Monthly Archives: October 2010

Tips for Immunity for cold and Flu Season, as provided by As usual, these are just information to keep in consideration, for medical advices, please consult your doctor.

Dietary and Lifestyle Tips
1. Protect yourself from extreme temperatures. Keep your head warm. The body loses most heat through the head and torso. This can increase Vata and weaken the immune system.
2. Avoid iced beverages during or immediately after meals.
3. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of warm fluids to balance Vata.
4. Eat pure, fresh foods.
5. Avoid foods containing preservatives and avoid leftovers.
6. Get plenty of rest. When the body is tired immunity is weakened and you are susceptible to illness.
7. Wash your hands regularly with soap.
8. Try eating a small piece of fresh ginger before meals to help stimulate digestion.
9. Use turmeric in your cooking, a natural antibacterial.
10.Favor lighter well cooked, nutritious foods, such as soups. These foods are easy to digest and allow the body to direct more energy toward immunity.
11.Avoid heavier, fatty foods such as red meats and dairy.

Spices for Supporting Immunity
Spices not only enhance flavor, but research also shows that they have therapeutic value. Below find a spice mixture from our Maharishi Ayurveda expert for creating a healthy, balanced immune system:
6 parts Turmeric
3 parts Ground Cumin
3 parts Ground Coriander
6 parts Ground Fennel
1 part Powdered Dry Ginger
1 part Ground Black Pepper
1/4 part Ground Cinnamon

Mix all the spices together. Store them in an airtight container, in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. Mix one teaspoon of the spice mixture into one tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) on low heat until you smell the aroma being released. Remove from the heat immediately to avoid burning. Add this spiced ghee to cooked rice, vegetables or other dishes. This good tasting combination of spices will help enhance digestion and thereby support a healthy immune system.

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.

The 5th Annual International Conference on Engaging The Other: The Power of Compassion will be hold on November 19-21, 2010 at Sonoma State University, San Francisco Bay Area (Rohnert Park), Calif. USA

At a time when polarization is the true culprit, a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary conference addressing fear-based belief systems, negative stereotypes, polarization, enemy images, scapegoating, and artificial barriers of distrust that divide us.

Overall Goals of the Conference are to:
– Raise the level, depth, and breadth of public dialogue and awareness on core issues. The conference examines dimensions and dynamics of “The OTHER” on individual and group levels, and considers how enemy identity is formed, perpetuated, and manipulated.

– Identify and compile fundamental questions, dilemmas, and implications for further deep inquiry and examination in an expanding public dialogue, and to challenge embedded negative belief systems that promote adversarial perceptions of the “The Other.”

– Tap our shared wisdom, compassion, and responsibility as a community – from the local to the global – in developing practical applications. Participants are encouraged to develop and share practical recommendations and strategies for applying results to the current state of local and world relationships to promote increased understanding, sensitivity, and compassion as a means of countering and neutralizing hostility, particularly inter-group hostility.

– Create Networking Opportunities to promote collaboration, action planning, and next steps following the conference.

– Formulate findings and products to make available to all – through publications, media, the Internet, educational curriculum, networks, community based dialogue groups, etc.


An outstanding pool of over 55 Presenters and Facilitators gather with extensive experience in addressing concepts of The Other from diverse perspectives – social, cultural, psychological, political, spiritual, philosophical, ecological, and economic.

Structure of the ETO Conference. A 3 day program of:

1. Keynote Speakers
2. Topical Plenary Panels with leading speakers on theory, philosophy, and historical aspects
3. Concurrent Break-out Sessions of Workshops and Roundtables
4. Daily Facilitated Dialogue Groups to engage concepts, invite diverse perspectives, and explore practical applications.
5. Video Addresses by Leading Visionaries
6. Interactive All-conference Experiences
7. Resource and Networking Hub
8. Morning Yoga sessions
9. Evening Performances, Social-Cultural Events, and Community Activities.
10. Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala Ritual
11. Exhibits and Displays
12. Rich Networking Opportunities
13. Cross-cultural Community. Participants experience the conference program and community as a living learning laboratory, to explore conference themes and create a common ground of reference essential to engaging and integrating formal learning.
14. Final Action Planning Process for next steps beyond the conference.

