she of 108 names


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Forested Wat Umong

Hello! Oh, it feels good being back here after a few months … I’ve missed posting.

My first photos for the new year … of the forested temple, Wat Umong. A regular hangout on hot sunny afternoons with attractions like chickens and roosters, fish feeding, statues, winding leaf-strewn paths, and dharma messages pinned to trees. Rainbow Eyes loves tearing through the tunnels and peeking at Buddha statues in alcoves beneath the chedi.

Happy 2013! May the new year of the Snake unwind with wisdom, abundance and LOVE!

x

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, Thailand


19 Comments

Shiney Love in Sunny Seattle

My little family and I are now home in Chiang Mai, revelling in travel memories and secretly wishing that we were still on our trip in the USA. We had a wonderful time.

Whilst traipsing around San Francisco and Seattle I received a Readers Appreciation Award from the lovely Learning to Shine who shares her life from the green isle of Scotland. Thank you Shiney lady, this made me truly cheery. In accepting my nomination I need to share seven facts about myself and choose my own nominees …

Seven facts about myself:
1/ I’m Australian, living in Chiang Mai for the past nine years
2/ I’m in my 33rd year of life
3/ My heart is with Nature
4/ I’m creative
5/ I’m afraid of the dark
6/ I’m sensitive
7/ I long for a deeper understanding of myself and the universe

Seven nominees who’ve inspired me lately (and who I’m quite sure have recieved this award as they are awesome!):
1/ Girl Unwinding – meditative mandalas, words and art
2/ cityhippyfarmgirl – eco-mama, baker and crafter extraordinaire
3/ Lrtn – gorgeous photography and travel tales
4/ Lottie Nevin – life in Indonesia, telling it like it is with humour
5/ Want Beautiful – blissful photography
6/ Colleen Leondardi – thoughtful words from the heart
7/ Zen Habits – downshifting ideas to live by

And from my recent trip, seven notes of love on Seattle:
1/ Colourful Pike Place Market by the bay
2/ Afternoons in the Seattle Center park … the sunlight was beautiful – we were blessed with unusually warm, clear days
3/ Tattooed Seattlites
4/ Our dinky room at the the Inn at Queen Ann … cosy and spotless, with old gas heater pipes and stucco ceiling – at $80 a night you can’t go wrong!
5/ 360 degree views from the Seattle Space Needle
6/ The diner we frequented for breakfast … Americans do pancakes and French toast so deliciously well!
7/ Public art sculptures, seemingly on every corner

Farewell San Francisco ... bags packed, ready our for next adventure in Seattle

Farewell San Francisco … bags packed, ready our for next adventure in Seattle

Space Needle

Space Needle

View of Seattle from the Space Needle

View of Seattle from the Space Needle

Playing in the park

Playing in the park

Poetry stone sculptures in the park - love these

Poetry stone sculptures in the park – love these

Mecca Cafe

Mecca Cafe

Awesome French toast at Mecca Cafe

Awesome French toast at Mecca Cafe

Cute penguins at the Woodland Park Zoo

Cute penguins at the Woodland Park Zoo

Browsing music at Easy Street Records

Browsing music at Easy Street Records

Creative screen printed posters

Creative screen printed posters

Breakfast heaven: The Crumpet Shop

Breakfast heaven: The Crumpet Shop

Fresh lemon curd and ricotta crumpets at The Crumpet Shop

Fresh lemon curd and ricotta crumpets at The Crumpet Shop

Stopping for an obligatory cup of coffee at Starbucks

Stopping for an obligatory cup of coffee at Starbucks

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Delightful dahlia's at Pike Place Market

Delightful dahlia’s at Pike Place Market

Fantastic fungi at Pike Place Market

Fantastic fungi at Pike Place Market

Buying books at the Lion Heart Book Store, tucked away in the bowels of Pike Place Market

Buying books at the Lion Heart Book Store, tucked away in the bowels of Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Taking in the bay, early morning

Taking in the bay, early morning

Enjoying the afternoon sunlight

Enjoying the afternoon sunlight


28 Comments

Loving this week … San Francisco

This post is inspired by cityhippyfarmgirl’s inspiring post ‘Loving this week’.

