KARMIC REMEDIES and RESOURCES
Astrological Healing: Vedic astrology provides opportunities to purify and release karma in a variety of ways. Besides including recommendations for remedies, a Vedic astrology reading is itself a remedy! It can shine a light on our nature, destiny, and karma, revealing our swadharma (our own unique life path), so that we might understand better how to pursue the right path of development in life. A reading can help to reveal our greatest potential and how best to optimize it. It can also point out our limitations, which are often our greatest spiritual teachers.
Astrological counseling is remedial because it can help to liberate our fears and uncertainties about the future. Many of my clients consult with me on a regular basis as not only their astrologer, but also as a friend, life counselor, wellness coach, and spiritual guide. In our sessions together, I am able to help my clients release some of their karma, and this alone goes a long way toward easing their burdens. I like to incorporate metaphysical healing work along with an astrological reading, which I call the Astral Tune-up, in order to make the session even more of a supportive remedial measure.
Purification and Protection
This exercise is best done after waking up or at any other time that you anticipate the need for protection from external influences.
It aligns the four lower bodies of the ego or individual self. It helps us form a link with the higher self that guides and protects us and lifts us above the quagmire of human thoughts and emotions that are constantly bombarding us in everyday life. These thoughts and emotions are always moving in the astral field that surrounds us. The less we allow these forces to influence us and the more we remain attuned to higher spiritual forces, the more content we will be. A great deal of our own negative thought and emotion is caused by absorbing too much from the astral environment.
We create our own reality by our thoughts, and it is up to us where we choose to focus our mind. Performing this exercise regularly can assist in creating a mental link with our spiritual selves, thus opening the flood gates of grace to help us actualize the positive things in life.
1. Find a safe, quiet place where you can feel positive energy. I recommend that you burn a stick of Frankincense to cleanse and purify the etheric energies of your space. Face east, the direction from which subtle revitalizing solar currents are always flowing. Stand in a relaxed position, or if you prefer, you can do this while sitting and facing east and visualizing yourself standing and doing the exercise.
2. Take three powerful, expansive breaths to infuse yourself with radiant life energy. Breathe and pray with your whole body, all the way up from your feet, legs, and pelvis, into your abdomen and lower-to-middle back, and up into your chest, upper back, shoulders, neck and head.
3. Visualize yourself as a great beautiful tree with sturdy roots extending deep into the core of the Earth. For men, imagine your roots coming from the base of your spine, down your legs and feet, through the floor and ground and all the way to the center core of our planet. For women, do the same, but visualize your roots extending from your pelvic area (2nd chakra) into your legs and feet and down through the floor and into the Earth.
4. You may give your roots any color that appeals to you, while running that color down and back up through your roots a few times, grounding and centering yourself in the moment.
5. Raise both arms wide overhead and spread both legs slightly more than hip distance apart. Keeping your back straight and your pelvis relaxed, look up toward the heavenly source of infinite cosmic light. Close your eyes, if possible, and focus your inner gaze toward the third eye center in the middle of your forehead.
6. Take three more deep, full-body breaths.
7. Visualize yourself drawing golden light energy up through your legs and down through your arms to your solar plexus, located between your naval and the base of your sternum (breast bone), there forming a six-pointed star of light symbolizing the perfect integration of yin/yang; spirit/matter; male/female energy; and personality/universal identity.
8. Say aloud (if possible) while continuing to breathe very deeply: “The Universal Life Force is flowing through me now. I am filled by and surrounded by pure white Christ light. Only love, joy and truth can flow to me and from me.”
9. Take another deep breath, and say, “I ask God to place a hard, electric blue etheric shield about my aura for my protection and well-being. I ask this in the name of God. Aum. Amen.” Visualize the shield as a pulsing, luminous egg extending about 2-3 feet around your entire body. Know that this shield has the power to repel negative energies and attract all that is best for your highest good. In order to seal your intention, it is always important to have a closing statement, like “Amen, Aum, So Be It, or It is Done.”
