Amara & Shyena’s Adventures

Donate to the Himalayan Stove Project on #Giving Tuesday

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I just donated to my favorite foundation, which I’m very proud to play a small part in…

If you would like to help out the Himalayan Stove Project, simply visit their online donations page. Every little bit helps, and on Giving Tuesday, those contributions are going twice as far. Give now and Your donation will be matched. $100 dollars delivers a stove to a family in need.

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A while back Shyena and I helped deliver clean burning cook stoves in the Himalayan region. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

There’s no cars on the way up to Mt. Everest, so stoves must be delivered by people and animals who can make the trip.

Our good friend George Basch is the ‘chief cook’ who coordinates this extraordinary project. I’m amazed by what he’s doing to help the people live with far less pollution in their homes as they cook.

P1000948We just got back from visiting him in Taos, where his joy and hard work from his recent trip to Nepal comes rolling through…it’s wonderful to a man powerfully doing what he loves!

Enjoy pictures from our trip!

lHimalayan Stove Team More …

Hunting Marianne ~ an ode to finding Shakti anywhere

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I’ve come to think that just about anyone loves permission to talk about sex.

Once you you peel away the veils that like getting lifted, I notice it’s the same everywhere I go. And I love hunting Beauty wherever it lands; coaxing it to peek through the shyness, enchanting it to smile, wonder or sing just a little bit more than it should. I like taking down the weight of walls nobody likes holding up.

It’s how I hunted Marianne, a Jew from Uzbekistan sitting next to me on the plane from JFK To Phoenix. Even before I notice all the yamakas and delicious scent of food passing across the aisles, she catches my eye by the way she covers
her hair and keeps tugging her skirt to cover her legs. But it’s  how she inadvertently keeps brushing back her two year old’s soft brown curls that really has me smitten.

A lot of kids get cranky at take off, but Samuel stares wide-eyed out the window and giggles the whole way up. He seems blessed with an unusual dose of  gentle intelligence.

It was  Marianne who convinces me that given the time, a curious mood and the right questions, just about anyone will tell you anything . We start with casual banter about the Jewish holidays and then her nose flares slightly when I
tell her what I do. In her world of conservative Jews, no one’s written a book about sex. So she’s clearly delighted to me a few tell me things about her husband, all the while glancing at the floor to guard affections.

As Samuel begins to tire, I offer her a few tips and she asks for my card. I’m writing in the darkness when she says  ‘You should put the light on. It’s bad for your eyes.’  Exactly what my Mom used to say to me as a child.

I must have the Shakti shine all over me because when I go to the back of the plane to get water for tea Regina, the Black, South Korean flight attendant and I begin doing it again. I think people like talking to strangers, especially ones like me.

In 3 minutes I know she’s going down in beauty. First she tells me about her trips to South Korea with her Buddhist family, saying ‘I feel like an alien American duck. They touch all the time..” And then she whispers into my
ear, ‘My mother even massages my brother like it’s no big deal.’

The conversation heats up as I pour more water into our paper cups of puer tea.
Regina edges back whenever I mention relationships. I can tell she’s itching
to talk and I know she’s hiding something.  So finally I ask, ‘Are you seeing anyone?’

‘Yes’ she says, ‘I’m very much in love with someone I’ve known for a very longtime.’ The final cup of tea yields a tentative proclamation: ‘It’s a woman.’
“Well I’ll be‘ I say. ‘ I live with a woman too!’ We’re already FB friends.

New York was the perfect cherry of our global Shakti adventures meeting
succulent women from Germany, Croatia, Sloyania, Wales, China, Iran, Russia,  Tibet across the US and Texas.

When I got home at 1am the electricity was out. I could’ve mulled over the meaning this, but instead I called APS in the morning. Apparently, I was informed, ‘Your power is disconnected due to lack of payment.”

Ah yes. Paying bills. So good to be home for a sec. I’m actually writing this en route to Kauai and Maui for our Quodoushka Intimacy Retreats..

