bringingupbuddhas

suburban adventures in bu-curious mothering

Tag: oprah

oprah & deepak’s meditation experience

The current 21 day meditation experience offered by Oprah and Deepak is really excellent. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, I recommend doing so.

It’s not scripted for children, but I’ve been playing the meditations at bedtime for my three little ones and they respond to it. My 9 year old daughter seems to benefit most. She is a chronic night waker and since starting this she has slept soundly in her bed until 7:30am. Her latest feedback on Deepak, “Mommy, he is a wise man.” The dharma talks also inspire great questions like, “What’s abundance?” and, “How does the Universe work?”

Typically Oprah sells downloads of the meditations upon completion of the 21 days so you can purchase what you missed. Visit Oprah.com for details.

From mine to yours,
Vanessa

this one goes out to the nobodies

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I’m a house frau.  I live a relatively ordinary suburban life in New England.  Technically speaking, I’m a nobody.  My name has never been in lights, I have about 14 Twitter followers, I have a moderate talent for writing.  But I do have something that makes me very special.  God lives inside of me.  Yep.  Crazy, right?  I mean, I’m not religious.  I don’t even go to church.  I’ve never read The Old Testament or worn a yamaka and I don’t celebrate Ramadan.  But God still hangs out in my heart.  Who’d imagine He’d make time for a nobody like me?  But He does.  Somehow He remembers me.  Everyday He encourages me to be better, to try harder, to do the best I can with the time I have.

Like I said, I’m a writer.  I write about spiritual awakening.  I hope to share my experiences in hopes to inspire others to live more mindfully.  This is my contribution to world peace.  I’d like to grow my audience and my peaceful contribution, but that’s hard to do when you’re a nobody.  But I keep on posting blogs and mailing article submissions to Oprah and creating slightly embarrassing YouTube videos because I care.  Because I want to do my part.  Because if God is going to grace me with the opportunity to live a whole lifetime with His beautiful energy in my heart, I want to do my very best.

I have an affirmation card hanging on my refrigerator that says, “It’s happening.”  I love that card.  It’s powerful.  Every morning I pull out my Stoneyfield Farm Banilla yogurt and think, “Oh yah.  I’ve got to pull my load today because it’s happening.  Can’t let God down.  He knows that I know that He knows that I know.  Time to work.”

So I pick up my phone and reach out to people who know I’m a nobody and cross my fingers that these are the people God wants me to call.  I send emails and fumble around over-designed social media sites, strike up strike up overly-honest conversations after yoga class and take advice from my brilliant sister – all to create connections with the just-right people to help me on my mission.

Sometimes it works (ding ding ding!) and sometimes I’m rejected.  But the rejection doesn’t feel like failure to me.  Rejection isn’t personal.  It’s just a sign that I’m not ready for that experience yet or that I’m sniffing out the wrong lead.

I’m not afraid.  Nope.  No way.  I’m not afraid to try.  Trying is risky because buried inside of the word “try” is the word “fail”.  But also hidden in that word is “Congratulations!  You did it!  You passed!  Now jump back in the game and try something else – there’s a lot of work to do with your life and time’s a-ticking!”  This Nobody’s got her eyes trained on the latter.

here we go (again)

Lately in Buddha school, the idea of reincarnation has been popping up and I’ve been totally surprised to learn that there are a lot of western Buddhists who do not subscribe to this concept.  Honestly, reincarnation is the draw that pulled me into Buddhism initially.  I’d never felt so sure about anything before.  In this jigsaw puzzle of life, I considered reincarnation my four corner pieces.  everything else could be filled in from there.

