Further to Another Approach to Mountain Pose

As with the conventional mountain pose which is carried over into all other poses, so too with this variation (refer to “Another Approach to Mountain Pose” posted May 9). Also I’ve been trying this stance in other positions, such as wide legged, cross legged (that’s a challenge), seated straight legged with feet pressed against a support, or ‘v’ body again with feet pressed to a support. For me, it has the same activating effect of many of the yoga poses with the bonus of getting my brain completely involved as if new pathways are being built between it and the muscles. Physiology has never been my strong suit. All I know is, this is fun.

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Transcending Material Scarcity

Just listened to an hour length interview of Allegra Fuller Snyder and Jamie Snyder (daughter and grandson of Buckminster Fuller).

Some of the main points I got out of the video:

  • Bucky’s belief that all children are born geniuses with a comprehensive view which is drummed out of them by a school system which compartmentalizes thought processes.
  • In the face of such big problems as global warming, there is a tendency for people to feel hopeless and helpless. Allegra pulled out her shopping bag, noting that in the course of a day shopping, she might save 15 or 20 bags. This may seem incredibly insignificant, but “each one of us can do these very, very small things that add up to the big thing. The individual must feel absolutely responsible and effective within their everyday life.
  • As of 2001, of a world population of 6.5 billion; 1.5 billion is in extreme poverty (not making it); 1.5 billion are in moderate poverty (basic needs met, have food, shelter); 2.5 billion are middle income (basic needs met; have a little put away); one billion are wealthy (the rest of us)

Very encouraging ending with Jamie saying:

“One of the fundamental insights that he (Buckminster Fuller) presented was that for the first time in history, we’ve learned to do so much with so little in terms of resources; so for the first time in history, we have the potential to sustain 100% of humanity in a way that is ecologically sustainable while phasing out the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. That’s very central. AND

It is important to realize that there is a very large global consensus now; there is a very large coalition of people around the world who now understand that we can end poverty on the planet.”

Listen to the interview at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj_lyn0982E&gt;

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Musings of a Michael Jackson Fan

How does one become a Michael Jackson fan? One young woman said she grew up with popular culture at a time when Michael was playing a major role in it; and she is proud that he was involved – that he was one to admire and his talent was unquestionable.

For my part, being a few years older than Michael, I of course knew of the Jackson 5 and one could  hardly miss Thriller, Billie Jean and Bad. But other than his greatest hits, I have to admit I largely was unaware of Michael’s career and his impact on music  and popular culture. Perhaps it was because his music came under the pop category – even though I was to find it encompassed much more than pop – and I have always been more a listener of blues and rock.

At any rate, I have youtube to thank for being the avenue of my introduction to the genius of Michael Jackson. One day late in August 2010, I accessed youtube, and as I was later to find out, perhaps because it being the anniversary of his birth, a video of his was just one click away. From there I looked up the 30th anniversary concert, Madison Square Gardens, NYC, 2001 at which Elizabeth Taylor introduced Michael as a great humanitarian. That caught my attention, I had never heard him referred to as such, and promptly researched this further and found that proceeds from  tours had gone to charity and the Heal the World Foundation and of Michael’s visits to hospitals and Neverland being open to sick children.

Wanting to find out what he was like as a dancer and on tour, it wasn’t long before I came across the performance in Bucharest and then watched everything I could find featuring his moves. Could I think of any other singer songwriters or composers who also danced their way across the stage. Not easily.  Later looking up Jackson 5 videos – it was evident the years and years spent honing his stage skills from early childhood on.

I was finally to discover, that no matter which song Michael Jackson either wrote himself or performed, I liked them all. Yes I’d become a fan  – going on to check out every interview he  ever gave. finding out more about his whole family and going on Twitter to find out what the other Jacksons, particularly the brothers, are currently up to. From whom did he learn to become so soft spoken and articulate – perhaps they had drilled him at Motown but surely Katherine is the original example to emulate.

l was thrilled to catch the Cirque du Soleil show in Vancouver in November 2011 and again in August 2012. Having many of the people involved who originally worked with Michael on tour and on his albums, like Sugarfoot Moffet, Greg Phillinganes and Jamie King – his artistic integrity has been maintained. It’s a spectacular show with the live band, the acrobats,  the dancers, the visuals.

