Why 108 Beads?

   Why 108 Mala Beads?

guest blogger of the month is Erica Batting, a member of the AshramChic family.

Generally, on a Mala (used for mantra counting) there are 108 beads or a fraction of that number, such as: 54, 36, 27 or 9 beads. But Why?…
It is proven to be a very spiritual and connected component of our lives.
Listed below are the many reasons for this conclusion.
Which one ties closest to you? That’s up for you to decide!

~ ~ ~

    The number 108 holds many divine points. Such as there are 108 qualities of praiseworthy souls. Some have also suggested that there are 108 paths to god. The Sacred River Ganga even spans a latitude 9 degrees and longitude 12 degrees (9×12=108).  Also seen in texts of wisdom there are  108 Upanishads from the ancient sages. Not to mention the 54 letters in Sanskrit alphabet in both masculine and feminine form (54×2=108).
Religions are even seen having ties to 108. India: 108 goddess names, Krishna tradition: 108 Gopis (maids) of Krishna, Hinduism: 108 deities, some state that deity has 108 names;  Buddhism: 108 virtues to cultivate, 108 defilements to avoid, Jain religion: there are 108 combined virtues, and in Islam: the number refers to God himself. …Praise 108!
108 is also said to be in many of our human attributes. Such as the desires we hold, the amount of lies we tell, and 108 forms of ignorance we have. Some say we even have 108 feelings (split between past, present, and future- 36 for each). 108 is even seen on a deeper human level, our heart chakra. There are a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.
What about within meditation and breath work? Oh it’s there…
Within meditation there are said to 108 styles. Tantra estimates an average of 21,600 breathes per day (10,800 solar energy, 10,800 lunar). 108×100=10,800. 10,800×2=21,600. Last but not least, there’s always the idea of pranayama to take into account: If one is able to be calm in meditation and have only 108 breathes in a day, enlightenment will come …time to get practicing!
Then there are just the numbers… 9&12; Both said to have spiritual importance in many traditions. 9×12=108. Power of 1, 2, 3; 1st. power =1, 2nd power =4, 3rd power =27. 1x4x27=108! The number 108 is also a Harshad number (means “great joy” in Sanskrit), meaning its integers are divisible by the sum of its digits. . There are 8 extra beads on a mala, (100 repetitions are counted as completed). Remaining eight are for covering errors, also offerings for God and Guru. Within this stems 108 and Chemistry. …The number of natural elements on the periodic table are 100 (a completed repetition).
Even on a more universal level, 108 is present. …That’s right, Astrology: 12 constellations and 9 arc segments; and 12 houses and planets (9×12=108). 108 is seen within the connection of the Sun & Earth, with the sun being 108 times the diameter of earth. The average distance from the moon to the earth is also 108 times the diameter of the moon.
~ ~ ~
So there we go!
Enjoy your mala and the 108 moments out of your day, bringing you into focus and connection.
…With all things.
Like Swami Jhaneshvara Bharati once said:
“You may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general,
and the human in particular.”

~ ~ ~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.  Whether in  the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain!  It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Erica

~ ~ ~

To hear a song that inspired this blog, go here :

Maki Madni by The Derek Trucks Band

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I AM MUSE

Mantra of the Moment

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: MUSE

I have always thought of muse defined as a noun such as the goddess regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, and thinker.  I was surprised to learn that it’s also defined as a verb meaning to meditate or contemplate on – how cool.

This picture was taken (on the sly) from the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The exhibit was nothing short of genius.  I was in complete awe by how vast his spectrum of vision spread between the light and the dark side.  How he fused innocence with sheer naughtiness left me both giggling and amazed.

One couldn’t help but wonder who and what was his muse?  There was probably multiple sources that he drew inspiration from as well as many chambers in his heart and soul that he went venturing into for his creations.

How do we catch our own muse and hold onto Her?
Here are a couple of steps that I’ve been using and love:

First – I recognize what inspires, moves, and stimulates me.  This can be a song, an author, an exhibit, a like-minded friend, or a conversation with a stranger.

Second – I then continue to seek out those types of sources and learn from them (you may be surprised to learn that you’re their muse too!)