Aloha.

Quehestemeha You Dance In My Heart

In Beauty

Amara Charles

P.s. Still time to register for the November Q2 in Phoenix..

And for men and women we have Quodoushka’s in Phoenix, Texas and a new SHIVA SHAKTI workshop ~ an introduction to Spiritual Sexuality in Santa Fe,NM  January 9-11 2015.

Amara’s favorite way to Heat the Home, Heart, and Hearth

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DONATE HERE to the HIMALAYAN STOVE PROJECT http://www.himalayanstoveproject.org/

I cannot say enough about the passion and integrity of George Basch’s dream of delivering clean cook stoves to families in the Himalayan region. I LOVE this video, and I’m proud to play a small part… (I’m in the video because Shyena and I went on one of the first trips to deliver stoves to monasteries and people’s homes. It’s an amazing story, and really helps people change their lives, yet, let’s them keep their life style (around the hearth) in it’s place.

Donate Here: https://www.facebook.com/himalayanstoveproject

Please share your Fire and consider donating. Every dollar brings warmth to the Home, Heart & Hearth of those in need.

Please share this with your Friends

 

https://www.facebook.com/himalayanstoveproject

When Everything Changes

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Some journeys change everything.

Words capture so little of the truth about extraordinary events, and to be honest, I hesitate to dilute how I feel from our retreat in a mountain Temple of Wutai Shan,China. Yes, I’m used to coming home stirred and happily out-of-sorts from deep ceremony, but this time, having taken a plunge into the refuge of temples, sacred chants and boundless tea, I feel like a puzzle piece still assembling unknown mysteries..

How do you capture the fragrance and unfurling plume of fine sandalwood incense, or the taste of rare puer tea that causes your heart to float in heavenly realms? How can you remember being locked into the fathomless depth of a teacher’s eyes? Perhaps we do keep memory imprints of such times, and maybe we bury moments of peace and love into the soil of our minds so we can recognize certain vibrations and water these frequencies until they bloom on their own again and again. More …

Where there’s Heart There’s A Way

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Our amazing journey continues!
Feeling fresh and and full from our visit to Hamburg and Croatia (stopping in Istambul for for a massage (we hope!).
Our D Y E N and Feminine Erotic Intelligence Workshops were stellar. The the depth, the food, the land… fantastic. Most of all it’s the people we’re so moved by… such a deep transfer of feelings, wisdom and laughter… Yes, there’s been hesitation and a reluctance to open, at first. More …

A Blessing in Disguise – Dr. Robyn Benson

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While traveling in New Mexico, Shyena gave me a treat on my birthday to stay at Ten Thousand Waves Japanese Health Spa in Sante Fe. The night before, I got terribly sick with that awful bug and could barely get out of bed. I really wanted to enjoy my gift, so when my friend Louise Kockler recommended I get a Myer’s cocktail, I did the unimaginable (to me) and agreed to get this shot.

Truly, it was a blessing in disguise, not only did I enjoy the spa a day later,  I met an extraordinary women – Dr. Robyn Benson. I had such an remarkable recovery I just had to write her:

Dr. Robyn Benson, I am writing to thank you for the treatment the other day. The whole experience of seeing you was remarkably friendly and warm. Just what a healing center should be! I’ve been to many such places, and I have to say, your hearts and kindness comes soaring through. As a ‘stranger’ coming from out of town, and then not feeling very well at all, I couldn’t really express my gratitude to you. Thank you for introducing me to something new and a bit ‘scary’ – the Myers Cocktail- with great care and finesse. I feel fantastic. I have to say I have never recovered so quickly, and now, days later I feel remarkably well. — Amara Charles

Needless to say, I loved Robyn’s brilliant and loving approach to healing.

But that’s not all.

I found out she’s a world renown Holistic Healing Expert.

And, she invited me to be part of her Self Care Revolution in July!

You can join the Self Care Revolution for free too.

