madan lloyd

It’s taken a long time for me to read The Watkins Review Mind Body Spirit, Issue 27. Since this past summer I’ve been transporting it by way of tote bag, suitcase, hand always thinking I’ll find a cafe, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, and read. However, with this magazine it’s not that simple, the reading of it doesn’t get very far because many of the articles are worthy of consideration as they’re not the kind that allow going from page to page, and then casting out the magazine. They seem to want to be read, and savored throughout the day, and somewhere along the way, the question becomes, why are they special in my life?

This morning I began reading DIANA’S LEGACY The Death and Rebirth of a Monarchy by Madan Lloyd who “is the UK Co-ordinator for the New Earth Olympics 2012, a free-to-enter online video competition in 12 categories, running concurrently with the London Olympics.” The following is an exquisite, not-to-be-missed website pertaining to this: All of a sudden tears started welling up in my eyes because the writer, after lovingly writing about the former princess, takes an abrupt turn – still tying in with the idea – just taking it in an entirely different direction. It’s a powerful piece of writing; it keeps in mind love’s power, while it touches upon this Planet’s heavy topics.

And he mentions Prince Charles, and William and Kate, and then writes: “. . . and we all badly need a real live fairytale love story like this one, not least because the happy ending is the timely and definitive demise of an empire built on lies, deceit and outrageous abuse of the sacred process of education, by which every man, woman and child on Planet Earth – regardless of race, creed, colour or social status – possesses the divine right of equal access to all information and instruction regarding how to make the very best use of this precious human life.”

And then, in his poetic style, he writes: “. . . as a bright new sun rises at the end of a long, dark night when corporate predators – most notable of banking, oil and pharmaceutical persuasion – preyed mercilessly on every innocent life they could entrap within the deadly web of their economic and media manipulations.” – I somehow lost it for a few minutes. And I had to wonder, why tears when reading this particular article?

I think it’s a special person who can write about corruption, greed, power – those topics that especially weigh heavily on us – while managing to keep an eye on the importance of every human being and, or course, on the power love can play in the world. A writer with heart and new wisdom has the ability to touch upon heavy topics using few words – the right words – and having those words stab at the reader’s heart – in a good way.

The next article in The Watkins Review: Eros, Buddha & the Spectrum of LOVE, an interview with ANDREW COHEN; GURU and KEN WILBER: PANDIT which took place at the Boulder Integral Center. I wonder what you’d think of this interview. If you don’t have the magazine, and want to read it, check out

Are you having a beautiful day? I hope so.

thanksgiving day

Now seems a good time to prepare for the thanksgiving part of the day, and have it be a real awareness of gratitude. We all should have the specially prepared food down pat with all the help from magazines, cookbooks, etc. The food of: roast turkey (or, if we’re in the south, deep-fried turkey), the kind of gravy and stuffing we want to eat at least once a month, cranberry sauce, mashed or roasted sweet or white potatoes, green beans, or brussel sprouts, or collard greens, warmed bread/rolls, a drink for toasting, and then there’s the dessert, with tea or a special kind of coffee and, oh yes, perhaps a few drops of Amaretto in it.

Truthfully, I don’t usually remember to say a thank you before meals, and when I do I’m aware that’s it’s done quickly, and not as thoughtfully as it should be. So one recent morning I decided to say a proper thank you for my breakfast which consisted of Gaia chia in a glass of water, and later coffee, and toasted bread with butter and jam. The interesting part is that once I started with the thank you I couldn’t stop. Never did I suspect that so many were involved in this simple breakfast.

The coffee, Organic Fair Trade Shade Grown Ethiopioan was purchased at Trader Joe’s. I began thinking of the people who plant the organic coffee beans (my knowledge is limited; I could only imagine), and carefully supervise it, the best beans are considered, coffee is transported by truck to the marketplace, negotiations, purchasing, packaging, the traveling to selected stores (what does all that take?), trucks arrive at stores, coffee is stored, or placed on shelves by the employees. Then we, the customers, arrive, and pay the cashier. It’s bagged, and off we go. And that’s only the coffee.

Then I noticed the Wedgewood cup and saucer, a gift that came from Japan, the plate from Indonesia, the knife, the wheat sandwich bread from Metropolitan Bakery in Philadelphia, the jam from France, the butter from Iceland, the cinnamon sticks for the coffee from Viet Nam, the French Press, the toaster. How many people were involved before this simple breakfast found its way to my table?

It’s not necessary to say thank you to everyone involved, of course, – the Creator is the important One. Though I discovered that thoroughness has it’s own reward, and sitting quietly for a one-time thorough thank you brought a heightened sense of awareness to what those words mean. And after all these years, on this Thanksgiving Day I’ll finally be able to say a heartfelt thank you.