Some Examples of Areas of Inquiry to Explore Within the Program:

– The Other – as humankind’s oldest and most resilient foe.
– Our shared identity as The Other.
– The role of inherent sin and exclusive dogma in requiring the presence and embodiment of innate evil in the world, and vilifying an ever-present Other as it’s expression.

This ETO Conference series occurs in conjunction with an edited book in progress titled “Engaging The Other”, examining psycho-social concepts of “The OTHER” from a multi-cultural perspective, and raising important questions for fuller exploration. It is also programmatically linked to other international conferences, including the International Conference on Conflict Resolution(ICR), held for the last 16 years, and the International Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peace(RCP). and a new conference series being launched in Israel in July 2011. Like the ICR Conference, the RCP Conference, and edited book, the ETO Conference is a cross-cultural collaboration for global representation.

“Engaging The Other” Curriculum Project: A planned effort growing out of the ETO Conference series for conducting ongoing “Engaging The Other” programs in various locals to nurture capacity for sensitivity, understanding, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity. The curriculum will be designed for all age groups, to be socially and culturally sensitive, and made available to schools and universities, NGO’s, community organizations, religious organizations, government agencies, political groups, etc.
Public Education: In line with this effort, program concepts will also be promoted to the general public through established and alternative media in various formats for wider public awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

More information and registration are available on

The two methods most frequently employed to solve our toughest social problems- either relying on violence and aggression, or submitting to endless negotiation and compromise—are fundamentally flawed. Adam Kahane, of Reos Partners and the Universities of Oxford and Waterloo, is an internationally-acclaimed facilitator and author who has been involved in facilitating a series of high-conflict, high-stakes problem-solving efforts.

In this extraordinary event, Adam Kahane will delve deeply into the dual natures of both power and love, exploring their subtle and intricate interplay. For tickets, visit

Thanks for this guest-post to Tracey Jackson. Tracey is a screenwriter and author who blogs on her own site, as well as guest blogging for HuffPo, Tiny Buddha and Society for Drug Free America, she attempts daily to live as mindful a life as is possible.

It’s been awhile since I did a bossy Tracey posting but I realized today that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to an end and I have not addressed it.

It’s not like me and I have actually had an “in the future posting” on the books since I got my last mammogram.

But the message is very clear and the question astoundingly simple, if you are a woman forty or older or a woman any age with a family with a history of breast cancer have you had a mammogram in the past twelve months? Just like the mole check, I’m not interested in 18 months or 20 months ~ 12 months: in the last year.

Most people think this is a lame question as it is just assumed most women are religious in getting their mammograms: Surprisingly the opposite is true. When I was in for mine in July I asked my doctor the stats on how many women DON’T get checked and she told me around 40% do not get them. And this often times despite what you might think has nothing to do with socio-economic status, it has to do with stupidity and fear.

In the last year alone, especially since I started Between A Rock and a Hot Place I have come across many women whom you would think were diligent about this part of their health care, but some how, some way let it slide.

Well, guess what you can’t “let it slide.” I know it doesn’t help that the insurance companies and various reports keep switching the rules, some say every year, now they’re saying women over fifty only need it every two years. They all say don’t start until you’re in your forties. I think much of this comes from the insurance companies as let’s face they don’t want to pony up the dough.

Breast cancer hits many women in their thirties and some in their twenties. I’ve been getting regular mammograms since I was 35 and there is no history in my family. But my long time doctor Ed Liu said when I hit thirty-five “ The technology is there, why not take advantage of it, it could save your life.” And I’ve been going the same time every year ever since.

I’m not looking for brownie points and believe me I don’t like going anymore than anyone else: But you have to do it. And you can’t say I can’t afford it as there are clinics where you can go that charge small fees and sometimes do it for free. I know this as I have spoken with women who go each year and pay little or next to nothing.
And the real shocker is the high-income, well educated group with insurance who don’t go.

I will tell you a brief story that proves my point.

Last summer we were having people over for dinner. Someone brought along a friend, handsome women in her mid-fifties. It was immediately made known she went to Yale and had a very impressive job that only someone with a great mind and educational pedigree could pull off.

