August 21 New Moon. Ghost Month Customs To Make Any Hungry Spirit Happy.

photo credit: David W. Ray

“…what we take from the spirit world is only a reflection of what lies inside ourselves.”
– Charles de Lint

If  you thought the Great American Eclipse was an experience, gird your loins, it’s Ghost Month where restless spirits soar from Hell’s gates. Often compared to Halloween, The Hungry Ghost month is a time when family honors their ancestors. They bid their spirits welcome with colorful shrines decorated with brightly lit candles, chrysanthemums, red paper lanterns and burning incense (symbolizing prosperity). Elaborate meals are prepared, a special chair is given to the wandering ghost to rest from its weary travels and hell bank notes (burned josh paper) will be in the spirit realm. The Chinese believe these alms enable the spirits to live at peace when they return. These customs are performed with sincerity but the underlying motive is self preservation. Families believe that if they feed the ghosts, they won’t curse them and good fortune will come their way. These traditions also raise a mindfulness about looking after those who are marginalized. It is an opportunity to teach children about easing the suffering of others as it is believed some ghosts who come back have no family to visit their grave and others have died due to unfortunate events.

On the 15th night of the lunar month, Taoists and Buddhists hold, Yu Lan, the Hungry Ghost Festival. It The full moon and the fall harvest are celebrated too. The evening is filled with rituals–a parade with floats of lotus-shaped lanterns riding on top. The procession makes its way to a river, pond or lake. It is said that the lanterns give direction to lost souls plus it helps the ghosts and deities find the food offerings left for them. To ensure your good luck for the reminder of the year, check out the do’s and don’ts  in “Ghost Month and Monkeys” for more Hungry Ghost customs.

Chinese fall: we enter the Metal season. Drawing in, recalling the stories of the year and stocking up on supplies for the upcoming winter. Discover what the month holds for your Zodiac animal. Rat: it’s a Three Harmony month for Rat. Bad luck that has followed you is now cleared away. You are feeling your best. Wealth and happiness are coming. Go with the flow and all will go your way.  Ox: expect adversities along with auspiciousness. Be cautious this month with friends and being a guarantor. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to investing. Once you’ve made your profit withdraw otherwise you may suffer a big loss. Tiger: you are in a Direct Conflict this month. Watch out for scoundrels behind your back and be mindful of driving as a traffic accident it likely. Disaster could befall you in blood shed or money loss. Use extreme caution or your efforts could go down the tube. Rabbit: there will be misfortune along with good fortune. Overall life is unclear. Be careful who you spend time with and avoid vain and materialistic pursuits. Be practical over trying to grasp for instant success. To be safe and healthy is a blessing indeed! Dragon: it’s a Three Harmony month. You will be blessed with a promotion and good fortune opportunities. Though you will experience financial good luck, exert good judgement when investing. Be mindful of your health. Perform good deeds. Snake: this is a Six Harmony month. Be mindful when traveling. Do all your mundane and transcendental cures. Think twice before you sign the dotted line. Promotion and academic advancement are slated for employees and children. Horse: your luck is good but be cautious and mindful when traveling. Avoid dark paths and dangerous places. Evade risky activities and water. (Ghost Month and Monkeys). Ram: someone in the family may be sick. Seek immediate medical attention. Coworkers may be in conflict and family causing disputes. Recite the Calming Heart Mantra frequently. Monkey: not a very lucky month. Legal disputes, financial loss and unexpected disasters may come calling. Watch out for misfortune, scoundrels and health issues. Keep your children away from water as well as dangerous activities. Rooster: your luck will be fairly smooth. With the Ghost Month secure your home against burglary. Be mindful of your family and keep them away from water and dangerous activities. Dog: keep a low profile this month. If you are already suffering from illness or bad luck, unexpected disasters might befall you too. Stay away from water and dangerous activities. Pig: the month is Mutually Offensive, and Confrontational plus it is a Ghost Month – double trouble! Safety should be firt on  your list – home, travel and physical. It could be very stressful this month. Watch out for family members’ physical and mental health. If you request a cure from this forecast, I will ask you to honor the red envelope tradition. Have a great month, Zodiac friends! 

Thank you to Khadro Crystal Chu, Black Sect Esoteric Buddhist Feng Shui for your unfailing command of Feng Shui and Chinese metaphysics.

Have you decided this will be your year? “Boldness has genius”.. start with one hour of Feng Shui A La Carte. Think of it as a fairy godmother for your house.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage.

Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.

Secrets That Maximize The Great American Eclipse

“Success is meeting every challenge from your calm center within. Seek strength and guidance intuitively in your inner self.”
– Swami Kriyananda

In less than five days a breathtaking, bucket list eclipse will darken the skies of midland America with millions flocking to watch. Concurrently completely weird anomalies will happen as a result. Stars and planets will be viewable in the middle of the day; a 360 degree sunset will be visible around the moon; corona rainbows are likely to appear. With the change in light, the temperature will plummet. Birds will think it is dusk and begin their evening song. Roosters will start crowing when the sun reappears. With this confusion in time and space as day turns to night, how might you maximize your experience when the sun drops out of sight?

Many ancient cultures believed eclipses were a bad omen. In China, they thought a celestial dragon was eating the sun. The Greek word ekleipsis from which eclipse is derived, means abandonment. In India, food is considered tainted during an eclipse. Fasting is observed before and after. Maybe the ancients were on to an important concept, that it is a vulnerable time on this third rock from the sun and it is better to be mindful than frivolous.

