Sunday, September 20, 2009

Return from the land of the lotus

A couple of weeks ago after a stressful summer of house hunting, I decided I would go on retreat to Padma Samye Ling Retreat Center and Monastery (Inconceivable Lotus Land) which is located in Delaware County in upstate New York. Set near the top of a mountain in the western region of the Catskill mountains, the outstanding facilities are contained within five hundred acres of forests, meadows, and natural springs. This is the first time I went to the Shedra retreat which means "place of learning." It has been 3 years since I have been back to the land. I used to go frequently when I lived in Chicago. It was easy to drive up with my friend Dawn and there were times we would drive up 6 times in a year!
This Shedra was a particular study of our inner universe of our channels, winds, and essence elements according to Anuyoga Tantras. This was intensive study based on teachings of great masters of Vajrayana Buddhism. Unlike summer retreats that I have attended this retreat had 2 teaching periods where we would learn ancient Buddhist practices. I really enjoyed the extra time learning from my beloved teachers. They are so knowledgable and filled with love and compassion. I also enjoy connecting with sangha (like-minded practitioners) and sharing experiences.
What I find most beneficial is being in this beautiful natural setting and learning how to relax with special meditation techniques I can bring home to practice so that I can benefit myself and others. I find that going on retreats is much more relaxing than going on a vacation sipping margaritas and I am aware that the happy feelings last much longer.
If you would like to know more about Padmasambhava Buddhist Centers or support by contributing to many of their ongoing projects, please visit:
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey, We are 'Branching Out'

Wow!  That was so exciting to be interactive with all you listeners and viewers tonight on Spirit Jump's live podcast (see on Tuesday eves from 7-9p.m.).  Last time I checked, we drew 890 visitors (not bad for our first visit).

The subject:  Healing with CranioSacral Therapy.  We opened the 'cast explaining what CranioSacral Therapy is and how it works.  I mentioned the work I do with the Sari Asher Center for Integrative Cancer Care.  Then, Meaghan talked about her personal experience with me in her first CST session and how it helped her to feel lighter and an overall sense of well-being.  Questions were coming in from the chatroom, like "is it good for pre-surgery," and "cluster headaches," and "vertigo."  Then, we took questions from callers, going over things like how to find the right CranioSacral Therapist for you, and also my three-step meditation to assist one caller with their anxiety.

I appreciate Meaghan for inviting me to come on the show, so it can help me educate others in how to heal and enrich the lives of those who suffer from cancer and other dis-eases.  You know, uneasiness creates dis-easiness.  Please stay well tuned because soon Shade Tree Yoga and Wellness has some exciting seeds to plant.

May all beings be free from sickness and the cause of sickness.  May all beings be happy and free!

Monday, August 24, 2009

TUNE IN: Kimberly will be on The Spirit Jump Podcast Show tomorrow night!

Here is the latest post from Meaghan Edelstein, of, about Kimberly and her healing work of CranioSacral Therapy.  You can also find this on our facebook and twitter pages.

"The Healing Power of CranioSacral Therapy & Tuesdays Guest Kimberly LaRue

This week I was lucky enough to try CranioSacral Therapy and I LOVED it! So I decided to invite Kimberly LaRue to be this Tuesdays guest on The Spirit Jump Podcast Show (Tuesday 7-9EST

Kimberly is a licensed Massage Therapist, CranioSacral Therapist, Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Holistic Cancer Therapist and Lecturer. Kimberly strives to encourage and support people in their discovery of their own natural healing ability, leading to a greater sense (awareness) of well-being and overall health.

I had the pleasure to meet Kimberly and benefit from a CranioSacral Therapy session. It was amazing and I am shocked I had never heard of it before. After my session I felt lighter, less stressed and just plain better. My first thought as I was walking out of the center was "I wish I had taken advantage of CranioSacral Therapy earlier".

As a cancer fighter I have endured many types and levels of pain. For the past two years I have tried almost everything including more pain medications than I care to mention (Fontanel patches, lolli pops, diloted, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycoton etc...) All these pain meds did was numb me. I still had pain but I cared less about the pain.

Yoga, Meditation and CranioSacral Therapy are wonderful ways for people with cancer to heal both emotionally and physically. I encourage you all to stop by, watch, listen and call in this Tuesday to learn more about the healing power of a gentle touch!