10. Gradually, bring your hands down to your sides and bring your feet together. Then, slowly draw together the palms of your hands at the heart center (mid-sternum). This is known as the universal prayer position (anjali mudra in yoga). As you stand like a tall tree, once again, feel your strong roots connected with Mother Earth. Feel the heavenly energies pouring into you from above. Give great thanks, and know that all is well.
An Ayurvedic Self-Help Technique for Health:
Abhyanga: The Ayurvedic Self-Massage
The Ayurvedic practiceof Abhyanga, pronounced “Ah-bee-yon′-guh,” refers to the practice of daily self-massage with warm oil. Abhyanga is a beneficial and rewarding addition to any wellness routine. It is a youth-giving strategy with enormous health-giving benefits for body, mind and spirit. I recommend doing it for 10-15 minutes before a shower or bath each morning, so that the benefits will stay with you all throughout your busy day. However, it can also be done later in the afternoon, which works well, too.
Abhyanga, when performed regularly, has an exceptionally positive effect on one’s total health. Some of the benefits of warm oil massage are:
1. Calms the mind and nervous system while it rejuvenates, strengthens and protects the internal organs, and the glandular and immune systems.
2. Relieves muscular tension and wards off stress, creating a sense of inner peace, emotional balance, and vitality.
3. Improves circulation and energizes the whole body.
4. Helps the body release toxins from the deepest cellular level, enhancing health, well-being and longevity.
5. Purifies and tones the skin, creating a youthful radiance.
6. Strengthens and tones the musculo-skeletal system, including the joints, making the body stronger and less prone to injury or pain.
7. Helps balance the digestive system, relieving constipation and indigestion.
8. Supports eyes and eyesight, as well as ears and hearing.
9. Improves sleep patterns.
One can use cold-pressed, organic cooking oils for Abhyanga, as well as massage oils and those blended with herbal infusions, all of which you can buy at your local health food store. For the added benefit of nervous system revitalization, I recommend adding to your massage oil some gotu kola (also known as Brahmi), which can be purchased from either an Ayurvedic products company or an Indian grocery. Essential oils may also be included for enhanced health benefits. Sandalwood and rose are especially lovely for their calming and healing properties.
Sesame oil is great to use in the cooler winter months, and coconut is good in the warmer months of the year. The best choice depends on your own particular doshas. This is something you can learn more about from an Ayurvedic consultation. In general, sesame oil is warming, purifying and highly penetrating. Almond oil is a soothing emollient and seems to be less “oily” than other oils. Coconut oil is exceptionally nourishing and has a slightly cooling effect. All these oils are considered anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
- Place your jar or bottle of oil in a sink or basin of hot water for about 5-10 minutes, until the oil heats up to a comfortable temperature.
- Make sure to do this in a comfortably warm, draft-free room.
- Stand on an old towel or mat, or stand in the shower or tub. Placing oil in the palm of your hand, apply to your body, working systematically down from the top of your head. Oil your extremities first and then work inward until your entire body is anointed with oil.
- Next, massage the oil into your skin, giving each part of your body ample attention. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular clockwise strokes on your joints. Massage the abdomen and chest in wide, clockwise, circular motions. Apply lighter pressure over the chest and abdomen than over the extremities. This process should take about 5-10 minutes.
- If massaging your scalp, apply oil to the crown of the head and then work it into your scalp with your fingers in outward circles, as if you are shampooing your hair with the oil. Also, make sure to gently rub oil on your forehead, ears, and throat area, and all other orifices of your body, too. You might be amazed in the beginning how quickly the oil soaks in everywhere.
- As you massage your body, smile at your organs and body, envisioning yourself as healthy and happy. Allow yourself to feel gratitude and love for yourself in this simple ritual of self-nurturing.
- Sit quietly with eyes closed for 5 or more minutes, breathing deeply and enjoying the nourishment that you have just taken into every cell of your being.
- Take a warm bath or shower, being very careful not to slip. Use a very gentle, non-soap cleanser and a gentle shampoo. The thin layer of oil that remains on the skin after your bath or shower helps keep your skin moisturized and protected from the environment through the day.
