A Musical Perspective on Life

I tend to hear, feel and even see music everywhere. Being a musician, I am admittedly a little biased, but, come to think of it, we all are––musicians, that is. We hum, we whistle, we sing and swing. Our everyday vocabulary is infused with musical terms: we resonate with people, things strike a chord, we feel upbeat or downbeat, we act in concert and on and on it goes. More importantly, we have within us two immensely powerful instruments, the brain and the heart. The brain is the keyboard that plays the music our mind composes. The heart is the metronome that beats the rhythms of our emotions; the soundboard that amplifies the subtle music that plays within us. So, in effect, we have all we need to make beautiful music. Or do we?

Are we really creating our music? And assuming we are, do we actually truly play it on the stage of everyday life? Hardly. The question then is: What does it take to become the composers and the conductors of a harmonious life symphony?

Today and in three sequential articles, I’ll share with you a musical perspective on creating harmony within, expanding on insights I have gathered in my new book 7 Keys to Serenity. In fact, I would like to invite you to imagine being the conductor of a huge orchestra, an ensemble that counts trillions of musicians who play the sacred music of your life: your cells.

To be that conductor, you’ll need to cultivate the art of listening, which is precisely what my first key, A, stands for: Awareness. It is the master key that opens all doors or, to stay in our musical analogy, the note that is sounded before the concert begins, bringing all instruments of the orchestra to play in complete connectedness around one standard frequency––in the Western music system, that is.

But how exactly do we define awareness on the stage of life? No doubt we all experience on a daily basis the symptoms of its deficiency: the eye glasses or the car keys we desperately look for, our vehicle itself we spend a frustrating amount of time locating in a busy parking lot; and on and on it goes. We simply don’t pay attention.

We often speak about mindfulness or consciousness. But awareness is much more. It involves intuition. Rather than a state of simple mental alertness, it is a balanced combination of mind and heart, a seamless integration of doing and being, of thinking and feeling our way through life. We might want to compare it to an embedded antenna that allows us to naturally and effortlessly scan our inner and outer environment, detecting the subtle variations that take place beyond the denseness of our five senses.

So how exactly is awareness going to help us create this harmonious life symphony? First, rather ironically, we must create silence. We do this through deep breathing and pausing. Pauses help us create a few “intermissions” in our daily routine, during which we disengage and become the observer, looking at and listening to ourselves from way above, like a disembodied entity, an angel of sorts––often shaking our heads in disbelief, to be sure. We then come to realize how caught up we have become in the autopilot mode, driving our lives mindlessly like we tend to drive our cars.

Awareness will help us align our thoughts, words and actions, creating in the process vibrations of similar frequencies and therefore overall coherence and clarity. Harmony in music is all about alignment, coherent and balanced combinations. And so it is in life. And yet, how often do our actions contradict our values? Incoherence leads to conflict, subtle as it is. Unbeknownst, we deplete our reservoir of internal life-energy by allowing what science calls “destructive interference” to take place. The result is dissonance, false notes and disempowerment.
Awareness helps us to attune to our bodies and minds, to listen––like the conductor listens to his orchestra––to the subtle music they play, correcting and adjusting the volume and rhythm of our emotions. Our cells vibrate at different frequencies, according to which section (organ) of the body they are playing in. Yet, by nature, they all play together, in holistic coherence and connectedness, executing a symphony called homeostasis, a wonderfully balanced piece of music that keeps us well and alive. At one point or another, however, some of these cells may begin to play out of tune. If you, the conductor, don’t notice this discordance in time, the initial harmony might, over time, degenerate into a cacophony, creating a lack of ease and therefore dis-ease.

Awareness empowers us to live in authenticity, to discover, accept and be who we truly are. To sing our own song. Life is an ongoing performance, yet, how often do we play music that does not really resonate in our hearts and souls? If we are not in accord with ourselves, if the music does not resonate with us, how can it possibly resonate with others?

Awareness makes us realize the existence of the laws of attraction and resonance. Like attracts like. So, when we attune to a given thought frequency, we attract similar frequencies. In other words, you get what you think about. Although this sounds a bit clichéd, it is a very powerful universal law that needs to be kept in mind at all times. What we think, how we think, creates our reality. In the next issue of this magazine, we’ll examine an arena where awareness plays perhaps the most important role yet: our belief system, the matrix where our thoughts are created.

