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Coming Home - there's nothing like it

Coming Home – there’s nothing like it

Coming home after a holiday you breathe in, you’re in your own space, it’s familiar yet we see it with different eyes. We can relax spread out, Let down and breathe…

I love coming home after a program at Quest or after any retreat.  Yet I remind myself there are so many chances to ‘come home’ to myself all day long.

On the program, throughout the day we ‘come to our senses’, we do mini meditations which bring us back home to ourselves: to the peaceful, unchanging part of ourselves that is so ever present that we miss it.

To be reminded of this and to live the experience of it for a few days is life changing.   We have great food, friendly staff, and a beautiful environment, fresh mountain air – come to Quest and you will feel like you have come home!

See you there!

Bernadette

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

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Are you addicted to your technology?

Are you addicted to your technology?

The latest US holiday is a technical detox. People go to a retreat place and have to hand in their notepads, tablets, smart-phones – literally check ‘em at the door.

Within 3 hours people are desperate for a game of ‘angry birds’ or they  beg “I just need to see ONE email”.

I lived for 2 years without a telly.   It was as much a idealogical choice –(were were a right on Steiner/Buddhist/ Montessori  community) as it was the UK TV licence fee.

I never missed it. And I never missed any news.

I was in the UK when 9/11 happened and I only saw that footage once.  (Which was enough. Especially after my Goddaughter who lived with a telly and kept seeing repeated images said to me, “Bibi,  why are flying all those planes into the buildings”…)

I’m considering one day a week where I am “tech –free”

I can usually do without my PC, and my Ipad, and often the telly, but I’m not sure can leave my so-so clever phone.   Tricky!  Profoundly attached to it.

If you have done this and had any joy with it, l’d love to know how you go.

Yours, in the spirit of simplicity

Bernadette

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

 

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A witness consciousness...  Aaaahhh, bliss.

A witness consciousness... Aaaahhh, bliss.

For me, Yoga is a process of deconstruction. Of letting go of everything I thought I’d learned.

The Yoga tradition says that all information, all wisdom is available in Universal Mind/Consciousness. And if one is open enough, it starts to come though.

When we get stuck, when we reach an impasse it is helpful to remember, as Einstein advised, that the mind that created the problem is not the mind that can solve it.

Our ‘little mind’ likes answers, formulas, security.  If we want anything new though, how do we break out of patterns or open up into another part of the mind that hasn’t got already formed, set answers or neurological pathways?

We also have these formed, set ‘answers’ in the body.  Ask a group of yoga students (especially teachers) to stand up and they will all go straight into a ‘standing pose’.  And all we did was ask them to stand up…

Every day we train ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally.  And this entrainment happens at the level of our cells, our synaptic connections. We strengthen them each time we do it the same way, every time we do rage say, we strengthen it and we then operate the same way in the world.

Our habitual mind always considers the problem from its viewpoint of past conditioning and how we’ve always done it or been told to do it.

If every time I do yoga I push myself according to an idea or an image I have of the movement, I strengthen those same neurological connections.  It can become joyless and dead.

So my question becomes, if I am practising yoga or having a conversation, can I go into that intelligent ‘no-knowing’ state or part of myself?  That, paradoxically, is when ideas and solutions that would never have occurred to us appear.

If we let go and become still, surrender, then ideas and thoughts and new solutions come from ‘out of the blue’.

No-one else can help us with this.  We have to get ‘on the mat’, or in the chair (or on the floor) and for a few minutes, let go of all ideas (of our practice, of our problems…) and practise an intense form of listening to what is possible. Slowly other information comes through. From the BIG MIND

How do we do it? For me I touch this place in the practice of Yoga Nidra. Where we go though the physical body so it is energised and relaxed, then we observe the mental and emotional fluctuations (that are to a large degree controlled by the mind) and then there comes this experience of ‘who is observing all this?  A witness consciousness…  Aaaahhh, bliss.

It happens through relaxation, we can’t WILL it. When we relax, all sense of separation disappears, new ideas and answers emerge, the ‘dog eat dog world’ fades and a new world opens up.

When we change, it has an enormous effect on the world…

I wish you many happy times of ‘not knowing!’

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

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Petrea wanted to share these events with you:

An opportunity to settle the chatter in the mind and to connect you with your essence

An opportunity to settle the chatter in the mind and to connect you with your essence

Petrea King, Bernadette Arena and Wendie Batho travelled to India in 2010 to meet with Sri AmmaBhagavan and to receive (and to give) the Oneness Blessing. It is now available to everyone here in Australia. You may find it a wonderful opportunity to settle the chatter in the mind and to connect you with your essence – or ‘first’ nature.

