happiness tip #12


talk less, listen more.  open your ears and your heart.  hear the world around you.  sincerely listen to those you love.  listen for what they’re saying and not saying.  be their support system without having to say anything at all.  you might be surprised by what you hear!

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today is my 26th birthday, which is kind of hard to believe.  i still have the words ‘recent UCLA graduate’ on my resume…guess i need to change that :)

i had the amazing pleasure of spending the day meditating and enjoying time with my family, then ended it with a much needed facetime with my best friend who lives 300 miles away.  seeing his face always makes me smile.

every year on my birthday, i tend to look back and examine the last year of my life.  i think about the lessons, the people, the highs and lows, and everything that defined that year.  and while 25 was was a beautiful and unforgettable year filled with tons of amazing moments and life lessons, i’m not going to spend today looking back.

instead, i want to look forward to the year of 26.  this year, i’m planning to go above and beyond, to make the most of 26.  this year i challenge myself to 26 new things, to 26 leaps of faith, moments of greatness (big and small!).  i challenge myself to….

  1. re-learn to surf – it should be a crime to live in san diego and not take advantage of the surf daily!!
  2. volunteer for beach clean up
  3. finish my book (easier said than done, but i’m up for the challenge!)
  4.  go on a road trip (any suggestions?!)
  5. learn to sail
  6. join a new sangha
  7. join or start a peace alliance team
  8. plant a tree
  9. craft more
  10. visit/volunteer at a local animal sanctuary farm
  11. visit a new city in the USA
  12. take a cooking class/cooking classes
  13. start kayaking again
  14. downsize – during my most recent move, i started to get rid of stuff and it was really therapeutic, but i’m still overwhelmed in stuff i don’t need.  time to cleanse and get back to basics!
  15. bike instead of drive
  16. get another tattoo
  17. send a care package to a soldier
  18. master photoshop
  19. take a trip alone
  20. volunteer at a soup kitchen
  21. practice gratitude daily, openly express it weekly
  22. go on a juice bar crawl
  23. do another hello sunday morning challenge
  24. go on at least 2 more retreats
  25. read all 100 zen koans
  26. be honestly happy as much as possible

i cannot wait to accomplish many, if not all, of these goals.  and i can’t wait to see what other surprises this year has in store for me.  i’m ready and open to the path the divine has intended for me.  i am ready for love and divine miracles, 26 style.

sat nam everyone!


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i am peace

it’s hard to believe that the world has come to such a dismal place.  it seems every time you turn on the tv or read news, there’s nothing but death and destruction.  we live in a world filled with hate, breeding more hate.  unarmed, innocent children are dying.  people can’t understand one another, so instead of trying to find middle ground and acceptance, they are turning to violence.

whats even worse is that in response to these unexplainable acts of violence, even more violences is born.  violence breeds violence.  hate breeds hate.

in st. louis, in response to horrific acts, people have begun destroying their community.  across the globe protests surrounding the current international conflicts are turning dangerous.

what will it take for people to learn that peace is not born from violence?  peace is not born from anger.  peace is not born from hatred.

peace comes from our hearts, it comes from love and understanding.  it comes from an unwavering sense of compassion.

so how do we get back to peace?  how do we stop this senseless violence and end these cycles of anger?

people want someone to blame, they want someone to hate.  they want to have some sort of control over the situation, they want to stop it.  but as i look around, i see people letting anger and hate be their guides, not love.  instead of encouraging people to join their cause, they are just alienating and aggravating others who may have initially wanted to support.  we are turning our backs on each other because we don’t know how to handle this kind of sadness and devastation.

but its time we change that.  it’s time we stop senselessly protesting and rioting.  its time we end the violence.  its time that we bring love and compassion back to the world.

i’m in no way encouraging people to sit ideally by while these deaths occur.  what i’m suggesting is that we start to approach this is a new way.  fight for justice with peace, love, and knowledge.

write to your congressman.

write to the white house.

get involved in your local government.

find a peace action team.

volunteer to support those in need.

raise money to support your cause.

donate clothing, food, and resources.

practice tolerance.

educate yourself on all sides of the issue.

educate those in your community.  write about it.  speak to friends about it.  help people intelligently understand the crisis at hand.  but do so not with hate or anger, but as a call for help.

embody the peace you are so tirelessly fighting for.

you are peace.  you are love.  you can change the world.  but you can’t when your weapon is hate.  so instead of arming yourself with harsh words, senseless violence, and anger, lets arm ourselves with love.

we are peace.

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happiness tip #11 – accept others as they are


accept others as they are.  don’t try to change the people around you, try to change the world within you.  learn to love people now, as they are.  learn to accept people as they are.  celebrate your differences.  accept, love, and smile.

