• 24May

  • 24May

    We are falling behind the rest of the world.  France now made it illegal to throw out leftover food and Ireland makes it a law that anyone can marry regardless of sexual orientation.  A good week for the world though!


  • 17May
  • 13May
    If you see a listing for a business you know, please take a few seconds to give them a nice rating! And if you notice we are missing anyone it’s really easy to Add A New Listing.

    Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this please share. And we’re always intested in you comments. Thanks!

  • 13May

    El Nino will be ‘substantial’, warn Australian scientists


    By Madeleine Coorey 23 hours a0
    • .

    Australian scientists on Tuesday forecast a “substantial” El Nino weather phenomenon for 2015, potentially spelling deadly and costly climate extremes, after officially declaring its onset in the tropical Pacific.

    El Nino had been expected last year when record-breaking temperatures made 2014 the hottest in more than a century. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said while the thresholds were not met until now it was expected to be a significant event.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency also confirmed the phenomenon had begun and forecast it would continue into late 2015.

    “There’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event,” David Jones, from the bureau’s climate information services branch said.

    “Certainly the models aren’t predicting a weak event. They are predicting a moderate-to-strong El Nino event. So this is a proper El Nino event, this is not a weak one or a near miss as we saw last year.”

    The El Nino phenomenon — which is associated with drought conditions in Australia — can cause havoc for farmers and global agricultural markets, hitting economies heavily dependent on the land.

    The last El Nino five years ago had a major impact with monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and killer floods in Mexico.

    It occurs when the trade winds that circulate over waters in the tropical Pacific start to weaken and sea surface temperatures rise.

    – Severe drought –

    US officials announced earlier this year that the long-awaited El Nino had arrived, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described it as of “weak strength”.

    Australian scientists said models were now showing it was likely to see an increased intensity from about September and have potential global impacts.

    “Last year we saw some indices, such as the sea surface temperatures at times exceed El Nino thresholds… but we didn’t see them all coming together at the same time or we didn’t see it sustained,” Jones explained.

    He said this year’s pattern could create drier conditions in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and parts of Southeast Asia.

    In the past it has caused heavier-than-normal rainfall in the eastern Pacific and South America — raising the spectre of floods and landslides, while the southwest United States and southern Africa tend to be drier.

    An El Nino is potentially a bad sign for large swathes of Australia, including the states of Queensland and New South Wales, which are already in the grip of severe drought.

    Neil Plummer, the bureau’s assistant director for climate information services, said it was often associated with below average rainfall across eastern Australia and warmer temperatures in the southern half over the hottest months.

    “The onset of El Nino in Australia in 2015 is a little earlier than usual,” he said, adding that this was the first such phenomenon in the tropical Pacific since March 2010.

    “Prolonged El Nino-like conditions have meant that some areas are more vulnerable to the impact of warmer temperatures and drier conditions.”

    El Nino is forecast to strengthen during the southern hemisphere winter but while the event increases the risk of drought, it does not guarantee it — with only 17 of the 26 El Nino events since 1900 resulting in widespread drought in Australia.

    On the upside, the bureau said it would expect the tropical cyclone season to be below average for Australia.

    “Every El Nino is different and we know that some years like 1972, 1982 and 1994 really fit the stereotype strongly, severe drought, very hot daytime temperatures, bushfire activity and so on,” said Jones.

    “But not every El Nino event follows that pattern.”

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  • 12May

    The Benefits of Coconut Water, Plus How to Ferment It


    This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!

    Coconut Water

    I’ve never really paid much attention to coconuts. After all, I live in Northern California. Coconuts don’t exactly grow around here. I remember my grandfather buying one and cracking it open when I was little. It was a complete novelty. Then came the start of my real food education and my new love for coconuts!

    No doubt coconut products will stay a staple in our house long after we have graduated from GAPS. Coconut water is one amazing coconut product that has proven to be an extremely pivotal part of the healing journey in our home.

    What are the benefits of coconut water?

    The clear liquid from the middle of a young, green coconut has a long list of benefits. Coconut water is full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, making it fantastic for oral re-hydration therapy and preventing dehydration. In fact, it has the highest concentration of electrolytes of anything found in nature, and in the event of an emergency can be put directly into an I.V. Soldiers serving in remote areas of the Pacific during World War II were saved using coconut water.