A New Deeksha being introduced worldwide by Oneness University is now available in Australia

Namaste Dearest Blessing Givers & Oneness Participants

The outreach of Oneness University and the gift of spiritual nurturing and awakening offered by Sri AmmaBhagavan has been released over the years in waves in accordance with Humanity’s response to the outflowing energies. The latest outpouring of Grace is taking the form of an eye-deeksha and is known as the Oneness Meditation. This new deeksha has only so far been introduced in a few countries around the world and now it is Australia’s turn.

To begin with Pasquo and I have been initiated to be instruments for this new deeksha, with other trainers around Australia to be initiated soon. We have begun facilitating this Oneness Meditation here in Adelaide with very powerful results and amazing feedback and reports of miracles from the participants. Oneness Trainers in different parts of Australia have invited us to come and share the deeksha with their groups so that the benediction of the Oneness Meditation can spread quickly to their oneness participants around the country. So programs have been scheduled for Sydney, NSW Central Coast, Melbourne and Perth, with programs also continuing here in Adelaide in the next few weeks. We have included the program details below.

What is the Oneness Meditation
This is a group Meditation where powerful Divine energies flow through the initiated person who acts as an instrument for the transfer of the blessing to the group through eye contact with each participant. The eye contact allows the Divine energies to flow, giving a very powerful Deeksha to the those present. This energy helps to awaken one’s inner Divine intelligence leading to an accelerated process of awakening.

As most of you are aware 2012 is a very important year. We are in a window of opportunity to accelerate our personal growth. We have the power of choice to steer our own destiny. This deeksha is potent enough to allow incredible breakthroughs in all areas of our everyday life. The feedback we have received so far verifies this with those who received this eye deeksha here in Adelaide reporting incredible immediate shifts in their consciousness and the way they experience their life. A lady who had experienced prolonged depression and loss of faith in life had a complete shift of consciousness and reported how if she revisits the thoughts that were troubling her previously there is no emotional charge present any more. Previously she cried every time she had these thoughts. When she got out of bed the morning following the deeksha, she felt good and had a completely positive outlook on her life with a complete shift in perception from the previous long-experienced despair.

Sri Bhagavan has stated that the power of this eye deeksha will accelerate the personal awakening of all who receive it. Conditioning and obstacles to spiritual growth can be removed plus positive gains in health, wealth and happiness can be experienced. The deeksha facilitates healing, on a physical, emotional and mental level and the healing required for the opening up into right relationships with all people in your life

The Oneness Meditation is offered to all people of all denominations, races, creeds and walks of life. No prior experience of Oneness events is necessary in order to participate. So please share this wonderful opportunity and invite friends, family and work colleagues to experience this new benediction and gift for all. We hope you can join us and experience this Oneness Meditation first hand and see the changes for yourself.

Program Details
Sydney – Saturday 18th February – North Sydney
Bookings & details:
Gaynor – Tel: 02 9411 6886   Email: info@sydneyoneness.com.au
Dinah & Kaya – Tel: 02 95686513 Email: dinah64@tpg.com.au

Central Coast NSW- 19th February – Terrigal
Bookings & Details:
Alun and Marion Vaughan (02) 4385 7672Email: alunv@optusnet.com.au

Adelaide – Fullarton – 26th February
Bookings & Details:
Lisa & Pasquo – Tel: 08 83385642 Email: info@onenesscentre.com.au

Melbourne – 2nd & 3rd March
Bookings & Details:
Brandon & Rochelle – Mob: 0400 619 785 Email: brandongiffard@hotmail.com

Perth – Fremantle – 17th, 18th  March.
Bookings & Details:
Isha – Tel: 08 93364684  Email: openheart@aapt.net.au

We hope that each and every one of you will take up this opportunity to participate in this new deeksha and encourage as many of your blessing participants, friends and family to do so also. It matters not whether you received the deeksha yesterday, years ago or you have never even heard of the Oneness Blessing before, this new Oneness Meditation is a gift  for everyone. Please find the flyer attached with all the details and some feedback below from those who have received the new deeksha.

We hope you can join us and look forward to coming back to Sydney this week and sharing this gift from Amma Bhagavan.

Love & Blessings
Lisa & Pasquo

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Hope

Hope

The coming suffering is to be avoided

I was teaching at a yoga teacher training course and we were having a discussion on Philosophy.

