HARMONY GARDENS NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 ~ Issue 10 September 21 , 2009

GARDEN TIPS FROM THE EXPERT
We are beginning fall. In Southern California we get the drying Santa Ana winds so watch your plants when this happens and make sure to give them enough water. And this is a good month to fertilize all of your plants to get their roots healthy and ready for the winter.

If you trim the dead flowers from your roses you may get one more good flowering from them before the winter.

Contents:
  • GARDEN TIPS FROM THE EXPERT
  • MEDITATION - HOW CAN IT HELP?
  • SIGN UP FOR FENG SHUI CLASS
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MEDITATION - HOW CAN IT HELP?

It is hard to describe meditation for a person who hasn't tried it. The effect of it is similar to self hypnosis or the feeling you get when you have been driving down a road mesmorized by the stripes on the pavement and arrive at your destination not knowing how you got there. Clearly you were conscious but somehow your mind was elsewhere.

There are many forms of meditation as well as both religious and non religious classes of meditation. Some people try meditation and it is easy for them and other people try and give up because they feel unsuccessful. So what is so great about meditation? Why do it? There are different reasons that people persist in trying. For myself, somehow I thought this would be an important key to help me get control of some areas of life and allow me to regenerate.

Scientists have studied meditators and found many interesting benefits. Meditation has been used successfully in coping with chronic pain. People with high blood pressure have seen an improvement in their condition. It is commonly used to calm emotions, treat anxiety disorders and bring people inner peace.

What does meditation have to do with Feng Shui? When I am working with people to analyze their Feng Shui, I often am aware of thier personal energy that may be out of balance for instance, if a person has a problem with anxiety I would suggest the use of one or another particular meditation that has been used to alleviate anxiety. This can be done with a number of physical ailments and even blocking issues such as the inability to manifest prosperity.

As a Feng Shui practitioner meditation is a daily practice that enables me to use my intuition to be of service to people in diagnoising the problems in their home and business and the most effective solutions. As a meditator of many years I have advice to those of you who want to begin or those of you who are practiced.

For Those Who Have Never Meditated.

There are many different forms and ways to meditate. If you have a religious affiliation, see if there are classes or workshops at your church or temple. If you don't want to go that route, you can check out the many good books and tapes that are in the market. For people that have no religious direction, there are many good people that have written books or created tapes that use guided meditation to improve your life. I actually got started this way with Louise Hay's affirmations and tapes. Her techniques border on self hypnosis and can assist you in improving many different aspects of your life.

If you are interested in different types of meditation, you can try yoga. Many yoga instructors include a short meditation at the end or beginning and end of a session but even the act of doing the poses and breathing is a powerful form of meditation.

Other types of meditation are used by many people. For some people, repeating a mantra for many times is their meditation form. Most of this form involves having a master give you a particular mantra which you use. There are thousands of mantras that are effective for many different purposes. A wise teacher can give you the right one for you.

Some religions may teach you prayers which you repeat or focus on for a specified time of day or amount of time. While other religions have you focus on a deity as a form of meditiaton.

Common techniques in Buddhist sects could be to focus on your breathing. Though this sounds easy, it can be quite challenging and again is best if you work with a qualified teacher. Zen meditation is the practice of emptying your mind. This definately is no easy task but well worth it. The meditation technique that works best for me was taught by my master His Holiness Lin Yun Rinpoche who has given his students many different meditation using visualizations. For me this is most effective to calm my active mind.

For those that have tried meditation and haven't been "successful".

I spent ten years experimenting with meditation before I found the method that works for me. One of the most common excuses for not meditating is "I don't have the time". I have found that if you make a place specially to meditate that you will be compelled to use it. Meditating takes committment. Don't hesitate to experiment with different methods because one method or another may just suit your temperment.

For many years I tried Zen meditation and felt unsuccessful because of my wandering mind. Now I know to be gentle with myself and not judge whether I am doing mediation well enough. If you are sitting there, you are doing great!

Don't come into meditation goal oriented. Sometimes goal orientation can keep you coming back but in general it is a highway to frustration. So, if you are looking to lower your blood pressure by 10 points and come to your meditation daily worrying or focusing on the result, chances are you are doomed. Focusing on the process and the feeling that you get from meditation is the best policy.

