HAPPY FATHER’S DAY everyone! :)

This blog post is dedicated to both of our DAD’S, Larry Parker and Stew Suchman. We are celebrating you both today from the coastal redwoods. Only second best to celebrating with you in person.

(left) Tyler and my Dad in Newport Beach (right) Tyler and his Dad in Baja, Mexico.
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May you both enjoy doing what you most love to do today…Tyler and I are both so very grateful for your love, joy and shared enthusiasm for the paths we have taken in our lives. It’s a joy sharing our adventure with you both and, of course, with all of our dear loved ones!

A special thank you to you, DaD, for inspiring the artistry of capturing the light and spirit of all that I see, whether a flower, a reflection on the water, or a sunlit kiss on a glass mirrored window in a sunset moment. Thank You for sharing your most treasured gift. You have been an inspiration for us all! Thank You, Stew, my official father-in-law for your warm generosity, kind spirit and sharing of time and space with us both.

TODAY is a beautiful day here in Cazadero. The sun is shining. A light spirit on the winds gently brushes the tips of the redwood trees.

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“So why Reno?”…friends would ask us as we shared the itenarary of our travels…

I would answer… “Well, some of our most favorite people in the world live there.”

Famously known as being the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno rests in a valley below Lake Tahoe. Reno, a city of bright lights, casinos, dance clubs, hip little restaurants and cafés offers something fun for all walks of life. Reno has grown to be a down to earth and loveable city to many young professionals, families and cultural creatives over the years. The Truckee River flows through the center of town inviting fun for everyone, inspiring a restful place to simply be, hang out with family and friends or enjoy a tube down the river.

Reno’s progressive nature has created quite a stir and has inspired a resurgence with a creative flair. The buzz around town is that Reno is taking on a new reputation of being “The biggest little start up city in the world.” At least the poster in the bathroom at the hip coffee house, Hub Coffee Roasters, says so. ;)

While Reno is a creative little city with a buzz that’s not what essentially put Reno on the map for us. “It’s those very special people in our lives that drew us close and near.”

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Two months in Ojai culminated in an eight minute thunderstorm the day before our departure. We had seen friends, nested, walked to downtown, enjoyed the land on which we had landed.

Six thirty this morning we roll out of Ojai, the 150 to the 126 to the 5 to the 14 to the 395. Through Palmdale and Lancaster, Mojave and Manzanar. Past Lone Pine and Bishop, Lakes Mammoth and June. Aho Mono, Antelope Valley, Topaz Lake spanning the California-Nevada border.

We arrive in Reno at four thirty, settle in to midtown. A friend of our host sets us up with bikes, us three roll to Food Truck Friday. We meet Claire, with Bailey and Brooklyn. Kids dance in the cottonwood puffs blowing like bubbles across the lawn.

all images from le iPhone

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Can You Cure Motion Sickness?

by Tyler on February 26, 2014 · 2 comments

motion sick on the ocean

When I was twelve years old, I was invited to join a friend and his dad on a 1/2 day fishing trip. It was New Year’s Eve Day, my parents were having a party that evening.

The boat held maybe two dozen manly fishermen-type. I remember throwing up. I remember being taken down in the galley and given a 7-Up and a Snickers. I remember throwing that up down there, and coming up above board and throwing up again. Seven is the number I remember as the tally of discrete throwing up incidents that afternoon. I seem to recall someone saying something like: Hey, little buddy. You’ll be OK. But no-one ever said: Look at the horizon and breathe.

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What an AMAZING whirlwind SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE among the VALLEY OF THE MOON (Ojai)! This past weekend, in the wee hours of the NEW MOON, I arrive and step foot back upon the mainland soil to grieve and celebrate one of the most INFLUENTIAL and INSPIRING beings of my lifetime. GRATITUDE and LOVE is what I feel today as I open to a new day on this cool, tropical morning on Maui, Hawaii. Simply soaking in the LOVE and feeling a profound sense of deep appreciation with a FULL HEART, I rest in this beautiful and creative space.

