Monday, June 21, 2010

What is tantra ?

Lately there has been a lot of discussion in the media about Tantra. On the Jay Leno show, Sting admitted to practicing Tantra. Now more movie stars are coming out and admitting to taking part in this ancient form of Yoga, which uses sexual energy to awaken those who practice it. Any time the word “sex” is used in our culture, eyebrows rise and attention is given. Ever since the Puritans landed at Plymouth, we have been troubled by sex. For most Americans, it is the great embarrassment. It is rarely talked about with any real intelligence. Most of us learned about sex as a matter of trial and error and have been trying to get it right ever since.

True Shaivic Tantra is part of an ancient spiritual practice that elevated sexuality to a sublime meditative state. The sexual aspect was only part of a bigger experience. Some sources set the Indian Tantric origin at 3,000 or more years ago. It generally is not practiced openly and has been underground for hundreds of years. It was Goddess-based, and the Feminine reigned supreme. Some scholars and spiritual teachers express resentment at the adulteration that has occurred in the West’s interpretation of a complex spiritual practice that our culture cannot fully understand. However, Western modes of Tantra have emerged that help us refocus our sexuality as a way to connect to the Divine in each other and ourselves. As a society we are still repressed and are attempting to free ourselves from Puritan influences that made sex dirty, secretive, and dis empowering to women. Tantra is a mode of liberation and release from this guilt. It integrates our sexuality into a matrix of worshipful, prayer-like awareness. It can be a virtual conduit to the Divine, which transports the participants into a state of ecstatic bliss. A true Tantric practitioner accepts every touch and glance reverently, as a Divine gift.

Tantra is rapidly becoming a catch-phrase for an elevated sexual experience. It is now mainstream, and getting more so. Though many “gradients” of quality seem to exist, any activity that brings more reverence and respect to the world is good. Indeed, seeing our sexuality as sacred is the best antidote we know for things like pornography, perversion, and sexual abuse. Supporting a spiritual awareness that makes us whole and integrated can be a form of awakening. There are a handful of men and women who have been trained in “sexual healing”, a very real experience needed by people who have been damaged in this regard. Some Tantric practitioners integrate this activity into their sessions.

Tantric practitioners are everything from “the real deal” to people with little or not training cashing in on the term. Nonetheless, there is generally compassion and caring which can be refreshingly healing for those who are open to exploration. We have within us aspects and powers undiscovered in our de-sensitized world of indifference to the sacred. Any practice that can transform us into more loving, caring, and joyous humans is worthwhile, and bringing an honoring attitude into the bedroom can alleviate many sexual problems.

Kalu Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama’s teacher, says there are three paths to enlightenment. The fastest is sacred sexuality (Tantra). The second fastest is sacred music. The slowest but surest is meditation. Because of all the lack of clarity and wounding associated with our sexuality, the danger of misuse of our sexual selves is quite real. When the higher aspects are in control of our sexuality, movement into the heavenly realms is assured.

The fact that you have a good sex life already, and that your husband wants to explore this dimension with you could mean a quantum leap in your lovemaking and in your life. Aligning your sexual energy center with God brings that energy into your life. Imagine seeing the Divine in each other all or most of the time, and treating each other with that reverence, respect, honor, and love. The quality of energy this brings into your life is sweet, blissful, and immensely powerful.

Many see Tantra as the Yoga of Everything. People who live their life as an art form have more freedom to express themselves in refreshing and powerful ways. Our society both worships and shuns people who have learned to live this way. To take control of the way you want to live your life takes real courage. The first step begins when you say to yourself that there must be more to life than this! Some say love is only waiting for us to show up. Indeed, love is possible in every moment. On a quantum level the Universe does appear to be making love to itself.

To participate consciously in this “dance” takes it to a whole new level. The fuel for enlightenment is seen as Kundalini, or sexual fire. It rises from the base chakra in a spiraling pattern. There is much written on the effects of too much energy moving up the spine too fast. The effects on the mental/emotional aspects can indeed be stressful and sometimes more than you are ready for. Controlling the burn of passion and dedicating it to higher purposes can produce rapid transformation. From an alchemical view, transforming base instincts into spiritual essence takes significant commitment and is certainly a worthwhile goal to aspire to.

