“Once we understand that spiritual life is about being who we are…

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(exuberance at the beach–see it truly is in the air;)  )

“Once we understand that spiritual life is about being who we are in the kingdom of God, which is everywhere, then everywhere we walk is holy ground.  Mother Earth is blessed by our divine presence, and she is blessing us.  We never leave the spiritual world:  it is everywhere when we have spiritual vision and observe the sacredness of all of life.  We are never separated from our Beloved, who is always with us and loves us beyond measure.  God is everywhere, and we are like fish swimming in the ocean but not noticing the ocean because that is all there is.”  Terry Cole-Whittaker from “Live Your Bliss”

Numerous things I have read have said this same thing…that this love, these blessings, are all around us–and many continue on by saying that because we are not being still, we do not notice their tiny, subtle whispers.  For me it is intuitive guidance that whispers “it would behoove you to…”  It demands nothing.  It is always there.  It will always be there, just like the love and magic that surrounds us, but it is up to us to become aware of it and and look at our world with spiritual eyes and put our intention out to tap into it, honor it, and act on the information it gives us.

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meditation “can increase the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, telomerase” which can keep the body from breaking down

Many people are discussing the benefits of meditation, including how it is beneficial to keeping the body healthy and that meditation is where you find God/Universal Spirit/Creator/Om.  I believe in meditation.  I believe it is the way.  That is where you discover and know who YOU are in that quiet still space and you take that YOU with you when you go out into the world –and start getting affected by everybody else’s energy (like the cashier who’s boss yelled at her, the couple who’s having an argument, etc.)  Just keep showing up–some days are blissful and some days the brain will not stop chattering away and it’s all fine.

Anyway, the book “Super Brain” by Deepak Chopra M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. (the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School) is very informative and interesting and has this to say about meditation:

“It turns out that anti-aging is a gigantic feedback loop that lasts a lifetime…In 2010 an exciting joint study from the University California at Davis and UC San Francisco revealed that meditation leads to an increase in a crucial enzyme called telomerase.  At the end of every chromosome is a repetitive chemical structure called a telomere, which acts like the period at the end of a sentence–it closes off the chromosome’s DNA and helps to keep it intact.  In recent years the fraying of telomeres has been connected to the breakdown of the body as it ages.  Due to imperfect cell division, telomeres get shorter, and the risk emerges that stress will degrade a cell’s genetic code.  Having healthy telomeres seems to be important, and therefore it’s good news that meditation can increase the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, telomerase.

“This research sounds highly technical, mainly of interest to cell biologists,  But the UC study went a step further and showed that the psychological benefits of meditation are linked to telomerase.  High telomerase levels, which also seem to be supported by exercise and a healthy diet, are a part of a feedback loop that results, surprisingly enough, in a sense of personal well-being and the ability to cope with stress.  This one finding helps cement the most basic tenet of mind-body medicine:  that every cell is eavesdropping on the brain.  A kidney cell doesn’t think in words; it doesn’t say to itself, I’ve had a horrible day at work.  The stress is killing me.  But it is participating wordlessly in that thought.  Meditation brings a sense of well-being to the mind, while silently spreading the same feeling, via a chemical like telomerase, to your DNA.  Nothing is excluded from the feedback loop.

“The mind-body connection is real, and choices make a difference.  With those two facts in place, the anti-aging brain holds untold promise.” (p. 210)

um…best pancakes ev-er:0)!!!

My 13 1/2-year-old son wanted to make pancakes and I had buttermilk to use so I had him make “Buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote” (p.38 but he didn’t make the compote) out of  “The Bon Appetit Cookbook” edited by Barbara Fairchild (2006).  The recipe calls for sour cream and buttermilk along with the usual ingredients and my son substituted coconut flour.  They were a-ma-zing, I mean A-MA-ZING!!!  They tasted crepe-like only thicker.  My husband, who does not like when I create “gluten-free” baked goods, was extremely surprised when I was talking to my son later in the afternoon about the coconut flour–my son choose to substitute it today;  I didn’t even suggest it.  Not a single drip of batter or a crumb left.  Deliciously gone!