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Who knew that answering a “GODDESSES WANTED” flyer about 9 years ago would enrich and awaken the course of my life in the countless and unlimited ways that it has. Well of course it did, right? How grateful I am for my beautiful goddess sisters who inspired this most auspicious invitation to fall so graciously into my lap. The day I met BROOKS, I knew my life would be forever changed. And that it has.

BROOKS was not only a mentor and spiritual teacher to me, he was an ally, a partner and a friend. Soon after meeting Brooks, I was invited to care for him and his wife Alison’s new home on the East End of Ojai. Their home was a 5 acre property with an abundance of avocado trees. It was an absolute sanctuary. BROOKS referred to this land as the “multidimensional playground.” And oh Goddess, was it ever!

I, among a circle of dear sisters, accepted the responsibility of taking care of Brooks and Alison’s amazing Labradors, Booda and Coco in exchange for participating in Brooks’ three year school, called ART OF GOD. Brooks and Alison both traveled and taught spiritual classes all around the world, while we enjoyed loving up their most beloved doggies and taking care of their sanctuary and home. We were soon granted the title, The “Doggie Goddesses.” That, we loved!

Being on the land for as long as I was, I soon became “one of the family.” As did Tyler. After a few years of coming up to the land and staying a few nights a week, Tyler and I were invited to rent and live in the newly renovated guest house on the property where Brooks and Alison lived. We had the divine privilege of living in community with them when their beautiful son Rohan was midwifed and birthed upon the land. I have precious memories of holding Rohan in my arms as we walked among the trees, while singing him to sleep. I always looked forward to that day when Rohan would come knocking on our door…and that he did! Just soon before we moved to embark on our travels around the world.

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To reunite with my beautiful family of Ojai and the greater ART OF GOD community again was ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL. To celebrate at one of the most pristine locations of Ojai, Meditation Mount, was BEYOND DIVINE. To open our hearts together, to shed our many tears, to laugh and howl as BROOKS graduated into his new life was INCREDIBLY SPECIAL and made it all so ABSOLUTELY REAL.

BROOKS has crossed over, his ashes have now danced among the winds, yet his spirit and presence will eternally be with us all…GRATITUDE

PHOTO OF BROOKS AND HIS DAUGHTER RIVEN
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My greatest LOVE goes out to his dear wife, Alison, who I consider one of my closest of sisters, Brooks’ beautiful and beloved daughter Riven and her son Druien and Alison and Brooks’ son Rohan who I absolutely adore.

So WONDERFUL to see and be with all of you that joined together for the Memorial and Celebration of BROOKS, both physically and “in spirit”…Tears are still flowing…heart is opening to greater and greater depths with each and every breath…

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It has been BEYOND UNIQUE, BROOKS…

YOU have NOW ABSOLUTELY GRADUATED BEYOND CONSIDERATION with flying colors!!!! A++++++++++++

aaaaaaaAAAAAAUUUUUUUU!

WE all love you so very much BROOKS and always will! THANK you dear friend and teacher of MOTHER EARTH, THE UNIVERSE and BEYOND! May you spread your wings and FLY HOME FREE.

LOVE,
ALISUN TREES

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Dear friends –

We are excited to hear you will be visiting Chiang Mai. Here are some thoughts as you plan your trip. With about a month under our belts, we aren’t experts by any means, so keep researching, and I’ll give you the best overview I can.

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We dust off the sleep from our eyes, throw on our warm clothes and step out into the streets of Chiang Mai. The crescent shaped moon is very much alive and bright this early hour, illuminating the contrasting night sky. The time is 5:20 am in the morning. The day is Saturday, December 28th.

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Tuk tuks, songthaew’s (red trucks with benches), mopeds, buses and cars begin to fill the streets. Many make the pilgrimage by foot, while some arrive barefoot for this most auspicious occasion.

Today, is the celebration of the 10,000 monks procession. Buddhists monks from all around the city and throughout Thailand have made the pilgrimage to gather here on Changklan Rd in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, on this chilly winter morning. The monks have graciously come here today to receive gifts of alms from the people.

