Archive for the Spiritual Enlightenment Category

Fabulous Zen Tea Garden In The Middle of West Hollywood

Posted in Fabulous Locations & Stores, Spiritual Enlightenment with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

I am a Tea FREAK!! I love the aroma, taste & the soothing effect of a nice cup of tea! The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium is one of my favorite place to be in West Hollywood, CA. It’s so charming to have this Asian theme tea garden in the middle of this crazy city Los Angeles (Aka The Lala Land!)

 

This beautiful tea garden is founded by Mark Ukra known as “Dr. Tea” & located at 8612 Melrose Ave. (formerly known as Elixir). The Tea Garden offers its trademark premium teas, high end tonics; an expert staffed Chinese Herb bar, a tranquil bamboo garden, airy veranda, Empress Room and an exclusive VIP Sanctuary. Perfect place to just relax under the bamboos, leave the stress & negative energies of the big city outside of the door & enjoy a nice chinese herbal tonics. Some people even meditates there!

 

Mark Ukra’s family has been in the tea business for over 200 years. For nearly two decades, Dr. Tea has traveled the world to pursue his studies of tea and is considered to be a leading authority on the subject.


Being a connoisseur of fine foods, wines, tobacco and most of all, teas, Ukra began to purchase rare teas at auctions and meet with fellow enthusiasts during his world travels. As his passion grew, he began looking to establish a place for teaching and learning about teas in Los Angeles.

Ukra purchased the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium nearly two years ago. The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium was founded in 1988 to provide the world with the finest quality of Asian herbs and it is dedicated to the teachings of guidance towards the integration of the Body, Mind and Soul. Recently, new owners, Julie Jackson Ukra and Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, along with Executive Director Ann Patton, have greatly improved and expanded the Tea Garden’s line of products and services. Of critical note is the upgrade to the finest quality Superior Chinese Herbs and a Tea menu that has been recognized as the finest in the United States.

Professionally trained and educated herbalists, who have graduated from some of the most renowned Chinese Medical colleges, staff the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium. The experienced herbalists have been with the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium for many years and are available for consultations, by phone or in person. Their goal is to help clients select the correct herbs to meet personal good health standards for well-being. Additionally, the staff includes experts who provide specialized services and classes on Meditation, Feng Shui, Numerology, Self Esteem, Psychiatry, Massage and Tai Chi/Personal Training.

Most of people must wonder what’s the difference & benifits of teas? here are 3 major tea catagories:

Green Tea – Boosts the immune system, lowers blood sugar, helps prevent cavities and tooth decay, slows aging process, reduces risk of cancer,lowers cholesterol, aids in weight loss by burning calories, reduces high blood pressure, helps prevent arthritis, reduces risk of heart disease, reduces risk of stroke, and lowers risk of blood clots.

Black Tea – Promotes blood flow to the brain, sharpens mental focus and concentration, serves as a soothing anti-inflammatory effects on digestive tract, strengthens tooth enamel, helps prevent tooth decay, lowers cholesterol levels, improves circulation, and relieves diarrhea.

Oolong Tea – lowers cholesterol, reduces heart disease, aids digestion, lowers risk of cancer, contains large amounts of anti-oxidants, beneficial for immune system. White tea is the highest tea in anti-oxidant value, retards growth of bacteria, naturally rejuvenates collagen in skin, firms the skin, and reduces risk of colon, stomach and prostate cancer.

Here is the address of this fabulous Zen tea garden, It’s a must visit place next time you’re in LA!

The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium
8612 Melrose Ave.West Hollywood, CA 90069
Website: http://www.teagarden.com/

Store Hours10am to 8pm, Every Day

I am gonna go make myself a nice cup of Ooolong tea now, untill next time, go buy some teas and experience the magic & aroma of tea!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

 

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The Healing Magic of Arts & Colors

Posted in Art & Music, Home Decor, Spiritual Enlightenment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Anyone who knows me all knows how much I love colors & anything that’s looks, feels happy and cheeruful (like my favorite cartoon character – Rainbow Brite & Carebears haha) so when I saw the photo of this chair I was instantly charmed by this colorful & stylish design …. but after learning more about the story behind it, I was more than charmed… I was truly INSPIRED!

