Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fund raising for Haiti

The River of Feelings

Our feelings play a very important part in directing all of our thoughts and actions. In us, there is a river of feelings, in which every drop of water is a different feeling and each feeling relies on all the others for its existence.

There are three sorts of feelings--pleasant, inpleasant, and neutral. When we have an unpleasant feeling, we may want to chase it away. But it is more effective to return to our conscious breathing and just observe it, identifying it silently to ourselves: "Breathing in, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me. Breathing out, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me."

We can use our breathing to be in contact with our feelings and accept them. If our breathing is light and calm--a natural result of conscious breathing--our mind and body will slowly become light, calm, and clear and our feelings also. Mindful observation is based on the principle of "nonduality": our feeling is not separate from us or caused merely by something outside us; our feeling is us, and for the moment we are that feeling.

If we face our unpleasant feelings with care, affection, and nonviolence, we can transform them into the kind of energy that is healthy and has the capcity to nourish us. By the work of mindful observation, our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us insight and understanding into ourselves and society.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wisdom from PEACE IS EVERY STEP -Thich Nhat Hanh

The path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life


Foreword by H. H. the Dalai Lama

Part One: Breathe! You Are Alive

Twenty-Four Brand-New Hours
The Dandelion Has My Smile
Conscious Breathing
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment
Thinking Less
Sitting Anywhere
Sitting Mindfulness
Bells of Mindfulness
Eating Mindfully
Walking Meditation
Telephone Meditation
Driving Meditation
Our Life Is a Work of Art
Hope as an Obstacle
Breathing Room
Continuing the Journey

Part Two:  Transformation and Healing

The River of Feelings
Transforming Feelings
Mindfulness of Anger
Walking Meditation When Angry
The Roots of Anger
Internal Formations
Living Together
Nourishing Healthy Seeds
What's Not Wrong?
Blaming Never Helps
Meditation on Compassion
Meditation of Love
Investing in Friends
Community of Mindful Living
Mindfulness Must Be Engaged

Part Three:  Peace is EveryStep

Waging Peace
Not Two
Ecology of Mind
The Roots of War
Love in Action
Entering the Twenty-First Century

Continuing the Journey

We have walked together in mindfuness, learning how to breathe and smile in full awareness throughout the day. But how can we deal with difficult emotions? What should we do when we feel anger, hatred, remorse, or sadness? Shall we continue our journey together and try some of these practices?

Breathing Room

I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a "breathing room," where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling. You may want to have a small bell, a few cushions, and perhaps a vase of flowers. Every time you feel upset, go to that room, open the door slowly, sit down, invite the bell to sound, and begin to breathe. I believe that every home should have one room for breathing. Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization.

The practice of peace and reconciliations is one of the most vital and artistic of all human actions.

Hope as an Obstacle

Hope is important, because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us--to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment. If you can refrain from hoping, you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here.

There is no way to peace,
peace is the way.

Our Life Is a Work of Art

If we just act in each moment with composure and mindfulness, each minute of our life is a work of art. Even when we are not painting or writing, we are still creating. If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don't have to talk about it at all. When we know how to be peace, we find that art is a wonderful way to share our peacefulness. Artistic expression will take place in one way or another, but the being is essential. So we must go back to ourselves, and when we have joy and peace in ourselves, our creations of art will be quite natural and they will serve the world in a positive way.


There is a word in Buddhism that means "wishlessness" or "aimlessness." The idea is that you do not put some thing in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself. While we practice walking meditation, we do not try to arrive anywhere. We only make peaceful, happy steps. By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future.

Driving Meditation

I have written a simple verse you can recite before starting your car:

Before starting the car,
I know where I am going.
The car and I are one.
If the car goes fast, I go fast.

Sometimes we don't really need to use the car, but because we want to get away from ourselves, we go for a drive. We are afraid of being alone with ourselves. We want to escape.

