If You Give a Moose a Mantra Or Early Chanter Gets the Moose*


The sound of splintering trees roused me from my pre-dawn mantra on the front porch.  Twigs snapping from across the street– was a tree falling down? It was my morning sadhana in downtown Amherst, MA and the July sun was just starting to peek through the trees.  I was chanting Sat Siri Siri Akal - eyes closed - focused up and in.  I slowly opened my eyes, witnessing a moose making its way onto Beston Street from the trees, right there, on our quiet, in-town, dead-end street.  It felt dreamy and took a moment to register. I jumped up and with iPhone in hand to get a picture as they trotted through my neighbor’s yard, dog barking from her house.  The sounds of twigs breaking was my compass. 

It was my first moose sighting ever - anywhere. I’ve always wanted to see one.  The moose found me – on my porch, 5:20 am, chanting with birds – a five minute walk from coffee shops and restaurants. It found me when I wasn’t looking.  It was a present and I was giddy.  A moose on Beston Street.

I turned to my Spirit Animal oracle cards – by Jamie Sams and David Carson.  I tuned in – sat myself on the back stoop with feet on the earth.  Was the moose a gift for me? If it was, I should draw the moose card.  I spread the cards in front of me, flipped a card without a thought and there it was. Moose.  I held my face in my hands, taking it in.  The gift of moose medicine. 

According to Jamie Sam’s and David Carson, moose is a powerful animal and the message is a pat on the back.  “If you have chosen the moose card, you have reason to feel good about something you have accomplished in your journey. This may be a habit you have broken, a completion of some sort, an insight on a goal or a new sense of self that you have fought hard to earn.  It is a time of feeling harmonious pride and of recognizing those that have aided you in the process.  One good exercise in moose medicine is to write down things that you can love about yourself and your progress in life.  Then apply these same things to friends, family, coworkers and life.  Don’t forget to share the findings with others.  They need the encouragement as much as you do.”

What do I love about myself and my progress in life? Okay Moose. I’ll do it.  Please join me and get out a piece of paper.  What do you love about yourself and the progress you have made on your journey?  I love:

ü  The healing home that I created – that holds those that enter it.

ü  Colors and wearing whatever I want.

ü  Braids.

ü  Connection with nature.

ü  My Cats Nico, Rascal and Kit Kat and my dog Jack and how our relationship has evolved.

ü  Willingness to go deep and look at the tough stuff with humble, honest, brave eyes.

ü  My discipline.

ü  Writing, pondering, dreaming.

ü  A new normal of accepting (more frequently) the way things are. Going with the flow. Not forcing things to happen.

ü  Learning what wellness and self-care are.  

ü  That a bad day or a bad moment is just that – a moment.

ü  My dreams.

ü  Adventures that I create.

ü  Volunteering

ü  My relationship with my kids.

ü  Accepting that even though I think I don’t know what I’m doing or what is happening or why I’m doing things I’m doing – that I do know.  And starting to get it - I know what I’m doing. That’s called trust.  I love that I’m starting to trust myself.  There. Said it. 

Moose Medicine shows me that when I work to heal myself, I’m better equipped to heal others.  And when I create a healing space for myself and my family – others feel it - the Air BnB-ers feel it.  They describe a peaceful, relaxed energy of the house; greenery; snuggly cats and appreciate windows opened on a summer night – letting the outside in and the inside out.   Travelers come together at Rosehip26 and one of us has something important to share with another – about healing, mourning, creating a business, traveling or a passion.  We share books, insights, life experiences, adventures, and often, a love for cats!  I’ve had over 300 guests from all over the world.  Every person for a reason.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo – I bow to the teacher’s all around me.   Thank you to all my teachers – SiriNam, Haleya and Thom, Wendy, family, coworkers, neighbors and friends. Thank you mother earth.  Thank you Moose.



*Second Title credit goes to Shirley Griffin, my neighbor – I love that I can have two titles if I want.


About Rosehip26

Rosehip26 is an Air BNB, Reiki Integrative Touch and Kundalini Yoga offering from Janet Howard.  Located in downtown Amherst, MA, Rosehip26 is for rest, relaxation and healing.   Visitors may join Janet for her morning Sadhana – her kundalini practice and some Sunday mornings at White Barn Studio. Check page for schedule details.   Reiki, integrative touch and multi-dimensional healing is available by appointment.  Learn more about how a healing touch can aid in total health, letting go, turning a page, stress/pain management and relaxation. 



