Posts filed under Pop Culture

Feminist: it isn't the word that matter, but what is behind it

When at the age of 23 years I entered he workforce and finally witnessed with my own eyes and heart how women were treated by their male co-workers, my feelings towards the word Feminist totally changed.  I'm going to let Emma Watson do the talk here…


Posted on September 28, 2014 and filed under inspiration, Pop Culture, Spirituality.

Archetypes Made Easy

We all wonder why we are attracted to certain stories, certain people and certain patterns.  This human inquisitiveness - regardless of culture, race or religious - about our own behavior, tendencies and thoughts drives us to create and to study guiding methods.  Archetype analysis is one those methods.  

I think of archetypes as our energy companions.  You know these archetypes very well, they are the characters you love or despise in fiction or real life. Since studying Joseph Campbell's work, this type of pattern analysis has resonated with me, and coupled with Yoga it has made a huge impact in how I use my intuition.  Archetypes are our stories in the quest for bliss.  According to Carolyn Myss, my go-to Archetype guru, 'we are continually scanning our world for patterns, particularly in people, because we know intuitively that if we understand someone’s behavior patterns we understand how she relates to herself, to her life, and to us. We understand a person better, for instance, if we know that she is essentially an Intellectual; that explains, for example, why she loves foreign films and biographies of great historic figures.' Ms. Myss calls Archetypes "the language of our soul."

Each one of us have archetypes idiosyncratic to our patterns of behavior.  These archetypes allow us to connect intuitively and on a deeper level to ourselves and to others.  Ms. Myss suggests that 'once we engage and begin to honor the language and patterns of our archetypes, a transformation begins not overnight but over time' (patience people, patience!).  She insists that by listening to our Archetypes we can step into our purpose, into a life more balanced, and friendships and relationships that fit with more ease and less effort. 

How do you get started?  Well there are tones of classical-psychology books on this subject, but If you want a fun way to ease yourself into this study, visit  Archetypes.com and take their quiz.  You can watch the video below to see if this is for you.

Warning! (don't resist warnings please, all tools come with them) when you embrace the language of archetypes you will immediately begin to notice patterns of synchronicity and coincidence appearing on a regular basis and sometimes dramatically so. 

Share your quiz results with me, I'll share mine.  


Posted on September 8, 2014 and filed under inspiration, Spirituality, Pop Culture, wellness.

Words of Wisdom for Hope and for Moving Forward

HKG2005011836125My heart felt condolences to all the families and the victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.  Our hearts are broken. Not that long ago, I was listening to On Being's radio show about the mindfulness of anger, the talk was offered by  Buddhist Master, Thich Hhat Hanh and in times like this when our own thoughts can't possible offer an explanation, we must turn to the wiser ones,  the stronger ones, knowing that in our hearts those qualities abide too.

 I found light in this passage from the Buddhist master, I hope you do too.  It is particularly poignant:

"…there is a seed of anger in every one of us. There are many kinds of seeds that lie deep in our consciousness, a seed of anger, a seed of violence, a seed of fear, a seed of jealousy, a seed of full despair, a seed of miscommunication, a seed of hate. They're all there and, when they sleep, we are okay. But if someone come and water these seeds, they will manifest into energy and they will make us suffer. We also have wholesome seeds in us, namely the seeds of understanding, of awakening, of compassion, of nonviolence, of nondiscrimination, a seed of joy and forgiveness. They are also there.

What we see, what we hear, what we eat, always water the seed of violence, the seed of despair, the seed of hate in us and in our children. That is why it's very urgent to do something collectively in order to change the situation. Not only educators, but parents, legislators, artists, have to come together in order to discuss the strategy that can help bring the kind of safe environment to us and to our children where we shall be protected from the negative watering of the seeds in us. The practice of transformation and healing could not be effective without this practice of seeking or creating a sane environment. When someone is sick, you have to bring him to a place where he or she can be treated and to heal.

If the human person is affected by the poison of violence and anger and despair, if you want to help heal him or her, you have to bring him or her out of the situation where she continues to ingest the poisons of violence. This is very simple. This is very clear and this is not only the job of educators. Everyone has to participate to the work of creating safe environments for us and for our children."

Posted on December 17, 2012 and filed under Meditation, Pop Culture, Spirituality.

Tea Time

Perhaps it's the chilly winter days that are approaching or perhaps it's the impending beginning of a new season of Downton Abbey ; the truth is that tea season is upon us.  The bitterness and sweetness, perhaps it is its resemblance to the essence of life that make tea such a pleasurable experience.   So here is some basic information I found helpful in my own tea journey.

What is Tea anyway?

All “true” tea comes from the same plant, called the Camellia sinensis. Any leaf, root, fruit or flower that comes from a different plant is considered an herbal tea. For example, chamomile flowers and peppermint leaves are considered herbal teas because they do not come from the traditional tea plant. It is important to distinguish between real tea and herbal tea since the flavor, health benefits and nutritional characteristics vary from plant to plant.

THOUSANDS OF TEAS, DIVIDED INTO 4 CATEGORIES There are thousands of different kinds of teas, each with their own individual appearance, taste and aroma. To make sense of all the variations, “true teas” (those made from the tea plant, or Camellia sinensis, versus herbal teas which come from other plants) can be categorized into 4 major categories: white, green, oolong and black. Generally, these categories refer to how much a tea is oxidized. The more oxidized the blacker the tea. See table below.

tea-oxidation-chart

How to brew the perfect cup of tea?

