful and worthy of purchase.

I have read that bone malas are generally used when doing wrathful practices, and traditionally, only then. A wrathful practice is a practice where the deity is visualized in wrathful form. When one speaks of a wrathful practice, this does not mean anger, as we commonly know it. Wrathfulness indicates the power to overcome obstacles and ego. This “wrath” emanates from a place of compassion and love. However, I have also read that before one uses a bone mala it is best to be “empowered” and permitted by your teacher to perform these wrathful practices utilizing a bone mala.

The deities that one invokes for a wrathful practice are usually portrayed as being quite scary. There are images of these deities that contain fangs with the deity draped in animal skins wrapped around the waist and bone ornaments while trampling upon a corpse. Kali is considered a “wrathful” deity, but in her case, she has her feet upon the God Shiva, and that is a whole different mythology there. But again, the deities are called upon to eradicate the ego, which is a formidable opponent, as we practitioners well know.

From my own practice I am quite respectful of a bone mala since I feel it also carries the quality of impermanence and victory over life and death. Therefore, I feel more serious when using my bone mala. However, I personally have never discriminated between bone malas and other malas made of gems or wood.

However, you speak of being in the Tibetan tradition so I recommend you consult perhaps on the Internet with other opinions of bone malas, including your tradition (Samyeling), which I also found on line after reading your letter. It appears to be quite a beautiful place.

Thanks for writing about bone malas. It was a pleasure answering your letter. Spiritual Explorer

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September 5, 2014 on 11:12 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am so thrilled that I just purchased my very first home and now wish to decorate it in the most spiritual way possible. Any suggestions? Rose P., Berlin, Germany

om-wood-plaque

OM Wood Plaque

Dear Rose: I am happy to suggest our Om Wood Plaque, which has a beautiful wood background that lends a very rustic quality. The Om Wood Plaque also has an antique mode about it. A lovely blue color border evocative of the sky, which adds a very peaceful quality to the Om plaque, frames it.

It is interesting that usually a person’s first entrée into spiritual life is by chanting the Om sound. It is the foremost mantra that teachers and students alike utilize when teaching yoga or other spiritual studies. I have heard people say that Om is where the heart is, and so I feel that can translate this saying into how you feel about your Om Wood Plaque which you may lovingly and reverentially gaze upon throughout your days or nights.

Continuing in this vein, the wonderful thing is that you never have to be without your Om. Om is something that you may repeat for yourself throughout your day. Om is the primal sound of mantras and usually precedes the recitation of many of them.

I have seen Reiki Masters and other persons interested in cleansing a home or room utilize the word Om to destroy negative vibrations within the home, perhaps also utilizing a piece of sage which has been lit.

Whether you say Om Shanti, meaning Om Peace, or Om Namah Shivaya, meaning I am Shiva or the simple recital of Om, you are sure to bring peace into your being.

The Om Wood Plaque is also full of interesting raised detail. It is easy to hang on your walls and can be thought of as a piece of art also. The Om Wood Plaque is 12” x 14.5” and therefore can be easily transported from room to room depending upon your taste.

Enjoy this Om Wood Plaque and congratulations on your new acquisition. From what I have been told by people who live in Germany, to own your own home in a small country is quite a major accomplishment.

Om Shanti!

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

September 3, 2014 on 11:34 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: A friend of mine lost her husband, and I feel at a loss to convey how I feel. Can you suggest some gift or token perhaps that I may offer her? Raymond P., Minneapolis, MN

with-sympathy-greeting-card

“With Sympathy” Greeting Card

Dear Raymond: Sometimes a simple gesture in the form of a sympathy card is enough. A packet of three With Sympathy Greeting Cards is available at Ma’s India. I know how we all wish we could do something to alleviate someone’s pain in the moment. And sometimes people are often at a loss to convey in words the sympathy they are feeling for this person’s loss. But it has been my experience that a look, a gentle arm or hand touch and/or a card expressing sympathy is enough.

I appreciate our Sympathy cards with a splendidly drawn lotus on the front. Lotus flowers have strong symbolic ties to many Asian religions, especially throughout India. The lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the water’s surface, continually moving towards the light. Once it comes to the surface of the water, the lotus flower begins to blossom and turns into a beautiful flower.

In Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower is a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life, and in truth, when we are faced with a catastrophic event such as the loss of a dear one, sometimes the only consolation is to turn inside and seek comfort from our own spiritual reality.

Many people have asked what is the difference between empathy and sympathy. Extending sympathy towards your friend is what I would consider less personal. The word sympathy means “with feeling.” And that is what you wish to impart to a grieving person. Sometimes people wish to extend an empathetic gesture towards someone grieving and it is not aptly appropriate in all instances. For example, somebody still fresh from losing a loved one might just wish a light feeling of sympathy to be extended towards them because they are not prepared at that time for an overly emotional empathetic expression such as “I know what you are feeling; I lost my husband too.” Such a statement might be appropriate at some later time, but it somehow smacks of thinking of one’s own grief and looking for consolation. At some subsequent time, if the grieving person is open, then it might be a wise choice to share one’s grief.

To be safe, one should extend sympathy initially and then be prepared to wait for when the grieving person opens himself or herself to a more empathetic gesture.

In any case, I think the With Sympathy cards will always carry just the right sentiment in all situations.

