Sunday, 27 December 2015

Little yoga routines

Here is a little yoga routine.

Step onto your yoga mat. Good start huh? I think it's the most difficult part.

Stand in mountain pose: Be aware of your beautiful feet. Visualize roots growing from your feet into the earth. Simply breathe.

Sun breaths: turn palms and arms out and upwards on inhale, bring arms down on exhale. Let the breath bring the arms up and down as many times as you like.

Warrior 1: step back with your right leg and bend the left knee. Sink the right heel into the earth. Lift the lower belly and the upper chest. Let the front body open. Bring your arms up. Feel your stability. Feel your openness. Take 5 breaths. Repeat on the others side.

Standing forward bend: stand in mountain pose and let your head roll forward. Feel it's weight and let the head, then the shoulders and arms roll down. Bend the knees slightly. Let your upper body be like a rag doll. Be soft. Breathe deeply. 

Standing folded twist: while hanging forward bring your right hand on the floor in front of your toes. Turn the body and arm to the left and look toward ceiling. Let knees bend. Take 5 breaths and repeat on other side.

Child's pose.


The body is not loved for it's own sake, but because the Self lives in it.

Friday, 20 November 2015


Krishnamurti always talked about needing order in your life. First. You have to have order in your life. I've mused on that for years. Krishnamurti never gave answers, instead he said to look deep, understand for yourself. The last few months I've been putting my house in order. The last few weeks I've been putting my correspondence in order. Correspondence to me isn't just writing letters or emails but checking in with people I haven't seen for a while. And answering emails and following through with something like soup or a coffee.

It's also time to schedule my life from January to April or June if I can. Classes and workshops. I have to gauge my energy for six months. And when I want to have a weekend off or a little visit to see my girls. 

Today is officially my day off. Days off aren't really days off. Does anyone have days off? My days off though are creative days. I cook and eat what and when I want. I plan. I make a lot of lists. And most fun of all I scratch off things I completed. I make tea. I sit in my home clothes. I look out the window. I sit quiet with no rush. I will, I will get to this pile on my coffee table.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The soup days of fall

This may come as a surprise to you - I bought another cookbook. 

3 Times a Day (originally called Trois Fois Par Jour) by Marilou and Alexandre Champagne, a québécois couple. 

The autumn is all about eating soup. And I love really good soup recipes. 
This one is excellent!
Chicken, corn and chorizo chowder. Yummy. I took a photo of the recipe so that I won't rewrite the original because it's perfect. If it's too small for whatever you're using to read it with let me know. 
Bon Appetit. 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Step up

We all have a responsibility to step up and hit the ball. If we sit back and wait for the world to change for us it is never going to happen.     
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Here I am!

I have missed writing my blog. While in Australia, once I stopped I couldn't get going again. There just seemed too much to do, too many plans, too much to organize, etc, even though there was in actuality more time. It seems my head can only hold so much at a time. And I think I like it that way.

I am back at home, teaching yoga and meditation again, happily. My mom is in her own apartment about a five minute walk away. It has been a really long journey. Her health is pretty good. She is now 83 years old. She walks twice a day at a good clip. She drinks her veggies in a smoothie. And bakes and knits. And is happy. Now this is truly a magical thing!

I've been learning that I only have to do my best. I've heard people say that but just hearing something doesn't make it understandable. I'm getting an understating now. Finally. I could have dropped so much angst earlier if only I could have really known that my best was perfection. I just always thought that my best wasn't good enough because I could see that I could have been or done something more. But that was always in hindsight. Given our circumstances in the moment we do our best. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's always enough because that's the way it is. Okay. Now I also know when I'm not doing my best. I didn't get this part before. I'm not doing my best when I am binge watching the third episode of some show on Netflix and I have the thought "I need to get up now" or "Is this really what I want?" It's when, in the moment, I know it's enough and I keep doing it. Oh, beats me, now that I talk about doing my best I'm getting confused. I think my best right now is to stop talking about it. I don't have to say it any better than this because that's all I've got.  In the moment.
Here I am.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Heart hugs