I thought that my journey as a “fanatic” would be a solitary one. After all, at the time, I lived north of the 60th parallel, in Whitehorse, Yukon so I thought it highly unlikely I would find anyone to share my obsession. However I was wrong. Some time after leaving the Yukon I received an email from my former boss, with Michael Jackson in the subject line. I thought he was teasing me – as he had caught me once in his office practicing the Drill. I used to have a bit of fun at the bakery where I worked. On the front counter rested a basket of white gloves which we used to take the freshly baked loaves of bread off the shelves. One day a new customer asked me what they were for. “Oh,” I offered, “we’re all Michael Jackson fans, stick around long enough and you might catch us breaking into Billie Jean.” For a moment I think she believed me.

So it was a thrill to find out someone from Whitehorse who, like me had come to fandom late in life, had heard of me and wanted to connect. Though we have yet to meet in person and are now planning a trip to Gary, Indiana in 2017, we have gotten to know each other a little through email and social media. I sometimes can go long stretches dropping out of the technological world, so am not always up to date with spin off MJ projects. So it was she who introduced me to what is called In the Studio with Michael Jackson.

These are musical seminars offered world wide by one of MJ’s former sound engineers. A story teller extraordinaire, he invites other artists who also once worked in some capacity with Michael, in the studio to share their stories as well.  For someone like me who would never have thought much about the anatomy of how a recording is made, and to hear the break down or a completed piece on the best studio equipment out there at near MJ decibels are experiences I never imagined to have. Quite addictive and always something  new is added so I now have had more fun than a person should be allowed at two of these events – one in Boston, another in Toronto.

Life can be a trip sometimes on which one doesn’t necessarily want to find themselves, be it the ill health of a loved one or whatever, but if one of Michael’s goals, as he stated, was to allow for some escapism and entertainment, he has definitely provided that for me. Although it is saddening that he left us, and his young family and extended family far too soon – he left the world with so much of his essence to live on.

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I shall quote Desiderata in full. I had it on my bedroom wall in high school.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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Yummy Baked Black Beans

Soak black beans overnight. In the morning rinse well and allow to begin to sprout over two days or so, rinsing regularly. Cook until just tender.

When ready to bake, add molasses, dried hot pepper, dried pear or apple, garlic, onion, kernel corn, kelp or other favourite seaweed, tomatoes, salt, dried mustard  (amounts to your taste). Bake in a slow oven (300 F) for about 4/5 hours.
We are having this tonight with baked potatoes, brussel sprouts, garden salad with house dressing, pickled beets and sour cream. Loreena McKennitt’s  The Mask and the Mirror for accompaniment .
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Another approach to mountain pose

Here’s something I’ve been trying lately on recommendation from a new friend.

Stand firmly, feet separated, rooting your big toes down while bringing your heels toward one another. Let your knees be loose, keeping the feet firm, heels drawing together, muscularly separate the butt cheeks.

While maintaining this posture – see what muscles are activated. I find my inner thighs firming up, the flesh over the insertion point of the glut max disappearing – effectively eliminating “saddle bags”, and the abdominal muscles drawn in.

If this is all it takes to reconfigure some body parts, I’m sold

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Delightful raw Brownies from Almond Milk Pulp

Check out my friend’s blog – http://www.indigorawfoodjourney.com for a great raw brownie using up almond pulp. I’ve been notorious for just doing up almond milk by grinding a 1/4 cup of almonds into a cup of water – and using as is or in various shakes.

A more refined approach is to soak almonds about 8 to 12 hours, and then pop off the skins. Blend the nuts with water, squeezing out the liquid through a fine meshed nut milk bag. Repeat this three times – to get the maximum out of the nut meat.

Enjoy the remaining pulp in various recipes which you will find at the above mentioned blog spot.

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