Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mindful Kids

I've been practicing a form of mindfulness meditation, on and off, for about 10 years.
I sit down in my spot with legs crossed, eyes closed and back straight...

I breath in and out-slowly thru my nose--count one..breath in and out again--count two; 
breath in and out--count three; breath in and out--count four...

Then I start all over again and counting out each of the next four exhales.
Again and again...over and over.

I do this for about 20 minutes.  

I light some incense; having my sense of smell engaged helps keep me focused.

When my mind drifts and it does...I just bring my attention back to the breath.
And start counting all over again.

Its not impossible, it just takes some practice.

And without a doubt, when I do this on a regular basis...
I am absolutely a better, kinder, calmer, healthier human being.

No joke.

I liken it unto a bubble bath for my brain...

Just kind of cleans all mental grime away.

This is something I would very much like to pass onto my kids..

Sometimes on the weekend, we practice...

Magda is better at sitting still than her brother.

Japanese incense smells nice and when its lit, the smell helps calm our space.

When all three of us practice together, 
I have found that both of the kids really respond well to a very simple technique...

I have this Tibetan brass bowl 
and when you lightly strike it just right with the wooden mallet type thing, 
it emits this beautifully-pitched hum...and the kids and I just sit together and
listen to the tone--as long as we can hold it in our ears...
till we can't hear it anymore...we just hang
on and on as long as we can...

and that's it...

and then we strike it again (gently! : )

and we listen...while breathing...just enjoying the moment...
being still and calm listening to the tone grow more and more faint & distant...

and we just focus on holding that sound as long as we possibly can--till its no more...

Just really hearing it and being present in the moment to actually listen to 
till the very end...

because that is the gift I want them to have:

being in this moment...

 That is my wish for them...

for all of us...to heal and to be whole...in this moment.

Love, Quentin

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

a very mellow easter day

This year, Easter was cloudy, gray and a little bit rainy...our big plan was to go north to have a nice Easter dinner with Greg's family in Baltimore--and that is what we did; which was, as always--very delightful and fun.

The Easter bunny came, of course, and delivered some--but NOT TOO Much--
in the way of sweet treats... kids were VERY HAPPY!  

In the morning, we had a special breakfast, just our family, 
and I made cinnamon rolls--except I forgot the cinnamon...

(that's what happens when you roll them the night before at midnight after coming home from your neighbors house for dinner--after drinking just a little too much of their ***AMAZING wine***)

Oh well, I just sprinkled some cinnamon over the top of them 
before popping them in the oven and they tasted fine...

And it was another good reason to add more cream cheese frosting..

This year, also, I have been wanting to dye eggs with natural vegetable dyes
instead of the neon PAZ treatment that I usually revert to.

Really interesting results...I followed this tutorial and we did:

Beets for the pink
Carrots for the pale yellow
Red cabbage for the blue
Yellow onion skins for the darker orange

all with the help of a little white vinegar; the colors were fun to watch evolve and deepen.

But, sadly, the colors do fade fairly quickly.

 I always endeavor to get the kids a little bit spruced up for the holidays...

so they don't look like wild heathens.

Which is pretty much who they really are, at heart...

But they did clean up quite nicely and 
we all enjoyed a very lovely, very mellow day...

***1988 Domaine RenĂ© Engel Clos Vougeot***