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Winnipeg Free Meditation Class Continues on Sat. Feb. 18th 2017 from 12-4:30pm, St. Boniface Library

winnipeg-poster-feb-18-2017For a third season, Sahaja Yoga free meditation classes will be held from January to April 2017 at rotating locations offered for free for this non-profit class offerings to the public of Winnipeg at large. We sit in a chair or the floor, and there are no hard poses, we learn how to connect to our higher self, and go on a journey to find out who we are at the core of our being and experiencing the Yoga state. The next session will be as follows:

Saturday February 18th from 12noon to 4:30pm at St. Boniface Library, Salle de Marie Bernard, second floor (yes, there is an elevator).

For more information http://www.free-meditation.ca or http://www.freemeditation.com are great official websites where you can peruse videos, music and presentations with great vibes.

Inner peace and pure joy are two of the many health benefits you will receive as a free gift from the all pervading power of the universe. Everyone is welcome to these guided meditation sessions with plenty of short clips, Q & A, going deeper sessions, clearing the chakras (energy centers) and more. Learn the benefits of foot soaking and connecting to mother earth. (photo by Paula Erskine)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Free Meditation Classes Winnipeg offered by Sahaja Yoga 2017-Experience Yoga Meditation-Sit in a chair or on the floor

For a third season, Sahaja Yoga free meditation classes will be held from January to April 2017 at rotating locations offered for free for this non-profit class offerings to the public of Winnipeg at large. We sit in a chair or the floor, and there are no hard poses, we learn how to connect to our higher self, and go on a journey to find out who we are at the core of our being and experiencing the Yoga state. The next 2 sessions will be as follows:

Tuesday January 31st on the third floor (no elevator as it is a heritage building) at the Dragon Arts Collective 0n 91 Albert street from 2-3pm, 3-4pm, 4-5pm drop in and feel free to stay for more than one session as we go deeper into the knowledge of a meditation technique known as “thoughtless awareness”. Drop in, no registration required!

For more information http://www.free-meditation.ca or http://www.freemeditation.com are great official websites where you can peruse videos, music and presentations with great vibes.

After that, sessions are on: Wednesday February 1st at St. Boniface Library, 100-131 Provencher Blvd., 2nd floor (yes there is an elevator) in the Salle Marie-Lynne Bernard room. The times are 4-5pm, 5-6pm, 6-7pm, 7-8pm. Again, no need to register, just show up, and be prepared to enjoy inner peace, get connected by experiencing the true meaning of yoga, which means ~connection. More dates will be announced on a month to month basis at least until April and rotating local libraries and venues offering free space.

Inner peace and pure joy are two of the many health benefits you will receive as a free gift from the all pervading power of the universe. Everyone is welcome to these guided meditation sessions with plenty of short clips, Q & A, going deeper sessions, clearing the chakras (energy centres) and more. Learn the benefits of foot soaking and connecting to mother earth. (photo by Paula Erskine)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Croatia Direct Flights from Toronto and Montreal Continue into 2016-2017 with Air Transat

All photos and article by Paula Erskine

One can book an Air Transat ticket for a direct flight to Zagreb, Croatia right now for as early as next year, for example, May 30th, 2017 at a price of approximately $871 Canadian dollars and enjoy the comfort of Air Transat’s Airbus 330 fleet. Visit http://www.airtransat.com to book ahead and take advantage of cheap flights to Croatia flying directly out of Toronto, Canada and Montreal, Canada. Air Transat will likely add a second flight weekly to Zagreb, Croatia as of May 2016. Book early to get the deals! Here are some places to visit in Croatia that may delight your senses.

Below, Plitvicka National Park, known to visitors as “paradise,” is less than 2 hours away from Zagreb and enjoyed year round. Easy hiking, hundreds of waterfalls, 16 turquoise lakes.

Rastoke Village, in Slunj (above), is 1 and a half hours from Zagreb, Croatia on the way to Plitvice Park. Imagine opening your window shutters and overlooking a waterfall below your window, with the sound rushing through your veins and the fresh, cool mist rising up through the atmosphere. In this valley, one is surrounded by trees whose roots run deep, taking a drink from the rivers they call home. Eat at Petro, visit Unique Rastoke park (just that part is closed on tuesdays) and eat there too,  the food is fresh and authentic throughout the village…or stay at many of the apartments built on waterfalls in this fairy tale mill town on pristine waters. Simply unmissable and picturesque, any time of year. A peaceful place. Take advantage of the pleasant off season weather with more elbow room than mid-summer to enjoy Croatia even more.