    Coconut water is antibacterial, full of amino acids, helps to remove toxins from the body, and kills intestinal worms. It contains high levels of cytokinins which support cell division and cell regeneration. Even the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has jumped on board in support of coconut water benefits. More than ten years ago it was granted a patent for a bottling process that preserves its nutrients, saying that it “contains the same five electrolytes found in human blood”.


    How do you source coconut water?

    Once a young, green coconut is cracked and the inside hits the air, the water begins to deteriorate rather rapidly. If bottled properly, it will stay fresh from 10 days to 3 weeks. And regardless of what labels read, it’s on it’s way out when it turns from clear to pink. This means you have to pay attention to how the coconut water is packaged to know if it is worth the money or just a dead, sugar drink inside.

    In short, if it comes in a can, if it comes in a tetra pac, or if it comes on the shelf and not refrigerated, there’s a 99% chance it is pasteurized, dead, and not worth the money. It needs to have been packaged in a way that it was not heated. Anything shelf stable is going to need either a preservative, or have been pasteurized.

    If you can source a young, green coconut, you can harvest the water yourself. You want coconuts that are in the same quality as when they came off the tree. I had a super hard time finding any that were truly raw. If they are big and green, that is perfect. If they have been shaved and are white, they are most likely sprayed in order to preserve them.

    I was not able to find an organic coconut in all of Northern California. And growing my own young, green coconuts simply isn’t an option for me. While California is full of imported palm trees (often planted next to pines), coconut trees just aren’t going to happen. It’s this stubborn climate thing that doesn’t allow them to grow.

    In the end, I found two sources of coconut water that appear to be entirely raw and preserved properly. They are Exotic Superfoods and Harmless Harvest. My personal favorite is Exotic Superfoods because it comes frozen.

    Why would you ferment coconut water?

    Coconut water is very high in sugar. If you have trouble with yeast, it may not be a good idea to drink raw coconut water without fermenting it first. In order to capitalize on its amazing healing benefits but not add to the yeast issues, we chose to ferment it at first. Fermenting coconut water eats up the residual sugar, resulting in a vinegary like beverage. Watch out, though. Like other probiotic foods, it is wise to introduce it slowly.

    If you would like to give fermented coconut water a shot and not have to make it yourself, I know of one quality brand for purchase — Body Ecology’s Cocobiotic. If you want to make ferment it yourself, it’s really easy!

    How to Make Fermented Coconut Water

    Warm coconut water to 100 degrees. Place in a fermenting jar and add probiotic for starter. For 12 ounces of coconut water I add approximately ¼ teaspoon probiotic. I have successfully used both Biokult and Gutpro. Mix with a wooden spoon and put on a lid. Put it in a warm location and wrap jar with a towel to keep the light out.

    Depending on the warmth of your home, it takes an average of 3 days for fermented coconut water to be ready. It is ready for drinking when there is no residual sweet taste left, and the water starts to bubble like a true ferment. There should be a small layer of white foam on the top, and the water will turn cloudy. It should have a vinegar tang with a coconutty aftertaste.

  • 11May

    Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book
    Family and Relationships : Your Parents


    By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Tushita Retreat Centre, Dharamsala, India (Last Updated Dec 1, 2013)
    Caring for Mother
    A student who cares for her mother after a series of strokes wrote to thank Rinpoche for his blessings, guidance and protection over many years. To deal with the challenges of caregiving, the student visualizes taking care of Rinpoche when taking care of her mother. Read Rinpoche’s response, along with the student’s original letter, below.

    My most kind, most dear, most precious, wish-fulfilling Maria,
    Billions and zillions and trillions and numberless thanks for your most kind letter. Yes, you are right: even though we haven’t seen each other for so many years, I feel very close to you as before, heart to heart, and I am so happy that you are serving your mother with the thought that you are serving me. I’m very sorry that your mind was unhappy when you heard that I had a stroke. So sorry for that, but I hope that it was meaningful for you to be free from samsara and to achieve enlightenment.

    First of all, it is really great the meditation you are doing: serving your mother and thinking you are serving the guru. When I was in Tibet (not the last time, but the time before) our journey took us to Reting, Lama Dromtönpa’s monastery, which he built on the advice of Lama Atisha. I didn’t know, but our guide directed the tour through His Holiness the Karmapa’s monastery in Tshurpu. We stayed there one day and slept outside the monastery in tents for two nights. I went to visit nearly every temple in the monastery. The monks were doing puja and I personally made money offering to each one, handing them the money myself. As I did this, I started to think that each one was my guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche or Lama Yeshe (maybe the first one). This is what I was thinking as I gave the money, so I collected the most extensive merits and accumulated the most powerful purification because I was thinking of each monk as the guru.

