Outdoors in Cambodia: a meditation

In this blog post, I have a recorded a track for meditating outdoors. I’ve also included my photography from my visit to Cambodia in 2001. There’s two images of me from 19 years ago, taken by one of my teachers from University of Pennsylvania, Larry Silver.

Please take some time to sit outside and listen to this meditation, sitting or standing against a tree.
Ka Malana Photography

15/30

Family love and life

So grateful for another day on planet earth with my loved ones. I’m grateful for all the genuine connections I have in my life with people who are not physically close, too, but are so so close to my heart. My friendships that are enduring are so valued in my life. I’m grateful for my loving family. I’m also grateful for my blogging connections and this month’s challenge helps me to keep centered on what matters most while being able to weave in and out as I need to and am able!

14/30

As people weave in and out of our lives, its so important to remember our inner lives. This new moon I embarked on a new journey with my Medicine Woman studies. It’s an incredible New Moon in Scorpio sextile to the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. I received an initiation today and conducted a special ceremony; my path has begun on a deeper level, in private. Many of us walk between the two worlds, and as we anchor ourselves in the unseen world, we enrich the world we do for the consciousness of the planet. Today we also celebrate along with this New Moon, in many regions of the world, such as Northern India, Diwali, the festival of lights. It’s the celebration of good over evil. May we realize the goodness in our hearts, and come together on this planet. That is my hope each and every day.

Chocolate Vitality Chia Seed Pudding

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

8 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp Organic maple syrup

Ghirardelli 1 tbsp

Organic cacao powder with Maca to taste

1 Tsp of vanilla

Cinnamon and nutmeg and a touch of cardamom to taste

I added in the apple 🍎 and pear 🍐 to top it off, but certainly mix it in!

When I took the picture, I didn’t even intend to share it. I just took the picture as a way for me to remember what I did. Basically, daily blogging is quite a stretch! So is preparing food when you are super busy. I would have probably mixed up the ingredients before taking the picture, but you all get the point!

Isn’t this a great time of the year, though? I love it… I’m looking forward to some more Autumn-engaging posts soon! Meanwhile, I think apples and pears are lovely for celebrating autumn! Be healthy =)

*note about the chia seed pudding: you have to stir it regularly so that the pudding gets to be the best consistency as it prepares to wait overnight in your fridge. First put in the maple syrup and mix it with the unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice) then after that’s all dissolved (because you don’t want the chia to clump to it), put in the chia seed and stir, wait about 15 min, and stir again. Then wait about another 20-30 min and stir again. Then it can sit again in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (for best consistency) as the chia seeds create a tapioca-like pudding texture.

Growing time

The title for my blog post can be taken so many ways. Here’s the way I meant it: i want to grow Time like a healthy plant, like thyme, or an ivy, or a eucalyptus delugpta. I want to see it’s taproots pierce the soil with life lowering deep into the ground, anchoring the sprouts above ground. I want to grow time like I would grow a seed into a seedling and then eventually a tree. Time that makes me think of ship anchors and trapeze acrobats. Time that makes the joys of the earth and that of heaven consistent and bridge-able!

I rarely give myself time to draw. For this image, I gave myself the length of a song by Donovan, 4 min. This Donovan song came on during “The Queen’s Gambit,” a fantastic Netflix series about a female chess prodigy. Immediately the song clicked in with me when I heard it, like a drug I needed more of. I needed to listen to the whole thing, the fantasty of the lyrics and the bluesy moves of the notes. I still don’t know what the song means. Apparently Donovan wrote it as an apology to his friend.

I think it’s the harpsichord that gets me, or maybe it’s the sound of Donovon’s voice. Regardless, there’s so much untapped expression to be harnessed. I’m glad I found 4 min to do this. It’s really important for me to do *any* drawing for me, but it always gets placed at the end of my list. I wonder why. I know why. This drawing isn’t the important thing. If you look at it, it doesn’t contain very much, but it is the fact that I did Something.

Just the touch of one swirl across the page builds enough energy in me to fuel all my future dreams. Just one! So, it doesn’t take much, maybe it’s too easy to feel, to get consumed by it. Maybe it’s perfect and delicious, and exactly what I needed. Maybe the craving for more is the beginning of all things…. desire. Tis the season for abundance, magic and growing time!

I would never want to grow time without music! Music is like “coloring in” time. It gives the moments that pass, the ability to dance. It’s an opportunity to dance. Music is dancing. Time is free to groove or languish through music.

https://cheerpeppers.wordpress.com/2020-team/

Bird of Paradise

I used to see this plant as so exotic. This was before I moved across the States to the other coast. Now I see them all the time. So it was interesting when this particular bloom caught my eye with all its vibrancy and flame-like presence, encouraging me to take a closer look, and to capture the moment.