More …

The ’13 Often’ for Easy Health Preservation

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“13″ may not be an American’s favor number, but here is the “13 often” you need to favor for easy health preservation. No equipments needed, free of charge, no location requirement, and you can do it anytime.

1. Comb the hair often: stimulate the scalp, activate the brain, better than fish oil;
2. Roll the eyes often: improve the sight, clarify the mind;
3. Pull the ears often: stimulate all 89 ear acu-points that cover the entire human body; More …

Amara & Shyena Teach White Massage on VH1 for Jaiya’s Show

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Amara teaches Ian to Give a White Tigress massage on VH1
White Tigress 2 VH1

Amara Charles and Shyena Venice on VH1

We were invited by Jaiya to teach her partner the White Tigress Magssage on VH1.

It was an amazing experience and Jaiya was awesome. She had a crew of about 20 people affiliated with VH1 filming her for the show: I’m Married to a Sexologist.

We were invited (as a birthday present for Jaiya) to teach her partner Ian how to give Jaiya a sensuous White Tigress Massage. The White Tigress Massage is for increasing sexual potency, sexual restoration and sexual intensity.

Amara teaches Ian to Give a White Tigress massage on VH1

Amara teaches Ian to Give a White Tigress massage on VH1

Watch the VH1 clip here

http://www.vh1.com/video/misc/902010/ian-gives-jaiya-a-white-tigress-massage.jhtml#id=1706070

Divine Interruptions

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Have you ever noticed that when accidents happen, somehow, it’s your ego that’s trying to drive the show?

You know, one of those Divine Interventions or Interruptions that don’t seem so divine at first?  The ones that come with sufficient bumps and bruises to get our attention. They always seem to show us how we’re pushing, trying too make things happen the way we want. Like during a sudden fall, when time slows and everything you thought important ceases to be.

Maybe there’s no intervention, no interruptions at all – perhaps it’s just the universe arranging things perfectly on our behalf, giving us the hint that our design is off.

One of my ‘accidental jolts’ came in the lovely Land of Kauai where, if you listen to her speak, she’ll cajole you into listening to the Divine. She’ll stagger you with joy, murmur and groan with her mighty beauty until you forget or remember where you came from.

In case this doesn’t work, she has other ways. Two days into my trip, on my way up from Secrets Beach, I flipped backwards onto some hefty boulders. I have to admit, I opted for some silly fashion that day, wearing high-pitched flip flops and a loaded purse. My body was tangled with sheer shock in the dirt, yet as I lay there tuning in, I smiled feeling the benevolence of this fall: nothing broken.

Still, I must not have been listening yet, for Kauai was just beginning to have her way with me. In another two days I took a dive again; this time the ocean whipped me onto the shore as I heard my knee torque with a loud crunch (in about a foot and a half water.) Now both sides of my body were thoroughly initiated into the wild gorgeousness of this garden paradise. Finally, I had to relax and listen.

Lumaha Kauai

It’s astonishing how quickly healing happens, and the correct things fall in place when you listen. Through ceremony, chants, Qigong (and a few extraordinary healers ), I was feeling good in days rather than weeks, and I returned to the mainland feeling better than I’ve felt in years. It seems a bit of genetic restructuring of my DNA was in order, and I believe it was just the beginning of many more magical things to come.

Amara Qigong beach

Amara, Laka, Shyena Feminine Spring Woman’s retreat Kauai

Laka Shyena and Amara kauai 2013

 

Bodichitta Fashionista – Chez Chanterelle

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One on my favorite parts of our retreat was the Bodichitta Fashionista – a spontaneous fashion show that had all the women trying and buying dresses galore in a tizzy of pleasure as we marveled at one another wearing the fantastic dresses by Chanterelle.