(and it didn’t hurt anyone’s tummy like pancakes sometimes do)

04/27/2012 Addendum:

These pancakes have been inconsistent and I will write out the recipe that my son and I have made soon.

the birth of the lotus seed journals

I believe I found the quote on the left-hand page in a Lama Surya Das book; it is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson  “Make your own Bible, select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your reading have been to you like the blast of triumph out of Shakespeare, Seneca, Moses, John and Paul.”  Wait, don’t take the word “Bible” literally.    I realize it can bring up a lot of different things for people.  As I had been holding on to many pieces of paper since I was a little girl, big and small, of quotes, sayings, inspirational things, interesting things, etc. and so forth and on and on and paper clutter unorganized EVERYWHERE.  I took this as inspiration to write them in one place and in a beautiful notebook and in a legible hand.  Well, one book immediately went to two, three, four, etc..

I love the quote on the right by Chuang Tzu because I feel that stillness/meditation is more important than any one can tell us.  I believe that is where healing, peace, love, contentment, intuition, questions, answers, and incredible joy can be found.  The quote states, “Men [and of course women] cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water.  Only that which is itself still can still the seekers of stillness.”

And only when you have mastered the art of being still (and glimpsed who your true self is) can you go out into the world and help those who are seeking the stillness that you have found.

I also like the quote by Thomas Edison–I’ve seen different ones but the basic is this:  when asked how it felt to fail so many times, Edison replied (I’ve seen different answers) either “I never failed once.  It was a two-thousand step process.”  Or “I know two-thousand ways to not make a lightbulb.”

(The picture of the woman praying was from an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine from many years ago.  Let me say this–it is not just a photo–I am brought into this photo and feel like I am there.  It evokes a visceral emotion.)

recommended books for children (and grownups)…

*People* by Peter Spier is FANTASTIC!!!

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War  by Yukio Tsuchiya is sooo sad and brilliant

Mrs. Biddlebox: Her Bad Day and What She Did About It  by Linda Smith is soo lovely

Grateful:  A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino

Because Brian Hugged His Mother by David L. Rice is a reflection of out lives whether we want to admit it or not***

I Believe In Me by Connie Bowen has wonderful affirmations

I Think, I Am!  by Louise L. Hay

All For the Best by Hans Wilhelm because we never truly know what’s going on

Zen Shorts; Zen Ties both by Jon J. Muth

Giving Thanks:  A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky:  A Message From Chief Seattle  by Susan Jeffers

Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence Kushner and Karen Kushner

Fun Is A Feeling by Chara M. Curtis

Unstoppable Me! : 10 Ways To Soar Through Life   by Wayne W. Dyer

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

The Blue Day Book For Kids:A Lesson In Cheering Yourself Up by Bradley Trevor Greene

The Gigantic Little Hero: A Story of Perserverance by Matt Whitlock

When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Mad Isn’t Bad by Michaelene Mundy

Happy To Be Me by Christine Adams and Robert J. Butch

A Children’s Book About Teasing by Joy Berry

Faerie Charms by Ted Andrews

The Mountains of Tibet by Mordicai Gerstein

The Babies Are Landing by Joan Margalith

Amazing you!   Getting Smart About Your Private Parts –A First Guide to Body Awareness for Preschoolers (or even older!)  by Dr. Gail Saltz (wonderful book for being open about this subject which can be difficult and uncomfortable to approach)

On The Day You Were Born Debra Frasier

Cookies: Bite-Sized Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The Secret Of Water For The Children Of The World by Masaru Emoto

Each Breath A Smile: Based on teachings by Thich Nhat Hahn  story by Sister Susan

Emma and Mommy Talk To God by Marianne Williamson

My Invisible Friends by Michelle Whitedove

Rainbow Soul by Marilyn Rich

Old Turtle by Douglas Wood

Spirit Games by Barbara Sher

recommended books, etc. continued

Hayhouseradio.com

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand

The Reconnection by Dr. Eric Pearl

Healing with the Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

The Triple Goddess Tarot by Isha Lerner

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

Loving What Is by Byron Katie

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Change Your Handwriting, Change Your Life by Vimala Rodgers

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

author Cheryl Richardson

author Sonia Choquette

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Sylvia Browne

Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das

Doing Less and Having More by Marcia Wieder

The Alchemist by Coehlo

Live Your Bliss by Terry Cole-Whittaker

any writings by Rudolph Steiner

recommended books, audio cds, etc.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Spiritual Madness (CD) by Caroline Myss

Excuses Begone by Wayne Dyer

Fit Soul, Fit Body by Brant Secunda and Mark Allen

Change Your Aura, Change Your Life by Barbara Martin

Prepare For Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston

Sacred Space by Denise Linn

Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

The New Feminine Brain by Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz

sFrom Fatigued to Fantastic by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum

Lessons in Meditation by John Novak

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron