Hanshi’s Download: How Albert Mady Saved my Life… Twice!

Albert Mady Teaching

Grand Master Albert Mady
Grand Master Albert Mady

For anyone not familiar with Karate lingo, “Hanshi” is a Japanese word that means “respected one” or “grand master”. The training that I received from Hanshi Albert Mady has improved my life in countless ways. At Mady’s Chicara Dojo in Windsor, Ontario, Albert Mady taught me to control my body and my mind. I learned, through Albert, that martial arts is not about violence or showing off, but rather, about living with integrity, respect, honor, and balance.

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Gudrun Leduc

Gudrun >Leduc

This is my good friend, Gudrun Leduc. Gudrun was born in Germany and after some extensive traveling, she settled in Montreal, Canada.

Around ten years ago, Gudrun called one of my companies, and I invited her and her husband to visit me in Panama. We have been friends ever since, and I have come to know what a remarkable person she is. Gudrun is an inspiration to many people. Some know her as the dedicated Tai Chi and Chi Gong master. Others have studied yoga and pilates with her. Still others have received expert shiatsu massage treatments from her. And many a student and friend of Gudrun has had the pleasure of sampling Gudrun’s exquisite meals.

It was in China that Gudrun received her training in Tai Chi and Chi Gong. She studied Yang style and Sun style tai chi, as well as tai chi weapons, including the use of single-edged and double-edged broadswords. She studied these arts at the University of Physical Education in Beijing under Master Wu and Grand Master Yung Ming Zhong. She then took her knowledge back to Canada, and opened the 5 Elements School, to share these arts with her own students, many of whom continued practicing with her for twenty years, until Gudrun’s move to Panama.

Gudrun now operates a healing retreat center in Cerro Punta, Panama. She is planning to offer Tai Chi, Chi Gong and Yoga Retreats at The Lotus Garden, in Limon, Panama.

Gudrun is married to Greg Leduc, a talented musician and the two have two lovely daughters and a beautiful grandson. Below, Gudrun is pictured with her daughter, Katherine, who has taken over the management of the 5 Elements School in Montreal.

Yoguinis Gudrun y Katherine - Yoga Libre Gudrun and Katherine Leduc

Thank you, and Good-bye to Doctor David John Carmos

Doctor David Carmos

Today we say good-bye to a remarkable man, a talented healer and a wise teacher. Doctor David John Carmos had devoted a great part of his life to studying and teaching the healing ways of Jesus and the Essenes, an ancient mystical Jewish sect that is most famous for having written The Dead Sea Scrolls.

According to historians, the Essenes may have lived about three times longer than their contemporaries, owing to their clean, vegetarian, disciplined and loving lifestyle. The Essenes were known to adopt abandoned children and care for them greatly. Doctor David became a Bishop of the Essene order.

While returning from a mission in Brazil, he was wrongly imprisoned in Mexico. While serving his ten-year sentence, David performed more than 18,000 treatments… word had traveled throughout Mexico and people in need of healing would line up outside the penitentiary. In his spare time, David penned 12 of his 15 books.

I recently had the good fortune to meet one of David’s students and closest friends, Dr. Shawn C. Miller, who is himself remarkable, disciplined and wise. I am especially thankful to Dr. Miller for gifting me with the book The Essene Master: Gospel of Healing, which was the first book published following David’s release from prison. The book, masterfully written in meter and rhyme, is divided in nine parts.

The following is an excerpt from part one of The Essene Master:

The Spirit of God is seen in the Path of every way,
in the falling of the rain, in the sprouting of a seed,
in the snowflake, in the wave,
and in the breaking of the day.

The Spirit in its various forms
is felt in the light of the full moon,
in the glow of the evening stars,
in the fog of the clouds,
in the cool warm of the sunset,
and in the dampness that makes the dew wet,
in the color of a flower,
in the wave crest’s awesome power,

in the ability of wild oats themselves to sew,
in the magic of a mustard seed, within itself to grow,
within a flock of sheep,
the knowledge of a ewe its young to know,

in the softness of a springtime breeze,
in the society of a hive of bees,
in the intricacy of a spider’s web,
in the recession of a tide at the new moons ebb,
in the river rapids constant flow,
in the presence that makes a toothless baby’s smile glow,
in the thunder and lightning of the first storm of spring,
and in the voice of the nightingale when it sings.

