Midweek Mindfulness with Mark Nepo — August 24, 2016

MN17-05

Image from The Book of Awakening 2017 wall calendar. Heather in the fog, Overijssel, Netherlands © Ronald Kamphius. Click image for more.

“Loving yourself requires courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world – our own self-worth.”

Mark Nepo


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Midweek Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh — August 17, 2016

Thich Nhat Hanh 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Thich Nhat Hanh 2017 wall calendar featuring artwork by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin. Click image for more details.

Sitting meditation is not to arrive
at some kind of enlightenment
in the future. When we sit, we have
a chance to be fully with ourselves.
Sitting on our cushion, we breathe
in such a way that we become fully alive;
we are fully present, in the here and the now.

Thich Nhat Hanh


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Assumption — Honoring the Virgin Mary

Image from our Herb Gardens 2017 wall calendar. Photograph © Laura Berman. Click image for more info.

Image from our Herb Gardens 2017 wall calendar. Photograph © Laura Berman. Click image for more info.

Very early on, the Catholic Church chose August 15 (which would be the full moon of August if the new moon fell—as it did when the months were lunar—on the first of the month) to honor the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was proclaimed a holiday throughout the Roman Empire by Emperor Maurice around 600 in the East, and about 50 years later in the West.

This Catholic holiday replaced an earlier celebration that took place in Greece on the full moon of August in honor of Artemis and Hecate, which the Romans gave a fixed place in the solar calendar on August 13. It was known in Rome as Diana’s Feast of Torches. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Eckhart Tolle — August 3, 2016

Image from A New Earth 2017 wall calendar. Cathedral Rock reflected in Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing, Arizona © Tim Fitzharris. Click image for more info.

Image from A New Earth 2017 wall calendar. Cathedral Rock reflected in Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing, Arizona © Tim Fitzharris. Click image for more info.

We can learn not to keep situations or events alive in our minds, but to return our attention continuously to the pristine, timeless present moment rather than be caught up in mental movie-making. Our very Presence then becomes our identity, rather than our thoughts and emotions.
Eckhart Tolle


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — August 2016 — Free to Download

August is a busy month for parents prepping for back to school as well as our bee friends who are harvesting in preparation for winter! We hope you enjoy this desktop calendar image for the month of August and that you find ease in the busyness.

Free Wallpaper for August 2016

Click thumbnail image above to see a preview of the downloadable graphic. See download tips and system instructions below.

Mac Users: Ctrl+click the 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: Right-click the 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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Bilberry Sunday

The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar

Image from The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar. Colander of blackberries © Sonja Dahlgren. Click image for more info.

In Ireland, the last Sunday in July (July 31 this year) is known as Bilberry Sunday, although it seems the custom of going to the mountains to look for bilberries has somewhat died out. I found one reference online to a festival in Ardagh, Ireland, in 2015 where the participants climbed Bri Leith (also known as Ardagh Hill) to collect bilberries.

I read of one old custom where the girls would bring home bilberries and bake them into a cake to present to the one they loved. But Máire MacNeill, in her book on the festival of Lughnasa (August 1), says the boys make the girls bilberry bracelets, which are left behind when it’s time to return home. Either way, this is a courting festival like May Day, three months earlier. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with the Dalai Lama — July 27, 2016

Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar. Photograph by Olivier Adam. Click image for more info.

Inner development comes step by step. You may think, “Today my inner calmness, my mental peace, is very small,” but still, if you compare, if you look five, ten, or fifteen years back, and think, “What was my way of thinking then? How much inner peace did I have then and what is it today?”– comparing it with what it was then, you can realize that there is some progress, there is some value…. Progress comes by maintaining constant effort in daily practice.
H. H. the Dalai Lama, from Kindness, Clarity, and Insight


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Kuan Yin’s Feast Day

Kuan Yin journal featuring the beautiful artwork of Duirwaigh Studios. Click image for more info.

Kuan Yin journal featuring the beautiful artwork of Duirwaigh Studios. Click image for more info.

The 19th day of the 6th lunar month is one of the feast days for Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. This holiday, which falls on Friday, July 22 in 2016, celebrates her vow to renounce going to live in heaven and instead remain in this world as long as there are living beings who suffer here.

Here are some simple ways to honor the day:

Great Compassion Water
Grandmaster Lin Yun taught us to take a cup of drinking water and chant “Om Mani Padme Hum,” one of the mantras of compassion, 9 or 108 times over the water. Drink nine mouthfuls first thing in the morning and another nine mouthfuls before going to bed while visualizing that any negative energy, bad luck or illness is eliminated. Continue reading