It all started out when an pediatrician name Sidney at Cook Children’s hospital in Ft. Worth, TX. Who saw this Australian Vogue Living magazine’s editorial, thought it would be a great idea to buy and old chair, have it re-done in plain canvas, then let children loose on it with sharpies to share their own ideas and inspirations. It was obvious from the beginning that this would be a wonderful way to raise money for children’s charities. Sidney had initiated the idea that Cook Children’s hospital was in need of a palliative care program, and now that this program is well underway, she is still involved in fundraising.
The chair certainly became more exciting and meaningful when some of the young patients helped to design it… loving the mix of children’s artwork with the formal chair. Such a wonderful way to raise money for the children’s charity – an important Palliative Care Program. The Palliative Care team helps the children with symptom and pain relief, and also provides much needed psychological and spiritual support for the children, their siblings, and parents during these difficult times.
The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, psychologists, and spiritual leaders…which unfortunately is not adequately funded by insurance companies. The chair is one of the items that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Palliative care program at the hospital.
The chair project started with Cook Children’s hospital to let some of their patients design a chair. Here are photos of the kids at work.
Without any artistic traing ( of course not because they are all young kids haha) it’s just amazing to see how they use their creatives minds and imaginations combining unexpected color combinations to create this fabulous piece of art!
Even tho each kids are all with life threatening illness and going through intensive treatments, it’s amazing to see the inner world of theirs is still this colorful, happy place, filled with rainbows, flowers and magic!
Here is the finished product!!! (4 coats of clear lacquer were applied to seal the chair and protect the artwork. It also gives the chair a rich deep shine) Bellissimo !
BIG Cheers to all the wonderful creative people involved in this charity project!
We’re all often got lost in our busy lives and forgot to count our blessings! How fortuned we are to have good health, friends & family who loves & cherish us and just be able to wake up each morning to start a brand new beginnings is just amazing! So let this beautiful “Feel good chair” story inspire us to be thankful of what we have and to help others who is less fortuned than us! because after all, we can all be a “Channel for Grace” to share our love & shine some lights onto others!
Here are two of my favorite charities that I work with often, why not check out their website and see how a little donation of money, time or even shop at their online store can help those terminally ill children’s wishes come true!
Click above photo to visit Make a wish foundation official website

Click above photo to visit Make a wish foundation official website

Until next time, think of something to be thankful in your life and pass on the love & light to others!
XOXO
Alan + Mei-Mei the pug 🙂

The Quest For Happiness

Posted in Spiritual Enlightenment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug
It’s 1AM sunday morning, I just about finished typing up all the invoices for the online sales from my online stores. As I am typing each sales invoices, I feel so greatful to be able to make a good living in this bad economy, me & my family are all healthy and happy! As time flies by, I can’t believe how much my life has changed in the past 8 years! There has been good times, laughters & of course there are drama and sadness but so much good has come out of it as well. I am finally learning to live life at the right now! And, almost every day, I am grateful for the life I am leading.

Ok, so if this is sounding a little New-Agey, I supppose it is. In my quest for self-discovery, I’ve been reading a lots of books – in the self-help/spirituality genre particularly – why am I here? kinda stuff. While I do not limite my self to practice just an established religion, I would say that I believe in a greater force of creativity and good that moves through us all, and I know that we are beings with an infinite potential for success and happiness. This is hard to see when life is tough – such as when you are going through a divorce, lost a job, or dealing with toxic interlopers – but it’s true. We were made for joy. Accessing that joy, putting it to work in our lives, is the tough bit. The bit on which I am seeking some guidance – I know I want to be happy and calm, how do I get there?

What’s interesting about life is that, when you start looking for something, there will be tons of that around. You know how it goes – think about planning a wedding and every second magazine has a wedding spread, people around you get engaged, TV adverts use wedding themes etc. So, as I started looking for tools for enhancing the happiness in my life, finding my happy purpose, I have delved into more and more books on the subject. For the sceptics out there, it must be said that “spiritual awakening” literature – books about subjects such as discovering your true self, unlocking your innate power – is a booming industry right now. This is not surprising if you consider the uncertain state of our world. At a time when leaders and institutions can’t provide support or certainty, many people have been compelled to look elsewhere for meaning. And, the gentle, reassuring faces and words of the “spiritual awakening” authors seem to provide this kind of guidance.

