Master Of Meditation

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Hello everyone. Did the title of this blog post get you? Sorry, it won’t be about the master of meditation but it will be about my thoughts and experience on meditation. Feel free to keep reading or if you aren’t interested, check out our other posts!!

Anyways, during my sophomore year in college, I had taken a class on religions of the world. Three fourths of the way through the class, there was an assignment that required us students to physically attend a religious event at a site of our choice. My friend, Nancy, and I decided to go to the Zen Meditation session at Bluestone Zen Practice Community (dedicated to the practice of Zen and the fundamentals of Buddhism). I never really thought about how hard meditation could be. It just seemed so easy, having to sit most of the time. After this session and lessons from class, I realized that meditation was more than just having your eyes closed and breathing.

Nancy and I entered the building not knowing what to expect. It was around 7am so there were no lights turned on. Curtains were not put up either so it created darker/dimmed lighting. Candles were lit and it was quiet, but in a way where everything just seemed so soothing and peaceful. The session finally started when it was time. We all sat on a pillow on the floor. There wasn’t much talking at all and so Nancy and I just did our best to follow along. The whole experience was eye opening, showing me that there is so much more to it. Having to clear my mind while meditating was so much harder than I thought. I kept talking to myself in my head and thinking about trying not to think. I just couldn’t seem to clear my mind, and still haven’t mastered it. In the end, I appreciated the art of meditating a lot more. I definitely saw how this could be a really good routine for my body and mind.

After reading the article written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama, it made me feel a sense of comfort and happiness. He talked about how he had a personal one-on-one meditation session with the Dalai Lama. The part that I loved from his article was the part where he talked about how the Dalai Lama smiled and laughed while replying back with “After doing daily for 60 years, it is still hard.” I felt so comforted that someone as holy as the Dalai Lama was so sweet and encouraging. The overall article also talked about how Dr. Sanjay Gupta became a changed man because of this experience and the decision of applying what he learned to his everyday life routine.

Giving things a chance before judging was the reminder that came to me after this experience and again, after reading this article. Meditation is a way to calm the mind and help people with their body. It is just so cool to me now because there is such a deep meaning to it, and it helps a person in so many ways. Keeping the body healthy and staying in shape is so important but sometimes we forget to help the mind. Definitely give meditation a try. It won’t be easy but it will definitely benefit and satisfy you.



I highly recommend you to read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s article. Click the link below to go directly to the webpage.

EBT At Farmers Markets!

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“Thirteen farmers markets in Minneapolis now accept EBT and offer a Market Bucks coupon to help low income residents purchase more healthy, fresh food at affordable prices.”

I know how expensive it can get when trying to find healthier ways to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always so expensive. But hey! Are you with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)? If yes, there may be a way for you to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits more affordably.

SNAP is delivered via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card and guess what? Over 30 farmers markets across Minnesota accept EBT!! Going to local farmers markets to purchase your greens and fruits can be a cheaper alternative compared to super markets and grocery stores.

“In 2010, the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD), Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy worked together to make Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) services available at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Northeast Farmers Markets, which has accepted EBT since 2006. Partners also launched an incentive program called ‘Market Bucks’ to encourage EBT customers to use their benefits at the markets. Customers who spent at least $5 in EBT received an additional $5 in Market Bucks, essentially doubling their purchasing power for healthy foods.”

This all sounds great! I grew up shopping at the local farmers markets in Minneapolis and Saint Paul and it has always made it a bit easier for my family. In my opinion and from experience, it is definitely way more affordable compared to grocery stores; and now that more and more farmers markets are accepting EBT, it is going to help families of lower income more. The program trying to promote the use of EBT benefits at farmers markets is also so awesome, you spend but also earn money at the same time!

Overall, I think shopping at farmers markets for majority of your food is a great choice and should already be apart of your shopping routine. You save more and the veggies you get are probably way fresher. Try thinking about stopping by a farmers market to check it out! Even if you’re not apart of SNAP, still try checking out the farmers markets around you. I recommend you to because I personally love them. You can look up farmers markets in your area by googling it or if you’re in the Minneapolis areas, click the link below to see the list of farmers markets in Minneapolis.


Information received from the City of Minneapolis, MN website. Read more about it by clicking on the link below.
There are also EBT brochures, fliers, and postcards in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali if you would like to have it in hand.

Does Your Loved One Have Depression?

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The article, Why Asian-American Seniors Have High Rates Of Depression But Rarely Seek Help,” written by Kimberly Yam has great detail showing culture differences and how it affects the daily lives of many. I loved how this article was able to snap a reminder into my head about my parents and grandparents. I will be restating some of the things from the article and giving my opinion on the topic.

In the Asian-American community, health is one of the biggest topics that become touchy to talk about, especially with the seniors. Overall health problems are not usually brought up unless one is really needing help; but with mental health many seniors do not seek help for it at all. According to the American Psychological Association, “Asian Americans are almost three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek mental health services.” One of the main factors to this is fear of being shameful. With the Asian culture, pride is very important and that is why some things may not be said or done in order to not “embarrass” the family.

We have to remember that most of our elders have experienced trauma from many of the world and life tragedies that has happened. Adapting to a new place and experiencing the feeling of being separated because of culture and language can have a huge influence on how one may feel. Our seniors/elders in the Asian community may hide their feelings of sadness and loneliness in order to avoid burdening the family. With this, the younger generation of sons, daughters, relatives…etc., should reach out when they feel that there may be some kind of loneliness.