I recalled a sutra from the central texts of yoga (The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, if you are that way inclined). Originally in Sanskrit, (I shall refrain from waxing lyrical about how much I love this perfect language!) it says, literally – “The coming suffering is to be avoided”.

What does that mean? “The suffering that is to come can be avoided?”.

For me, it is saying that things can become better in the future, by the choices we make in the present. This is a real message of hope.

It is about choosing your highest values to guide your actions.

If I ask myself ‘from what basis do I decide my present actions?’ What guides it? I would like to say it is Compassion.

Compassion is equal parts of love and discrimination.

The Buddhists say it is only our actions that we can own. We tend to think it is what we say that matters; yet it is who we are and what we do with our lives.

This sutra means Being in the present and still planning. By practicing being present and planning for the future with skilful decisions born of our values, we are then able to meet the inevitable challenges of life.

I recently saw this very quote being discussed in a book on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. Another example of ancient wisdom with current application!

So in these most challenging of times, perhaps we can consider what guides our actions, so that we can skilfully navigate our way to a future without the suffering which could have been avoided. (I thank all my teachers, past and present who have guided my life and shared so generously of their own experiences and insights).

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

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Button

... a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.

A line from a poem came to me this morning:

“before you know what kindness is, you must lose things….”

Hmmm. I rolled it around in my mind for a while, contemplating it, tasting it. Not really questioning it, seeing if I agreed or if it fitted my world view, but just letting it settle in me. Then I went looking for the rest of it. I knew it was by Naomi Shihab Nye, (who refers to herself as an Arab Amercian). I didn’t find that poem but I found this one, and the last lines (in my italics) are for me today a breakfast of joy for the soul. What do you think?

Famous

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it and
not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

 

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Happy Contemplations

Happy Contemplations

Thank you to anyone who has joined me in the 30 day meditation challenge.   I’m feeling calmer and more joyous,  and more easily remembering I  am what observes, not what I observe.   I love having a community of virtual meditators to keep me company, thank you.

Some time ago I read an article by neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson.  It was an article from IONS (Institute of Noetic sciences) I can’t recall the exact reference, but it was about ‘contemplative neuroscience’ -the study of the changes in the brain when people meditate.

There was a recommended exercise which I offer here as it is another great practice for our contemplative toolkit.

  • Begin with awareness on the sensations of breathing. (Rick suggests that if focusing on breathing makes you uncomfortable in any way, then focus on sensations in another part of your body, your feet or hands).

Have a clear intention to really stay present with your chosen object of concentration.  You might affirm,” I am staying completely present’

  • Relax! Sigh, make some longer exhalations, relax the face, jaw.
  • Focus on feeling as safe as you possibly can. Recognise you are probably in a safe and comfortable place while practising this.  Also recall all those supports in your life, and your own strengths that enable you to deal with whatever life brings.  This helps us feel less guarded, less braced against life.
  • Open to feelings of simple well-being. Without straining or forcing anything, encourage gentle feelings of happiness and gratitude. Rick says, “For example, forests make me happy, and I am grateful for the smell of oranges. Whatever works for you, allow a sense of positive emotion to fill you. There may well be other feelings, even negative feelings; don’t resist them. Let them come and let them go, as you keep bringing your attention back to feeling as good as you can in the moment.”
  • Get a sense of your awareness being like boundless space. Notice that awareness has no edges, no bounds. In a sense, it is infinite, like the sky or space. In that vast space, different experiences come and go, and you now have a panoramic sense of experiences arising and passing in the vast space of your awareness. You have a kind of bird’s-eye view of thoughts, sensations, sounds, feelings, desires, memories, whatever, coming and going in boundless, open space. Feel free to enjoy whatever is worthwhile in whatever you’re feeling”.

Happy contemplating.     Let me know if you like this.

Love, Bernadette

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette Arena

Bernadette has worked with the Quest for Life Foundation since early 2006 and is the Senior Facilitator on our residential programs.  Her work is treasured by our participants and our team. She has also been developing and refining a deep understanding of the use of appropriate yoga and meditation approaches for use in oncology and with serious illness.

Bernadette maintains close association with International Yoga Teachers Association and is a senior lecturer for their Teacher Training Course.  She has designed and delivered yoga teacher training courses for other organisations.  During 5 years in the UK she taught retreats, workshops and classes across the UK and in Europe and worked as a personal ‘lifestyle’ coach.  Bernadette brings a gentle and loving nature with insight and compassion borne out of her experience. She can assist a deeper connection with the body as a means to rejuvenate the spirit.

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