Friday Roundup - April 8, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Head Space: This week I have been re-integrating into 'regular' life after a 10 day silent meditation retreat. It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I had it! I went to the Northern California Vipassana Center, one of many sites hosting Vipassana meditation retreats. The retreat was run entirely by volunteers who cooked, cleaned and organized so that I and about 100 other meditators could spend 10 days in deep meditation and study, in complete silence. I'm very grateful to the Center, the members of the Vipassana community, and to Alyssa Dazet of The 6-Figure Acupuncturist who shared on social media about her experience at a Vipassana retreat, leading me to try it for myself. There is no charge to attend a 10 day course, thanks to the generosity of past students.

Meditation in prison: I've been limiting my online time a bit this week as I come out of my retreat - but I did find some related content  - a documentary film about Vipassana meditation in prison, The Dhamma Brothers. It's an incredible story about the possibilities of inner transformation, even for those in such completely limited external circumstances. You can watch it online via the film's website.

For the first time, I could observe my pain and grief. I felt a tear fall. Then something broke, and I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I found myself in a terrain where I had always wanted to be, but never had a map. I found myself in the inner landscape, and now I had some direction.
— Omar Rahman, Dhamma Brother

Sneak Peek: More to come soon, but I'm excited to let you know I'll be part of an afternoon retreat for women on May 1 at the Manzanita Wellness in Berkeley. Join me and other practitioners to sample herbal facials and skin care, herbal foot soaks, massage, acupuncture with essential oils, energy readings, as well as some diy fun, movement medicine and more.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - September 4

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Cinnamon bark getting ready for oil infusion

Cinnamon bark getting ready for oil infusion

Warm it up! I enjoyed (and shared) this article about 'womb-warming' herbs. 'Cold uterus' is a condition in Chinese medicine linked to a variety of health issues, like menstrual cramps, issues with fertility, ovarian cysts etc. Tranquil Palace Oil has ginger and some other warming herbs in it - part of the effect is has on pain. I've been refining a 'Warming Oil', infusing many of these herbs like cinnamon, ginger, mugwort into oil and adding essential oils - it's almost ready - just as we're coming in to fall!

Loving yourself is transformative:  My Body Belongs To Me: Navigating Racial Body Politics as a Fat Black Girl Anitra Winder writes from a tender, first person place about coming to love and appreciate your body as a black woman in a white supremacist world.

Lovingkindness: There's a lot of horrible stuff happening in the world right now. That's always true I guess. My friend and acupuncturist Prajna introduced me to this  LovingKindness Meditation as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh many years ago, and I'll be adding it to my practice this week.

"May all living beings live in security and peace - beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small, visible or not visible, near or far away, already born or yet to be born. May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility."

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