Third – (and most importantly) I tap into my inner muse by sitting silently every morning for 20 minutes and observe the beautiful creative thoughts that pass through my minds eye.  I keep a small notepad with a pen so I can jot them down so I don’t forget what my muse is telling me.

_ _ _

                The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.  Whether in          the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Muse. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

_ _ _

Here’s an enlightening talk on creativity and how to nurture it – given by one of my muse’s

- Elizabeth Gilbert

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I AM Fearless

Mantra of the Moment

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: FEARLESS

ABHAY अभय

“Fear Has its use but cowardice has none.” Mohandas Gandhi

A friend sent me a video a couple of weeks ago called The Quickening where it depicts how we as a species are gonna wake the f@*k up by October 28th.   What will start this epiphany will either be a man-made event like another 9/11 or a natural disaster like a tsunami.  This coupled with certain planets coming into close proximity to Earth will cause a purification thus creating a shift of our consciousness to higher levels.  After these events, the film states, we will be able to see multi-dimensionally like being on one long mushroom trip.  This shift will wake us up so that we see the Oneness of everything and shed the illusion of separateness.

So why does this post fall under fearless?  After watching the film I went into a state of panic for the next 48 hours.  I woke up to hearing and feeling a pop in my neck which allowed me to walk around with the oh so chic look of that girl with a neck injury.  I know this was caused by stress – which is fear’s rebel child.  I felt fear that I wouldn’t be able to reach my parents in time if something happened in Manhattan, fear of losing all the things I had worked so hard to build, fear I would lose my computer, our inventory of malas and apparel we worked so hard to create, my library, my art.  My, My, My.

How will I start over, again? What if money couldn’t be used as currency anymore?  What assets do I have in lieu of money to use as currency?  Would any of it mean anything?

As I cried to my friend the next day telling him I wish he had never sent me that video, he replied, “But isnt it an exciting time to be a part of this?!  How many lifetimes we’d have to go through to be able to witness such divinity as human beings collectively waking up?”   I agreed with my heart, but my mind was driving the car.  We talked about what scared me most – not being able to communicate with  loved ones and losing my possessions.  We agreed that having my family watch the video so we can have a simple game plan just in case is a good idea.  This created immediate relief.  As far as ‘my things’ were concerned it really came down to my attachments to these things. Did I really need them?

Over the next few days, I slowly felt better. I came up a game plan, if something went down, I would meet my sister and her husband on our bicycles on the West Side Highway.  Am in the process of pimping my ride to make sure I can bring what’s needed with me off this island of NY (assuming the bridges are still usable, am now considering an inflatable raft to go over the Hudson as Plan B).  I say some of this in jest, but starting to play with and have fun when talking about what could potentially be a serious matter, felt good and took off a lot of undue pressure I was putting on myself.

Since then, we felt an earthquake and now are going thru a hurricane all within 5 days.  Ironically, I feel a sense of freedom.  As I watched buildings get evacuated and people stock piling up on water, I felt a sense of peace come over me.  Fearlessness really.  Like no matter what, everything is going according to a divine plan which I have absolutely no control over.  As I write this post, its 1pm and the city has been shut down, no one in or out. I am ecstatic – happily writing, creating and connecting with loved ones till the lights go out, if they ever do.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Fearless. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song that inspired this blog, go here:

Fear by Sara McLaughlin

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Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing

Mantra of the Month

Inhale: DON”T WORRY

Exhale: BE HAPPY

While trekking in the Himalayas last year with Swami ji (my translator at our eye camp 2 years ago) he said to me “Oh  if we can only stop you from worrying and surrender, this is the secret”  Okay. How do I do that?  He smiled back and said

“Don’t worry it will happen.”

This is what we’ve got so far:

 We learned that like attracts like from our magnet theory.

 So worrying is praying for what we don’t want to happen!

 Simply masochistic.

 Sounds good on paper but how do we translate the very real concerns we have; mortgage, children, jobs, cats,  delay on your internet server, out of stock again of our favorite coconut water at Whole Foods. I mean these are all very real issues.  Is it really that simple to Bobby McFerrin Don’t Worry Be Happy our woes away?  Yes and No.

 We have to fake it till we make it a little.  Once in the heaviness of a situation we can’t just whistle it away.  Our heavy vibrational frequency isn’t matching the happy non worry feeling we desire.  We need to get the proper alignment so that we can have that positive flow of energy (starting to notice a common theme?)  This is why we are doing the breath techniques and super simple positive mantras.

 So today lets fake it till we make it:

 Inhale: Don’t Worry

Exhale: Be Happy

 Now Believe it!  Remember you’re not the driver of the boat.

Feel free to forward this onto to those you love and those that you need to love more.

 ~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE Don’t Worry, EXHALE Be Happy. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song that helped inspire this blog, go here:

Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing by John Legend

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Cliff Notes This Isn’t. Work You Must.

Mantra of the Month

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: HAPPINESS

Okay, so Yoda didn’t really say that, but it does sound like him.

 Mattieu Ricard, the happiness guru (here pictured in New York Magazine Sept 2010), has been nicknamed by the British as “The Happiest Man in the World”.  Neuroscientists studying meditation measured his brain scans and brain waves.  It was found that these areas in his brain are highly active. (New York Magazine, Sept 27, 2010)

In his new book called Why Meditate, he says that people think of happiness as the absence of conflict, it’s actually a cluster of qualities: altruism, compassion, inner peace, inner freedom and inner strength. And it can be cultivated.  Instead of physical training, we need to do compassion training, sitting in the morning for 20 minutes, bringing love and kindness to our minds.  This will raise our baseline.

 We can all find a few minutes a day to sit quietly and turn our brain off.

 And if not, there’s always our 20,000 breath opportunities:

 Inhale: I AM

Exhale: Happiness

Now Believe it.

 Love You. I Do.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Happiness. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song which inspired this blog, go here:

Feelin’ So Good by Jennifer Lopez

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Check YourSelf before you Wreck YourSelf

Mantra of the Month

INHALE: I AM

EXHALE: MAGNETIC

Am so grateful for the beautiful feedback and for the growing list everyday of those asking to receive an ashramchic mantra for the day.

Christine this has become such a love fest. Thank you for being the first to ask for this!

This months mantra is def more chic than ashram.

From the wisdom of none other than Ice Cube:

“You gotta check yo self before you wreck yo self”

Okay, so not a mantra per se, but something to remind ourselves of as we navigate thru our day. Love the rhymes.

I just bought 2 small magnets (pictured here on the train this morning) and am carrying them as a constant reminder of the very basic, yet very powerful concept….we are like magnets.

Like attracts Like

Love attracts Love

Jealousy attracts Jealousy

Frustration attracts Frustration

Abundance attracts Abundance

Creativity attracts Creativity

Peace attracts Peace

So let’s all watch our thoughts, words and actions.

Its just plain masochism for us to put out into the universe any energy that isn’t beautiful, authentic love.

As soon as we see ourselves slipping, let’s check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Magnetic. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song that inspired this blog, go here:

I Feel Pretty by Julie Andrews

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Jungle LOVE

                                         Mantra of the Month:                              

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: LOVE

PREM  प्रॆम

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”  Mother Teresa

The English language is vague when it comes to the word used for the universal language. Spanish is a little more precise with I Love You. Te Quiero used for family and friends. Mi Querido. Te Amo used only for “The One”. Mi Amor.

In English, there is only one word to fit the bill for everything. Like – I Love You, I love that song, love your sense of humor, love my children, love snow days, the  I love yous that are said with the pause at the end waiting to hear it back, Love Actually, Love Jones, I Love Lucy, I love you but I’m not In Love with you, Big Love, True Love, Out of Love, Deeply in Love, Puppy Love, Whats Love Got To Do With It, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change. A wise man once said to me “who doesn’t love falling in love, it’s standing in love that’s the hard part” Love that one! Thanks DK.

Sexual Love, Romantic Love, Familial Love, Platonic Love. All this LOVE everywhere. Are we showing those around us that we love them or do we say we love out of convenience, obligation, or to just get what we want? If we have hurt someone we love, lets say we’re sorry. There’s so much power in validating someone’s feelings.

On a more universal level. We don’t have to travel to developing countries to show our love for humanity; show our neighbor (love thy neighbor as thyself), our children, our friends, our lovers. If we see someone suffering, help them in any way we can, whenever we can and BE AUTHENTIC about it (not expecting anything in return)

That’s love. That’s amor.

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: Prem

20,000 opportunities today to send love out.

Now try doing that in front of the mirror, because that’s where the I Love Yous need to start. Try it, smile, and mean it.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Love. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song that inspired this blog, go here:

Jungle Love by Steve Miller Band


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Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
LOVE THEM ANYWAY

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
BE KIND ANYWAY

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
SUCCEED ANYWAY

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY

What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight;
BUILD ANYWAY

The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow;
DO GOOD ANYWAY

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY

You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God;
It was never been between you and them anyway.

~~~

It’s said that we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To purchase one of Mother Teresa’s Books, go here:

Love: The Words and Inspiration of Mother Teresa

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Its Okay – No Need to Rush – Just Hurry Up

                                                    Mantra of the Month:                                                          

“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

Inhale: I AM

Exhale: PRESENT

We are happy to announce that we have a guest writer today – ‘stressless in nyc’. He’s been with us since the beginning and has promised to be with us till the end…the end of time that is…I know you’ll enjoy his take on time below as much as I have – Parvati xo

“What can one say about  time,  I believe time engulfs all.  What I mean is everything we do is based on time even if we do nothing…. some would say we are wasting time.  lets take a time-out and ponder this theme……time comes and goes full circle, time can be on your side or time can be against you.  Time never stops even when we do.  Time to catch up.  Time is worn on your wrist its hung on the wall its present on top of buildings, on your cable box , it can even be sand flowing down in a glass for crying out loud and most of all,  always on our minds .    I’m late for work, what time’s the show, its been awhile since I’ve seen you, what time are you going, what time will you be there, do you know how long I waited for you –you do this all the time and you know what its about time you knew!  We have a big day planned at Bed Bath and Beyond tomorrow and maybe Costco if we have enough time (Frank the Tank).

Its our everything ….some utilize time to their advantage… some just don’t know what time it is….. I started putting these thoughts together yesterday when i looked at the clock and realized i was late for a dinner yet we were getting the early bird special—see what i mean.  people talk about time all the time—this is my time to shine–need a little me time–excuse me miss do you have the time, at least that’s what the new york times said.  musicians sing about time, Cindy Lauper’s time after time, culture clubs time and my favorite pink floyds time from the darkside of the moon album.  while these songs are completely different in genres, style, and composition they all basically carry the same theme of the indefinite continued progress of existence in the past, present, and future as a whole.

ok, so why are we spending so much time on time—well I’ll tell ya- time is the most precious commodity we have, so learn from the past, plan wisely for the future but most important—–live in the moment.”

~stressless in nyc.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Present. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem

~~~

To hear a song that helped inspire this blog, go here:

Hung Up by Madonna

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I Wish Life Came With Buttons

Mantra of the Month

INHALE: I AM

EXHALE: PLAY(ful)

Play: nice
Rewind:  the good memories
Fast Forward: to the best thats yet to come
Stop: judging others
Pause: for the answers
Record: the love

Plato said Life must be lived as a play.   So lets stop taking ourselves so seriously, no one else is.

Lets Begin:

Inhale: I AM
Exhale: Play(ful)

Now smile like you mean it.

~~~

The best part about  meditation is that we can do it anywhere.   Whether in the serenity of  our homes, on the train, bus, cab, yoga mat, in the shower, and in the rain! However, while operating heavy machinery, meditation is strongly ill-advised. It’s said we breathe 20,000 times a day — SO many opportunities to send out love, peace, and inspiration.

Just close your eyes and focus on the space between your eye brows, your third-eye and the window to your imagination and INHALE I Am, EXHALE Playful. Rinse, Breathe, Repeat (no matter where you may be).

Laughing is Contagious, it Starts with You.
With Prem, Parvati

~~~

To hear a song that helped inspire this blog, go here:

Play by J. Lo

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