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

August 29, 2014 on 10:51 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I read where Tibetan Temple incense is used for empowerment rituals. Could you explain this? Ronald R., Seattle, WA

tibetan-temple-incense

Tibetan Temple Incense

Dear Ronald: I particularly like this Tibetan Temple Incense because the very name reminds me of the many Tibetan Temples that abounded in Tibet before the invasion by the Chinese who destroyed so many of them. It is one of the great tragedies in spiritual annals. But you cannot annul or destroy the influence of the Tibetan legacy when noting that Tibetan incense follows recipes said to have come from the Buddha 2,500 years ago. Tibetan incense is evocative of the times when Tibetan monks used the scent ever lingering to protect their temples, both large and small.

More than other incenses created to cast a desirable influence in the air and evoke spiritual feelings, Tibetan Temple incense when used during its mysterious and esoteric rituals attracts the positive and repels the negative in an environment.

As you have noted, Tibetan Temple incense is used for empowerment rituals. A Tibetan empowerment is a ritual in Vajrayana Buddhism which initiates a student into a particular tantric deity practice. A Tibetan tantric practice is not considered effective until a qualified master has effectively transmitted the power of that practice to the student. In fact, an individual is not allowed to engage in a deity practice without proper instruction for that practice.

Tibetan rituals are always dependent upon transmission of mantra and practice. This can be done through a Tibetan lama initiating a student into a particular practice or lineage. For example, the Dalai Lama has always been known to initiate students into his lineage through perhaps a simple gesture, acknowledgment or gifting of a shawl of that lineage.

Usually, however, a Tibetan empowerment practice is transmitted secretively, only for the eyes of the student and the teacher. When a student becomes empowered through this practice, it usually conveys a strong connection and attachment to his teacher. You can be sure that during that initiation, Tibetan incense is always present.

Tibetan Temple Incense is very earthy incense and is evocative of that special mystery that one feels when contemplating the temples of Tibet. You can be assured that the ingredients are all-natural and are infused with that special quality that distinguishes Tibetan incense from all others. Tibetan incense has always been my favorite.

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

August 27, 2014 on 10:51 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I have just purchased the Saraswati Statue Sitting and would like to know if there is a special mantra I may invoke to access her gifts. Roland P., Boston, MA

saraswati-statue

Saraswati Statue

Dear Roland: There is a special Vandana mantra that is recited by Saraswati devotees every morning for good luck. While I would like to tell you what it is, there are actually several variations of this mantra which actually just means holy song. Because of space and personal constraints I am unable to tell you which mantra to choose. However, my suggestion is that you look at your beloved Saraswati Statue and intuit the mantra which suits you in your devotion, while of course consulting our beloved Internet for the precise version. Notice that I have capitalized the word internet thus conveying at that time its sacred purpose.

Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge and the arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. Chants to Saraswati often begin and end Vedic lessons.

Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Durga. It is believed that Saraswati endows humans with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning.

Saraswati has four hands representing the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. Saraswati is usually viewed as having sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus, the symbol of true knowledge, in her second hand.

With Saraswati’s other two hands she plays the music of love and life on a string instrument called the veena. Saraswati is dressed in white, the symbol of purity, and rides on a white swam.

It was thought that only the learned and the erudite attached great importance to the worship of the Goddess Saraswati, usually harkening to the times when the caste system predominated and there was little flexibility or mobility in attaining different stations of life. However, one familiar with Hindu mythology knows that Saraswati is also a symbol of divine compassion and therefore makes her wisdom and knowledge available to all those who seek to avail themselves of her guidance.

Again, for an auspicious and fortuitous day, it i recommended to recite the Saraswati mantra before you start your day! Good luck in choosing the appropriate mantra for yourself.

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

August 22, 2014 on 11:07 am

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Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am a singer and have always had sore throat problems, probably from too many vocal engagements. But I am writing to tell you how much your Throat Chakra Candle has helped me. Now after an engagement, I remember to meditate on the Throat Chakra Candle and I feel it has helped me immeasurably. Thank you. Rose B., Austin, TX

throat-chakra-candle

Throat Chakra Candle

Dear Rose: I have often talked about the power of intention and prayer, and your writing to me telling me how much you have been assisted by the Throat Chakra Candle only confirms what I know to be true. Oftentimes we are in despair about some health problem that continues to linger on, not aware that there is sometimes invisible help in the form of meditation and intention that can assist us. We find ourselves relying upon medications to heal our problems, not realizing that our illnesses might sometimes have psychological or spiritual origins that can be helped through intention, focus, prayer and meditation.

I particularly have been interested in the brilliantly blue Throat Chakra Candle we carry. Frankly, it is just beautiful to gaze at; the sky-blue color alone brings rest and relaxation to one’s eyes,and therefore, carries over to soothe the mind and heart.

The throat chakra is associated with upper lungs, bronchials, esophagus, trachea, vocal chords, thyroid, and neck, so it is no surprise that you in your work feel good about meditating on our Throat Chakra Candle.

The throat chakra is known as the devotional chakra. A friend of mine had a personal experience of her throat chakra opening when she met a Tibetan teacher who was very practiced in chanting. Obviously, her throat chakra resonated with something that was very strong in this master.

Chanting and singing are often thought of as healing to the throat chakra. Sometimes the throat chakra has been blocked through personal experiences that one is not even aware of. For instance, a friend of mine who was in a difficult circumstance found it difficult to shout out her fear; in fact, she felt that her throat chakra closed in that instance. Apparently, the trauma remained post experience, and her throat felt blocked and solid. Seeking advice from a spiritual teacher, she was told to begin chanting and focusing on her throat chakra. After many months she could feel that space in her throat chakra begin to open, and now feels convinced that if ever in a similar experience, she will be able to shout out what she is feeling.

Thanks so much for your comments about our Throat Chakra Candle!

If you have a question you would like to ask, send me your question. Ask The Spiritual Explorer

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