Meditation Basics: Follow Your Heart

Perhaps the only thing I feel qualified to lead is meditation. That’s because there are no ‘rules,’ and if there are- they are made to be transcended. They are made to be broken.

There are properties and principles that come along with meditation. These are important to understand as to give a greater reason to meditate and not go off seemingly ‘woo-woo’ advice.

1. How meditation functions

The modus operandi of meditation is through ‘the heart.’ As cliche as it may sound, this is a good metaphor to experiencing your true, authentic nature. The functioning principles of ‘the heart’ are such, as the antithesis of the mind. As human beings, we function in an authentic reality when our heart and head align- when what we feel is right for us, is the same as what we do. Some people call this ‘balance,’ but I prefer: ‘alignment.’

Our hearts have no words, but our minds create words and labels. These words can explain our feelings, stemming from the ‘heart,’ or true self of non-judgement. When our words are muddled and negative, or convoluted and confused, we are out of alignment with our true nature and we are misconstruing something in translation between the heart and the head.

By default, the mind is clever, it is logical, it is mechanical. Our hearts are abstract, emotional, and flowing. Our minds are the ‘how-to blogs’ we read, the standardized tests we fill out, the mechanism’s design book. Our hearts are the poetry blogs, the motivation/pressure before the test, and the energy that both starts the mechanism and creates the momentum which results from the mechanical system as a whole- the passion and the ‘chi.’

We need both head and heart to live a harmonious human experience: to operate and to function.

2. The law of balance/alignment

The law of balance is seen on a micro scale in the yin and yang symbol. Through a greater investigation, it is seen on a macro scale. When the Tao by LaoTsu was written, so too were The Dialects by Confucius. This ripped a nation apart with Tao vs Dialect followers. These books have the same inherent content and morals, but were written with different tones and structures. The Tao was written in a poetic, abstract, heart-centered way, and The Dialects were written in a logical, mechanical, head-centered way. The prior is the feminine half, characteristics of the yin. And the following is the masculine half, characteristics of the yang. The two together, create the yin-yang symbol of harmony.

This is quite relevant to how meditation works- the combination of these two writings are a head and heart alignment, and, would have been a national alignment, if these concepts were understood as harmonious, rather than opposing.

The understanding of such things, is found through meditation and aligning the head and the heart- ‘balance’ and harmony.

3. So how?

The how-to of meditation is up to you. Only you know how far away you are from your center of ‘head-heart’ alignment. You figure this out, by silencing your mind, and giving less judgement to your words and thus, lesson the labels you put to explain your feelings.

It is from a point of blankness, you will be able to hear yourself authentically.

I feel the ‘rules’ and guided meditation are great to get you to a place of relaxation. But they can also be turn-offs because it defies the point of meditating to authenticity, where there really are no ‘rules.’

Outside guides can only take your meditation so far. It is one’s personal ability to take this silence to the next level. And only the individual will know how, when and where. One will have the inner knowing to instinctively follow their inner nature, as soon as they come to a relaxed mental state.

So once you find your silence, break the rules- all of them. Find your clarity, your peace, your own truth.

Transcend everything you thought you knew.

In short, it is my understanding that meditation is a completely individualized practice and will vary from soul to soul, person to person.

While these are my truths, they may be understood differently by another.

I urge, find your way.



Haiku Weave- Healing

Ensuing trauma

Begs to forget shards of glass

Along the highway


Ensuing trauma

Begs to forget lack of flight

Against the obsessed


Ensuing trauma

Begs to forget doctors’ hands

Anesthesia’s fright


Forgetting thus ensues

Regret begging to forgive

The imperfections


The Warrior’s Path

A surreal story about the warrior’s task to heal.
By: Brooke Gallagher
Brick by brick she layers up the frame for defense;
Blocking cheap shots, whilst she remembers: god’s givens, great logics, and some common sense
This wall she builds binds her yet blocks,
Strong enough to withstand immediate blows – weak when they chain her and jimmy the locks
It is a systematic protection,
Self preservation, an anti-detection,
For those empathetic stabs once felt in her core,
And the sympathetic healing once given to the world

It’s a buffering so trite, she bends and does not break
Seems to be a reflection of a warrior—so firm, as she stares into the lake
She knows she’s done well at ignoring the wrongs and denying her doubt
Yet the lake had no praise and warned out loud:
“My girl, you must know your path”
She stared the reflection back and let out a roaring laugh:
“My path is one of give and take.
For I give what I take and I get what I may.”
Yes it is true: her path is one of give and take
But she knows it’s a gift of vanity, for merely taking’s sake