After more than 30 hours in transit from Chiang Mai, with stopovers in Bangkok and Seoul, head shakes and the occasional ‘stink-eye’ from fellow passengers when the little one had a meltdown, lack of sleep, gross food, and a delay with our connection in Los Angeles … we arrived in San Francisco relieved, happy and excited to finally be in this stunning city.

Notes of love on San Francisco …

/ Our cosy little apartment in Richmond district … restaurants, an organic grocer and excellent public transport – yeah!
/ Amazing Asian and Western vegetarian food … with the array of tantalising places to eat out at, the idea of cooking in our apartment flew out the window.
/ Catching up with lovely friends.
/ Cool, fresh and invigorating weather … loving the breeze coming off the bay.
/ The Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park – great for the entire family.
/ The Sutro Baths overlooking the mighty Pacific, down at Land’s End.
/ Pedestrian-friendly streets with enormous wide footpaths and cars that actually stop when you’re trying to cross the road (unlike in Thailand).
/ Great conversations with friendly local folks.
/ Being able to drink water directly from the tap.
/ Twilight (as in the time of day, not the film series).
/ Cable car ride from Powell and Market Streets to Pier 39.
/ Lush green parks … in seemingly endless supply.
/ The fog that envelopes the city at unexpected moments
/ A fantastic city!

The sun rising on the horizon, approaching the USA

The sun rising on the horizon, approaching the USA

Our neighbourhood in Richmond

Our neighbourhood in Richmond

I love this sign

I love this sign

Old school shop fronts

Old school shop fronts

Browsing at the wonderful Fields Book Store

Browsing at the wonderful Fields Book Store

Fun cable car ride

Fun cable car ride

Watching the sea lions at Pier 39

Watching the sea lions at Pier 39

Enjoying windy Pier 39

Enjoying windy Pier 39

View of the Sutro Baths

View of the Sutro Baths

Trees by the ocean

Trees by the ocean

Picking flowers, Sutro Baths

Picking flowers, Sutro Baths

The three of us at the Sutro Baths

The three of us at the Sutro Baths

Exploring by the Sutro Baths

Exploring by the Sutro Baths

Exploring by the Sutro Baths

Exploring by the Sutro Baths

Playing in the sand at the beach by the Sutro Baths

Playing in the sand at the beach by the Sutro Baths

Iced coffee, Vietnamese drip style!

Iced coffee, Vietnamese drip style!

Devouring delicious pho soup

Devouring delicious pho soup

The Sword & Rose mystical shop in the Haight area

The Sword & Rose mystical shop in the Haight area

The Sword & Rose mystical shop in the Haight area

The Sword & Rose mystical shop in the Haight area

Gingko leaves at the Japanese Tea Garden

Gingko leaves at the Japanese Tea Garden

Buddha at the Japanese Tea Garden

Buddha at the Japanese Tea Garden


17 Comments

August Break Week iv: seven snaps of life, seven slices of mind

This month I am participating in The August Break 2012, run by the lovely Susannah Conway. At the end of each week of August I will share seven snaps of life and seven slices of mind.

1 / The three of us feeling under the weather and out of sorts this past week: tired, grumpy, no energy … but there were little pockets of goodness here and there.
2 / Enjoyed a midday nap and cuddle with my little Rainbow Eyes. Naps are so under-rated. I say yes to the napping culture!
3 / Sense of lightness after shamanic healing session (thank you Melanie).
4 / I got an hour to myself to enjoy a tok sen massage within the beautiful grounds of Wat Mahawan. This is one of my favourite types of massage (and one of my favourite locations for a massage too) – quite energising and less intense than the usual Thai massage. Dr. Sompong is the master masseur (and owner), so be sure to ask for him.

“Tok sen massage is an ancient northern Thai practice that involves the use of a special wooden hammer, made from the bark of the tamarind tree, to relax muscles in a rhythmically tapping motion, ‘tok sen’.

Tok means to hammer or hit and sen refers to the pathways in the body. Tok sen therapy helps with physical aches and pains, energy blockages, pure circulation, nerve problems etc .”

