Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

meditation

NEWS: ArousedWoman Magazine PRE-SALE Premiere Issue or All 6 Issues


ArousedWoman MagazineComing soon!  ArousedWoman Magazine will hit the cyber-newsstands in August 2014.

You can pre-order and get yours reserved for $9.99.  Or get a subscription for all 6 bimonthly issues for just $49.99.

In order to be truly happy, you have to be happy (and healthy) on several levels.   The best way to accomplish this is with solid information so you can make informed decisions about your life, your body, your rights, and your peace of mind in this crazy, hectic world.

AW Magazine will be a digital publication, readable on any computer or mobile device.  The premiere August/September issue will be released in August 2014.

An extension of AW Blog and AW Radio, AW Mag is an in-depth look at various topics for women (and men!), including sex, health, fitness, nutrition, feminism/activism, original erotica, guest writers, spirituality, reviews, and more!

The August/September 2014 issue will feature articles and interviews on the topics:

  • Body image
  • California women’s Reiki healing center
  • Radiant pleasure
  • Finding our way back from patriarchy
  • Goddess-based spirituality
  • The new Atheism
  • Classical Tantra
  • Activist film festivals
  • Revolutionary Feminism
  • Painting female nudes
  • Healing yourself through meditation
  • Knowing your vagina
  • Massage & the importance of touch
  • Breast Health
  • Protecting your clit
  • Orgasm tips
  • New AskTrish letters
  • Sexual health
  • Overall nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Original erotica
  • Guest articles
  • OpEd pieces
  • Reviews
  • AND MORE!

Every issue will have new articles, new guests, new important health coverage, and new original erotica!

Pay using your PayPal account or your credit or debit card:

And please SPREAD THE WORD by sharing the link to this blog post.  Thank you!

trish

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AW RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses the Mind, Body, & Spirit Benefits of Meditation


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Tonight’s show of ArousedWoman Radio featured the topic of meditation, and my guest was my friend, Beverly, who practices different types of meditation.

She shared her personal experiences with Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation as well as yogic-based meditation such as a Kundalini practice.  We also talked about focal point and guided meditation styles.  I related my experience using bi-aural brain-wave entrainment CD’s.

Check out the replay here on AW Radio, then leave a message below telling me your experience with meditation — why it has or has not worked in your practice.

Namaste,

trish

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OpEd: Do You Want Peace, Love, & Happiness?


Peace Love Happiness by iamscottiewWhy are peace, love, and joy so difficult to find for some people?

I can find it within myself and be perfectly happy.  But then people think I’m out of touch with the world.  Well, who wants to be in touch with a violent, unhappy, greed-funded, misogynist world?

Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”  But so many people do not harness their internal power to create love and happiness in their own lives.  Is it because they are deluded by a culture that subscribes to messianic prophecies, that someone else will make everything all better; some superhero will swoop in and save them?  Or do they feel so defeated by a corrupt system, they don’t see a way of changing society for the better?

I’m having one of those days when my focus shifts from “Be the Change” to “Why Bother?”  Then I remember that too many people have the “Why Bother?” mentality, which is why we need to “Be the Change”.

I’ve always said that as an artist, if I don’t like the world I see, I create a new world.  This is also the foundation of my activism.  But so many people seem to prefer wallowing in their own misery.  They could get out, make change in their lives, if only they would take the first step.  No one has to live in pain or misery.

Try mediation to relieve stress.  Try a new type of exercise to get the good hormones flowing.  Look for a new job.  Look into starting your own business on the side.  Try new things, new cuisines, new adventures.  Stop to smell the roses, and the azaleas, and the hibiscus.  Stop and find your center.  Find your grounding to the earth.  Reconnect with yourself and who you always wanted to be, regardless of what path your choices lead you to travel.  You are not your mistakes.  You are, in fact, anything you want to be.  What do you want to be?

Change does not have to be big, swooping motions.  Change can be small.  Change can be a new habit done consistently that eventually leads to a result that is a big change.

I know it is not as easy as “just feel better” for some, but people need to “Be the Change” in their individual lives.  Be your own superhero.  If you need help, ask for help.  You’re not in this alone.  We are perfect in our imperfection.  And we certainly need more people who are approaching the world around them, connecting with the world and others from a grounded, heart-centered place.

Peace, love, and joy are possible.

