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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kilroy J. Oldster Quotes From His Book, "Dead Toad Scrolls"

Aloha Everyone,

Once in a while, we come across a book that speaks directly to your soul. Dead Toad Scrolls by Kilroy J. Oldster is one of those books with thought provoking messages. Here are a few quotes from the book. I would love to hear your thoughts.

"Living is a creative and active process of diligent learning that entails industrious human action, attentive awareness, and thoughtful reflection. Learning is one facet of human beings innate capacity that can provide a sense of worthiness to human life."

"Life will never meet all of our expectations. We must nonetheless accept all disappointments without becoming bitter and cynical. We must always remain mindful of the opportunity to extend kindness and work to improve our character."

"Every child matures, which is both a blessing and a damn shame. Children can imagine worlds that never exist, worlds far more interesting and consoling than an adult knows."

"We wait too long to tell the people we love that they are the very reason that we exist. We assume that our wife, child, other family members, and friends understand our love and affection. We assume that people we care about understand our enigmatic idiosyncrasies and willingly accept the shrouded reasons behind our demonstrable oddities. We assume that other people sense that we struggle valiantly in our blackened landscape. We presume that other people comprehend our struggle to glean meaning amongst the ashes spewed from the absurd circumstances that we operate. Sometimes we need to stop and tell the tenderhearted persons whom we care about that we love them and explain that our awkward strangeness is not a rejection of them."

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Practicing Dan Sha Ri

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I practice non-attachment. Learning to let go and accepting impermanence of everything is how we try to live our lives.

A similar practice in Japan is called the spirit of Dan Sha Ri.

The first Kanji character, Dan means to refuse or decline. Refuse to collect more stuffs in your life. By refusing, one opens up and unblock the flow of one's life.

The second Kanji character, Sha means to discard, to get rid of unnecessary stuff from your life.

The third Kanji character, Ri means to separate. To separate important things from unimportant from one's life.  

In another words, live your life simply, live your life honestly and fully.

Namaste -- Cathi

Rengein-Tanjyöji Temple, Japan

Aloha Everyone,

Located in Tamana City, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, the Rengein-Tanjyöji Temple is sect of Buddhism (esoteric Buddhism) and is dedicated to Buddhist St. Kōan. 

Daibutsusama - great statue of St. Kōan with a merciful mien.

Shōrō-dō, bell tower houses the biggest temple bell in the world.  

Sumō-dōjyō, Japanese wrestling ring. Each year, on November 3, Yokozunas or grand champions perform the Dohyōiri ceremony.

Gojyūnotō, five-stories pagoda is the main hall of this temple and a major symbol of Buddhist belief.  Among 43 five-storied pagodas in Japan this is the largest and only one that allows worshipers to do religious practices within the building. 

Personally, I would be most curious to see the 4th story hall as this is the training hall for zazen. Zazen is one of the most simple yet difficult forms of meditation. When doing Zazen, the practitioner sits in correct posture, focuses on breathe and abandons worldly thoughts. Mushin, meaning clearing of mind, It is a way of training one's mind to attain spiritual enlightenment.

This temple also attracts believers because of its miraculous power spot. In Western concept, one might say that this is a vortex, a place of power.

Namaste -- Cathi

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gampo Abbey

Aloha Everyone,

Gampo Abbey is a Western Buddhist monastery. It is in the hills of Pleasant Bay, north of Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia.

Chogyan Trungpa Rinpiche founded in 1983. The abbey is a lineage institution of Shambhala.

Acharya Pema Chodron, who I consider as my spiritual teacher, is the Principal Teacher of the Abbey.

My son calls it my pilgrimage. Perhaps it is. As from the moment I found about Pema Chodron through her books and started to follow her teachings, I have gained clarity in the purpose of my life. It broaden my horizon and helped me live my life fully. Here are tablets with some of the teachings:

Namaste -- Cathi

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jerusalem Artichoke Nutrition Facts - Also Known As Sunchoke, Kiku Imo, (Helianthus tuberosus)

Aloha Everyone,

The Jerusalem artichoke* (also known as Sunchoke, Kiku Imo, and Helianthus tuberosus) has many health benefits:

·         High in Iron - 100 g of fresh Jerusalem artichoke contains 3.4 mg or 42.5% of iron
·         Moderately high in calories; provides about 73 calories per 100 grams
·         Almost no fat
·         Zero cholesterol
·         Rich in the carbohydrate inulin (76%)
·         650 mg potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving
·         High-quality phyto-nutrition  comprises of dietary fiber (non-starch carbohydrates)
·         Antioxidants
·         Contain10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper
·         Contains about 10% protein
·         Contains no oil and lack of starch
·         Contains small but some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins

Health benefits of Jerusalem artichoke

·         Helps the digestive tract
·         Excellent source of potassium
·         Offer protection from cancer, inflammation and viral cough and cold
·         Promotes hair health
·         Helps with combating fatigue
·         Helps with combating heart disease
·         Makes you happy, combats mood swing
·         Helps with insulin resistance and improves diabetes control
·         Helps reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
·         Helps with weight loss
·         Brandy made of Jerusalem artichoke is used as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Cathi’s note:  If you are eating this raw, diced and stir fly with other vegetables. It’s also great for soup. Enjoy!

Namaste -- Cathi

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Health Benefits of Chile Peppers

Aloha Everyone,

CAUTION: Before you start enjoying chile pepper as a part of your diet, be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist. Always remember not to overdo.

There are many health benefits of chile peppers.

1.  Chili pepper contains  capsaicin that has  anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. 

2.  Chile pepper also reduces LDL cholesterol levels in people who are obese.

3.  Fresh chile peppers either red and green are rich in vitamin-C.

4.  Chile pepper also contain antioxidants such as vitamin A and flavonoids like ß-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. 

5.  Chilies contain potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

6.  Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).

Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):

240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid), 
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine), 
32% of vitamin A, 
13% of iron,
14% of copper, 
7% of potassium,  
0% of  cholesterol. 

The next time you have a sore throat and reach out for your favorite teas and lozenges, see if they too contain chile pepper.

Finally, if chile starts to burn the palate, drink milk, not water, to cool off.


Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vinyasa Yoga or Flow Yoga

Namaste Everyone,

I recently took a Flow Yoga class taught by Allison Berlin at the Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The class was Slow Flow which basically synchronizes movement to the breath. 

This is a type of Yin Yoga, a gentle form of yoga where each pose is held longer. In Allison's Slow Flow yoga class, we probably held for 3 to 5 minutes per pose. The breath is an important component to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. In Sanskrit, Vinyasa means "connection" and it is a connection between breath and movement.

Here is what you can do in your home practice. Try not to stop in between poses but continue and flow from one set of movement to the next. Playing slow, meditative music in the background may help with your movements.

1) Cat-Cow 

Begin very slowly at your own pace and eventually go deeper using more powerful breath to feel the connection between your breath and the body.

2) Plank Pose to Downward Dog

Go back and forth with inhalation to Plank Pose and exhalation in Downward Dog.

3) Plank Pose to Cobra back to Plank then to Downward Dog

Now we are introducing one more asana. Be mindful of each movements and each breath. Be sure that you complete one pose, stay at least 6 breaths before moving on.

4) Plank Pose to Cobra, back to Plank to Downward Dog then to High Lunge with right knee forward, back to Downward Dog and then to High Lunge with left knee forward.

These movements are included in sun salutations and you are welcome to do sun salutations as Vinyasa or Flow Yoga. Do each pose slowly hold them at least 6 counts synchronizing with your breath ultimately build up to 3 to 5 minutes per pose. Remember to that you are inhaling and exhaling through your pose. This is a very calm, meditation in motion. There is no set rules or restriction regarding which asana can be done in Vinyasa. Try them out and do them slowly holding each pose longer. You might be able to come up with your own Flow Yoga form.


Improve the strength and flexibility of joints

Helps you be more mindful and relaxed

Increase energy and stamina

Helps with our physical and emotional balance

Relief from everyday stress

Always remember never to overdo. Listen to your body and enjoy.

Sat Nam -- Cathi