If only we could pause more often and see what’s in front of us with new eyes. Maybe then we would see how exotic and vibrant the land is surrounding us. Each and every one of us lives in a unique ecosystem. It’s right outside your front door!

Thank you to everyone who has been visiting and commenting during this Nano Poblano challenge for November 2020. I’ve been a little bit low on energy so I’m going to do my best to catch up with comments after I rest some during my down time, or whenever it’s possible. I do enjoy visiting your blogs. I appreciate you! Thank you for being here!

https://cheerpeppers.wordpress.com/2020-team/

Compassion meditation to ease anxiety

As a part of my personal practice, it brings me a lot of joy to be able to extend these meditation sessions to you as a gift. Meditation has long been a resource in my life, and it is so freely available to us all. The benefits that come from meditation are so life-enriching, that I want it to be accessible to all. Please give yourself this time today.

May you experience peace and wellbeing today and every day.

Today the Sun is in Scorpio and the Moon is in Virgo, nourish the health in your body and mind, and in your soul.

https://cheerpeppers.wordpress.com/2020-team/

Hope is manifest

Sometimes I get a tickle in my throat

for the words I want to say

but really it’s the language in my eyes

gazing here, and far away

what I want to show is the magic

of this hope I’ve kept inside

brewing up a vision of a life

built on trust and allied,

where sincerity and promise

are demonstrated by actions

fueled by integrity and intention

led by openness and satisfaction

I’m dreaming up a world of peace as I always have. This day marks a day forward and my hope is that all the obstructions for our progress as a Nation, and a planet, are removed, one by one. I want to see this planet and it’s inhabitants thrive! Let this be the beginning of that world we dream to make in peace and harmony, for the highest and best good of all.

I’ve posted this blog post for the Nano Poblano challenge. I am honored to blog beside these other cheerpeppers.

Lovingkindness meditation

Hello friends,

Today is the 5th day of the Nano Poblano writing challenge, and I feel the crunch! Yesterday in preparation for today, I managed to record another meditation track and create a Soundcloud account. I definitely don’t understand all the bells and whistles of the devices/apps I’m using, but I’m getting the job done. In fact I’ve been hoping/dreaming, for years, that I could get back into recording and composing music again. I was only really ever an amateur, but I absolutely enjoyed it with all my heart. So it will be therapeutic for me to get back on that music train again, but for now, I’m starting with this meditation track project for YOU!

Actually, I’ve been wanting to make these meditation tracks for months. This is the first one I’ve made since a few years ago. So, I’m delighted to be able to offer it to you here with this link to my soundcloud account.

Neruda Ode to Clothes & the environment

Ode to the Clothes

Every morning you wait,
clothes, over a chair,
to fill yourself with
my vanity, my love,
my hope, my body.
Barely
risen from sleep,
I relinquish the water,
enter your sleeves,
my legs look for
the hollows of your legs,
and so embraced
by your indefatigable faithfulness
I rise, to tread the grass,
enter poetry,
consider through the windows,
the things,
the men, the women,
the deeds and the fights
go on forming me,
go on making me face things
working my hands,
opening my eyes,
using my mouth,
and so,
clothes,
I too go forming you,
extending your elbows,
snapping your threads,
and so your life expands
in the image of my life.
In the wind
you billow and snap
as if you were my soul,
at bad times
you cling
to my bones,
vacant, for the night,
darkness, sleep
populate with their phantoms
your wings and mine.
I wonder
if one day
a bullet
from the enemy
will leave you stained with my blood
and then
you will die with me
or one day
not quite
so dramatic
but simple,
you will fall ill,
clothes,
with me,
grow old
with me, with my body
and joined
we will enter
the earth.
Because of this
each day
I greet you
with reverence and then
you embrace me and I forget you,
because we are one
and we will go on
facing the wind, in the night,
the streets or the fight,
a single body,
one day, one day, some day, still.

– Pablo Neruda

Poems that take the mundanity and animate it, supply magic to our every day. Pablo Neruda could do this; he had that particular talent. When I read about clothes as he writes about them in his poem above, I think about a time when clothing was made better, when items were sewn to last. Objects and tools used to have more value over the longer term. I long for those days, when we had such great care for our possessions, not in a purely material sense, but in such a way where there was longevity in the relationship–which to me, is a little bit different from attachment.

To me, this appreciation for these material items in our lives goes along with my background and appreciation for animism, how I consider that all of life is considered ‘alive.’ The official definition for animism is, “the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.” To me, however, the power is more magical, and need not be supernatural. Again recently I was reminiscing of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, the rabbit who was ‘made real’ by love.

