Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam

A note from Kelly about her experience at the Dhamma Siri Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center:

May all beings be happy.

This was chanted often throughout the course in Pali, the ancient language of Siddhartha Guatama, Buddha, after which many students replied with the chant of “Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu,” meaning “Well said.”

This overarching theme of kindness, compassion and internal happiness was beautiful, a message repeated often enough perhaps only within environments such as the Vipassana Centers.

The physicality of sitting for hours (approximately 8-10) daily for meditation is extreme and causes one’s body to speak out in all manner of ways: transient soreness, numbness, creaking joints, aches and some more persistent pains that have yet to work their way from my body. That said, I didn’t mind. It was difficult but definitely tolerable and during my time at the center I made great strides in maintaining a settled, strong body and saw a great reduction in how much I felt the need to readjust my posture while meditating.

The meditation was wonderful and although it takes practice, patience and persistence I felt I took to it like a fish to water. I have meditated daily during the few days I have been  home and intend to explore not only Vipassana further, but any other types of meditation I can encounter.

The silence was delightful. I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I felt perfectly at home and over the course of my short stay there ended up spending as much time as possible alone in my residence or walking the nature trail than in the casual group sittings of the hall, preferring not just silence, but also solitude. It was interesting to observe that even though we sat in silence with our eyes shut I still felt the social nature of the meditation hall taxing.

The reason I left early: Goenka, the man who designed this course, was broadcast via audio and video for about 2 hours a day chanting, expounding and occasionally giving a sentence here or there on furthering our meditation practice. I felt it was wholly pretentious and created an air of facade within many of the students, both of which are antithetic to meditation. I did not want my first serious foray into meditation to be tainted by an over-abundance of ego, so on the fourth day, after a two hour lesson on Vipassana, I left.

The entire staff and assistant teachers were all very gracious and nonjudgmental. I am certainly glad for my experience there while remaining confident in my decision of leaving when I did.

I was surprised by the guru-ism having gleaned the impression from their Web sites the course would be more about meditation and less about Goenka. For those who don’t mind, or even enjoy, following a guru and see no pretense, pomp or flare in their personas, I think this course would be beneficial. For others, who, like me, have difficulty voluntarily, albeit tacitly, encouraging a massive ego, perhaps another meditation resource would better suite you.

Upon leaving I noticed the cluttered and noisy life outside the center to which I returned: visual, urban ephemera abounded as I approached home and the radio offered only noise clutter. I drove the hour in silence.

My time isolated from my life (my ever-supportive and loving fellow, family, friends, pastimes, et cetera) produced in me an enormous gratitude which has yet to dwindle. I did not feel changed while at Dhamma Siri, but since my emergence into the world I have noticed I am much more still internally, better able to articulate my thoughts, less stressed and rejuvenated.

Forever your Dhamma Siri dropout,
Kelly

For those interested in Dhamma Siri, visit this link: http://www.siri.dhamma.org
For those interested in learning Vipassana Meditation on their own, visit this link: http://www.vipassanadhura.com

Packing Lavender Soaps

Our stockist, Robin, has expressed an urgent need for some delectable Lavender Soaps and we are more than happy to oblige!

They smell divine!

They smell divine!

Once we get these all packed up and off to their new home we’ll have to set about making more: our stock of Lavender Soap is almost gone! We’re considering altering our method so there are no longer lavender buds throughout the soap, just on top. What do you think? Do you prefer some gentle exfoliation through the entire bar or a smooth bar with decorative elements on top?

In Love

A city draped in saints, gods and fragrant jasmine; Rome is beautiful! We were lucky to stay in the city 7 days.

Sweet Shop

Sweet Shop

Abundant, gracious, kind people made for a thriving city full of delights for every sense. The sweets were immaculate and decadent, the fruits and vegetables smelled luscious and fresh.

The city is littered with lime, lemon, orange and fig trees.

The city is littered with lime, lemon, orange and fig trees.

Much of our time was spent walking the city, taking in everything it had to offer.

Sister churches in the Piazza dei Popolo.

Sister churches in the Piazza dei Popolo.

Our imaginations danced among ruins of temples, markets and homes of a people gone from this world thousands of years.

The architecture is enchanting.

The architecture is enchanting.

#ALDMarket

Our table!

Our table!

Yesterday began with tempestuous skies and plump raindrops that splattered against the windshield. Luckily for us it passed quickly and we were able to set up and greet the crowds.

