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In April 2015, during our trip to Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, we met the Dalai Lama. Oh yes, just saying that takes me right back to that moment when he asked me “You came all the way from Bangalore to meet me? Thank you!” And squeezed my hand. And leaned into my hug. And tickled my son’s beard. I still feel the warm cozy pressure of his hand. Okay, so, I actually meant to write something nice and soothing for N. I pondered a number of ideas and wrote up drafts (yay! Me). I literally sweated over them. I wished myself in a cool place. That’s where the Dalai Lama angle comes in. I thought, why not take another trip to one of the beautiful places we visited, and take you along with me? We’re visiting the Norbulingka Institute today, a peaceful and picturesque world all its own. That morning, we…

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet, global spiritual leader, and peace and human rights activist, and one of the most beloved Zen teachers in the world, celebrated his 90th birthday last month. He has published more than one hundred books on meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism, poems and children’s stories, and more. I’ve read a number of his books, including the popular Being Peace, Peace Is Every Step, and The Miracle of Mindfulness, and love the simplicity with which he conveys the concept of mindfulness. He is gentle and humble, but his words are powerful, and inspiring. His key message: When we practice mindfulness, we can live happily in the present moment, and this is the only way to peace, within us and in the world. Here are some of my favorite mindfulness quotes from Thích Nhất Hạn–or Thay–as he is fondly known–some are like mini-stories, sweet to read, with a pleasant…

So much noise Inside our head Our thoughts Our to-do list Work commitments Social media Twit, twit, Twitter Facebook Disturbing news A million things Fighting for space Space so scarce Turn down that volume. Unplug. Tune out the noise coming at you. Tune in to yourself Listen. Unwind. And that’s the gist of what I am about to share with you. Like me, if you are sensitive to sound and cringe, finding it annoying, your response is absolutely normal! The stress from the noise coming at you is only increasing on a daily basis. The good news is, if you are conscious of this noise, you’ve already taken the first step towards turning down the volume. Sure, we can just switch off from everything, but that is not the ideal solution with all that we’re involved in, and have to do. I am about to show you a two-step method…

Today, September 21, is World Gratitude Day. It is also International Day of Peace. Rather a nice combination, considering that Gratitude brings immense peace. Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. ~Author Unknown I am quite thrilled that September is the designated month for World Gratitude Day, Peace, Healthy Aging, Heart Health, and awareness of Fruits and Veggies, Suicide Prevention, Whole Grains, Yoga, Alzheimer’s, Cholesterol education, Food safety and a whole lot of other important topics. September is my birthday month and I think it is a good time of year to take stock, cultivate healthy habits and generally look forward to the next hundred and one days before we meet the New Year. I generally balk at making resolutions because then I feel the pressure, but this year, I think I will. My perspective of life is different from…

“Dialogues From Within”  is the beautiful title of a book of “poetry and verse to lift the spirit and soothe the soul” by my friend’s sister, Shobha Senan. The first thing I loved about this book is its cover. I am not one to judge a book by its cover but I am not immune to a gorgeous cover either. So when I saw it the first time, I wanted to read the book. Funny thing is – I am not much of a poetry reader, preferring humor, law/medical/crime fiction and whodunits and police procedurals. Don’t get me wrong, though! I do enjoy poetry – and in fact, took part in the month long Haiku Challenge in February 2012 and had a great time. Since I’ve read and enjoyed excerpts from the author’s brother – Dr.Chandra Senan’s books, I was curious to read Shobha’s verse, what with being tempted by…

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