I brought a Wagamese book with me. I just finished reading it. Another wonderful book.
The last while back home my friends have been into heart hugs. Heart hugs are when you hug so your left side touches the other persons left side. It feels awkward to me. I always forget how to hug and it feels unnatural. In the book Keeper'n Me, which tells about the Indyun way of life, it has a different take on heart hugs: 
"That's the thing with hugs.......Make you feel real good all the time. But there's a reason. When we hug someone an' really mean it, we get given a gift by the Creator who sent the person our way. That's the gift of another heartbeat. We feel it on the empty side of our chests when we really squeeze that person close. The old people say when we're really happy that extra heartbeat we feel when we're huggin's helpin' us celebrate. An' when we're full of hurt or sore that extra heartbeat's givin' us the strength we need to get through whatever it is. That's the old way of seein' it. Makes sense to me."

Isn't that just the greatest way of seein' it? The old way!

A green tea latte enjoyed at Caffe Cherry Beans. Watched a gull fight there too. It was awesome but I was so interested in it didn't think to take a photo. Fries were a flyin' around the tables!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


I saw a commercial on television tonight for some special drops for eyes. The man said that when we are at a computer screen for hours our eyes get dry. Because we are not blinking. I notice that my eyes get dry when I am watching a good movie too. I'm too focused to blink much. Apparently these drops line the eye with a moist layer and you don't have dry eyes for up to 4 hours. My question is: wouldn't it be less hassle to just go blinkitty, blink, blink? It works for me. The dryness tells you when to blink more and you can just do it. 

Commercials are much more civilized in Australia than in North America. So far I haven't seen people marching down the street in Depends (adult diapers) or talking about Sam in their pants. Here they march down the street following a woman home with a leg of lamb.

Monday, 4 May 2015

One step

It's just after 8 pm and I'm sitting on the balcony. Mom has gone to bed. It's blissfully quiet except for the traffic which I have gotten used to. It's warm, 23 C.

In the last few days I have felt like I don't know how to do anything. I've been grumbly, exasperated, and upset. I've done my best to accept this of myself and my best to change. Sometimes I think I just have to ride it out. I've been thinking about all the exercises and advice I give other people. Do they work? Is it working?

I went out for a while by myself today and that was wonderful! I came back rejuvenated and had a swim.  No one else is in the pool anymore. They say it's too cold. Lucky me.

But still I ask, what's really going on here? I sat and sat. And sat. I thought about the spiritual path. Is this a part of it? Yes, of course. I like the good bits better. I should know what I'm doing by now! That's the worst of it. I think I should know how to instantly change my mood, snap out of it, put on a good face. Haven't been able to do it.

This path.......isn't it just putting one foot in front of the other? What if I only had to do that? I can take one step. And if I could take the next step with the highest good possible would that be enough? Wow! Eureka! That is all I or anyone can do. The path is under the feet right now. And even though I talk about feet it's an internal path. The path and the step to take is in the ordinary-looking stuff. The next step is just the next step. I only ever need to take one step. How much love can I put into this one step? How can I serve in this next step? The day of course has unfolded wonderfully. For me anyway. At least I can live with myself.

I remember, my teacher, MKI, saying that there are two things required to be free. One is to get on a path that points you back to yourself. And the second thing is to stay on it. That was so helpful because I have found the Bright Path. Not staying on it doesn't even cross my mind anymore. Stubbornness is good in this instance.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Rainy day

It's evening and the storm still rages. This morning we did get out for a short walk to the beach. There was hardly any beach left. The waves were coming in and taking the sand out to sea. I've heard of sheets of rain and that is what it looks like when I look out the window. 100 kilometre high winds.

It was a good day to sort through my mom's stuff. Boxes piled for thrift store, friends, recycling and garbage. It isn't a hard job. I phoned for shipping overseas quotes. This work feels rewarding. We can see it happening. What's hard is that my mom is not having a great day. She feels like she won't ever be well. I don't know how to help. It is amazing how her mood can affect me. Part of me feels I can be in my own mood regardless of hers. But that is not how it's happening. I wish my mood could pick hers up. She seems annoyed when i am perky and happy. I end up being neutral, quiet, a bit closed, and in a protective mode.