There were various artists, artisans, crafters and musicians present; it made for a diverse offering! We were excited to meet fellow soapers from Free Spirit Creations.

Full Moon Harvest Organic Body Soap by Free Spirit Creations

Full Moon Harvest
Organic Body Soap by Free Spirit Creations

We bought a delectable-smelling candle and a bar of Full Moon Harvest organic body soap we can’t wait to try! It smells wonderful and looks like it’ll make for a great treat for our skin.

Our table was small and we brought enough to make sure it looked bountiful throughout the day.

Our table was small; we brought enough to make sure it looked bountiful throughout the day.

We received a lot of glowing feedback about the appearance and scent of our soaps and serums and hope everyone who purchased some adores it!

As our first-ever market we felt it was a great experience and we’re glad we began this journey with the awesome people at Another Look at Dallas!

If you have a minute check out our fellow vendors from the #ALDMarket!
Durty Laundry
Cosmo Art
The Shabby Sheep
The Olive Stitch
Erica Guajardo
Free Spirit Creations
House of Smash
Jeff Skele Skeely
K.M. Rasmussen Fine Art
Poppy Xander
Two Bronze Doors
Gringo Soul
Richard Gilbert
Wood Phoenix
Lyd Low

Photographing Today

With a wintry white storm blowing snow about the city we’ve spent today holed up indoors making good use of the bright light the frozen landscape reflects.

Heart-Shaped Lavender Soap will soon be available in our Etsy shop!

Heart-Shaped Lavender Soap will soon be available in our Etsy shop!

Cool Cotton Soap

Cool Cotton Soap

Our second Japa mala! This one features a fire agate guru bead, obsidian and hematite. Read more about it on the Etsy listing!

Our second Japa mala! This one features a fire agate guru bead, obsidian and hematite. Read more about it on the Etsy listing!

We adore the pretty fire agate guru bead and hope it soon finds a mindful and loving home with someone who is in search of discovering their innermost self.

Japa Mala

We have recently been reading up on Japa mala and decided to make one for a dear friend of ours. We absolutely love the result and hope they do, as well!

We found a gorgeous druzy stone to use as our guru bead. In stone lore this pretty quartz stone is said to magnify the effects of the other stones.

We found a gorgeous druzy stone to use as our guru bead. In stone lore this pretty quartz stone is said to magnify the effects of the other stones.

Small, red carnelian stones were included to improve health, aid vitamin absorption, stimulate the sacral chakra and heal the base chakra.

Small, red carnelian stones were included to improve health, aid vitamin absorption, stimulate the sacral chakra and heal the base chakra.

Oblong stones of amazonite were added to help balance and ground while providing gentle guidance toward inner harmony and quieting overpowering thoughts.

Oblong stones of amazonite were added to help balance and ground while providing gentle guidance toward inner harmony and quieting overpowering thoughts.

Amethyst was added because it is the amazing "all-healer" of stones and is great for soothing nerves and supporting the emotional body and bringing people back to center. We chose rose quartz as our marker beads because we wanted to imbue this mala with love and rose quartz is the stone of love! It also assists people in accepting necessary change and is especially supportive of the female reproductive system.

Amethyst was added because it is the amazing “all-healer” of stones and is great for soothing nerves and supporting the emotional body and bringing people back to center. We chose rose quartz as our marker beads because we wanted to imbue this mala with love and rose quartz is the stone of love! It also assists people in accepting necessary change and is especially supportive of the female reproductive system.

We had so much fun creating this Japa mala for our friend that we intend to create more to offer to our customers! We will add them to our shop as we complete them.

Our First Ceramic Wares

We are ecstatic to bring to you the charming work of Dallas native, Andrea Brashier. We have long lusted after her work and are eager to present it to you now that we’ve had our chance to sit down and admire it ourselves.

Small Brown & Blue Hand Thrown Ceramic Bowl (This is our favorite of the three! We love it!)

Small Brown & Blue Hand Thrown Ceramic Bowl
(This is our favorite of the three! We love it!)

We adore them! All of these were created under the diligent and gentle hands of a true artist and we know they’ll look stunning in any setting.

These bowls are glazed inside so they are food safe, but not dishwasher safe. They are also great as decor, which is what we’ve done with them until they find new homes. We hope you love them as much as we do! Be sure to have a look-see at the Etsy listings for each for more pictures and exact measurements of each.