Friday, 24 January 2014

This is the real thing

I am teaching a big Teaching this weekend. A teaching that guides us inward to our own true nature.
It really is a bright path. A path of joy. Though it isn't for the faint of heart.
I feel so blessed and so loved. And so lucky to have found this teaching.

I will be talking about, exploring, and playing with:

Wow. This is beauty. This is the real thing. This moment. The spaciousness of beingness.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Sit down

Sometimes you just have to sit down and relax. You can't get into trouble. You can listen. You can watch the world doing its thing. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014


"The function of words is to excite an interest in having the experience. After having the experience there is no need for the words". 
Dawn Jordan 

Photo of Brian Froud's Fairy Calendar

Thursday, 16 January 2014


Doesn't this look like some decadent, rich, chocolatey dessert?
It's snow under lamplight. 
It's a magical world out there tonight. Blizzardy. Quiet streets. And me. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Be gentle

I heard a story about the Dalai Lama at a Buddhist's teachers' retreat. There was a discussion between the teachers about the differences amongst the eastern teachers and the western teachers. That there was much more self violence and self denigration amongst the western teachers. They had more a sense of not being good enough in their basic beingness. The Tibetans attending did not have this inherent lack of self worth, even though they had the same struggles with life and with meditation. Underneath all that they knew they were worthy. The Dalai Lama didn't know this. He does now and talks about this often. The western folk being really hard on themselves whether they are meditation teachers, or students, or people who know nothing about meditation or any spirtitual teachings. 

Wow! It is amazing to me, that with all our opportunites, this basic lack of self worth is rampant. How sad. And what a big show we put on to look like we are all flowing in love and happiness.

Be glad. Be gentle. Celebrate every single moment of life. As it is. Take delight in what's happening right now. Really, really rejoice each time you notice what you are doing. Rejoice when you notice you've taken a step backwards. Or when you feel really stupid. That is a beautiful moment. You are conscious. You see what you've done or what you are doing. Feel your own nakedness. And be gentle. Feel like a little puppy that needs to be trained to see. (Or not to pee). And each step is a part or it whether it looks like progress or not. Hitting the puppy over the head because he failed isn't helpful. In fact, it's a backward step and cements the feeling of not good enough. So, rejoice when you notice that you are hard on yourself. Be gentle. And then more gentle. Start right now. Laugh at your own seriousness. 
Photo by CharlieClayton

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Love your tummy

Oh, oh, oh! I just ate again! And my belly feels happy. The belly loves but we don't often love our bellies. Actually, we don't want to have any! But what we do have - well, we are pointing at it - and usually with our middle fingers.

Here is a wonderful remedy for both loved and unloved bellies. It's an ayurvedic massage.

A stomach massage twice a day, first thing in the morning and again at bedtime not only reduces fat deposits and cellulite around the abdomen, but also strengthens and tones the muscles. (Do not massage the stomach, if pregnant, or have ulcers, or heart problems).

Stomach massage is also an excellent method for reducing the effects of stress. The stomach and solar plexus (the second and third chakras) are major depositories for toxins, since most of us hold unexpressed emotions in our guts. And because the 72,000 nadis converge at the navel, abdominal massage stimulates energy flow throughout the body. It also balances the elements of water and fire, which are seated in these chakras. Other benefits include relief from chronic constipation, improved digestion, and improved kidney function.

Pour massage oil directly onto your belly button area. With your fingers, gently massage the navel in a clockwise circle. Then, using your palm, slowly make the circles bigger until you have massaged the entire abdominal region. Reverse direction, and slowly make the circles smaller until you are back at the navel. Take one minute to massage clockwise, and one minute, counterclockwise.

Use a good food grade oil: Sesame oil, Almond oil, or Sunflower oil, perhaps with a few drops of essential oil. I used my spruce needle in olive oil preparation that I made earlier in year.

From a clipping from a copy of Yoga International

Oh yeah! I got some love in my tummy.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Oat Scones

Even with the balmy weather (`--2C) today, I still feel like I need warm, soft, fresh from the oven goodness. These scones are great! They are from one of my favourite cookbooks: Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone by Deborah Madison. It's like the bible of vegetarian cooking.