If you are still on the fence, wondering if Croatia is the right destination for you, let me share with you some favorite places to visit that are off the beaten path. Even within the usual hot spots, there are great tips to be shared on how to get the maximum value and enjoyment from your Croatian vacation. For those who travel yearly to the motherland, direct flights to Croatia this summer of 2016 have been a dream come true. In addition, Zagreb has proven to be a great hub for native travelers of Serbia and Bosnia and bordering nations visiting their families. It is very moving to see people of all these nations “going home” to introduce their children and grandchildren to the beautiful lands, lakes, rivers, mountains and the crystal clear Adriatic Sea which were their playgrounds.

It was especially convenient for the older generations to travel “home” on direct flights, most of them wanting to look out the window or watch the air show rather than the individual movie screens at each seat. The atmosphere on board is one of gratitude, appreciation and social friendliness without borders. Although the blocked time of the flight is 9 and a half hours, depending on head and tail winds, the average flight to Zagreb, Croatia from Toronto on Air Transat’s Airbus 330 consistently took only around 8 hours!

Air Transat flights were packed all summer with added adventurers from Quebec and Greater Toronto Area as well as Americans enjoying the tour packages that were very reasonable and action-packed! Below, Ozujsko Pub in Zagreb, beside the Naive Art Gallery Egg in Upper Town serves tasty meats stuffed with cheese and prosciutto (pershuto), grilled vegetables and chicken shishkebabs wrapped in bacon. Tender, fresh, tasty and very reasonable!

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Vinodol Restaurant, lower town, superb eating, Zagreb Croatia

Vinodol Restaurant (lower town), Zagreb Croatia above was absolutely superb eating, with a wonderful indoor skylit atmosphere and outdoor seating too. Below, Kava Tava (upper town)…find an excuse to eat palacinke (palachinke) the Croatian stuffed crepes, dessert, cappucinos, breakfast or sandwiches. Then,  for all you airline buffs, Kava Tava’s decor boasts passenger seats and airplane tables. 20160621_192442

Zagreb’s Upper Town can be reached by Funicular or stairs and is full of incredible places to eat with no lack of creativity, history, architecture, naive and modern art, fountains museums, bird’s eye views, Lake Jarun, shoe shopping in particular in the lower town, and delicious food everywhere. To say Zagreb is hip would be an understatement.

A hidden gem in Zagreb is MS Grill run by Olga who will cook like only a mother can, and specializes in Bosnian dishes such as cevaps (barbecued chevaps are mixed meats, usually lamb, on home made grilled bread served with kajmak (k-eye-mahk) cream cheese, chicken paprikash, and many stews and famous crepes.The truth is, I ate most of the mouth watering meat before I remembered to take a picture. The secret to all the juicy meats, especially the grilled chicken, is the time they take to marinate it all…and I enjoyed it very much on my flight. The portions are too generous, and the prices are ridiculously cheap! You can find them around the corner from the Sheraton Hotel, Zagreb, with the orange canopy, simple. Olga is open from 7 or 8 am till midnight and serves fresh, home made food, her most evident ingredient, is love, warmth and enthusiasm. I do not leave the restaurant without my goodbye hug.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ms-Grill/1549760118614667 This is the facebook page.

Air Transat flights were packed all summer with added adventurers from Quebec and Greater Toronto Area as well as Americans enjoying the tour packages that were very reasonable and action-packed! See you in Zagreb! Check out my other posts for more great places to visit in Croatia! This is StrossMarte, at the top where the Funicular station stop is. Very artsy, great views, puppet shows, and very whimsical somehow.20160906_18551320160906_18555220160906_185448Sveti Marco Square, tiled roof, straight ahead from the Funicular. Many ways to see the city, including a vintage car ride. Fresh fritule, powdered mini doughnuts sometimes filled with jam at a window in upper town. We drop in on an orchestra practicing amid rows of fountains, it was lovely. The architecture, the old gate to the city, is so interesting. I hope to visit Lake Jarun where locals swim and bike in the near future. Until we meet again, Zagreb, I will enjoy my memories. See you in Croatia until early October of 2016 and May 2017 onward.20160906_18491320160823_18350320160823_19023920160906_18403120160906_18503220160817_19534320160906_19051620160906_18185320160906_21042620160817_191813

Up Close and Personal at Burlington Sound of Music’s Grand Finale 2016

The Mohrs singer channeled Janis Joplin and the whole band was incredible. See and hear them here, they will knock you out of the park! http://themohrsband.com/home. Jackie Mohr fronts the band and has music running through her veins. Coolest chic EVER.http://www.newcanadianmusic.ca/releases/p/perfectly-sane-single/the-mohrs/2014-03-26

20160619_142105Unlike the local newspaper, I am not focused on the numbers that attended the free music festival. 200,000 fans is not too shabby over the course of 5 days. If you ask anyone how successful it was, just ask its fans! The atmosphere was so positive, so groovy, like minded music fans saw the Sound of Music Festival as a chance to celebrate Canadian music, show our appreciation for artists trying to change the world, one guitar strum at a time. Yes there was a heat warning. Did we find shade? Yes marvelous shade under the cherry trees, under canopies, at the city hall there were plenty of shady spots too.

