Volume 2 ~ Issue 3 March 26 , 2010

Spring has definitely sprung in Southern California. Camellias and azaleas are still in bloom so now is a good time to pick the colors that you will want in your garden for next year. Fertilize your camellias after they have finished blooming because if you fertilize while in bloom, they will drop their blooms.

In a similar vein, never prune wisteria before it has bloomed. Wait until it has leafed out to contain its exhuberant self.




We all long for an island of calm cool clear head space in the busy world that we inhabit. We first need to attain it and then maintain it. I have many times in my life gotten to the place where I think I have finally attained that clarity and calm. I will never again allow myself to me sucked into the pressures of my own desires and other people's requests. Yet time and again I seem to fall into the trap.

I have come to the conclusion that it may be my own personal cycle and that if I continue to follow certain practices, I can swing back to the calm side rather than spending prolonged periods in anxiety and tension. Here are some tips that can help you when life takes over your life.

Keep Multitasking to a Minimum

Multitasking makes many of us who count how much we can do feel great. Look how much we can accomplish in a short period of time. I see people texting while driving on the freeway or putting on lipstick while veering into my lane along the road. These practices are not only dangerous for you and others, they keep you in a state of tension because you are always thinking about what you could or should be doing when you are just driving or when you are just playing with your kids.

Give everything the attention it deserves. It will not only keep you safer, it will also keep you present to experience and enjoy your life. The time you have here is the only thing you will leave with so be sure you make the most of each minute by remaining present.

Let Go of Perfection

When we are attached to doing things perfectly, we spend too much time putting the final product off. Either it is too difficult to get started because we may be afraid of not getting having the skill to acheive a perfect result or we may start a project and rework it until we give up in failure.

I learned from a master. My mentor, Don Kingsbury used to put a blank paper on his desk (in the days of drafting by hand). He would look at the paper and curse himself and his talent, the architecture, the difficulty of the site and then sit down and create a masterpiece. He blew off his fears up front and then got to work. He made some mistakes but that didn't prevent him from working on the next job.

His passion for creating beauty in the garden drove him forward. I think that is the key. Your desire to complete a job must overcome your fear of imperfection.

Meditate to Keep Your Mind Clear

There are traditions of meditation throughout the world including secular ones. Daily meditation can your mind so that when you do become entangled in the crisis of the day, you have the option to disengage at least on the next day.

Meditation allows you the space to see yourself from a different perspective because you separate from "you" as you do it. It is like taking a vacation. When you leave your daily life, you return seeing things differently. For more information on meditation, see my previous newsletter archive Volume 1, #10, at www.harmonygardens.net

Pay Attention to Your Body and Mind

During the day, take time to stop and pay attention to your body and mind. In the beginning, you may need to set a timer. Stop and examine your body. Are you tense? What is your posture like? Are you feeling "hungry"? All of these may be clues to whether you are maintaining peace or worry.

What are you thinking? The first time I did a diary of what I was thinking at every quarter hour, I was shocked to learn what my thinking was. It was like a wild horse taking off in different directions constantly. One of my teachers Garchen Rinpoche taught me that as your mind goes, so goes your actions. It is important to keep those thoughts on a positive and supportive tract.

Take a Break from Your Routine

There is nothing like change to give you new understandings. I just love to crawl into my fur lined rut because it feels so safe there. The problem is that when you stay there you delete your exhileration for life which is change. Changing your routine from time to time allows you to recommit to your life plans and goals. Life can get stale if you stay in one spot for too long and then you sink into rigid ways of seeing the world.

Get out into Nature

You would expect this suggestion from me. There is nothing like communing with nature even if it means repotting a rose on your balcony. Right now the native Daisies, Poppies and Lupines are blooming in the hills and the color of the grasses are so calming. A few weeks ago I went to the beach for the day and felt like I had been on a week's vacation. Nature restores you. Allow yourself the luxury of that experience.

