Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest Post by Douglas Walker: Painting is a technology of consciousness

“Mahalakshmi,” oil, 60”x60” —by Douglas Walker

When I first took up painting a few years ago, it didn't take long to realize that it was much more than creating a beautiful picture. Like other forms of creativity, painting is a technology of consciousness, both for the artist and for the viewer.

As any artist or musician knows, the creative process works best when the ego steps aside and allows the higher Self to take control. And any time you do this, it leads to the growth of higher consciousness.

Painting the devata value

The great spiritual teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said that real art is painting the Devas, and everything else is just painting one's stress. The Devas are commonly understood to be the Vedic Gods. But Maharishi used a broader meaning. He described the
"Willow and Tangelos,” oil, 15"x30” —by Wendy Higgins
Devas as those values of intelligence that govern the various laws of nature. So I don’t think he just meant painting the Vedic Gods, but painting the devata value, or divine inner intelligence, of any person, object, or scene.

A fellow artist in Santa Fe, Wendy Higgins, creates the most beautiful still life paintings. What makes them so wonderful is that Wendy is able to capture the Divine Intelligence in the object. The flowers, the fruit, the vases — each object radiates Light. When you look at her paintings you don't just see the flower or the pot, you see Beauty.

Wendy says, “For me there's a universal quality to the beauty I see. And if I can open someone's eyes to that beauty, consciously or not, that opens their heart. I am, in a sense, worshipping the beauty I see and falling deeper and deeper in love with that which I feel is an expression of our source."

Moving Wholeness into the point

The essential nature of each of us is infinite, divine Wholeness. When the ego steps aside, that inner divine Light is able to make an appearance. When the painter allows his or her awareness to favor the Wholeness, then every brush stroke brings a taste of Wholeness to the canvas. The inner Silence, the divine Presence, which is usually hidden from view, is displayed for everyone to see.

“Face East & Pray to Your Ancestors 1,” pastel, 15”x22” —by Anastasia Hurlin
Anastasia Hurlin is able to do this in her incredible figurative paintings. She says, “In my own work I strive for wholeness. I mirror the empowered woman through my art, bringing out her inherent beauty and integrity. I acknowledge our common power, our passion, our shakti. I find my true center in the presence of divinely engaged women. Immersed in this 'texture', I paint.”

When someone stands in front of such a painting, the divine Wholeness is “stirred” in that person. The painting helps that person to recognize, even for a moment, his or her own divine nature.

Bringing Silence (Presence) to the surface
For the artist that favors Wholeness, the act of painting becomes a technology of transformation. It's like meditation, where repeated exposure to inner Silence cultures the nervous system to be able to support that Silence even during activity. Painting so that Wholeness moves through the brush onto the canvas alters the nervous system and makes one capable of sustaining a heightened awareness throughout the day. It transforms the nervous system to support more Wholeness.

“Bairava,” oil, 16”x12” —by Douglas Walker

Seeing Beauty

Painting in this way changes the way you see the world. Painting from the level of Wholeness allows you to recognize Wholeness in others and in your environment. Even people or objects that previously seemed distasteful are now seen as windows to the Divine.

It is said that what you put your attention on grows stronger. While painting your stress can be cathartic, I shudder to think of the effect it has on the viewer, and on the painter’s life. When you put your attention on the inner divine Wholeness as you paint, then divine Light becomes stronger in every aspect of your life.

The Divine is present everywhere. Bring that Presence into your paintings, and your appreciation of everyone and everything will flourish.

Author Douglas Walker was born and grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He presently lives with his wife Nancy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His paintings include unique representations of Vedic gods along with depictions of the relationship between the human physiology and the Divine.

Douglas was gifted with the ability to paint late in life following a meditation experience of Divine Mother dancing in his heart lotus. Many who view his work report inner spiritual transformation and energetic healing.

According to Douglas, “Divine Mother is the artist. I just try to be alert to what She is telling me, and not get in the way. The less the ego is involved, the better I can express Her Light and Silence in my paintings. And of course, it helps to keep improving my painting skills.”

You can see his work at
Contact Doug at

Other links

Wendy Higgins –
Anastasia Hurlin –

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pain, Inflamation, Diabetes?----Try Turmeric

“Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.”

 Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Poor Richard's Almanac

Ben Franklin was thinking more about the passage of time than natural healing when he wrote this quote. Yet there is a spice that does as least as well as the passage of time, a spice that is able to help with so many diseases: turmeric.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is known as a sacred herb with remarkable healing properties since its first mention in the Atharvaveda 6000 years ago. Today, India’s Ayurvedic healers consider it to be a profoundly balancing and deeply purifying spice.

A World Wide Healing Tradition

From Hawaii to the rain forests of Central & South America, in China, Africa, Jamaica, Japan, Thailand and South East Asia-turmeric has been used as a valuable traded good for dyeing cloth, flavoring food and as a soil building crop.  Healers applied it to the body for itching, skin ulcers & wounds as well as to keep the skin youthful looking. It has been consumed for headaches, inflammation, weight loss, jaundice, fluid retention, diarrhea, eye conditions, ringworm, fertility issues, flatulence, colic, colds and fevers, parasites, leprosy, cancer and respiratory problems, as a children's remedy and to ease childbirth.

Today its use is widespread and now includes treatment for cataracts, liver diseases, atherosclerosis, Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis. Numerous studies have confirmed it’s value as a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.1 

Turmeric Is Unique

Turmeric blocks the inflammatory enzymes that produce pain, swelling and inflammation as effectively as today’s hydrocortisone. It can actually slow the brain changes of early Alzheimer’s disease. As it moves through the blood stream turmeric normalizes insulin levels in type 2 diabetes and helps to balance blood lipids.2

Turmeric is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, vitamin B6, iron, potassium and manganese. Combining turmeric with black pepper, ginger or garlic enriches it’s ability to support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Start Out With a Great Curry

Indian curries flavored with turmeric, ginger, black pepper and other spices are delicious and can be a fun way to enjoy turmeric. By itself it can taste a little bitter if you are not used to it.  

At home - you can  use also use turmeric for musculoskeletal  pain, feeling run down or to soothe your digestive system. It is considered very safe but if you are taking any prescription medication check with your MD before you try turmeric. Also its brilliant yellow color can stain your clothes so be careful with it.

How Much Turmeric to Use?

Drink  1-2 cups of Turmeric tea a day-it’s similar to chai in flavor but does not contain any caffeine.  Or you can use 400 mg of powdered turmeric in capsule 3 times a day. These two tea recipes are wonderful:

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

32 ozs boiling water
½ Tbsp turmeric powder or 1 thumb size piece of grated turmeric root
1 handful of cilantro chopped
1 clove of garlic peeled and crushed
1TBSP olive oil
2 lemons juiced
5 peppercorns whole
10 drops stevia or 1 2/2 TBSP raw honey
Cayenne pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes then strain and enjoy. 

Turmeric Tea

1 cup almond milk, rice milk or Silk Coconut drink
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric powdered
¼ tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp honey or a few drops of stevia

Whisk the powdered ingredients thoroughly into to your liquid. Bring  it almost to a boiling point- then turn off flame and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain and enjoy. 

So whether you try a healthful Indian meal, add turmeric to your cooking or drink some turmeric tea….  I invite you to check this out for yourself.  Give it a try for a few weeks I‘d love to hear about your experiences.


1.James A. (Jim) Duke.“The Garden Pharmacy:Turmeric, the Queen of COX-2 Inhibitors: Alternative and Complementary Therapies. October 2007, 13(5): 229-234. doi:10.1089/act.2007.13503.

2.Skulas-Ray AC, et al "A high antioxidant spice blend attenuates postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses and increases some plasma measures of antioxidant activity in healthy, overweight men" J Nutrition 2011; DOI: 10.3945/jn.111.138966.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Super Foods-Fantastic Foods to Heal Naturally

Type in the words“super food” on your computer and you get over four million results. Today super foods  are a vast family of exotic plants like sea-buckthorn berries, maca root, acai berries, matcha tea, pomegranate,gogi berries,  agave, chia, hemp, flax, carob etc.  These foods are packed with high levels of nutrient protecting antioxidants , excellent  protein and/or they have anti-inflammatory properties that can be very helpful.