I want to wish you all an enjoyable, full-of-laughter, satisfying Thanksgiving Day. And where ever you find yourself, whomever you’re with, and whatever you’re eating, enjoy thoroughly.

frog in the lotus position, and agartha by meredith lady young

I bought a gift for a special someone having a November birthday. It’s a statue of a frog (about 6 inches tall) sitting in a lotus position, and it’s on a table waiting for creative wrapping with paper and pretty ribbon. Every time I look at it it cracks me up, and I think it should be mine; but no, it was bought for another. Though now I’m sensing that it should be sent to another special someone who was also born in November; somehow it seems the perfect gift for that person and not for the one originally in mind. Hmm! What to do? These feelings that come from no where are usually on target and should be honored because experience tells me that when they are it all works out.

Earlier today I took the book Agartha A JOURNEY TO THE STARS by Meredith Lady Young from its shelf, and began reading a familiar passage about brain and mind. I think many more people are comfortable with the idea of channeling (yes, channeling) than when the book was first published. It says that the brain is matter and controls “physiological function, adjustment and adaptation.” And that mind “. . . is cut free to assimilate and analyze in a totally unique manner. . . .” if we don’t recognize, learn about, tap into, and work with all that is a part of us (both the known and unknown), then all that can expand our lives will be dormant. When we listen to, ask questions of, and use all the parts of our being, taking steps in small matters to build confidence, we’ll eventually be able to utilize all that we are in all matters, having prepared ourselves for expansion.

With that said, frog in the lotus position will be sent to the birthday person it wasn’t intended for, but whose face comes to mind when I look at frog in the lotus position. Now that was easy; time to wrap and send, and run out to buy another gift for the one who won’t be receiving frog in the lotus position.

The sun is still trying to shine today. Do you feel a chill in the air? Keep warm. And let’s all of us have an exceptional day

joan hickson as beloved miss marple

When Emi told me that Jennifer Garner is scheduled to play Miss Marple, well, the first thought was, Jennifer Garner as the beloved Miss Marple? – how is that possible? Not to say anything against Jennifer Garner. It seems that Disney wants to change Agatha Christie’s famous and well-loved Miss Marple and make her “more contemporary.” And I have to ask why? Few things are perfect just as they are, and maybe Miss Marple as played by Joan Hickson is one of those things. One would think that Disney is capable of creating a story having its own wonderfully enjoyable character perhaps a bit similar to Miss Marple and leaving Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple as played by Joan Hickson just as she is.

And so now instead of post-war England, cups of tea, and a delightful elderly spinster who happens to have a flair for eventually tracking down murderers, will Miss Marple solve murders by computers in a high tech building, speed along in her sports car, have overwhelming adventures, a cell phone she can’t live without, a fashionable wardrobe, and possibly relationship problems, etc.? What exactly does “more contemporary” when referring to Miss Marple mean, Disney?

Have you guessed that I really like watching Miss Marple? You also? Spending time with her is a treat. Agatha Christie didn’t stoop to exaggeraged scenes in her stories; she proceeded softly and intelligently. We feel the wheels turning in Miss Marple’s head as she elegantly, quietly, and efficiently deduces who the murderer is. She likes traveling by train and sometimes she’s in a beautiful English countryside, and then a city, and, yes, the Bahamas usually in the midst of an array of people interesting in their own way. And we’re never quite sure who might have done it until Miss Marple has sorted things out and is ready to explain, all in proper fashion, who did it.

Agatha Christie wanted Joan Hickson to play Miss Marple; Joan Hickson was 78 when she took the role, and “She was the oldest actress ever to take the lead in a major television series,” and “The tools of her trade are frequent cups of Earl Grey tea, her needle sharp eyes and her acute hearing, which enables her constantly to overhear crucial conversations from considerable distances.” (quotes taken from the Independent Arts & Entertainment and written by Alexandra Younger and Tom Vallance.) At the age of 86 she wanted to retire from playing Miss Marple, though not to retire from acting. Imagine that!

The Classic Mysteries Collection:
A Carribean Mystery
The Mirror Crack’d
From Side To Side
Sleeping Murder
4:50 From Paddington
The Moving Finger
At Bertram’s Hotel
Murder At The Vicarage
They Do It With Mirrors

I feel that having Jennifer Garner play Miss Marple is like offering a chocoholic a bowl of hard candy when the finest of dark chocolate was always the offering. There’s dissapointment in that offering and the chocoholic would rather do without. Jennifer, one would think that there are other roles waiting for your talents, just not this one.

