Hau’oli Aloha Lapule

sun heartAloha kakahiaka oukou … Hau’oli aloha Lapule. He aku, ‘ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai pela iho la ka nohana ‘ohana.

Good morning and Happy Aloha Sunday, everyone. Know and help others as they will know to help you.

When you live with Aloha Spirit, you live with ‘Ohana. ‘Ohana means “family.” Hawaiians believe that we are all part of an extended family. Everyone in your ‘Ohana is accepted and loved.


Daily Words of the Buddha ~ November 30, 2014

time with kids
Santaṃ tassa manaṃ hoti, santā vācā,
ca kamma ca, sammadaññā,
vimuttassa, upasantassa tādino.

Calm is one’s thought, calm one’s speech,
and calm one’s deed, who, truly knowing,
is wholly freed, perfectly tranquil and wise.

Dhammapada 7.96

The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Paradigm Shift ~ The Great Vegetarians

great veggiesGeniuses like Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mahatma Gandhi abstained from eating animals. Plutarch wrote, “When we clog and cloy our body with flesh, we also render our mind and intellect coarse. When the body’s clogged with unnatural food, the mind becomes confused and dull and loses its cheerfulness. Such minds engage in trivial pursuits, because they lack the clearness and vigor for higher thinking.”

Prayer Circle for Today
Today let us send our prayers to all animals vivisected in laboratories and classrooms.

May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all animals used in experiments. Dear primates, dogs, cats, mice; rats, pigs, lambs, rabbits, frogs, and all of you who are imprisoned in cages, tortured in useless experiments, separated from your loved ones, and suffering constant pain, fear, and loneliness, sometimes for many long years.

Dear ones, we bear witness to your suffering, we take action to permanently end it, and we continually send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support this violent oppression.

We send our tears and our prayers on wings of love to you. Our love is all around you.

Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.

And so it is.

Just For Today

sunset beach walkThink back to when someone did something kind for you. How did it make you feel? See if these feelings can guide you in any way today.

Kindness has gracious eyes; it is not small-minded or competitive; it wants nothing back for itself … Kindness casts a different light, an evening light that has the depth of color and patience to illuminate what is complex and rich in difference.

“To be here is immense.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Hau’oli Aloha Po’alima

Epidendrum Orchids
Epidendrum Orchids

Aloha kakahiaka oukou … Hau’oli aloha Po’alima I ka’u ‘ohana a me ka’u mau hoa. Malama kekahi i kekahi!

Good morning and Happy Aloha Friday to our family and friends! Take good care of each other.

E pi’i ala i hui me ‘oe.
E pa ka makani ma kou kua.
E alohi mhana ka la maluna o kou alo;
a na us malie maluna o kou mau mala
a hiki i ko kaua hui pu la,
Na Ke Akua i ho’omau ia oe i ka poho o kona lima.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the
palm of his hand.

Aloha wau ia oukou apau a hui hou … We love you all and until we meet again …

~ Lana and David

Saturday November 29, 2014 Yod and more


The afternoon and evening of Saturday, November 29, 2014 is complex and contradictory.  The triggering event appears to be Moon conjunct Chiron (a once a month event that gradually changes character over a longer time window).  While we will cover a number of patterns in play, one particularly leaps out: a Yod involving Chiron, Juno, and the North Node:

2014-11-29 Chiron-Juno-Node Yod

[Click to Enlarge]

We point this out because, post-Thanksgiving, this pattern tells us something obvious without astrology: some relationships, including marriages, will break up this Saturday.  Thanksgiving will be the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” but some people will not fully shut the door (or walk out the door) until Saturday afternoon (or possibly Saturday evening).  And, SOME of you NEED to do this.  (I am referring to anyone in an abusive situation.  In fact, if you have to leave on Friday while they are away at work, then don’t wait…

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Just For Today

morning rollcallThis Thanksgiving, as you give gratitude for blessings in your life, think of someone with whom you have a conflict. How might you transform your interactions with this person.

How easy is it to “love your neighbor” when your intoxicated neighbor wakes you up in the middle of the night and insults you? For people dedicated to the path of nonviolence, like Arun Dada and his wife Mira Ba, it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the only thing you can do. Instead of getting angry, they chose to try and transform the relationship through compassion. And in doing so they inspired their neighbor to replace his steady stream of obscenities with three words embodying their shared highest ideals.

“Whatever you do, make it an offering to me.”  ~ Bhagavad Gita


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hawaiian Thanksgiving

Aloha kakou A hau’oli la Ho’omakika’i
(Hello everyone & happy Thanksgiving) … Here is our prayer for all of you:

Ho’onani I ka makua mau no keia nani la. Ho’omaika’i ia au o e ola, ‘ohana a na hoaloha Ho’onani ke ha O haku no ke ola maika’i. ‘Oli no au i na pono, lani e I keia maika’i. Ke hui nei makou I kona lako maika’i, E pule kakou, Ho’omaika’i mai ‘oe I keia mau mea ‘ai I keia la O Ho’omakika’i a kela mea ‘ohana. Mahalo ke Akua no na mea apau. Na Iehowa ‘oe e ho’omaika’i mai. He pule keia ~ Amene


Praise to the eternal father for this blessed day. I am thankful for my life, family and friends. Praise the lord for the good life. I rejoice in the blessings of heaven this blessed day. let us gather together in his goodness and grace, let us pray. Bless this food on this day of Thanksgiving and each family. Thank you lord for everything. The lord bless and keep you. This is our prayer ~ Amen


Daily Words of the Buddha ~ November 26, 2014

honu surfCarañce nādhigaccheyya
seyyaṃ sadisamattano,
ekacariyaṃ daḷhaṃ kayirā;
natthi bāle sahāyatā.