    So first of all, this life’s parents are very powerful objects of merit. Even very small negative or positive actions done towards this life’s parents are extremely powerful. Therefore, as a result of offering service to your mother, you will have so much happiness even in this life, your wishes will succeed and you will have a very good life. And the result is experienced not only this life; each positive action of offering service that you create towards the parents will bring benefit for thousands of lifetimes. It brings a good rebirth and unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable happiness while you are in samsara. I’m talking about each small service; every one results in happiness for thousands of lifetimes. So can you imagine the result of twenty-four hours of service? Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Then, if the service is done with bodhicitta, each one is the cause of enlightenment. The merit of every small service, every virtue created is so powerful.

    My guru, His Holiness Zong Rinpoche, from whom I received many initiations and teachings, was very devoted to his mother. When he was in Lhasa and already very learned and famous (maybe he was the abbot of Ganden Shartse at that time) he even wanted to sweep his mother’s room and take care of her, but because he was a high lama, people wouldn’t let him. However, this was his wish because it was so much unbelievable merit. He did many other things to take care of his mother, but was not able to do the sweeping. You collect unbelievable merit in relation to the mother because she is so very precious.

    So especially when you are serving your mother, think you are serving me, the guru, and then because we have a Dharma connection, you will collect the most extensive merit and perform the most powerful purification. When you offer service to the mother like this, it is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. With every day, every hour and every minute you come closer to enlightenment. That means at the same time, great, great, great benefit to the sentient beings with every hour and every minute.

    It is mentioned by Sakya Pandita that, “Even the merit from practicing the six paramitas and giving up one’s head, hands and legs to others for a thousand years is included in one second by following the path of the guru. Therefore, offer service and meditate on happiness.” That means when you offer service to the guru by obtaining the advice and fulfilling the holy wishes, you create as much merit in one second as you do by giving up your hands, legs and so on for that many years. Its unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable; really the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. It’s the most powerful and quickest way to purify negative karma and defilements. This is the most powerful purification.

    Also it is mentioned in the Drop of Mahamudra, “As fire burns wood and turns it into ashes in one second, like that if the glorified guru is pleased, in one second the negative karmas are burned.”

    For example, in his early life, Jetsun Milarepa killed many people and animals using black magic, but after meeting his guru, Marpa, he purified all of this by following his guru Marpa’s wishes. He purified all those heavy negative karmas and received clairvoyance and many other powers and then full enlightenment in that brief lifetime of degenerate times. Therefore there is no more powerful way to purify negative karma than by devoting to the guru.

    So what you are doing is a very, very, very, very good way to make your life meaningful and most beneficial to free the sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment, especially as it is dedicated to sentient beings. Therefore, when you do every single service for your mother, as much as possible, think of me.

    Again I want to say billions and billions and trillions of thanks for your every service to her and to me. That’s GREAT, really GREAT.

    With skies of love and prayers

    Lama Zopa

    Student’s Letter

    Dearest Rinpoche, my lama, my guide, my refuge and savior, very respectfully I bow at your holy feet with deepest gratitude.

    For me, it is impossible to retribute all the blessings, guidance and protection you have granted me over so many years. Words cannot describe my gratitude.

    Since I moved 13 years ago, my karma has been taking care of loved ones. First, my sister who died in 2000. Then my dad, who died at the age of 95 in 2008. Now my mom, who I take care since her first stroke in 2006.

    Rinpoche, when you manifested a stroke with results similar to my mom, my very first impact was of awe. “What now?” I wondered, feeling a sense of loss. How silly of me! This was quickly substituted by a warmth expanding in my heart and showing me that nothing had changed.

    I realized that after many years trying to serve you the best I could through helping spread Dharma, sometimes feeling lonely and isolated, wishing to talk directly to you—butpersonal contact was not as accessible as in 1992 —what I had indeed been doing all these years was training my mind to hear you in my heart. You are always in my heart, our minds are not separate and I know you are always with me.

    I learned to talk to you in silence, and in silence hear your reply in my heart. When my mind is too troubled for that, I observe the external signs, and you always show me the answer and ways to give me strength. This is the first benefit I received after you manifested illness.

    The second benefit was seeing the opportunity to practice patience, right here at home. Mom’s first stroke left her communication difficult, and her Parkinson’s disease makes her walk and do things very, very slowly. She only walks very short distances with our help. So, I began to visualize that while taking care of her, I was taking care of you. It was very powerful. I know that I am far from being patient, but I can now appreciate and enjoy being with her, and can also have a better control when impatience arises.

