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.


Gudrun LeducGudrun 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 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 MandelaNelson MandelaNelson MandelaNelson MandelaNelson MandelaNelson MandelaNelson 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.”



Mandela sobre la perseverancia:

“Siempre parece imposible hasta que se hace.”

“La mayor gloria en la vida no consiste en no caer nunca, sino en levantarnos cada vez que caemos.”

“Después de escalar una gran colina, uno sólo encuentra que hay muchas más colinas que subir.”

“Las dificultades rompen algunos hombres, pero hacen los demás.”

“Todo el mundo puede elevarse por encima de sus circunstancias y alcanzar el éxito si están dedicados y apasionados por lo que hacen.”

“No me juzgues por mi éxito, me juzgue por la cantidad de veces que me caí y volvi de nuevo.”

Mandela sobre la fe y el optimismo:

“Yo soy fundamentalmente optimista. Ya sea que viene de la naturaleza o la crianza, no puedo decir. Parte de ser optimista es mantener la cabeza apuntando hacia el sol, los pies hacia adelante. Hubieron muchos momentos oscuros cuando mi fe en la humanidad fue puesta a prueba, pero no podía entregarme a la desesperación. Aquella es la via hacia la derrota y la muerte. “

Mandela sobre la libertad:

“Para ser libre no es suficiente deshacerse de sus cadenas, sino de vivir de una manera que respeta y aumenta la libertad de los demás.”

Mandela sobre el amor y el odio:

“Nadie nace odiando a otra persona por el color de su piel o su origen, o su religión. La gente aprende a odiar, y si ellos pueden aprender a odiar, se les puede enseñar a amar, porque el amor viene más naturalmente al corazón humano que su contrario”.

Mandela sobre el auto-examen:

“No hay nada como volver a un lugar que se mantiene sin cambios para encontrar las formas en que usted mismo ha cambiado.”

“Si yo pudiera recomenzar mi vida, yo haría lo mismo otra vez. Así haria cualquiera que se atreve a llamarse hombre.”

Nunca es mi costumbre de usar las palabras a la ligera. Si veintisiete años en prisión han hecho algo para mi, fue de utilizar el silencio de la soledad para entender que tan preciosas son las palabras y cómo impactan en la manera de vivir y morir.

Mandela sobre la paz y el perdón:

“Si usted quiere hacer las paces con su enemigo, tienes que trabajar con su enemigo. Entonces se convierte en su socio.”

“El resentimiento es como tomar veneno y luego esperar que va a morir el enemigo.”

Mandela sobre conquistar el miedo:

“Aprendí que el coraje no es la ausencia de miedo, sino el triunfo sobre él. El hombre valiente no es aquel que no siente miedo, sino el que conquista ese miedo”.

Mandela sobre sus amigos:

“Me gustan los amigos que tienen mentes independientes, ya que tienden a hacerte ver los problemas desde todos los ángulos.”

Mandela sobre el liderazgo:

“Los verdaderos líderes deben estar dispuestos a sacrificar todo por la libertad de su pueblo.”

“Liderizar desde la parte posterior – y dejar que otros creen que están en el frente.”

“Una buena cabeza y un buen corazón son siempre una combinación formidable.”

Mandela sobre cambiar el mundo:

“La educación es el arma más poderosa que puedes usar para cambiar el mundo.”

“Una preocupación fundamental para los demás en nuestras vidas individuales y comunitarios recorren un largo camino para hacer el mundo un mejor lugar en el que tan apasionadamente he soñado.”

“Lo que cuenta en la vida no es el simple hecho de que hemos vivido. Es la diferencia que hemos hecho en la vida de los demas que determina el significado de la vida que llevamos”.

¿Cuando se escriba la historia de nuestro tiempo, seremos recordados como la generación que dio la espalda en un momento de crisis global o será grabado que hicimos lo correcto?

Mandela sobre la muerte:

“La muerte es algo inevitable. Cuando un hombre ha hecho lo que él considera que es su deber para con su pueblo y su país, se puede descansar en paz. Creo que he hecho ese esfuerzo y, por lo tanto, dormire para la eternidad”.

Stephen DucharmeStephen DucharmeStephen DucharmeStephen DucharmeStephen DucharmeStephen Ducharme我的哥哥

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.

Stephen Ducharme
Stephen Ducharme

Este es mi hermano mayor y más sabio. Él es también mi mejor amigo y tal vez la única persona viva que realmente tiene mi espalda, 100 %. Él es el hombre más leal en la Tierra, y el hombre más justo del mundo de los negocios. No sólo he mejorado mi mismo en innumerables formas tratando de ser un poco más como él, pero es sin duda el principal inspirador de mi búsqueda (media obsesiva) para la salud, y por lo tanto la razón número uno para la creación de este sitio web.

