Chanting as an option for spiritual practice

Woman holding prayer beads
Woman holding prayer beads
Photo by Chelsea Shapouri on Unsplash

I have read stories where people talk about their difficulty sitting for meditation. Some people fidget; some have difficulty training the mind to focus on the breath or on counting backward.

There are many objectives of meditation, though a popular one is to still the mind and access the expansive state of silence. For those who find it difficult to put in the daily practice due to frustration at perceived lack of “progress,” chanting is a wonderful option.

In the west, chanting is not necessarily a common practice. The closest mainstream Christian practice to chanting I know of is praying…

And non-physical techniques for working with them

Photo courtesy of the author

I’m into purple crystals this morning. Before I get into the crystals, let’s explore the meaning of the color purple.

In his book How to Heal with Color, Ted Andrews talks about the purifying capabilities of the color. This is not necessarily new news for many of us. If you have been reading or learning about spirituality for a while, you have likely heard of cleansing and transmutation techniques using the violet flame.

Now, purple and violet are not always considered the same in color therapy; however, I think that often people working with the violet flame see it as…

And my own “unicorn juice” recipe

Picture of an inflatable unicorn at the pool.
Picture of an inflatable unicorn at the pool.
Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

It doesn’t really matter whether or not you believe that unicorns are “real.” If that idea makes you uncomfortable, it is possible to consider that the qualities that the unicorn represents are real.

Unicorns are talked about in different cultures and mythologies all over the world. In Greece, they are monokeios. In Portugal, they are alicornio. In Japan, they are kirin. The unicorn even appears in the Indian epic The Mahabharata. (If this interests you, you can check out the article by Dr. David Frawley called Krishna and the Unicorn of the Indus Seals.)

At the core, unicorns are pure…

Reflection on life and the Italian Netflix series

Picture of a beach (Portugal) with people and umbrellas.
Picture of a beach (Portugal) with people and umbrellas.
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

There is an Italian Netflix series called Summertime.

It’s a drama, so it’s all about relationship issues. People needing each other. People being co-dependent. People breaking up for stupid reasons. People hooking up with the “wrong” people. There’s a lot in there that expresses the shadow forms of human relationships, but there are some enlightened models of relating too.

The show is set in a little port town on the beach. The main characters are in their late teens and early 20s. And, of course, it’s summertime. There’s sun, sand, drinking, dancing, partying, playing, swimming and sex. …

No, not the Breaking Bad kind…

Image courtesy of the author.

I consider myself an expert with flower essences, but I realized that I got into crystals first. I have taken flower essence certification courses and studied extensively from both books and in-the-field. But with rocks, I just got it. I never needed a course — the knowledge was just there.

I love to go to crystal shops and visit my friends. I don’t care for the fancy displays of touristy main street shops. I like the overcrowded abodes of real rock lovers. There is an amazing shop just like this called Earth Songs that’s about an hour and a half…

And some of my favorite books

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Until today I had never counted how many Ted Andrews books I had read. (Spoiler alert: it’s 16.) Of course, I knew that he was by far my favorite spiritual writer, but it’s amazing to look at his books all together and see what a range of topics he covered. He wrote about numerology, magical dance, nature wisdom, and even the Qabala.

His work resonates with me because I also have quite a range of knowledge of spiritual topics, including the more esoteric or occult studies. However, I don’t actually like using the word occult; to me, it conveys a…

Beauty beyond duality consciousness

Image of colorful swirls — dark pink, yellow, blue and green
Image of colorful swirls — dark pink, yellow, blue and green
The author owns image rights.

“Beauty be not caused It Is.” — Emily Dickinson

I read an article written by a monk a few years ago who said that the best meditation we could practice would be a meditation on beauty.

Given all the spiritual “advice” and practices floating around, I noticed this one as having a bit of a different message. He was not suggesting that we choose things with our mind and appreciate what we “think” is beautiful, but rather that we attune to the field of beauty consciousness. When we meditate on beauty, our spiritual lens changes, and we start to see…

Humans are so loud and it's easy to miss or dismiss the faint hum when we've drowned out our awareness of the music of the Earth

picture of three books, a tuning fork and a conch shell
picture of three books, a tuning fork and a conch shell
Image courtesy of the author

“Through the beat of the drum, a sense of the original source is evoked, along with the forces of the universe, which have been suppressed in the subliminal abyss of the unconscious..” — Michael Drake

I keep a conch shell on the bookcase in front of my desk. While I realize that removing such a beautiful natural wonder from the wild is not something to take lightly, I like to think that I pay it due respect.

The air that enters a conch shell bounces around and creates an ambient sound like the ocean's waves. So, the conch shell and…

Two strategies for resolving shadow material in the moment.

Image courtesy of the author

I had a migraine headache for the past two days. Then, today, my consciousness is kicking up some seriously old material. (Okay, I see you, thank you for sharing…) Usually, when I get this sort of major physical response, something is going on in the cosmos — and I am not the only one feeling it.

It is easy to recognize thoughts coming up from the shadow — they are usually some event from the past where I felt embarrassed. So, rather than react and push them away, I have two “go-to” responses:

  1. “Thank you; I appreciate you showing me…

Lessons from a Kattatant.

Clover and The Secret Language of Cats. (Photo courtesy of the author © Orianna Nienan)

I learned some Swedish today — a kattatant is a lover of cats.

I was looking for another book in the library and saw this cute volume about developing a better relationship with your cat. After reading for a bit, I realized that Schötz was trying to educate humans on behalf of the cat population! (Which I appreciate, by the way…)

Schötz is a phonetician by profession — someone who studies the sounds of human speech. The amount of detail included in the book makes it easy to see that Schötz applied her academic training to identify and document cat…

Orianna Nienan

Creator. Explorer. Earth-friendly Beauty & Lifestyle Advocate. Lamplighter.

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