Serge Mazerand,
Pianist – Composer – Recording Artist – Keynote player
Author of new book: 7 keys to Serenity

Living in Mastery and Meditation

By Janet Love Morrison

Most of us, at some point in time, have arrived at a space where it’s time to let go of the old and create the new. Is the way you are – the way you want to be? When we are the way we want to be we are in order. This order is mastery; a movement within this order; is meditation.

How do we start? Master Dhyan Vimal, a modern-day enlightened Master from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, created the Mastery Meditation and it’s a tool for the modern man to stimulate and nurture one’s inner possibilities. Enabling one to achieve all that one can be, which is one’s rightful birthright.

The meditation is a dynamic and active form of meditation. The technique comprises of five parts, with step-by-step guidance and instructions by Master Dhyan Vimal. He created it to awaken your within, to recognize you are the creator of your life. In time, from using this meditation you learn to master your energy.

The Dhyana Centre Vancouver is an oasis of learning open to everyone who wants to awaken to their highest possibilities. We are a community of individuals across Canada (Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal) dedicated to sharing the teachings of Master Dhyan Vimal whose personal insights provide a pathway to powerful transformation.

The daily meditations, weekly programmes and workshops offer you the opportunity to look deeply into the joys and challenges of your life and gain a unique awareness of who you truly are and how you can be who you want to be.

What is the learning about? There are three core themes that run through the teachings of Dhyan Vimal. These are mastery, meditation and living in abundance.

The understanding that your reality is created by you. An examination and contemplation into belief structures which form the selfs you carry.

When you commit to see you, commit to be in contact with you, and this is the key understanding, and all else is born from this.

Living in Abundance
Seeing that the personal poverty you suffer is your creation. When you break past conditionings that keep you in poverty, creation happens naturally for you to live in abundance.

What format does the learning take?
We experience learning through meditation, video and audio talks from Master Dhyan Vimal, individual reflection and group discussions. The atmosphere is open, inclusive and non-judgmental. There are different levels of learning from beginner to advanced and all are welcome at any level. Join a free introduction to meditation to get you started, then try Simirthi Initiation Programme. Here you will learn to put yourself back into the centre of your life using meditation to come to the remembrance of yourself.

You can choose to join any of the following activities to awaken your possibilities:

Daily meditations
Daily meditations are single evening events where you can learn different meditation practices to deepen your understanding of yourself and the art and science of mastery.

Weekly programmes
Weekly programmes are a series of three to five evenings where themes such as healing, creation, self-awareness and mindfulness are explored.

Workshops are usually two full day events where you can go deeply into structured learnings that deliver the understanding required for the transformation of the individual within and without.

Visit facebook.com/DhyanaCentreVancouver or send an email to vancouver@dhyanvimalacademy.com for further information. You can also find more learning resources at www.dhyanvimal.com

Click here to view the Atma Rahasya Workshop Poster

A Recipe for Harvesting Success

By Abe Brown, Master Coach Trainer

As a leadership and business coach, I am often asked to help business owners accelerate the development of their business, and to strategize with them about generating more revenue and squeezing out more profit. In a recent session with a very promising business owner, we began exploring the idea of seedtime and harvest, or in “business-speak”, making investments in their business. You might even call this business karma.

As we began to explore this, the owner expressed that she had no more money to invest, and that she was stretched to the end of her financial capacity. Having been there, I was able to reassure her that business investing is so much more than just money, and that the concept of seedtime and harvest, or business karma, involves so much more than cash.

In my view the finest entrepreneurs on the planet are farmers; those who risk seed and sweat by investing in the soil, trusting that the external surroundings will all somehow align to serve their goals. And one thing every farmer understands is that in the end, we reap what we sow. If my current outcomes and harvest are not what I imagined or hoped for, the good news is that I can plant new seeds. Intentions and aspirations have limited value in and of themselves; wisdom teaches us that new results require new choices and new directions. Wisdom patiently teaches us that it’s not what you intend that makes the difference, or even what you dream of, but it’s what you do.
So how can we exert some influence over our karma, be it in business, relationships, or any area? In other words, what are the principles for successful harvests?

Success Principle #1 – We have what we have.
You have what you have. You got what you got. When the business owner above shared her lack of financial resources, there is no sorrow or shame there. You have what you have. My advice to her was to celebrate what she did have, which in her case was passionate commitment to her cause, deep relationships with her customers, an innovative business concept, and a strong social media following for her business. Gratefully celebrate and embrace what you have because there is strength in that.

Success Principle #2 – We plant what we have.
It makes sense to gratefully celebrate and embrace what you have because you can only plant what you have. And planting is critical. No outcomes will be produced without planting.