Should a seeker not find
a companion who is better or equal,
let one resolutely pursue a solitary course;
there is no fellowship with the fool.

Dhammapada 5.61

The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita


Recipe ~ Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction

Recipe here!

If you’re a Brussels sprouts lover, then this recipe is a must-try.  A simple, elegant, delicious side dish.

If you’re a Brussels sprouts hater…sorry, it’s a hopeless cause and there’s no converting you.  Why?  It’s genetic.  Yes, there’s actually a gene that explains your repulsion to all things cabbage.  Read on.

In 2003 scientists located the exact gene responsible for this hatred toward Brussels sprouts.  They decided to name it the “TAS2R38 gene” (they could have done better than that, surely.)   It’s located on the 7th chromosome, has 1,143 bases, and it performs the role of coding for the PTC taste receptor.  (All of this just further reinforces why I pursued an education as far away from math and chemistry as possible – although I did have to take some nasty statistics in grad school.  Awful, awful stuff.  Awful.  But I’ve since recovered).  So what on earth does all of that mean for non-geeks?  It means this:  There is a chemical called PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) that isn’t common in the human diet but is similar to chemicals found in the brassica family (cabbages and Brussels sprouts).  If you happen to be the lucky/unlucky (I’ll let you determine which) possessor of the TAS2R38 gene, this gene produces a protein that interlocks with PTC and creates a strong, unpleasant taste sensation of bitterness.

Nope, there’s nothing you can do about it.  You will forever hate Brussels sprouts unless you pay a ton of money to undergo hypnosis, which may not work anyway.

And if there are any kids or teenagers reading this (kudos for following a cook-from-scratch food blog!), you now have a slam-dunk excuse to give your mom or dad for not eating your sprouts.  You’re welcome.

And now, for those of you who weren’t born with the TAS2R38 gene (my hand’s up), let’s get started!


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Recipe ~ Hawai’ian Yam Cassarole


Want to break free from grandma’s marshmallow yam casserole? This Hawaiian Style recipe uses macadamia nuts and toasted coconut to add a little island flair to your sweet potatoes and brings the flavors of Hawaii to you dinner table on Thanksgiving.  This recipe is also dairy-free and easy to make.


4-6 yams
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ c brown sugar



¼ c coconut oil
3 Tbls all-purpose flour
¾ c tightly packed brown sugar
½ c chopped macadamia nuts
½ c unsweetened shredded coconut



1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
2.) Peel, then bake or steam the yams until soft. Mash in a large bowl and allow to cool.
3.) Add salt, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar and stir into the yams. 4.)Transfer to the baking dish.
5.) In a medium bowl, mix coconut oil, flour, brown sugar, macadamia nuts and shredded coconut. Sprinkle over the yam mixture.
6.)Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is crisp and lightly browned.


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The Diamond of Thanksgiving Day 2014


Thanksgiving Day of 2014 is marked by a diamond pattern that lasts most of the day.  Here is the simplified chart:

Diamond of 2014-11-27 Thanksgiving Day

[Click to Enlarge]

We think this is a mostly benevolent pattern.  With Hygeia prominent and retrograde, health and healthcare issues will be at center stage.  This Thanksgiving many will be thinking about avoiding overeating and the perils to health that can bring.  Ceres and Venus (12 and 13 Sagittarius, respectively) will also emphasize this same theme.  The involvement of the nodes here tell us that some people will overdo it, and this may prompt a “wakeup call” for some.

Here is the same chart, but with an aspect grid and legends (Solar Fire “Beginners” chart):

Diamond of 2014-11-27 Thanksgiving Day (Beginners)

[Click to Enlarge]

A number of other interesting aspects are in play.  Venus (Sadge) is still square Chiron (Pisces) emphasizing healing issues further.  These may be emotional and familial rather than physical.  Sun has…

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Meditation ~ “A Pledge For Grateful Living,” by Brother David Steindl-Rast


In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome the illusion of entitlement
by reminding myself that everything is gift
and, thus, to live gratefully.

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome my greed,
that confuses wants with needs,
by trusting that enough for all our needs is given to us
and to share generously
what i so generously receive.
In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome apathy
by waking up to the opportunities
that a given moment offers me
and so to respond creatively to every situation.

In thanksgiving for life, I pledge
to overcome violence
by observing that fighting violence by violence
leads to more violence and death
and, thus, to foster life by acting non-violently.

