Category: Life


Another Christmas has passed leaving  limp tinsel draping the hearth. Today is the day of the out-breath.  There is no work, no family, no commitments.  Nothing.  The hush is like a contented sigh.

I often hear people say they can’t handle having nothing to do.  It makes them uncomfortable.  Busyness has become synonymous with being worthy and making a valuable contribution.

Why does nothing bother us? Nothing is a still-point in a whirly-gig world stuck on High. To stop may mean losing our identity momentarily. The big void contains everything that is yet to be.  It is our magic hat to pull from.  Creativity lives down that hole.  So does ideas, solutions, and possibilities.  Doing nothing is a great way to finally hear life’s directives over all the other white noise.

In less than a week we enter the oft-spoken about 2012.  Whether Mayan Calendars are your thing or not, many sense we are on the brink of change.  I believe this new era will be delicious.

Bruce Lyon posted 12 Principles for a New Era on Christmas Day.  With his usual eloquence and intelligence he paints an inspired vision.  This is truly worth viewing.

Australian Christmas, Mate

It’s nearly Christmas and the shops are full of beach-wear.  Summer and the festive season are synonymous in the land of Oz. As I buy presents, I hear piped carols chiming  I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.  It is absurd, yet it is our ‘normal’ Down Under. It will be hot,  it will rain: but it definitely won’t snow.  December is all about the three B’s in sunny Queensland: Bathers, Beach, and  BBQs.   Nonetheless, snowy Santa-scenery adorns our parched  lawns, tinsel wreaths sit amongst blossoming Bougainvillea, and townships are decorated with fake Frosty’s.

Our white identity seemingly remains British and European. We remember  the land our ancestors came from when they celebrated a wintry Yule.  That is a part of us too.  Yet in our great southern land, the landscape is vast and often sunburned.   Our sense of Christmas is traditional as well as tongue-in-cheek.  Australia invites us to spend the 25th on a beach with chicken drumsticks, or in the bush on a verandah with a cool white.  Pool parties are a favourite too (although any gathering that puts together family, water,and ice-buckets is bound to end in squeals).  Hot days with songs of snow, sweaty men in Santa suits, and sleighs drawn by Kangaroos form part of our Oz twist on Christmas.

For us, summer, Christmas and New Year, collide into one long languid month of holiday.  We get to catch up with family under sprinkler hoses, enchanted by the spell of balmy evenings.  Our youth escape torturous periods of bonding by disappearing to music festivals.  The air is scented with backyard chargrilling and exotic Frangipani flowers.  Welcome to the sub-topics. They say the sun goes to your head here.  We’ve definitely been touched by our environment.  Oz Christmas is upside down and mixed up.   Tradition and irreverence dine at our tables.

Sun Bottles

Rather light a candle than complain about the darkness.

Chinese Proverb

Here’s a clip of recycled bottles making a solar debut and changing lives.

Shine on.

DOT

Casting Nasturtiums

I’ve returned from Peru.  My balcony garden looks like it missed me.  The nasturtiums are almost spent.  It is fitting.  They are of Peruvian origins and the holiday is over.  Their fiery colours and flavour remind me of spicy Cuzco.  I chanced upon a festival of dancers while there in Huacaypata – the main square.  They had been wearing vibrant nasturtium hues and their dancing was on fire.  The beautiful Incan faces flashed with smiles interspersed with serious frowns of concentration.  It was as if all the Macaws in South America had descended upon the cobblestones.  Vibrant parrot-threads wove heel and toe in unified splendour.

It was with regret I cast out the frizzled annuals.  Each plant still had a beacon or two, giving its best to the last.  In its glory, the flowers had been the mystery ingredient for an exquisite pesto and the foliage had rolled raindrops about like mercury. Their flaming hearts had reverberated with the thrum of happy bees while the cat had basked in its dappled shade.

