Midweek Mindfulness with Pema Chödrön — February 22, 2017

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. — Pema Chödrön

Pema Chodron 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Japanese white-eye on blossoming plum tree, Honshu, Japan © Toshiaki Ono.

When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I could get a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.” Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have a perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.”

But loving-kindness — maitri — toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

Excerpt from The Wisdom of No Escape and also published in our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar.


Pema ChodronPema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and one of the foremost students of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the renowned Tibetan meditation master. She is resident teacher of Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. Chödrön is widely regarded as one of the preeminent spiritual teachers in the West and is the author of many best-selling books, including When Things Fall Apart, The Places That Scare You, and Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. For more information, please visit her website.


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2017 calendar sale

Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind

A Thought From His Holiness The Dalai Lama:

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

No matter whom I meet and where I go, I always give the advice to be altruistic, to have a good heart. From the time when I began to think until now, I have been cultivating this attitude of altruism. This is the essence of religion; this is the essence of the Buddhist teaching.

We should take this good heart, this altruism, as the very basis and internal structure of our practice and direct whatever virtuous activities we do toward its increase higher and higher. We should suffuse our minds with it thoroughly and use words or writings as means of reminding ourselves of the practice. Such words are the Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind, written by the Ga-dam-ba Ge-shay Lang-ritang- ba (1054 – 1123); they are very powerful even when practiced only at the level of enthusiastic interest. Continue reading

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — February 2017 — Free to Download

February is full of early spring surprises and holidays including Random Acts of Kindness week. Kindness can be food for the soul. Read more about this annual celebration.

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Feast of Saint Brighid
1 – Imbolc (Pagan/Wiccan)
1 – Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
2 – Groundhog Day
6 – Waitangi Day (New Zealand)
10 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
11 – Tu B’Shevat (Jewish)
12 – Lincoln’s Birthday
12-18 – Random Acts of Kindness Week
14 – Valentine’s Day
15 – Flag Day (Canada)
15 – Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
20 – Presidents’ Day
22 – Washington’s Birthday
25 – Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)
26 – Annular Solar Eclipse
27 – Great Lent (Orthodox Christian)
27 – Losar (Tibetan New Year)
28 – Mardi Gras

February Free Desktop Wallpaper

See download tips and system instructions below.

Mac Users: Click thumbnail image above to see a preview of the downloadable graphic. Then Ctrl+click that image and select the command “Save Image As” in the pop-up menu to save the image to your computer. Some browsers allow you to click and drag the image to your desktop. Then use your System Preferences to change the desktop.

Windows Users: Click thumbnail image above to see a preview of the downloadable graphic. Then right-click that image and select the command “Save Image As” in the pop-up menu to save the image to your computer. Some browsers allow you to click and drag the image to your desktop. Then use your Personalization Settings to change the desktop.

Note: Desktop wallpaper calendars are free for personal use only.


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Random Acts of Kindness Week

It’s that moment when we have become present and offered a kindness – or the intention of kindness –  where there’s a real transformation. — Tara Brach

Image from the Present Moment 2017 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True.

Image from the Present Moment 2017 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True. Photo © Katsiaryna Yudo.

Random Acts of Kindness Week, which will be observed February 12-18, 2017, is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. Formally recognized in 1995, this seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. It all starts with one act — one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same. Since inception, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation estimates that millions of individuals, celebrities, businesses, schools, and partners have participated in these weeklong celebrations. Continue reading

Lunar New Year — Preparing for the Chinese New Year Festival

Chinese New Year decorations

Photo by Warren R.M. Stuart / Flickr

Please don’t get overwhelmed, just choose a handful of preparations from below that thrill and excite you!

  • Do give your home a clear out and deep clean before the evening of January 27 which is the Eve of Chinese New Year’s (January 28 for 2017) — you absolutely want to clear out the old stagnant chi and welcome in fresh new energies! As you clean, imagine you’re sweeping away all illness, obstacles, bad luck, negative attitudes, and anything causing grief, stress, anxiety or frustration to members of your household or business. Dispose of anything broken or with unhappy memories. This is a time for your spaces to SPARKLE! GLIMMER! SHINE!
  • Repair and refresh any leaking faucets, squeaky door hinges, broken locks, burnt-out light bulbs, squeaking beds and so on. And toss any broken or cracked china or crockery — they bring bad luck.
  • If you have a red front door, give it a fresh coat of glossy vermillion red paint.
  • Schedule your hair cut and color, manicure and pedicure before Chinese New Year’s Eve so you don’t “cut” away any luck in the new year.
  • Send out your invitations for a special celebratory meal or celebration to occur anytime during the two-week Lunar New Year Festival which begins on January 28th, New Year’s Day. Have a noisy, uplifting and happy party with an abundance of food, music and laughter! Especially auspicious days for 2017 would be on January 27th or 28th; February 3, 4th or 11th.
  • Make amends with anyone with whom you’ve had a row or falling-out.
  • Start to pay down or off all your debts as best you can. And pay your current bills so you go into the New Year feeling debt-free.
  • Shop for new clothes for the New Year — ideally some red outfits or even just red accessories for the celebrations.
  • Treat your home and business to one piece of new furniture or décor so you’re continually up-leveling and refreshing the energy.
  • Start to find fifteen very special gifts, one for each day of the Chinese New Year, to woo your beloved one(s) and expressing your love, cherishing and care.
  • Send out some Chinese New Year greeting cards—snail mail, hand-delivered or email.
  • Treat yourself to a brand new red purse and wallet and fill it with lots of cash such as 108 or 27 crisp uncirculated bills or 9 or 27 gold one dollar coins. Add money from a wealthy person and 3 Coins on Red Ribbon.

Continue reading

Magical Garden Coloring Calendar Giveaway

Calendar Giveaway

We’re giving away 3 copies of the Magical Garden 2017 coloring wall calendar. Woohoo! You can enter to win by liking or commenting on this post on our Facebook page. We’ll randomly select 3 winners (US address entries only) on January 31, 2017, at 12:00 pm PT. The Magical Garden features illustrations by Lydia Hess.

 Like or comment on Facbook to enter>>


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90,000 More Trees Planted — 650,000 and Growing

90,000 trees planted

In our dedication to embrace the concepts of Right Livelihood and mindful living, Amber Lotus Publishing partners with Trees for the Future to replenish the resources used in crafting our products. Through this valuable partnership, we planted an additional 90,000 trees in 2016. This brings our total to 650,000 trees planted since 2008.

What began as a simple strategy to offset the number of trees used to produce our products has morphed into a fundamental component of our ongoing mission. As our president Lawson Day says, “We intend to continue planting as many trees as we can for as long as we can.”

Thank you for purchasing our calendars, greeting cards, and gifts. And for being a part of our mission.


Amber Lotus Publishing is proud to be a carbon-negative independent publisher. Read more about our efforts and philosophy of Art, Commerce, and Service.


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Happy Full Moon — January 2017

Full Moon January 2017


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