“Prayer for Protection” from Unity:

The light of the cosmos surrounds us.
The love of the cosmos enfolds us.
The power of the cosmos protects us.
The presence of the cosmos watches over us.
Wherever we are the cosmos is.

Metta Sutta:

May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether moving or standing still, without exception,
Whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen,
Whether living near or far,
Born or unborn;
May all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.

Jonathan Lehmann Morning Meditation Affirmations:

  1. I make plans, but I remain flexible and open to the surprises that life has in store for me. I try to say “yes” as often as possible.
  2. I cultivate patience, and by doing so I also cultivate self-confidence.
  3. I welcome the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, and I do not let myself be guided by fear.
  4. I love myself unconditionally, because it’s essential to my happiness. I love the person that I am, and I do not need other people’s approval to love myself fully.
  5. I’m going to drink water, eat fruit and vegetables, walk, take the stairs, exercise. Today I’m giving love to my body.
  6. I give everywhere I go, even if only a smile, a compliment, or my full attention. Listening is the best gift I can give to those around me.
  7. I try to be impeccable with my word, and to speak only to spread positivity It’s counterproductive to my happiness to speak against myself or against others.
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Via. Original.

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Songs: “My Goals” & “How Could You” (separate songs combined into one track), from the Striking EP.

GIF Francis_and_the_Lights_The_Top 20 secs

GIF created from this video.

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LISTEN: The Living Room, story from Radiolab NPR

LOOK: Out My Window, photo series by Gail Albert-Halaban

Gail Albert-Halaban,explores the tension between public and private life, what is seen by all, and what is hidden. The series Out My Window is a collection of images taken through and into windows in New York City, she acknowledges unspoken voyeurism and exhibitionism, tells us to admit we all do it, and then pushes us to confront the hope, isolation and other emotions that lie behind the gaze.

The pictures seem intrusive, but are nearly all posed. The residents are collaborators and their apartments are lit specifically to make these pictures, which explore a defining urban experience: becoming secretly familiar with the neighbors’ most intimate moments.

Source. Read more here. 

Photos from here, here, and here.

READ: “Look at Me, I’m Crying” by Melissa Febos , New York Times

“If you live in New York, you’re bound to end up crying in public eventually; there just aren’t enough private places. Just the other day I saw someone doing it on West 12th Street. A tall woman in a beret, with a curtain of reddish hair, she had tears streaming down her cheeks. She wasn’t on the phone, wasn’t accompanied by a man, or a mom or even a dog. She wasn’t beautiful, the way a lot of people in New York are, but I couldn’t look away.”

Continue reading here. 

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This was one of my favourite concerts ever!

Setlist below.

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Lullatone Studio

is a band by Shawn & Yoshimi (as in, battles the pink robots!). The music is so cute, and so is the couple that makes it. They started dating in college, and after graduation they moved to Japan, Yoshimi’s home. They make concept albums that revolve around a certain theme. In their own words, “…we try many ideas based around that theme and use the best ten or so. Our concepts up to this point have included: instruments tapped and plucked to sound like musical raindrops falling; making up a melody in your head, forgetting it, and then trying to rebuild it (scattered but still super melodic;) sine tone symphonies, and, of course, pajama pop.” (The quote is from this interview.) So for fun, I created a song list for an album about kisses. The list is below.  Listen to and buy their music here! 

Lullatone: KISSES

Sticky kindergartner kisses in the sand box
Kisses at picnics in sunny parks
Kisses on Ferris wheels, while your heart beats so fast
Nervous first date kisses on the front porch
Kisses stolen in the kitchen while guests and family aren’t looking
I-missed-you-so-much kisses
Kisses in mornings with stale breath and stubbly beards
Kisses in the quiet of freshly fallen snow

P.S. they created some crazy fun games for making music and animations here. You can play on your computer or download a phone app!


From Shawn: here is “a quick peck on the cheek on the beach (when the kids are around).


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“Although NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called “Pillars of Creation.” The jaw-dropping photo, taken in 1995, revealed never-before-seen details of three giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young, massive stars in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, or M16.

Though such butte-like features are common in star-forming regions, the M16 structures are by far the most photogenic and evocative. The Hubble image is so popular that it has appeared in movies and television shows, on T-shirts and pillows, and even on a postage stamp.

And now, in celebration of its upcoming 25th anniversary in April, Hubble has revisited the famous pillars [pictured above], providing astronomers with a sharper and wider view. As a bonus, the pillars have been photographed in near-infrared light, as well as visible light. The infrared view transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes seen against a background of myriad stars. That’s because the infrared light penetrates much of the gas and dust, except for the densest regions of the pillars. Newborn stars can be seen hidden away inside the pillars. The new images are being unveiled at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.”

From NASA, read more here.


“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently.”

“How so?”

“Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day.”

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This Sunday, my friend Emmie and I spent a morning in Oak Park. We went to an event called the Church of Beethoven. There’s no religion or praying in this “church”; it’s a gathering to listen to live music, hear poetry, and have a moment of silence. A lovely start to a Sunday! The performance was by Bow & Hammer. Below is a clip of them performing Suite from Op6 by Benjamin Britton.

Then we headed over to the Frank Lloyd Wright house. Somehow in the 6 years I’ve lived in Chicago, this was my first time seeing the houses he designed. I learned so much!
Below are pictures of the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. The top picture, from the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust website, shows the side of the house with the octagonal drafting room and library, left and right respectively. The bottom picture (by me) is of the front of the house where the entrance is. He purchased the land and built it in 1889, when he was 22 years old. Per the website, “Frank Lloyd Wright used his first home to experiment with design concepts that contain the seeds of his architectural philosophy. In his adjacent studio, Wright and his associates developed a new American architecture – the Prairie style.”
home and studio - back
home and studio - front

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