5 / Lulled by the nighttime sounds of croaking frogs and watery critters that come with the rainy season. I’m sure this is a common sound out in the boonies, but in our rather urban dwelling it is a welcome and grounding sound.
6 / & 7 / – I’ve run out of steam at five slices of mind … b’sheesh – it truly has been one of those weeks! Ah well.

Sweet, fresh coconut juice at the markets – the best!

Sweet, fresh coconut juice at the markets – the best!

I’ve had these shoes for over ten years, they’ve been all over the world with me – so comfy, I never undo the shoelaces. These days they’re mainly retired and only slipped on for the gym. I’m sad to say that they are coming to the end of their days, tears

I’ve had these shoes for over ten years, they’ve been all over the world with me – so comfy, I never undo the shoelaces. These days they’re mainly retired and only slipped on for the gym. I’m sad to say that they are coming to the end of their days, tears may be shed … I’m not sure I will be able to find another pair of shoes that will live up to these. Gulp!

Me getting a tok sen massage … and no, it’s not painful getting a wooden stake hammered onto your body!

Me getting a tok sen massage … and no, it’s not painful getting a wooden stake hammered onto your body!

There is another photo of the massage place here. If you take a peak down that right-side passage way you will find a beautiful, large Buddha housed inside.

The Burmese chedi at Wat Mahawan got a fresh lick of white paint so it looked stunning.
The Burmese chedi at Wat Mahawan got a fresh lick of white paint so it looked stunning.
A plant forming a natural mandala in an unassuming little pond by a busy roadside … how perfect is Nature?

A plant forming a natural mandala in an unassuming little pond by a busy roadside … how perfect is Nature?

"Don't worry about a thing, 'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” (Feel free to start singing and/or head for the kitchen ‘herb cabinet’).

“Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” (Feel free to start singing and/or head for the kitchen ‘herb cabinet’).

Finding a moment of peace: watching the breeze in the trees, Wat Suan Dok

Finding a moment of peace: watching the breeze in the trees, Wat Suan Dok


10 Comments

August Break Week iii: seven snaps of life, seven slices of mind

This month I am participating in The August Break 2012, run by the lovely Susannah Conway. At the end of each week of August I will share seven snaps of life and seven slices of mind.

While my home isn’t the sun-filled, open-plan, surrounded-by-nature space that I’d love to inhabit, I’m grateful to have a place to call home, and to have a decent roof over my head:

1 / ‘Home’ (however that is defined) is in Chiang Mai, Thailand – something I dreamt of once, now a reality.
2 / Home is located close enough to everything that we don’t need a car, and we can bicycle or motorcycle to most places.
3 / Our landlords (of nine years) never bother us.
4 / We can decorate and renovate without having to get permission.
5 / Home is large enough to live in and work from (with a home office / creative space for two, and storage space for our book publications).
6 / Rent is reasonable, which also means we also aren’t in debt with a mortgage.
7 / I love the books, trinkets and artwork that fill our home.

“Every one of us needs a home. The world needs a home. There are so many young people who are homeless. They may have a building to live in, but they are homeless in their hearts. That is why the most important practice of our time is to give each person a home.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Books and trinkets

Books and trinkets

Home

Mary-like Kuan Yin from Bali

Bedroom duchess

Bedroom duchess

Magus' desk ... always editing a manuscript

Magus’ desk … always editing a manuscript

Rainbow Eyes surrounded by books, he is naturally a book lover ...

Rainbow Eyes surrounded by books, he is naturally a book lover …

Living room

Living room

Fridge door with collection of magnets from world travels, postcards from friends and photos

Fridge door with collection of magnets from travels, postcards from friends and photos


10 Comments

August Break Week ii: seven snaps of life, seven slices of mind

This month I am participating in The August Break 2012, run by the lovely Susannah Conway. At the end of each week of August I will share seven snaps of life and seven slices of mind.

