I nurture survivors into thrivers, teaching “creatives” who feel “stress-overwhelm” to reconnect to their life-dreams through pleasurable healthy eating and meditation.
phone 805-765-1008 / skype address SBMeditation
Good Morning Friends,
It feels so good to connect with my family and friends this week since arriving back from Paris. The last few months have been an amazing awakening for me personally, from my takotsubo in the beginning of April, to spending time in Paris for week with InspiredCEO Tia Walker, to working on my soon to be launched first cook book and 30-Day-Jump-Start program to health eating, which includes the basis of healthy living~ learning a daily meditation practice.
I wanted to share a quick note before I spend time this morning with my favorite business client and good friends at Kamran and Company here in SB. All that I am involved in with my life has to do with encouraging my folliowing my intuitions. The more I feel and move and do in alignment with this deep knowing, the more amazing my life becomes.
My girlfriend Judi send me this cute meditating cat this morning and reminded me, every time I speak to the fact – we all already know how to heal ourselves – the question is why are we not doing the things we know we need to do for ourselves ~ this conversation is really all about developing our intuition.
I am found of reminding my students “intimacy” is really – In-To-Me-See, and the First pattern of healthy behaviors we must set within all our loving relationships is always with ourselves. When we take 20 minutes twice a day to cultivate intimacy with ourselves, this level of deep connection is far more easier to share with others. I don’t know about you, but I love to have all my relationships – business, friends and family, be filled with safe space where we can all be authentic in our sharing of our life stories. Authentic to showing up in the present moment however we are inspired to add to growing experiences of happiness.
What is Intuitive Eating and Intuitive Living? I invite you to attend my next salon style gathering Friday July 5th at 7pm and/or my Introduction to Meditation Sunday July 7th at 7pm and I’ll share with you this amazing way of living.
Quite simply its trusting your knowing and going through life with an attitude that all your are eating and doing is “research” and your body is constantly giving you feedback via your desires of what you should be doing next to increase your experience of bliss.
I work exclusively with people ready for change and worthy of their self-investment to gain the life skills needed to move from shame, fear and deprivation thinking to trusting pleasure and living your life purpose bliss.
Wishing you a joyful day!
Greetings Friends and Family!
I am newly back from our Maui 2013 New Year’s Retreat with a golden tan and passionate heart ready to ripple out all the sunshine and good feelings I acquired visiting the magical inspiring Hana with a warm group of fellow meditation students. William Dalton was our masterful program director and yoga instructor, crafting a variety of invigorating and restful activities that allow us all to enjoy Maui and connect building friendships with like minded people.
|Jungle Road to Hana Retreat Sanctuary|
I have so many pictures to share and I’m particularly enchanted with this one, showing the drive through the jungle to reach the retreat sanctuary where we were privileged to stay for a week.
One of my intentions for the new year is to write more, so as I slowly leak out many magical Maui moments I experienced, and I’ll be sharing more and more pictures.
Speaking of Intentions, I thought it would be appropriate for my first 2013 blog to quickly review this fine art of setting intentions and, for my meditation students, understand the balance of intentions and following “charm”.
First, with noticing your feelings of wanting to set an intention, it is good to clearly feel what is important to you. For an example from myself, I have a strong sense that I want to offer even more to my students to augment my meditation training courses. I intend in 2013 to become a certified health coach and this is important to me because I see so many students who now have a healthy meditation practice, but they need coaching on changing eating habits, or relationship habits, or knowledge of integrating balance between living, working, relating and relaxing.
So with setting your intentions, ask yourself the “Why” within the What that is important to you. Try to clearly be present with the spark that brings a desire to life. I want to have a ripple effect on the world by helping people, one meditation student at a time, become more peaceful and experience greater happiness. It’s important to me to have a positive effect on the world because I am so grateful for having this beautiful body, having a wonderful place to live in Santa Barbara, having loving children and family and friends in my life. My gratitude is sparking my desire to take action and enable myself to give more.