I wrote this post 2 years and 5 days ago.  It’s the second post I ever published on my first blog, before I found Buddhism, before I started to feel snippets of real peace in my heart, before I axed The Real Housewives from my life completely, before I regularly bore my deepest-darkests publicly, online.  But it’s a pretty good description of one person’s discovery of life after death after life and I wanted to share it today.  With a few small edits, this was originally titled “Here We Go”…

Spiritually I’m coming from a place of I-don’t-know-how-I-got-here-but-I-have-some- pretty-good-ideas.  I believe in reincarnation – along with about 80% of the world’s population.  And it’s OK to believe in reincarnation and think Jesus is the heaven-sent Mack Daddy.  I think that, too.  I believe in GOD.  I also believe in MYSELF.

That said, my spiritual journey began a few years ago.  [Channeling Sophia from the Golden Girls now.]

Picture it.  The year is 2008.  I’m knocked up with baby #3, sitting on the couch watching Hollylwood’s Top Ten Best Bodies on E! with my stepdaughter CG.  For some reason I decide to share with her that I’m not connected to this lifetime.  Like I’m not sure I’m supposed to be here.  I’m feeling vacant while I say it.  A bit lost maybe.  It’s not an extraordinary moment in my life, but saying the words aloud causes a strangely physical effect.   Sort of like the weight of truth squashing my skull but my head is full of air.  Weird, I know.  I’m sure it was equally weird for CG.  Moving on.  Later that week I turn on Oprah and see my future hero Brian Weiss.  (Can you tell I watch too much TV?  Don’t even get me started on the epiphanies that occur while watching Real Housewives on Bravo.)   Dr. Weiss is an Ivy League educated, world renowned psychotherapist who, after years of practice, specializes in healing through past life regression.   I pick up Dr. W.’s book Many Lives Many Masters the next day and love every page.  Sigh relief.  And so the journey begins.

I have a few years of material stored up in my noggin now and am eager to share.  However, I will take it slow.  I want to start off with something we are all familiar with.  The feeling that we’ve known someone “before” or that we share a soul connection with another human being.

We experience life on earth time and time again so that we can learn lessons in love, compassion and acceptance.  Each of us is part of a larger soul family or soul group made up of many souls with a common purpose.  We travel through multiple lifetimes with the same souls so that we can learn and evolve together, and also so we can clear up any karmic debt that exists between us (more on that later).  These souls could be your family, friends, co-workers, you name it.

You may already connect with someone in a special way and call that person a soul mate.  S/he can be your wife, your son, a sibling, an old lady who lives on your street, the trash man.  Doesn’t matter.  Just don’t limit your idea of soul mate to your significant other because you are missing the big picture.  Example.  LM (hi LM) is my BFFFFFF.  We’ve know each other since we were 7 years old and I love her so dearly and deeply that there is not a speck of doubt we are tied together in this three-legged race called life.  The parallels in our lives are no coincidence.  We were meant to meet each other in Mrs. McGrath’s 3rd grade class, experience our journeys together and help guide each other through this lifetime with compassion.  She’s an easy soul mate to spot b/c our love is deep and obvious.

But our soul mates do not always spend 30 years by our sides.  Sometimes they pop up only for a moment but leave an enduring mark.  Another example.  I was in Paris last June with my kids and we stopped in a patisserie for sweets.  On the way out there was a gypsy boy begging on the sidewalk.  I do have a soft spot for the homeless in general, but this boy truly captivated me.  I gave him a raspberry yogurt and watched him gobbled it up with delight, my small gesture filling his belly for a few hours.  I couldn’t shake that boy.  I kept thinking about him – where he would sleep?  Did he have family?  Would he ever go to school?

His grubby little face haunted me while I walked back to our flat and 7 months later (2 years and 7 months now) I’m still thinking about him.  I wonder is he a soul mate who agreed to make a guest appearance that summer day?  Reaching out to teach me COMPASSION?  Maybe he was my baby boy in another lifetime.  Maybe my sister.  How could I ignore him?  How could I not help him?  We are all connected.

When you understand that the beggar on the street or the thief outside your window was your mother in another lifetime, you will uncover a layer of compassion and acceptance that you didn’t know existed before.  It’s really quite beautiful and powerful.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

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This is me with Dr. Weiss at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.