Unwinding with Chi Nei Tsang

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As a massage therapist, I see the manifestations of daily stress in the bodies of my clients. The tension in our muscles often gets our attention, but consider the emotional tensions we feel when we “can’t stomach” something. That stress is held in our abdomens and internal organs. Do we ever direct attention there, bringing light to areas that are out of sight? People come to see me with various presenting complaints. Many stem from a lifestyle out of balance with the rhythms of nature. Many of us on an average day walk around on concrete with shoes that deform…

Feather Weather – Birds in my Life

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Going down the memory lane, I was always fascinated by the chitter-chatter of the birds in my lawn. I remember many of them. A tiny, shiny, dark blue bird used to hop on the red hibiscus tree and suck its nectar in a rather hurried manner. She used to spring from one branch to another as if there was a deadline to finish. Later, I recognized it was a hummingbird. Two love-pigeons used to coo perching on the L-shaped pipeline from the terrace down to the ground. Sparrows used to chirp incessantly on the jasmine climber over the main gate.…

The Strength of Our Attention

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As a cut will heal, the strength of our attention will mend a cut in our outlook, if we give ourselves again to life. Whenever we feel burdened and lost, or fragmented and bereft, the strength of our attention is a way back to feeling vital and alive. What this means is that as water will fill any hole, life-force will fill us and animate us, if we can release our full attention. It doesn’t matter to what, just that we try one more time to be completely present and hold nothing back. The oldest tools of presence are holding and…

Knowing I Have a Body – The Art of Being Present

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I was standing on the curbside under an old pomegranate tree in front of my therapy office, delighting in the smell of Fall and the hint of chill in the air as my colleague spoke intently about a new concept he had about what motivates interpersonal behavior.  “I’m not who you think I am,” he said, moving so he stood directly in front of me, entreating me to look him in the eyes, “I’m not even who I think I am.” He raised his eyebrows to emphasize this important new discovery, index finger pointing to his chest. “I’m who I…

On the Farm: The New Greenhorns

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“Plant lady is the new cat lady,” and I, for one, am ready to fully embrace that as the new life motto. As a first-year, first generation farmer, I have been referred to as a “Greenhorn” a lot lately. So, I had to do my own research. What in the world is a Greenhorn? If you Google the word, Merriam-Webster defines a Greenhorn as, “an inexperienced or naive person; a newcomer.” In the world of sustainable agriculture, however, Greenhorn has come to fruit it’s own, unique, definition; one which replaces the negative connotation of being naive with a sense of…

As Above, So Below: A Guide to Zen through the Dangers of Conquest

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Have you ever asked yourself if it’s worth doubting the current system or even who you have become in general? Many fear the insight. It’s a part of the Utopian plan for those in power, with the empty resources of profit. It’s a system based off of a man-made currency that depletes the well of our environment and our souls. Not only taught to accept our lives as it is, in all of its unfairness, but to make it seem heroic when we become a so-called success story within it. The pressures to find and hold an identity keep so…

Vegan Sweet Pastry (Pâte Sucrée) and Autumn Tart Recipes

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It took me a few years to really feel comfortable and accomplished with pie crusts, but when I started trying vegan and gluten-free options, my whole world was thrown askew. It’s somewhat difficult to make gluten-free or vegan pie crust if you, like me, prefer to use whole ingredients (as in, if you would rather avoid shortening and margarine; though if you don’t mind shortening or margarine, then it should be a breeze.) There are probably hundreds of great recipes for vegan pie crusts on the Internet, and I’m sure you can find some that use whole, simple ingredients…or you…

October Astrological Forecast: Partnerships

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Fall season has just begun, as the Sun goes through the sign of Libra. Libra makes us think of balance and partnerships.  Ruled by Venus in Virgo, we often think about what details we want our partner to have.  The Sun in Libra makes us prioritize our lives and make sure that we take time out for us. It’s an excellent time to start a new relationship! Or at least make us realize what we want in a partner.  On October 5th, Venus will meet up with Mars in the sky, which will also be the day of the Full…

Understanding the Fundamental Metaphysical Questions, Part 1, Who Are You?

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“I think, therefore I am.” “You are a child of the universe…” “We are all in a widowed state, and our task is to remarry.” The first one is attributed to the philosopher Rene Descrates. The second is from the poem Desiderata. And the third one is from Louis Claude de St. Martin. Throughout the ages, the greatest thinkers of humanity have endeavored to answer this most fundamental question of human existence. Let us now explore how various paragons of the ages have approached it and savor the insights we can glean from their thoughts. “You are a creature of…

Whole Wheat Pie Pastry

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Summer is closing its doors and autumn is just around the corner, which means apples, pumpkins, and pears are coming to our markets. You could get back to the traditional apple and pumpkin pies, or you could switch things up a bit and make a whole wheat pie pastry! What about a whole wheat peach-thyme galette, or a whole wheat lattice-top apple and rosemary pie? The possibilities are endless, dreamy, and soul-satisfying. In this article, I discuss some tips for making pie pastry, how to measure the sizes of different pies, and the Golden Ratio for pie pastry ingredients. I’ll…

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