Author Archives: Amber Lotus Publishing

About Amber Lotus Publishing

Amber Lotus Publishing is an independent publisher of mind body spirit themed calendars, greeting cards, journals, books, and wisdom decks. We create products that illuminate the sacred dimensions of everyday life — healthy lifestyles, mindfulness, and earth awareness. Sharing the diversity of world cultures and sacred traditions as well as the inspiration and beauty of the natural world is our passion.

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

Art for Life

Colors. Images. Words. Art can be a very personal expression. Having beautiful art in our homes and work spaces can serve as a focal point of calm during chaotic times or ignite passion in us to move into action. Art can be a reminder of who we are or who we strive to become.

At Amber Lotus Publishing, we are fortunate to be able to spend our time contemplating art – discussing, researching, and discovering. Art that we hope will infuse clarity, joy, and inspiration into our calendars. When we develop our calendars, we fall in love with the art and the message. It’s exciting to create a story for the year to mark our journey around the sun – one month at a time. Twelve pieces of art in celebration of that journey or to be touchstones along the way.

We are honored to work with a host of extraordinary artists, illustrators, photographers, writers, and thinkers. Here is a bit more about just three of them:

The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Thich Nhat Hanh
New for 2018, The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh wall calendar features the Zen calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh – affectionately known as Thay (“teacher”). His work is a joyful, fluid expression of his artistry and a timeless interpretation of Buddha’s teachings. Thay uses the calligraphy as a meditation; his hand and the brush merge to become one. Each serene stroke conveys a sense of mindfulness, energy, and love. With his calligraphy, Thay invites you to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, and to be present in the moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh has dedicated his life to the art of mindful living. Born in 1926, this Vietnamese Buddhist monk, scholar, poet, artist, peace activist, and prolific author is a beloved and revered global spiritual leader. His powerful teachings and best-selling books have reached an audience of millions around the world. For more than fifty years, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer of “Engaged” or “Applied” Buddhism, which applies ancient Buddhist wisdom to contemporary issues. He teaches that only through living in the present moment can we approach peacefulness – in ourselves and in the world. Now known as the “Father of Mindfulness,” he is the man Martin Luther King called “an apostle of peace and nonviolence.”

Celtic Mandala 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Jen Delyth
The Celtic Mandala wall calendar presents the magical knot weavings of Welsh artist Jen Delyth. Jen’s intricate paintings and illustrations are founded in her deep connection to her Celtic heritage and are a personal journey into the language of ancient Celtic mythology and symbolism. In its 16th year of printing, this wall calendar is a beloved bestseller.

Inspired by the spirit in nature, Jen’s artwork appeals to those who seek meaningful, profound images that express deep and essential aspects of the Celtic tradition. This tradition has its own ancient roots in the cultures of Neolithic and Paleolithic peoples who came before them. It continues to evolve and is – most important to many today – a living tradition.

Jen elaborates, “Although I am not affiliated with any particular branch of Celtic spirituality, my work often focuses on an expression of my deep love and respect of nature and all its mystery. The Celtic tradition expresses a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the natural world – of plants and animals and also the inner world of active imagination and our psyche. Working with the patterns, sacred images, and myths of the ancient Celts renews my connection between the past and the present, the inside and the outside, the seen and the unseen – life in all its mystery and interconnectedness, through art and story.”

Spirit Horses 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Tony Stromberg
The gorgeous Spirit Horses wall calendar features extraordinary portraits of horses, both wild and domestic, by renowned photographer Tony Stromberg. Each luminous image is paired with quotes from great teachers and writers exploring equine wisdom and the love of these magnificent creatures.

For more than two decades, Tony Stromberg made his mark as a successful advertising photographer. Yet a quiet but gnawing voice eventually drew him out of his commercial roots and deep into the soul of the West. What he had gained in reputation he felt he was losing in quality of life. Just before the turn of the millennium, he began his pilgrimage away from the frenetic world of advertising and into a world possessing a respect for nature and the land. Since then, he has spent much of his time learning the nuances of his most beloved equine companions in their natural environment. “The spirit of the horse,” says Stromberg, “is a magnificent teacher to humanity.”

Our most enduring companions, horses teach us about honesty and authenticity because they know no other way of being. They teach us about collaboration over dominance. And they teach us to respect and honor the unknown as opposed to fearing it and trying to destroy it. In both their physical and archetypal forms, horses help bring us back to something wild and unrestrained, reminding us of a sense of freedom many have forgotten.

