Alumni Gifts - from our community to our community
Written and Contributed By Cynthia J. W.
Have you ever stood at a fork in the road not knowing which way to go?
Looked back down the path you chose and wondered, just wondered?
Have you felt the hand of God leading you? Despite yourself?
Have you ever stood quietly in the woods at dawn, listening as creation awakens?
Breathed deeply of the ocean, filling your lungs with the spirit of the day
Have you closed your eyes and felt God’s gentle touch?
Have you ever climbed to the mountaintop, seeking guidance and connection?
Reached desperately for that healing presence, thirsting for absolution?
Have you found God in sacred places and reveled in God’s holiness?
Have you ever tried to pull that sense of sacred on like a cloak and take it with you?
Kept it tucked tight around you like a protective shield against the world?
Have you wished you could trust – just let go and trust its sustenance?
Have you learned to invoke God’s wisdom before you set forth?
Been so filled with love that it flows forth from you without effort?
Have you ever found yourself moved to contagious enthusiasm?
Have you ever let God’s love fill you until God’s warmth courses through your veins?
Dared to let your faith rule your life and direct your actions?
Has the spirit filled your heart and overwhelmed your soul?
Sisters and brothers – embrace your journey.
Bring trusted companions.
Cultivate new travelers.
Don’t let your missteps and wrong turns deter you.
Just breathe and trust.
Listen and follow.
May The Love We Share
By Janin Devi
Contributed by Merel De Boer
(Imagine contains link to song)
By Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Symptoms of Inner Peace
Contributed by Alina M.
From the song "Child of the Wind"
By Bruce Cockburn
Contributed by Ali R.
Little round planet
In a big universe
Sometimes it looks blessed
Sometimes it looks cursed
Depends on what you look at obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see
We see the world not as it is but as we are - Talmud
By Kaveri Patel
Contributed by Barbora K.
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.
I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.
You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.
What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled.
Focus on Your Breath?
Contributed by Lauri V.
Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn
Original Greek Poem
Contributed by Sharon H.
As you set out on the way to Ithaca
hope that the road is a long one,
filled with adventures, filled with understanding.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Poseidon in his anger: do not fear them,
you’ll never come across them on your way
as long as your mind stays aloft, and a choice
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
savage Poseidon; you’ll not encounter them
unless you carry them within your soul,
unless your soul sets them up before you.
Hope that the road is a long one.
Many may the summer mornings be
when—with what pleasure, with what joy—
you first put in to harbors new to your eyes;
may you stop at Phoenician trading posts
and there acquire fine goods:
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and heady perfumes of every kind:
as many heady perfumes as you can.
To many Egyptian cities may you go
so you may learn, and go on learning, from their sages.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind;
to reach her is your destiny.
But do not rush your journey in the least.
Better that it last for many years;
that you drop anchor at the island an old man,
rich with all you’ve gotten on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave to you the beautiful journey;
without her you’d not have set upon the road.
But she has nothing left to give you any more.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca did not deceive you.
As wise as you’ll have become, with so much experience,
you’ll have understood, by then, what these Ithacas mean.
Grove of Trees (own photograph)
Contributed by Lauren W.
Love after Love
By Derek Walcott
Contributed by Marie-France A.
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the
bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
The Little House
By Virginia Lee Burton
Contributed by David S.
(Imagine contains link to YouTube Read Aloud)
"Look up at the stars, not down at your feet!" - Stephen Hawking.
From the Dhammapada
- translated by Eknath Easwaran
Contributed by John A.
Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it.
Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.
For hatred can never put an end to hatred; love along can. This is an unalterable law.
Prescription for Happiness:
Ask for what you want, but don’t demand it
Accept whatever happens for now.
Turn up your love if you don’t get what you want.
RECIPE FOR DUTCH PANCAKES
Contributed by Anna v. D.
Recipe for Dutch pancakes
2 cups flour
2 cups + 2 tbsp. milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Typically eaten with:
Fruity variations (add immediately when putting the batter in the pan, maybe put a bit of batter on top of the thinly sliced apple/banana
Blueberry / Strawberry
.. even eaten with icecream (rolled up inside)
Grated Cheese (first batter then add cheese)
Bacon/Speck (first bake bacon then add batter
Onions, Mushrooms, ...
Instructions for the batter:
Combine the flour and salt.
Mix the eggs into the flour.
Add milk slowly (about 1/2 cup at a time). Mix out the lumps
Lightly coat frying pan with butter over medium-high heat.
Put 1/2 cup of batter into frying pan, coating the bottom evenly.
Flip the pancake once all batter solidifies and brown the other side (~short).
Roll the pancake, slice into pieces, enjoy your Dutch pancake!
Rainy Mood App
Contributed by Koen V.
(Imagine contains link to App)
Contributed by Angela W.
by Billy Collins
Contributed by Amy H.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue
or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
My Favorite Book
Contributed by Emily C.
(Imagine contains link to Goodreads)
Written and Contributed by Emily C.