Contrary to what scientist and astronomers purport, that eclipses do not have an effect on human behavior and health, a celestial event such as a solar or lunar eclipse can affect you physically, emotionally and intellectually. And yet it has the potential to amplify your emotional intelligence, mental expansion and spiritual cultivation. Yogis and spiritual masters use it as an opportunity to retreat indoors and perform pujas. It is an excellent time to cultivate a spiritual practice if you do not already have one. If you have decided to sit (literally) out the Great American Eclipse, here are action steps you can take to minimize the effects of the solar eclipse and maximize your experience.

The electromagnetic fields of animals and humans lowered during an eclipse, thus inhibiting concentration and focus.
Don’t look at the eclipse.
Don’t engage in day to day activities.
Don’t make important decisions.
Don’t initiate important projects.
Don’t eat food 12 hours before. Specifically do not eat or drink water during the eclipse.

An eclipse is a powerful time to accelerate your spiritual development. The pituitary and pineal glands become rewired. The cosmic channels are open and spiritual practice allows you to receive downloads that will increase your awareness.
Do set your intention of exploring your spiritual essence.
Do take an orange peel bath to cleanse your auric field prior to the start of the eclipse.
Do chant mantras (Om Mani Padme Hum, Gate, Gate…).
Do meditate.
Do perform yoga or qigong.
Do journal or creative writing.

Have you decided this will be your year? “Boldness has genius”.. start with one hour of Feng Shui A La Carte. Think of it as a fairy godmother for your house.

What I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.

Restoring Grace: A Ritual To Replenish Your Spirit During the Holidays.

Here’s how my day was shaping up. A client called with a complex dilemma, phone calls demanded to be returned, a misunderstanding replayed in the background of my mind, I was on a self imposed deadline to finish a blog and I needed to make an appointment by 3:00…I said, “Stop.” I stepped aside from the bzillion thoughts and angst and stood still. I quietly walked over to my altar, placed one palm on top of the other, filled my lungs with fresh air and imagined small, radiant suns circulating throughout my body restoring each cell. I called to the universe in an ancient voice of untranslatable sound. I repeated this in slow rhythmic meter. Bodily stress, opinions, dark clouds and “what if” melted away. Returning from my journey within, the space I call my mind sparkled with relaxation as the world hustled by. 

This day could be your day. This could be any time of the year. But as THE holidays draw near and there is an expectation to be jolly, well, our scrambled thoughts have more weight upon our psyche. If left to their own devices, they may well churn into the next day. They knock some folks around until they wake up with a migraine.

Before I reached physical debilitation I knew I needed a way to save my sinking spirit, a ritual to climb out of my worries. I inhaled deeply. I blew above, I blew below and I blew all around a gentle platform of restoring grace. As I felt the buoyant Ch’i encircle me I recalled this quote from Malidona Somé, one that I had “coincidentally” found a few days earlier. “…As much as our body requires food for nourishment, our souls and spirits require ritual to stay whole. It is as if without the spirit being nourished in us, the body pays for the consequences. The food of the psyche is the symbol, and it is through ritual that our spirit is fed. Because human beings are spirits at our core, it is natural for us to remain mindful of our true spiritual identity.”

Certain problems cannot be resolved with words alone. The ritual I performed harnesses the power of Universal Ch’i. Here it is for you. For those times when you think you cannot go on. May you create a space to leave your worries behind, restore your spirit to a place of calm; increase your clarity of mind; overcome serious obstacles, accidents and disasters; and recognize it is your Ch’i that is real. May it enfold you in deep abiding trust that all is well. If you have a thorny problem, practice it three times a day to find an inspired resolution.  

From the Black Sect Tantric Buddhist School of Feng Shui

Inhale Exhale Breathing Ceremony.

Procedure

– Hold hands in Calming Heart Mudra (left over right, thumbs together, palms up, place your hands over your stomach). Stand with legs hip distance part. Feel your feet upon the earth. Recite the Calming Heart Mantra: Gate, Gate, Para Gate, Para Sam Gate, Bodhi Swaha nine times.

– Inhale with one long breath through your mouth. This is what is called “spiritual breathing”. You are not simply breathing with your lungs and tan t’ien. You are breathing with your mind. Every cell is opening and breathing in this auspicious air and also breathing in the light from the Buddha, or a holy deity of your choice. Breathe in wealth chi, health chi, good luck, good karma and joy.

– Exhale in eight short puffs with the last puff long, total nine puffs. The last or ninth breath should be the longest. This should expel all the air that you breathed in. Imagine that all evil chi, sick chi, stress, worries, sadness, sufferings and problems are being released. All negative karma from body, mind and speech is being eliminated, bad luck is being removed and your body is cleansed.

– Repeat this for a total of nine times.

Your Ch’i mixed with the Ch’i of the Universe circulate throughout your body, helping you to release and let go.

This teaching is transcendental. If you feel you’ve benefited from it, mailing a red envelope with a coin inside to me honors the tradition. Please contact me for my address.

One thing I have discovered about our homes is that creating a heart healthy space leads to peace and contentment. The bedroom is where it begins. Start with my complimentary pdf: 27 Bedroom Concepts To Maximize Your Health, Happiness and Peace of Mind. Design your space to your best advantage. Subscribe to my blog and special offers. You’ll receive this valuable Feng Shui Guide as a thank you gift.