Super food research is compelling and around the world people are thinking about how to feel better and asking themselves "what should I eat"? There is another class of foods I'd like to talk about...your mother may have mentioned these when you were small.  Let’s take a look at fantastic foods

Super Food vrs. Fantastic Food

Fantastic foods  are the fruits and vegetables we see all around us. They are in your garden, at the market and on your neighbor's table- carrots, tomatoes, lemons, broccoli, spinach, berries, melons, sweet potatoes, kale and chard, apples, pears, beans or legumes, avocado, walnuts, coconut etc. They provide the same type of nutrients and benefits as the super foods  especially if you eat them regularly. I believe you have the power to help your body heal itself naturally by choosing to use fantastic and super foods wisely.

How much can make a difference to your body?

5-7 servings per day. Perhaps this sounds like a lot but take a look at the photo –that is 7 servings of fruits and vegies.   Make the shift to eating fantastic foods in these amounts and you are eating a plant based diet.

Eating these fantastic foods  daily brings increased fiber content that fills you up. As you feel more satisfied you will notice fewer sugar cravings and less desire for junk food. People who are making this change  find it becomes easy to reduce the amount of  animal products they use- which also has remarkable health benefits.

Start with Your Next Meal

The next time you are ready to eat. Check out what is on your plate. Start by filling up half your plate with vegetables each time you have a meal. Twice a day have a piece of fruit.  Put aside the white flour, white sugar foods and replace them with whole grains. Take it one step at a time and let your body adjust to the changes gradually before you know it you will feel the benefits of these fantastic foods.

Benefits of Fantastic Foods

Researchers at Cornell and Oxford Universities along with the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine in Shanghai have been studying the effects of a plant based diet for over 30 years.  Their research known as the China Study shows that eating a plant based diet where the amount of fruits and veggies is greater than the amount of animal protein brings exciting health benefits:1

*reduces the possibility of heart disease
*neutralizes oxidative stress in the body which causes aging and chronic illness
*normalizes your blood pressure and blood sugar
*promotes excess weight loss
*improves your mood.

Happily there is no conflict between the fantastic foods and the super foods. Choose the ones that taste best to you. Eating the fantastic fruits and veggies and/or the super foods in these amounts is one of the easiest ways to improve  your health and well being.

"Health is a matter of choice-not chance"

Try making some of these changes for 21 days. I believe you will feel more vibrant and energetic, sleep better and find it easier to move your body.  Let me know how it works for you. I’d love to hear about your experiences.

You are invited to join me for a free class- I’ll be talking about:

Fantastic Foods to Boost Your Moods
Thursday, August 15th, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Vintage Brush Creek
4225 Wayern Dr
Santa Rosa, Ca 95409
Please call for a seat 707-584-6555

1.The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health. T.Colin Campbell, Thomas Campbell II and Howard Lyman. Ben Bella Books, May 11, 2006 | ISBN-10: 9781932100662

You may also enjoy Nutrition and Your Brain

Monday, August 5, 2013

Renewal, Love, Service

Isn’t it astonishing to know that the human body regenerates itself completely every 5-7 years? Our brains are replaced every two months and our stomach makes new cells every 5 minutes.1 Truly we are a miracle of renewal and regeneration.
Today I am thinking about inner renewal. I believe that each of us comes  from a spark of the Divine- that creative life force from which all  existence is made. I believe that human consciousness is forever expanding. As my body is being made new each day my spirit is continually refreshed with the flow of creative Divine Intelligence.
Sometimes I can lose my focus and start to get bogged down. Do you ever have that experience?  For me when that occurs-- my life requires  real effort and feels like work.  What helps me as I realize this has happened- is to pause and put my attention first, on my breath. 
As I breathe deeply I refocus and ask myself: How can I find joy in this moment? Remembering that the Divine Life Force is flowing through me, in me and is actually… me gets me back on track. Joy begins to percolate through me once again. 
When my actions are an expression of love in service to others or the world…my journey is smooth.  No matter how long my day lasts my spirit stays fresh.  I am renewed constantly so that I move forward- vibrant and alive.
What is renewal like for you?  Let’s talk about this and see if we can enhance our inner renewal together.  
“All beings are flowers
In a blossoming universe”
Soen Nakagawa Roshi
1.Your Amazing Regnerating Body,( Gaia Vince: 19 June 2006: Magazine issue 2556;
                                    Freedom and Forgiveness-Hawaiian Ho'o pono pono

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