Category Archives: Inspiration & Spirituality

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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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

Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — April 12, 2017

Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

HONOR
For any person, any society, any nation to remain strong, honor must be one of the values to live by. Strength is not only a physical trait but it can also be woven into the spiritual and philosophical threads that bind a person’s character and that of any society or nation as well. There is no true strength without honor. Without honor, there is only force without reason or compassion. Without honor, strength is only a brute weapon, and the consequence is that “might makes right.” Furthermore, honor must be applied to all the many aspects of life, be it friendship or politics, words or deeds, peace or war. Without honor, a warrior is defined only by the weapons in his hand and not by what is truly in his heart as a human being. Without honor, a warrior acts only with the weapons in his hand and not by the values that make him a person first.
— Joseph M. Marshall
Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

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

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

Happy 2017 — Welcoming the New Year

Happy New Year

From all of us at Amber Lotus Publishing…
to all of you and your dear ones. ❤️