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To be natural

“Being ”low” is being stuck in self-centered negativity. Being ”high” is being stuck in exalted states. Being expansive is being expanded in the three dimensions which is subtle but as stuck. Being ”here” is being stuck in the middle. Being ”now” is being stuck in time. To un-stuck we need to discover wakefullness that liberates all these positions. To be natural requires us to see through all habits and formations. In the end you’ll have no idea who you are and yet your stance will be as firm as all Himalayan mountains combined.” – Amrita Baba

Photo is from these past few week’s heavy snowfall ..

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The healer within

The following text is from Barbara Brennan’s book “Light Emerging”, page 337 – 343 💜

“Once upon a time, aeons ago before time was known as it is today, there was a spark of light in the heart of the divine. That spark in the divine burst forth into millions of stars. Each star had a name that was written in the word of God. One of those stars is you. As a star, you grew and developed and sang across the heavens to the other stars. In this time before you were born as a human, you knew light, love, and wisdom. Being unborn, of course you had no body, so there was a great deal of freedom. You were completely aware of the essence of your being. You had great freedom to move about the universe at your will. You moved in the direction that you focused in. With your intention, you began creating things. If you had a wish, you automatically created it. You created stone and earth; tree and flower; star and planet; even cloud and wind.

Your essence moved easily, changing from one form to another. You experienced being a cloud, a moon, a sun, or a fish, or a cat. You continued to move as your pleasure led you. As you moved from one form to another, creating more forms, you slowly became identified with form, and shadow was born. You got so excited in the creating that memory slipped and you forgot who you were. You were so busy creating, you didn’t even notice that you began to think you were form.

Shadow grew darker, and pain was born out of forgetting that the true self is essence. The true self is the creator, that which is beyond form. That is how you created shadow and pain. You forgot who you are. You split yourself in two: the part that forgot and the whole that remembers.

Within every human being, there is the spark of the divine in every cell of your body. It is the essence of self. Within that true essence of who you are is the healer within you who has all of the creative power of the universe. The healer within you is named according to the word of God. That is who you truly are. Move your awareness now to your inner essence, your power and light that are completely unique. You are the word of God made manifest. Move your awareness to the total essence of your being—that is the healer within you. You have felt it your entire life. The golden threads of this power have been woven through the tapestry of your life since before you were born. You knew as a small child, as you know now, what this means. Feel the essence, the power, flowing through you. It is your uniqueness. It is your beauty. It is your love. It is the sweetness that you experienced life to be as a child.

Your power lies within the sweetness of who you are. It is within the sweet longings you have protected and shielded from others. You are like a flower unfolding in the sunlight. Feel the power and the nature of your divinity, unlike any other. Now ground that well in your body. That part of you is still free. That part of you can still move freely through space, time, and other realities. Feel yourself in this freedom now. As you are moving through time and space to different types of reality, in the far distance you hear a cry. That cry wells up and becomes more audible, and you say, “Oh, what could that be?” You hear the longing in the cry for help. Then you spot it and you see the beautiful blue and white shimmering planet in the sky. You are drawn closer to that beloved planet by the cries of need. As you get closer, you say, “What can I do to help? How can I answer this cry, this call? How can I help heal the pain that is upon the earth?” Then you have a great idea. You decide to create a physical form by drawing it up out of the earth and drawing the pain with it. You intend to use the physical form to heal the pain. You descended into a tiny physical body.

After nine months or so, you were born into this world as a human being. The longer you remained attached to that body, the dimmer the memory of your original essence became. As a child, and perhaps way before that, you began taking on the pain. During the experience of the pain, you completely forgot who you were. When the pain would leave, you would remember. When the pain would come back, you would forget. The pain that you chose to heal grew inside of your body.

Look over your childhood. Find the deepest pain that you have carried in all those years. With that pain, you will find your deepest longing. What is it that you want to be? What is it that you longed to be as a child that you now and then thought you could never be? Did you want to move among the stars? Did you want to heal everyone on earth? Did you want to paint or to create beautiful music? Did you want to make everyone feel safe? What was it that you wanted more than anything? If you could be or could have anything you wished on earth, have any fantasy come true, what is that fantasy? How is the un-fulfillment of that related to your very deep pain?