Alms are money or goods given to those in need as an act of charity. Monks receiving alms is as an act of merit making. The act of giving alms has been practiced by Buddhists for thousands of years. It is considered an act for doing good things and the belief that this will bring about peace and happiness.

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The procession begins with a series of prayers, chants and a group meditation. The crowd sits in two long extending rows that billows out into the city streets for quite some length. Young service men in uniforms keep the peace by holding space for all to flow harmoniously. Each holds in their hand a tightly rolled cylinder of plastic bags for collecting the alms from the monks when their alms bowls become full. The alms are gathered and will be distributed following the ceremony.

Gifts of food, money and bouquets of flowers spill out from the hands of the crowd. It is a joyous occasion. Barefoot, robed in orange and carrying a golden shiny bowl in hand, the monks move forward graciously in procession towards the crowd, one by one.

Novices and the ordained, the youth and elders appear in radiant form. Their skin speaks of health, well-being and a simple yet disciplined life. Their expressions and movements offer a glimpse into their unique nature. While similar in appearance, each monk truly carries an energy and vibration uniquely his own.

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There is something rather beautiful about being among and looking into the eyes of these wondrous monks. To share a moment in time, a smile and a loving gesture is a wonderful way to promote peace and harmony on our beloved planet.

LOVE,
ALISUN TREES

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Taking a cooking class in another country, exploring the cuisine of a foreign land, is a treat. Having a private lesson in an open-air kitchen, cooking the finest of Lao cuisine, is an experience.

Luang Prabang is a small city in Laos, whose borders were established by France in 1893. Sandwiched between the expansionist governments of Thailand and Vietnam, Laos cuisine is heavily influenced by those cultures, its geographic position along the Mekong River and its French heritage.

There are no shortage of cooking classes in the many restaurants that tend to offer both Lao and French menus. I took a three hour class at Burasari Heritage, which boasts an open-air kitchen along the Nam Khan River, a bustling, professional staff and a dedication to local, high-quality ingredients.

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Here is a magical tale of how a potent seed planted many moons ago, flourished into a beautiful day filled with love, sacred vows and a spiritual union, ushering two world traveling souls to show up in Thailand for their wedding day. *A friendly tip: You may want to take a moment to brew a tea, or beverage of your choice and settle in for the telling of this story. For an even greater visual experience, you may choose to go directly to our home page at owlandbear.org, where each photo will expand to a larger view, simply by clicking on each one. ENJOY!

“And a spirited away we go…”

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“That is splendidly wonderful news! How interesting that your marriage should be waiting for you in Thailand all this time,” says our dear friend Pausha in response to our surprise wedding announcement. Yes, interesting indeed. You see, ours was a wedding ceremony naturally and spontaneously unfolding right before our very eyes. A magical and serendipitous chain of events were set in motion by a potent seed planted several moons ago. While our plan to marry in Thailand was of no great surprise to us, the ceremony itself was literally designed overnight. At “Godspeed,” I might add.

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One relaxing evening in Chiang Mai, my fingers dance among the letters and keys of my beloved ipad. Chiang mai is known for it being a hub for the healing arts. So, with this in mind, I embark on a virtual adventure. Tap, tap, click, click, I am in. My fingers dance right into the cyber den and home of the well known popular destination, Wild Rose Yoga Studio. Intrigued by the colorful and well designed website, my eyes scan the page. Intuitively, I scroll over the information. I move my index finger to the right and then to the left, up and down and stopping at a sparkling gem appearing to the right of the screen. It reads, Nick Harris, reiki master teacher. I click on the link. A friendly face appears. Drawn by the energy I feel from his profile page, I feel inspired to reach out.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

by Ali Sun Trees on December 28, 2013 · 2 comments

Chiang Mai is simply, “just one of those places.” Chiang Mai has that certain quality that leaves an everlasting impression on the soul. The city is a popular destination for the 21st century blogger/digital nomad/healer/artist/you name it/ well intentioned wandering soul. It is a hub among hubs. The city naturally ushers in expat communities worldwide to touch and tune in to the very fibers of ones authentic nature. The cafés, restaurants and city streets are a buzz with innovative projects and creative endeavors, lifting spirits worldwide.

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