Monday, November 30, 2009

First Food

Oskar's pure diet of breast milk has been infiltrated by small amounts of bath water, flower essences, and (a larger dose of) nose. Some time in the coming weeks, we'll be introducing him to food. Although he's already had a first bite of banana ("It just happened," is how Dan describes it!), this will be the first time he's been fed with intention.

In East Asian medicine, the two primary choices for first food are rice porridge or millet porridge. The choice depends on whether or not the child would benefit from more heavenly or earthly influences. With rice, its fluffy whiteness is reminiscent of clouds, whereas millet is round and yellow like the earth.

We're going to start with rice for Oskar, because he is already plenty grounded and also because of the strong relationship between rice and his Korean heritage. His Danish half has not yet been able to mount a compelling argument for pork or butter, much less pork with butter.

The benefits of rice porridge are manifold: it can easily be digested and assimilated; tonifies blood and Qi; harmonizes digestion; and is demulcent, cooling, and nourishing. The longer it is cooked, the more potent its health-promoting properties.

Recipe: 1 part of white rice to 7 parts water cooked overnight in the rice cooker until the grains loose their form.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wild Horses

Art by Kerryone.

Adhi Moonien Two Owl's Wind Horse Workshop on Assateaque Island in April sounds magical.

Observing the wild horses in their environment;
Creating mandalas and offerings to the ocean, elements, and the beings both seen and unseen on the island;
Clearing and purification techniques for preparing to go into the upper realms;
Journeying to connect to the horse guides;
Exploring what they can tell us to help with what is going on in our world today;
Creating a rattle shaker for the calling in horse energies;
Creating offerings and bundles.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Among the many people and things I feel thankful for today, six and a half (gasp) years of and with Dan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Opera by Candle Light

The little town of Verona is a sweet place to visit when traveling through Italy in the summer. The highlight is open air opera performed in an ancient arena.

As dusk settles into true darkness, everyone in the audience lights the birthday candles they have been given, and it's like the stars in the night sky begin to appear one by one in the arena. I have never witnessed a more beautiful start to any performance. It was magical.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Third Month of Pregnancy

In the Third Month, the mother's qi, spirit, body fluids, and primordial essence combine to cleanse the spirit of the fetus. This process creates heat, which ultimately rouses the baby's ethereal soul. The ethereal soul is what fuels our purpose in life and propels us to achieve our destinies.

In the Third Month, the Prenatal Five Agents (Wu Jing Shen) begin to energetically awaken. There are five agents, one for each of the five elements found in nature. Jing Shen can be described as the essence and spirit.

The first set of characters is for Jing, which depicts an exploding rice grain next to a young sapling shooting out of the earth. I think of the cycle of life, how the decomposition of the rice is linked with the propulsion of life in the tree. Death and destruction nourishes life.

The second set of characters is for Shen, which depicts heavenly influence on earthlyn natural forces.

We have the cycle of life bringing manifestation to the spirits of heaven and earth.

This begins in the third month when the heart beat can first be detected.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Living Water

Soon, my body will no longer be Oskar's only source of nourishment, so I am thinking a lot about water.
The picture above is one of Emoto's images of water, this one vibrates to the tune of love.

Living in Brooklyn, I don't have easy access to fresh, living spring water. The next best thing, they say, is ionized alkaline water. So, we're going to get a Gold Fox to do its magic on our beautiful NYC tap water.

Update: We ended up ordering a Chanson Eden.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Life as Dog

On the other side of motherhood, this movie becomes even more moving and painful and gorgeous.

One of the things Dan observed and said to me in the early, shell-shocked, post-partum days was how awesome and serious the responsibility was of being parents to our boy: that he would love us no matter what we did.

I had always wanted to be the object of unconditional love, but, like so many things, I hadn't thought it completely through.

The sheer weight of is just staggering.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oskar's newest playmate is Harpo, a hip-hop-apotamous, home spun and hand knitted in 100% natural wool by rural women in Kenya. He was knitted by Teresia Esinyeri of Kenana Knitters.

We found him in pb & Caviar, a lovely mother and baby boutique in Tribeca.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lonely Beach, Ko Chang, Thailand

IAmKoChang sums it up like this:

"For western visitors, Lonely Beach has long been regarded as the best beach to stay if you’re a true backpacker. For Thais, Lonely Beach has long been regarded as the best beach to visit if you want to see western girls topless."

It was my favorite Thai beach by far. The Siam Huts were very very basic, but offered every necessity for less than US$10 (2003). Fresh mango lassi breakfasts, and simple, luscious dinners of fish grilled on the beach with jacket potatoes and corn on the cob.