Look backward over your life. As you moved through each moment of your life carrying that pain, there is one thread: a repeated cycle on the spiral of life, where that deepest pain from childhood has been repeated over and over and over again in the many different experiences that you have had. If you look at all of those experiences, you will find a common thread among them all. When you find that common thread, then allow yourself to begin feeling that pain. Allow your body to experience this pain. Where has it affected your body? When you feel it in your body, where does your body tense? Explore now throughout your body where that pain has affected your psychic, your spiritual, your mental, your psychological, and your physical being. That thread runs holographically through every portion of your being, and as it runs through your body it hits in particular places that eventually become experienced as physical pain. Find it in your body. If you are sensitive to the auric field, then find it in the auric field.

As you find that pain, on whatever level it has manifested most profoundly—perhaps a fear, perhaps a problem with relationship, perhaps in a physical disorder, perhaps in your profession—then ask yourself a question: “What has this to do with my deepest longing? How is this particular problem associated with my deepest longing of who I wish to be, what I want to do with my life, where I wish to live?” The first job you have is to heal that pain within the body. For it is by the pain in your body and life that you will learn the personal skills that you need to fill your longing, no matter what it is. Find that pain within your body, and put your hands on it: that which you have carried for a lifetime, that darkest belief system that has the most profound forgetting, that one major, deepest pain, be it in your heart, your belly, or in your throat. Put your hand there now, and experience the consciousness there that believes in separation. It is the shadow. It believes it is separate and isolated from everything, isolated and separate with no hope. Find that pain that has been there from the earliest of days, and let that shadow begin to dissolve. Enter into the shadow. Accompany yourself into the dungeon within the self that needs healing. Do not deny the human experience of that real pain from the human perspective. It is not a new pain. It has been there ever since you can remember. It is not the kind of pain that goes away easily, for it is deeply, deeply ingrained. Spend some time with the pain. Then when you are ready, move your conscious awareness to the healer within you. Here is your wisdom. Here is your longing and your light with which you came here to heal the pain that is in your body. Move back to the pain and feel the pain. Then move to the longing and feel the longing. Move back to the pain and then to the longing again. Continue moving from one to the other until you find the association between the two, until you can answer the question, “What does this pain in my life mean to me? What is it trying to tell me? What is the message it brings to me?”

While you are feeling that pain with your hands, from the human perspective, ask the essence of healer that you are what you need to do. What is the deepest cause of this pain? Ask for help to heal this pain. Ask the healer within for help to heal that which you have been unable to heal in yourself up until now. Truly ask, and it shall be answered. Ask very specifically what you can do. What is the cause? What is the belief system? What do you need to do every day? Allow the essence of the healer within you to work through your hands to heal your body. Be a channel to heal the self. Let the light flow through you. After you have received as much information as you can, reach for the highest spiritual reality you know; your higher self or your guides. Reach for the memory of who you are from that highest spiritual reality. You will find that the pain within you is precisely the pain that you were drawn to earth to heal, way back before you were born, when you were that wondrous spiritual being. That is who you truly are. So reach up to that part of the self that has incarnated in order to heal the very pain that you carry within yourself and that you have carried since your birth. For it is precisely the pain you have come to heal, and it is you who have chosen to take on this pain and in doing so you chose to incarnate with precisely the best combinations of energies and wisdom and love to heal that particular pain. That is what you have come to heal, and you are fully equipped to do so. You have fully equipped yourself to heal it. And that wondrous spiritual being that you were before your birth when you heard the cries and the longing from the earth and were drawn toward the earth is the healer within you.

You are the person who knows how to heal that pain more than anyone else. That is your healer within. Be the healer within you, and heal that thread of pain that you have carried throughout your whole life. Touch your body in places you feel pain. As you are working, move your consciousness back and forth between the healer within and the inner person who is in pain. As you continue to move back and forth, you begin to understand the relationship between the healer within you and the pain that it has come to heal. You have drawn this pain up from the earth to transform it. Give yourself plenty of time to complete this process. You are integrating the pain within, the longing that you carry within your heart, and the healer within that can heal you. Let the healer within you draw out that pain and return you to wholeness. Move back and forth between the human with the deep pain, and the healer with universal power. Move them closer and closer together as you move back and forth until they merge. Continue the process until you become completely merged. When you feel satisfied that the merging is complete and has stabilized, I would like you to remain silent for at least an hour. Remain silent, sit in meditation, or simply get up and go for a walk in the woods.”

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Four positive things I noticed in 2022

1) There is a growing number of people who are getting more into healing themselves through holistic therapies and dharma, and especially trauma therapy. As humans, we ALL have trauma stored inside our bodies’ cells and aura to bigger or lesser degree. This can for example show up as a wish to not be in our own bodies, try to change the physical body with surgery or as severe anxiety, to name just a few. Feeling fundamentally safe and loved is the basis for all healing

2) I noticed a bigger trend in young people towards embracing and taking back traditional ways of living, such as farming, sewing/handcrafts and eating more non-processed foods, while taking better care of animals and land as well

3) There is a growing emphasis on the importance and magic of childbearing and motherhood. How much power and grace a woman has to actually be a portal of life/love, and how she can be in CHARGE of her own birthing process by preparing and learning from other mothers. When baby is born, Mother is also born – in many ways, they raise each other

4) Lastly, I am happy to see that there is a bit more emphasis on choosing the right partner in our society. That people are taking more time to get to know someone they fancy, having important discussions on values and on raising kids, and how they wish to choose someone healthy and emotionally stable. I think it is important to remember that when you choose a partner, you choose your child’s grandparents too. You choose your child’s genes. You choose a whole new family, and also their generational patterns, and possible future generations. Our choices have huge impact on lives and the planet. I realise that often there are situations that make it hard or even impossible to have anything to do with in-laws or that some partners don’t wish children, which is fine of course! But just to mention, I am happy to see this change, because I am not a fan of forced/rushed marriages nor of being so afraid of commitment and responsability that one chooses a life alone – those two extremes seems best avoided. We humans/mammals are not meant to live alone, we work best in a family setting, or small community setting. This is especially true for men.

Ok, that was my weird little list of things I have been thinking about and witnessing this year, and I think they were worth mentioning. I wish you all a fantastic New Year, may it be what you make it! Xx ✨️✨️✨️

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November in photos

The sky is always so colourful right before polarnight sets in
Early in November
An important topic and film (“The silence in Sápmi”) Saw it in the cinema, I think it will be put online later.
Made some Christmas decor with our son ❤️
From high up! Propeller plane ride from Arctic to Southern Finland ❄️🤍🌌
His third plane ride, and he isn’t even two!
Amrita Mandala yoga retreat
20+ people in person and online, practising yoga-dharma together for 4 days.
In Porvoo
Me doing Dzogchen Metta practice with Jenna ✨️
Photo of calender I printed with my own photos. These are for June, because they were taken in June at midnight.
I chose this photo for March because that is when these little birdies return.
11 am 💜💛🤍

Soon we enter December and thus the last month of 2022. Hope you are all staying warm and safe, and that Christmas is not a source of stress, but a time for relaxing and magic ✨️❄️

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A thimbleful of light

“Darkness, no matter how ominous and intimidating, is not a thing or force: it is merely the absence of light. So light need not combat and overpower darkness in order to displace it – where light is, darkness is not. A thimbleful of light will therefore banish a roomful of darkness. The same is true of good and evil: evil is not a thing or force, but merely the absence or concealment of good. One need not ‘defeat’ the evil in the world; one need only bring to light its inherent goodness.”

– Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

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What that means to me

Vajra brocade jacket in green and gold I was lucky to find in local second hand store. It is handmade, too, wonder who made it and gave it away.