Thank you for listening 🙂 and have a beautiful day.

planting the seeds

Monitoring ourselves is a good idea when listening to the nightly news, reading mainstream newspapers and magazines, watching tv, talking about and listening to problems – ours and others, surfing the internet, and when choosing movies and books. When we’re not diligent about monitoring what we’re subjecting ourselves to we’re inviting our energy to be zapped causing low vibrations, and a day that won’t serve us well. A lot of what’s out there keeps us focused on nonsensical and negative things that plant seeds of discontentment. Those kind of seeds have a way of showing up at any time, and when we’re not watching, we’re captured, captivated, and affected whether we know it or not.

Removing ourselves for as long as it takes to restore our vision of what we want our life to be paves the way for a healthier life for ourselves and others. Our life is a gift. We have an imagination; it’s also a gift, and we can use it and not let it use us. We have intuition and it’s our friend, e.g. we could be with someone who seems perfectly okay, however, somehow we feel drained when with that person. It happens, we need to step away and ask (our intuition) what’s going on. When we listen to it we encourage it to respond to us; it wants to help and it will if we let it.

Every so often I put on a disc from the 15-part series of the extraordinary documentary A HISTORY OF BRITAIN by the award-winning historian, Simon Schama. It reminds that in the course of history people come and go, situations don’t stay the same, and throughout the ages certain people want what they want no matter the cost. It’s a heavy history lesson this documentary, and to me it indirectly teaches that in this day and age we can make our life a work of art and not hand it over willy nilly to outside influences.

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“I gazed in the river’s direction. The Nile! What magic lies in that name? Twice every day the priests of Egypt had to bathe their bodies in its waters in order to preserve their purity, and twice every night. In India the Brahamin priests do the same thing today, for the same purpose; save that they pour the waters of the Ganges or Godivari over themselves, and save that they do not disturb their nights. Both Egyptions and Indians had the same theory – that man picks up an invisible personal magnetism from his contact and intercourse with other persons, and that frequent washings were neessary to get rid of these acquired influences, which might so often be undesirable, if not worse.” page 200
A Search In Secret Egypt by Paul Brunton

“Do you know the meditations of our poet Rumi? He has written that there is no reason for fear. It is our imagination that blocks us just as a wooden bolt holds the door.”

“The deeper the self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.” – Swami Sri Yukteswar

“Faith dares the soul to go further than it can see.” William Clarke

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott


Daughter Emi fell in love with a man whom she met at the Staten Island Film Festival, and she hasn’t stopped talking about him since. He’s even on her phone screen saver. I can’t blame her; he’s the kind of person it’s easy to fall for. Harry is his name and he’s an actor and singer, among other things. Did you recognize him in the photo? He’s starred in a number of movies and has certain hit songs that tend to repeat over and over again in one’s head upon hearing them.

At the Staten Island Film Festival he spoke about the documentary, Sing Your Song, which tells the story of his life. Emi listened with rapt attention. There’s no doubt that family and friends will be coerced into watching it – more than once, I’m betting. That’s fine though; he’s created an amazing life and the film has to be a wonderful one.

It seems though that Harry has his own life to live, and Emi will have to move on without him. I know we’ll have to let her pine away til she realizes that some things, well, let’s just say, are just not to be in this lifetime. It’ll be easy to know when the moving on happens because the photo of Harry on her phone’s screen saver will be replaced by a picture of a lovable animal, or a beautiful mountain, or maybe an inspiring quotation, or perhaps a new boyfriend having Harry’s grace, his style.

In the meantime, we’ll listen to Emi talk about Harry, and we’ll wait.

park slope, brooklyn

I have a simple question. First, the reason for the simple question. Last week in Park Slope, Brooklyn it was impossible to not notice mothers, fathers, and caregivers strolling babies. That’s fine; Park Slope is an almost ideal place for families. And, at the same time, a wonderful place for people of all ages on their own, or not.

It’s an etiquette fact that pedestrians stay on their right side. Understandably, in Manhattan it’s almost impossible to keep to that etiquette rule as it gets tricky because of the sheer number of people. When Manhattan is at its busiest it’s often necessary to play a little game of side-stepping.

Park Slope, however, should be very different. People are wanting a more laid back lifestyle from their next door neighbor, Manhattan. Park Slope suggests a stress free environment, and pure creativity in the form of small clothing shops (many by Brooklyn designers), consignment stores, exciting new small restaurants, take-away speciality food places, pottery, furniture, and painting workshops, wonderful small gift shops, the Brooklyn Museum, co-op gardens, the Botanical Garden, an easy ride to ever-evolving Coney Island, and green and gorgeous-looking Prospect Park for everyone’s pleasure, and that’s a partial list of goodies.