Once you know the basics, brewing the perfect cup of tea is easy! If you can boil water, you can make tea. Fine tuning the flavor is essentially a game of manuvering and adjusting 3 elements: water temperature, steep time and amount of tea used.

With just a little practice, preparing a great tasting cup of tea is easy and will quickly become second nature. The right brewing equipment can also further simplify the process.

BASIC DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring fresh, cold water to a rolling boil. Always start with the freshest, purest source of water available as this will heavily impact tea's flavor ... it is the main ingredient, after all!

  2. Add tealeaves to a teapot, fill-your-own teabag or infuser basket. Use 1 teaspoon – 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) per cup (8 oz) of water depending upon desired strength. Adjust to taste.

  3. Pour boiling water directly over black, oolong and herbal tea. Allow water to cool slightly before brewing green tea, white tea or yerba maté. Cover.

  4. Infuse (steep) leaves for 2-5 minutes; 3.5 minutes is a good standard steep time that works well for most teas. Do not oversteep or tea may become bitter. If you prefer strong tea, do not over steep; simply use more leaves.

  5. Remove tea sachet, bag or infuser from water or strain leaves.

How to Clean Your Tea Kettle?

To remove mineral deposits, boil equal parts white vinegar and water inside kettle. Remove from heat. Let sit several hours; rinse. Hand wash the pot's exterior with a gentle pot-scrubber sponge. Let tap water run for a few moments before adding it to the pot.

Now brew yourself a delicious cup of tea.  Enjoy!

Posted on December 11, 2012 and filed under cleaning, cooking, Living spaces, Pop Culture, Uncategorized.

So, Deepak, what is Meditation anyway?

As we walk in our Yoga Practice inevitable we'll encounter the path of Meditation and even though I believe that no one can teach you  meditation; I do believe that there are tools that can help you  find it and that there are great teachers that can guide you with these tools.
In case you live under a rock, and that is my favorite place to live  sometimes, Deepak Chopra issued a 21 Days Meditation Challenge.  As an introduction to this program, Chopra defined some basic terms and I loved the way he was able to define and explain it so I am sharing with you.  You can find out more visiting the 21 Days Meditation Challenge site.
Disclaimer, I pasted my notes on it, so the words are Mr. Chopra's but I highlighted words that resonated with me.  Feel free to share which one resonate with you. 
"What is Meditation?

Deepak Defines Meditation – Everyone thinks that the purpose of meditation is to handle stress, to tune out, to get away from it all. While that's partially true, the real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in, not to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. Not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within, the peace that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding. So, meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there's little space between every thought.

According to wisdom traditions, this space between the thought is the window, is the corridor, is the vortex to the infinite mind – the mystery that some people call the spirit or God. We don't have to use those terms, but it's your core consciousness. And the more we learn about this space between thoughts, we find certain things to be true of it:

  • It's a field of infinite possibilities – infinite possibilities, pure potentiality.
  • Everything is connected to everything else.
  • It's a space of infinite creativity, infinite imagination.
  • It is a place where there is something called observer effect, or the power of intention, which means intention is very powerful when brought to this space and it orchestrates its own fulfillment – what people call the law of attraction – so those are wonderful qualities of your own spirit.

In meditation, we get into this space so we find ourselves infinite possibilities, infinite correlation, infinite creativity, infinite imagination, and infinite power of intention. That's what meditation is really about."

Posted on November 7, 2012 and filed under Meditation, Pop Culture, Yoga.

Becoming One From Many

It is so easy to live a fragmented existence, mainly  it is taught to us by society, by our parents, by our teachers, by our friends.   Behave this way when  in school, this way when adults are present, this way when these folks are around...so it  isn't a surprise that as adults we have to embark in a long quest to make our lives whole again.  It took years to fragment  who we were  into small compartmentalized fractions of ourselves and so it takes years to bring those pieces into who we want to be again.  In the meantime, a lots of those fragments get further broken, or polished, or painted.  The longer we wait to go back to the whole, the harder the process will be.  So wait no time and be, and remember it will take time and this process is a gift.  Here is a poem that explains this concept better than I could possibly do.

Love After Love

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.

“Love after Love” from COLLECTED POEMS 1948-1984 by Derek Walcott

Posted on April 27, 2012 and filed under Anusara, Pop Culture, Spirituality.

Porn for Nerds?

I haven't had cable TV in fifteen years (or a TV in two for that matter).  Despite this, somehow I managed - without wanting - to learn about all kind of TV events:  Kardashians, Snooky,  and yes, Glee.  And just when I am about to write off TV as a-last-century-bore, the delicious Isabella Rossellini almost single-handed rescues the media right before my eyes.   You may already know about her TV show, so shame on you for not telling me sooner (thanks you, Jane for always bringing civility into my life).  Seduce Me, the spawn of Green Porn, is a Sundance Channel program co-created with Rossellini's desires to teach biology to the world.  She said that when she proposed a biology show, no one listened, but when she mentioned sex all kind of producers came to her door...so she compromised.   This is a perfect example of navigating society to get your point across.  Her sexy and funny approach to nature's facts is a refreshing approach to science, and the production of the short videos is outstanding.  You can visit the Seduce Me site and watch two seasons of funny nerdy facts about animals' mating habits. Que viva Rossellini!

Posted on March 31, 2011 and filed under design, Pop Culture.