Sometimes people come to meditation to relax and when they begin they aren't relaxed and then become frustrated because they aren't relaxing. If you come in tensed up and can't get beyond that, you could congratulate yourself on getting to the task and then go out for a relaxing walk or stretch and breath before trying again.

For those who have been meditating a long time.

I don't know anyone who has been meditating for a long time that doesn't run into a glitch. Sometimes our lives get very busy and we don't wedge in the time that is needed. Other times we have a crisis in our lives and contrary to what would comfort us most, we turn away from our meditation. Finally many of us get bored. We are meditating every day and are just tired of doing the same thing. What is the solution to this? Over the many years I have been meditating, I have experienced all of these. My advice is that you adapt to the situation. Sometimes you do need a break. Even though I think if you can work your way through while meditating it will all go smoother I also recognize that sometimes you may need to take a break. If you are getting bored with the routine, you could just grit it through until you are no longer bored or take on a major challenge like meditating longer. Some people may need to meet with their teachers for advice or may need to take new classes to be reinspired.

What happens when you stop reaping the benefits of meditation. Suppose you found a calmness with meditation that you had sought and suddenly that is gone. You have a crisis of faith. Again, you can seek to reinspire yourself through new methods or meetings with your teachers but you can also turn to your friends for support.

One of the most helpful things that I have found in my meditation practice is getting together with others on a monthly regular basis to practice. There is something amazing about practicing in a group. The energy is stronger and the experience of sharing the practice can really be beneficial to your personal development and inspire you to keep your meditation going in between.

Meditation is a wonderful experience that has much to offer people. If you are reading this and are intrigued I encourage you to pursue it and reap the benefits.


 

Many people use images to meditate on. A non descript image such as this one won't carry memories or emotional charge of more familiar images.

Notice how the colors in this image are bolder than the first image. Some people will prefer this type of image while others will prefer more soothing quieter colors.

Meditating in a group often has great benefits. There are also many places that have classes to teach meditation. Keeping in contact with others can keep you on track with your daily practice.

Many forms of meditation teach you a comfortable pose to take in the process. This guy is starting early!

CLASS SCHEDULE

Feng Shui, an Introductory Class

October 10, 2009, 7 PM - 9 PM, Rocks and Runes, 1006 N. Lima St. Burbank, Ca. 91505

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement teaches us how to build, arrange and improve our physical surroundings to foster good fortune, happiness and optimal health. This introductory class will teach you the basics of how to improve your life by improving your environment. You will learn how to apply design elements such as color, light and other elements to bring about your personal goals.

Cost $30 plus nine red envelopes. To register, email shelley@harmonygardens.net or call (818) 505-9783. If you need to know more about the Red Envelope Tradition see Newletter 4 or contact Shelley.

FENG SHUI IN THE GARDEN......... .....May 22 & 23, Long Island Feng Shui Institute, New York

Feng Shui is a systematic approach to understanding the principles that create the sense of harmony and balance in our surroundings. This two-day workshop focuses on how to apply the basics in Feng Shui in your landscape and garden to enhance your life.


To register contact 516-621-9898 or www.fengshuischools.com

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Sparks is a Feng Shui Expert, Licensed Landscape Architect and Humble Gardener. Through the practices of Feng Shui and Landscape Design she creates Harmony, Healing, Prosperity and Beneficial Qualities to her client's home, business and garden environments. She believes that as we bring our environments into balance we live happier healthier more abundant lives, benefit all that we relate to and help heal the earth.

She has been licensed as a Landscape Architect for more than 25 years and has designed award winning residential landscapes. She is a disciple of His Holiness Master Lin Yun Rinpoche, Grand Master of Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Sect of Feng Shui and has been studying Feng Shui for more than sixteen years. She teaches Garden as a Healing Space and Feng Shui and Feng Shui in the Garden for U.C.L.A. and other venues throughout the United States. She analyzes Feng Shui for people's homes, businesses and gardens.

HARMONY GARDENS
Shelley Sparks, Principal
12224 Addison Street, Valley Village, Ca 91607
Phone (818) 505-9783
Fax – (818) 760-7558
E-mail Shelley@HarmonyGardens.Net

See us at: www.HARMONYGARDENS.net
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