Driving is a daily task in this society. I am not suggesting you stop driving, just that you do so consciously. While we are driving, we think only about arriving. Therefore, every time we see a red light, we are not very happy. The next time you see a read light, please smile at it and go back to your breathing. Transform a feeling, of irritation into a pleasent feeling. Although it is the same red light, it becomes different. It becomes a friend, helping us remember that it is only in the present moment that we can live our lives.

Telephone Meditation

The telephone is very convenient, but we can be tyrannized by it. We may find its ring disturbing. The next time you hear the phone ring, stay where you are, breathe in and out consciously, smile to yourself, and recite this verse: "Listen, listen. This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self." When the bell rings for the second time, repeat the verse and your smile will be even more solid. When the phone rings for the third time, continue to practice breathing and smiling, as you walk to the phone slowly. Because you have been breathing consciously and smiling, you are dwelling, in mindfulness, and when you pick up the phone, how fortunate for the person calling you! Practicing telephone meditation can counteract stress and depression and bring mindfulness into our daily lives.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is to enjoy the walking not in order to arrive, but just to walk. The purpose is to be in the present moment and, aware of our breathing, and our walking, to enjoy each step. Therefore we have to shake off all worries and anxieties, not thinking of the future, not thinking of the past, just enjoying the present moment.

Eating Mindfully

Eating a meal in mindfulness is an important practice. When the food is on the table and everyone is seated, we practice breathing. Then we look at each person as we breathe in and out in order to be in touch with ourselves and everyone at the table. Sitting at the table with other people, we have an chance to offer an authentic smile of friendship and understanding. After breathing and smiling, we look down at the food in a way that allows the food to become real. This food reveals our connection with the earth. Contemplating our food for a few seconds before eating, and eating in mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.

Bells of Mindfullness

In my tradition, we use the temple bells to remind us to come back to the present moment. Every time we hear the bell, we stop talking, stop our thinking, and return to ourselves, breathing in and out, and smiling. Whatever we are doing, we pause for a moment and just enjoy breathing. Sometimes we also recite this verse:

Listen, listen.
This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.

You can use any sound to remind you to pause, breathe in and out, and enjoy the present moment. Even non-sounds, such as the rays of sunlight coming through the window, are bells of mindfulness that can remind us to return to ourselves, breathe, smile, and live fully in the present moment.

Sitting Meditation

The most stable posture for meditation is sitting cross-legged on a cushion. The half-lotus and full-lotus positions are excellent for establishing stability of body and mind. Allow your back to be straight, keep your eyes half closed, and fold your hands comfortably on your lap. If you prefer, can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your lap. Or you can lie on the floor, on your back, with your legs straight out, a few inches apart, and your arms at your sides preferably palms up.

We need to practice meditation gently, but steadily, throughout daily life, not wasting a single opportunity or event to see deeply into the true nature of life, including our everyday problems. Practicing in this way, we dwell in profound communion with life.

Sitting Anywhere

When you need to slow down and come back to yourself, you do not need to rush home to practice conscious breathing. Whenever you are, you can breathe mindfully. We all need to go back to ourselves from time to time, in order to be able to confront difficulties of life. We can do this in any position; however, the sitting position is the most stable. Breathing mindfully in any position at any time can help you recover yourself.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thinking Less

While we practice conscious breathing, our thinking will slow down and we can give ourselves a real rest. Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. It enables us to be in touch with life, which is wonder ful in the present moment.

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

In our busy society, it is a great fortune to breathe consciously from time to time. There are many exercises we can do to help us breathe consciously. Besides the simple "In-Out" exercise, we can recite these four lines silently as we breathe in and out:

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,

I know this is a wonderful moment!

Conscious Breathing

Breathing in and out is very important and enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breating, "In" and "Out," we bring body and mind back together and become whole again. When we breathe consciously, we recover ourselves completely and encounter life in the present moment.

The Dandelion Has My Smile

If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyon wil profit. If we really know how to live, what better wahy to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determinations to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding.