When reading this article, I started thinking about my grandfather. When he was still on this beautiful planet, I met him once when he came to visit my family from Laos. He was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. He smiled a lot and didn’t talk about things much. When we went for walks, he seemed so peaceful. He always stared at the sky and just looked and admired the landscape. Thinking back now, I wish I spent more time showing him many beautiful things in life. I also wish I talked to him more about his past, present, wishes, happiness, and sorrows. Just thinking about how he was when he had visit made me realize that he had a lot of sadness and pain still in him. This realization definitely made think more about checking on my loved ones.

Loneliness and depression can happen to anyone. It may be harder for some to express the fact that they have these feelings. In the Asian culture, admitting that you need help isn’t really a thing. Elders may probably address mental health issues in different ways, like headaches, sleepless nights, pain in the stomach…etc. So it is important for loved ones to ask and spend the time to really try and help.

I am Asian American and when I was reading this article, the descriptions and beliefs about the Asian American culture definitely fit mine. My thoughts and culture may not fit every persons’ but overall, being able to fit and connect to these descriptions and beliefs made me more aware of possible emotions and thoughts my elders may be having. Mental illness is not thought about a lot at all in the Asian community. I hope that my brief article will inspire you to just really look after your loved ones also and remember to be aware of possible symptoms of depression or loneliness.

Read the article by Kimberly Yam at
This article is definitely worth putting time into reading. I loved everything about it.

Men’s Health Month

June is men’s health month and with that as a reminder to keep up with your health, taking initiative to maintain a healthy life style is one of the main ways to live a good life. So along with having a healthy lifestyle (eating right and having a fitness routine), getting regular check ups is also an important way to help and prevent any problems before they start.

It will be difficult to completely change your routine and quit any unhealthy habits; so with this, I recommend taking baby steps and changing for the better slowly everyday. When you feel confident and comfortable enough, try taking a bigger step!

Some tips to help with keeping you on track includes: having reminders around, support from loved ones, positive reinforcements, setting small goals, taking baby steps if needed, and writing down your progress to help you visually see your improvements!

Keeping your health on track starts with you!

Men’s Health Month 5 Plays Card_English (1)
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Read more about healthy food choices and the importance of having check-ups with the links listed below. Check them out! They will definitely be beneficial!

Food Safety

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It is that time of the year again! Summer has finally arrived! It is time for outdoorsy fun with the ones you love. This also means continuing being safe wherever you go and in whatever you do. This week’s post will be on some safety facts about grilling, from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Handle Food Safely

  • Always wash your hands before and after handling food.
  • Keep the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.
  • Always serve food on clean plates.
  • Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food. To prevent food borne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat/poultry.

Keep Hot Foods HOT, Cold Foods COLD

  • Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use.
  • After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it at 140°F or warmer until served. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack. Cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately 200°F), in a chafing dish, or on a warming tray.
  • In hot weather (above 90°F), food should never sit out for more than one hour.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers.


  • Marinate to tenderize or add flavor.
  • Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
  • If marinades are to be used as a sauce for the cooked meat, either reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it, or boil it before using on cooked meat to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Precooking food on a stove is a good way to reduce grilling time. Make sure that the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to complete cooking.

Cook Thoroughly
Fresh and frozen raw meat, poultry and fish should be cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria, parasites and viruses that may be in the product. The temperatures shown below are recommended for home preparation of food. Always use a meat thermometer to check temperatures. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.

When reheating fully cooked meats, grill to 165°F.


Poultry or fowl, whole or parts 165°F
Ground poultry or fowl 165°F
Ground beef, veal, pork, lamb or venison 160°F
Fresh beef, veal, pork, lamb or venison 145°F
Fish and shellfish, all kinds 145°F
Eggs Until yolk and white are firm
Egg dishes 160°F

* Regulated facilities may cook to different temperatures because staff are trained in the use of time and temperature to reach safe standards.


For additional information on food safety, visit the link listed



Information received from the Minnesota Health Department. To view the PDF, click on the link provided below.

Helping Health Now

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Article written by Kenza Moller talks about how the measles outbreak in Minnesota has risen. There were 70 confirmed cases in the United States, year 2016. Now having that number in mind, try guessing Minnesota’s confirmed cases so far this year… Alone, it has reached 73 confirmed cases (in Minnesota, year 2017). Pretty surprising for sure! This was shocking news to me, showing how dangerously fast it has spread, and remember, this is only counting Minnesota’s cases.

Measles is a contagious disease that can lead to pneumonia, deafness, hospitalization, and death, according to the article and it’s reference. There were at least 65 of the people with measles in Minnesota that were not vaccinated. Due to the rise of anti-vaccination movement, it has increased the chances and risks of diseases spreading faster and coming back throughout. The outbreak began about 8 weeks ago and about 21 people have been hospitalized.

Getting vaccinated can prevent spread and help a person from contracting the measles. If a person contracts this disease, there is not much to do except the hospitals trying their best because there is really no way to treat it.

I feel like the world is getting more and more dangerous due to new diseases, infections, bacteria…etc. It’s so important to keep up with what is currently spreading and how a person can prevent them from harm. People may think that it will never happen to them but that is how it all happens, when off guard and not taking precautions. I am constantly worried about new spreads and how they will hurt the ones I love.

Overall, do your studies and keep up with the news. Make sure you are taking action in preventing you and your loved ones from contracting these new diseases and everything else.

For more information on measles, visit pages listed:

Received information in article from