About Amber Lotus Publishing — We Plant Trees!
Based in Portland, Oregon, Amber Lotus Publishing is proud to be a carbon-negative independent publisher with a dedication to environmental stewardship. As of December 2016, Amber Lotus Publishing had funded the planting of 650,000 trees.

Amber Lotus has been a Gold Certified Green America member since 1993. Green America certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. Green businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the planet.

Today our team is an extended family of ten people, including a martial artist, a jazz singer, bibliophiles, musicians, writers, belly dancers, gardeners, bicycle enthusiasts, plus a whole host of talented, creative, inspiring contributors. We strive to consistently offer products that are authentic and distinctive to bring you a sense of the eternal by nurturing your heart, renewing your soul, and expanding your mind.


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National Bike Month — Bike to Work

Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar

Images from our Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar. Top to bottom credits: Russ Roca, Stephen St. John, Jef Maion

To me the bicycle is in many ways a more satisfactory invention than the automobile. It is consonant with the independence of man because it works under his own power entirely. — Louis J. Halle, Jr.

Our hometown of Portland, Oregon, is a wonderfully bike-friendly town, so the celebration of National Bike Month is a big deal here. The Bike More Challenge is among the tons of activities around town this year. As of today, the Bike More Challenge has 902 organizations and 13,225 people registered to see who can log the most miles for the month!

The League of American Bicyclists originated Bike to Work Day (3rd Friday in May) as part of Bike to Work Week in 1956. Here’s more from their website:

National Bike Month includes an ever-expanding diversity of events in communities nationwide — but the biggest day of the month is Bike to Work Day. In 2017, Bike to Work Week will be May 15-19, with Bike to Work Day on May 19.

40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.

Hundreds of American communities have been successful in increasing bicycle commuting by providing Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day events.

In fact, among the 51 largest U.S. cities, 43 hosted Bike to Work Day events in 2010. The City of Denver reported the highest rate of participation with one out of every 28 adults participating in its 2010 Bike to Work event. That effort makes a difference: Many people who participate in their Bike to Work Day promotion as first-time commuters become regular bike commuters.

But Bike Month is more than one day — or week! From fashion shows to group rides, local groups find unique ways to celebrate their diverse bike cultures and community pride.

We hope you join in the fun by searching for events in your area or even just by dusting off your bike and going for a joy ride. #ridemore Continue reading

Beltane — The Dance of Spring

Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar featuring artwork by Jen Delyth.

Ceilidh – The Dance
Excerpt by Jen Delyth from the Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar — Within ancient and modern spiritual traditions, dance is a metaphor for life, an ancient choreography moving with the rhythm of the earth to the music of the cosmos. Within Celtic tradition, the Ceilidh is a gathering to celebrate music, storytelling, and dance. The long winter nights are passed to the music of the fiddle, the whistle, and the beat of the bodhran drum. Traditional Celtic dances weave intricate patterns of circles, spirals, and squares in arrangements of threes and fours – a dynamic expression of the eternal knot. In ritual dances such as the annual Beltane Maypole dance, men and women weave ribbons in ancient spiral patterns around the sacred tree to raise and manifest the fertile earth energies. Morris dancers continue the tradition of shaman dances. They wear antler headdresses and costumes of red and white representing the colors of the Otherworld. Their clogs, sticks, and bells stamp out rhythms in circular and square patterns in celebration of the ancient Horned God of fertility and strength. The Lord of the Dance is one of the oldest gods of the natural world. Within the Christian religion, he is still honored as the force at the center of our spiritual and metaphysical lives. Continue reading

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — May 2017 — Free to Download

May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the third month to have 31 days. May is also the month with the shortest name.
Flower: Lily of the Valley and the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), also known as “may blossom.”
Birthstone: Emerald

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Beltane (Pagan/Wiccan)
1 – May Day
5 – Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)
10 – Vesak (Buddhist)
11 – Lailatul Bara’ah (Islamic)
14 – Mother’s Day
19 – Bike to Work Day
20 – Armed Forces Day
22 – Victoria Day (Canada)
25 – Ascension (Christian/Orthodox)
27 – Ramadan Begins (Islamic)
29 – Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
29 – Memorial Day Observed
31 – Shavuot (Jewish)

Free Desktop Wallpaper May 2017 Continue reading