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The Art of Stillness by Stéphanie

02 March 2017

Adventure in going nowhere In Art of Stillness lies the science of well-being ever so wanting in our fast paced life. Stillness here refers to lack of both physical exertion and mental  unrest. The ability to be still is latent in us but not mastered as we are conditioned to believe in the power of mobility and dynamism, which are all averse to the state of being still. More profoundly stillness here means acceptance. Letting be and leaving with our natural thoughts that arises in minds versus inundating our senses with too much information and experience. Pico  Iyer right said, being still enough to hear your body talk, to get in touch with who you are, and finding out what you really like. Siddharth Pico Raghavan Iyer (born 11 February 1957), known as Pico Iyer, is a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin, best known for his travel writing. He is the author of numerous books on crossing cultures including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. An essayist for Time since 1986, Iyer was born Siddharth Pico Raghavan Iyer in Oxford, England, the son of Indian parents. His father was Raghavan N. Iyer, an Oxford philosopher and political theorist. His mother is the religious scholar Nandini Nanak Mehta. His unusual name is a combination of the Buddha’s name, Siddhartha, that of the Florentine neo-Platonist Pico della Mirandola and his father’s name.  He studied at Eton, Oxford University and Harvard. Career He taught writing and literature at Harvard before joining Time in 1982 as a writer on world affairs. Since then he has traveled widely, from North Korea to Easter Island, and fromParaguay to Ethiopia, while writing He is also a frequent speaker at literary festivals and universities around the world, who delivered popular TED talks in 2013 and 2014 (ref ted.com ref) and has twice been a Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He appeared in a commercial for “Incredible India” in 2007. Personal life He has been based in Japan since 1992, where he lives with his Japanese wife, Hiroko Takeuchi,the “Lady” of his second book, and her two children from an earlier marriage. In discussions about his spirituality, Iyer has mentioned not having a formal meditation practice, but practicing regular solitude, visiting a remote Benedictine hermitage several times a year. Writings  He writes often of his delight in living between the cracks […]

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Three wise monkeys, a two thousand years symbol explained by Stéphanie


25 November 2016

You probably have already seen three wise monkeys in miniature or in picture where one covers his ears, the other covers his mouth and the last one covers his eyes. But do you know what it means? In western countries, it’s our habit to see them as decorative objects without speaking of their true signification. Of course, they are far from only decorative objects. Origin of the 3 wise monkeys It’s hard to date the first appearance of the three wise monkeys. They have been brought into Buddhism by a monk in the 7th century. According to the legend, this monk, while he was travelling, was escorted by a monkey. His name was Xuanzang, one of the most important translators of Buddhist texts in China. He left China for India when he realized that it was time to seek more Buddhist texts to bring to China. Nevertheless, he’s not the one who invented the three wise monkeys, but the one who made them known. The first traces lead us to the «Analects of Confucius» (between the 4th and 11st century BC). Several legends assume that those three monkeys came from Japanese Koshin’s belief. They are based on the idea that, in every human being, there are three wicked worms, the Sanshi, which, every sixty days leave our body to report on our sins to a superior entity, Ten-Tei. Still, it’s tough to make the difference between legend and reality. Moreover, one of the oldest known representations of those three monkeys is on the front of the Tshogu temple in Nikko, Japan. Would they come from Japan then? It’s possible. The three mystical monkeys (as they are sometimes called) are named the sanzaru. Their names are Mizaru, Iwazaru and Kikazaru. In Japanese language, «san» means three and «saru» means monkey. Time passing, «saru» becomes «zaru» giving birth to sanzaru. Yet, «zaru» is also a negative form, that we could translate to «not to». So the common admitted meaning «not see, not hear and not speak» could come from a Japanese play on words. Besides, in Japanese culture, monkey is supposed to ward off evils. Meaning of these three wise monkeys Those three wise monkeys are supposed to represent a way not to feel evil. The common sense is : not to see anything, not to hear anything and not to say anything. But can it really be that simple? To me, such […]

