Sunshine Coast Trail and trail cooking recipes 
Friday, May 31, 2019, 09:16 PM - Outdoor adventure
I'm about to hike the Sunshine Coast trail. It's a long way to go to be carrying heavy food so have been investigating and calling up my favourite camping recipes. A friend Alexi is also starting a kayak company in Cape Breton (stay tuned!) and we were talking about backwoods recipes so here are some to try:

- Spicy red lentil and spinach soup
- Couscous with sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mackerel/herring
- Bulgar, black beans, veggie meal, chocolate chile (thanks Oliver and Karen!)
- Buckwheat soba noodles, sesame oil, lime, soya sauce, seaweed, dehydrated mushrooms, ginger
- Minestrone veggie soup with bacon/quinoa and parmesan
- Aloo Gobi
- Pasta with lemon zest, olive oil, Spanish green olives, parsley, bread crumbs
- Pasta aglio olio with parsley and parmesan
- Baked stuffed potatoes in foil in the fire
- Rice, fenugreek seeds, coconut powder, onions
- Oatmeal with cinnamon, flax, chia, nuts, and dried mango or berries

I'm going to try my hand at dehydrating some of the veggies in the oven but the nice thing about these recipes is that, even fresh, these ingredients keep well and are pretty light.
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The Ride 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 04:19 PM - Poetry and Writing

Marcel, you’re a pirate, a dreamer
a bugger, a spinner of yarn,
you are one of my fondest memories.
Guitar, crackling fire, a few friends,
the ocean A-framed.

If only the world could drift off like
we did that night,
bodies opening to new trust.

In your fourth round,
still standing you bought a motorbike,
a t-shirt with a radioactive sign, asked
the nurses to play Wagner’s Ride.

Nothing big is easy.
A woman found four bees
living from her tears.

This isn’t news to our bodies.
That grief both offers & unseats. It’s
messy, we’re always a little close
to stinging or being stung yet something is fed
when we love. Grace and a big unflinching heart
can hold most of this. When we lean right in
there is space
around words
around the tightening
around minds that keep buzzing
and feeding.

When we let it move
let the space and silence
around sensations bloom,
it is us-
sadness and fear,
symbols and bellies
motorbikes and Wagner,
wide wide ocean and fire
this round, every round
still moving
still open
and yes, by god, you’d insist,
fist & grin if you were here,

still standing.

In memory of Marcel LaRoche. For Sam, Mischa, Natasha and that big unflinching heart.

Upaya haikus 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 01:21 PM - Poetry and Writing
up bearing witness
this blood moon tango with light
enso in the stars

tears fall with the chants
honour but don’t privilege
strong winds are fleeting

little red maple
touch of drag with winter hues
more wink than prayer

photo: Warren Summers

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 01:06 PM - Inspiring
It's hard to explain why I meditate or sit. I think it's just playing with awareness and relaxing into myself and the present moment. Early trauma apparently divorces us from both. It's really an exercise in being friends with your mind. Loosening it. Letting feeling and sensation have their way too.

I just spent a month at Upaya Zen Center. I was new to the Soto Japanese lineage but found it very beautiful once I settled in. The practice period was based on the four Bodhisattva vows. Two of them relate to cutting through our stories and delusions. But living a somewhat monastic life made me deeply appreciative of enchantment. I wonder about the line between delusion and enchantment. The connection between stillness and social justice. Between structure and letting go.

It's a powerful feeling to drop into "one body" when you are largely in silence working at an energetic awareness of others, moving in step, voices chanting, candles flickering. We communicate so much more than we realize energetically. There's something deeply relaxing about letting go of who we are and melting into these rhythms. I was often moved to tears.

More on Upaya at the link below...

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Inspiring school in Harlem: what if we grounded ourselves in our bodies from early on? 
Monday, December 3, 2018, 03:39 PM - Inspiring
One of the most inspiring parts of the Transformative Learning conference at Columbia U this year was a visit that we arranged to the Thurgood Marshall Lower School in Harlem. Wow. These students practice gratitude, compassion, checking in to their feelings, reflection, meditation daily. They even have classroom charters grounded in how they want to feel. These have extended to even family charters. When I asked Cameron, our 7 year old guide and peer mediator what he liked about the school he told me" I like that we share our confidences." Gulp. Imagine a world full of these practices? This is what meditation can be, I believe. An ability to be in step with ourselves so we can be in step with others.