Stop And Smell The Roses

Although we’re in the Summer Solstice, I didn’t want to let June pass by without reminding you that June is the official month of the rose. Roses are the flower that represents some of the ways love manifests in our lives; red for passion, all the variations of pink and orange for friendship, yellow for sensual and or deep abiding love (no wonder roses for February 14th.) White roses are for austerities, acknowledgment of a recently deceased for funeral or, for your ancestor shrine.

Queen of all the flowers, the oil of roses, their homeopathic use and or the of smell real rose, assists in healing the heart. Real rose oil is used in luxury facial creams, because rose heals and beautifies the skin.  This is why we use rose oil in all of our Sultry line of beauty products, our Body Butter, Body Polish and Soap all have real rose oil.

 

 In perfumery “rose oil plays well with all the other oils” said Mandy Aftel ~ softening, sweetening and rounding out the sharp edges of any fragrance.

All of Anu Essentials Perfumes have the highest quality rose oils from Bulgaria. Our Sita Perfume has the most rose oil of all our perfumes. As Thích Nhât Hanh reminds us, “Be flower fresh”. Rose is the flower of Oshun, Het Heru, Aphrodite.  If you haven’t already, on your way to your next appointment, stop and smell the roses.  And if you can, visit the botanic garden of your choice to check out the many variety of rose offerings.

 

 

Mommy – Get Ready To Bloom!

There is no substitute for a mother’s love.  Some have been fortunate to have loving, supportive mothers.  Others lost their moms at a young age, some barely knew their moms or knew them not at all.

Mother’s Day, like many national holidays, can bring up a mixed bag of emotions.  As I wrestle with my mom’s latest illness, I realize the enormous love my mother has had for me and I for her, but I cannot discount the fact that mother/ daughter relationships can be fraught with complications.  In the end, love is the greatest healer.

serenity and yoga practicing at sunset, meditation

We all need to be mothered in one way or another.  One way to heal the mothering energy is to nurture ourselves.  When we nurture ourselves, it’s easier to nurture others  from a pure place. We bathe those in need with unconditional love.  This is the behavior of a healthy, mother energy.  If you’ve had a mom who has impacted your life in a most positive way, I know you count your blessings daily.  For those who have not had that kind of love, I think of you, especially on this occasion and send you Light and Love.  And for those who have recently lost their Mothers, I feel your pain more now than ever…  Mother’s Day can be a great time to put together a memory shrine for your mom no matter when she made her transition.

We have two botanical offerings to help invoke that nurturing energy, our Spiritual Spritzer called Nurturing and our Sea Scape Perfume.  Both are made with real jasmine essential oil and elements from the sea to calm and heal, not just for this special occasion, but for all year round.  Yemanja, Auset, Mother Mary, Privhti we call on you!

Happy Mother’s Day To All!

 

The Four Aspects of True Love

It’s daunting to consider that most people know very little about true love, yet it is very thing that we desire most. In the western world it is common to have learned about love from Hollywood, romantic novels or poor examples of relationships. It’s incredible to realize that an ascetic, the Buddha conceived these undeniable teachings on ‘romantic’ love.  Zen Master Thích Nhât Hanh shares with us the teachings of the Buddha on “Being Love”. It seems we have to be love in order to give and receive True Love. In this post I cover “The Four Aspects of True Love”. It is profound philosophy and practice.  This is an excerpt of Thich Nhat Hanh’s lecture on BEING LOVE ~The Four Aspects of Love.

“The teachings of love presented by the Buddha are very clear. True love can only make yourself and others happy.”

Maitri ~ The first aspect of love Maitri means LOVING-KINDNESS. Maitri is defined as the intention of making a person happy; to offer happiness, that is Miatri. But intentions alone are not enough. Maitri is both the intention and the capacity of making one person happy. There are five types of people to offer Maitri 1.ourself 2. the person with whom we have sympathy 3. the person we are very fond of 4. the so-called neutral person 5. the person we dislike, that we believe is responsible for our suffering

And according to the tradition, we have we use ourselves first, as the object of our love; because our capacity to love another person, depends on our capacity of loving our self. If we do not have peace, joy within ourselves, we have nothing to share. We cannot make another person peaceful, happy if we are not peaceful, happy ourselves. And if there is no Maitri your love cannot be called true love. Instead, it will be the kind of love that can only bring sorrow and anger, and that is not true love.

Karuna ~ The second aspect of true love is Karuna, which means compassion, the capacity and willingness of remove, to transform the pain in the person you love, the object of your love. And the object of your love could be yourself. If Karuna is not there, then it’s not love. When we look deeply into the nature of our love, we find out whether there is the element of true love, of compassion there. If compassion does not exist, then it’s not true love. Then it’s the kind of love that can only bring suffering, attachment, slavery, and despair.

Mudita ~ The third element of true love is Mudita, JOY. True love always brings joy to you and the person you love. If your love is not bringing joy to you and the person you love, then it’s not true love. And you’ll have to work to transform it. If you only cry, if the other person also cries, then it’s not true love.

Upeksha ~ The fourth element of love Upkesha means equanimity, it means FREEDOM. Equanimity means no discrimination. When we love someone that person should be able to  retain his or her freedom, to be himself, to be herself should not ever feel that they are in prison, the prison called love. They have space around them to move, they have space within their heart, and this is Upeksha. If your love deprives yourself and or deprives the other person of freedom or space, that’s not true love. So love in such a way you can preserve your freedom and the freedom of the person you love, that is true love, that is Upeksha.

Stopping and Looking Deeply ~ You have to practice looking deeply into love everyday, so that these four elements grow. The more these four elements grow, the happier you will become, the happier the person you love becomes. And if we practice looking deeply we see that one aspect of love, contains the other three aspects. If one of the aspects develops truly, the other three will develop. It is the nature of inter-being. If one of the aspects is missing they will all be missing. If freedom is not there, then loving-kindness is not there, joy is not there, compassion is not there.

~Thích Nhât Hanh ~“The greatest gift you can offer your beloved, is your true presence. To offer your true presence is the first act of love.”

Hear the entire lecture “BEING LOVE

An Abiding Love

I have come to realize that I have an abiding love and reverence for Zen Master, Thích Nhât Hanh.   It’s only been a year or so that I’ve known about this incredible teacher. But he has been gently walking on this earth creating evolutionary and revolutionary transformations in the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, since the 1960s. He is the man Martin Luther King called “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.”

Martin Luther King and Thích Nhât Hanh

Some might naturally ask if I’m a Buddhist. No, I have not made such a declaration, studying and practicing the teachings of the Buddha does not require that one become a Buddhist. But what I desire most in my life right now is to master these teachings. Even as a novice, these teachings have enriched my life so greatly by offering simple techniques on how to manage and overcome the inevitable pain that comes with life. Thich Nhat Hanh, also know as Thày (teacher) refers to this pain as suffering.

Thày informs us if we know how to suffer, we suffer less. This was a novel concept for me to wrap my brain around. Who wants  to suffer at all, skillfully or otherwise? But suffering is part of life, you may as well learn how to do it right. I recall a video I saw of the great writer, poet and social critic, James Baldwin in which he pronounced quite emphatically “We live, we suffer, we die”. I though oh my, isn’t there some joy, some happiness in between there somewhere? And if you’ve ever seen James Baldwin smile, you know there is joy in life.

James Baldwin

Thày teaches us that there are a millions reasons to be happy in spite of the suffering we may be experiencing. Then he sets about offering sublime instructions on how to follow the breath as a means of controlling our minds and our emotions. This practice is called mindfulness. In the yogic tradition, the mind is referred to as a drunken monkey, swinging from one thought to the next, without much supervision. The unsupervised wanderings of the mind can take us on a roller coaster ride that just won’t quit, full of regrets of the past and anxieties regarding the future. Never does the mind want to be in the present where one can more readily access the portal to peace, happiness and true love.

Gaining control over our minds and therefore our emotions allows us the ability to skillfully navigate the inevitable pain that comes with life. These teachings have been a most incredible gift. I will be forever grateful  for my friend Lisa Renee who introduced me to the Teaching of the Buddha via Thich Nhat Hanh. Thày’s books and videos on gaining peace and accessing happiness are widely available. If you’re seeking peace, happiness and joy in area in your life, you might consider the teachings of the Buddha as taught by master teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh.  Check out this video by Thày entitled “Awakening The Heart ~ The Practice of Inner Transformation“.