The best part was getting up close and personal with the artists. Sean McCann formerly of Great Big Sea took fan photos after his set, and I was not more than 10 feet in front of the stage, sitting comfortably, with no one blocking my view.

Many of the acts were easily accessible, and for a few minutes here and there, you could approach the stage, take your awesome close up photos, get shooed out for not having a press pass, claim innocence, back out towards the gate and retreat victoriously to the shady trees at your leisure with smart phone photos galore. With the breeze coming off the lake, it was totally do-able.

The Mohrs offered original music, with lyrics reflecting modern poetry, like “nobody perfectly sane would want to be with you…” Super catchy, and we’ve all crossed paths with someone in our lives that fits just that bill. Which makes it so much fun to sing along and nod, yes, we love this song! We were very impressed with their energy and charisma and solid talent. Great to see you all perform in Burlington!

Jordan Haller performed on Brant street on Sunday and was very impressive. http://www.jordanhaller.com/#music-section (below, bottom, second from left). Definitely talented. Even a non-tween can appreciate his original music and pop-vibe. The Lighthouse (bottom center picture) may surprise you when you realize you grew up with their songs being played on your parents radio, their fan base was huge on the OLG stage and you can reminisce and enjoy their music here…http://www.lighthouserockson.com/history.html. They relive their glory days these days performing much to the delight of their appreciative fans.

Junkhouse https://www.facebook.com/JUNKHOUSEHAMILTON a band that has performed all over the world, showed that we were truly heart and soul, rock and roll. It was great to hear them praise Hamilton, just across the bridge, and tell their story about their humble beginnings. You see, Hamilton and Burlington are neighbors. We share the same air, the same Lake Ontario, we share the Royal Botanical Gardens, we share a love for music. Russ Wilson on bass below…20160619_153908

Not only is Junkhouse cool, interesting, and talented in an off the beaten track kind of way, lead singer Tom Wilson has that “smart kind of funny because it’s true”, story-telling personality. Unbelievably true! I laughed my head off at those inbetween song stories. Best part is, this is a cool guy with tons of presence, that actually cares not only about his fans, but about the world. Hamilton’s The Red Hill Valley http://theredhillvalleys.com/ fans below, attended the Junkhouse show which was fantastic. I happened to meet lead singer in a guitar shop in Oakville, then I see these fans sporting the t-shirt. That is a good enough reason to mention them in this Hamilton home grown section of talent. A victory for one Hamilton band can pave the way for more steel town talent to take on the world. http://theredhillvalleys.com/music20160619_155015

Tom Wilson of Junkhouse did not depart the stage without leaving a lasting impression by addressing the crowd to be proud of who they are, where they came from, about being nicer and more patient with the people we share this planet with, and that he had faith that this world can and will be a better place to live for all of us if we just start with that. Benevolence becomes Junkhouse, thank you for that.

The Burlington Sound of Music was a first hand experience of artistic musical expressions. As each artist took each fan into their confidence, they drew us closer. Many of the musicians understood that they had a medium to bring people together beyond language borders by entering through each and every one of our hearts.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0de2W97x_Yg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-FuQ0h0zPo That you did, Junkhouse, keep shining.20160619_153859[1]

 

Burlington Sound of Music 2016 Rejuvenates the Crowds of Fans

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Young Rivals rocked the TD stage on Saturday June 18,2016…all photos and article by Paula Erskine

Still one more day left for seeing free concerts in Burlington Ontario Canada have a look and listen to the jam packed list of talented acts that will make you proud to be Canadian or impressed by your Canadian neighbors who don’t all live in Igloos… http://www.soundofmusic.ca/schedule.

In no particular order in terms of talent, I can share some wonderful images and a commentary about one of the best FREE things to attend in this end of Ontario, which is the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, of which I was privileged to attend at least three partial days due to my limited time in Canada during the flying season.

