(Artificial) Fragrance Free (please) 

(Skip down for links to informative articles, or you can go straight to Environmental Working Group for the good stuff - lists of products, the good, the bad, and the extremely bad.) 

Do you remember when smoking cigarettes was accepted and allowed? In the work place, airplanes, restaurants - ? Seems unimaginable today. Slowly the public learned of the dangers of smoking - of directly inhaling, and of second-hand smoke. And then it was revealed that tobacco companies had known of the dangers for a good long…

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Thank You 

Thank you for pink in the sky
this bare branch morning.
Thank you for robin egg blue sliver on the horizon,
for muffled evergreen sketched in charcoal and mist
on a steely lavender shadow of island.

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The First Lesson 

The First Lesson

Music is my religion
Chocolate, the communion.
Pain is my guru
“No thoughts necessary,” the mantra.
Kindness is the catechism
and beauty is the gospel.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
World without end,

Relax, and take a nice deep breath... 

Relax, and take a nice, deep breath....

There is a reason that nearly all meditation exercises begin with slow, intentional breathing: deep breaths activate the relaxation response, one of the functions of the parasympathetic aspect of the autonomic nervous system. From Wikipedia: “The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the sympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body's unconscious…

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Just Past Arbuckle - Notes From the Road 

Just Past Arbuckle

Just past Arbuckle
telephone poles list
in tandem.
Shadows cross-hatch
at exit five-five-nine
County Line
and orchard rows swirl
in a mesmerizing polka.
Young branches raised kalani,
a nut tree halau
in graceful undulation.
On a distant hill a vineyard is laid
like a dotted swiss picnic cloth.
I-5 snakes south
shedding its skin
to become
The Five.

The Seeker 

In 1984 I had been in recovery for a couple of years; I was doing well in college, and enjoying working in my garden. I lived in a lovely two-story red-shingled Craftsman house in Sebastopol, California. Two palm trees graced the front yard; a barn owl lived in one of them. I often found regurgitated rodent skeletons on the lawn under its perch. Two large picture windows flanked the southeast corner of the living room, bathing my baby grand piano in filtered light. When I practiced Chopin’s Military…

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Steiner on Nature 

Randomly opened to the following passage in Rudolph Steiner's "How to Know Higher Worlds":

"The ideal situation would be to pursue our esoteric training among green plants and sunny mountains, surrounded by the loveliness of nature’s simplicity. This would produce harmony in our inner organs that would never be possible in modern cities. In other words, a person who has grown up surrounded by fragrant pines, snowy peaks, and the quiet bustle of forest animals and insects is better prepared for esoteric…

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Mystical Glow Tour 

Presentations in Vashon, Port Townsend, Lummi Island and Crescent City have been sweet and magical. The morning service at Lummi Congregational Church on the first day of Advent with an inspiring talk by Pastor Larson and beautiful piano music by Cindy Minkler created the perfect space for our afternoon Connect & Glow. The next Sunday the beauties at Universal Heart Center in Crescent City truly opened their hearts and we were all uplifted. I am reminded of Shankarananda’s writing in “Consciousness Is

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How to Practice Piano 

Tips for Practicing Piano

Practice is essential to making progress. Because of the nature of brain function, a regular daily practice routine is much more effective than one cramming session the day before the lesson. An assignment book with written practice instructions is provided; the assignment book should be brought to every lesson. Please call the teacher if there is any trouble understanding the practice assignment.

An excellent system for practicing is to begin the practice with a different part of…

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Upon Meeting My Greatgrandfather on Memorial Day 

Upon Meeting My Great Grandfather on Memorial Day

Dear Charles,
I met you today on the net
The internet, that is -
Because I realize I know you in other weavings.
Died at your own hand, at 48
And gambling.

I was looking for an uncle,
The one who edited in Oakland,
He knew Jack London, Bret Harte -
I was looking for Romance.

When I look in your eyes
The tears well up in mine.
I feel as if I miss you.

My grandfather’s father took his life
And one of his sons did the same.
The others died of natural causes:

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