    This year was especially challenging. In just four months my mom had pneumonia, an emergency colostomy surgery, a second stroke with more severe consequences than the first one, and was in intensive coronary care for some days. In two occasions we thought she would not resist, but she did and I thank you for this blessing.

    Now, we have to clean her colostomy bag, removing the feces a few times a day. We also have to remove her urine residue three times a day using a urinary catheter. A caretaker helps us during the day, but my sister and I have developed these skills and do these procedures many times. Your teachings about Dromtönpa’s devotion towards Atisha, carrying his feces outside in his bare hands, comes to my mind and it makes me happy.

    When feelings of fatigue or depression arise, I find strength and encouragement in your warm presence in my heart.

    Rinpoche, I am the same dedicated disciple, full of flaws and delusions, who has been accumulating misdeeds life after life since beginningless times and who is now experiencing the ripened result of this karma.

    I know I have not developed special qualities. Without your teachings, without your example and blessings, without your guidance and protection, it would have been unbearable to face all this.

    My gratitude cannot be expressed in words, but from the most profound corners in my heart, I thank you for all your blessings and benefits all these years.

    May all beings be benefited by following your peerless example and teachings.

    May you guide me through all my lives until I reach enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

    May you have a very healthy and long life, with all your wishes fulfilled.

    With all my love and devotion,

    Return to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book

    – See more at: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=969#sthash.G8u0cGv1.dpuf

  • 08May


    t was pioneered by Arizona-based Dr Andrew Weil who says on his YouTube channel: ‘It is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.’

    To do the 4-7-8 breathing technique, you first need to exhale completely through your mouth while making a ‘whoosh’ sound.

    Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

    Now hold your breath for a count of seven.

    After this time has elapsed, exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight second in one large breath.

    Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.

    ‘Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.

    ‘The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time,’ Dr Weil says.

  • 06May
    May 6, 2015

    In your daily life, how do you become an instrument of social change? You become in yourself the statement of love, the statement of choiceless awareness, you become the moment so that everyone that comes near you is liberated by your presence if they are ready. You do nothing to anybody. You live your life. Which life do you live? Whatever your dharma demands. If your work is to protest the injustice of races, you protest. If your work is to raise a family, you raise a family. If your work is to be a good lawyer, you’re a good lawyer. If your work is to be a shoemaker, you’re a shoemaker. If your work is to meditate in a cave, you meditate in a cave. No blame, no reward. You do your dharma. Each act you do you do as a vehicle for becoming this meditative, loving, present moment. This statement of love. the statement of choiceless awareness. You become the moment.

  • 05May


    Fwd: Free Online Course from Shambhala Mountain Center

    To: M <Delaney01@gmail.com>
    Subject: Free Online Course from Shambhala Mountain Center
    Reply-To: The Lion’s Roar <newsletter@shambhalasun.com>

    From the publishers of Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma

    A new event from our partners at Shambhala Mountain Center

    Sign up here to access all 5 days of dialogues, presentations, and guided meditations (at no cost)

    We’re excited to announce Beyond Mindfulness, a free online event, coordinated by our friends at Shambhala Mountain Center focused on mindful living and inspired action.  It is a five-day event full of insights and practical tools for waking up in your everyday life.

    The event features over 20 top thought leaders, wisdom holders and social visionaries sharing their experience and guidance on: releasing stress, cultivating healthy relationships, working with challenging emotions, establishing a meditation practice, integrating lessons from meditation and mindfulness practices into your daily life, cultivating compassion and much more!

    Click here to register for the free online event May 13-17. After this timeframe the recordings of the event will be available for purchase here.

    Presenters and hosts include: Ken Wilber, Joseph Goldstein, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Kelly McGonigal, Acharya Fleet Maul, Angel Kyodo Williams, Rick Hanson, Shastri Holly Gayley, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi , Acharya Dan Hessey, Shastri Janet Solyntjes, John Dupuy, Richard Reoch, Acharya Susan Skjei, Richard Fernandez, Sensei Alexandra Shenpen and many more!

    Click here to register

    From time to time, Lion’s Roar partners with businesses and nonprofits to help support the work of making the Dharma widely available. We will always let you know when an email is part of a partnership (like this one is). Thank you for your ongoing support.

    To ensure you receive Shambhala Sun emails, please add newsletter@shambhalasun.com to your address book.

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