Now the simple questions: Why do people strolling carriages in Park Slope think it’s all right to push two (or three) side-by-side so that no one can pass from the back, or from the opposite direction? And why should a pedestrian who’s walking toward someone who’s pushing a carriage as if in a race, be required to quickly step to the side to let the serious pusher pass? Strolling with baby in a Park Slope setting should be, could be, nice.

They’re simple questions, maybe so simple that it’s not worth the time. But wait, there are a few important matters to consider: respect for other people, awareness of one’s surroundings, and teaching a toddler how to behave in public. Let the people pass; do it graciously, and don’t stress, enjoy the time with the little one.
The following website with its interesting name has a lot to offer:

Now to change the subject . . . have an extraordinary day everyone!

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“To know how to live is my trade and my art.” – Michel De Montaigne

“The moment your attention turns to the now you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.” -Eckhart Tolle

“I live for every present moment and don’t think about the future.” -Henry Schliemann (from the book The Greek Treasure by Irving Stone)

“May I always be in the right place at the right time to do as much good as possible.” -Raymon Grace


Winter sometimes seems very long. That’s what people say. However, winter 2010-2011 is different. I don’t know why, but in this area of the world people are enjoying it, and it’s not because it’s warm, it’s not. Of course, I’m talking from a Philadelphia perspective, and not New England, or the midwest. Last year, in this part of the world, winter 2009-2010 had many grumblers not liking the snow or cold (especially the snow), at all, and they freely complained to anyone within earshot. This year the feeling is different; I even hear people calling from across the street to friends: Hey, ____ , are you loving the snow? Enjoying the cold? And they laugh. What happened between this winter and last? – I asked myself.

What makes me feel wonderfully toasty warm on a cold and windy day is when I’m out and about feeling rather chilly, and I see someone ambling towards me dressed in shorts and a cotton shirt. At that moment, I feel like a cold weather coward, and right away get the message to toughen up. And I do, and the day becomes warmer. And I smile at the impact we have on one another, often without realizing it; it’s immensely interesting and grand. Well, grand if it’s the right kind of impact.

A few weeks ago as I stood waiting for a green light, I saw someone across the street patiently waiting for the light to change. It was cold, and a persistent cold wind made it colder. He didn’t seem to notice the weather; he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and jeans, holding a jumbo drink filled with ice cubes, and sipping it as though palm trees surrounded him, and lazy warm waves on a calm beautiful sea called to him. I stared, and in staring I felt warmer by the second. Additionally, throughout the day if I wanted to stay warm while walking, all I had to do was picture him just the way he was. Ahh, thoughts are indeed powerful.

So, if one day you’re feeling cold, find the one oblivious to weather conditions, and keep that memory alive.


Once in awhile I read some of the crazy spam that finds its way to this site (thousands over a short time), and I press delete. In the process, I wonder in absolute amazement why people would want to spend their time thinking of, writing about, and sending what’s called spam. Often it’s possible to glimpse the intelligence and creativity that produced it, and I’m thinking that if whatever effort it took was used in a positive direction, the energy of the sender would change, and the person receiving it would benefit also. Imagine that! That’s all I have to say about spam.

For decades the well-loved book The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn has been read the world over. The following sentence is lifted from The Power of the Word:

A person knowing the power of the word, becomes very careful of his conversation. He has only to watch the reaction of his words to know that they do “not return void.”

Her writings are simple, clear, and powerful. Because they’re simple, they’re hard to ignore. They have a way of reaching the subconscious mind. Her timeless book is a gift you give yourself. She was a mentor, and still is. Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life said: “The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn, helped me crystallize my own thinking and moved me forward on the path to where I am today.”

a black bra

This is a very simple story, and, since it’s Martin Luther King Day, I want to tell it. It was in the 1970’s that two baby girls were born, and at a certain age they became very good friends. One of them was black; the other was white. In high school, among other things, they stayed true to what many teenage girls do, -try to figure out what was what in the fashion world. White shirts were popular, and detailing one’s bra wasn’t, at least not in the every day world. The girls discussed this, and one day one of them said she had the answer, she’d bought a black bra, it’s perfect, and, she said, you have to buy one too. And so it seemed that what went underneath a white shirt was solved. Away they went to purchase a black bra for the one who didn’t have one. In the fitting room, however, it became obvious that what worked for one wasn’t going to work for the other, and, of course, they did what many fourteen year old girls do; they giggled. Imagine a world in which no one notices, or cares about, another’s skin color, and just understands that the Creator created with variety in mind. When we look around it’s apparent that there’s no boredom in the Creator’s work – only boredom in our way of thinking. I said it was a simple story.