When we're 65, we're heading back to see if we can still find paradise there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Acupuncture for Pains in the Neck

This picture shows how headaches in the temples, jaw pain, and neck pain can all be caused by trigger points (often tight and tender spots) in the shoulder muscles. With acupuncture, you can treat all these areas simply by needling the X'd areas. The sensation can be very intense and provide a very huge relief.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leonid Meteor Shower Tonight

Starting at 1:30am EST until sunrise, there's a possibility of spotting hundreds of falling stars. It's also a new moon... 

Imagine all the wishes to be made...

(Photo from

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday, the 13th

A very witchy day...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wonders of Tea


The first cup moistens my lips and throat;
The second cup breaks my loneliness;
The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs;

The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration-all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores;

At the fifth cup I am purified;

The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.

The seventh cup-ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.

Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.

Lu Tung, a Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty

Some interpret it in this way:

The first cup: quenches thirst.
The second cup: leads to the awareness of Oneness.
The third cup: is a laxative.
The fourth cup: purges colds and flus.
The fifth cup: purifies the entire body, including the skin and the bones.
The sixth cup: opens the doors of perception.
The seventh cup: zen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

13 Grandmothers

My friend Abbey told me about this and I am all signed up!


Jivamukti Yoga School is delighted to welcome members of the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Join us for two evenings of Prayer, Healing, and discussions on Prophecy and Sacred Medicine.

"We the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today. We come together to nurture, educate and train our children. We come together to uphold the practice of our ceremonies and affirm the right to use our plant medicines free of legal restriction. We come together to protect the lands where our peoples live and upon which our cultures depend, to safeguard the collective heritage of traditional medicines, and to defend the earth Herself. We believe that the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future."

When: Saturday Dec 12th
Teachings: Prophecy and Sacred Medicine
Time: 7.30pm
Ticket Price: $35.00

When: Sunday Dec 13th
Teachings: Prayer and Healings -(This session involves hands on healing work from the Grandmothers.)
Time: 7.30pm
Ticket Price: $70.00
(Tickets are $100 if you attend both nights)

For Online registration go to
or call the jivamukti  Front desk at 212-353-0214 ext. 0
Please register soon as tickets are limited as this will be a popular event.

Sponsored by friends of The Center for Sacred Studies and The Jivamukti Yoga School

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If You Liked Yesterday's Book, Check This One Out!

An excerpt:
"... this is love. The feeling you have for your child is so indescribably deep and consuming that it must qualify as one of the few transcendent experiences in your plain old ordinary life. It arrives spontaneously as though part of afterbirth. It is miraculous and supreme and irrevocable. It makes all things possible...

There is a certain attitude, perhaps unavoidable, that most of us seem to adopt as we grow up. It is a kind of self-satisfied conclusion that our parents didn't love us. Oh, they might have loved us, but they didn't love us enough. They didn't love us the right way. They didn't love us just so. Have your own child, and you will penetrate into the utter absurdity of that idea..."

From Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller

Monday, November 9, 2009

Joy in Parenting

I am so happy in parenting right now, and part of it has been inspired by reading Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn's Everyday Blessings.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Christian

My favorite Christian speaker is Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. I don't often make it up to hear him live, but I do download his sermons.

Sometimes when I'm feeling down, he lifts me up.

One of my favorites is Inside Out Living. Download it here.

(Image from

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Anatomy of Kiki Smith

How I Know I'm Here (1985-2000), if I had $20,000 extra.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tattoo by Ugly

I had never wanted a tattoo before I met Ugly in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And then I was obsessed. I forced myself to think about it for 24 hours, and I could wait for them to end.

So I took the plunge, Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, in full color, tattooed in the middle of my back.

He wasn't ugly, really. In fact, very cute, with hair horns and an impish smile. And, a steady hand.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oskar's Samhain

Oskar usually has the quiet, soulful presence of a gorilla, so I searched high and low for the right costume. We only kept him in it for a few minutes, because it was a little too true-to-life: he really did seem like a sad gorilla in a zoo in it.

He did better in his monster suit.
The tradition of dressing in costume on Samhain originates from attempts to trick and evade the ghosts of the dead who walked the streets on this day when the veil between worlds is thinnest. I guess Oskar felt better equipped to face the demons as a serious, blue plastic monster.

Four Years Ago Yesterday

Four years ago yesterday, Dan and I got married at City Hall.

We had the loveliest day: morning ceremony and breakfast at Dan's favorite Cafe Orlin on Saint Marks with my brother, sister, and best friend as witnesses, a movie, then dinner at the River Cafe.

We went on to have two more public celebrations, a loft party in Brooklyn and a church wedding in California, so we celebrated big.

I am so happy we had the small, quiet day together when we actually wed, so we could focus on just us.

Yesterday, we lunched at Union Square Cafe and watched Where the Wild Things Are.  Magic.