If life is a dance and we are learning the steps, Tantra could be seen as hot, smoking Salsa. High-level practitioners of Tantra see God or The Beloved dancing in the eyes of everyone. True enlivenment or enlightenment comes when the dance seeps from the bedroom into every interaction.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Overcoming Underearning®: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life - Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny is an exceptional woman. When Caroline, Tomas and I met her at Kripalu two years ago, we knew it immediately. But it wasn't until she was in our training this spring that we really got to know just why she is so exceptional. You see, she was born into money, so she never had to learn to earn it herself. Practically overnight, the cushion she thought she would have all her life was gone . From never having to worry about making money, she suddenly realized, she now had to. This nightmare turned into a true blessing in her life. She set out to learn for herself how to master the art of making money. Once she did it for herself, she decided to teach other women how to, as well. Caroline, Tomas and I have all had the good fortune of being mentored by Barbara and we have benefited greatly.

On Monday, June 21st, 2010, in NYC, Barbara Stanny will be teaching Overcoming Underearning for the LAST TIME EVER!* (click here for all the details)

If you desire to earn more, but can’t, despite efforts to do otherwise…I urge you to attend.

For over 10 years, Barbara has taught thousands of women to unleash the power and potential within to achieve their financial goals in her powerful workshop: Overcoming Underearning®: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life, based on her books: Secrets of Six Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning®.

This life altering seminar, based on the Inner Work of Wealth, the Outer Work of Wealth and the Higher Work of Wealth, will help you learn how to:
· Identify the five simple steps to increasing your income
· Think bigger about what's possible for your life
· Understand the signs of underearning
· Uncover the Big Lie you've been telling yourself
· Understand the signs of resistance and how to deal with them
· Tailor a specific action plan to your individual situation

This is more than a workshop on finances. You will also leave with the deep knowledge that you have the capacity to realize your potential, live your dreams, become more of who you are meant to be, and make an impact on the world.

“Since this is my last OU workshop- or I guess you could call it my graduation!- I desire for it to be the largest and most powerful one yet- not only for me but for every woman who desires it!”—Barbara Stanny

Registration fee for this life-changing day is only $475.

Register Now

I look forward to working with you!

Barbara Stanny

With all our hearts, we recommend this brilliant, determined, and very caring woman.

- Joan

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"Taking responsibility" is not about being "to blame". Blame creates guilt, resentment, and diminishes self-worth. It's also destructive. No one wants to feel guilt, so we try to place it elsewhere and therefore blame each other. Taking responsibility means becoming aware of how your actions, energy, attitudes, and choices affect everyone with whom you interact. Your feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, or joy will affect all of your interactions, from your sweetheart to the bank clerk! Your self-acceptance, or lack of it; your feelings of self-worth, or lack of them; your feelings of guilt, shame, respect, or tolerance will all affect how you interact with your world.

When you "take responsibility", you realize you are responsible for how you act or react to situations in your life. You may be so angry, you feel like hurting someone. You are responsible for controlling yourself so that you don't. In your anger you may want to lash out and call names. You are responsible for waiting until you are calm and centered so you can talk about things rationally, in a way that doesn't add more fuel to the fire or emotionally hurt those you love. The bottom line is that you are responsible for being aware of how you affect your environment, and for finding a place of inner peace so that you can meet life's challenges with equanimity. This state is generally referred to as being “awake.” When we are awake, we see the effects of blame and judgment, and start to move away from non-productive interactions. We then free up enormous amounts of energy for activities which are much more pleasant.

There are many ways to do this including prayer, meditation, deep relaxation, visualization, yoga, breathing exercises, time in nature... to name a few. The focus is on coming to a place of stillness and peace within yourself. When you do this, you can perceive more clearly, how your thoughts, words and actions affect those around you. When you are calm inside you also receive inner guidance, make better choices and communicate more effectively.

Take responsibility for your inner peace first, and your life will improve.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gabrielle's Wings

Gabrielle's Wings

Dear Friends,

This is for those of you who knew and loved Gabrielle, and it is also to share with you my own journey with this great being.

