Category Archives: Meditation

Om lost and found

I’ve told the story before of how my grandfather, who died 3 months before my daughter  was born, may have sent Tessa to us. But I’ve never told the story of the possible cosmic doings behind Reed’s joining us.

Because I lost the words. Literally.

While we were in the Adoption Wait in 2002, I was attending energy work classes with my mentor, Ethel. One day Ethel brought sets of  japa mala beads that she’d made, more than enough for each person in our class. I chose this pink quartz  and burgundy glass set.

Ethel gave me a Sanskrit chant to say daily with my beads, one that would draw to me a soul who would teach me.

She said it was a good idea to say the chant to music. So I took the tune of a children’s song I had learned years previously in Japan and inserted the Sanskrit syllables.

I fingered my japa mala necklace faithfully, fondling each bead as I chanted the given sentence, eyes closed. Daiy I went around the circle twice for 108 repetitions. I knew when I was finished when I arrived at the bigger guru bead.

As you can probably guess, seven-and-a-half months after I began Om-ing, Reed was born about five-and-a-half weeks early and subsequently came into our family. There’s some intriguing math in there.

When I began blogging, I wanted to share the mystery words with other infertiles who wanted to invite a soul into their lives. Being the documentarian that I am, I knew I’d be able to easily find the mantra.

But I couldn’t. I scoured my daily journals. I re-read my notes from class. I perused my dream journals and every scrap of paper I may have written the prayer on. I tried to dig up the words from my own memory. I even asked Ethel, and she had no idea where they had come from. The words were lost to me. I finally gave up looking.

One day while sitting under the dryer at Crystal’s hair salon, I thumbed through a Yoga Journal. I opened to a page that featured an article ABOUT MY CHANT.

I scribbled down the words giddily. And now I can give them to you.

So if you are seeking a soul to teach you and are willing to open yourself up, get some prayer beads and find or make a tune that fits these words:

Om namo bhagavate vasu deva ya.

More on this mantra here and here (maning varies from what Ethel told me). You can also find videos on this chant on YouTube.

Perfect Moment Monday: Jai Ho

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Details on how to participate are at the bottom of this post, complete with bloggy bling.

Please visit the links of the participants at the bottom.

Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.


Have you ever had one of those fleeting thoughts that your life is so fragile you could die any second? Followed by one of those even rarer thoughts that dying in this moment would be OK because of the amazing thing you just experienced, which filled you so with life and joy that for just a moment you felt your own timelessness?

This happened to me this weekend as I crossed the street to get to my car following a dance/meditation class I attended for the first time. Had I been hit by a car, I would have died happy.

My yoga studio offered a Bhangara dance session Saturday. I had no clue what Bhangara (also Bhangra) was, but I’m really into moving my body these days, so I signed up.

I knew Bhangara was a dance form that originated in northern India. I knew that it had been recently popularized in the film Slum Dog Millionaire (to the song Jai Ho). Here are scenes from the final credits.

Bhangara is a dance of joy, of abundance, done to celebrate harvests and marriages and other happy events. It’s not technically difficult — you do better at it when you just feel the music and let it take you over. It’s very energetic and, from what I can tell, it is done as a group. Think Deepak Chopra meets Achy-Breaky Heart, with more free-form.

Our instructor, a western woman, greeted us in traditional Punjabi dress, complete with turban. For an hour, she showed  us several Bhangara moves to traditional and modern music, and we moved around the room energetically. The dance requires a lot of jumping around and springiness — we got quite an aerobic workout and today my calves are chanting at me (not Ommmm, but owwww).

This is NOT me and my class (sorry, WiseGuy!), but it’s similar to what the 11 of us learned to do.

It was exhilarating.

We closed the class with a brief meditation to heal the planet with our feminine energy. The instructor chose a mudra to activate both our hearts and our third eyes. Feeling and knowing. Connecting and healing.

As I sat in the stillness, people swirled in and out of my mind. Family members, friends, some of you. I had a sense that debris was being released. Clearing. Expanding. Healing.