Find your bliss,

trish

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REVIEW: Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy


Tantra-Cult-of-Ecstasy-coverTantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is a large-sized paperback book originally published in Britain that covers some of the basics about Tantra, offering accurate information on this ancient, extensive, and often confusing topic.  The book features full-color photographs from the Tantra sutras, connecting the reader with Tantric history.  The author, Indra Sinha, focuses on the ancient paths of Tantra: the goddesses associated, sacred sites, mantras, and meditations, as well as explains the many misconceptions of Tantra as presented in the West.  Sinha was a Sanskrit scholar at Cambridge and also wrote one of the popular modern translations of the infamous Kama Sutra.

The reason I like Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is because it touches on so many important topics of Tantra but in manageable pieces, perfectly combined with the photos and visually-friendly layout. The photographs are taken from various primary sources – the Tantra sutras, and incorporate various symbolic aspects that the ancients readily understood but may seem shocking or just weird to the modern viewer. Some of the iconography includes blood-covered goddesses, wriggling serpents, and a plethora of yoni (vulvas) and linga (penises).  The book also features centuries-old Tantric drawings and paintings that depict maithuna (sexual union), so this book is “Not Safe For Work” and might be best for readers aged 21 or older.

This book touches on so many important topics in a thorough but easy-to-grasp manner that it makes a perfect beginner’s book to Tantra.  I heartily recommend Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy as a primer for Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine by Andre Van Lysebeth, Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by Dr. David Frawley, and Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton.  As the umbrella over all the yogas, including hatha and kundalini, Tantra is a shamanic science present in all forms of yogic practice, but the majority of Tantric gnosticism regarding sex is rarely presented at the average yoga studio while being hypersexualized in most New Age Tantric books and workshops.

Another book with a similar cover is Tools for Tantra by North Indian musician and writer Harish Johari, an excellent introduction to the yogic mandalas, Sanskrit mantras, and visual yantras used in Tantra.  However, this book is a bit of a dryer read, and so Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is still a better opener to Tantra.

As one writer has said, a book without Tantra’s yantra is not really a book on Tantra. Therein lies the great problem with researching Tantra. It is difficult to sort through the numerous books available to ascertain which one will have the best, most reliable information.  Finding a teacher versed in real Tantra is even more difficult.  Tantra is a way of life, not an hour-long yoga session Monday-Wednesday-Friday, nor a collection of kinky sex positions. Tantra literally means a “tool for expansion” and is thought of as a “web”, a connected yet expanding consciousness, bridging the microcosm with the macrocosm and back again, cyclically.

The author, Sinha, writes on page 15, “The basis of all Tantrism is the worship of Sakti and Siva, the female and the male principles…. Without Sakti, there is no Siva, and no Siva without Sakti.” Sinha states emphatically in the previous paragraph, “Siva and Sakti cannot be separated.” (14-15) This very specific religious and spiritual foundation is probably the reason most Tantrism in the West has been secularized, stripping the “foreign” and non-Christian aspects to make Tantra and sexuality more palatable for sexually-repressed Americans.  While I personally, do not subscribe to Sanatana Dharma (“Hinduism”), I appreciate the energies anthropomorphized as the balancing principals of Shakti or Shiva.  Sinha has included the “foreign” bits and ancient spiritual practices for the Tantra newcomer.

The photographs of the ancient depictions of Tantra, her goddesses, and the sacred symbols can be jarring at first.  The modern observer may find it odd to see detached penises and flying vulvas included in sacred sexuality.  I will admit, that it does seem a bit “J. Alfred Prufrock’ed” at times.  However, like all symbols, they are meant to jog the memory of the mind, the heart, and/or the subconscious self, not to be the whole story in and of itself.

Intriguing to some and perhaps shocking to others, Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy helps diminish the hypersexualized celebrity of Tantra and add fact where fiction has reigned in the popular consciousness.  Sinha perfectly synthesizes centuries of teachings into a helpful, 154-page book, including an impressive 9-page bibliography and index, that informs but does not overwhelm the senses.  Anyone looking to dip her or his toe into the expansive waters of Tantra would do well to start with Sinha’s Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy.

trish

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TOD: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Closing Prayer


WarriorI am a big fan of Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice.  I love the physicality of it — having danced in ballet and the theatre for almost 20 years (not counting ethnic and belly dancing), my body really responds to the physical demands of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.  I recently got back into it…. and I’m so sore…. :-)

I make sure to distinguish between ashtanga, which means “eight limbs” and refers to the eight “steps” or “branches” of yoga: yama, niyama, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, and Jois’ yoga practice that he called Ashtanga Vinyasa.

As I have just begun my campaign for United States Congress, I am stepping up my personal activism to a whole new level of engagement.  And so, I wanted to post Jois’ closing prayer that is sung at the end of every Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga class:

Om
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Which translates to this:

“May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
For protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Om, peace, peace, perfect peace.”

A-women!  (Okay, I added that bit right there.)

trish

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