In mythology, nasturtiums possess the power of protection.   Folklore says that you will be defended from bothersome visitors if you grow it. If you look at the leaves you will notice they are shield shaped, offering up their guard.  Companion planters know their protective qualities in repelling bugs and will often dot them through the vege patch or orchard.   I grow them not just for their pest repellant qualities or their attraction to beneficial insects.   Round sculptural leaves graced with feisty blooms, just look right growing next to lettuce and rainbow silverbeet.

After the holiday is memory and the nasturtiums are compost, there is still a recipe…

NASTURTIUM PISTACHIO PESTO

150 grams roasted pistachios (shelled)

1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

20 Nasturtium flowers

3 cups loosely packed basil leaves (if your garden grows several varieties, pick a medley of Sweet Basil, Purple Basil, Thai Basil, Lemon Basil & Globe Basil)

2 cloves garlic

1 chili

3/4 cup olive oil

sea salt to taste

Roast nuts and seeds.  Place in a pestle and mortar along with basil leaves, garlic, chilli and olive oil.  Pulverise.  Inhale.

Season to taste.  Add the Nasturtiums last.  Bruise and grind them lightly so as their colours are still discernable. Quickly cover with a layer of olive oil if storing for later use.  Keep up to 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

Pistachios are shot with glorious plum and verdigris tones.  Together with the purple and green basils there is a delightful nut mimicking leaf act.

When Copernicus dismissed the idea of a flat earth in the 16th century, there were dissenters insisting the world was not a sphereright through to the nineteenth century.  Now as alternative energy systems are developed and pitched to the public, we will have those that will argue it is not possible.  But I have a dream….

I’ve a knack and reputation for finding things others have lost.  My simple trick is this:  I drop all assumptions of where the ‘thing’may be.   The search and discovery will often take me to the place where I have been told it is not.  So if, and when, I hear that there is no ready solution to our energy crisis, I just think we are looking in the wrong places based on past assumptions.

The emergence of new energy systems is fringe and exciting. It is a wonderful metaphor for people coming into their own power.  They are boldly coming to the fore despite those who shout there  be dragons beyond the horizon.

DOT

This link speaks of “Truth” as an imaginary abstraction.  It highlights the essential benefits of understanding over belief.  Welcome to the changing face of reality…very cool.

DOT

11:11:11 raised the meditation bar worldwide.  Lotus-sitting, chanting, and visioning were ubiquitous.  Folks were clambering for the Peace Train on this palindromic day and I was amongst them.  I had seen  a comic of a ‘Buddhist Compliment’ recently.  It read, “You are the most thoughtless person I know.”  So, can the act of global thoughtlessness create world peace?

Even as a veteran meditator I still have to drag myself to sit and Shhh.   I am daunted by long yawning silences where I resist surrender.  My thoughts are addictive, they are cartwheels of imaginings and I love their tumbling momentum.  Yet, I still go in daily knowing I will strive to be more than the total of my headspace. Sometimes, I only experience a nano-second of stillness amidst the minds performing spectacle.  Yet those still-points are canyons.  They are deep and wondrous – enough to colour my day.

So, on 11:11:11 I knew I was not alone: there would be thousands of others squirming with me in spirit. Our focus was to champion world peace by connecting with humanity.  Surprisingly my meditation was effortless: infused with a sweet calm.  At its end  I squealed ,noticing 90 minutes had gone by without it seeming halfway possible.  From my sofa, in the backwoods of Australia, I had tapped into something large and endless.  I had been swept up on some collective magic carpet ride. Was this the universal love thang?

Thousands gathered on 11:11:11 at sacred sites, in homes, in parks and in halls. This sort of stuff never makes front page news.  Research supports that large assemblies of meditators can generate a significant reduction in conflict and violence worldwide.  I will not know the impact of this event as told by the mass media.  Perhaps it’s as well.   You are my eyes. Did you you have an extraordinary meditation (or otherwise) that day?

This clip captures (in part) the experience of thoughtless joining.  Peace.