Approach Everyone With a Loving Heart

When you approach people in your life, try to keep love in your heart. The Dalai Lama said to remember that everyone has been your mother in one lifetime or another so try to treat them with the love you would accord your mother. I find that when I can do this I feel good about myself and the other person seems to respond in kind.



On April 22 there will be a Valley Water Expo held at Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd, Encino, 91316, 6 PM - 9 PM

There will be Information, Panels, PRIZES! For more information see http://valleywaterexpo.blogspot.com/.

I will be there doing a tabletop presentation.


Various perspectives of Asian Pacifc Islander communities locally and globally will come to contemplate the impacts, the causes of Great Recession and proposed solutions. Scholars, non proft leaders, government representatives, student, and bank manager are among the speakers in this event.
Saturday, 1 May 2010 9.30 am – 3.30 pm
Rosa Parks Conference Room
Cesar Chavez Student Center
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway, San Francisco
Cost: $0*
Limited place – frst RSVP frst serve

His Holiness Grandmaster Lin Yun and Her Holiness Khandro Crystal Chu are participating in this event so don't miss it!

To Register: www.economicleespeaking.com

Multitasking can not only be deadly, it can be expensive. Tickets for phoning and driving are now common.

My Landscape Design mentor Don Kingsbury was so creative. This is an example of his artwork.

Meditation is a great way to keep your mind clear and calm.


HARMONY, PEACE AND PROSPERITY, A FENG SHUI WORKSHOP....May 15-16, 9 AM - 4 PM. Learn how to adjust your home to support Harmony, Peace, Prosperity and Health through Feng Shui practices. Learn which solutions to apply to correct problems with your Feng Shui. This workshop will also give you information to help you get along with others better and change your energy so that you are more open to a lucky and prosperous life.

Class to be at U.C.L.A., to register, contact UCLA Extension, www.uclaextension.edu/ or call (310) 825-9971


FENG SHUI IN THE GARDEN......... .....May 22 & 23, 2010 Long Island Feng Shui Institute, New York

Feng Shui is a systematic approach to understanding the principles that create the sense of harmony and balance in our surroundings. This two-day workshop focuses on how to apply the basics in Feng Shui in your landscape and garden to enhance your life.

To register contact 516-621-9898 or www.fengshuischools.com

FENG SHUI IN THE GARDEN....September 11 & 12 9 AM - 4 PM, U.C.L.A., Westwood, CA

Feng Shui is a systematic approach to understanding the principles that create the sense of harmony and balance in our surroundings. This two-day workshop focuses on how to apply the basics in Feng Shui in your landscape and garden to enhance your life. To register, contact UCLA Extension, ww.uclaextension.edu/ or call (310) 825-9971

Garden Secrets - Your Garden Personality Guide.

Learn how you can adjust your garden to balance and express your personality. Check it out on my website and tell your friends about it.



Shelley Sparks is a Feng Shui Expert, Licensed Landscape Architect and Humble Gardener. Through the practices of Feng Shui and Landscape Design she creates Harmony, Healing, Prosperity and Beneficial Qualities to her client's home, business and garden environments. She believes that as we bring our environments into balance we live happier healthier more abundant lives, benefit all that we relate to and help heal the earth.

She has been licensed as a Landscape Architect for more than 25 years and has designed award winning residential landscapes. She is a disciple of His Holiness Master Lin Yun Rinpoche, Grand Master of Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Sect of Feng Shui and has been studying Feng Shui for more than sixteen years. She teaches Garden as a Healing Space and Feng Shui and Feng Shui in the Garden for U.C.L.A. and other venues throughout the United States. She analyzes Feng Shui for people's homes, businesses and gardens.

Shelley is author of the forthcoming book Secrets of the Land, Designing Harmonious Gardens with Feng Shui

Shelley Sparks, Principal
12224 Addison Street, Valley Village, Ca 91607
Phone (818) 505-9783
Fax – (818) 760-7558
E-mail [email protected]

See us at: www.HARMONYGARDENS.net
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