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meditation monday

i just learned this kundalini meditation, and i’m already a huge fan.

sometimes it becomes easy for us to forget our true purpose, love, and strength.  sometimes we let anger or frustration in and obscure our view.  sometimes we doubt ourselves and our divine purpose.  personally, i’ve been feeling a little distracted and distant from my spiritual self.  practicing a meditation like the Laya Yoga meditation will help us cultivate that spiritual power that lives within all of us.  it’s definitely helping me and is a great meditation to keep in your spiritual tool belt.  enjoy!

Laya Yoga kundalini meditation

sit in an easy pose, with a light jalandhar bandh.

eyes: focus through the brow point.

mudra: put the palms together in prayer pose at the center of the chest, or in gyan mudra with the wrists on the knees.


EK ONG KAAR-(UH) one creator creation
SAA TAA NAA MAA-(UH) true identity
SIREE WHAA-(UH) HAY GU-ROO great indescribable wisdom

the chant is very precise.  on EK pull in the navel.  on each final ‘UH’ lift the diaphragm up firmly.  the ‘UH’ sound is more a result of the powerful movement of the diaphragm than a pronounced purposeful projected sound.  relax the navel and abdomen on HAY GUROO.  the sound has a ‘spin’ to it.  it is a 3-1/2 cycle rhythm.  as you chant, imagine energy and sound spiraling up and around the spinal cord in a right-handed helix, in a clockwise direction, looking from the top of the spine down to the base.  start at the base of the spine as you initiate the energy from the navel.  end with the focus over the head to the cosmos on HAY GUROO.

time: continue for 31 minutes. practice for 40-120 days.

comments:  this extraordinary Laya Yoga chant brings the soul and destiny present.  it suspends you above conflicts attracted by success and the activity of the Positive Mind.  it lest your activity serve your purpose.  it makes you creative and focused on your real priorities and helps you sacrifice what is needed to accomplish them.  the word laya refers to suspension from the ordinary world.  Laya Yoga fixes your attention and energy on your essence and higher consciousness without normal distractions and attachments having power over your reactive awareness.  this mantra opens the secret book of Laya Yoga.

it enables you to consciously remember and experience the link between you and the Creator.  practice the mantra for 40-120 days.  it will etch into the subconscious the memory and experience of your true identity.  this mantra was guarded like a secret gem.  it is the key to the inner doors of naad, the realm of creative sound.

if you listen to the sound of the mantra and then concentrate into its subtle sounds, you will become absorbed into the unlimited domain of your higher self.  the mantra has a structure of 3-1/2 cycles in its spin.  each UH sound lifts the diaphragm which commutes the energy of prana and apana across the heart area.  that transformation is one cycle.  the 3-1/2 cycle is the pulse rhythm of the kundalini itself.  this is why the kundalini is often represented as coiled 3-1/2 times.  as with all other genuine mantras, it is discovered by the seer who travels in the subtle realms of consciousness.  it has been confirmed by countless practitioner who adapted the discipline of meditation.  the inner sounds can e heard at different levels of subtlety.

the vibrations of naad have different octaves of creative impact.  this mantra takes you to the most subtle realm of creativity.  it awakens the kundalini force that energizes the whole Creation.  it awakens your awareness and empowers the sense of Subtle Body of the Aura.  the practice of the meditation gives intuition and the ability to heal.  when you practice this kriya earnestly, be conscious and graceful with each word you speak.  do not listen to negative or coarse speech from others.  remember that the sins of the past are of the past, and that some of the greatest saints were sinners first.  if you have the opportunity to learn and to practice this technology of elevation, you have earned it and you deserve it.  so do not hesitate to use it and to strive for progress and expansion.  feel that the Infinite Will and yours at together.  strong actions combined with non-attachment make life a dance with much creative gratitude.

sat nam everyone!

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global meditation for peace

if you haven’t heard yet, on august 8th at 9am PST (12pm EST) Deepak Chopra, along with Gabrielle Bernstein, India Arie, and other amazing spiritual educators, are hosting the largest global meditation in history.  i don’t know much about it, but i’m always so energized by people uniting together under in hopes of peace, love, and meditation.  if you’re interested in signing up, click here!  only 10 days left!

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the facts of (vegetarian) life

i came across the following fun little video the other day.  it’s pretty basic but i really enjoyed it and wanted to pass it on.  it presents some basic facts that would suggest that human beings were never meant to eat meat.  while i’m not one to ever push people into a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, nor am i one to shame the meat eaters in my life, i thought this was an interesting argument and wanted to pass it along.  when i first became a vegetarian 15 years ago, and even now as a vegan, i always find myself defending my decision to not eat animals/animal products.  i’m constantly having to explain to others why i don’t think meat jives well with my body.  so for those of you feeling like your constantly on the defense, maybe some of these basic facts can be tools in your vegan/vegetarian arsenal.


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