This speaks to contributing your very best, each and every day. Those who plant reach deep into their bag of skill and capacity and talent and expertise, dig up the soil, and plant what they have. There is a sense of commitment, stability, and focus when you think about planting.

Our daily self-evaluation is also not so much about what we harvest, but what we plant. Robert Louis Stevenson said this: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant”. What are you planting today in terms of beliefs, thoughts, actions, and interactions? This is important because these will surely be your harvest tomorrow.

Success Principle #3 – We empower what we nurture.
In anything we plant, the principle is always the same: What we nurture we empower. If we are planting seeds for a healthier relationship, then taking steps to nurture a healthier relationship daily is key. If we are planting seeds for a more vibrant business, then building our business by nurturing our network, website, and relationships with key customers and suppliers is critical. If we are planting seeds for a stronger self-concept, than taking steps to nurture this with positive relationships and healthy environments is paramount. We empower what we nurture.

Success Principle #4 – We protect what we love.
In order to produce, what the farmer plants needs protection. In the natural world, crops can experience disease and predators which rob their fruitfulness, and in our lives, there are many forces at work to undermine our productivity and effectiveness. We protect what we love, and so if our goal is a healthier relationship, or more vibrant business, or stronger self-concept, we need to protect what we have planted and are nurturing in order to see the harvest fully come to fruition.

Success Principle #5 – We reap what we sow.
In Buddhist tradition, karma refers to action driven by intention which leads to future consequences. A person sows a seed, and there is a time lag during which a mysterious and invisible process takes place. Then the plant pops up and can be harvested. Life is boomerang. What you give, you get. You are free to make any decision you wish. But you are not free from the consequences of that decision.

Planting the “right” seeds in order to change or improve outcomes is critical. Early each day, I look back at the previous day and reflect on the outcomes I experienced, and ask if I want changed or enhanced outcomes in my tomorrow, because if I do, I need to plant them today. Life is an echo: What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.

If you want kindness, be kind. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want help, be helpful. If you want love, be loving. If you want respect, respect others. If you want to innovate, get out of the box. If you want success in business, sow the seeds necessary for success in business. We reap what we sow, and so ultimately, what we harvest we have chosen.

In life and in business, there is often not a lot I can do about my outcomes in this moment. But in this moment, literally right now, I can celebrate what I do have, plant what I have, nurture what I have planted, and protect it. I can plant new seeds today in order to reap a new harvest tomorrow. Whether the harvest you are looking for is emotional, physical, relational, financial, or professional, these principles will yield new outcomes in your life, and in the lives of those you value most.

Abe Brown, MBA is the Coach’s Coach, and is the CEO of Momentum Coaching (momentumcoaching.ca), and the President of the Certified Coaches Federation (certifiedcoachesfederation.com). Momentum Coaching has experienced triple digit growth for several years running, and the Certified Coaches Federation has trained and certified over 11,500 Life and Executive Coaches in the last 8 years. Abe does Leadership, Business, and Executive Coaching, and works with profit-based, and non-profit organizations around strategic planning, cultivating fully engaged employees, and facilitating coaching and training programs. He has also worked with several small, medium, and large businesses to accelerate revenue growth and maximize engagement.

Harvest Time!

Lois Hamilton

By Lois Hamilton

Oh that exciting time of the year when an abundant supply of fresh food tempts us and overwhelms us at the same time! Whether you grow your own food or gather these fresh gems from your favourite farmers market, harvesting and preserving makes nutrition sense, provides convenient quick solutions throughout the year and can be quite rewarding! What to do with all that food? How about these ideas?

Ferment It
Pretty much any vegetable, fruit, nut, seed or grain can be fermented. Fermenting is NOT the same as pickling. Pickling is preserving food using acidity and is usually heated. Fermentation is preserving food using beneficial bacteria that breaks down the carbohydrates in the food. The huge benefit with fermentation is that it provides probiotics for our bodies! There are so many yummy recipes for fermented food, from kimchi, ketchup, apples to sauerkraut. Check out my blog for my favourite sauerkraut or fermented pickles recipe. (holistichealthwithlois.com: #fermentedsauerkraut #fermentedpickles). “The Art of Fermentation” is a great book that explains fermenting in great detail!

Dehydrate It
Everything can be dehydrated and if you don’t have a dehydrator, most recipes can be done in your oven on the lowest oven temperature. Leaving the oven door open can help too. Try drying herbs, veggie chips (kale, turnips, sweet potato, zucchini, beets, parsnips) fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, apple) or fruit leather. These are great ways to use up the produce and it makes great portable snacks for hiking, school lunches or travel snacks. Check out my blog for my family’s favourite Banana, Strawberry Fruit Leather recipe. (holistichealthwithlois.com: #fruitleather) You won’t believe how easy it is to make!

When cutting fruit and vegetables for chips it is helpful to use a mandolin or a professional meat slicer which is what I use. This will
help to ensure even drying as will rotating the dehydrator trays. For veggie chips I coat them with either extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (if you want a lighter more neutral tasting oil) and then season them with garlic powder, onion powder, unrefined sea salt and any other savoury spice that catches your fancy. With banana or apple chips I often use cinnamon and cloves or nutmeg.

In addition to drying herbs, onion and garlic can be dried and then I just whir it through my spice/coffee grinder and I’ve got
garlic or onion powder ready for adding to my cooking creations. Using your own herbs and flavourings in this way is far superior to
the products in the store. While you’re at it, make your own spice blends and save money. Try it out for yourself!

Can It
Salsa, bruschetta, antipasto, or pasta sauces are great ways to use up tomatoes and other vegetables. You might even prefer a fruit salsa with mango or pineapple – let your creativity flow. Pesto of all kinds can help you to use up the fresh herbs. Mustard, relish and applesauce are other condiments that are great to have around throughout the year. Check out my blog (holistichealthwithlois.com: #relish) for a Thousand Island Relish recipe.

Freeze It
Of course we all know that you can freeze produce (the trick is to freeze it uncrowded on baking trays so it won’t lump together and then transfer it to freezer bags for storage). How about freezing your favourite smoothie ingredients in individual serving bags? Kale and other smoothie greens that have been processed in your blender with a touch of pure coconut water can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred in bags for freezer storage. Fresh herbs with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil can be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred in bags for freezer storage. This is so convenient when you want fresh herbs in your soups, stews, stir frys or casseroles. With a plethora of squash choices during harvest time you could make soup, muffins or quick breads and freeze them for later use. Think about the portion size that would suit you or your family – you might want to freeze the soup in individual portions or family size. Check out my website under soup recipes for the most delicious Pumpkin Protein Soup, a complete meal for sure!

As with all food preservation methods, attention to food safety is of the utmost importance. The following is a link to a pdf on food preservation safety. healthunit.org/foodsafety/_resources/Safe_Food_Handling_Tips_for_Preserving_Your_Harvest.pdf

Wishing you a bountiful, delicious and safe harvest time!

Lois Hamilton, Certified Holistic Nutritionist and
Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner
Holistic Health with Lois

Marsha Hebert’s Healing Soup

By Marsha Hebert

Last fall, I went to a restaurant that is well known and a place I frequent. The dinner feature was beef and even though my inner voice was telling me no, I ordered it to get some extra iron in my body. Guess what? Immediately after eating, I experienced stomach pain and within a few hours more digestive issues. I thought, ok no more beef at that restaurant. Less than a week later, I was experiencing chest pains and was rushed to the emergency (twice in one week). I had ultra sound and a brain scan. I thought I was going to die. The doctor said I had a viral infection and my chest had become inflamed. They sent me home and recommended rest and pain killers.

I was helpless and with every movement I experienced shortness of breath. My anemia only made the symptoms worse. My twin sister had to fly in from Montreal to assist in my recovery. I only take supplements and I know the healing properties of natural foods, so I became my own medicine woman and created this recipe for Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with Tomatoes. In one week I was back to my fit and energetic self! I am certain this soup helped me recover faster!

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with Tomatoes

Makes: 8 cups (2 cups per serving)
Total time: 35 minutes

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cups diced onions
2 cups grated sweet potatoes
1 cup red split lentils (rinsed just before adding to soup)
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced with juice
5 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves

1) In a large non-stick sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

2) Add the sweet potatoes and lentils and cook for additional 5 minutes.

3) Add the tomatoes, water, season and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, until lentils and sweet potatoes is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

4) Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth (you may need to do in batches).

5) Return the soup to the rinsed-out pan and warm over low heat for 5 minutes.

For a full list of nutritional values and benefits of the ingredients check out Marsha’s article on page 4-5 of the Fall 2016 issue.

Marsha Hebert is a gluten-free and lactose-free cookbook author and EAT for Life Consultant at EATforLifewithMarshaHebert.com

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