Cuando era niño, siempre quise para librar al mundo de las migrañas, para que mi hermano mayor no tuviera que sufrir el peor dolor conocido por el hombre. La migraña era mi enemigo, y he pasado mad de dos decadas buscando y, finalmente, encontrando una solución para esta condición horrible.

Más recien, mi hermano me inspiró a beber más agua… muchisimo más agua, lo cual es útil para librar el cuerpo de las toxinas que nos bombardean todos los días. Ademas, es el que me inspira para llevar a cabo una investigación exhaustiva sobre todos los temas de salud, para poder cristalizar el conocimiento a un texto breve y conciso. Aprendí de mi hermano, que a veces los que escriben demasiado esconden el hecho de que no pueden separar los hechos esenciales de la pelusa. Aquellos que verdaderamente conocen suelen estar dispuestos a darle un consejo claro que puede resistir el escrutinio de un científico sin salir del sentido común.

Stephen es el Presidente de American Health Inc., que se especializa en ayudar al mundo para desintoxicar usando saunas y baños de vapor.

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.



Patrick Ducharme

My dad, AKA The Chief, is the toughest guy I know.  Take one look at his blog and you will see what I mean. If you can read it without laughing and crying, then you are better than me.

Warning: visit Patrick Ducharme’s Blog ONLY if you have thick skin and if you can handle the (often) ugly truth.

Pictured, below, my dad is dressed up as the “dictator” of the Ducharme Revolutionary Independence Party (DRIP) for a charitable event.

Patrick Ducharme DRIP
Patrick Ducharme DRIP

Ducharme Weber LLP



Mohandas Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi

Mohandas Karamachand “Mahatma” Gandhi

October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948

The sensory perceptions can be and often are false and misleading. Where there is realization outside the senses it is infallible. Not tested by extraneous evidence but by the transformation of the conduct and character of those who have felt the real presence of God within them.

Faith itself can not be proved by extraneous evidence… I confess that I have no argument to convince through reason. Faith transcends reason. The only thing I can advise is not to attempt the impossible.

Reject everything that is contrary to truth and love.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

What kind of victory is there when someone is left defeated?

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the achievement.

A nation that is capable of sacrifice without limits is capable of dealing with unlimited heights. More pure sacrifice, faster progress.

The truth, purity, self-control, steadfastness, courage, humility, unity, peace, and renunciation – these are the intrinsic qualities of a civil resister.

The lack of cooperation is a protest against an unconscious participation in evil.

It does not require money to be neat, clean and dignified.

To forget how to dig the earth and the soil is to forget ourselves.

Mahatma Gandhi’s personal mission:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolutions for the day:

  • I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
  • I shall fear only God.
  • I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
  • I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
  • I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.

Mohandas Karamachand “Mahatma” Gandhi

2 Octubre, 1869 – 30 Enero, 1948

Las percepciones de los sentidos pueden ser, y a menudo son falsas y engañosas, cuanto reales nos parecen. Cuando exista realización fuera de los sentidos, es infalible. No esta probado por extrañas pruebas sino por la transformacion de la conducta y el carácter de aquellos que han sentido la presencia real de Dios dentro de si.

Fe en sí no puede ser probado por extrañas pruebas … Confieso que no tengo ningún argumento para convencer a través de la razón. Fe trasciende la razón. Lo unico que puedo aconsejar es no intentar lo imposible.

Rechaza todo lo que es contrario a la verdad y el amor.

El débil nunca puede perdonar. El perdón es atributo de los fuertes.

Qué clase de victoria es cuando alguien se queda derrotado?

Satisfacción radica en el esfuerzo, no en el logro.

Una nación que es capaz de sacrificios sin límites es capaz de hacer frente a las alturas ilimitadas. Más puro el sacrificio, mas rápido el progreso.

La verdad, la pureza, control de sí mismo, firmeza, arrojo, la humildad, la unidad, la paz, y renunciacion – estas son las cualidades intrínsecas de un civil resistor.

La falta de cooperación es una protesta contra un inconsciente participacion en el mal.

No requiere de dinero para ser ordenado, limpio y digno.

Olvidar cómo excavar la tierra y el suelo es olvidar de nosotros mismos.

La mission personal de Mahatma Gandhi:

Dejo que el primer acto de cada mañana es de hacer la siguiente resolución para el día:

  • Yo no temo a nadie en la Tierra.
  • Me temo sólo a Dios.
  • No llevare mala voluntad hacia nadie.
  • No sometire a la injusticia de nadie.
  • Conquistare la falsedad con la verdad. Y en la resistencia aguantare todos los sufrimientos.