I am grateful to David for his wise words and the beautiful example that was his life on Earth. I will leave you with the following excerpt from part four of The Essene Master, as it is especially appropriate in saying goodbye to a beloved friend:

Life is our opportunity to experience and
to grow according to a certain plan
and when we have exhausted this earthly shell,
then we complete another life’s span.

Then enters death, which in reality
is no enemy of man,
but another opportunity
to in other ways grow and expand.

Death is but the knife which cuts the cord
that anchors the human ship to Earth,
that it might sail the oceans of the spirit world,
until it finds a new port, to experience another birth.

When a soul and body go their separate ways,
which is a time of growth and rest,
then the spirit enters on another phase;
somewhat like leaving an old cow loose in a field,
to stand in the warmth of the sun and graze.

The calls of death are always for the best,
for we are solving further dilemmas there,
as well as continuing on our spiritual quest.

Veronica Saunders

Veronica Saunders Raw Lasagna

Veronica Saunders is the author of rawandsexy.com. She is a passionate advocate for the raw food movement as she believes in the healing power of clean, organic food.

Veronica switched to a raw vegan diet nearly a decade ago. She specialises in gourmet cuisine, and is able to create a raw vegan version of nearly any ethnic speciality from any culture on Earth. Some of Veronica’s favorites include arabic, italian, greek, german and asian food. Here are just a few of her gorgeous creations:

I recently met up with Veronica in Los Angeles during the Raw Living Expo.

Veronica Saunders and Michael Ducharme in Los Angeles Airport
Veronica Saunders and Michael Ducharme in Los Angeles

veronica-saunders

Veronica is a former model, having graced the covers of several national magazines. She currently provides raw food catering services as well as food and fashion photography.

Veronica occasionally shares her recipes via youtube. Take a look at the following page, where she shares her recipe for raw banana crepes stuffed with strawberries and blueberries and sweet sauce.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Mandela on perseverance:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“Difficulties break some men but make others.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

 

Mandela on faith and optimism:

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

 

Mandela on freedom:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

 

Mandela on love and hate: 

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

 

Mandela on self-examination:

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”

It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.

 

Mandela on peace and forgiveness:

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

 

Mandela on conquering fear:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

 

Mandela on friends:

 “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

 

Mandela on leadership:

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Mandela on changing the world:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

When the history of our times is written, will we be remembered as the generation that turned our backs in a moment of global crisis or will it be recorded that we did the right thing?

 

Mandela on death:

“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”

 

 

Stephen Ducharme

Ducharme Brothers
Stephen Ducharme
Stephen Ducharme

This is my much older and much wiser brother. He is also my best friend and perhaps the only person alive that truly has my back, 100%. He’s the most loyal man on Earth, and the fairest man the business world has ever seen. He wouldn’t cheat you out of a nickel if his life depended on it. Not only have I improved myself in countless ways trying to be a little more like him, but he is definitely the main inspiration behind my (borderline obsessive) quest for wellness, and hence the number one reason for creating this Web site.

As a young boy, I always wanted to rid the world of migraines so that my big bro would never again have to suffer the worst pain known to man. The migraine was my nemesis, and I’ve spent a good number of years searching for and eventually developing a solution for this awful condition.

More recently, it was my brother that inspired me to drink more water… a LOT more water, which is useful for ridding the body of the toxins that we are bombarded with every day. And again it is he that inspires me to conduct exhaustive research on every health topic, then crystallize the knowledge down to a short, concise text. As I learned from my bro, sometimes those that write too much are hiding the fact that they can’t separate the essential facts from the fluff. Those that truly know are usually willing to give it to you straight, with no BS, such that the advice can withstand the scrutiny of a scientist with no departure from common sense.

Stephen is the President of American Health Inc., which specializes in helping the world to detoxify using saunas and steambaths.

Russell Brand

My uncle Luke just sent me a clip of a man I had never before heard of. For a second, I thought it was a British comedian and that I might require subtitles to understand his humour. As he rambled several poignant thoughts consecutively, I realized that this was no comedy bit, and–I must confess–I briefly suspected that he had been reading some of my own writings. But his voice echoed even the words from my new book, which is not yet published. So instantly I realized that this is no copycat. Quite simply he speaks aloud the very same thoughts and feelings that are inside all of us. It just so happens that he speaks these words with a very cool English accent. (Brilliant!!)