Some of the books spoke to me, others not so much. Even tho I am a spiritual kinda dude, and I do believes in angels, fairies, Gods & Goddess the whole 9 years, but I just can’t stand those super sugar-coated, totally “Out there” kinda spiritual works and teachers! That’s what research is about. The best thing about reading a range of books is that you can pick and choose what works for you, whether it’s Pema Chodron’s Buddhist teaching to reach spiritual enlightenment,


(Pema Chodron’s CDs – Available at Luxe-Gifts.com)

or Caroline Myss’ assurances of the sacred contracts that bind us to each other and how to work with your chakra to balance your energies and health,


(Caroline Myss CDs – Available at Luxe-Gifts.com)

or Eckhart Tolle’s ideas on stillness and the truth of “being” in the moment,


(Eckhart Tolle’s CDs – Available at Luxe-Gifts.com)

or Dr. Andrew Weil’s ideas on increasing & achiving vitality & health though healthy eating, foods, herbs and breathing.


(Dr. Andrew Weil’s CDs – Available at Luxe-Gifts.com)

I have been fascinated by the strong and basic principles that run through the majority of these books. Principles such as:

– you are innately good, connected to a life force much greater and more powerful than that which we see in our daily lives.

– you have all the answers within you – just listen.

– possessions do not make you who you truly are.

– happiness comes from within, from following one’s true purpose in life.

– do what you love to do, every day, and you will be successful .

– serving yourself (with the best of intentions) will result in you serving others properly.

– you are not your mind (your soul is infinitely more wise and more experienced than the thoughts in your head)

– everything “IS” – there is only the “Now” moment and how you respond to it that counts – the past is over, the future’s not here yet. Enjoy the present!

– balance in action and an unwavering self-belief (the principle of faith or trust, if you will) are the keys to getting what you want out of life.

Mmm, I’ve put some of these principles down here quite simply but they have been profoundly helpful to me in times of crisis or even when I’ve been feeling low.

For now, I’m still reading and learning, reading and learning ….

I’ve personally selected these audio books from some of my favorite spirtual teachers in our “Zen Garden” section at Luxe-Gifts.com store to share with our customers. These audio books & spiritual teachers that had helped me to see, think in the new way I’ve never knew I can! so please come check out our meditation CDs and supplies in our store!

after all these spiritual hard works, it’s time to treat myself with some yummy donuts & cakes! YUM! you gotta nurish your tummy so you’ll have energy to meditate! hehe 😛

Come back to check out our blogs again to see what other fabulous stuff we’ve find to share with ya! have a blessed day!

xoxo Alan + Mei-Mei the pug 🙂

Modern Day Mystic & Path To Enlightenment

Posted in Spiritual Enlightenment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

 I recently just finished reading one of my favorite spiritual teacher Caroline Myss’s book “Sacred Contracts” and has really raise a lot of questions like “am I on the right spiritual path”? or “why did this happened to me? did I do something wrong to experience?”

 sacred-contracts1 

Since I was a kid, I’ve always be interested in any stories or books about religion and spiritual stuff. As the time goes by, people grew up and start to worry about more and more things in their lives such as schook, work, money, relationships… all those has distracted me away from searching for my spiritual path. Untill the day of September 11 in NYC, I was living in Manhattan while all the madness had happened, it has brought out a lot of hidden issues I didn’t even know I had and I started to develop a very strong anxiety attack, worry and scared about just about anything ( it’s understandable after the dramatic experience we had as a New Yorker during the September 11 ). So I started to see a therapist and nothing has worked. so one day I just can’t deal with this anxiety problem anymore I pray to the universe ( I pray to all Gods, Jesus, Buddha…etc ’cause I believe all Gods are ONE! they just trandsform themselfs into different “forms” in different regions so people at that area can relate to him/her more easily, just my opinion) and say ” Please help me to take this pain away, I don’t want to have this anxiety attack anymore…” I was praying while I was at the barnes and noble store while my anxiety attack was about to start again…. after the prayer, it felt like my prayer was heard I found my very first Meditation CD by Caroline Myss “Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice”. This 2 CD set has changed my life!

spiritual-power-spiritual-practice 

Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice Audio Sample

In no way I am writing this to say I’ve reach the enlightenment & has figured out all things, infact I am still on my spiritual path trying to find my way. But I thought just to share this with my readers how wonderful to have a spiritual life and practice and can enrich your life to be that much more colorful and fill with happiness!

