Forty five minutes from San Fransisco lies Green Gulch Farm, a Japanese Zen Buddhist Monastery, which is set in a forest of ancient redwoods. This was the setting for my two week zen meditation retreat; a transformative experience I will never forget. To give you a glimpse into this illuminating experience, I’ve shared some of my journal entries and many photos of the beautiful zen center.Read More
Midsummer is the peak celebration of the Summer Season and the midway point in the solar cycle. Here are six illuminating rituals to slow down and connect to nature this Midsummer season.Read More
Most often, living slowly shows us that we don’t need much - we can live quite comfortably (and happily) right here, right now - without a lot of extra. It’s a mindset dedicated to making things last, whether it be a pleasurable moment, our material items, or our general happiness. I suppose that the essence of what slow living means to me, is a focus on the present moment; the magic moments extracted from the mundane. These are my Moments of Slow…
I believe that sustainable living is rooted in mindfulness. Making sustainable lifestyle choices is about making intentional decisions in full awareness. Living sustainably is a challenge and can be exhausting - simply because we are literally working against the system we live in. As a global community, we do not have the luxury to mentally sweep this environmental crisis under the rug - as tempting as it may be. It is truly up to us to accept our current state, then make positive changes one moment at a time. This is the way of acting in mindfulness. One breath at a time. One moment at a time.Read More
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year - the climax of the darkest period. It marks the rebirth of the sun and the return of warmth. A new solar cycle begins. This year, connect to nature by celebrating the Winter Solstice with these illuminating rituals.
Do you know what “homing” is? The biological definition refers to an animal’s ability to return to a place or territory after traveling away from it, often into foreign and unpredictable terrain. The esoteric human practice doesn’t differ much from that definition. This mindfulness practice is one that I regularly use to reconnect with my own soul-self - my own inner wisdom. It is the practice of finding the places that call to us; the places that emancipate our souls. It’s navigating to the refuge that allows our soul to rest, run, play, sing, create, and dance in delight of existing.Read More
The holiday season is filled with so many opportunities to give. This holiday season, let us introduce mindfulness into our gift giving strategy by allowing the power of our generosity to be more about the cultivation and enrichment of our relationships with others and the environment, and less about the tangible merchandise exchanged.
“In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere. With that state comes an enlarging: of what may be known, what may be felt, what may be done.” Beautiful words by Jane Hirshfield. As a creative, being present is intimately tied to being inspired, becoming, and producing anything of quality. As a human, being present is even more intimately tied to quality of life and perception of reality. This is the art of being present.Read More
My name is Brianne Dela Cruz – Brianne Italia, actually. I’m a native Utahan – born from a Brazilian immigrant Father with roots that extend deep into the soil of northern Italy, and a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Cuban Mother… … I was crippled with heartbreak, anger, confusion, anxiety, and serious depression. So, I ran away to the mountains where I drowned the noise in my head with wind and rolling waters. I massaged the anxiety away with headstands and thousands of sun salutations. Over-time I learned to self-soothe. I learned to listen and to feel in truth – not by dictation. I learned how to become aware. My walls broke down, my lenses were removed, my mind and body were renewed. Slowly I began to see the world in a new way.Read More