That was just the beginning of the magical moments. The yoga studio has a set of vertical windows  on the west side of the room. I sat on the east side, almost facing the windows. At the start of the meditation, I was in the shade. In those few minutes, a beam of light only 6 inches wide landed fully on my face, allowing for incredible warmth (yet not uncomfortable heat) and a fantastic color show on the inside of my closed eyelids.

Bright yellow, fiery red, vibrant orange swirled around in my mind’s eye. Verdant green, limitless blue and deep purples joined in to make a gorgeous chakra dance. (And you know how I love my chakra colors — see my header).

I continued to breathe deeply and I filled with an intense joy — boundless, uncontainable joy. On the rare occasions when I get filled up like this, I experience an uncontrollable bodily function.

I cry.

Much to my dismay.

It’s embarrassing, and it takes me away from my happy place. I so wanted to surrender to the tears, but I feared what the others would think of me. Fear is quite a buzzkill.

Nevertheless, each time I find the joy I surrender a bit more.

When the instructor brought us out of the meditation I had a few tears rolling down my cheeks. I hoped the other women didn’t notice. But who knows? Maybe they were crying, too.

That’s a pretty long post to describe just one perfect moment. But since so many of you were in it, I wanted to do it justice.

Mwah, my friends. Wishing you all a joyous week.


To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment in a blog post, on Twitter, on Facebook, or simply leave a comment below.
  2. Grab the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  3. Use MckLinky below to enter your blog’s name and the URL of your Perfect Moment
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others (from the links below), and let the writers know you were there.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.

What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Be sure to visit these moments and share the love, and please come back next week (click to subscribe).

My watershed moment: the breakthrough I needed to become a mom

I’m re-running a post from my archives that I found during my move. If you are in the throes of infertility, this one’s for you.


October, 2000. I am on the therapist’s table. She leads me to a relaxed state of deeper consciousness. She asks me to look at my shoes. I do.

They have buckles, and my story flows forth. I am 14 years old, living with my parents in a place that’s cold with a dirt floor. I have just gotten what Mother calls “the Curse.” It frightens me at first, the blood.

The therapist guides me to the next significant event. Now I am 19, and my parents and the community are gathered at my wedding. The groom is a kind, balding man with spectacles. My parents have chosen him for me. The therapist asks what I think of this arranged marriage: “It’s what we do.”

Another scene. My son is 7. Josiah has piercing blue eyes and brings me joy. He is out with my husband (his father) one day working the fields. A horse is spooked and kicks Josiah in the head.

For 14 years I take care of my once-vibrant, bedridden, now simple son. I blame my husband for this life lost, even though I know it was an accident. We don’t have another child because to me, children = pain. I am called “barren.”

Despite my ministrations, Josiah dies as a young adult.

I live a numb life.

The therapist brings me to my own funeral. It is in a bleak church with no color — only shades of earth. There is nothing remarkable about my passing. It is a relief. The mourners are there because “it’s what we do.”

The therapist alerts me to some beliefs I carry:

  • Life is bleak
  • Children bring pain.
  • There is little room for self-direction. We are carried by the thought, “it’s what we do.”

Once I am aware of these beliefs, we release them. Ethel, the therapist, is an energy worker, and she brings me to a decision point where I can choose to carry or not carry these beliefs with me in my current life.

I get off the table and ask for time to journal. She concludes our session with a huge glass of water to help move the energetic debris we dislodged.

So, was this an actual past life or not? Or was it just another way — like Freudian free-association or Jungian dream interpretations or a Rorschach test — to glimpse the unconscious beliefs I carried and that thwarted my desired to be a mom?

And does it matter?

I felt immediate relief after that session. I was lighter, unshackled, empowered. I can tell you that from that point on, we had smooth sailing.

That week we chose an adoption agency and resolved to complete the HUGE application packet by the first of the year. Right after New Year’s, we turned it in.

Three months later our daughter was born. Because, among other things, I cleared the way.