I cannot hide the fact that I did not see all of the acts, so I am no judge, and nobody likes a critic, but, of the acts I did catch, I cannot deny that there were some favourites. In other words, the following acts will exceed your expectations and actually blew us away because their music emits tremendous heart, soul and talent. The three acts that we loved so far:

Leahy, a family from Lakefield Ontario that performs with a family of 10, with violins, accordian, irish dancing, guitar, drums, gorgeous harmony and a family of 10 brothers and sisters that came from musician parents. Music is in their blood, heart and soul, and if you know anyone who has an inkling for music, they hold a music camp http://www.leahymusiccamp.com. I have no pictures, but they won the entire crowd over, with many surprises, reminding us what it is to have both top notch yet down to earth performance skills as well as incredible talent. They were delightful to watch, what a show on the OLG stage!

Another favourite was Dylan Menzie whose cd I bought called adolescent nature. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=dylan+menzie&view=detailv2&qpvt=dylan+menzie&id=48F237B3EBC74EC1BE9121F9DA7EBFC3A2D3BC24&selectedIndex=2&ccid=ikjuwZ6z&simid=608001154928674259&thid=OIP.M8a48eec19eb3746632131a31166a2df7o0&ajaxhist=0 Dylan Menzie blew us away, he is so talented, musically, vocally, he is the real deal, with terrific lyrics and great vibes. You have to hear this guy! He is young, with a finger on the pulse of the youth, yet somehow, a wise soul, singing his heart out. We feel you Dylan!https://www.facebook.com/dylanmenzieband. If you want your kids to listen to what talent really sounds like, he is it. And as an adult, I did not find it juvenile at all, only that it brought back memories and that youthful feeling we all hold in our hearts, which never ages.

Sean McCann, formerly of Great Big Sea, really poured his enlightened heart out, and bravely, boldly, shared personal details on his journey through sobriety, the friends he gave up, and the incredible soul searching journey that has given him a new perspective that took his already talented self to new heights in terms of musical giftedness. Sean McCann absolutely has emoted into a higher self that is very much down to earth, very deep, undeniably talented all on his own. His music, his presence poured vibrations out into the entire atmosphere starting from the Cogeco stage on Brant street in the city hall square. His music will make your hair stand on end! He is oozing with incredible vibrations, you can call it the X factor, and perhaps his journey of ups and downs made him who he is today. He is what we call a realized soul. His power, inspirations and talent were previously clouded, but now they pour out through his songs and presence, unimpeded, just free flowing, and without ego.He admitted that he was previously an angry man, but had discovered, that anger, just wants to hurt. Great music in my view, does not necessarily come from an uneventful life, but rather, can be a positive outlet to work out  painful situations that others can relate to. We feel you, Sean, and we can relate.Sean McCann at Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2016. All photos and article by Paula Erskine

It reminds me that there are people, and musicians out there, who have the power to touch our soul once they wake up from the material world and get back to the reasons they got into the music business in the first place. His music is authentically filled with reflection and beauty. Sean McCann also played some favourites from the Great Big Sea days for the crowd and encouraged everyone to sing, saying “we’re all on this path together.” http://www.seanmccannsings.com/ find his wonderful new self here.https://www.facebook.com/GreatBigSean.

Having named names in terms of favourites, and only because it is impossible to see all 100 concerts because many of them are happening simultaneously, I will share a few more acts that I curated from my limited time to attend the festival this year. Here we go…

Let’s talk about the Young Rivals! What most impressed me  and my friend Kathleen about the Young Rivals was the drummer who took turns seamlessly singing and drumming at the same time, try it, just the thought of it! Kathleen and I felt that they way they played was reminiscent of how the Beatles harmonized and sang and rocked. We enjoyed them in the afternoon under some shady cherry trees in Spencer Smith Park. Young Rivals can be found here if you want to watch and listen to their music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b8CwNHAx54 and are one of over 100 FREE concerts offered over a 4 day period every year around Father’s Day Weekend which is not to be missed! On second listen, they definitely have a Beatles vibe.

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Young Rivals above.20160618_145531

Enjoying shade under the cherry trees of Spencer Smith Park while breathing in Canadian music, and soaking up the summer.20160618_200016

The boats docked at Burlington’s inlet for some superb views as the music carried over the waves of Lake Ontario, Canada20160618_201223

A few of my favourite attendees…20160618_201744

The Fast Romantics infused the stage with talent, style, charisma, groove, with 6 members in chic rockin’ black and white. They are all so talented and good looking, if you will permit us to say, when the female keyboardist surprised us with playing the horn, we kind of wished all the arrangement had allowed us to hear only her playing, so she could shine a bit more. As it is, they are pretty great, but we would love to hear some musicians shine during different periods throughout the songs. When I heard they had  played with the Sheepdogs from Saskatchewan, I knew they must be talented, takes one talented band, to know another talented band. Well worth seeing, and you can see them here too http://fastromantics.com/

 

Hawksley Workman rounded out the evening talent at the Cogeco stage on Brant street with a huge crowd that spilled in to the streets. Hawksley it seems, is a poet, generally is very down to earth, has some interesting things he does with his voice, mostly at the end of his songs, which we would love to hear more of. But we didn’t mind his artistic, poetic ramblings about trees wrapped in decorative Christmas lights and Thomasville has a sale. His rantings were smoothly and poetically delivered, revealing a calm appreciation for life and a tough journey http://hawksleyworkman.com/. This is someone who was not shy about his spiritual ponderings and gratitude for quiet mornings drinking tea and filling up the bird feeder. Very pleasant and curious, we enjoyed his company. See Hawksley Workman working it in the pic below.

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Sean McCann at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2016-Heart and Soul

Sean McCann at Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2016. All photos and article by Paula Erskine

The Fast Romantics were super cool…20160618_20154620160618_201550

As A Citizen Reporter of Winnipeg

My experience as a citizen reporter for Winnipeg’s Community News Commons has been one of mutual respect and professionalism in journalism. I want to thank Noah the editor for recognizing that Winnipeg’s population may be interested in Free meditation classes offered at local libraries. His edits are actually in tune with the material presented, and I really appreciate this opportunity to express my gratitude for having published two of my articles towards helping seekers of truth, better mental health, yoga enthusiasts, and the need for everyone on this planet to connect and heal with their higher self, each other and mother earth. Thank you for recognizing that local solutions can have global impact on neighboring brothers and sisters and change the quality of our lives, for the better. Please read below an informative article on the real meaning of the word Yoga and the impact this newly-felt inner peace is having on the community of Winnipeg. Free classes as being offered in February for the second month in a row, but this time, at the St. Boniface Library.

CNC is an online news hub authored by you, your friends and neighbours, sharing stories to make our world a better place. By creating CNC, The Winnipeg Foundation believes a more informed and engaged community is a more caring and giving community, building the capacity needed for stronger, healthier neighbourhoods.

Connecting to higher self and to deeper sense of purpose

“I finally feel a sense of peace,” said one woman.

“I feel the life force all throughout my hands,” said another.

“I look forward to it all week, I am so excited and feel this amazing connection!” one more person exclaimed.

Meditation-YogapantsThese are just a few reactions to the most recent Winnipeg Free Meditation classes held in January at Millennium Library.

Beginning Feb. 8, these sessions will be held for the second consecutive month with added daytime classes at a new location – St. Boniface Library, 100-131 Provencher Blvd, on the second floor, Salle Marie-Lynn Bernard (room).

Many attendees confirm enthusiastically each class builds upon that new sense of being connected to their higher self, as well as feeling a deeper sense of purpose. The casual observer can witness curious participants and deep seekers transform from class to class, and after just three sessions, are beaming.

“It is both relaxing, and energizing,” one man said in describing this new-found awareness as a source of joy and peace.

Between the two thoughts generated by the past and future is a space that can be widened in the present, known as “thoughtless awareness.” This inner sense of satisfaction transforms a person’s perspective and improves one’s health on every level.

Sessions are great for beginners or for those seeking inner peace and tools to deal with every day stress. Classes require no special clothes or exercises or previous experience. One can sit in a chair or on the floor if they prefer.

Included in the class is a guided meditation that is easy to follow – gentle chakra (energy centres within our subtle system) cleansing workshops, helping attendees gain their self-realization, the Sanskrit definition of the word Yoga, which means union or connection.

Sessions include work on opening one's spiritual chakras.

Once one has achieved and established a connection with one’s higher self, a new vibratory awareness reveals very simply the state of a person’s energy centres and how someone can correct them on their own, becoming a more balanced and more joyful person.

There is a belief one should not pay for this state of yoga because it is everyone’s birthright to access and to gain this new, pure knowledge of the higher self. Climbing the Himalayas is not necessary to receive enlightenment in these modern times, due to this unique discovery.

This is the second year of this meditation marathon that has attracted interest of seekers of truth from all walks of life.

In last month’s sessions, attendees enjoyed a guided meditation and learned about the wonderful qualities inside every human being. Several attendees felt sensations in their hands, indicating they achieved the yoga state in just one session. The questions were insightful and specific. The genuine smiles were priceless.

It is clear many people recognize there is more to life than materialistic pursuits; such as, learning how to balance emotions and incorporate techniques to heal depression and anxiety.