I wanted to make a post on the physical body. I have noticed in social media a trend called ‘body positivity’, and I wanted to share my own version of what that means to me:

  • Knowing that my body is made from the natural elements and is a result of thousands of generations
  • Reminding myself that all my cells are working hard to keep me alive every day
  • Eating traditional sustainable foods that my body easily turn into energy
  • Deep sleep and meditation to give body healing and vitality
  • Practice prayer and mantras to help body get rid of karmic traces stored inside the cells
  • Strength training to keep joints stable and posture straight
  • Keeping in mind how ancestors lived, and how they treated their bodies
  • Reminding myself to breathe with my belly, through nose and keeping my tongue in the roof of mouth, while jaw relaxed, as this feels most natural and it makes body relax
  • Tapping into body’s innate healing powers if I feel sick
  • Feeling how the body is an anchor that exists and keeps us in the present moment

Maybe I could add more later. What would you add? Thanks for reading, have a lovely day. -M

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The real you remains..

Emotions make us act and feel in strange ways

But the real you remains unchanged

Experiences and challenges shape us, like pots of clay on a spinning table

Still, the real you remains untouched

Illness, pain and grief chip away our vital energy

Even so, the real you remains ever so vibrant

Death arrives, entering without knocking

Yet, the real you remains.

A poem I wrote today, while contemplating impermanence. ❤️

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The Art of Blessing by Amrita Baba

Blessing is an energetic charge of pure energy. Pure means selfless and selfless is natural. This pure energy from a guru, is transmitted to the one who’s requesting to be blessed. Because selfless pure energy is released into the energy system of a person who has unnatural egocentric constructs and whose energy is dirtied by it, is the reason why blessing feels like a relief. The blessing makes the psychological burden drop so natural state can be felt, experienced and recognized. All kinds of people who pray and request blessings, be it from Jesus, God, the Buddha of Light (Amitabha) or some guru know how meaningful and powerful this is and sure enough all world religions have this at the heart of their teaching.

From a bit more technical perspective a blessing is a medium to transmit and point out the natural state of all beings or in other words *to bring out the basic goodness in us*. Because blessing is not egoistic is why it is a way to transmit and communicate the empty nature of mind (dharmakaya) and natural joyfulness (sambhogakaya) to others. I realize this all sounds unnecessarily complex so I’ll try to make this more down to earth.

Jesus and Dilgo Rinpoche on our altar

Blessing is an outburst of pure love, kindness, being present and supportive to other people’s hardships, understanding, encouraging and acceptance. Without having a clue about the technicalities or mechanism behind this, many people do this naturally because that’s how people act if they are in touch with who they really are. If there is respect and love between people in any type of relationship, there are definitely blessings, good energy, involved. On the other hand, egoistic people do the opposite and transmit bad vibes, negativity and traumas often unknowingly to others which makes relationships (of any type) go bad. We all know this already and yet often don’t really act accordingly to make our lives and the lives of others a joyous experience.

Blessings from fully enlightened masters like Jesus are special only because there is never a moment when the transmission has the slightest dirt in it. Also, masters transmit higher volume of blessings meaning that the blessing can be so strong that one joyfully disappears into it, i.e. one’s ego drops off completely. All kinds of people from Finland to Mongolia, to China to US and back to Europe have practiced like this. Christians, buddhists, hindus, taoists, shintoists, not a single religion is an exception to this rule, though having said that there is more to all religions than this.

Anyone can wish good and transmit blessings to others because underneath all the self-based pain and ignorance there is our soul or wakeful nature that is always pure. Go ahead and try it:

Rose and Tara with lapis lazuli mala beads, on our altar

1. Sit down and take a moment to relax the muscles of your body.

2. Then think of someone you know and wish her/him good, for example, “I wish my friend James much happiness, peace, safety and health. May he be happy, healthy and enjoy his life in full. May James have great friends and success in all ways in his life”. You can verbalize your blessing in any way you like as long as you’re wishing good and beneficial things. Put some energy and emotion into your blessing, put power and meaning into it.

3. After you’ve prayed for a few minutes, sit silently and see how the blessing made you feel. In what way do you feel the same or different than before the session?