In thanksgiving to life, i pledge
to overcome fear which is the root of all violence
by looking at whatever i fear as an opportunity
and, thus, courageously to lay the foundation
for a peaceful future.


What is a pledge that you are prepared to make in thanksgiving for life?

How do you relate to the notion of fear being the root of all violence?

Can you share a personal story where gratitude made a big difference in your life?


Anthony’s Awesome Seafood Tacos

Cook Plant Meditate

11-17-14 048

This recipe is a remake of the best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten. First cooked by our brother and fisherman extraordinaire, Anthony, this recipe may not be an exact replica, but it has been my go-to “fish taco” recipe for at least a dozen years now. The combination of scallops, shrimp and white fish paired with the lightly fried flour tortillas and minimal dressing makes for a really buttery, simple, satisfying flavor. One bite and you’ll be “hooked” too. And, on the off-chance you have leftovers, these ingredients make killer enchiladas!

11-17-14 047


½ pound sea scallops, rinsed and drained
½ pound jumbo (21/25) shrimp, rinsed and drained
½ pound cod filet (I’m using rockfish today)
1 tablespoon finely diced garlic
½ teaspoon fresh ground cumin
½ teaspoon fresh ground coriander
zest and juice of one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup chopped fresh…

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So, You Think It’s Cool To Buy A Bonsai Tree …

banion bonsaiMost people buy their first bonsai tree because they think it is attractive or will suit their decor. But this is not a good basis on which to make a choice. If you are a beginner, you should select a species that is easy to keep and that is appropriate for the conditions you are able to offer.

The best place to buy a bonsai and bonsai accessories is a specialist bonsai nursery.  Finding sources should not be difficult if you have access to the internet, but take care before you purchase, as many so-called ‘specialists’ are not experts at all. They are middle men who have little or no experience or knowledge of bonsai. If you are serious about making your first purchase, then seek a second opinion about potential sources from a local bonsai club or horticultural society.  Some large garden centers stock bonsai and may even have a resident expert to give you advice.

If you want to buy on the internet, make sure the firm is a reputable one.  Download details of the address and telephone number, so that you can get in touch with the supplier if there are any problems.  A specialist nursery, which gives personal advice, is always best, especially if you need an aftercare service such as repotting, care and advice.  Department stores, shopping malls and hardware stores do not offer bonsai an ideal living environment, and trees sold from such outlets are rarely in good condition. The staff are also unlikely to know anything about growing and caring for bonsai or will not be able to offer any bonsai accessories; pots, tools, and will not be able to give you any aftercare regarding re-potting etc.  If you are a beginner, avoid attempting to grow a tree from seeds or cuttings. It is perfectly possible to grow bonsai this way, but it can be a long and sometimes tedious process for a beginner.

Recipe ~ Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free Carob Snack Drops


Carob powder is commonly used as a substitute for cocoa powder. The powder is derived from grinding up the pods of carob trees.  I know it sounds strange, but if you haven’t used carob powder before, your life is about to change.  Why will it change your life? Because carob powder is sugar and gluten free!  Now you can have chocolate tasting treats, without any of the negative components.

Serves 1


  • 1 cup cashews
  • 4 tablespoons carob-powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flower
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons xylitol (can be excluded)
  • 1/4 cup water (or orange juice)
  • 7 oz. dates



1. Grind all the nuts using a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients into the processor and mix until a dough has formed.

2. Remove the dough and start to roll them into ball shapes. Feel free to roll the balls in any leftover (or extra) carob powder, coconut flour and ground nuts.

3. Store them between 2 cookie sheets in a snack tin of your choice. Refrigerate them and they can last for two weeks as well as letting the chill enhance the flavor.


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Daily Words of the Buddha ~ November 24, 2014

treeside bench
Jayaṃ ve maññati bālo
vācāya pharusaṃ bhaṇaṃ,
jayañcevassa taṃ hoti
yā titikkhā vijānato.

The fool thinks one has won a battle
when one bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing
alone makes one victorious.

Saṃyutta Nikāya 1.189

Gemstones of the Good Dhamma,
compiled and translated by Ven. S. Dhammika

Health ~ Top 8 Natural Treatments For Sciatic Pain


The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It begins at the lower spine and runs through the buttocks and down the lower limb to the foot. This nerve provides movement, feeling and strength in the legs.

About 40% of the world’s population will suffer from sciatica at some point in their lives. Sciatica is a condition that can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower limbs, but it is often mistaken for lower back pain or even leg cramps. It starts as a pressure or pinch on the nerve, and then continues as a pain down the back to the legs.

– See more by clicking on above image.

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Just For Today

Alan Watts

Practice tuning into your true wealth so that you can more clearly see the abundance all around you. Today, take some time to write about three things you are grateful for. If you’re up for the challenge, make this a daily practice!

The world is filled with abundance, but because we stay tuned into what we do not have, we can spend our lives grasping for more, never really arriving. Awaken to the true and profound wealth we have all been blessed with. To awaken to this very moment is truth wealth. This moment is in truth all we really have and own. Everything else is just on loan; we must give it all back in the end.


“Let your capital be simplicity and contentment.” ~ Henry David Thoreau