27 June 2014

Love Announcements

Hello to you all!

Thank you for the great discussion this week. It's pretty amazing to hear everyone share their voices, based on their own unique experiences and journeys. So thank you for that. Over the last few days, Danny and I have tried our best to respond to most of the questions and comments. You can see that the conversation got quite thorough (though there is always so much more to say.) And may we all be enriched as we continue along our truth seeking paths.

Here are a few Love Announcements :)

-Danny & I are moving on Tuesday! Yes! We are saying good bye to this teeny temporary apartment we've been staying in and we couldn't be happier about it. You guys, we're moving into an actual house!! (It's pictured below). This is nuts. Since we've been such urban dwellers, we have never lived in a house. I'm so excited to see what it will be like. It's not my dream house or anything. But I think for the moment it will be fun to experience. It has a little yard in the back for gardening, a side porch for outdoor dinners, a loft that we will use for yoga and meditation, a space for a large dining table (I have never had a table), a fireplace, an avocado tree and lime tree, and a rather large kitchen. In this picture it was in the process of getting painted. We'll be working over the next many months to get this place furnished. I might share a few pictures as we go along. We plan to have a few pieces of furniture made by carpenters and metal smiths. Fingers crossed that it will work out. We've never done anything like this before.


-During our 30 day raw food cleanse, we've come across a few recipes that we have LOVED. We can't help but pass them along. Here are two for today:

Red Pepper Tomato Soup. This is creamy, spicy, rich, flavorful and so ridiculously easy to make. We've made it twice as we've enjoyed it so much. It's also so tasty with the chopped celery on top. Don't skip that part!



Cookie Dough Bites: These are such tasty little things and they travel really well. I used raw honey instead of agave. And I used unsweetened, raw chocolate chopped up instead of chocolate chips. We could hardly even tell the chocolate was unsweetened! Once it's combined with the honey, it tastes amazing. And the cinnamon is one of my favorite parts.



-Melissa Hope visited Clam Lab, a ceramics studio I hadn't yet heard of in Brooklyn. What a treasured gift one of these hand made pieces would be (better yet, a little collection!) Next time I'm in  Brooklyn I just might have to pay them a visit. (see more of Melissa's photos here.)


-We just signed up for one of those 10-Day Meditation Courses called Vipassana. They're like the ones you may have heard about in India where they house you, feed you, and teach you about meditation for 10 days (they don't charge anyone for the course, but they are able to provide the service because of the donations of the participants. So cool.) And, there is no talking, reading, writing, or technology allowed for 10 days straight. Yikes! This one will take place in Quito, Ecuador in August. (Have any of you done anything like this??)

-Danny and I were highlighted on a very sweet blog that is all about READING. So cool, right? It's called Everyday Reading and you can see our current reads, our all time favs, our childhood favs, and books we didn't like. It was so fun to do that interview.

Sending out much love to everyone here. We're so thankful to have this space to get to know you all and to be connected through our experiences.  Have a fun weekend!

XO,

Mara

33 comments:

  1. My only comment is, it's NOT your dream house??? Looks very dreamy to me!! Have fun putting it together. I'm sure you'll love living in a house at least for a bit. I've been in apartments in big cities for so long it feels strange to be in a house. Strange, but great! And those fruit trees! I'm sure you're going to love it!

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    1. Ha! I hear you. The parts i mentioned are pretty dreamy. But the bathrooms and the kitchen all need to be renovated in the worst way. And, the house exterior is peach! Haha. Not exactly my favorite. Since we're renting we won't be doing any renovations. So we'll be doing our best to make it a comfortable home for now. And yes, totally excited about the fruit trees. Danny already bought a fruit picker and can't wait to use it.

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  2. Yikes, I don't think I could do that for one day let alone ten! What exactly will you do all day and how will you communicate? I look forward to hearing about your experience!

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    1. So, from what I've read, there is to be no communicating whatsoever. Even eye contact is to be avoided. You are supposed to pretend that you are alone. The men and women are separated so it will be strange to be away from Danny and to not be able to chat. Each day consists of silent meditation all day, aside from meals. Here's a description from the website: "The course requires hard, serious work. There are three steps to the training. The first step is, for the period of the course, to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, speaking falsely, and intoxicants. This simple code of moral conduct serves to calm the mind, which otherwise would be too agitated to perform the task of self-observation. The next step is to develop some mastery over the mind by learning to fix one's attention on the natural reality of the ever changing flow of breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. By the fourth day the mind is calmer and more focused, better able to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself: observing sensations throughout the body, understanding their nature, and developing equanimity by learning not to react to them. Finally, on the last full day participants learn the meditation of loving kindness or goodwill towards all, in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings."

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    2. "Killing"? That's #1? So many jokes...

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    3. I know - so funny, right? The meditation technique is taught in the same tradition that was taught 2500 years ago in India. And that line certainly is telling. :)

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    4. Well, I think it means no killing anything for meals..

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    5. Anon - oh dear - thank you for pointing that out. ;) I feel silly that I didn't even think of that. But yes, the meals are all vegetarian during the 10 days. Clearly I have a lot to learn about this.