4. You can do this to all your friends one by one, to your family members, relatives, people of you town/city, country, planet, animals, all life forms and so on, if you like.

This brings out the inherent good in us. Blessing is the art of that.

AB, 1.3.2022, from his blog

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A shift in attention

“Regardless of the emotion being experienced — be it desire, anger, pride, jealousy, envy, greed, or whatever — what is really going on is a shift in attention.  The mind is expressing itself in a different way. Nothing implicitly requires one to presume that this emotion has any reality in and of itself… It is just that the mind is expressing itself in a different way than it was a moment ago.” – Kalu Rinpoche

Photos from late autumn when it was still a bit warm. Woke up today to the first snowfall of the year!

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Namo Isha Ja – Guided meditation

A heart opening guided meditation session led by Kim Rinpoche.

October night sky a few weeks ago 💙🍂

If we know our hearts and our own natural state, we will also simultaneously know how to love and care. Not only for others but for ourselves and our difficult emotions. Life is so full of difficult emotions, as we know. Compassion and forgiveness is always with you, like a silent friend.

Thank you for reading and still following my blog. It is most appreciated. My posts are very sporadic, as time flies by with the new baby. Long days but short weeks. Not enough hours to get it all done, and not enough hours to just enjoy him – this new little person that runs our lives now. Motherhood is equally hard as it is wonderful. I hope to get more painting and other artsy projects into my days again.

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21 photos from my summer

Håja and Hillesøy
Håja mountain. We drove up and got the best view ever. Very happy with this photo!
Arctic July.
More furry neighbours.
Rainy summer day.
Ilo, a cute little dog we met at Reinøya.

Early morning at Reinøya.
Seal at Reinøya.
Summer swim.. Me and my boyfriend’s mother. 8-9°c!
Tromsø centrum, the pavillion.
At the Arctic-Alpine Botanical garden in Tromsø.
Blue Himalayan poppies. 💙 In the World’s Northernmost botanical garden.
So many beautiful colours and shapes.
Midsummer, 23rd of June.
Tiny Arctic dolphins.
Sunlight over Lyngsalpan.
Rainy evening at Spåkenes.
Kali 💚🖤
Picked a small bouquet.

“I love the Arctic summer, it’s the best day of the year!” Short but sweet. How was your summer?

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What is Samsara?

Photo from Sommarøy earlier this summer

“What is Samsara?

According to buddhism, this world is a samsaric world and the minds of sentient beings are samsaric minds. What does this mean? Samsara means being stuck in a repeated loop of confusion. In this repeated loop we keep making misassessments and misjudgements because we see all things in a distorted way. Being deluded and confused means that our perception of the world, ourselves and others is corrupted. Because our mind interferes with direct experience of anything faster than a blink of an eye, is the reason why there is vast confusion and conflict in this world. No matter how hard we try, samsaric beings cannot avoid thinking and feeling in distorted ways, and this makes this world a world of pain and suffering, when potentially it could be a paradise.

From morning until night we keep thinking about “I” or “me”. We perceive the things of the world and other people in terms of me and other, or me and something else. Every single day we have strong opinions even about small petty things. Every day we have high hopes and expectations about things and then we get disappointed, frustrated and angry when things don’t go like we hoped. We are simply unable to not think in this way.

Just like the arteries of the physical body get calcified over time due to bad diet and lack of exercise, so does our mind get fixated and habituated around the compulsory notion of me. This makes us small and miserable. It makes us bitter, angry, deluded and dirty. The thought of me-ness literally steals our life from us.

You can go ahead and say to yourself, “I, I, I” or “me, me, me”, a number of times. Say it in a way as if you were a bit angry about something, like you were earlier today or yesterday. Say, “me, me, me, me” with a frustrated tone, then stop and see how it makes you feel. This is not difficult.

Through this simple thought affirmation, you will feel different sensations in the body and mind. You’ll feel that your energy contracts as if you suddenly became smaller or tighter. It feels as if a loose knot was made tighter. You might feel that your belly gets tense, heart area becomes anxious or you might feel a tight band around your head. Pardon my language but this affirmation makes you feel like shit.