Next you want to visualize the outcome of what you are intending. How do you feel in your future moment? What does your life look like? What do you see yourself doing then that you are not doing now? Really Feel the Future you are intending, using as many of your senses as you can.
Third step to manifest your intention is to realize you dream needs “nutrients” to grow. What are the steps you need to take to bring about the outcome you have visualized? Who are the people you need to learn from or work with? What tools do you need to acquire, whether these be objects or subjective mind/body tools? Make a to do list out of these notions. I like to call this list my ”Blissful Benchmarks” as we want to have fun the whole way through manifesting any intention. These steps nourish your dream to become your reality. Try writing this list as though you have already finished it. For me this year ~ 1. Completed Institute of Integrated Nutrition Health Coach Training program. 2. Certified Health Coach with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners….
|Dominique’s Maui Breakfast Offering|
Charm is absolutely critical in manifesting intentions in the flow of the present moment, honoring nature’s ever shifting demands. It is so very easy and natural to change our intention into an expectation. Expectations are making an appoint with the future and if you don’t want to be “dis” appointed, Vedic Meditation teachers all recommend letting go of your attachment to how the outcome will ultimately look. Allow yourself to be surprised and move with the flow, honoring that a metamorphosis is happening in this process of your desiring and you will be a different person by allowing your intentions to shape you into a more fully awake human being. Charm is that simple feeling you have within your least excited state of awareness that a particular desire is pulling you to take action. Charm is frequently accompanied with trepidation from our ego as we are frequently called upon by nature to step out of our comfort zone and grow into skills we do not presently possess. Charm is Not being seduced by something within life’s current smorgasbord of choices. Rather, charm is that subtle sensing of a spark or tickle to move into a particular direction not because of logic but because of a fine level of feeling, and where our vision is pulling us to go might not seem to our ego to be on our current life’s menu options. The more we meditate the greater our awareness grows regarding this visceral instinctual/intuitional sensing, and our intending desires become the way nature puts us in the right place to aid evolution, progressive change manifesting as greater sophistication and really fun mastery of adaptation skills.
Let your intending this year be filled with vibrant colors, warm connections, expanding experiences of happiness and growing awareness of your unique gift back to the universe is you being You in all that you intend this year to do. Let your intentions grow to maturity naturally, taking steps as directed by charm, adapting to newly acquired information, and allowing time for meditation twice a day as stress responses are naturally experienced as our expectations for our future shift. Watch your attention being drawn to watering the root of your intentions and let go of the fact that a few weeds also exist in our garden we call Life. Keeping your attention drawn to what you find most charming keeps the weeds down to the minimum. Have Fun with your process and re-evaluate your steps (blissful benchmarks) as often as you need.
With Love and Best Wishes for the New Year,
Lovely Ruth passed on this story, and seeing as I have not done a blog post for a little while, to start back into the swing of things with a funny, seems very nice. Good story! Please enjoy!
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. ’I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’
The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’ ’That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!
“Love U” Your Cracked Pot Friend ~ Dominique Hackett
Next Beginning Meditation Course starts with an Introduction Talk Sunday Dec 2nd 7pm ~ Please RSVP if you would like to learn more and I hope to see you all soon!
“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…” ~ Albert Einstein, The World as I See It
Few will argue that Albert Einstein is one of the greatest minds who ever lived. He emphasized Kindness, Beauty and Truth above all else, and his sharing with the world of his mind experiments to understand the unity of nature has altered the way all of us human beings, in this day and age, think of ourselves and the universe.
Einstein’s quest for deeper understanding of nature, the universe, and man is being carried on by current pioneers of thought in the quantum physics labs around the world, and we in Santa Barbara are fortunate to have UCSB Physicists in the NanoSystems Institute sharing their breakthroughs.
For teachers of Vedic meditation, there is a famous quote in a letter from Einstein to Queen Elizabeth that we enjoy pointing out to students in support of the necessity of a daily meditation practice, to open the door to experiencing viscerally a state of consciousness commonly referred to as transcendence.