You can read more about Kimberly and her amazing work by visiting"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Please visit our new website:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care Reform

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer fun

West Palm Beach,  Fl in the summer time brings all kinds of great deals.  Here is great way to add more fun to your summer from Hotel Biba:

Nature, Nurture, Nightlife (aka Detox/Retox)
Escape. (even if only for one day)

Scenic guided Oceanside bicycle tour
Personalized Nurture session by ShadeTreeYoga, including water and garden yoga, meditation, stretching, and massage
Fifty dollar Biba Bar credit
Car service to and from Clematis Entertainment District
Restful Poolside King Room 

$300 per couple
$65 continue relaxing at Biba for as many nights as you’d like for this special price
*48 hour advance booking required.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring in Florida

It so amazing to me after 5 years of being here in Florida from Chicago, it is so easy to feel the subtle hints of spring.  Some of these flowers have the most beautiful healing colors and the smell of the little white ones in middle are most heavenly!  I love spring in Florida.  Winter season is over and the energy is sweet with more quiet and more relaxation. Time to slow down and go with the flow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Health Is Wealth!
Want to make a great investment?  It is the one investment you can't lose in this market.  Yoga always makes me feel great, lose weight and tone the bodymindspirit.  What a better way to get in touch with your True Nature than to do yoga outside in the Zen inspired gardens at Hotel Biba on Thursday nights at 6:30.  $15.00 is all it takes to invest inward & heal your soul.  Beginners are welcome. Advanced as well. Enjoy refreshments and intelligent conversation afterward.
Yoga today, keeps the Doctor away.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thank You

I am greatful for:

My husband Eric. He is a good man.

My health & Well-Being.

My good sence when I need it.

The lifestyle I choose to live.

My breath...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finding Balance in Bali Yoga Retreat

We created an intention for our retreat and practiced yoga daily, creating dreams in the beauty of nature, with the sounds of crickets, birds, roosters, and distant gamelon. Using a grounded presence and a soothing voice, Kimberly guided the students through poses with joyful effort. Everyone enjoyed the practices on many levels.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In the movie below, the author and restauranteur, Janet De Neefe, teaches a cooking lesson to our yoga retreat participants.  The Balinese hold sacred the preparation of every one of the dishes.  The food is beautiful, just look!  Nasi goreng, nasi campur, satay, sambul sauce, corn fritters, and more.  The fragrance in the air, mmm, every time I watch this I feel I am there again.

Bali Cooking Lesson with Janet De Neefe

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bali Driving Experience

Driving in Bali during the retreat was a fun unique experience. From the van rides to the trucks and then the motorcycles, we saw so much beauty and had fun.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Together We Made History

YES WE CAN share our anniversary with Mr. President and First Lady (and apparently a few others around the world)

Wow, we were on CNN the day after.  They used our Anniversinauguration party video as an example of people who like the affection displayed between the President and the First Lady.  We certainly were swept up in the moment of love, hope, and the endless possibilities that change brings.  Within 5 minutes, our views jumped from a few to over a hundred.  We've always loved Dancing with the Stars.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kim and Eric's AnniversInauguration

CNN showed this movie tonight around 6:50p.m.! We noticed about 15 emails from people who saw us on YouTube. One was from Sweden.

Barack and Michelle, Kimberly and Eric, and a few close friends celebrate Kimberly and Eric's 2 year anniversary and national history in the making. It was so much fun, getting together with friends. We all watched Obama and Michelle do their dance-with-a-turn.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life's a Beach

Five Things I am Grateful For

An aquaintance of mine suggested the other day that I write a gratitude list regularly in order to strengthen my positive mind. I was open and ready to commit to be more positive, so I started last week. It has helped. It seems to be working and my wife is also doing it with me on her blog. I recommend you try it to see how it works for you. Can't hurt, right?
If you need some inspiration, please see my grateful blog, updated daily, at You can also see Kim's grateful updates at Subscribe if you wish.
I am grateful to Heather, who suggested this. Thanks!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Missy's Kitties

I made this movie of our friend, Missy's, kitties as a gift for helping us out so much with our business.  Thanks, Missy.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunrise Hiking Mt Batur, Bali, Indonesia, the Island of the Gods

We hiked up Mt. Batur in Bali with the students from our yoga retreat. It was the last day of retreat and after dinner, we slept for a few hours before we got up at 3a.m. to hike to the summit by sunrise. We had guides or we would have lost our way. It was so beautiful there. There was a make-shift kitchen at the top, monkeys, a bat cave, and we descended through the lava flows from the last eruption. We are going again in June, 2009, to teach another yoga retreat - Find Your Inner Guru. Thanks, Eric and Kimberly (

Monday, January 5, 2009

Surfing Lessons in Seminyak, Bali, the Island of the Gods

Our yoga retreat students took surf lessons in Seminyak, Bali. It was so much fun! First were the land lessons, then the issuing of boards, followed by last minute drills, and then their shining moment standing on the water. Thanks for watching and Namaste, Eric and Kimberly.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Own Perfect Teacher

Pride (Ego's glow) came by this weekend to say, "HELLO!"  Here's how it transpired:  

January is the fourth month of my training to become a yoga teacher.  I am taking this certification so I will be able to assist my wife, Kimberly - one of my greatest teachers and an awesome yoga instructor - in our annual yoga retreats in Bali, Indonesia.  Teaching yoga is similar to teaching my clients about other forms of physical exercise.  The authority aspect is there. Identifying the level of each individual is beneficial and necessary in both.  So one could say that I would have an easy transition and pick it up quickly.  People did say it,  and I even said it to myself.  There was Ego's seed-planting.  It just needed fertilizer from then on.

