30.1.10

Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet:


Here is a wonderful documentary about Buddhist nuns. It was really eye-opening and inspiring.

Synopsis: In a remote nomadic region of Eastern Tibet, 3000 nuns practice an ancient yogic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Despite near extinction during the destruction of the Cultural Revolution, these remarkable spiritual practitioners have emerged to rebuild their monasteries by hand ... stone by stone. In 2005, a small group of western women Buddhists traveled to Tibet with the renowned Buddhist teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III, to meet the Nangchen nuns.


Using the more than 70 hours of footage shot on this extraordinary journey, Chariot Videos has produced "Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet". Narrated by Richard Gere, the film provides a fascinating glimpse into a world most of us will never see first-hand. A moving, very personal account of a unique meeting of East and West, the film is an inspiration to anyone seeking a spiritual path through the challenges of 21st century life.

Here is the whole movie if you would like to order it:

Living Yoga: The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda



This is a really great documentary about the combination of physical yoga, mind yoga (meditation) and adopting a plant-based diet. I thought it was well done and presented in a fresh way, not leaving out the main reason for all of these things... to understand your true self and the higher powers, whatever you take that to be.

I have to admit that something has happened to me since I broke my arm in the accident (if anything is really an accident). I have allowed myself to meditate, at first to focus on anything but the pain I was in, but then, as the hurting lifted a little, I started doing it for the way it made me see things. Some of you will know what I'm talking about, and others will think I'm nuts, but it doesn't matter. I am learning a lot about what is truly important to me and what I can live without.
Click here to watch the whole film.

Oh yeah! And this is Josh when he was 12 years old. He made himself these little business cards to sell his crystal and silver jewellery (he learned from artisans in Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico). I'll have to put up some photos of his work later!

27.1.10

A great film about the Jewish take on veganism and the planet:


I was thrilled with the discovery of this film that really addresses the link between what we eat and every aspect of our lives on this planet. It starts out looking like a documentary about Judaism alone, but blossoms into a heart-felt, and detailed look at what it is going to take to save the planet. Veganism is growing through the Jewish faith and it's lovely to see. I love anyone who practices what they preach. Please watch this no matter what your background is.
Click here to watch the film.

20.1.10

Earthship Home designs:



In these videos you can see how the designs and materials used are pretty environmentally responsible, but you don't actually need to buy a pre-fab package from these people. There are plenty of open-sourced designs available and you can alter them to your own tastes and needs. This cuts down dramatically in the cost and encourages people to actually do it instead of waiting around for a day in the future when they might have enough money to pull it off. Just do it.
This is, of course, just one way of building an off the grid home that is beautiful, strong and environmentally sound. Go to the natural building button on the right hand side of this blog to see more examples, or go to you-tube for thousands of ideas on how to build using earthbag dome house construction (my favourite, but specifically with straw bale outer insulation for Canadian winter climates), straw bale house building, rammed-earth tire homes, adobe-style, cob and much more.

James, Josh and I will be building our own house in the near future. I have applied to the Sustainable Eco-House Building program at Fleming College, which is the most comprehensive, hands-on and intensive program I have come across. To top it off I have already taken some workshops from the two main instructors who are absolutely wonderful and knowledgeable on building in this climate and others.

So we'll see if the fates will give me what I want. If not I will learn from my good friend Russel who is taking the program this spring, and from my friend Ali who is now teaching intensive eco-building workshops herself! One way or another it will happen. I promise, and we'll be documenting the whole process.

Living off the grid- how and why?

18.1.10

Mind Yoga: Take time out right now. How can we become better people?


What powers do we all have?

1. The power to change our awareness: Anyone who tests us is our teacher. We are the students, so we must listen to everyone who speaks to us because they have a lesson. Pay attention, especially to those who really annoy or anger you. They are reflecting something about yourself that you would like to change.

2. The power to become the leader, not the follower: Don't speak the language of a follower: "If she apologizes I will apologize", "If he changes I will change", "If my situation changes I will change"... Many people come out of bad situations and change their lives. A leader is the one who takes initiative. Do not wait for leaders- you are the leader.

3. The power to react with calmness: Every situation can be changed simply by our reactions to circumstances. We have a choice in how we react in every case. When our personality, looks or ability have been attacked we can either get upset and take it personally, or realize that the reason people are launching the attack is about them, not us.

4. The power to play a fair game: Everything in life is a game (even though it looks and feels like real drama). If we lose a game, but played fairly we cannot feel like a loser, but if we won a game and did not play fairly then we cannot feel like a winner.

5. The power to feel worthy: People from all walks of life feel unworthy and have low self-esteem, no matter how hard they try to present themselves. This comes from feeling defeated by their own weaknesses, whether it's anger, greed, ego, dishonesty or intolerance. These things all lower our energy and make us feel bad about ourselves, but we are the cause. When we become honest, humble, calm and giving (giving something as simple as a smile or helping someone who needs it), we gain strength so self-respect and self-esteem grows.

6. The power to become an extraordinary person: Become a hero-actor, not just an actor... our roles are created by the actions we perform. Maybe our old self-portrait put us in the role of a martyr, victim or follower, but now we are changing it all. Why? Because how it was before just did not make us happy. Life is a play- we can change any scene we want, add or remove any drama, and choose what character we want to play.

7. The power to not gossip or defame others: Not only do these things give us a heavy feeling, but they create complication and a feeling of being trapped. If we talk about negative things or join in on gossiping it leaves a bad taste in our mouths and can affect our mood for the rest of the day. By changing the subject or saying something nice about someone we can change our day from bad to good.

8. The power to be alert: If we know that anger or impatience etc. are our weaknesses we have to be aware of when we are being triggered and instantly go inside of ourselves to calm down. Otherwise circumstances can become out of control when they don't need to.

9. The power to control our words, thoughts and actions: If a car does not have powerful breaks it can cause accidents. Sometimes small, sometimes big, which can cause a lot of damage. Watch where our thoughts take us- they can cause the greatest damage to ourselves. Our words and actions can be uplifting to other people or hurtful.

10. The power to not be absorbed in the problem: Concentrate on the solution, not the problem. As we focus on the solution the problem will lose it's edge. There is always a solution.

If you'd like to practice this more (how to become the best person you can be), go to the Brahma Kumari website to find the free meditation classes that are nearest to you. They have centres all over the world so I'm sure you will find one! I've taken all sorts of meditation classes from different groups of people, but I connect most strongly with the genuine, kind Brahma Kumari sisters and brothers. You can belong to any religion or race and you will be welcomed with open arms. These people practice what they teach. The same goes for the Krishna Conscious Organization. They are giving and kind people who teach very similar lessons on how to live a meaningful and satisfying life.

17.1.10

Erykah Badu and Common on being vegan life:


I'm in love with Erikah Badu! If you are not familiar with her, get familiar with her. She is a beautiful woman with voice, soul, personality and a great sense of humour. Plus she's vegan and leans towards raw veganism! Can you be more perfect my dear??
Anyway watch the video.


This is one of my favourite music videos by her. She's a real artist.

15.1.10

Hunter/meat eater goes vegan: So can you!


I found this video that I thought was well done, even though he considers people like myself "hippy-dippy animal lovers"... but whatever. It's nice to hear from someone on the other side of the story, and he's vegan, so he gets a gold star in my hippy-dippy book.

13.1.10

Will you be labled a terrorist for being vegan?



I just watched this documentary called 'Camp FEMA' and you may wonder what it has to do with veganism... well it has to do with every freedom we have and how we may be marginalized as fringe resistance. I am chilled to the bone about what I have just heard and seen.

Not believing it, I went to the official U.S. army website and found this declassified pdf entitled: The Civilian Inmate Labor Program. I kid you not. It outlines, in great detail, how civilians of the United States may be detained without due process, indefinitely for crimes they may commit in the future.
Click here to watch this film and judge for yourself.