If you have lost your smile and yet are still capble of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. You still have enough mindfulness to see that the smile is there. The dandelion is one member of you community of friends. It is there, quite faithful keeping your smile for you.

In fact, everything around you is keeping your smile for you. You don't need to feel isolated. You only have to open yourself to the support that is all around you, and in you.

Twenty-Four Brand-New Hours

Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What are precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.

This book is an invitation to com back the present moment and find peace and joy.



Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way. Whenever I go, I express this, and I am encouraged that people from many different walks of life receive it well. Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.

Peace Is Every Step is a guidebook for a journey in exactly this direction. Thich Nhat Hanh begins by teaching mindfulness of breathing and awareness of the small acts of our daily lives, then shows us how to use the benefits of mindfulness and concentration to transform and heal difficult psychological states. Finally he shows us the connection between personal inner peace and peace on Earth. This is a very worth while book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society.

Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy.


Monday, January 4, 2010

The Waves of Hawaii taken by Clark Little

Clark Little

Waimea Bay shore-break surfing pioneer, husband, and father of two, Clark Little has gained nationwide recognition for his photography with appearances on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and many local news stations across the U.S. Clark Little on Good Morning America (2009).

It all started in 2007 when Clark 's wife wanted a nice piece of art to decorate a wall. Voluntarily, Clark grabbed a camera, jumped in the water, and starting snapping away capturing the beauty and power of monstrous Hawaiian waves from the inside out. "Clark 's view" is a unique view of the ocean that most will only be able to experience safely on land while studying one of Clark 's photos.

Now with a camera upgrade and an itch to get that better shot, Clark has taken this on full time and has moved his office from land, to the inside of a barrel. Since the recent stir of Clark 's work, his images have been run on the Today Show, ABC World News Now, Nature's Best Photography, Paris Match (France), La Vie (France ), Hana Hou (Hawaiian Airlines) magazine, Surfer magazine, Surfer's Journal as well

as multiple publishers and newspapers in the U.S. and overseas.


Sun glints off wave
Clark Little/SWNS


Sand in surf
Clark Little/SWNS

This shot captures sand from the ocean's floor being swept up by a monstrous wave and resembles a sandstorm.

Little calls it the Sandmonster.

There were clouds of sand ten feet high and I'm standing there.

I'm holding on to my camera and my trigger as long as I can.

Then I have to jump into the cloud of sand to try to get out of danger's way.

His fans pay as much as $4,000 for his gorgeous photos.


Tubular shining
Clark Little/SWNS


Beach - surf crashes down
Clark Little/SWNS


Molten liquid gold
Clark Little/SWNS


White tumultuous water
Clark Little/SWNS


Splash - stunning shot
Clark Little/SWNS


Red mysterious shot
Clark Little/SWNS


Break - wave crashes down
Clark Little/SWNS


Beauty - water drops
Clark Little/SWNS

This shot is his favorite.

With a high shutter speed he caught the brilliant fanned effect of two waves intersecting each other and throwing out this beautiful fan of water.

These incredible images of waves in the Hawaiian Islands were taken

by Clark Little, the number one photographer of surf.

He is dedicated to photographing the waves and has published a selection of his best images.

He captures magical moments inside the tube as surfers say.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Nut Cookies

Recipe submitted by

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1/3 cup cashew butter, almond butter, or peanut butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sugar or Sucanat (granulated cane juice)
1/3 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (try Sunspire brand)
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a large baking sheet; set aside.

2. Whisk together first five ingredients until very smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine (be sure to mix in thoroughly the baking soda and salt--you may want to stir these into the flour first).

3. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until tops just begin to crack. Remove sheet from oven, and wait 10 minutes before transferring cookies to a plate or wire rack.

Note: These cookies, while not low-fat, are free from margarine or other hydrogenated oil. They are great for bake sales, to serve to skeptical meat-eating friends, or just as a reward for a week of hard work!

Makes: 24 cookies