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Quote of the Week
A Meditation on Lovingkindness
Begin with yourself. Breathe gently, and recite inwardly the following traditional phrases directed to your own well-being. You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others.
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body and mind.
May I be at ease and happy.
As you repeat these phrases, picture yourself as your are now, and hold that image in a heart of lovingkindness. Or perhaps you will find it easier to picture yourself as a young and beloved child. Adjust the words and images in any way you wish. Create the exact phrases that best open your heart of kindness. Repeat these phrases over and over again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind. Practice this meditation for a number of weeks, until the sense of lovingkindness for yourself grows.
When you feel you have established some stronger sense of lovingkindness for yourself, you can then expand your meditation to include others. After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved or truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
Let the image and feelings you have for your benefactor support the meditation. Whether the image or feelings are clear or not doesn’t matter. In meditation they will be subject to change. Simply continue to plant the seeds of loving wishes, repeating the phrases gently no matter what thoughts may arise. Expressing gratitude to our benefactors is a natural form of love. In fact, some people find lovingkindness for themselves so challenging, they begin their practice with a benefactor. This too is fine. The rule in lovingkindness practice is to follow the way that most easily opens your heart.
This year we dedicate the light and love from our Mangrove tree shala to our families, the community and the world.More quotes...
with Diana Christinson and Lesley FightmasterThe course is set up with a simple format of lectures (explaining specific methods of practice), tutorials (explaining postural alignment and modifications to poses) and practice videos (ranging from a 15 minute sun salute practice to a 45 minute introduction to Ashtanga practice). The course includes a 30 day plan for students new to the practice.
I hope this course will inspire you and create a healthy mind, body and spirit for you at your home or wherever life may take you.
Dedicated Ashtangi – 5 years
How I use Yoga in Life
Diana's teachings, combined with my personal Yoga practice, have given me numerous tools over the years, however, two main principles stand out that have allowed me to keep moving forward with a positive outlook in my life. Those two key concepts, namely, Clarity and Impermanence, have taken me to the next level in recent months.
Studying this semester's featured book at the Shala, "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, I was inspired to finish a manuscript I have been working on with my mother for the past 30 years. After her passing last year, I knew it was up to me to complete and publish the work - no more excuses.
It is the true story of my grandmother, Augustina, coming to America in search of a better life, and her fearlessness and tenacity to keep on going, no matter what. And although the story is about my grandmother, it is really the story about each one of us. Augustina: A Novel based on a True StoryRead more...
Love Big Inspires mission is to encourage and inspire people to continue to become the most healthy, happy version of themselves through reflection, creativity and growth. We want to encourage and challenge people to actively show up for life and be fully present for the moments and days, remembering each day is limited and precious.
Yoga and meditation are two of the most powerful ways to keep ourselves healthy, vibrant and happy.
Please visit our Pacific Ashtanga YouTube channel for our weekly 10 minute movement and mediation video.
As most of you know, our community at the Shala is now part of a non-profit charitable organization - The Merit Field Foundation. This is an exciting collaboration with our dear friend and Tibetan Monk, Chusang Rinpoche and his community of Buddhist monks in Nepal and India. It is our dream to create an outreach program that takes the simple teachings of yoga and Buddhist meditation to our communities where people can have a short daily practice to create more peace and happiness in their lives. Without any religious affiliation we hope to create a simple practice of breath, movement and seated meditation and extend it beyond our Shala doors to our friends, families and the larger community.
I invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel, watch our video and send the link to people you know that do not currently have a practice but may be interested in meditation or would be willing to try something new that might help bring more peace into their lives.
Please join me this year in taking the beautiful teachings and practice we share past the doors of our Shala in Dana Point and into the wider community.
Thank you for being part of our outreach and adventure.~ Love - Diana
Diana Christinson has partnered with the Dear Jack Foundation as their dedicated yoga and breath work instructor for the organization's Breathe Now Wellness retreats serving young adult cancer survivors and their signifcant others.
The Dear Jack Foundation supports initiatives and provides programming in order to promote positive health outcomes for adolescents and young adults (AYA), ages 15-39, from the moment they are diagnosed with cancer through survivorship.
Dear Jack Foundation's Breathe Now wellness retreats bring together young adult (YA) survivors and their partners to help rediscover balance in their relationship after cancer. Open to YA survivors who are one to three years removed from their last date of treatment, this thoughtfully designed four-day program harnesses the transformative powers of yoga, meditation, nature, and psychosocial breakout sessions, with a focus on the three themes of identity, strength, and balance. Dear Jack's Breathe Now retreats are professionally guided and designed to help the couple renew, learn, and grow as they live their lives together post cancer. Participation is by referral from the organization's partner hospitals.
Update from Diana - June 2018
"I have just returned from an inspirational retreat in Santa Barbara with The Dear Jack Foundation.
I was honored to share yoga, breath practices, earthing and mediations with the participants. It was exciting for me as this was the first time for everyone to participate in these practices. I had hoped to give each person a practice they could take home and incorporate into their lives.
I left with a heart filled with hope, gratitude and joy. I received the most; I was moved by each person's story and courage. Each participant had shared that they wanted to give back and bring courage and hope to others. I will share their inspiration and carry each of their stories with me.
Please join me as I continue to work with Andrew and his team at The Dear Jack Foundation."