Canada, apparently, has identical plans for citizens who go against the grain, resist the 'norm' and question authority. I normally spread positive news about how we can change our lives and the planet by becoming vegan, but this has struck me very hard, and if I didn't read this myself I would think it was crazy. Every person in the U.S. will, this year (2010), be required to complete a 28 page census report (that's the short version) that will ask for extremely personal details, or face up to a $5,000 fine. Mandatory vaccination is on the table too, along with a whole slew of other outrageous things.

All I can say is that I hope this is all a big, friendly joke and that we live happily ever after...

Here is a video about 500,000 disposable caskets (we know that's what they are because the company that makes them is called Polyguard Vaults), being stored on a farmer's property in the U.S. near rail tracks, and are supposedly connected with FEMA:

And finally... what the heck is this??

12.1.10

BREAD!!! Having a really hard time today with the fast- All I can think about is bread:


So I was fine when I woke up this morning, day 7 of the 30 day fast, but now that it's nearing dinner time I am in hell. My body is not hungry at all, nor do I have any signs of low energy, but all I can think about is going to the bakery, buying a white baguette (of all things!), spreading it with vegan butter and eating the whole thing!

This is ridiculous because I never crave that kind of thing unless I'm fasting- it's like a heroin addiction, because I really don't feel hungry at all, and white bread has no nutritional value whatsoever. I tried to gross myself out by breaking up a stale piece of bread in a bowl of water to watch it break down into a swollen mess of goop. That sort of worked because it would do that in my stomach and the thought of that does make me feel sick.

The movie I posted below (Kymatica) did give me some insight into why I might be feeling this way. It says that parasites give off a chemical that actually makes their host (you and me) crave the things that the parasites want to eat, which are most often things that are not good for us. And since we all have up to 100 different parasites living inside of us (some helpful and some bad), it must be driving them nuts that I'm fasting.

It's actually making me in a bad mood- like I would sell my grandmother for a hit. So here I am blogging and I found this video about bread that I thought you might be interested in. I'll get through this. Think I'll go varnish a painting.

Kymatica- really good documentary- watch free:


We just watched this documentary that was made to make people to think about their place in this world in a different way. It is divided up into sections and you have to watch the whole thing to really understand the point they are making. We found it truly engaging and so we're recommending it! Click here to watch it for free(streaming video).

8.1.10

Slowing Down With a Fast:



Well it's the beginning of a new year, and I'd like to start if off right, so I think it's time to rid myself of all chaos by committing to two things:
A master Cleanse for 30 days and Meditation every day. I've never done such a long fast, but I feel like it's the right time for me. I was thinking of doing a video-blog about the experience, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to talk about such a private thing to everyone, but maybe it would be good for me too.

I'm only at the end of day 3, which tends to be a bit difficult for most people- getting used to the idea of not eating food. I always feel great once I get past that point. Well I'm sure most of you have heard of the Master Cleanse, but for those of you who don't really know, it's a fast where you stop eating everything and take in only a lemonade made from water, freshly squeezed lemon juice (with no pulp), cayenne pepper and grade B maple syrup... It may sound disgusting but it actually tastes fine.

After those initial 3 days I start a salt water flush once in the morning and once in the evening. The flush is very interesting because instead of being processed in your stomach it goes right through and does a sweep of your bowls... so you have to be near a washroom (sorry to those who are squeamish about this sort of thing- stop reading). I won't get into much more detail than to say that on average, people have 20Lbs of crap (literally) stuck in their swollen colon when they die. I imagine this is much less for a vegan, but I'll have to get back to you on that.

I'll keep updating and telling you about the process from my perspective in the next month. I'm off to meditation now- actually I'm late! (not a good start huh?).

ps. James Toth took this photo from on top of our roof in Toronto.

4.1.10

Lyn's Spirit Dolls:


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Happy New Year everyone! I have been away from the computer, but I promise to post on a regular basis again. I just figured out how to put up slideshows on the site, so here is a few of my spirit dolls that I have been making for years now. They are very special to me and have a life of their own. The dolls may look a little creepy, but if you look closely they are all friendly souls.

Run the mouse over the image and it will get larger.

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