Weekend training classes are going fine and the material is easily soaking in.  I've even had the chance to casually instruct my fellow students for 10 minutes once.  It was silly and goofy but no-one seemed to care.  I was pretty confident for months, until my first teaching experience to the public started to draw near.  It was last night and the only three people there were a fellow student, my wife, and the instructor.  I knew everyone there - even one intimately - and I was sweating bullets, trying not to curse myself for making a fool of myself.  One would think that was the perfect time and place to be "human."

I was as human as I could be - with smashed pride on the floor wondering why my 'excellent and effective teaching skills' didn't shine through.  I was aware of every moment that Ego got wounded, and came home afterwards to ponder and prepare for my next class, which was this morning.  I woke up and walked the dogs, ate breakfast, made a smoothie, and hurried to my yoga flow sheet for the class.  "How can I make my notes better so that I don't get so nervous," I asked myself as I sat with the laptop glaring at me (my mind gets so left-brained sometimes).  

As I typed each pose and transition, my nervousness seemed to ease somewhat because my notes seemed "easier to read" this time and I would be smoother today.  I showed my routine to Kimberly and she practically told me that I didn't need notes.  They would only interrupt my flow.  She said that the material was already in me.  I laughed at first, then panic set in, realizing I had only 15 minutes before I had to leave for class.  I had 2 choices then:  to keep freaking out or to "let go" of my pre-conceived ideas and let my inner teacher come out to teach.  I chose to let go, and something amazing happened.  I knew what to do.  I barely looked at my notes during the class and, if I gauged the contrast between yesterday's performance and today's, I would say I went from a 3 to a 7 out of 10.  

The reason?  Very simple.  I let go of part of my Ego, which said that I was going to be the next yoga prodigy, and allowed myself to be a normal student that is still learning the ropes (or asanas, to be clever).  I came home, grateful to my wife and my yoga training instructor for helping me realize that my success is not guaranteed by my past experience.  Success, in any case, is guaranteed when I am putting Ego down and placing my trust in my own perfect teacher.


Whoops!  I must correct what I wrote on January 1.
I wrote that post from the top of my head and just stumbled across Buddha's quote like this:

The thought manifests the word.
The word manifests the deed.
The deed develops into habit.
The habit hardens into character. 
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
and let it spring from love born out of concern for all beings.

I like this way better.  Especially the last line which basically is speaking about bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta has many meanings but simply put it is about having an awakened heart.   The motivation to watch our thoughts with care, love and concern for all beings is the practice.  It is the aspiration to care for oneself and others unconditionally.  Much like a mother's love.   There are two types of bodhicitta according to the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism.
Relative bodhicitta is where the practitioner works for the good of all beings as if it where his/her own.  Absolute bodhicitta relates to wisdom, openess and spaciousness.  The aspiration is loosening the ego and becoming free from attachments of self and the acceptance of life as it is.   So according to Wikipedia, the term bodhicitta, in its most complete sense, would combine both:  
*The arising of spontaneous and limitless compassion for all sentient beings and
*The falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inheirently existant self. 

What an aspiration!  This could take years or many lifetimes.  One thing I know is that if you start right now, little by little, love drop by love drop, practice in this moment, moment by moment, breath by breath, relaxing with life as it is, be in your own naked awareness, you will connect deeply with your own intrinsic nature.  It is your true nature to love and be loving.  All else is an illusion.  So go ahead notice your thoughts, connect with your heart and Make Love Big.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pure Potentiality

Veiw from Mount Batur, Bali

I love New Years Day. It is most likely one of my favorite days in the year. It reminds me of what happens after a hurricane here in Florida. Hurricane holiday comes blowing through then the calm of New Years Day brings an opportunity for a fresh new start. New Years resolutions can be a great time to change habit patterns and create new ones. But why do so many of us struggle with this? I feel compelled to share Buddha's words of wisdom:

The thought turns into the word,
The speech turns into action,
The action turns into to habit,
The habit hardens into character,
So watch your thoughts for the good of all beings.

Sounds simple right?  It is, if we are gentle with ourselves and bring awareness one breath at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time refocusing again and again.  Gentle persistence. This becomes the path, the journey of shape-shifting your ordinary life into an extraordinary life,  just by shining the light of awareness here, now, in this moment, pregnant with infinite possibility.  Which thoughts do you want to nourish?