But wait a second… What did we do again? We only said “me” or “I” to ourselves… This is the same I-thought that we keep thinking and saying aloud every day, and it makes us feel awful. That it makes us feel awful is exactly what we need to discover.

We go around in circles and see the world in a distorted way because we are habitually centered around this thought – me. It affects everything at all times. It makes us feel small and constricted during the day and it creates weird dreams and nightmares during the night. Just like it is important to discover that the I-thought makes us feel like shit it is as important to realise that all thoughts, including the I-thought are transitory, impermanent. This means that all thoughts come and go, and do not stay, and yet we give so much meaning to them.

In samsaric mind, thoughts and thought associations define us and this creates havoc and destruction in our lives. This is psychological habituation that can be entirely removed.

Read more about the Two-Part Formula here.

Thank you for reading,

-Kim, 8/2021″ by Kim Rinpoche, Finnish dharma teacher

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How to relax

For the past 11 years or so, I have been teaching myself how to relax and be calm.

I have always been quite a worried person, so I feel I had to learn this in order to simply have a better life with more control. I still sometimes forget how to, but each time I remember, I do the following:

An easy quick way to instantly relax the mind and muscles, causing bloodflow to spread more evenly in the body, is to do three things simultanously: relax the jaw and eyes completely, breathe deeply into belly for at least 8 breaths and move the inner gaze/attention to the feet or ground below. Get a sense of the Earth. Notice the effect.

Another way, if you have the oppotunity, is to lay down flat, do the same with jaw and eyes, and to focus on the in and out breaths in the belly. Take deep slow breaths. Imagine them as waves ebbing on the shore.

And lastly, going into nature of course has a calming effect too, even just for 10 minutes. If you cannot go outside, perhaps painting or drawing nature is an idea.

Hope this helps! I truly believe knowing how to relax and calm our selves is an important skill. Getting carried away by the storm can be both painful and result in regrets.

Acrylic on canvas, gift for a friend 💙
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«Dark Night: What All Meditators Need to Know»

Excellent talk/discussion on the topic of “dark nights”. Very nice to know how to handle, especially if you are a yoga/meditation practitioner or just prone to experience them, and how to get out of it. (Trigger warning: anxiety, depression, negative mind states).

I think it’s great when spiritual teachers talk openly about these matters. Many meditators get into spiritual practice because they want answers to their discontentment with life, to get happy. And often with practice we will hit spots in our minds that makes waves into daily life, for example if you have anxiety, it can momentarily get amplified when it is uncovered with practice. So it’s good to know that the goal is not to bypass all our problems, but to face them and to “cut through” them so that our natural state gets revealed. Over and over until all karmas are erased ❤

The buddhist path was never about feeling good and calm all the time, but to unravel and reveal our true selves, our buddha nature, to understand ourself and how the mind works. 📿

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The Copper Coloured Mountain: Pure land

A little snow leopard put her print in the snow 🐾 Tara dancing in the snow next to it ❄
10 x 10 cm. Colours used: white, blue and copper/gold.
Our Christmas altar. Put my new painting there next to Vajrasattva statue.
‘During practice, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are omnipresent. They’re always here, but we don’t see them because of our obscurations. We practice in order to clear away the obscurations and to acquire pure perception—not with the eyes, but with the heart.’ ❤🙏🏻

The copper coloured mountain is also known as Zangdok Palri; Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava’s non-physical pure land.

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Lacking nothing

Often in yoga practice, the fur babies wish to join. Taken this summer.. One of them is missing since 5 months now 🖤 Hoping he will return soon, and that the winter cold has not gotten him..

“We should try to avoid thinking of ourselves as worthless persons – we are naturally free and unconditioned. We are intrinsically enlightened and lack nothing. When engaging in meditation practice, we should feel it to be as natural as eating, breathing and defecating. It should not become a specialized or formal event, bloated with seriousness and solemnity.”

– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 🧡📿

(The buddhist shawl I am wearing is an outer sign of my inner commitment to the vajrayana buddhist path)

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Pastel coloured skies

My favourite shawl. Head dress I made by hand.
A tantric Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal statue I helped repaint for a friend. The union of wisdom and compassion. Wish I had a similar one! Hopefully one day I will afford one 🙏🏻

You know how you need to pretend to sleep in order to fall asleep? And at some point it just happens. Maybe it’s the same with other areas of life. Fake it till you make it, kind of, not in a bad way – just a dedicated one. I have noticed at least that the same applies to yoga and meditation sometimes. If I feel stressed, anxious and restless, I force myself to do the practice anyway. And at some level it still does its magic, of that I am 100% sure. In between the sleepless thoughts and rough emotions – they become like clouds in the pastel coloured sky.

Wishing all a lovely calm Polar night, and remember that it’s in darkness you shine the brightest 🌌✨🎆

Arctic, Awareness, Beauty, Culture, Dharma, Dzogchen, Indigenous, Meditation, Spirituality, Vajrayana, Yoga

Gold hidden in its matrix

“You might ask, ‟If I have Buddha nature, why can’t I perceive it right now?”
It is because, like gold hidden in its matrix, that nature is hidden by our habits that we have accumulated since beginningless time. These habits have been created by our disturbing emotions and then reinforced by the actions that those disturbances have produced.”

~ Shechen Gyaltsab
Adventure, Art, Culture, Dharma, DIY, Everyday life, Indigenous, Jewellery, Landscape, Outfit, Pets, Photography, Sewing, Tattoo, Uncategorized, Yoga

2019 in pictures

The sun returning in January in Bukta on Tromsø island
People greeting the sun
Was in Tamokdalen to help with a photo project. Beautiful crispy day
I made my first sámi silk shawl, in gorgeous yellow/gold
And a pair of ankle wraps. Hand vowen
…Kali liked them too!
Met the cutest puppy!
Look at that face…🧡
Frozen raindrops outside my window
My best friend got married in Brooklyn. Unreal and beautiful. First time in the US for me ☺
Heidrun and me. Prettiest bride 🌻
Me in my handmade coast kofte. What a day 💚💛❤
In Central Park
Time’s square
Me being a total tourist ✌
Time’s Square again. It was colourful and overwhelming 🙃🌈
New York subway
Kvaløya, beautiful as always
Whale watching.. the sky was so pink that day
Orcas
Train ride in Oslo
Little cloud
Amrita Baba and me on retreat 🧘‍♀️ New Years eve 2018/2019
Wales
My lovely friend and sangha sister, Elizabeth from Louisiana. We were in Birmingham
Retreat girls
Ice skating on this lake that made the coolest sounds
Kvaløya
Kvaløya, cold day on the beach. Around 15°c
Midnight sun 🌅 Håja mountain
Did a giveaway on my facebook art page with this painting, got so good feedback, made me happy 🙂
Made more of these small cute paintings
Spain. I got very tan 🙃💛
Was two days in France. Didn’t get too explore too much because of time, money and energy, but saw this lovely garden in Toulouse
And met Blueberry the donkey!
Tromsø catethedral
Autumn was very pretty, as usual 🍁
Paviljongen in Tromsø
Autumn day in Tromsø
Loke
Anti racism event at the town square, as a response to recent violence against indigenous people
My favourite painting from this year. Inspired by the Arctic polar night
Went to quite a lot of museums and exhibitions this year
Found this cool and weird coat on flea market
Was butt naked in a commercial 😅
Made an X-files painting for a friend 🛸

I have sooo many more pictures from this year, but some of them I feel are nice to keep private 😊💛

Happy new year, everyone!✨

Dharma, Quotes, Yoga

Being no-one, going nowhere

The way of yoga and dharma is to become less and less until we are like the wind in the trees or the ripples on the water. In reality only a beautiful movement of love, compassion and joy seeking nothing for itself but serving the world with genuine kindness and generosity. Letting go (awakening) of the ever demanding ego (self identity) is the greatest gift we can bring to our own life and the life of all beings. The less of ‘you’ there is, the happier you will be. What a paradox. Becoming no-one, going no-where. A joyous zero, empty yet fulfilled.