- I also recommend that you rub a little sesame oil on your feet at night before bed, and cover your feet with light socks after applying the oil. This is very calming and strengthening to the nervous system, and over time, can help promote restful sleep.
PRANAYAMA - Breathing Exercises
“Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.”~Kabir
I often prescribe pranayama (breath exercises) to help relieve certain specific afflictions in the astrological birth chart. Alternate Nostril Breathing is one helpful technique that I often suggest. In general, Alternate Nostril Breathing clears and purifies the body’s subtle energy channels (nadis), and is thus recommended to calm and balance the nervous system. It enhances overall well-being as it regulates the body-mind connection. It improves the ability to focus, lowers stress levels, and improves sleep patterns. It is a great adjunct to a meditation practice because it calms the mind. Conversely, it is a type of meditation practice in and of itself.
Alternate Nostril Breathing can be done with or without retention of the breath. It is suitable for most people but should be avoided if you have a bad cold, sinus infection, or injury. If pregnant, you should first consult your health practitioner. There are two forms:
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, also called Channel Cleansing or Sweet Breath, is performed without counting or retaining breaths.
To begin, please sit with your spine upright in a comfortable position. Support your arms on lap pillows, if needed. Place the right hand in Vishnu Mudra. Do this by holding your right hand up and curling your index and middle fingers toward your palm.
Right Inhale: Position your thumb next to your right nostril and your ring and little fingers by your left. Close the left nostril by pressing gently against it with your ring and little fingers, and inhale through the right nostril. Your breath should be deep, slow, and full.
Left Exhale: Close your right nostril by gently pressing against it with your thumb, and open your left nostril by relaxing your ring and little fingers, exhaling fully with a slow and relaxed breath.
Left Inhale: Inhale deeply and steadily through your left nostril while keeping your right nostril closed with your thumb.
Right Exhale: Keep your left nostril closed with your ring finger while you exhale from your right nostril.
Repeat this cycle as many times you like. I recommend about 15-25 rounds.
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama is the second, more advanced of the Alternate Nostril Breathing techniques. It produces optimum functioning and integration of both hemispheres of the brain, which contributes to emotional harmony and balanced thinking. In this practice, we hold the breath, and we breathe according to a 2: 8: 4 count. Whereas in Nadi Shodhana, we begin by breathing into the right nostril, in this exercise, we start with a left nostril inhalation, as follows, still using the right hand in Vishnu Mudra:
1. Left Nostril Inhale: Close the right nostril with the thumb, and inhale in the left nostril to the count of four.
2. Close both nostrils and retain breath to the count of sixteen.
3. Close the left nostril with the ring and little fingers, and exhale through the right nostril, to the count of eight.
4. Keep the left nostril closed with the ring and little fingers, and inhale through the right nostril, to the count of four.
5. Close both nostrils and retain the breath to the count of sixteen.
6. Keep the right nostril closed with the thumb, and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight.
Continue this for 5-10 rounds.
Meditation and Mindfulness
“With our thoughts, we make the world." ~Buddha
Meditation is one of the most important karmic remedies, beneficial to each one of us. It can take many forms but basically involves a mental discipline in which one focuses on a single reference point to help move the consciousness beyond the conditioned mind into a profoundly peaceful state of inner awareness. As a component of many of the world religions, meditation often includes contemplation on a higher power. Meditation is a method that can lead to self-realization, a state of awareness in which all karmas are extinguished and we are absolved from incurring any new karmic debts.
Mindfulness, or non-judgmental awareness of the present moment, plays a central role in Buddhist teachings in which “right mindfulness” is indispensable on the path to enlightenment and liberation. Through mindfulness, we can begin to accept and integrate all of who we are in the journey to wholeness. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that can be conducted sitting or walking quietly as well as while we are going about our everyday affairs.