From various of Carline Myss’ and some other spiritual teacher’s books and meditation CDs, what I’ve learned that benefit me the most is:
* Let go the desire to know why things happened the way it did, let got the need to have too much expectation of the future, instead live in the now and knowing that everything happened in my life are always happened with the best intention of me in mind and the universe is always watching over me! *

As many spiritual teachers trying to teach us there are a 7 powerful energy in our body called “Chakra”, by balancing each Chakra is the way to reach full enlightenment. Please click on the picture below to see the animated Flash Chakra charts that will help you to have a better understanding what chakra is.

One point Caroline pointed out that’s very interesting is that now the days, there are tons of those totally “Out there” new age groups & practices, try to reach spiritual enlightenment with out really “Working” on it! Thought just by chanting, dreaming or “manifest it” then you’ll find the perfect job, perfect lover and make a lot of money! Instead, Caroline pointed out that seeing your own energy is like a “spiritual energy bank”, everyday you have $100 worth of “Spiritual energy” to spend. You loose $5 here by thinking negatively about yourself, another $10 there jelous of that person or $20 dwilling on why this happend to me and feeling sorry for yourself… ect. so before you go to sleep when you meditate, you will need to “call back” the energy you’ve lost today and learn where you’ve lost your energies and try not to repeat it tomorrow. Without calling back your energy, you’ll go into debt! your body will be lacking the energy it requires to functions, then will start to effect your mind, spirits and health. So many people thinks just by holding a piece of crystals will heal you, but without having enough energy “saved” in you, you can’t unlock the “magic” of that crystal and it will remain just a piece of rock!

Ok, I am not going to babble on and try to sound like boring nun haha, here are some of the meditation CDs and audio books that has helped me to start my search on my spiritual path and all with very straight forward, easy to understand, no nonsense “out-there” new age bull! Also some beautiful incenses that only it smells good, but also offers employment for widows, abandoned mothers, and physically handicapped or unmarried women who otherwise would have no means of earning an income. A large perentage of profits from sales of the incense contributes to the health care, education, and vocational training for local villagers through Shanthimalai Village Trust in India, founded in 1985. check it out

  Caroline Myss
To learn more about the author, click here to read about Caroline’s Bio

 (Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
After two New York Times bestsellers, several highly-rated appearances on The Oprah Show, and packed audiences at live events across the country, Caroline Myss has emerged as a leading voice in the healing arts revolution.

On Sacred Contracts, Dr. Myss helps listeners take the next step in their personal evolutions, through the use of archetypes as tools for self-transformation. First identified by the legendary psychiatrist and author C.G. Jung, archetypes are symbols for unconscious energies and potentials held in common by all of humanity. Dr. Myss identifies a tool box of 12 major archetypal patterns, and explains their roles in the alchemy of spirituality. Listeners join this respected medical intuitive as she explores how we can identify our personal archetypes, uncover their higher purpose, and then work with them for self-understanding and spiritual development. Shared with her hallmark humor, honesty, and intelligence, Sacred Contracts is a welcome resource for fans of Dr. Myss everywhere. Original adaptation of the book by the author.

Contents: 5 CDs ( 6 hours ) 1 Study guide ( 32 pages )

 (Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
This is a personal recommendation! These 2 CDs Meditation course has changed my life! According to Dr. Caroline Myss, most people want the rewards of consciousness without doing the work of consciousness, but without rigor and discipline the full blessings of a spiritual life will never come.On Spiritual Power, Spiritual Practice, listeners join this respected medical intuitive and bestselling author to explore the prayers, reflections, and other teachings she developed in her own spiritual practice.