Art, Dharma, Photography, Spirituality, Yoga

Clear mind, pure heart

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What buddhism and the dharma means to me

These past couple of days, my mind has been spinning in the direction of motivation and inspiration towards writing and painting. I feel creative again, after many, many months of having a huge creative blockage in my system. I’m painting and writing letters to people I care about. I’m not feeling as critical towards my own ability to create, and therefore I am able to play around more without being too hung up on the result. I even found the courage to go ask an art studio and a gallery in town if they wanted to display my paintings, and they did! What an adrenaline kick.

Anyway. I felt like writing about my buddhist path. Two nights ago, I was at a small get-together, a moving-in-party at a buddhist friend´s place, and the conversation steered towards spirituality and religion. Me and this friend were the only practicing buddhists in the room, and it became evident to me that there are a lot of assuptions about buddhism that I just don’t find true at all, in my personal experience. For example that the (historical) Buddha Shakyamuni is looked upon as a God, above other people/followers, that enlightenment/buddhahood is something mystical only available to certain people and that spirituality is only empty rituals.

To me, it only makes sense that since we all have a mind, that means we all have the ability to transform it, to step out of the wheel of suffering and confusion. And since we all have a heart, we all have the potential to open it towards all living beings, and develop a compassionate heart without disrimination. The Buddha Shakyamuni showed us it’s possible, and so did many other dharma practitioners and teachers, such as Yeshe Tsogyal, Padmasambhava and Jetsun Milarepa – to mention a few. 

I think it’s important to remember that when we are practicing dharma, it is not to become a part of Tibetan or Indian culture, or to belong to any other culture with a strong tie to buddhism. It is “simply” to be a kind of scientist who looks closely at our own minds, and to be able to use the samsaric (cyclic) mind as a tool to transform it into an enlightened one. Training our minds through meditation. In this sense, I feel buddhism has much more of a spiritual approach to it, than a religious one. There is a lot of religious and cultural baggage attached to buddhism that I personally don’t agree with; for example putting young children in monasteries, away from their families, blindly believing something just because a robed person said it without using common sense to check it for yourself, and the still-existing patriarchy that’s still going on in some areas of buddhism.

Despite this, I still call myself a buddhist, or dharma practitioner, because I feel a strong devotion in my own heart to practice the dharma following the buddhist approach and a motivation to transform my mind using the buddhist teachings. I feel lucky to not live in a poor country and to have time to practice and to be able to go on retreats 3-4 times a year with a wonderful sangha and a very capable teacher. I also feel like the basic buddhist principles of ethics, honesty and being of help and benefit to others is such a beautiful and transformative thing which one can implement in one’s daily life.

Having been doing yogic practice for about 7 years now, I definitely feel like I have a more clear mind and a more pure heart. Still long ways to go, but feeling progress is golden. If you’d like to check out the tradition I am practicing in, go to openheart.fi 🙂

KalosFilter_2017-05-03-10-03-47 – Kopi

Art, Dharma, Jewellery, Yoga

Mother of compassion

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Tara 💎 ‘She who liberates’

‘She is considered to be the deity of universal compassion who represents virtuous and enlightened activity; a female bodhisattva.

The word Tara itself is derived from the root ‘tri’ (to cross), hence the implied meaning: ‘the one who enables living beings to cross the Ocean of Existence and Suffering’. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother’s love for her children.

The story of Tara’s origin, according to the Tara Tantra, recounts that aeons ago she was born as a king’s daughter. A compassionate princess, she regularly gave offerings and prayers to the ordained monks and nuns. She thus developed great merit, and the monks told her that, because of her spiritual attainments, they would pray that she be reborn as a man and spread Buddhist teachings. She responded that there was no male and no female, that nothing existed in reality, and that she wished to remain in female form to serve other beings until everyone reached enlightenment, hence implying the shortfall in the monk’s knowledge in presuming only male preachers for the Buddhist religion. Thus Tara might be considered one of the earliest feminists.’