I just completed a huge passage in my own life. Gabrielle, my archangel and friend of 20 years died Sat night. It was fully expected. She had been having challenges with her breathing for a couple of years, and finally they discovered it was lymphoma. At 75, she elected not to do chemo, but realized it was her time to go. Gabrielle, for those that may not know her, took care of me in many ways, one of the most important being the keeper of the sacred financial books and that of the Divine Feminine-Awakened Masculine Institute as well. She also interacted with the students around tuition and housing and all that stuff that takes time and patience. She helped set up our on-line store, and sent the products to all those who ordered them. She could answer almost any question, or find the answer. She did everything with excellence, and our financial records always came out to the penny.

It was a bittersweet few months of being with her, as she slowly became weaker and weaker, but during that time we shared so many memories and so much love. I brought her fresh coconut water from the coconuts on our land that Caroline had planted. It was one of the few things she really enjoyed. I also brought her lilikoi tapioca made with coconut milk that she also loved.

We traced our time since she we had known each other, when she came to me for counseling after being in a couple of car accidents. At that time, she was wrapped very tightly from holding in a great deal of pain and anger for many years. During the time I counseled her, and then beyond that as we evolved into a friendship, I watched her claim her life. I watched her grow, along with her hair, from a woman that almost looked like a man, (she had extremely short hair and wore only jeans and t-shirts), into a beautiful woman with long, black, thick, curly hair. She had a milky pink complexion and, in her metamorphosis, she began to dress in long dresses, with sparkly combs and a bindi. She began to look like the pictures of Radha I had seen; Krishna's consort.

Gabrielle taught me things about living life. At 70 she took up the ukulele and hula. She looked for ways to help those around her. She wanted everything to be perfect, which caused her great distress at times, since life is everything, including 'not perfect'. But she would continue on, even after painful experiences, determined to get over it and do what she could for those she loved.

To name all the things that Gabrielle did for me would take a long time, and you may not want to read such a lengthy letter. Just know she went above and beyond in her care of me, and then Tomas and me and our business, and then DFAMI. In many ways she was like a mother or older sister, but archangel sums it up.

What was beyond wonderful, was that, in the few months after she decided to go consciously into her dying process, she let go of all of the remaining upsets she had with everyone and came to complete peace. Her only regret, which we shared, was that she could not do it sooner, but the fact is, that she could not have. And that she did finally did find this peace was monumental. We wept many happy tears over this fact, and promised one another that when we meet in our next life, we will start from this new elevation. Next time, we promised, we'll have a lot more fun together.

I was awakened Sunday morning by the call that Gabrielle had died peacefully at 11 pm Sat night. Sandrina, her daughter had been with her solidly for days, barely leaving the room, except for times when others, like myself, would visit. I had been there for an hour or so Saturday. Gabrielle was in that state that let us know she would be leaving very soon. Just before 11, Sandrina hurried downstairs to get some juice. She came back up and Gabrielle had just slipped away. As Sandrina said, Gabrielle was probably waiting for the moment when no one was looking to make her exit.

Sunday was a beautiful day. We had been in a rainy, windy pattern, which I thought would continue for some time. But Sunday was gorgeous. The sun was out and the clouds were morphing from one amazing shape to another. Lots of angels and Krishna-like headdresses. So the angels and Krisha himself came to collect her. It was all there in the clouds that day. Later, I heard from Amrita, that a huge, very bright rainbow was right over Gabrielle's house, as she drove there for the gathering.

I had the honor of helping prepare her body Sunday morning, along with 4 other angel friends who also loved her. It was a real initiation. We lovingly bathed her, rubbed scented oil on her body, and anointed her chakras. We dressed her in a beautiful long dress with a lovely lace shawl and put a haku lei and puakinikini flowers in her hair, since she loved to dance hula and puakinikini was her favorite flower. We sprinkled rose petals and other flowers from her yard around her body. We put on the music she had asked to listen to as she was making her exit. It was a compilation of Hallelujah, Kyrie, Hara Hara and Om Namah Shivaya by Robert Gass. Then we cleaned her room and created altars everywhere with candles, flowers, crystals and pictures of angels. She will lay in state for three days, while her friends come and pay their final respects.