The remarkable thing? Her  hand-made dresses are like pouring warm chocolate on your body; you never want to take them off. AND the same dresses look fantastic on totally different sizes and shapes of women. Really. Look at her website: www. chezchanterelle.com More …

Himalayan Stove Project

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Team stove project

The raw emotion of our Nepal Adventure is overwhelming – every time we bring a stove to a family and fire it up, it INSTANTLY changes their lives – to see it and feel it – it brings us (and them) to tears, and confirms, one-on-one, one stove at a time, how we’re transforming lives in the High Himalayas. More …

Feature Article: Sexy Success

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What makes for stellar success is a personal thing, but my recent visit with Jaiya, a successful sex educator, shows how doing what we like in bed may be just what we need to succeed. While being filmed for her VH1 special on somatic (hands on) sexology, we got a private peek into how she delights in using her sexiness for success, and her success to stay sexy – and why we shouldn’t settle for subpar in either.

Busting Myth #1: You have to Sell Out to Succeed

Have you ever noticed how things speed up when you’re feeling successful? You seem to do much more in less time, you have to say ‘no’ to things you could once say ‘yes’ to, and you don’t have as much time to hang out. To others it may seem as if you’ve sold out. The speed of things focuses your mission, challenges you to be excellent and makes you select where you place every precious ounce of attention (and where not to.) If you relax inside, you can handle the ‘swish’.  It’s exhilarating. The faster things happen, the more of a magnet you become for more connections. Now, take this same principle, and apply it to your private erotic life. Riding the sublime comes down to: just doing it creates the desire and energy for more.

Busting Myth #2: It’s Who You Know

It’s not who you know, it’s what you do with who you know. Success is contagious, as the happier and more generous you are, the more fun you are to be with and thus the more opportunities land in your lap. Since success tends to make you feel wanted, you become someone people want to be near. That is, if you are actually enjoying your self inside the buzz. Now take this into your personal erotic life. When you are generous, even inside the whirlwind of busyness, taking each conversation to heart, appreciating anyone near you, you are multipling pleasure. This is the alluring energy behind success, and it works in bed too. If you’re tense while doing the never-ending stream of whatever you’re doing, or you are not content with what (or who) is sitting next to you, success will always be just out of reach. It’s not only who can help you succeed, it’s who’s around to share it with.

Busting Myth #3  It Takes Money to Make Money

This myth is about the idea that you have to have money to make it, or erotically, you have to have a partner to have sex. While it’s true, sex is always better with a warm body, the trick to both money and sex, is having some. In Jennifer Goldberg’s article, Why you Need Good Sex, she says,Seeking out—and having— good sex is a self-perpetuating cycle. The neurotransmitter dopamine—which “focuses your attention on something you really want to go after,” (explains Dr. Pfaus)1—gives us the confidence to approach mates we think will provide the most pleasure, while good sex releases opioids, which further stoke the fire.’

Busting Myth # 4  Pain = Gain

The myth that successful people are too driven by ambition to enjoy anything (and there are plenty of examples) comes from the idea that it takes self – sacrifice and suffering to end suffering. But pain loops may not only deplete your reserve of dopamine, if you don’t have it right along the way, it wont will be much fun when you ‘get there’. Another option is to operate on a pleasure loop for success. It’s not a selfish grasp for pleasure, or a perpetual craving for what’s missing, it’s a loop where you derive pleasure by giving something of value to others while having a blast along the way too. It’s the tease of anticipation, savoring every nibble and squeeze while feeling delight in another’s joy that’s the stuff of success. When it starts happening in the boardroom as smoothly as it does in the bedroom, as I experienced being with Jaiya, you know you’re onto something good.

What’s success? Feeling grateful for being alive is success; the rest is relative.

In beauty, © Amara Charles

Quehestemehah ‘You dance in my heart’

Amara Charles’ Best – Selling Book ‘The Sexual Practices of Quodoushka’ featuring the Sexual Anatomy Types as Seen on VH1 is available on www.amaracharles.com or Amazon.com

Aphrodite Nipples: Chocolate Elixir

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We love this place in Sante Fe…
They used to make Aphrodite Nipples, maybe, after seeing this, they start making them again…
Made this a while back. We have a chocolate pit stop for the 7hour drive back to phoenix. Keeps us awake the whole ride…
Amara

Better Than Sex?

