“We become just by performing just actions,
temperate by performing temperate actions,
brave by performing brave actions.“
“Tush, tush. Their walking spirits are mere imaginary fables.”
“When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets,
Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets,…
And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek
She tumbles through the daffodils, a playing hide and seek.”
– Marjorie Barrows
“The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.”
– Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
The National Cherry Blossom Festival started on March 20 in Washington. Every year millions of pink and white petals mark the start of spring in the nation’s capital. If you can’t make a trip to D.C. to see these delicate flowers bloom, enjoy their beauty through these photos…..
The fluttering pink and white blossoms are expected to hit their peak between April 11 and April 14…
The cherry blossoms look great during the day, but there are also photographic opportunities at night.
Crowds are an integral part of Washington DC’s cherry blossom season. But there are ways you can avoid them and still see flowers.
The sun can be a very dramatic addition to your photos of Washington DC’s cherry blossoms.
Ideas for playing to the strengths of the camera you have with you all the time.
So what exactly is “peak bloom” anyway? When does it happen? And does it matter?
Some local recommendations on where to stay if you’re visiting from out of town to see the cherry blossoms.
The short answer is that there’s no easy answer. On average, the peak bloom occurs sometime around the last week or so of March through the first week or so of April. But precisely when during that period varies year to year. So here’s the longer version.
The latest information and forecasts on when Washington DC’s cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin will reach peak bloom in Spring 2015.
There’s noticeable progress in the cherry blossom buds, but the trees still have a way to go before flowering.
We’re finally getting a brief taste of spring. But the cherry blossoms have some catching up to do.
As you read this, wiggle your toes. Feel the way they push against your shoes, and the weight of your feet on the floor. Really think about what your feet feel like right now – their heaviness.
If you’ve never heard of mindfulness meditation, congratulations, you’ve just done a few moments of it. More people than ever are doing some form of this stress-busting meditation, and researchers are discovering it has some quite extraordinary effects on the brains of those who do it regularly.
Originally an ancient Buddhist meditation technique, in recent years mindfulness has evolved into a range of secular therapies and courses, most of them focused on being aware of the present moment and simply noticing feelings and thoughts as they come and go.
Yet until recently little was known about how a few hours of quiet reflection each week could lead to such an intriguing range of mental and physical effects. Now, as the popularity of mindfulness grows, brain imaging techniques are revealing that this ancient practice can profoundly change the way different regions of the brain communicate with each other – and therefore how we think – permanently.
Feel the pain
Things get even more interesting when researchers study mindfulness experts experiencing pain. Advanced meditators report feeling significantly less pain than non-meditators. Yet scans of their brains show slightly more activity in areas associated with pain than the non-meditators.
“It doesn’t fit any of the classic models of pain relief, including drugs, where we see less activity in these areas,” says Joshua Grant
The expert mindfulness meditators also showed “massive” reductions in activity in regions involved in appraising stimuli, emotion and memory, says Grant.
It’s worth noting that although this study tested expert meditators, they were not in a meditative state – the pain-lessening effect is not something you have to work yourself up into a trance to achieve; instead, it seems to be a permanent change in their perception.
“We asked them specifically not to meditate,” says Grant. “There is just a huge difference in their brains. There is no question expert meditators’ baseline states are different.”
“I’m really excited about the effects of mindfulness,” says Taren. “It’s been great to see it move away from being a spiritual thing towards proper science and clinical evidence, as stress is a huge problem and has a huge impact on many people’s health. Being able to take time out and focus our mind is increasingly important.”
BLESSITUDE ~ "So blessed and full of gratitude"
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