#Self Knowledge Brings Joy
I want to share with you about my journey of self-discovery and healing through meditation. My quest to happiness and fulfill my purpose in meditation led me become a full time artist. This mindfulness practice and positive energy is part of my art. Note: I am wearing my dancing lady orchid pattern Yoga pants:)
I've been meditating every day since I first got my Yoga teacher certificate at Yoga on Main under Shiva Das and Ed Zadlo in Philadelphia PA in 2013.
The first time I tried meditation with Ed, I knew I was home. Since then "when in doubt, meditate" became my mantra. Meditation is my medication to anxiety and depression which started to appeared in me in 2011. I started to ponder a lot of things that I've never thought too much about before at the time. What is happiness and how can I find it? Who am I? What do I really want? How can I get rid of anxiety and depression? How can I be happy and healthy? What is success by the way? I've been conditioned too long to have my own voice, it was all external images. How can I accept myself and be Okay with it?
Meditation offers the answers to my quest to happiness and freedom. That's why I keep coming back to meditate even sometimes busyness and everyday demands make me forget. If you are curious, a Vedic astrology reading sometimes gives you some insights of your Dharma (your purpose) this life time. Mine is to CREATE.
I felt lucky and am grateful to study Yoga and meditation under Shiva Das and Ed Zadlo. Shiva Das (Jim McCabe) is the Managing Director of Yoga On Main. He has studied Yoga since 1987 and has been teaching since 1995. Shiva Das’ influences include the Integral Yoga Tradition of Swami Satchidananda, the Vinyi Yoga Tradition of Sri T. Krisnamacharya and his son T.K.V. Desikachar, as well as work of David Frawley and Eric Shiffman. His primary teacher and Guru is the Great India Saint, Mata Amritanadamayi Devi, "Amma". Her primary direct is "LOVE and SERVE".
Ed Zadlo AD, D.AY, ERYT-500 (Acharya Premanand) is a Certified Ayurveda Practitioner, Integral Yoga-Ayurveda Therapist and Acharya of Yoga/Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic Dharma. He has had an Ayurveda practice for over 20 years, and has offered trainings in Ayurveda, Meditation and the Inner Practices of Yoga for over 35 years. He began his study of Ayurvedic Healing with Dr. David Frawley (Pundit Vamadeva Shastri) director of The American Institute of Vedic Studies in 1986, is also a graduate of their Ayurvedic Intensive Training, Yoga and Ayurveda Advanced Course and IYTA Teacher Training and was certified by Dr. Frawley in 2008 as an Ayurveda Yoga Acharya with 1200 hours of advanced Integral Yoga/Ayurveda study.
Through the years, I've created three areas of my home that I can mediate depending on the time of the day. If weather permits, I prefer to mediate outside in our patio and let the sound and smell of nature surround me.
Sometimes I might not have enough time to have an extended practice, then I will meditate just on the chair in my art studio. I have a sacred place in my art studio and a wall hanging various natural stone and crystal mala beads. Based on the intention of that day, I will choose a mala to meditate with.
108 mala beads were used in Buddhism and Hinduism for meditation. Traditionally, malabeads were known as prayer beads, which were used to meditate and repeat a mantra. With every mala bead touched, one would repeat the mantra until all 108 beads are done. Different crystal mala beads bring different energy you want to receive.
When I don't have time during the day, after all the work and the house is quiet, I mediate in a small corner of my bedroom to unwind. Here are some pictures of all my meditation spots, my sacred space, natural stones and crystals I work with and my mala beads collection.
One question I am often asked is that how I meditate. There are many ways and schools of thoughts to do it if you just Google: mindful meditation, zen meditation, breath awareness meditation, transcendental meditation, loving kindness meditation, walking meditation, etc. You have to experience it the first hand in order to know which style suits you better. Reading and talking about it is not enough.
I like to begin with Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience Audio as guidance. They run a free audio series every season, you can sign up and see if you like it. They are having a new free section starting next Monday on Feb. 3rd. If you like it, you can purchase a 21-day package for $50 and hear it anytime online streaming or download it for off line use. It is about 20 minutes every day, starting with a talk about 10 mins and then music and mantra for another 10 mins. This is a great starting guide until you feel more comfortable sitting in silence.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write me an email. Yoga and meditation have healed me and led me to accept myself and embrace myself as an artist with joy and happiness. I hope it will help you do the same!
Note: It is not advertisement or partnership with any of the links or resources I mentioned in my blog post. I just simply love them and want to share with you.
May you fill with love and light. Namaste!
Last but not least, here is a little encouragement: pictures of my 4-year old daughter Victoria when she was meditating. The left picture she was 3.
Disclaimer: The images, artwork, and contents of this blog may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Helen Plehn. All Images on this blog is taken by Helen Plehn.