SahajaYoga_Poster_Winnipeg_Feb_2016 (618x800)In an effort to cover more material and explore this new-found peace, a total of nine sessions are slated for February 2016 which include several daytime and evening classes.

Three daytime classes will be held on Feb. 8, with two more daytime sessions to be offered free to the public on Feb. 24.

Evening classes are Feb. 10 starting at 7:15 p.m., as well as on Feb. 22 with three classes starting from 5:30 p.m., one hour each.

Participants are invited to join as many classes as they like, with new presentations and short clips to watch for each session. There is no limit to how many classes one can attend; in fact, people are encouraged to take advantage and stay for more than one.

Drop in guests can join in anytime for even more meditation. There is always a brief review for newcomers. One is never early or late, as the invitation is to pop in anytime and slip into a chair.

Attendees’ hands are kept open on their laps to enjoy this refreshing new dimension that can be felt from within, and can enhance happiness and reinforce a joy of life. Removing one’s shoes, if comfortable doing so, is a simple way to connect to Mother Earth and feel more relaxed. Many great tips have been shared so far, with more to come.

Indeed, anyone can learn to use this power within to become more detached from problems and stresses, and more in tune with the joy of their spirit. It is believed a person can evolve their personality only when they are in the present, and have achieved self-realization.

It is a spontaneous, living process, by which one can experiment, like a scientist, and find out what is the truth of one’s being. It can be felt as it rises along the central nervous system as a “cool river” or “cool breeze” that has been described in many traditions throughout history.

A by-product of this new awakened energy inside is improved physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. The idea of separation is a myth, because all humans are connected to everyone and everything.

Please contact sahajayogawinnipeg@gmail.com for more information, or join the Facebook page, Winnipeg Free Meditation.

About

Paula Erskine is a Winnipeg Free Meditation Instructor and flight attendant, enjoying her crew rest teaching meditation in Winnipeg in between her flight travels down south. She received her self-realization more than eight years ago and has a pure desire to spread this joyful state to others.

 

Winnipeg Yoga Meditation Classes 2016

For those that attended the first sessions in 2016, there was some interest to have more time together and also an extra earlier session. Since the Buchwald and Anhang room of the Millenium Library are rented for 3 hours every time, this is possible! So, if anyone wants an extra session, we are adding to each class already advertised. The extra sessions will be from 6:30-7:30pm in the same rooms listed above. Anyone can drop in at any point, don’t worry about being late or early, we will review a quick intro. at the 7:30 pm mark to keep everyone informed. Also, no material will be repeated. a guided meditation will be in each session, but these can be different, as there is very much to discover about our higher selves and the power we have within ourselves! We will watch different clips, short talks, and there will be a Question Answer period. The wonderful seekers I met at the January 13th session felt calm, peace, great vibes and had very poignant questions. I really enjoyed meeting all of you.

What makes my job as a flight attendant so rewarding is making my life meaningful every day even while I am away in other cities in Canada or around the world. Last year, I was able to hold some Sahaja Yoga meditation sessions at St. Boniface Library and Millenium Library. I met very interesting people there who want to connect and did feel that this was very relaxing yet energizing at the same time. So, don’t worry about special clothes and poses. Self-Realization or yoga can easily be achieved by sitting in a chair, or on the floor, if you prefer. If you are comfortable, you can take off your shoes. Please join us for a session!

Also, We will announce shortly, if more sessions can be added as my airline schedule gets released later today. The season in Winnipeg is generally January to March, so hopefully there will be classes all 3 months that I can share with those looking for inner peace and tools to de-stress.

All ages are welcome, it is a guided meditation, so don’t worry about previous experience. We will learn about the qualities of the chakras and enlighten them so they can empower us with qualities that help us feel the joy that comes from connection. This is achieved through the language of vibrations, which we learn to recognize and feel what we need for optimal health and satisfaction. Hope to hear from you, it would be great if you let us know you are coming!

But don’t let the thought of registering keep you from dropping in. And no one has to stay the entire time. Just try, even for a short while, you will definitely get some inkling of what it is about. Come with an open heart and a desire to de-clutter the debris lurking in our constantly changing minds. The truth is, between the thoughts, while being completely aware and connected, the brain gets enlightened, and gives us access to the ultimate truths of our being. So we start “listening” through a different sense, the language of vibrations, that finally gives us a scientifically verifiable way of discovering what is true in this world and what is good for us.