Through these daily disciplines including two 40 minute meditations, one for morning and one for evening anyone can learn to tap the wellsprings of love, faith, and trust that energize our spiritual potential. Enhanced features include video footage from Caroline Myss’ Energetics of Healing, music from Glen Velez’ Rhythms of the Chakras, and an interview with the author. Note: These CD-ROM format enhanced CDs containing audio, music, and video clips are meant to be played on your computer, using an internet connection, speakers, and Real Player programs, which are free for download.

Contents: 2 CD’ss ( 2 hours, 30 minutes ) 1 Study guide ( 27 pages )

(Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
Where did this notion that we have the power to shape our own destiny come from? How can we separate wishful daydreams from the authentic work of creation? With her intuitive grasp of spiritual truths and her no-nonsense presentation, Caroline Myss cuts through the myths surrounding manifestation on Your Power to Create. Taking a direct path to the heart of human creative power and how each of us can learn to harness it Caroline Myss opens the doors of understanding to:

What stops us from creating? How to overcome the fear that holds you back.

From Revolution to Revelation, and all the stages between the cycle of creation that governs cultures, epochs, and our individual lives How the will of the divine makes itself known to us in every moment if we know how to listen.

Applying your creative power to your health, your financial well-being, and your relationships.

Five steps to true manifestation: practical tools for unlocking your creative power, and much more!

Caroline Myss teaches that the ability to shape reality is a divine gift but it is a gift that must be trained, strengthened, and practiced as a living discipline every day. Now, this gifted teacher brings her trademark passion, candor, and extraordinary insight to help you unlock Your Power to Create.

Contents: 2 CDs ( 2 hours, 30 minutes )


To learn more about the author, click here to read about Pema Chodron’s Bio

(Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
For thirteen hundred years, Tibetans have been practicing shamatha/vipashyana (peaceful dwelling/insight): a profound form of meditation that illuminates and purifies the obstacles to spiritual realization. Tibetan Buddhists today regard shamatha/vipashyana as both the fundamental and the most advanced spiritual practice of all.

On Pure Meditation, Pema Chodron takes you step-by-step through this timeless and elegant meditative form. You will learn the posture that helps you relax your mind, how to use your own breath as a reminder to return to the present moment, and what to do with the many thoughts and emotions that arise during your meditation sessions.

A straightforward, authoritative resource for students at all levels, Pure Meditation is a definitive guide to the authentic Tibetan Buddhist meditation that has brought its practitioners relaxation, peace of mind, and deeper awareness for hundreds of years.

Contents: 2 CDs ( 2 hours )

(Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
Superb quality for Nag Champa Lovers!

Shanthimalai Incense is handmade by village women at the foot of the sacred mountain Arunachala in Tamil Nadu, India. Made with fine natural ingredients and exquisitely perfumed, the incense sets new standards for quality and purity. A large perentage of profits from sales of the incense contributes to the health care, education, and vocational training for local villagers through Shanthimalai Trust, founded in 1985.

Production of incense offers employment for widows, abandoned mothers, and physically handicapped or unmarried women who otherwise would have no means of earning an income. The scent of this incense compares very favorably to Nag Champa original, except that it has a richer and deeper note. This product is also known as “Red Nag Champa”.

We strongly recommend this fabulous incense! you can now enjoy the aroma of this mystical incense and help all those womens at Shanthimalai! Smells great with good Karma!

(Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
If you like Nag Champa Incense, you’ll love these other great scents from Shrinivas Sugandhalaya. Super Hit is a little sweeter than the original Nag Champa! by the makers of Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Incense.

(Available at Luxe-Gifts.Com)
Treat yourself with these beautiful boxed set of 6 mini votives icons of faith, healing and soul candels!

Featuring: Jesus, The Virgin Mary, Ganesh & Buddha

Great for when you are praying, meditating, memorial ceremony or a perfect gift for your friends & family who is on their spiritual journey to the higher self! Give a gift that will enlighten & heal your soul & spirits with this fabulous candel set!

Each mini candle is 2″ Height

Come back to check out what other fabulous finds we found for ya!

Xoxo Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug