I’m sure you’ve heard and possibly ingrained sentiments such as “Quitters never win and winners never quit,” or “There are no failures, only quitters.” Quitting has always gotten a bit of a bad rap in our achievement based culture. I’m sure you saw what happened to Simone Biles. The world turned on that poor woman because she said, “no.” But was she wrong for quitting? One of the things most of us miss is that there are two types of quitting and the knowing which is which can make all the difference.

Quitting because something is hard

If we quit…

It wasn’t until I was deep into all this meditation stuff that I started getting hints of this thing called Ayurveda. An no, it wasn’t Aveda, the fancy store in the mall back in the day with the really expensive shampoo. I was at my teacher training, and I started noticing some of the people doing odd things, like, why were some of the women eating only milk and rice a week each month and what was the deal with that one roommate coating her entire body in oil at least once a day? And why, oh why, is everyone…

An overload of food, or experiences, leave us sick in the belly, or the mind.

Today is the third day of the Ayurvedic cleanse I’m hosting with some meditators, and it’s got me thinking about digestion. Not just what the intestines are doing kind of digestion, but about digesting experiences. How well can you take the experiences that happen to you and break them down so they are useful lessons as opposed to storing them as stress in the system?

Ayurveda is all about digestion

If the western health motto is, “You are what you eat,” the Ayurvedic motto would be, “You are what you can digest.” It doesn’t matter if the brown rice when…

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “flow state” — the sense that you’re completely in tune with what you’re doing, there’s no friction, you’re “in the zone.” Usually it’s referring to a mental state that comes with engaging in productive action. But I’m going to take it one step further and broaden the definition a little bit. The flow state can extend to all aspects of your life, your body, your relationships, even your finances.

What is Flow?

Consciousness loves to move, it loves change, it loves to flow smoothly like an unencumbered stream. Every aspect of the entire Universe…

We said our first hello and final goodbye to our baby girl a few weeks ago. Her name is Artemis. We feel blessed we got to hold her, take her home and lay her to rest ourselves. I have no words to express my gratitude to those who have created a lattice of love and support for us these past few days. I don’t know how we would have made it through this without you.

Below is a little something I wrote to her. It is very personal, but I know I’m not the only one who has gone through…

Are dreams random mis-firings of the brain or are they telling us something? Given how much I talk about states of consciousness, there’s one state I’ve hardly discussed at all–the dream state. It is one of the four primary states of consciousness, the others being waking, deep sleep and transcendence and for many, it is the most mysterious. So which is it, are dreams full of deep symbolism and meaning or is it the work of a bunch of aimless neurons? The truth is, yes and yes.

Dreams as part of stress purification

For the most part, dreams are nothing…

Kids always seem to be in Being

At the beginning of each group meditation, I always check in with everyone and ask how they’re doing, though yesterday, I asked, “How are you Being?” Even though it was a bit of a joke, I’ve been thinking about how it really is a far more relevant question than the typical salutation. By implication, you are asking: To what extent are you experiencing access to your full, unbounded Self? This really is the only thing we should be asking ourselves on a daily basis. Much too much attention is put on our “doings.” We identify with them, we worship them…

Mothering by Ganga Ma

This past weekend was Mother’s Day, a day that digs up stuff more than any other holiday. Well, maybe second to Christmas, but still pretty baggage laden. Our relationship with our mother is our first relationship, when we are first born, we do not even realize that we are separate from our mothers until we’re six or seven months old. No wonder there’s a lot there. I lost my mother fairly early in life and am now a mother of three, expecting my fourth, so I’ve thought about the meaning of this role a lot over the years. …

We’ve all come so far and still so far to go.

No, this isn’t an internet quiz in which you respond to 20 questions and get a generated answer with a picture of the enlightened guru who fits you best ( You scored an 18, you’re a “Yogananda”). I, and all other meditation teachers, harp on and on about enlightenment and expanding your consciousness state with meditation, but I realized that I don’t often go into exactly what that means. How do you know what your consciousness state is and how it compares to others if you’ve never known what it’s like not to be you?

What is a consciousness state?

I don’t know what I would do without my favorite soma bandits.

The topic of boundaries is an odd one for me to pick given the Vedic view that boundaries do not exist. But, never mind that for now. Let’s talk about personal boundaries. How to you keep from being completely taken advantage of, saying yes when you really want to say no, staying waaay too long in jobs, situations, relationships that have reached their expiration date, that kind of thing.

Soma bandits (a.k.a. emotional vampires)

There is a semi-affectionate term amongst meditators for people who are looking to feed off your attention but offer nothing in return. “Soma” is the Sanskrit…

Kristen Vandivier

Instructor of Vedic Meditation and Founder of The Vedic Method and Meditation Without Borders. Also, mother to Scarlett, Delphine and Adrian.

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