I instantly went to my Oh Christ; this is one of those women who will find me to be the blonde bimbo with too much cleavage who didn’t go to college. So I was polite but went to the kitchen to make some guacamole, for some reason she followed me.

We started talking and within minutes our conversation led to what I did and the topic of the book came out, and menopause and within minutes we were chatting like old friends.

The upshot of the story is this woman is fifty-six years old. She has not been to see a gynecologist or had a mammogram in over four years. I almost dropped the skillet I was holding. “Are you crazy?” I asked her. “ No, just scared,” she said. “It’s been a difficult few years and I think any bad news will make it worse.”

Well, that is one demented way of looking at it. I didn’t say that. But I did say, “If you get news that something that could have been minor is now major it’s going to be a whole lot worse”. She agreed and admitted she didn’t want the doctor to see her because she had gained 40 pounds as well. SHE WENT TO YALE. SHE HAS INSURANCE. When it comes to health often times rational thinking flies out the window.

I immediately gave her the name of my gynecologist Robin Phillips who is a menopause specialist, this woman was suffering terribly from lack of estrogen and I gave her the number of my radiologist. I told her to call in the morning and use my name, as she is hard to get into. I even offered to go with her.

I had come far from being intimidated by her to realizing this very competent women was paralyzed by the fear that her body was somehow a time bomb and that she needed help. She promised she would take care of it all and email me.

I never heard from her again. I know Robin didn’t see her as Robin always writes a thank you note whenever she gets a new patient I send her way. And my guess is she didn’t get her mammogram. My hope is she doesn’t wait too much longer. Eighteen months at her age is a long time to go between appointments, five years is an eternity.

So please, don’t assume all is fine and don’t’ be afraid of them finding something. Their job is to find something if it’s there and get it in time.

The best thing you can do is book your appointment for the same time every year. That way you don’t miss a month and it becomes part of your permanent health care regime. Often times people miss a few months and before you know it an extra year has been tacked on. I’ve heard too many stories of women with advanced breast cancer who “Got so busy they hadn’t been checked in several years.”

The other thing to do is spread your doctor’s visits apart by four months each. By this I mean go see your GP who will give you a manual breast exam, four months later do the annual gynecological visit and he/she will give you a manual exam and then have your ANNUAL mammogram. That way every four months someone in the know is feeling your boobs. It’s important. Your life could depend on it.

The other thing you can do and I do this every day is click on the link for The National Breast Cancer site. One push of the mouse gives a mammogram to someone who can’t afford it.

And that makes every day Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

The Science of a Meaningful Life: Seeds of Compassion, Roots of Empathy is a day-long seminar, featuring Dacher Keltner and Mary Gordon, offering strategies to cultivate compassion, empathy, and resilience in yourself, others, and children.

Dr. Keltner will present research-based tips for fostering empathy, compassion, and other positive skills in yourself, in children, and in colleagues and clients. He will also shed light on those who have trouble forming compassionate relationships, such as those who suffer from social disorders like autism.

The seminar will also feature a presentation by Mary Gordon, the internationally recognized founder of the trailblazing Roots of Empathy program. The Roots of Empathy curriculum centers on regular classroom visits by an infant and parent—a way of teaching children how to identify and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings, and to develop empathy for others. Ms. Gordon will discuss why developing empathy among children and adults is essential to caring, peaceful societies, and she’ll explain how her work has dramatically increased positive behaviors and decreased aggression in hundreds of thousands of children.

More information are available on:


October 28, 2010

TEDxTeachCompassion will be hold on June 11, 2011 at the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, California. Attendants will learn about compassion in education–why it’s important, how we can nurture it, and why it’s essential to preparing our students for life in the 21st century.

The conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area on June 11, 2011 at the beautiful and historic Craneway Pavillion.

The theme of the conference is compassion in education–why it’s important, how we can nurture it, and why it’s essential to preparing our students for life in the 21st century.

The conference will explore the essential place that compassion holds throughout K-12 education. What will make it truly groundbreaking is its fusion of education and cutting-edge science. The day will offer illuminating scientific discoveries, practical strategies for building compassion, and plenty of inspiration—not just from educators but from entrepreneurs, doctors, artists, and other agents of social change. Some speakers may draw upon the latest research from neuroscience and developmental psychology to show how schools can nurture compassion; others may reveal how compassion builds bridges to faraway people and places.

