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The Happy Ukulele Songbook: Songs for Celebrating Life, Love & Togetherness…

Download: The Happy Ukulele Songbook (right-click to save)

This songbook contains 52 of my favorite songs on the uke, from beginner to intermediate level, gathered over the past couple years since learning to play this magical instrument. I also created a special introductory how-to section, with tips and tricks based on the popular ukulele workshops I occasionally lead around the world.

The very first version of this collection was created for my first workshop in January 2013 with just about 15 songs, and since then it’s taken a beating on my travels, and a life of its own.

My favorite part of putting this book together has been gathering so many of my favorite songs…brilliant classics that have stood the test of time. Songs with a distinctly human blend of sweetness, love and Soul, brimming over with style and character. These are songs of life and love you can play for years with your friends and loved ones, and timeless classics that will continue being played long after we’re gone.

But it all starts with you now, taking a little time out from your busy life to enjoy a moment of surrendering to the music and letting go of everything else, if even just for a few brief moments…. Continue Reading →

The Energy of Mindfulness – with Thich Nhat Hanh (The simple, elegant, powerful solution to just about Everything?)

Autumn-in-Stockholm

When we drink a glass of water, and if we know that we are drinking a glass of water, if we’re concentrated on the fact that we are drinking water, mindfulness is already there. And the water drinking becomes deeper, truer, and real. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Driving in the car on my journey north in search of magic and lost treasure — from Southern California to Southern Oregon — I’m listening to a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, the wonderful Zen master and peace activist. I’m present and focused on listening as I drive…. (Being fully present with just driving can be exhausting after a while.)

Life can only be touched in the here and the now — the here contains the now, and the now contains the here — and that is why the practice is to go back to the present moment in order to touch life. Life has so many wonders within it, and if we do not go back to the present moment, we can never touch life with all the wonders….

Our appointment with life is in the present moment. If we miss the appointment, life is not for us. And that is why the practice of mindfulness is first of all the practice of being back to life and touching life in the present moment.

Continue Reading →

Mindfully Eating Animals (the Other 99 Percent)

Monk with Broom

There is a place in the world where Jain monks carry a broom to sweep the ground ahead of them and avoid stepping on insects. I love this mental image I learned as a child, and think of it often when I’m in nature.

Sometimes I wish I were this mindful in all life, but in truth I’m more of a realist, and not the most compassionate person on earth. I’ve been working on that last bit for a while, but my approach is to have as much integrity as possible, while understanding that we are human, we screw up, and it’s OK to enjoy life and let loose sometimes. The trouble with this approach is you can easily get a little too loose. When in Rome becomes when in life, and things quickly devolve from there…

I believe this happened to me over the past year and half of living and traveling in Latin America. Of course I ate meat. A lot of meat. I didn’t ask where it came from, or if it was from “happy cows.” There’s not a lot of food choices when you’re traveling in the north part of Peru, for instance. Vegetarian options are pretty much: Cheese sandwich, potatoes, potato chips, rice, corn and/or salad (which by the way is lettuce and tomatoes with a piece of lemon if you’re lucky).

The questions I find myself asking now, are…

Faced again with an abundance of eating options in Northern Europe, is it possible to mindfully eat an animal raised and killed for the intention of eating?
Is it morally acceptable to eat animals?
What, if any, conditions must be present for me to eat a piece of an animal?
Is it OK to eat some animals raised and killed for eating, and some not?

I know that it’s possible to mindfully eat an animal. I just don’t know if it’s possible to claim to be a mindful and conscious person of integrity, and still eat an animal that’s been raised and killed for the purposes of human consumption. Especially if that animal has been raised and killed in a factory. Continue Reading →

Reflecting On A Month of Life and Work in South America (The ‘Space-Bubbles of Light’ post)

Space-Bubbles - Cajamarca Road
As I write these words I’m sitting on a bus headed out of Chiclayo, Peru. I joke that it’s the greatest city you’ve never heard of, but there is something remarkable about this little pocket of the world, humming as it is with the lives of a million people. I came here in search of something I’ve been seeking out since arriving in Peru one month ago: A sense of being where I am meant to be, and feeling truly alive – a place where I can thrive in doing my life’s work, and create a sense of peace and centeredness in the midst of a crazy busy life.  Continue Reading →

The Winter Solstice of 2012 ~ a time to remember

Center of the milky way

The center of our galaxy, by Jerry Lodriguss (more info)

 

The 2012 winter solstice holds a special significance as a marking point for these great times of change we’re living in. Ancient Mayan astronomers set the 21st of December, 2012, as the day in which their calendar would reset to Year Zero, predicting with accuracy the galactic alignment of the sun and earth with the actual center of our galaxy in this era.*

Prophecies from the ancients have pointed to this time as the end of a massive cycle, the closing of the old world and the start of a new age — the end of the great Kali Yuga, the start of the Age of Aquarius, the end of time as we know it….

There have been so many conflicting theories around the significance of this alignment — from apocalyptic catastrophe, to the resetting of our cosmic clock and the ushering in of a new age. Whether you believe that time is resetting along with the Mayan Long Count calendar, and a new cosmic energy is streaming to our planet through a cosmic portal, or you see it from a more metaphorical perspective, there is something very real and significant about this time.

Continue Reading →

A Birthday Love + Holiday Flow Package for You

It’s my birthday! I like to give gifts on my birthday, so I put together this special little 3-piece care package for you today… pay what you can, pay what you feel — whatever you want, it’s for real!

Knowing that you’ve received the love of my heart through my work is your gift to me. I love the feeling of an inbox full of those little notifications from e-junkie. They make me happy! And I have a couple more surprises below too…

A Fierce Wisdom Birthday – Holiday Flow Package!

Birthday FLOW Package 2012

1. Flow: The Five Elements Way of Fierce Wisdom, Strength & Beauty Continue Reading →