Also we start to enjoy this new yoga path, which keeps us in balance and helps us feel a newfound joy. Music, art, movies, people, and places can emit wonderful vibrations that we can feel along our central nervous system, once we are enlightened. It is a fascinating process, difficult to describe, so just come try it, more than once, so you can access these powers we all have to be superhuman, and happy. Namaste, everyone!

 

How A Frugal Strudel’s Reluctant End Sets the Stage For the Joy of Spontaneity

Homemade, soul warming soup in Amsterdam

Homemade, soul warming soup in Amsterdam.                                                                                                                                                         Many years ago, I was out with several friends in Toronto where we inevitably always seemed to end up at the good for nothing but calories, the cozy and aesthetically pleasing, Future Bakery. I never was a pie girl, but this time, we all agreed to buy a braided, frugal, apple strudel, that was long enough to share and then some. On a night like this, we launch into ad-hoc improvisation, as per standard, where no idea is rejected, only built upon. The salt and pepper shakers and anything we could find on the table became puppets for our re-enactments with interesting characters. In fact, so did the hand puppets I carted around from the party themed store I was working at which gave us great pleasure. Through these characters, alot could be expressed with humour. Someone of us had brought his cousin, who fit in with us like he had always been a pawn in our humour squad.                                                                                                                                                               Somewhere around midnight, laughing our guts out, I started to feel melancholy. I looked down at the disappearing apple loaded braids, and said “It’s just that…I don’t want the strudel…to end…” My reluctance was contagious. There I had said it. And as soon as it left my mouth, we had all caught on to the double meanings and enjoyed their fruits for our story telling ways.                                                                                                            We’re talking at least a decade now, and that strudel is still fresh in my head. I can think of a few times in my life I did not want “the strudel” to end, because the spontaneity, the laughter, the adventure, or the wonder is something that only disappoints due to it’s fleeting freshness. Here now, memory thereafter. Good memories should be savored, and create inspiration for the next “now.”                                                                                      Hence this savory blog, weaving braids of experiences into a life-gulping journey. Why aim for the last bite when every moment gives us a chance to choose the path of indulgent spontaneity? Of course, I am not just talking about food here, but as humans, we do need fuel for our collective adventures. And sharing it with worthy eat-mates heightens a meal’s enjoyment. Even if we are alone, yet amongst locals, it can feel like a child looking through a peep hole…witnessing other lives passing uncoincidentally by our hungry eyes.

Higher than a bird's eye view, the big picture. photo Paula Erskine

Higher than a bird’s eye view, the big picture. photo Paula Erskine

Destiny is in your hands, photo by Paula Erskine, Spain.

Destiny is in your hands, photo by Paula Erskine, Spain.

I was always the glass half full, positive type. Second City Improv classes in Toronto helped me very much to expand upon building a “scene” on the now and saying yes..and… in order to create a spontaneous and funny plot. But laughing at your self, you know, the ego part, is quite a great preparation for letting go of what wasn’t and opening one’s self up to what could be the unfolding now. But since getting my self-realization, through Sahaja Yoga meditation, this billboard takes on a whole new reality. There is more to life than just avoiding what we fear. There is one more dimension to be added to our collection. The fourth dimension, the connection point, is what makes life even more juicier than it already is. Life in the present, in connection, is where the happy part of us keeps attracting more and more enjoyment and laughter. It can make a sunset in Greece, so simple, so priceless, a monumental event to be savored. 

Island of Hydra, Greece at Sunset. photo by Paula Erskine

Island of Hydra, Greece at Sunset. photo by Paula Erskine

High Tea in Manchester, England, on the healthy side. photo by Paula Erskine

High Tea in Manchester, England, on the healthy side. photo by Paula Erskine

Savoury Meat Goulash with Noodles in the village of Vrbnik, Krk Island, Croatia. All photos Paula Erskine

Savoury Meat Goulash with Noodles in the village of Vrbnik, Krk Island, Croatia. All photos Paula Erskine

Soothing beach coconut icecream, Costa Rica, all photos Paula Erskine

Soothing beach coconut icecream, Costa Rica, all photos Paula Erskine

Delectable Fried or Grilled Squid (Calimari) on the island of Krk, Croatia. photo, Paula Erskine

Delectable Fried or Grilled Squid (Calimari) on the island of Krk, Croatia. photo, Paula Erskine

A chance meeting in Cameroon, on the continent of Africa, a nomadic tribe of women and children taking a rest with their children and cattle. Butter and milk in tow. Photo by Paula Erskine

A chance meeting in Cameroon, on the continent of Africa, a nomadic tribe of women and children taking a rest with their children and cattle. Butter and milk in tow. Photo by Paula Erskine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How the anti-life-affirming fears and conditionings have peeled their pesky layers with every new step taken. It is that newness, exploring the unknown, inside and out in a thoughtless, yet aware state, that delights my soul daily. Here in these photos and articles, are just a taste of people, places, things that have inspired and fulfilled my appetite for travel, the meaning of our being, and the beauty all around. Life is seemingly imperfect, only because we put it in a box full of limitations according to our materialistic unreality. The reality is, we can explore the implication that the strudel’s infinite figure eights are not so far from what can be.  Enjoying the variety of people on this earth through the eyes of a child and a pure heart, through taste, sight and sound, in which each culture adds its’ flavour to beautify the planet, is the strudel of life.

Remedy Cafe, Edmonton, Canada...Chai tea and savoury Indian Chicken Korma in a jam packed, artsy-boutique type cafe with loungy, mismatched armchairs. All photos Paula Erskine

Remedy Cafe, Edmonton, Canada…Kasmiri Chai tea with slivered pistachios and savoury Indian Chicken Korma in a jam packed, artsy-boutique type cafe with loungy, mismatched armchairs. All photos Paula Erskine

On standby in Japan, on our way to Thailand, shortly afterward, a mild earthquake rocks our world, but as you can see, we survived.

On standby in Japan, on our way to Thailand, shortly afterward, a mild earthquake rocks our world, but as you can see, we survived.

Meditation Marathon in Winnipeg Feb. 18-Feb. 22, 2015 Drop in Anytime and Try it!

Free Meditation Classes in Winnipeg Feb. 18-Feb. 22, 2015 Winnipeg’s MEDITATION MARATHON led by Burlington Yogini (Paula) & Vancouver Yogi (Brent) in FEBRUARY 2015!Posted by Ioana on 02 10th, 2015 | 2 | 220 views

A team of yogis from East and West of Canada had united their efforts to open the Heart of Canada: Manitoba – towards the love of meditation and Self Realization. Further more, Brent (Gemini Award Nominee) from Vancouver and Paula from Burlington had booked their ‘free’ time to meet the Seekers from Winnipeg in a ‘marathon style. Let’s learn more about this Yogi/ni Team and their commendable project/volunteer work:

CLICK the LINK below or copy into your browse and paste:

http://www.free-meditation.ca/archives/18300

Contact is SahajaYogaWinnipeg@gmail.com.Other Successful Sahaja Yoga meditation MARATHONS initiated by Halton Team.

Burlington’s Cherry Hill Gate trails are Free and Offer Priceless Views

I will let you in on a best kept secret about Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens and a beautiful system of free trails to enjoy. To find Cherry Hill Gate, you simply head for Hendrie Park. You only pay a nominal fee for parking. It is located on plains road (Fairview street turns into Plains Road somewhere after driving west past Mapleview Mall.) Hendrie Park parking lot has a paid entrance where the manicured gardens are but if you head to the opposite, Northwest corner of the parking lot, you will discover an archway with Cherry Hill Gate on it. Bring your tiny black sunflower seeds to feed the birds. You can buy them in the bulk barn stores, or major grocery store. Plain peanuts (unroasted) work too. Be prepared to be amazed as the birds including chickadees, red-winged black birds and even woodpeckers come and eat right out of your hand. There is even one or two squirrels and chipmunks and some other bird types that like to socialize and take advantage of the take out meals in your hand. In the meantime, time stands still as you watch the wildlife, walk the trails, observe the blooms, and breathe honeysuckle in the air. This is one of our favourite places and we have even spotted elusive blue cranes here. Last week, we spent 5 hours here documenting beauty and lilies. It is a great way to refresh your day.

Baby Turtle, RBG, photo by Vlad Vorobyev.

Baby Turtle, RBG, photo by Vlad Vorobyev.

Lilys in June, RBG, Burlington, Ontario. All photos Vlad Vorobyev.

Lilys in June, RBG, Burlington, Ontario. All photos Vlad Vorobyev.

Blooms you don't want to miss at Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Blooms you don’t want to miss at Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Birds hopping across glorious lily pads, quite the show, for those who realize it's all created for our enjoyment.

Birds hopping across glorious lily pads, quite the show, for those who realize it’s all created for our enjoyment.

These Lilys in Ontario remind me of the Lotuses in Asia, decorating the ponds.

These Lilys in Ontario remind me of the Lotuses in Asia, decorating the ponds.

In case you wanted an instant replay, here again are the delicate and mighty lilies blooming this middle of June 2014 on the free trails at RBG.

In case you wanted an instant replay, here again are the delicate and mighty lilies blooming this middle of June 2014 on the free trails at RBG.