I Am Goat by Kevin Horan

I Am Goat wall calendar

We’re delighted to offer the I Am Goat wall calendar again for 2018. Today we’re sharing the cover as part of the WordPress.com Daily Post photo challenge. The theme today is “unusual.” We think photographer Kevin Horan addresses the unusual head-on with his wonderful goat portraits. 

Read more about Kevin, his process, and rescue goats. 

 


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Midweek Mindfulness with Mark Nepo — July 12, 2017

The Book of Awakening 2018 wall calendar

Image from The Book of Awakening 2018 wall calendar. Stacked stones © Dietmar Voorwold. Click image for more.

“This is the trick to staying well, isn’t it: To feel the sun even in the dark. To not lose the truth of things when they go out of view. To know there is still water, even when we are thirsty. To know there is still love, even when we are lonely. To know there is still peace, even when we are suffering.”
Mark Nepo


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Happy Birthday to H. H. the Dalai Lama

Image from our Dalai Lama 2018 wall calendar. Photograph by Rosemary Rawcliffe.

“One of my fundamental beliefs is that not only do we inherently possess the potential or basis for compassion, but also the basic or fundamental human nature is gentleness.” — H. H. the Dalai Lama, from Healing Anger

Previously, in honor of his 80th birthday in 2015, we shared Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — July 2017 — Free to Download

July is the seventh month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth month to have the length of 31 days. July was named by the Roman Senate in honor of the Roman general, Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis.
Flower: Larkspur
Birthstone: Ruby

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Canada Day (Canada)
4 – Independence Day
6 – Dalai Lama’s Birthday
14 – Bastille Day (France)

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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Happy Summer Solstice! — Eratosthenes’ Inspiration

Seasonal changes are such a delight to the senses. The summer solstice marks longer days, if you live in the northern hemisphere, and ushers in fragrant blooming plants, delicious summer fruit, and adventures with friends and family. But the summer solstice also shares an anniversary of a scientific achievement. Here’s an excerpt from “Summer solstice: the perfect day to bask in a dazzling scientific feat” by Stuart Clark posted on The Guardian:

The summer solstice is the anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of the human mind: it marks the day we first calculated the size of the Earth.

This spectacular feat took place not in the modern technological age, but way back, over 2000 years ago, in the time of the classical Greeks.

Eratosthenes of Cyrene was the chief librarian at the great library of Alexandria in the third century BC. So the story goes, he read in one of the library’s many manuscripts an account of the sun being directly overhead on the summer solstice as seen from Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). This was known because the shadows disappeared at noon, when the sun was directly overhead. This sparked his curiosity and he set out to make the same observation in Alexandria. On the next solstice, he watched as the shadows grew small – but did not disappear, even at noon.

The length of the shadows in Alexandria indicated that the sun was seven degrees away from being directly overhead. Eratosthenes realised that the only way for the shadow to disappear at Syene but not at Alexandria was if the Earth’s surface was curved. Since a full circle contains 360 degrees, it meant that Syene and Alexandria were roughly one fiftieth of the Earth’s circumference away from each other.

Knowing that Syene is roughly 5000 stadia away from Alexandria, Eratosthenes calculated that the circumference of the Earth was about 250,000 stadia. In modern distance measurements, that’s about 44,000km – which is remarkably close to today’s measurement of 40,075km.

I first heard the story when it was told by Carl Sagan in his masterpiece TV series, Cosmos. I still marvel at Eratosthenes’s achievement – a stunning piece of deduction, based only on a few simple observations and an ocean of clear thinking.

So as you revel in the joys of the season, perhaps you can pause to marvel at the inspiration of Eratosthenes. 🌞


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Summer Season + The Element of Fire (Part 1)

Present Moment 2018 wall calendar

Image from our Present Moment 2018 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True. Photo © jared ropelato.

The fire of incandescence and luminosity is here! In nature the Fire Element is related to the season of Summer when yang energies are at their greatest with the heat and long sunlit hours.

Just like the flames of a fire, this season’s energy gifts us with dynamic enthusiasm, movement, joyful expansion, charisma, activity, desire, passion, laughter, love, and ecstatic bliss.

It’s the season of numinous and luminous light, warmth and affection burning on the altar of our hearts. When our fire element is healthy and balanced, we feel happy, compassionate, light and playful.

To make the very most of the seasons’ blessings you can…

  • Paste up images of the gorgeous phoenix, the immortal bird of transformation, and be inspired for alchemical transformation within yourself.
  • Wear red — lipstick, nail varnish, jewelry or clothing.
  • Watch comedies or host a game night and laugh, laugh, laugh!
  • Have a love affair or refresh the one you’re in!
  • Balance your fire element if you get overheated and go swimming in a cold river or pool.
  • Use the fire element for clearing, cleansing and purifying with smoke. Light incense to cleanse a space.
  • Burn Taoist joss papers and as the fire meets the sacred papers, your prayers immediately are in the Heaven Realm with the deities.
  • Light sparklers and fireworks and delight in their colorful, bursting luminosity.
  • Give your bedding a sunlight bath. Place your pillows, bedding and mattress outside in the morning sunshine for at least three hours to absorb the yang chi of the sunlight. This removes any illness, emotional or stagnant energies.
  • Give yourself a sunlight shower. Bask in the light of the sun between 7am-9am or 11am -1pm for about 6 minutes or so. Imagine being showered with fresh, bright yang energy and feel the sun is washing away any inauspicious energies as well as boosting your vitality.

Gwynne WarnerGwynne Allyn Warner is the founder of 10,000 Blessings Feng Shui and practices Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui as a disciple of Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun. She was certified as an Advanced Feng Shui Consultant by Helen and James Jay of Feng Shui Designs. Gwynne began her studies in Buddhism in her early twenties while living in London where she became enamored with Kuan Yin and thereafter received her Bodhisattva Vows with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Her expertise has been treasured by creative small businesses, service professionals, performing artists, Chinese medicine practitioners, healers, and interior designers among others. For more information and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website.


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — June 2017 — Free to Download

June is the sixth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the second month to have the length of 30 days.
Flower: Rose
Birthstone: Pearl

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
4 – Pentecost (Christian/Orthodox)
5 – World Environment Day
9 – Saka Dawa (Tibetan Buddhist)
14 – Flag Day
18 – Father’s Day
19 – Juneteenth
20 – World Refugee Day
21 – Lailatul Qadr (Islamic)
21 – Summer Solstice
24 – St. Jean-Baptiste Day (Quebec)
25 – Eid al-Fitr (Islamic)

June Free Desktop

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World Environment Day — June 5th

Image from our Call of the Wild 2018 wall calendar featuring photography by Chris Burkard. Click image for more info.

World Environment Day is a chance to reconnect with nature and celebrate the places that matter most to you.

How will you celebrate World Environment Day? Here’s some wonderful information from the UN website about this international celebration and the 2017 theme:

Connecting People to Nature, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet.

World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

The Value of Nature
In recent decades, scientific advances as well as growing environmental problems such as global warming are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being.

For example, the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food; scientists develop medicines using genetic material drawn from the millions of species that make up Earth’s astounding biological diversity.

Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.

Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees in the orchards of California to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a Himalayan valley.

Visit the World Environment Day website to find more information about celebrations and ways to be involved. Continue reading