Developing the Inner Witness is a very profound mindfulness technique that can be practiced throughout our waking hours, and is especially helpful when we are experiencing strong emotions or intense mental unrest. The Inner Witness is the “Small, Still Voice Within” that observes the ever-chattering “Monkey Mind” without becoming entangled in it.
The Inner Witness observes without judging or becoming identified with the reactions of the mind. The Inner Witness perceives and names the reactions of the mind without connecting an “I/me” to these reactions. The Inner Witness is the unshakeable Presence within each of us that is the only point of access to our eternal Self.
Yoga and Exercise
Yoga is a system that facilitates oneness and union with our higher being. Yoga as it has been popularized in the West comprises a range of body-mind practices that facilitate mental, physical, and spiritual development. Though there are many different paths in yoga, all are branches of the same tree.
A complete yoga practice will incorporate the study of philosophy; movement and stretching postures (asana); breathing exercises (pranayama); meditative practices; and dietary/lifestyle guidance.
In addition to Yoga, regular and sensible physical exercise is a key to total wellness that is often suggested as a modern karmic remedy. Many of my clients are drawn to martial arts that focus and strengthen the body-mind connection through mindful movement. However, any kind of aerobic exercise done in moderation with the right intention can facilitate harmony in body, mind, and spirit.
The following is offered for those interesting in finding or enhancing a yoga practice:
Ananda Shanti Yoga with Shankari (Janet Shapiro) in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. If you are in the North Shore of Boston area, I highly recommend kirtan with Shankari and the Ananda Shanti Band; yoga classes and healing sessions with Shankari are quite amazing, as well. www.anandashantiyoga.com
The International Yoga Directory contains a list of yoga teachers, yoga centers, organizations, books, music, yoga therapists, health products, yoga retreats, and vacations. www.yogadirectory.com
Yoga Journal is an American based media company that publishes a magazine, a web site, DVDs, and puts on conferences all devoted to yoga, food, and nutrition: www.yogajournal.com
Yoga Alliance (YA) is the largest nonprofit association representing yoga teachers, schools and studios in the U.S. Through our work and the work of our sister organization, Yoga Alliance Registry, we exist to sustain and support the field of yoga. We do so by providing the public with a registry of teachers and schools whose training meets our standards, and by supporting yoga teachers, schools and studios in their work as yoga professionals. www.yogaalliance.org
Yoga Finder calls themselves the largest yoga directory on the Internet. www.yogafinder.com
The International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers are recognized worldwide for teaching yoga authentically, preserving its purity and tradition, which dates back several thousand years. www.sivananda.org
The Master Yoga Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization that teaches Svaroopa® yoga and meditation, which leads to svaroopa, the “bliss of your own being”. www.masteryoga.org.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a center for yoga, holistic health, and self-discovery located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. /www.kripalu.org.
Jivamukti Yoga is a modern style of yoga that emerged in 1984 from one of New York City’s best-known yoga studios. Founders David Life and Sharon Gannon incorporated their study of ashtanga yoga with Shri K. Pattabhi Jois with spiritual teachings, placing special emphasis on how to apply yogic philosophy to daily life. They have trained many teachers who have brought this style of yoga to studios and gyms, predominantly in the U.S. www.jivamuktiyoga.com.
Iyengar Yoga, created by B.K.S. Iyengar, is a form of yoga based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, emphasizing the development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana). www.iyengarinternational.org.
Phoenix Rising School of Yoga and Movement Therapy offers trainings in leading-edge, body-mind healing practice. www.pryt.com.
TriYoga, founded by Kali Ray, is advertised as a complete yoga method that incorporates the full range of timeless, traditional practices. www.triyoga.com
Gurmukh’s Golden Bridge, located in LA and NYC, is a community that offers a meaningful yogic practice and a yogi lifestyle. www.store.goldenbridgeyoga.com
Yoga on Main in Philadelphia (Manayunk), PA, offers practices and programs to awaken your inner fire.www.yogaonmain.com
There’s No Place Like Om in Kamuela (Waimea), on Hawaii’s Big Island, offers a variety of blissful yoga classes, meditation, hula as well as special monthly workshops and seminars. www.omhawaii.com
Energy Healing and Sacred Breath Work (Rebirthing)
“By stimulating and directing positive, joyous feelings, we can change the essence of our inner patterns and experience…we have the opportunity to recreate our bodies through positive energy. ” ~Tarthang Tulku
Polarity Therapy or Energy Healing (often just called “Polarity”) is a comprehensive health system based on universal principles of energy that create the foundation of all life, including our experience of health and illness. Polarity was developed by Randolph Stone, DO, DC, ND (1890-1981), who conducted a thorough investigation of the human energy system in the healing arts over the course of his 60-year medical career. Dr. Stone discovered that, “Energy waves build the human body by radiation in intrauterine life, as a pattern of energy currents, and continue to maintain it by this energy flow as wireless currents.” Dr. Stone’s research and discoveries have been confirmed by modern quantum physics, which tells us that energy and matter are interchangeable.
Polarity works with the human energy field, electro-magnetic energy patterns expressed in mental, emotional and physical experience. In Polarity, health is understood to be a reflection of the condition of this energy field, and therapeutic techniques are intended to revitalize and balance this field in order to promote well-being. According to Dr. Stone, “The object of treating is the removal of energy blocks, which are the cause of real pain in the over-all sweep of wireless currents in the vital energy fields of the body.” In other words, Polarity seeks to find obstructions in the energy field and release these in order to allow the normal patterns of energy flow, and this is the basis of health.
I have worked with many clients over the past several decades, and so my work has naturally evolved in a variety of ways. Most significantly, I have learned to integrate Sacred Breath Work (Rebirthing) into Polarity/Energy Healing sessions as a way to magnify the power of healing. Sacred Breath Work is a guided continuous circular breathing technique that enhances the movement of prana or life force. The practice is a safe and gentle way to enhance miraculous personal healing and transformation, as it helps to release blocks to self-realization through strengthening one’s connection with Divine Source. As I have become more and more a “digital nomad,” and have become so in demand with my astrology and healing work, I now do all my work via Skype or phone and through distance healing techniques rather than in person. I often rely on guided imagery and relaxation techniques, and also offer intuitive and spiritual counseling. Additionally, I am a qualified gem elixir and flower essence practitioner and frequently prescribe these amazing healing agents for my clients.
Polarity & Sacred Breath Work (Rebirthing) can support you in . . .
- Opening your heart
- Expanding your capacity to give and receive love and nurturing
- Claiming your unconditional, eternal soul essence
- Grounding and centering in the peaceful present
- Increasing your health and vitality
- Learning to honor, feel, and respond to emotional energies in a positive way
- Magnetizing success and happiness
- Allowing you to tap into greater levels of creativity, abundance, and joy
- Releasing trauma, stress, and anxiety
- Finding clarity, focus and purpose
- Accessing your intuition and higher mind
- Realizing and embracing your unique soul gifts
- Taking up your inner authority and finding your true voice
- Transforming procrastination into achievement
Healing with Sound and Mantra
“Divine sound is the cause of all manifestation. The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe.” ~Hazrat Inayat Khan
Reciting Sanskrit mantras (Japa); chanting devotional music (kirtan), and working with other effective sound technologies are very soothing and effective.
The vibrations of sound can be a healing force, and Sanskrit (Vedic) sounds are among the most profound tools for this form of vibrational healing. The word “mantra” means “that which saves you when meditated upon.” Sanskrit is a living language of light—the language of the Gods—and is known to be the oldest, most sacred form of sound vibration.
Mantras are energy-based sounds that quiet the mind; energize prana (life force); and create inner clarity, power, and harmony. Singing devotional mantras also opens the heart and allows the experience of pure grace and unity. Most schools of Ayurveda and yoga offer instruction in Vedic mantra.
For additional resources, I recommend the following:
The works of the late Thomas Ashley-Farrand give unprecedented, detailed instruction in how to empower yourself using the techniques of the ancient sages and rishis. His work is continued today by his wife Satyabhama: www.sanskritmantra.com
David Newman “Durga Das” is acknowledged for bridging the gap between contemporary western music and meditative mantras, has been an integral part of the spiritual or yogic music movement, and is a frequent headliner in many yoga and music festivals and conferences that take place around the globe: www.davidnewmanmusic.com
The director of the School of Sanskrit Studies in NYC, Manorama leads workshops on the Path of Luminous Shabda, a path that combines Sanskrit, meditation and yoga philosophy: sanskritstudies.org/SacredShop/SacredShop_CDs
Vedic Healing™ is a comprehensive program of courses, including meditation and extensive work with Sanskrit mantras, offered through the Vedic Healing™ Institute, in Los Angeles, CA, which teaches the innermost secrets of the Vedas, India's most revered spiritual texts: vedichealinginstitute.com
Beloved by his many fans and devotees, Bhagavan Das, or “Baba” as he is called, continues to touch the hearts of all those who interact with him. His almost palpable love of the divine led Lex Hixon to remark, “Bhagavan Das truly lives the Ramakrishna reality.” Today Bhagavan Das tours almost constantly, chanting the name of God and giving structured workshops on the mystic effects of sound ((Jai Maharaji! Jai Hanuman!) www.bhagavandas.com
The Yoga of Sound is offered by Sri Russill Paul in the Indian tradition of Nada Yoga: russillpaul.com
Krishna Das, beloved by many on the devotional (bhakti) path of yoga, offers CDs and workshops in kirtan, meditation instruction, and spiritual practice (Jai Maharaji! Jai Hanuman!):www.krishnadas.com
Jai Uttal creates healing sound elixirs of electronic and chant with his world music (Jai Maharaji! Jai Hanuman!): www.jaiuttal.com
Deva Premal and Miten are musicians known for their meditative New Age music, which puts ancient Hindu mantras into atmospheric, contemporary settings: www.devapremalmiten.com
Hemi-Sync® can help you experience enhanced mental, physical, and emotional states, by combining verbal guidance, music, pink sound and/or other audio effects with the binaural beats. The particular elements for each recording are carefully selected and integrated with the appropriate Hemi-Sync® sound frequencies to enhance the desired effect: www.hemi-sync.com
Anugama is a gifted multi-instrumentalist whose music covers a wide spectrum of expression: from tribal rhythmical dance music, to shamanistic music of power and peace, to uplifting, lyrical melodies that make the spirit soar, to flute music derived from a wide variety of cultures of the world. He creates the ethereal music of vastness and silence that let the listener explore their own inner expansion and stillness. Anugama’s music creates an environment of uplifting support, confirmation and nourishment for heart and soul: www.anugama.com
The Sound Healing Network: www.soundhealingnetwork.org
Gems and Color
Astrological Gems: Wearing certain prescribed colors, metals, amulets, and gems may be beneficial. I may prescribe an astrological gem for you, and if I do, I recommend any of the following three gem dealer-jewelers:
“A true healing of the body, mind, and spirit can only come through a recognition of the divine consciousness within each of us.”
~ William A. McGarey, MD
Receiving therapeutic massage or various other forms of bodywork and energy work may be important. For example:
- Jin Shin Jyutsu
- Osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments
- Ayurvedic treatments like Shirodhara and Marma Massage Therapy
- Burning special incense and taking certain recommended plant or gem formulas
In regard to the latter, I very often will recommend specific herbs, essential oils, flower essences* and gem elixirs**.
Daily Healing Affirmation:
I love my body and trust its wisdom.
Flower essences are liquid extracts taken either orally or topically to address issues of emotional health, mind-body wellness and spiritual development. Like homeopathic remedies, flower essences are vibrational potentized flower extracts that influence our subtle energy fields and thus, all levels of health. Flower essences embody specific life-force frequencies that resonate with and awaken certain qualities within the human soul. I have worked extensively with Bach as well as North American repertories.
In addition to flower essences, I often recommend one or two Planetary Gem Elixirs. These are therapeutic vibrational essences of twelve high-quality, raw gemstones. These elixirs are helpful for emotional and spiritual strength and balance. They can be especially supportive for chronic issues reflected in the natal chart as well as during difficult planetary periods. I often prescribe these elixirs along with yantras and mantras for the corresponding planet.
The following traditional methods are often recommended to help mitigate difficult karmas and enhance more beneficial ones:
- Drawing, meditating or praying with sacred geometric symbols (yantras)
- Charity and service (seva)
- Fasting and undertaking dietary modifications, especially on certain days of the week and month
- Spiritual pilgrimage
- Darshan (audience and blessing) of a saint, for instance, as with Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Ammachi, or Amma) who is known as a living Indian saint and great humanitarian. Part of her mission is to give darshan through hugging! A hug from Amma is truly mana to the soul. If you are lucky enough to see her and receive her hug, you will never be the same again. According to her web site: The greatest miracle that takes place in her presence occurs in the hearts of those who come to her – the gentle, gradual awakening of love, compassion and selflessness, an awakening of one’s own inherent divinity. Amma has time and again emphasized that the duty of every human being is to realize his true Self, or in other words, to “know who we really are.” She does not favor any particular religion. When asked to which religion she belongs, she says, “My religion is love and service.” (Jai Ma! Thank you, Mother! I love you with all my heart). www.amma.org
- Partaking in religious ceremonies such as yagyas/pujas (very important!) I have had yagyas (pujas) performed on behalf of my family and myself for many years through a variety of Hindu temples:
- If you have a Hindu temple in your area, this can be a good source for a private puja/yagya.
- Puja.net makes yagyas available for anyone in the world, performed in a way that is as close to the timeless traditions of the Vedas as is possible, performed in the most traditional and authentic manner possible, without regard to cost or time considerations and priced so that they are within financial reach of any individuals who wish to participate. Service, not profit, is the driving motive behind Puja.net. Yagyas are performed at their facility at Kanchipuram, in Madras, India.
- I highly recommend pujas performed by Sri Paramahamsa Gaṇanathamṛtananda Svami in Virgina, at somamatha.org
- I also recommend the pujas performed at Ammachi’s (Amma’s) ashram in India. Here is what they have to say on her web site www.amritapuja.org: Puja is ritualistic worship of the Divine performed to keep us in harmony with cosmic forces, thereby removing and overcoming the sorrows of life and bringing spiritual upliftment. By doing puja, thoughts and vibrations of spiritual forces are created around us. These spiritual forces work to eliminate the negative influences in our life and help surround us with positive energy which can bring us peace of mind, material prosperity and enable us to more clearly touch the Divine, our true nature. Pujas are traditionally performed in temples by residing priests trained in the exact science of puja including the precise details of auspicious times to do certain pujas, which mantras to chant, etc. An individual's Vedic astrological chart determines which pujas and timings are best for that person, based on their karma from this life and previous lives. Amma has established Brahmathanam temples in India in her numerous ashrams, where people can have pujas done on their behalf in order to alleviate the suffering in their lives caused by malefic planetary influences. The pujas are performed on behalf of those who request them by Amma's monastic disciples at Amma's Brahmasthanam temples, or in the case of the Kali puja, at Amma's ashram, Amritapuri. Some of the pujas are elaborate and can take anywhere from one to five hours or more.
Psychotherapy: An astrological session is a form of counseling as it involves a bounded therapeutic process offered in the spirit of respect, trust, and acceptance. At the same time, further professional psychological counseling may also be recommended as a contemporary karmic remedy. Exploring personal and emotional issues in a therapeutic setting with a qualified psychotherapist or counselor is often quite helpful for those with persistent emotional blocks, psychic scars, recurring relationship issues, or difficult planetary trends.
According to the late Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, our repressed emotions or unsettled issues go underground into the subconscious mind and form what he called the "shadow." The shadow consists of both damaged and undeveloped parts of the psyche that have been repressed or disowned. The psyche builds defense mechanisms to keep us from knowing these aspects of our nature, but psychotherapy can help us get in touch with them.
Until we face and integrate our shadow issues, we remain emotionally and psychologically imbalanced, and our outer affairs will reflect our inner state of dissonance. As Jung said, "The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves."
When we bring our shadow parts to light and unconditionally accept them, they will not need to come out through unconscious acting out and projection onto others. We can become more intact emotionally when we clarify, confront, acknowledge and feel free to express our shadow issues—all the unresolved tendencies, hopes and dreams, as well as fear, guilt, shame, aggression, greed, jealousy, and all our other oppressors.
It takes tremendous energy to repress our shadow issues, and as they are accepted and integrated, we begin to feel more energetic and alive. Our consciousness becomes freer so that the world feels less like a battleground and more like a remarkable journey into wholeness.
Vedic Astrology and Karma
Vedic astrology is a system given to humankind to release us from detention under the law of karma. The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit root word kri, which means “to do.” Karma literally means “an act that both causes and is caused.” At a higher level, karma describes the cosmic principle of cause and effect that directs conscious life. Each action or event is part of a complex web of causes that create future reactions or experiences. This web is coordinated according to a karmic law that encompasses both fate and free will.
Free Will and Fate
Vedic astrology is not fatalistic or deterministic; rather, it relies on a variety of charts that allow astrologers to perceive several levels of karma that exist simultaneously because of both fate and free will. Through free will, we choose how to act under the effect of circumstances that we encounter as a result of fate. Free will reflects our personal responsibility because all our actions create reactions that we either enjoy or suffer. We are always in receipt of the results of the earlier actions created through our free will. The karma created by our free will in this lifetime can further modify that which was incurred in past lifetimes. In essence, we really are in charge of what happens to us.
“Every thought that we think, every deed that we do, after a certain time becomes fine, goes into the seed form, so to speak, and lives in the fine body in a potential form, and after a time, it emerges again and bears its results. These results condition the life of man. Thus he moulds his own life. Man is not bound by any other laws excepting those which he makes for himself.”— Swami Vivekananda
Not only can Vedic astrology forewarn of certain pressing difficulties, it can also offer remedial karmic methods (upayas). Literally, upaya means “a skillful way to liberation.” Upayas are the means to liberate us from the effects of karma, so that the unfavorable results of certain past deeds can be mitigated or even neutralized. Upayas work by attuning us to subtle spiritual energies that can help protect us from inharmonious electromagnetic forces and enhance our ability to receive energies that are more helpful. The Vedic astrologer recommends specific upayas according to an array of factors based on the natal and progressed horoscope as well as the personal preferences of each individual. Many of these methods are prescribed according to the strength and weakness of the planets, which are the channels for karma.
Living in Balance
For all human beings, perhaps the greatest remedy of all is to live in balance, which the Navajo Native Americans call “walking in beauty.” In order to live in balance, we need to live by a moral code. The late Lakota medicine man Mathew King very aptly summed up a straightforward formula for happiness and decency given to human beings by the Great Spirit, “Our instructions are very simple—to respect the Earth and each other, to respect life itself…Respect is our Law, respect for God's creation, for all living beings of this Earth, for our mother the Earth herself.”
Align with Wisdom
As we make sound, ethical decisions and healthy, mindful choices, we come into alignment with the universal life force that streams through all life. When we live life as a great prayer of gratitude and compassion, we experience unity and harmony. It is important to begin each day taking some time to feel grounded and attentive to this higher purpose. This will help us to remain peaceful and aligned with our inner wisdom throughout our busy day.
Vedic astrology provides opportunities to purify and release karma in a variety of ways. Besides including recommendations for remedies, a Vedic astrology reading is itself a remedy! It can shine a light on our nature, destiny, and karma, revealing our swadharma (our own unique life path), so that we might understand better how to pursue the right path of development in life. A reading can help to reveal our greatest potential and how best to optimize it. It can also point out our limitations, which are our greatest spiritual teachers.