I came home to get ready to go back for the memorial we were going to have. My emotions were all over the place, waves of feelings, my own personal sadness of missing this great friend, gratitude for all I had with her, thankfulness that her passing had been so peaceful. I was about to take my dog, Pono, for a walk when this little voice came in telling me to take a swim. I didn't have much time, but I grabbed my towel and walked down to Hale Akua and jumped in their salt-water swimming pool and did 20 laps. I swam on my back a lot, and watched legions of angel clouds sweep by. Gabrielle knew how much I loved to swim. I was sure that was her voice urging me to do what was most healing for me. She made sure I took care of myself that day. That is just like her!

Sunday afternoon Tomas, Amrita and I came together with other of her friends. Bodhi, who was presiding over the gathering with Leila, his wife, reminded us that we are all going to end up where Gabrielle is some day, and celebrated that it was in her own bed with a beautiful view of meadows and pastures, and surrounded by the love of her daughter and all her friends. Thanks to hospice, she was pain free and well cared for up until the end. He added, "May we all be so fortunate."

I was deeply touched to see how a community of loving friends can care for one who is dying with such love and devotion. I pray that everyone has a community of conscious souls, willing to watch over those who are getting ready to make their journey to the other side, so it can be as ease-full and peace-full as possible.

Having seen now a few of my friends make their end play, I see how differently we each choose to exit. Bodhi, who has seen more than I, says, that everyone he's been with, in their last days, there are two things people have to come to terms with. One is coming to peace with anyone you've not been at peace with. The other is feeling that you have lived your life fully. He suggests you do this before you get to this place in your life. Do what you love, now. And find peace with everyone, in person or in your heart.

Gabrielle made her peace. She also came to see that she had lived a wonderful life. For this I am eternally thankful.

Eternal Blessings and Love, Joan

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Big Island calls!

OMG! It's already October. November is right around the corner--time for us to go the the Big Island and enjoy the beauty of Kalani Honua.

We'll be there Nov 14-21 for our Body Temple Module, doing yoga, practicing NAH (nurturing, awakening and healing), teaching our Divine Feminine massage techniques, sharing our latest cool understanding of Compassionate Communication, sacred time with the women and the men together in their own gender pods, eating ono-delicious organic cuisine, swimming in their olympic size pool, and potentially swimming with the dolphins that come into the clothing optional black sand beach nearby.

Caroline Muir, our founder, my husband Tomas and I invite you to join us for this warm, connective and educational time together. You might like to become a certified Spiritual Sexual Educator, or a Divine Feminine-Awakened Masculine Educator--or you may simply wish to take a vacation and learn more about sacred sexuality and how to honor your feelings and needs on an ever deeper level.

We can take ten more people, and then we are full!!! So let us know if you would like to join us!

Love and Blessings,

Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Director, 877-731-7500

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Inspired Sharing

Dear Beloveds,

In the midst of continued media bombardment designed to scare the wits out of us, I look around and see life getting better. I see more creative possibilities, loving acts of kindness and inspiring messages than ever in my life. Via internet, I see this happening all over the globe. Individuals, communities and organizations are rising up to take a stance for environmental, health and interpersonal issues. Personally, those around me in my immediate community are caring, supportive and loving.

Out of this world chaos I am seeing fundamental issues being addressed as never before--the quality of our food, our water, our soil. I'm seeing more information and action regarding animal rights, human rights, community rights. I'm also seeing people taking more personal responsibility in looking closely at what they are saying, doing--even buying--that either supports life or diminishes it.

This time is the most exciting time yet. More of us are not only awake but pro-actively taking responsibility in living our purpose and giving our gifts.

Wow! Let's celebrate by sharing what is working in our lives and how we are making a difference--whether it's home schooling our children or planting a garden or sharing with our friends and community how to love each other as perfectly as we can. We are each doing something that is making a difference--that I am sure.

Something I found inspiring today.

"Spirit would never bring you to this place of high vibration, Lightworker, just to plough you under like so much dirt. You are actively involved in creating an energy on this planet that will eventually create healing and peace that you have never seen before. Two generations from now, you will not recognize this place, for there will be talk of "putting things together" instead of tearing them apart. The old energy leaders will be gone and a new generation of conceptual thinkers will be in place." - Kryon

I felt compelled to share what is in my heart. I'd love to hear what's in yours. And if you find this message helpful, please pass it on.