Astray she went, off into her haze
As the lake’s wisdom began to fade:
“That is the heart of the commoners’ mistakes;
For the health of the weary relies on another’s fate.”
She carried on, went about her day,
Came across a rolling meadow that seemed to get in her way
She’d prefer to ignore the beauty that runs about,
She closes off the senses: chases the quiet and ignores the loud
She locks eyes with her ego, withering with this tricky bruise
Then that ego spins a tale in remembrance of a past awful ruse
Her perception blazes her soul, destroying the ticking minute,
Yet the surroundings continue to respect her in each passing instant
The ego points her ahead on her path, and there comes this great wall,
She shatters it with her fierce stare, as her own force catapults her to a fall;
Then there he was, soft and hard, all at once
She put her fists up, and took a mighty lunge
She wasn’t yet midair, when that monster of a time ago
Hit her with a mystic block, some emotional heart-heated blow
He had coward in his own palms, and let out a piercing cry:
“I built those walls so I could run and hide!”
Somewhere within her beating chest,
She felt his words and heard his cry;
She was jolted off, thrown back- but was met with a test
She sat there for a moment, gathering her thoughts
Slightly bewildered, and.. slightly shocked
Her head was dizzy, she didn’t feel right,
She felt too much emotion, expecting a fight of the physical kind

This monster stayed hovered in the corner, as the girl quipped: 
“But you… you’re a monster, you must fight when the time hits,
Yet you are scared and tame!
You act as tho you are in a frightful pain!
I don’t understand why you act this lame!
You have jagged teeth and a wild mane!”
The monster shivered back to this warrior in disguise:
“I’ve lived in your thoughts, been held back and forced to hide
There’s no greater danger for I than understanding my opponent,
For my winning odds and anger die in that same moment!
If I tore you apart after knowing your heart,
My own soul would be both a target and death in a dart.”
She sat there in struggle, feeling the blow
Thought to herself, she should stay and feel, so she immediately wanted to go
Head amuck, body still thrown,
She bravely stood up, and agreed to know-
If not by intrigue, perhaps by sense,
but it was certain that she originally, had come for less
She left that scene, in her own head;
Broken walls and a monster- left better than dead
With an understanding breeding the light,
As standing firm is only for the light in contrite
She knows, she already knows:
The wisdom of the heavens and the way she must go,
For a warrior fights when they must stand, but holds peace whenever they can
Able to see justice and trusts, but knows the lay of the lands

They catch tears of all others, not to forget the monsters- but forgiving the attacks
They walk about the meadows, observe the surroundings and pay respects back
They take what they’re given, in a natural acceptance,
Deep in a reciprocal freedom, shallow of repentance

With a future that is never certain, built on a moment that never lasts
She now knows her path, for she clearly observed her powerless past
She clings to nothing other than her faith and integrity in love
Avoiding nothing—not the monsters within or that understanding of
Feeling it to heal it: she embraces those inevitable, yet impermanent falls
She still fights for her life: breaking down ever-constructing walls
When there is no chore in the art of giving,
When giving is simply the pleasure of living,
That will be the day this warrior is mended
And that will be the day this warrior has ascended

A Note to my Unborn Babes

To my unborn babes:

You are love. And may you always believe me when I remind you.

Life may be what you make it. But even so, sometimes it feels like you can’t win, like all the odds are against you, or like lightening strikes on a sunny day. Sometimes, you can’t seem to make life anything. There will even be times you can’t remember how to smile, maybe for just mere moments, but, oh babes, sometimes, even weeks.

But I want you to wonder- who hasn’t been there? Because you are never alone. And neither are they.

And the days of your life, they may seem vast and plenty- but life can be short for some. I pray with every essence of my being that you my dears will be safe and your days will be plenty. Because at the end of the day… life is quite sunny- it is actually full of sunshine… and I promise, if you go outside to seek the sun, you’ll never find how bright you truly are. Seek within and without. Don’t forget yourself.

hand holding feet of baby

I have found that it’s easy to lose yourself when you forget yourself. Don’t go there- just don’t. Don’t forget yourself.

And I don’t know who you are, I simply know what you are. May these words be your anchor in the life you decide to forge, and in the person you decide to become; may they welcome you every morning with a strike of sunlight and greet you just the same, each night, when you wave the moon farewell.

Don’t forget what you are.

  1. Your sole responsibility is to protect your own soul.

Sometimes your only responsibility is to protect your own soul. Sometimes you may be living free, but other times your soul may be living poor- just remember you still always have at least one responsibility- and that is to protect your own soul.

I don’t care at what cost, I don’t care who’s feelings get hurt or who’s ego get’s bruised when you say “No.” Just say it. I don’t even care who gets let down by you not showing up- sometimes you have to not show up for someone else, in order to show up for yourself.

And I don’t care who you ignore or who you can’t please- if it means protecting your own heart, your own soul, then you’ve done right by you, and that’s really all you need to do.

2. People can be the horrible, but they can also be wonderful.

Oh, how I have struggled to forgive. Oh, how I have sworn loved ones off and wished to escort them straight to the gates of hell. But those feelings don’t last. We are ever changing, ever-evolving beings, and that means: how we feel now, may not be how we feel next year.

Some people think this wavering personal perspective is resemblant of a weak being- it’s not. It’s a human being type of thing. We get angry, until we are wise enough to understand the other side of the street. And that seeming imperfection is beautiful, and is, actually, imperfect in the least.