Our audience will consist of key players in education and science: classroom teachers, psychologists, parents, neuroscientists, policy makers, artists, and other innovators from the Bay Area and beyond.

More information will be available on

Diwali or Deepavali is, as described on Wiki, popularly known as the festival of lights. It is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For most of the hindus/Indians and working class, this is the biggest festival and the day when they want to be with their families and perform the prayers together in their homes.

The name Diwali is a contraction of the word Deepavali, which translates into row of lamps. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Some Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali, hoping for prosperity the following year. In Hinduism, Deepavali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating (the demon king) Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, in the epic Ramayana. In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha by Mahavira in 527 BC. In Sikhism, Deepavali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles and diyas to celebrate his return. This is the reason Sikhs also refer to Deepavali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, “the day of release of detainees”. Deepavali is considered a national festival in India and Nepal. They never start Deepavali in debt.

Celebrating Diwali in Vancouver
Vancouver Celebrates Diwali returns in 2010, with an even largest edition ever. Here’s a list of of our events taking place at venues across Vancouver from November 2 – 7.

As reported on the official website for Diwali in Vancouver on
Opening Ceremonies: On Tuesday November 2 at 3:45 pm in City Hall’s Council chambers. Hosted by The City of Vancouver and His Honor Mayor Gregor Robertson, this annual ceremony marks the City’s recognition of this important holiday, and opens our city-sponsored festival with some pomp and panache.

Diwali Downtown: On Sunday November 7 from 12 pm – 6 p m at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Sponsored by Coast Capital Savings, the main event of this year’s festival sees a dramatic increase in our programming as we take over the entire Roundhouse! With admission free of charge and events taking place on multiple stages, we promise a dizzying array of talent and spectacle. Artists for this day-long event include:
* Scheherazaad Cooper: Classical Odissi dancer and the face of the VCD 2010 poster.
* Bollywood Shenanigans: One of Vancouver’s funniest comedy troupes takes on the film genre that they’re named after. Tickets $5.
* Mohamed Assani: Straight from the UK, a world-renowned sitarist making his Vancouver debut.
* Pocket Bhangra iPhone Orchestra: Exactly what you think it is. Hear what your iPhone is really capable of.
* Shan E Punjab: Always a favorite with our audiences, this youth dance team keeps you wanting more.
* Fusion Drummers – Taiko Meets Dhol: A first-time ever collaboration between four of Vancouver’s finest drum artists.
* Vidyasagar Vankayala: Carnatic rhythms with this favorite quartet playing extended sets.
* BPM: Some of Vancouver’s finest hip hop and fusion beats.
* Aarti Pole: Classical Kathak dancer featuring solo pieces and a duet with Flamenco dancer Nanako Aramaki.
* Shamik Bilgi & Ajay Kapur: The human beatbox meets the electric sitar in an explosive jam session.
* Shiamak Indo-Jazz: Long known as one of Vancouver’s hottest Indian dance troupes.
* Babukishan Das Baul: This charming performer brings his band that’s toured the world.
* Lady Garba: New Vancouver dance troupe led by Raakhi Sinha.
* Ta-Ki-Ta: Classical Indian music meets Jazz meets Celtic rhythms in a unique fusion.
* Eric Hamber Dance: Over 20 secondary students strut their stuff.
* UBC Girlz: Always a fan favorite, this boisterous bhangra team dazzles with color and movement.

Other exciting activities during Diwali Downtown include:
* Massive Rangoli: A room-sized rangoli designed by Whitney Krueger will be built by the audience one bucket full at a time.
* Bhangra/Dhol Workshops: Come shake your stuff with instructors Raakhi Sinha and Gurpreet Sian.
* Visual Arts Exhibit: Featuring an eclectic display by artists Uma Sharda, Sundeep Thinda, Raymon Maliwat and Lotus Eye.
* Mehndi: Henna artist Nazil Kara and her daughters return to bejewl your hands and fingers with this ancient art.
* Diya painting: Always a favorite for the young and young at heart.
* Face painting: Come to the Coast Capital Savings tent and get an emblematic Diwali image painted on your face.


October 28, 2010

A thing is not necessarily true even if people do everything for it.

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