I hope there is a space for you
The space where you have been
The space where you will go again and again
Where you can be angry
In this space there will be a spot for you
It will feel as it always has
It will welcome you once again
The cushion will support you and you will sense you can lay your self down into it
In the nest of this space you are a safe little egg
I hope you are changed here
In my spot I have a blanket made from the shirts of my loved one
It represents someone who knows me and loves me just as I am
I feel a sense of peace there
There is also a view—a tree, some clouds, bright afternoon light
Somehow my heart feels broken from it’s icy trapped place when I see that view
The world feels bigger
My inner world slows down and I can breathe
I take all my emotions and thoughts to this place
And somehow in this place, it is ironed out
The big crinkles don’t seem so scary anymore
I hope you have a space that holds you
And while you are there, know that I am in mine
Thinking of you
Quote and Photograph
(Heart's Desire Beach - Point Reyes Station)
Contributed by Summer Meyer
Recipe for Almond Torte
Contributed by Jerry Cambra
3/4 Cup – Melted Butter
1-1/2 Cups - Sugar
2 – Eggs
1-1/2 tsp – Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 tsp - Almond Extract
½ tsp - Salt
1-1/2 Cups – Flour
Sugar to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9” pie dish or 10” square dish.
Blend sugar and melted butter, Beat in eggs.
Stir in Almond & Vanilla extracts. Stir in Salt & Flour
Spread batter in dish.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (test w/toothpick)
Garnish w/sugar if desired
Note: If toothpick is a little moist (not gloppy)
then the outside will be firm and the inside will be chewy.
Contributed by Val L.
Imagine contains link to recipe
"[Celebration is] the unceasing affirmation that underneath all the ups and downs of life there flows a solid current of joy."
Rainer Maria Rilke
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves....Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
A Book I recommend
Contributed by Julian N.
Alstroemeria - also known as the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas
Contributed by Jerry Cambra
Books Recommended by
by Jeremy E.S.
"Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self" by Rod Judkins
"The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
Music Video Contributed by Jerry Cambra
Music Video Contributed by Angelica O.
A Book Recommended by
by Lisa G.
Contributed by Maria Q.
Music Video Contributed by Merel De Boer
Contributed by Lynnda P.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. “
Philippians 4:4 -9
"Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever." Ps. 111:3
Music Videos Contributed by Ronny G.
Hakuna Matata | The Lion King (Image has live link.)
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Video)
(Image has live link.)
Gratitude for MBSR
Written and Contributed by Hope M.
I’m feeling the thoughts, Breathe.
They are coming out as fast as bugs, Breathe.
Feel the rhythm of the breathe,
See the seahorse move,
The lobes of the lungs move,
Ahh, now I can feel the cranial rhythm move,
Now I can feel a little more settled.
I’m feeling the thoughts again, Breathe.
Acknowledge I’m feeling the thoughts again.
Feel the rhythm of the breathe,
feel the breathe enter the nose,
Where do I feel the breathe go?
Ahh, I’m noticing my breathe and watching it go,
Now I’m feeling a little more at ease.
I’m feeling the thoughts again, Breathe.
Can I label the thoughts.
Oh it’s that again.
What would my older wiser self say.
It’s not a big deal if you could see it from now.
Ok, I’ll breathe.
Can I feel the lobes of my lungs move,
Once, twice, three times.
Ah yes, I’m back to my peace.
I’m feeling those thoughts again.
Can I breathe before reacting?
Do I have to keep repeating my ways?
No, I have breathe to guide my way.
Can I stop to breathe before reacting?
Stop! Take a Breathe! Hooray!
What did you say?
Ah yes, I can now respond.
I’m feeling my thoughts again, Breathe.
Can I have love and compassion for myself?
Can I have love and compassion for others?
Do I see the rays of love spiraling out to the others?
Can I see myself wrapped up in a blanket of love and forgiveness?
Where do I feel the breathe?
Do I feel my toes?
Ah yes, I’m at one with myself Again.
One of My favorite Quotes
Contributed by Susan S.
Contributed by Joost K.
Cooking has always been the activity where mindfulness came natural for me. After taking inspiration by watching many many videos on creating burgers and trying to recreate them, this is one of the first recipes I came up with myself. I wanted to create a unique burger, but because so many have been created, you can never be sure if it's unique. So we decided that the thing that makes this burger really unique is that nobody knows how to spell its name. I hope you enjoy it.
Ingredients (for 2 burgers)
For the patties
1 chicken breast, cut into very fine slices
2 tablespoons of sambal brandal (Indonesian hot sauce)
1 teaspoon of honey
1 egg yolk
bread crumbs (+- 3 tablespoons)
Toppings & bread
slices of pickle
2 Burger buns, sliced and roasted in the pan (put some butter on them before roasting)
1 cup of sour cream (+- 150g)
juice of halve a lime
For the sauce: simply mix the sour cream and lime juice together and add a pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients for the patties together in a bowl and make them into 2 patties. Add extra breadcrumbs in case they're too wet.
Bake the patties on both sides for around 3-4 minutes a side, depending on how thick they are. Because of the sambal, the burgers can easily get a bit of a black look instead of brown.
Build the burger: Put the lettuce on the bottom, add a patty, the sauce (you can be generous), and some slices of pickles to finish it off.
A Unique Perspective
by Jerry Cambra.
Long Time Sun
Contributed by Randi D.
The singer is a friend of mine. I find her voice very calming and I hope people enjoy her rendition.
(Image has live link)
A healthy chocolate sauce
Recipe by Davy B.
6 tablespoons of cocoa
Crush this and then mix it.
Add some other fruits and enjoy!
Try "AND" anytime you find yourself comparing by Summer Meyer.