“Still there are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.” ~ Albert Einstein
From a Vedic world view, this “Being” is the basis of all of life, experienced as an inner reality and as an outer shared existence. The state of consciousness whereby we sense this underlying unity is what becomes available to us through the daily technique of Vedic meditation, with our minds gently, kindly settling in an effortlessly inward fashion, subtly shifting our awareness from our daily rushing about thoughts to an experience of ever expanding ocean of pure consciousness. This verifiable state of consciousness differs from the waking state, the sleeping state and the dreaming state. We are aware and resting our body and mind and heart in the deepest way possible, with the lowest metabolic rate.
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein
From these experiences of transcendence in meditation, through our daily practice over time, this state of awareness of “Being” shifts to pervade our everyday waking consciousness, and we have access to greater creativity as our imaginations have been unlocked to realize the underlying hidden potential of the universe.
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.” ~ Albert Einstein
When we teach Vedic meditation, we frequently emphases the health benefits, the stress relief available to the body, and that this all happens through the daily use of this natural, gentle, very kind meditation technique. What we would also enjoy sharing is the reality of the mystic experience, mystic in terms of the original Greek meaning of simply “to close”, as in to close the eyes. It is through closing the eyes, twenty minutes twice a day, which we reach to what Einstein wrote was the goal of life:
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” ~ Albert Einstein
For a continuing conversation on this very deep subject, we invite you to attend our upcoming talk on introduction to meditation listed on our events page. To experience the unified field for yourself, during our talk we will encourage you to take our upcoming course and learn Vedic meditation.
With Great Love,
(The beautiful image attached comes from Google+ Albert Einstein.)
“Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.” ~ Henry James
“Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.” ~ Edith Wharton
“ A typical neuron makes about ten thousand connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.” ~ David Eagleman
We had a session with Dr. Fatah Evans today, a Chiropractor and Integrative Wellness specialist located in Santa Barbara and Ojai. It was such an interesting experience; we want to share a small portion, as it relates to our daily meditation practice.
To become a Vedic Meditation teacher, the process included undergoing more than 600 hours of meditation and very simple yoga asanas, Vedic Rounding, an advanced technique we can teach to students who inquire. This part of the training is lovingly referred to as industrial strength un-stressing of the body. So as a meditator and a teacher, we have been meditating for quite few years and we have done intensive Vedic Rounding.
Still, the fact remains, the “issues” are in the tissues.
We have been plagued recently with a persistent cough, which has not abated regardless of additional sleep, additional vitamins and change in diet or even the use of homeopathic remedies and herbs. “What’s up body?” we find ourselves asking.
Dr. Fatah Evans uses applied kinesiology and neuro-emotional techniques to have a conversation with a patient’s body through muscle testing, asking questions regarding the heath of all the internal organs, any mis-alignment of the spine or bones, any lack of nutrition that might exist, and then also seeks for any underlying unprocessed emotional states.
For us, we experienced a journey as we watched our body respond to the doctor’s questions, through all possible negative emotions and found sadness seems to be what is currently “wearing us down”. Where is this sadness coming from? We watched Dr. Evans ask our body, through muscle testing, what time period did this sadness happen in, and was it our sadness or an emotion we had witnessed in another.
“What happened in your life when you were two?” was the question we were asked. Our parents had divorced when we were two. (Not a fact revealed through any part of our previous verbal conversation.) Once Dr. Evans pin-pointed the emotion and the time and suggested what might have possibly happened for us, witnessing a lack of intimacy and unity in our parents and the accompanying sadness of spending a lot of time alone as a very young child, we found our body responded with very intense sobbing.
We stayed with this strong emotion of sadness allowing tears to flow unchecked and within less than a minute, the intensity shifted and it literally felt like the emotion passed. Our crying stopped, and we felt our glands in our throat melting and our cough started lessening immediately.