Oat Scones (regular or gluten free)

1 cup rolled oats, plus extra for the counter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour**** see note below for my gluten free substitution
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk or cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

****Instead of the flour I used:
1 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup potato starch
and you'd never even know it was gluten free

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter with two knives or your fingers until coarse crumbs are formed. Beat the egg with the milk and the vanilla and stir it into the dough. Mix just enough to moisten the dry ingredients evenly. Scatter some oats on the counter and turn the dough on top of them. Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick, then cut into eight wedges and place each piece on the pan. Bake until nicely browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.

P.S. I put parchment paper on a pan and just patted the dough onto it in a circle and used a knife to cut into wedges but left them as they were. When it was baked I just cut along the lines again. It seemed easier.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Parable of Taganga

I don't know if you can see the cartoon below well enough to enjoy it. It was in today's paper. I don't get the paper but the local grocery store gives one out for free with purchase, so when I get it I read more than I would if it was a daily happening.

Another article in the paper, by W. Gifford-Jones, talked about not letting the over abundance of stress dominate the new year. This little story, The Parable of Taganga, was a part of the article.

A U.S. investment advisor was visiting a small fishing village in Columbia called Taganga.  As he strolled along the pier, a fisherman appeared with his daily catch. The basket contained four tilapia.

When the American was told the fish had been caught quickly he said, 'So why didn't you catch more fish?' The fisherman replied, 'This is all I need to feed my family.'

So the American asked, 'How do you spend the rest of the day?' The Columbian answered, 'I have a siesta with my wife, play with my children, talk with friends, drink a little wine or sing with my amigos. It's a good life.'

The American then suggested, 'You could fish longer, sell the fish and with more money buy another boat and soon have your own fleet of ships. Eventually you cut out the middleman and sell straight to the distributor. You could become so successful you'd end up in New York City running your tilapia empire, have a public stock offering and become filthy rich.'
'How long would this take?' the fisherman asked.

'Maybe 25 years,' the American replied.

'But what would I do then?' the Columbian asked.

The investment advisor replied, "This is the best part. You could retire, move to this quaint fishing village. Then you could fish, enjoy siestas with your wife, play with your children, sip wine and sing with your amigos.'

Well, it makes you laugh, but don't we forget to just look at the big picture sometime?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Superior shores

We drove down the coast of Lake Superior today. We had lunch in Grand Marais at Harbour light cafe..?..I've forgotten the name. Right across the road from Angry Trout. It had the best, the best wood fired oven pizza!


Every new year I have the desire to be different. To do things like I have always wanted to do things but never got around to it. I feel entrenched in living a certain way. I have my habits. I have ideas about how I should be. I have looked at these ideas and the way I do things and I wonder why I do things that I don't want to do. Even when, at the moment, I know I don't want to do something, an invisible hand makes me do it.  Or so it seems. Habit. Hmmmm. I want a new habit. I know that if I start doing something new and I keep doing it - then the new takes hold and the old falls away. One pointedness is required. I can't have two opposing wishes. 

My teacher doesn't listen to excuses. There is only now. Press the restart button. At any moment the restart button is available to be pushed. Just remember. 

This is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. 

Know what you want more than anything else. The supreme desire. Happiness. Peace. Joy. Love. Contentment. Freedom. Remember it. Head in that direction by choosing for it. Asking the question - is what I am doing bringing me closer to my supreme desire?

I don't think I have to worry or wonder so much about the little things. On my good days they are all little things! On the other days I just remember.  And press the restart button. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Bun warmer

It is cold here in northern Ontario! I feel like an astronaut in all my gear when walking outside. Slowly. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Turning the whole body to look behind. It's been more than -40 C!

The coldest part of my body tends to be my behind. I knit myself a bun.....bum warmer. I've tested it and it works well. You can also cut the arms and shoulders off an old sweater and use the bottom as a miniskirt. It has to be wool to be warm enough. 
Now I feel like a hot northern chick : )