For you, I wish, the path to be as simple as it is fluid- an ebb and flow, learning to trust yourself but to discern between this moment and the possibility of the next.

3. Be vulnerable as if your life depends on it.

Because it does. And so does ours. Transparency is key. Knowing you may be wrong is key. But knowing you may also be right is key. It is the mechanism which unlocks another’s chain.

You are here to connect. You are here to connect. You are here to connect.

What is life in only the vanity of one’s own eyes?

If not for them, I beg of you, authentically, live for you.

4. Do not take things personal.

Ever. You are you. And that is quite enough. It’s not your responsibility or even your right to know what someone else thinks of you. Again, it is your responsibility to know you… to protect you.

5. Don’t believe everything you hear.

But do give it a possibility to exist.

“Be slow to speak, quick to listen:” this is a good example; I believe this is accurate for the greater world, in which we live… but for those you love- hold nothing back- live free, authentically, and with SPARK. Bring you into their life and let reciprocal love ROAR.

Be fearless.

But, discern who you can be fearless with.


6. Don’t forget the laws and ways of ‘balance.’

A healthy, even meal, a little heaven and a little hell, yin and yang, a lot of light and a lot of dark, pain for gain, mind and body, emotion and logic, live and let live… strive for the middle path by knowing the set law of the Earth: balance.

this world is created ‘of’ balance and it is sustained through balance, as explained so eloquently in the Tao. Balance is within everything. If you get high, you will crash. Just as if you jump up, you will then, come back down. You can be the predictor of your own outcome with this logic in mind.

I truly love you, my unborn(s). And I don’t know if I’ll ever get to meet you. I don’t know if there is a future baby to be born from my womb.

But if we were to meet- what a glorious day that would be.

With your little hand and your big heart, I hope to guide you through this world of unknowns- unknowns that seem as friends to you, and as fears, to me.

Keep that childish wonder, and you’ll be ok… check that wonder with discernment, and oh, darlings how you’ll thrive.

Lastly, always remember what you are.

With love and respect, from your future mama,

Brooke Ashley


The Greatest Gift: A Letter to Self

Maybe you need to hear this.

Maybe you need to believe this:

You are enough.

You, the one who cares about others so much that their opinion of you means more than your opinion of you. You, the one who humbly doubts herself, the one who tries to better herself based on what ‘better’ people believe is better.

You, the one who doesn’t give up, the one who constantly fights to align herself with other ‘selfs.’ You, the only one and original you, the one who only knows of the greatness in her day dreams, and the pain in her nightmares.

You- the one in between the day and the night and the light and the dark- This is my letter to you.

Dear Self,

Perhaps the greatness outside is not exposed until you honor the greatness inside. And perhaps, the greatness in life is not to prove you are worthy, but to know you already are.

Maybe amazing things can happen when you love yourself most. Maybe the change you need, is no change at all. Maybe you should start believing yourself when you know you’re enough, and to start ignoring yourself when you think ‘they may be right.’ Maybe no dream is too great and no pain is too hard.

To know that you don’t need to prove anything, is the greatest gift you could ever receive. So give it.

‘You can’t please everybody.’ But you can please somebody, and I hope that somebody is YOU.

Today, I choose one thing- and that is, to please you.

I choose to value you more than the value I lose when calculating against another’s currency.

Today, and always, you are enough.

Truly, yours,


She is Nature

There is a system to all of this.

For there she was, a part of nature, a recognizable sight, a pattern and a piece of the puzzle, all at once. She followed a systematic approach to building, and to existing, and to creating her own life.

She was nature.

But she did not know.

Everyday, she would reminisce of her innocence, her innocence of many moons ago. Then, she would recognize the wear that each new day had brought. It was like a ritual, for the brainwashed. She thought of her growth, as the days wore on: one begets two and two begets three.

Her soul was like a sculptor’s dream, chiseled and raw, nothing a sharp object couldn’t better define.

She believed that she needed to know. She needed to know the truth, the truth on how we were all made: who came before the beginner? She was not at ease. She felt that she had a stark inability to justify life.

Was this God created or a scientific plight?

These questions, these existential proddings, led her to an isolation in the desert lows. She let the world go, and she became more right, than ever before. This tipi, this place she still calls home, it is all that she truly knows. For, it is the only thing, she is certain, was good for her growth.

It was there, that she found The Tao.

The way of existence.

The way of her heart.

She understood less than ever. Her logical mind was put to ease, as she screamed with an internal relief:

She knew nothing… and that seemed, remarkably, okay.

What once felt like a mission to abort, her life, was now an adventure to explore.

Exploring to her, was unusual, in a sense. It did not mean: gathering knowledge of mysterious sights. It meant, living in mystery, among the logical fights; it was more about what’s yours is mine, and less about judgements or wrongs versus rights.

It was balance.

It was magic.

It was a whole new world.

And it was merely her nature, which had led The Way.