1 / Envigourated by the first online workshop on ‘Introduction to Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette (Lesson 1: The Major Arcana)’ … mind you, I needed the envigourating effects of very strong coffee for the 2 a.m. (Thailand time) start!
2 / Satisfied (and weirdly relieved) folding away the clean clothes that were piled up in baskets for more than three weeks …  oh the little things.
3 / Excited to see our new book publication, The Hermes Paradigm, Book Two: The First Work, off to print.
4 / Completing the ‘generosity circle’ with our neighbour who graciously let us shower at her house for many nights when we had no water supply to our house (water pump and tank problems).
5 / Admiring the determination of my teacher and friend in following his true path in tai chi chu’an by imminetly journeying to Wudang Mountain, China with a group of senior sifus.
6 / Resonating with the Wheel of Dharma and Wheel of Life symbolism – now that I am more aware of the symbol I am seeing it everywhere … temples, decorative temple walls and even photocopying shops!
7 / Dancing and singing (albeit in quite a crazy fashion) with Magus to the tunes of Bowie in order to cheer up Rainbow Eyes and lift him from one of his tantrums (and I say ‘one’ as there are many tantrums per day, apparently ‘normal’ for a two year old).

“Everything in heaven and earth is connected to everything in heaven and earth.

Everything in heaven and earth is the reflection of everything in heaven and earth.

Everything in heaven and earth contains the pattern of everything in heaven and earth.

Look hard enough at anything and you will eventually see eveything.”

~ Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford ~

Finding divine shelter from the rain at Wat Chedi Luang

Finding (divine) shelter from the rain at Wat Chedi Luang

Delicious fare at Mingkwan Vegetarian Food (Ratchadamnoen Road, near Wat Phra Singh) ... the deep fried wontons are addictive!

Delicious fare at Mingkwan Vegetarian Food (Ratchadamnoen Road, near Wat Phra Singh) … the deep fried wontons are addictive!

Not just for the oldies: the joy of feeding pidgeons at Suan Buak Hat

Not just for the oldies: the joy of feeding pidgeons at Suan Buak Hat

Typical street scene in Chiang Mai: the chaos somehow works, and there is always a peaceful temple hidden amongst it

Typical street scene in Chiang Mai: the chaos somehow works, and there is always a peaceful temple hidden amongst it

Exploring rice paddies near our house

Exploring rice paddies near our home

Visiting our artist friend Jirawong at his In Clay Studio Pottery

Visiting our artist friend Jirawong at his In Clay Studio Pottery

Rainbow Eyes and me riding in the back of a songthaew

Rainbow Eyes and me riding in the back of a songthaew

See previous week:
August Break Week i: seven snaps of life, seven slices of mind


18 Comments

August Break Week i: seven snaps of life, seven slices of mind

This month I am participating in The August Break 2012, run by the lovely Susannah Conway. At the end of each week of August I will share seven snaps of life and seven slices of mind.

1 / Enjoying misty mountain views of Doi Suthep, and stormy afternoons.
2 / Savouring long philosophical discussions with Magus on the spiritual nature and deeper meanings of life.
3 / Relieved that Mercury retrograde will be passing within a few days (I don’t think that I could endure any more unexpected obstacles!).
4 / Bopping to the beats of Boy and Bear.
5 / Enthusiastically enrolling in an online workshop, ‘Introduction to Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette (Lesson 1: The Major Arcana)’ via the Thelesis Aura Online Academy.
6 / Delighting in bicycle adventures around town with little Rainbow Eyes.
7 / Re-watching the Matrix trilogy and enjoying the dialogue (rather than being bamboozled by the special effects):

Trinity: I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing … why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.

~ The Matrix ~

Waking up to sunlight from our bedroom balcony

Waking up to sunlight from our bedroom balcony

Corn stalks and view Doi Suthep mountain at the weekly fruit and veg market

Corn stalks and view to Doi Suthep mountain from the weekly fruit and veg market

Beautiful Buddha hidden in a Wat

Beautiful Buddha hidden inside a wat

Lunch at the Pun Pun, Wat Suan Dok

Lunch at Pun Pun, Wat Suan Dok

Enjoying misty moutain views of Doi Suthep, and stormy afternoons

Enjoying misty moutain views of Doi Suthep, and stormy afternoons

An enormous elephant

An enormous, magnificent elephant

Rainbow Eyes looking for fish

Rainbow Eyes looking for fish at the Chiang Mai Zoo aquarium

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