I know everything is already okay. Underneath all my apparent angst I know it's all working out perfectly. I surrender. :)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Storm brewing

Both inside and outside we have a storm brewing. :)

Those red things are birds trying to get away from the storm.
The guy below is wanting to come in and dry it's feathers. 
(Friend's house)

Monday, 27 April 2015

Don't get lost

I read something in a novel today:
"No one ever got lost bein' part of somethin'. Only when they're not."
(From Keeper 'n Me, by Richard Wagamese)

All life around us is a part of us. When you are connected to that, there is no separation. No loneliness. No feeling of not belonging. The only way I know how to feel this belonging is to be quiet. To pay attention. To be silent. To feel the peace and silence of this moment. Silence, or peace, or love, or God, is all around and within. To feel that is living life. And being life. It is easy to get lost in the busyness of the little bitty stuff. It is easy to stay lost forever. Just sit for a while and listen. Stay whole.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Nothing special.

I let the day be as it was. In the morning I walked the beach. The surf was high and lots of surfers were lined up past the waves, waiting for the big one. Many found their big one. It is beautiful to watch someone dance with such grace with the waves.

I saw a cartoon once of a stereotypic eastern guru, you know, long beard, long hair, and naked except for a loin cloth, and well, he was surfing. Apparently we're supposed to just ride the waves of life going where they take us. No resisting. Enjoying life as it comes. Hmmmm, we have this idea about surfing that the folks are laid back and living a freedom filled life, I don't know. The surfers I saw today looked pretty intense. They have lots of gear nowadays. No mere loincloth. They are running like crazy for the waves and seem to have a pecking order as they wait for the big one. But I don't know anything about surfing.

I went with mom and her friends to a casino. Not my usual hangout. It was a long ride and I thought to myself that this is going to be a long day. Indoors and in the dark. But luckily, I changed my attitude quickly. Okay, so how wonderful can this day be? I surrendered myself to whatever came. The day ended up being nothing special. And it was also nothing unspecial or boring. It was a wonderful day. There is a great beauty in not wanting things to be different than they are. There is a great power in letting the day unfold and above all - having no judgments about it. It felt like there was no past or future, the day being merely part of the eternal moment.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lest we forget

April 25 is Anzac Day in Australia. It is 100 years after thousands of Australian soldiers lost their lives in Gallipoli and the Australians still pay an amazing tribute to fallen soldiers. At dawn today people gathered at war memorial shrines everywhere. There were afternoon marches and parades with veterans from all wars participating, from age 24 to 100. Descendants marched with their forefathers medals proudly on their lapels. Businesses were closed all morning. It's the amount of people that turned out that really impressed me. 120,000 people in Canberra! That's one third of the city's population. That's at dawn! More than 30,000 in Sydney. 50,000, 90,000 in other cities. Wow! This country's youth participated. 

Watching all this remembrance brought a lump into my throat many times today. I remembered my dad's stories about WW II when I was little. We went fishing and I played with my dolls in the boat while my dad fished. He told all kinds of stories about the war. I listened as I played somehow knowing that he was healing from deep wounds.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Day off

We've had a day off from appointments. I walked on the beach in my bathing suit and am hopefully starting to like a native.

Mom is looking good!

It's magical when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then you just start taking one step and another step, knowing fully that there may be twists and turns when you don't see the light, yet now you know it's there. That is how I feel today.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Waiting can be difficult. Waiting can be easy. I was waiting today in a closed office (no windows). I explored sitting and doing nothing. When I thought of how lucky I was just to sit and no need to do anything, I felt wonderful. I was appreciating the moment of peace and quiet. But if I thought of it as a waste of time then I was annoyed and felt like a victim. How dare I have to sit here. I have more important things to do. I noticed it is always my own perspective that my peace or pain come from. I had no need to flip through magazines or muse on the other people in the waiting room. I have no cell phone with me. Waiting became easy and sweet. Acceptance of the moment is always the key to peace. It is what it is. 

One thing I like to do is soften my eyes as if I am looking out the sides of my head. My breath softens and it's easier to be present. It takes remembering and practice. It takes slowing down. It's too bad we honour busyness, rushing, and more is better.