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    6. Mara, I really think ur a genuine person.. but I'm also curious as to what u think about eating meat.. since slaughter houses dont necessarily translate to love :-) Since u guys question historically held values such fear==love and fights==passion, and also since u seem to be migrating towards values that buddhism and hinduism hold dear like ur recent retreats seem to suggest.. Please note that this is not trying to trick u or stump u on an public forum but just to know ur thoughts on the matter. Thanks :-)

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    7. I think the killing refers to yes killing anything for food but also killing any flies/ insects / ect. I am a Muslim and during the period of Hajj which is a sacred pilgrimage all Muslims who can afford to must make once in their lifetime - these rules also are held during the time one is on 'pilgrimage' it's all about the sanctity of life and going back to the purest form. During hajj men are not even allowed to wear any 'stitched' clothes and have to just wear two white sheets of cloth. This is a great equalizer as rich or poor all look the same. There is so much more to it but this post reminded me!

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  3. Your retreat will be a life-changing experience (in a good way). Just FYI, it's not quite accurate to say it's free, and many centers would likely shut down if everyone got that impression. The idea is to give a donation according to your means/desire. I don't know anyone who has used that as a chance to attend for free. Most people I know who have attended actually choose to pay quite a lot to attend - I think they find it worth they money, and they truly pay what they can afford.

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    1. Yes, yes - while they do not require payment, they do accept donations and that is how they can continue offering the service. I love that it's set up that way. I know one woman who attended and wasn't able to pay. But later, when she could, she paid abundantly. I know others who have given back by returning to work for no pay as a staff member. Overall, I have heard that people want so much to be as generous as they can as it's such a life changing experience.

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  4. I was reading this great article on Huffington Post about compassionate people, and I thought you and your readers might be interested in reading it too!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/27/habits-of-compassionate-people_n_5522941.html

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    1. I finally took a moment to read this article and it is AMAZING. Oh, I just loved it so much. I want to share this with readers in a future post. Thank you so much, Lauren.

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    2. Oh good, so glad to hear! It really made me think of you guys, as you have already put so many of those things into practice in your lives, and teach them :). It's fun to read some of the supporting research behind those practices too!

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  5. The course is not free. It is implied that you will donate what you can afford, which will cover those who are truly in need: "All courses are run solely on a donation basis. All expenses are met by donations from those who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the same opportunity. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and those who serve the courses volunteer their time. Thus Vipassana is offered free from commercialisation."

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    1. Yes - they do accept donations (though I also know that if someone isn't able to pay, they don't turn you away. I love that it is available to everyone based on the generosity of others.) I have adjusted the post. Thanks!

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  6. Aw, thanks for sharing this, sweet friend! I hope everyone discovers Clair's beautiful pieces! Good luck with the move this coming week! So excited for you!!

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  7. The house Looks very dreamy to me!! I'm sure everyone love living in a house with there BF/GF.

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  8. This house is amazing: charming, cute and beautiful. I love the wood floors and fireplace. Congratulations.

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  9. How exciting for you both! I also can't wait for your post about this experience! In the meantime...enjoy nesting in your new space...looks like it will be wonder-filled!

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  10. Please enlighten us..

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  11. Congrats on your home, it's beautiful! I have a feeling that those cookie doe bites will be my new favorite dessert. I am currently on a combination of a the GAPS diet and the Paleo diet.

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  12. I really like this blog, but it's too bad it's not updated regularly anymore.

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  13. I agree with Crystal... It's understandable since you guys have these weird things called lives and all, but the selfish ones like me would love to see more posts! I'm almost finished creating my own apartment, so I know that "new place" feeling... good times!

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  14. Good luck with the move. You're inspiring me to try some a lower sugar diet. We've been vegetarian for years, but I'm way more addicted to sugar then I ever was to meat. Let's see if I can convince the husband and kids to join me. xoxo

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    1. Hey Reachel! Long time no see :)

      Good luck kicking that sugar, it's been nice to be almost forcefully distanced from many of the things that would be most tempting. It's made it so that it hasn't been as difficult. Maybe all you need to do to get the family to kick the habit is go live abroad for a few months :)

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  15. How can you blog for a living and not update in an entire month? Strange.

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    1. Hello Anon-

      No one ever said we blogged for a living. It may be how we choose to spend time, but it isn't how we've made money. Not even close. We chose to come to ecuador because we knew our rental income would support us here, not because any meager amounts from the blog would.

      I know that there are many others out there that do make livings off their blogs. We aren't one of them. Perhaps each post should say at the bottom "This post is sponsored by Mara and Danny"...cause there really aren't any other sponsors to name.

      So when we take a break from it, it is exactly because it doesn't bring significant income that we do so. Every now and then we need to recharge our batteries.

      Strange indeed :)

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  16. wonderful

    this is some quote about love : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4yaXTvE8z4

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  17. Hello Mara & Danny!

    I attended a vipassana meditation course in Washington back in '06. I was prepped about many things but what I didn't expect was PAIN!!! I was told that this was how some of our 'old baggage' left our bodies when we meditate deep enough. It wasn't just me. Everybody I spoke with after the 10 day course had pain. The good news is that the course was the ONLY time I experienced pain during meditation. Vipassana training is one of the BEST time investments I have ever made. So many things about me changed during the 10 days like how I held myself and how I walked. New students were allowed to donate after taking the course first. I was able to give some money but I know that many other students were not able to so I was grateful they were able to attend for free.

    My hubby and I will be moving to Cuenca later this fall. Hope to meet you two sometime after we settle. Congrats on your lovely new home!

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