To me, animism as a philosophy is more harmonious and congruent with nature. It is in sync with material durability, in communion with time. In our expendable economies today, we have a “use once and throw away” culture. While I enjoyed seeing all the Halloween decorations this year (more than usual), I couldn’t help but think of the world’s trash problem, and how desperately we need to change our ways in society and in our economies. As an anthropologist, I would say that cultural change is necessitated first. I get excited when we learn about new bacterias or enzymes that can break-down plastic and resolve the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but we are still far from having the intellectual wealth and intelligence of our planet focused on solving these problems. Many people don’t know, for example, that it rains plastic.

My post is an appeal and a wish to “put the mental and emotional energy” for the planet on solving these problems. We need to have solutions for protecting our Earth, and we need to support our scientists. Yes, each person can make a difference by using re-usable items, and reducing their foot-print; however, I think we have to highlight using our voices, and sharing our hearts so that more people are inspired about what can be done.

Thank you for listening!

Happy Peppering!

The Hedgehog Special

Hedgehogs are one of my virtual therapy animals or totems. Hedgehogs have the ability to protect, and their medicine is one of being “untouched” by the dreadfulness of unsafe situations. Hedgehogs are supremely cute, I think, and I delight in these little creatures.

Chuang Tzu was a philosopher in ancient China, who, one night went to sleep and dreamed that he was a butterfly. He dreamt that he was flying around from flower to flower and while he was dreaming he felt free, blown about by the breeze hither and thither. He was quite sure that he was a butterfly.” (Philosophyfoundation.org)

I dream I am a hedgehog, or maybe I am a hedgehog dreaming that I am a human. There you go. It makes sense to me!

All the above photos are from Unsplash a free for use photography site. Speaking of splashes, it’s time to give my kiddo a bath! Happy Peppering Tomorrow!

A microstory & vintage music

Under the golden, full moon the mouse yawned. She gazed up at the moon from the terrace wall, her eyes aglow with the magic of its fullness. As the now-amber moon rose up, it was low on the horizon, and the mouse looked but a speck of dirt on a luminous disc by size in comparison.


            She gave a little cough and then tapped her tiny podium with her tiny wand. Another petite mouse came from the fire escape nearby, scurrying along quickly, nearly breaking a sweat, and he had on a bow-tie. The two mice sang for a while, mostly covers.


            Then, the tiny wand winked up and down, drawn by the mouse’s swift outstretched hand. Tracing a triangle into the dark air, there popped a cello with a player (and this one was a cat!). Then, she traced a rectangle right straight out in front of her, and there popped a snazzy piano!


The night lights twinkled and the moon grew dizzy. After all the hours gone by, there formed around the moon’s crown were grey clouds, stirred up from hours of the night, filled by her imaginings as she reflected down into the distance, listening to the melody from the marvelous mice during the night.


See the link down below for just some of the mice music.

This post was created for Nano Poblano, the world’s least-official November blog writing challenge. I’m participating in the blog challenge this year, trying to post every. single. day. for the month of November. The plan is to be random about what I blog about. This is the first time I am using the new editor on the computer, and I’m not sure how to change the font size yet for the link and block below. Feel free to click on it to learn more about Nano Poblano!

Nano Poblano is here.

Apricot yums & Cheerpeppers

Bites in the making!
Apricot yums

These are tasty and make a fun and nutrition- packed treat for everyone. My toddler loves them, and I make them differently just about every time. I cook food from my heart, so I basically measure only about 50% of the time. Here’s my creation:

Here’s what’s in them:

Almonds 1 cup

Dried apricots 1 overstuffed cup

Rolled oats 1 cup

Almond extract 1/4 tsp

Goji berries: handful

Dried mulberries: handful

Golden flax: small amount

Unsweetened coconut shreds added during rolling.

So the pictures above are from the batch I made today. They all have different levels of beauty. This might not be my most pristine group of yums, but I know they are yummy and so does everyone who tries them! If I were doing professional food photos, I would have probably been more selective and taken my time and used a filter.

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I signed up for posting daily. I don’t know why. I am already quite busy, and I probably won’t post every day, but it sure seemed like fun to try to make a post everyday about something random. Random is my style for this, I like to have some free flow and no pressure type of activities, so maybe you will see a lot more of Fiestaestrellas in November! WE shall see!

Sign ups are here:

https://cheerpeppers.wordpress.com

I’ll have to get the banner and come back and paste it on this post, at some other time.

Tis the season for blogging, holidays, fun, and writing! 🧡