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Amritsar, the Golden Temple : an experience by Stéphanie


16 November 2016

There are some discoveries which lift the veil of indifference covering the world. There are some moments which open your heart and let this organ of love freely express itself. There are some experiences which allow you to let go, fully and truly, so vulnerable but so strong from the trust gifted to the unknown. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is one of them ! This visit opened my eyes and allowed me to take a brand new look on humanity. In Amritsar, the notion of time doesn’t exist. Women, men, children are constantly walking around the place, like a perpetual ritual of bowing down on the white marble, of meditations facing the sacred lake, of prayers, of sun rise followed by sun set, undisturbed neither by the day passing or the eternal renewal of pilgrims. The Golden Temple is always alive. The temple hosts every human being without limit of time or condition. People meet here and there, they are sleeping under the arcade of the courtyard, and eating in an extraordinary canteen which can serve up to 60 000 meals each day with an amazing organisation. Here and there we can see them pray under their turbans, exchange knowledge and smiles, be in communion together with sacred food and drinkable water offered in every corner of this place with allures of fairy tale. Golden Temple, the beauty of the place is an invitation to inside contemplation No matter whether you are a Sikh or not, no matter whether you have faith or not, no matter whether you came here for the architecture or spirituality I dare every visitor to resist the will to take 2 minutes to sit on the floor and truly appreciate the beauty of the present moment. Beauty of people surrounding you, beauty of uninterrupted prayers since the last 500 years spread with speakers all around, beauty of this golden temple, beauty of the white and sculpted marble, beauty of the love felt here. The love here deeply invades your heart, just for the time being, a precious instant shared with this community. Amritsar reveals such a powerful human reality That it’s hard to not feel connected. In this highly respected Sikh temple, it’s possible to live for free. Everything is based on donations, this notion of spontaneous solidarity which is often forgotten in our societies running after profits. We can sleep here for free, on simple […]

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Healing With crystals : 12 aches, pains and their emotional origin to deeply cure by Stéphanie


11 November 2016

Since time immemorial, lithotherapy or treatment by stones has been effective all over the world. Indeed, each crystal has a particular vibration, same as the vibratory principle of the healing Tibetan bowls, of which I was telling you a few weeks ago. Each stone has a frequency matching one of our chakras. Let’s discover more about crystals healing… Here are some rules to know about the stones before choosing and using them : ♦ Take a stone that resonates with you, don’t let it be a random choice. Your astral sign might help you however to link lithotherapy and astrology without knowing the characteristics of the planets and their vibrations is a complex science. ♦ Purify the stone before your first use. It has travelled a lot before it reached you, it can be negative energy charged. ♦ Wear it on you to receive its benefits or put it under your pillow or mattress. ♦ Give it an intention. You have to ask consciously for the stone to act in a specific situation in order to make the stone focus on it. Don’t forget, it’s only vibrations, and the intention also has a vibration. Every pain or disease comes from an emotional shock that we need to identify to treat it completely. Surface treatment would only postpone the problem. Each body part where pain appears has a message to deliver. Here are the aches, their emotional origins and the crystals that can calm it. Crystal for Headache Headaches come from our inability to make choices. To cure the pain we will use amethyst, while hematite will help us to take decisions. Amethyst : it’s the spirituality stone. It is highly recommended in case of bereavement and to break free from all addictions (drugs, alcohol, tobacco…). Amethyst helps to concentrate and it’s particularly efficient for meditation. It also protects places from negative energies that it turns into love. It corresponds to the seventh chakra, the one of the head. Astrological signs : Pisces, Aries, Sagittarian Purification : in salty water in the dark, then recharge a bit under the sun. Hematite : it’s a stone that helps anchorage, self-realization, offering trust and strength. It fits well to shy persons, helping them to express their true needs. Astrological signs : Aries, Scorpio Purification : scrub it with marine salt Pain in the neck. Inflammation of neck indicates that you have difficulties to say no or […]

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Happiness, how to find the meaning of life : a DIY Kit ! by Stéphanie


04 November 2016

Let’s explore how to be happier ! Find Happiness : 10 questions / Answers with Geshe Lhakdor A bit of context before start to talk about happiness. This conversation took place in Tibet World Institute in Dharamsala, India. It was a teaching about the meaning of life gifted by a well known Buddhist Geshe Lakdor (director of Tibetan Library and Archives Centre and former translator of Dalai Lama). I arrived, of course how could I’ve done otherwise, full of stereotypes and misunderstandings about Buddhism, happiness and spirituality. Coming from European cultural background, directly arrived from my busy everyday-routine in our agitated societies, I am now sitting in this room facing this brilliant Geshe Lhakdor, trying to absorb a bit of his wisdom, drinking his words and trying to lift the veil. Which veil? The veil of the ignorance of happiness which covers our mind formatted with business relationships. So, here the questions I came with, here the answers I got It’s now up to you to choose to follow this path but at least you will, now, know the destination! What is happiness ? Quest for happiness is the meaning of life. We are talking here about long lasting happiness, not ephemeral’s one. Geshe Lakdor describes it : “Happiness is a deep feeling of satisfaction Happiness can be reached by exploration Exploration is accepting new challenges. New challenges bring new ideas, new energies inside you.” So happiness could be an energy ? A positive, warm and kind energy going through every part of your body and mind ? Let’s explore further ! Where is happiness coming from ? Knowing that we all want happiness, the universal question could be “Where are we going to get this long lasting happiness from ?” According to Geshe, “Not from what we learnt from our parents, not from religion beliefs either. You need to want to be happy. It’s all start by a commitment to yourself : Whatever happens in life I will not make my mind unhappy. I will not feed the anger but starve it like an enemy.” So happiness could come from our own experiences of life : see what makes you happy, try to analyse the reasons and decisions which lead to this state of happiness. Identify them to be able to repeat them more often in your life. Then, the answer seems clear and simple : happiness is only dependent […]

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Kalachakra How to get a train ticket to Gaya ? by Stéphanie

how to go to Bodhgaya. Train to Kalachakra. Reach gaya

17 October 2016

Website and app to check train ticket to Bodhgaya for kalachakra 2017 During Kalachakra, it can be a very hard challenge to find a way to reach Gaya. The popularity of the event increase so much every year, it’s now too late and impossible to find a flight to Gaya. Your only solution to reach the town is by bus or train. Because most of people are going to seek for the same solution to reach Gaya, soon all trains and bus may be full. Here a selection of tips to avoid missing the Kalachakra because of transport difficulties : Book a train ticket to Gaya : Secure your Kalachakra experience There is two ways to book a train ticket in India : online or directly at the bus station. During Kalachakra, the amount of people coming to Gaya is unbelievable. We highly advise you to book your ticket online to secure your journey. But, even if you do so, the only option may be to subscribe on a waiting list to board into the train. First you have to know cancellations are quite common in India and that’s why most of the Train Company keep selling tickets even if the train is full. Train to Kalachakra : which ticket you should book You can get three categories of ticket to reach Gaya : Confirmed tickets – RAC waitlist – Waitlist. If you feel a bit lost in all this system, you can check a great website in India (which also have a mobile App free to download here) : confirmtkt.com Note.You only  check the availability of seat but cannot  book a ticket on website. This great platform allow you to book your train ticket online but also to plan which is your best option to board on the train. The website is calculating automatically your chances to get a confirmed ticket for each train even if you book a Waitlist one. It’s only up to you to do the good choice then and maximise your chances to reach Gaya on time for Kalachakra 2017. Kalachakra and Gaya by Train : How to make the best of your journey ? Here some very obvious advises but still no hurt to repeat them : Take a book, music, drawing, … any activities to keep your mind busy. You can also choose to star at the window and discover the diversity of landscapes in […]

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