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It’s quite a trip to be lifted out of my Quodoushka Book tour to trek towards heaven for a month with the Himalayan Stove Project adventure team.

The splendor of the icy blue mountains literally takes your breath away as well as worries such as ‘What on earth am I doing?’ and ‘How much further?’ Days are about easing into every single step on the trail. Old women, men and boys carrying utterly impossible loads give the friendliest ‘Namaste’s‘ I’ve ever heard. We become kindred foreigners, each of us traveling with different agendas, ultimately arriving in the same place. More …

Eyes of Seduction

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I had to stay a couple of weeks near the great Stupa of Boudha* before I could understand why one eventually surrenders here. the sway of the world turns and turns just the way thousands of people walk around the Stupa everyday. Monks chant or walk hand in hand with businessmen, children play, dogs and beggars sleep or bark, merchants sell, while Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Hippies, Buddhists and tourists circle around in prayer or conversation. Buddha eyes follow everyone just the same.

One could miss this world, take a picture of strange things to settle for saying you’ve been here. but if you linger long enough to take in the underbelly of Boudha; slabs of meat and hoofs covered by flies on open carts, legless curled up figures, the smell of incense mingled with dal or dung at every corner, you can”t help catch something different in people’s eyes. if you’re preoccupied by some project or other far away thoughts, you’ll miss the subtlety of currency here.

Once I recover from the withdraw of familiar comforts, like pristine toilets, expensive cars and the choice of a hundred foods, I began to appreciate how a
day is filled by one to three things to do rather than a list longer than I can ever accomplish.

one of the nicest toilets on the way to Everst

The currency here, the real wealth is time and space, or perhaps it could be called the spaciousness of time. most people have enough space in their faces to smile your way, for there doesn’t seem to be anything else on their minds.

It’s not that poverty goes unnoticed, yet it seems the scant resources, daily rations of electricity and dusty traffic-crammed roads are taken in stride by locals with only mild grumbles. Urgency here moves at about the same pace as the occasional cow chewing at scraps on the city streets. my desire to change or uplift things, that’s sewn into the nerves of my American psyche, has no choice but to quit.

there’s something else I notice. I’ve lived in New York, and other cities where housing is as cramped as Katmandu. especially at night, I thought scolding wives or children, lovers spats and blaring boom boxes were just a way of life. Sure, the homeless dogs who breed unchecked here are truly noisy pests. What’s missing is the undercurrent of irritation. If snarly outbursts are happening behind thin doors, they’re well hidden. I haven ‘t heard a raised voice in weeks.

I think the slower life, the less hectic pace is more than the nature of a mild mannered people; I think it’s the Buddha Eyes.

Why are stupas built like this? They’re different than churches, where you go inside to close off the world. A stupa is an outdoor event where Instead of getting away from it all, you can hear and see the going- ons all around you; you’re in the middle of it.

Then there are those eyes.

Atop a huge spire around which one circumnabulates the base, sits not a golden sculpture of Buddha, nor a symbol of a saint. The stupa is crowned with painted eyes. Not having been here to experience the effect for myself, I’m not sure I’d like the sense of big brother watching me from every direction. at first I thought they looked silly; like a gigantic tacky cartoon that was not particularly artistic or spiritual. Now, pondering their effect on this strange city, it’s why I like them so much.

At night while peaking between butter lamps through a tiny opening of the Stupa, I listen to several monks chanting the city goodnight. in the middle of ceremony one monk gazes my way. captured by his suspended smile, we recognize each other in Buddha’s Eyes.

*The Boudha Stupa was built in 600 ad near the birthplace of Buddha. It sits in the center of Katmandu.

Amara Charles is author of the Best Selling "The Sexual Practices of Quodoushka'