What’s the point of us sharing this story? Our meditation practice has opened the door for a healthy conversation between our mind and body and heart. We find ourselves more self-observant; see what is “working” and what is not working, and trusting our knowing sense of when we need assistance to know ourselves in a deeper healthier way.
Through our practice we also know, any intense emotional state does not last for very long, and if we avoid feeling it, our body simply stores it up for later. Life is not about avoiding trauma or stress, rather life is about letting go and having the courage to show up 100% open to feeling. Emotions that excite our bodies come in waves and experience shows the gift of deep feelings is left after the wave of exciting emotion has passed. Feelings of love and gratitude and unity were gifted to us after the sadness was fully embraced.
However you choose to guide yourself through your own health and healing, your daily meditation practice supports this ongoing, never finished conversation regarding our connection to knowing ourselves and knowing others. “Being Human” is experienced through connecting and loving, finding opportunities to explore unity consciousness as an individual and sharing happiness. This is the beauty of life.
When we allow ourselves to become aware of our loss of connection at any time in our life, we immediately have an opportunity to heal the past and set ourselves up for a better future, through honoring the deeper connection of gratitude. Though our parents divorced when we were too little to understand, they gave us the greatest gift one can give as a parent, this body for us to experience life.Thank you! With love, Dominique www.santabarbarameditationclasses.com
“The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.” ~ Wayne Dyer
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” ~ George Burns
Negative emotions, such as anger, fear and insecurity, experienced in our minds and felt in our hearts, reflect chemical changes in our bodies from the “flight/fight” response, a state of hyper-arousal where our sympathetic nervous system is primed to take action for our survival. “Stress” accumulates as we get worn down from daily demands that “trigger” in us a negative emotional response, and we find ourselves with low energy and low enthusiasm. The hormones released in our bodies during a stress response literally have “marching orders” and will continue to affect our ability to feel relaxed content happiness until they are escorted out of our bodies by a change in our internal chemistry to bliss-feeling generating hormones.
Our ability to act with calmness and clarity becomes compromised from the experience of this stress chemistry in the body if we do nothing to relieve our experience of this hyper-aroused state of body and mind. Then many of us experience a lack of sleep on top of this, as we worry about the future impact from our negative emotional response to a life event that really was not that big of a deal, for example being upset over a spilled cup of coffee.
Millions of people worldwide are practicing meditation to relieve themselves from stressful living conditions, the experiencing negative emotions such as anger, fear and insecurity with family and friends. Well known institutions such as Harvard are emphasizing the health benefits derived from meditation. One of the reasons Vedic Meditation is so restful for our bodies is that our breathing naturally relaxes to a slower pattern of inhalation and exhalation all on its own, without any effort of control on our part. This relaxed but still aware breathing we do in meditation is more restful than our breathing while we sleep.
Our bodies through evolution have developed patterns to help us survive. One of these natural body habits is for our breathing to slightly accelerate while we sleep deeply. This is to enable us to get up and run or fight if we were attacked while we are asleep. Our bodies are very smart. When our body senses that our present moment awareness is no longer “present”, and consciousness has entered sleep and dream states, with our head resting, our bodies increase our breathing.
This is part of the reason why meditation is more restful than sleep. By sitting with our backs supported, but our heads free, we maintain an “aware” state of mind, even if our head sort of flops forward and we might “feel” like we have dozed off. The fact that our head is Not resting backwards signals the body that consciousness is still present, and the body relaxes it’s need to hold us in hyper-aroused survival mode of ready alert.
To have a restful meditation experience, it is nice if you can find a quiet peaceful place to sit with your back supported. If you need to meditate in a noisy airport, see if you can sit in a seat where no one will be bumping into you.
We meditate with eyes closed to help with our body and mind with relaxing. We do not focus on our breathing and we do not try to affect the rhythm of the mantra as we ever so gently, with the least amount of effort, bring our awareness to our “best friend”. Kindness to the body and kindness to the mind. No judgment and least amount of effort. Meditation is “judged” by its effect on your daily life. Do you feel like a “re-set” button has been pushed on your body chemistry? Can you feel those stress hormones leaving your body and being replaced with bliss hormones? Good. Keep it going, twenty minutes morning and evening. Enjoy!
“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” ― C.G. Jung
“If there is a single definition of healing it is to enter with mercy and awareness those pains, mental and physical, from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay. (48)” ― Stephen Levine, A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last
“Macbeth: How does your patient, doctor?
Doctor: Not so sick, my lord, as she is troubled with thick-coming fancies that keep her from rest.
Macbeth: Cure her of that! Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon her heart.
Today we simply want to pass on an encouraging note. Mental health has for the longest time been defined in terms of illness. With the growth of Positive Psychology there has been a shift towards exploring positive mental health. Emphasis has been placed on the importance to an individual to practice daily meditation as clinical studies show it has a permanent good effect on one’s mental and physical health and the growth of our brains. (For more reading, we suggest “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work” By Shawn Achor.)
To explore for ourselves the positive and catalytic aspects our meditation practice is having upon our daily life, many meditation teachers also encourage the habit of journal writing. In living life to the fullest, we are not only interested in letting go of accumulated stresses that have happened from the worst parts of our life experiences, but we are also wanting to notice with growing awareness the building of qualities and virtues that improve our overall happiness, a subjective concept which some have clarified as “human flourishing”.
Experiences of a wellness of “being” and enjoyment of satisfacting sensual sensations from past events, we can loving refer to as golden moments, helps us construct a frame work of mind that supports our growing adaptive energy. Our twice daily meditation practice does these very important things for our mental health, letting go of negative sensations from traumatic experiences and taking time to enjoy life’s many opportunities for experiencing bliss consciousness. When we journal, we can also lovingly construct stories about the possibilities for the future, either as vision boards with pictures, or words filling us with optimism, hope and faith that nature, through the process of evolution, is designing the next present moment for my highest good and the highest good of everyone around me.
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see. “ ~ Helen Keller
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ~ Mark Twain
Do you know anyone who has experienced their heart stopping, reporting the experience of a shift in awareness, from a sense of “being in a body” and “not being in a body”?
In this morning’s Santa Barbara Noozhawk, there is a story about a 36 year old Santa Barbara resident who died the other day while hiking up on the Romero Canyon Trail. She had cell phoned for help as she was experiencing chest pains, but alas, help did not arrive in time.
For any of you that know me, I experienced a similar situation ten years ago at age 37 in Ojai. I was attending the memorial for a friend who had previously worked for my construction companies. I was fortunate to have also had a cell phone which helped save my life, as I had walked down a hill and was by myself, away from the crowd of friends and family, when I realized I was in trouble with chest pains.
The sensation of “Being” did not change for me. When I felt my awareness slipping from my body, I told the doctor at my side (I was taken to the Oja Emergency Room), “You are going to lose me.” While he “charged up” the electric paddles to shock my heart into beating again, a total of eight seconds, I continued to experience consciousness.
It was very similar to my meditation experiences. I saw images within my mind, but my sense of knowing told me this was my mental furniture so I could make sense of my continued existence, even though my “body consciousness” had temporarily gone. I could not remember my name or any details of my life. I existed, and I saw images and I felt love flowing through me and around me. I also heard the nurses and doctor speaking to my body as they quickly moved to getting my mind and body reconnected with the beating of my heart.
Vedic meditation is a mental and emotional holiday from our everyday life demands. For twenty minute twice a day, we give ourselves permission to experience “Being”, with no agenda, open to whatever nature or life is wanting us to experience and see and feel. No matter whether my meditation is thought filled or thought-less (peaceful transcendence), I always feel more rested.
I love life and having a body to enjoy this human experience, and my meditation practice helps ensure I remain in a “letting go” frame of mind, so I can enjoy this present moment to the fullest! We never know when body death will approach us, at what age or circumstance. I encourage you do things now that lowers your stress levels in your body and increases your experience of the happiness of “Being”.