Showing posts from August, 2021


Believed to be a native to North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, Purslane  reached Europe by the late 16th century. It now grows in most parts of the world, preferring tropical weather and/or warm temperatures. Cultivated more than 4,000 years for food and medicinal use, this weed still serves both purposes today.  Considered very nutritious, Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids (like those in fish and flax seeds), with other health properties such as vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and antioxidants.  Both leaves and seeds are edible and Purslane is prominently used in cuisine around the world. Writing a series of essays on weeds is about finding hidden meaning, uncovering nuisances and discovering purposefulness in unexpected places.  In many ways it is a metaphor for how I’ve found ways to dig myself out of some the muck and mire circumstances in living life.  It’s a salient reminder about the intent of the practices I embrace to help


Nettle has a lot, a lot of bling. Or more appropriately a lot of bite, referring to sting of nettle leaves. Although nettle has heart-shaped leaves, with pretty yellow or pink flowers, the stem is covered in tiny, stiff hairs that release stinging chemicals when touched. The history of nettle stems from Egyptian antiquity, to the Roman Empire to the Scots soups. Its biological name is "Urtica Dioica" associated with the Latin word "uro" meaning "I bite" which has stuck with nettle. Still both bling and bite fit this intense, multipurpose herb. Those "biting" leaves of nettle can be dried and used as powders, tinctures, creams, teas, beer and even cloth found from the Bronze age. As a medicinal nettle i s high in nutrients and may help reduce inflammation, manage blood sugar, lower blood pressure, hay fever as well as other conditions. There's a lot to nettle; more medicinal, culinary and that which has yet to be discovered for those willing


Softly, softly. I can’t remember where I heard that phrase.  A popular movie line?  A famous poetic refrain?  A great speech?  It will come to mind when I go “softly, softly” releasing the effort to press hard for recall.  I’m guessing that was the context of the original phrase; embracing the concept of easily moving toward the goal.  Paradoxically, the concept that "harder gets the results" is more widely accepted. Perhaps it depends on the situation which concept is appropriate. Indeed, in mindfulness it's not how hard you work, it's how committed you are to the practice.  I can remember first being introduced to mindfulness practice in a group setting and how several people were hard pressed to “get it” and get on to the next steps.  However, the facilitator explained “softly, softly” (that was not the exact phrase) was the approach for best benefit.  I for one, was very glad to hear that; it suited my spirit and I’ve way continued the practice in many the years s