We sat in the park across the roadway yesterday. Just sat and watched the birds putzing. Mama peacock with her children. And the dad watching nearby.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015



1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg

Combine all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Drop tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet. Use a fork and flatten. Bake 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, 20 April 2015

A practice for posture +

Today my mom and I have had a stressful day. Spending any amount of time in waiting rooms, and talking to doctors, and getting more blood tests on totally bruised arms is stressful for everyone. There are some other health issues now. Hmmm. What to do except breathe and keep going.

There is a soft fresh rain. I walked out near the beach before supper and did some yoga later. Ahhhh, sweet relief on a crazy day! I feel like I got aired out. 

Try this wonderful practice:

Standing in mountain pose, feet parallel and right under your hip joints. Breathe out as you gently stretch your tailbone down towards the floor using your buttock muscles. When you inhale let the breath come into the lower ribs first and telescope up into the whole rib age. This is gentle and uplifting. Try not to lift the shoulders up, rather let them expand out to the sides. If you feel you can't do this standing and breathing like this - then just pretend. Pretend. Practice. And then the moment you know it's working. Wow! This practice is good for posture and helps reduce strain of lower back. On another level it is an antidote for fear. I practiced walking this way today. After some practice shoulders land into the sweet spot where they just drop and there is such a wonderful free rib cage. There are infinite places to practice this: walking, standing in a queue, washing dishes, brushing your teeth. Innovate.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Australian country style

My mom's neighbour, Annette, gave me a humongous pile of Australian magazines to read. I'm in magazine heaven! My favourites are the Country Style ones.

This bit helps put this country style into perspective:
"As is well known, the first Australian settlers were mainly convicts, reluctantly torn from the place they regarded as home and brought against their will, painfully aware of being regarded as undesirable by the rest of their society. Although there were hardened criminals among them, many had been convicted for desperate acts of survival for themselves and their families - small thefts of food or valuables."

"The burning desire to survive became one of the most distinguishing of Australian characteristics. It led to the inventiveness for which this young country has long been renowned. Another great advantage of being stripped of  social 'place' because of exclusion is that the class system that dominated most of the rest of the world never got a very strong grip here. People needed each other's support to survive against huge odds. This sense of mateship that developed early on still sustains us."

"The first vestiges of style emerged in the buildings that were made from available materials. In Sydney, simple cottages, along the familiar lines of the old country, were built from the beautiful golden sandstone on which the city stands. ......further into the country they used slender limbs of gums as struts and supports. Everything that nature provided had a use, mud for plaster between stones or thin strips of wood, and timber sliced for shingles."

"The sun had never been a problem in the settlers' countries of origin. In Australia it was necessary to protect against it and so the verandah was born - a shelter that very simply expanded the living area and allowed the outdoors to be enjoyed without discomfort."

"Within a generation or so the first settlers had become Australians, a new breed of people who were toughened, sunburnt, hard-working, good humoured and fairly forgiving. They were people who never wasted a thing. Empty cans and crates became kitchen cupboards, bedside tables and clothing chests. Chairs, beds and tables legs were made from hardwood twigs, carefully chosen for appropriate size and, where possible, shape."

" being open, inviting, eager to adapt to new ideas and improve their own situation, Australian home-makers have welcomed what is best from and most beautiful from countries all over the world.
Because of a welcoming and open-minded view, this is a country where influences from Japan, Ball, and India co-exist with influences from Spanish South America, and with those from stylish New York, Florence and London as well as from Provence and Tuscany. Yet everything brought here soon acquires the special sense of Australia-ness, the spirit the early settlers bequeathed us. Australian country style arises from its own nature."

The people here have a wonderful relationship with this dry, hot, and beautiful land.

Friday, 17 April 2015


Today we took the brand new tram to get blood work done.
I drank a flat white from McCafe (my first coffee since arriving) and was it ever tasty. It gave me energy to go grocery shopping which was really fun.

I have a love affair with graffiti and wall art.

Mom is looking good!

Isn't this the cutest small sink? In a big country with lots of room :)

Tram station.

Here's me bringing the groceries home. Almost home! 28C but a lovely breeze off the ocean. We were home by noon. Nap time. Yahoo!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I feel landed now.

Awwww, the beach! Finally headed out for a walk on the sand. Oh my! The gorgeous smell, so fresh and clean, and moist and fragrant. It was the most lovely walk and I don't know how anyone would want to leave this paradise. I don't think everyone knows that I am in Australia. Paradise Waters. Taking care of my mom and bringing her home to Canada. This morning I thought it would be great if her whole family moved to Australia instead. It's warm and beautiful. All the time. I plan to enjoy it while I am here.
Mom out for an early morning walk around the block.

My feet in the ocean.

This is Paradise. When I got home I went in the hot tub and then a swim in the pool. I feel like a new woman. Very warm today. 29 C. It's the fall season. 

We've worked too......signing forms to sell condo, organizing some repairs, cooking healing food. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Mom's home

My mom is home from hospital!
She is doing well. We went for a long walk today. Ate soup. Watching a Walt Disney movie on television.
I just got my wifi set up. I couldn't email for days and was having withdrawals. My fingers were itchy!
I bought a Modem and Prepaid Sim pack. Works well!

So, hello my friends!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

On my way

I am shortly leaving for the airport to journey to Australia. I had a dream last night of sitting in between 2 sumo wrestlers on the plane. For all 16 plus hours. Well, I can just lean over and rest my head anywhere.

Don and I started our morning with oatmeal and ended with cake.

Life is an adventure. We've all heard that. I really feel that tonight. But in day to day life when there is the same general routine every day, every week, it's not easy to notice that life is an adventure. I often ask the question, "how can it get better than this?" Try it. It's amazing. 

Today we were walking and I saw Paramananda and Shanti on the street corner.  They live in Kitsilano and rarely come to downtown Vancouver. I know about 5 people here besides the kids and there they are walking towards me. It was surreal. They are two Ishaya teachers. And yesterday I literally bumped into a third person I know from Thundef Bay. Wlow! Stay alert. Stay amazed.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

My friend

I sit in bed looking out at the early morning, the sun waking up the ocean and mountains. People are bustling to work. Birds are flying overhead with tufts of nesting supplies. There is aliveness everywhere. Everything is beautiful. 

Yet, my heart feels wobbly. I feel as if there is hand on my heart pulling tears out of me. My dearest friend, Aksara, passed away yesterday. I cry because I will never talk and laugh with her again. I cry for the sadness of a great many people who will miss her, her husband, her daughter and newly born grandson, and her big Ishaya family.

I met her on a ferry on Georgian Bay in August 2006. I loved how she looked. Unique of course. Confident. Joyful. We shared our business cards. She called me "darling".  We became each other's fans. We visited each other. We spent time on the phone. We linked arms and giggled at retreats. We loved each other as sisters and we both knew it.

Aksara means the "keeper of Om". Om is everywhere and in everything. She was a nester. She loved making a home. She could make a home anywhere  She taught me about realness like the velveteen rabbit was taught by the other toys. She was a mighty real human being. I always knew where I was with her. She told me when I annoyed her. She told me when I did good. I shared with her more acutely about life and and love than anyone.

Once, we sat together in my sauna. We sat quietly for a while. She asked me if I liked my belly. I said no. I asked her if she liked hers. She said no. Everything was okay. And we sat in the silence together.
Aksara, my friend, I will meet you in the silence.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Morning in Vancouver


View of early morning - Coal Harbour - Vancouver

Stanley Park - tree growing on stump
Stand like a tree. The bottoms of the feet growing roots deep, deep into the earth. Feel the pulse and rhythm of the rich ground beneath. Stand rooted. Steady. Stable. Feel like you belong. And be comfortable.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Last night at home

I had the last supper with the boys, Don, my brother Harri, Buk, and Felix. 
Very little is packed. A suitcase with room to spare. I have some luxuries packed - big earphones, essential oils, yoga mat. As I wait for my hair to dry after the sauna, I notice the strangest feeling. I don't know what it is and I don't mind. My heart feels open. It is a special moment sitting with Felix, who looks a bit worried since he knows we're leaving. It seems that the whole world is standing still in anticipation. I guess it is always this way but I rarely notice. Tomorrow Vancouver.