I fully expect that you will agree with Russell on every single point. If any part of Russell’s message seems strange, it is only because the media and society have together caused your inner voice to compete with zillions of superfluous messages.

 

Russell speaks of yoga and transcendental meditation as his two main tools for feeling a brief connection with God and with the universe. And he is exactly right: these are extremely powerful tools. But let me add that these tools are much simpler to use than most people believe.

In the case of yoga, there are millions of students being told erroneously that the word “yoga” means “to join”, a verb, implying that you must do something to connect yourself to the Universe. And one fallacy becomes two, because the students are then led to believe that the “connection” that they “achieved” during the yoga class is but a temporary one, requiring many visits to the yoga school, effectively selling yoga as an addictive drug.

So let me clarify that yoga means oneness or unity and it is your very essence. There is absolutely no action required to connect yourself to the divine Universe. Your only task is to become fully aware of your connectedness.

That brings us to transcendental meditation. Again, this is commonly “sold” by some “masters” that would prefer to have many students coming back to them for more and more. But in reality, nothing could be simpler than meditation, because to meditate simply means to observe, as intently and profoundly as possible. Intently is the opposite of accidentally, and profoundly is the opposite of superficially, so the only kind of observation that doesn’t qualify as meditation is the kind of observation that we typically do throughout most of the day using the five notorious senses. (I’ve written an article on these already, so I’ll dig it up and post it here shortly.)

Russell calls these same famous senses “the limited senses” and again, he is right. The eyes see but a tiny fraction of the total light energy that surrounds us, while the vast majority usually goes unnoticed.  Ditto for the other four commonly-exploited senses that keep us chasing our proverbial tail… if we continue to focus on just that which is being sold, we will continue to miss the majority of reality, and we will perpetually feel empty, desiring more stimulation.

Profound observation elegantly solves this problem! By diverting one’s attention away from the noise of the media and society (as simple as turning off all electronics) one is left with only  the sound of one’s inner voice plus the zillions of messages previously recorded in our minds by the media and society.  And even though this may initially seem overwhelming, I assure you that before long you will have no trouble distinguishing your innermost thoughts from the outermost, and thus the massive housekeeping chore gets lighter and lighter, and this lightening is where the transcendence comes in. All meditation, when done correctly, is transcendental. Your consciousness will expand irreversibly. You do not need a more complicated strategy to achieve transcendence. Simply stick with the profound observation for as long as possible and do it frequently.

By living a life of meditation or prayer,  you will effectively distill the mental mayhem down to just the core truths, the same ones that Russell and I speak of… about love being the most important part of life, about kindness being the surest way to feel good, about focusing on abundance and cooperation instead of scarcity and competition… I’ve “known” Russell for a total of ten minutes, but I am absolutely sure that neither of us will ever claim a patent on these ideas, because they are the very same thoughts and feelings that persist in the heart and soul of every single human being.

 

 

Raisa Mar

Raisa Mar Iridescent Water

This brilliant Panamanian artist never ceases to amaze with her photographic and culinary creations. Raisa is self-taught, and has expressed her artistic inclination from a young age. She is passionate about many things, but in particular, her love of water has led her to create stunning images that will inspire in may others a love affair with this most vital and precious resource. Raisa is the chef and designer of the Terrae Organic Restaurant in Panama City. By design, the restaurant is as sustainable as possible: water used to wash vegetables, and even the water left behind by customers, is given to plants rather than wasted.

Water, by Raisa Mar
Water, by Raisa Mar

 

Sr. Jane Ducharme

Mother Teresa
Sister Jane Ducharme
Sister Jane Ducharme

 

Like a second mother, my Aunt Jane was always present as a role model, teacher and friend. She lives by the example of Jesus, as a servant to the poor, and lovingly passes on the wisdom of Mother Teresa and of her own mother, Theresa, my grandmother.

Jane is a devoted Catholic Nun, a committed sister to her siblings, and a loving aunt, and a compassionate teacher to thousands of students, whom she loves as her own children. She does everything with love. She promotes good health, using good food and laughter as medicine.

Aunt Jane inspired me to pursue wellness and healing at a very early age. She taught me that physical ailments can be cured with natural, non-toxic methods such as strategic body manipulation. This inspired me to search for more ways to eliminate suffering. Jane is also the inventor of what is now called “the Emotional Freedom Technique” or “tapping”. But her system is better than tapping. Jane lovingly “plays the piano” on the back of a person that is stressed, and the stress melts away instantly.