Connecting the Dots with Vibration


A lot of my kundalini life is solo—doing my thing pre-dawn, my cat Nico and me. I peer out the window during mantra: “What color is the world out there today?” It looks whitish gray with a tinge of blue or green or lavender, slowly waking up outside. I heard a new bird song this morning when it was still dark. It had a long clear tone. A long, clear singular tone. It made its way to me, to my sadhana, in my little room, with Nico, my cat. My soul peers out and observes the world waking up to spring and receives the bird song.

This predawn discipline is for me, even if I’m traveling or with family. It’s my primary commitment to myself, every day. No matter what’s going on or where I am or how late I stay up, it happens. It’s as sure as the tide. I can’t miss just one day. So I retire early if I can. I pass on evening festivities. But I often return home exhausted, with not enough sleep.

Reading a blog on 3HO, I digest thoughts that are familiar and resonating. It brings tears of comfort to my eyes. I’m not the only one on a journey—a journey to I don’t know where—inward, outward, in, up and out. When I teach yoga and chant with others, it’s different than when I’m alone. The energy is stronger and fills the space. I observe those joining in and see how open they are to trying something different, leaving their comfort zone. When we get the giggles after an intense mantra with challenging mudras, I love that. And I love hearing how it made them feel and what they experienced.

A kundalini community helps me feel less alone in the adventure. My heart, my soul keep me moving through the unknown. With darkness inside me and pain still finding its way out, I end the sadhana lighter and at peace. And today, as I chanted Guru Ram Das Chant, the outside hue was pale yellow, because the creamy blossoms on a dogwood tree were just opening up.

I know others are doing the same across our beautiful planet. It’s something that connects us—dots on a globe connected by vibration. We may look different, we may feel differently, we are in different landscapes and seasons.  Some are alone, some with others. Some are in a good place, others feel numb, scared or sad and are struggling through life changes.

On business trips, in airports, with kids running around, at work or at home, sadhana is the consistent thread. The energy swirls, shifts and releases out the window. And we accept life, however it is today. We chant, wherever we are and connect in vibration—naad. A flowing current that lifts, heals and elevates our voices.

I like to imagine that—little dots or stars spread across the globe, connected by vibration. All at peace together, having done bow poses, cat cows, ego eradicators and shoulder shrugs, and chanted to the stars and the changing hues at dawn. And we join a bird song, together.

At the end, feeling peaceful within, I imagine equality for all and love for all living creatures and pray for protection of our earth mother. I send out prayers for my children, anyone sick or struggling. I pray for dolphins, whales and sea turtles. For rocks, trees and dirt. And for my sacred path. I ask what I can do for the planet in this lifetime, what I can do for others. I ask for any messages for the day and support in taking my next steps

With the final tone, with an exhale and hands at heart center, I give and receive peace—in community. Heal ourselves, heal the world. Sat Nam.

Note: My assignment for blogging for 3HO (kundalini blog at www.3ho.org) was  “From Isolation to Connection & Community.”

 “Sometimes each person's load can only be taken collectively. Collectively we can pull the weight. We have a collective strength in us, hand in hand, in friendship, in the love, and in the affection. Do not keep things to yourself and say, ‘I cannot.’ There is nothing you cannot do.”
Yogi Bhajan 10/5/01

Isolation can be by choice or by circumstance. If you are the only Kundalini Yogi in your town or state or country, you may feel isolated from your spiritual community. The good news is that through the mindful use of social media, you can be connected and feel part of a family of like-minded souls. And attending the occasional Solstice, White Tantric Yoga® course, or other yogic event builds connection and community, even if you are the only Kundalini yogi living in your area. 

Some may choose isolation from social interactions, even while living in an inspiring spiritual community. But humans are hardwired to interact with others. When we are socially isolated, we lack emotional support, friendship, and a sense of belonging and connection. And all kinds of opportunities may pass us by because we aren’t reaching out.

“By isolation, you block all the opportunities, all the wealth, all the happiness and everything which should come to you and belong to you. You put your shields up and nothing can enter. If you are open, wide, honest, giving, receiving, smiling, and kind, even God can walk into you. 
-Yogi Bhajan 7/19/94