December 5, 2012

LXV Wine presents Signature Holiday Gift






ORDER HERE or Call 530.763.3821


About LXV : LXV is a premium California Wine, inspired by the 64 arts of KamaSutra. Every release of LXV presents a unique blend, showcased by an art of KamaSutra. The anchor of each label is the portrait of an artist and their philosophy on art and sensuality. 


530.763.3821
www.lxvwine.com 
info@lxvwine.com

November 9, 2012

Diwali - a celebration of love and light


During these dark and short days of the year, the art of celebration, holidays, and ritual beckon us with their joyous warmth and festivities.  Introducing other world cultures into this season is a fantastic way to heighten the season and deepen our connection to the world.  One of the most beautiful South Asian traditions is Diwali, “the festival of lights.” 

Filled with both the mythical and the historical, Diwali encompasses a wide context and reason for celebration.  It is the revelry in Lakshmi’s birthday, observance of the new moon, the jubilant victories of Rama and Krishna; it is the day the founders of Arya Samaj and Jainism achieved nirvana as well as a special day for the Sikhs.

A major aspect of Diwali is the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and the triumph of light over darkness. This is symbolized through the illumination of homes with small oil lamps (diyas) and radiating the sky with bursting and colorful fireworks.  The dazzling beauty of every corner, window, and room aglow with diyas, candles, and softly hued lamps helps beckon Lakshmi to your home as well as marks the victory of Lord Rama over the dark and evil Ravana and the liberation of 16,000 women by Lord Krishna from the demon king Narakaasur.

Preparation is key and the pay off is a large social celebration of family, friends, gifts, sweets, Diwali music, dance all showcasing a successful harvest.  It is similar to the ritualistic aspects of Christmas, New Years, and some good old -fashioned spring-cleaning all rolled into one glorious extended holiday. For some, freshly painted walls are part of the purification process.


Once the home is cleansed, the hallmarks of Diwali’s art and beauty begin.  Sacred welcoming areas for Hindu deities are created through decorative and colorful designs on the floors.  This is called Rangoli and it is an important part of the spiritual process as well as being incredibly beautiful.  Bright colors like red, orange, pinks and yellow are used in shining fabrics and door hangings (Diwali Torans) to further welcome visitors.


Lakshmi-Ganesh puja’s, flower and leaf patterns, mirrors, beads, and diyas all work themselves into even the smallest corner brightening and adorning all parts of the home.  Diwali is also a time for preparing yourself as well as the home with new clothes and jewelry.  Dried fruit, wine, Mithais and other sweets lay waiting for distribution and enjoyment with family and friends rejoicing in the triumph of light over darkness

Diwali is literally a brilliant celebration.  Just as it illumes a beautiful heritage, we can incorporate this tradition to light up the darkest parts of our world with the glow of candles shining with gratitude, radiate with the bliss of enjoying our families, and artfully creating the new foundation for a prosperous year.

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Alison Leporati for LXV Wine

About LXV : LXV is a boutique California wine, inspired by the 64 Arts of KamaSutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you...the 65th Sutra.

www.lxvwine.com 
www.facebook.com/lxvwine



October 29, 2012

Embers of Ambrosia: The sensuality of Fall



Fall is the sybaritic life at it’s finest. Autumn is ambrosial in its colors.  Trees paint the sky with crimson, gold, and orange hued leaves that whistle as cool breezes gently sweep through the branches.  The crisp, sweet air is filled with the sounds of birds singing their last songs before migration. The velvety touch of plush sweaters and Afghans and the smell of a warm apple pie cooling on table. We gather our squash, apples, grapes, and pumpkins. Fall is gratifying to all the senses and has a flavor all it’s own.


It is a beautiful pause between the extreme heat of summer and the cold of winter. The undeniable bliss of entering a warm home with pink cheeks after an evening walk in the early stages of nippy frigidity; pouring a glass of wine to warm and delight the body, sharing a cozy moment with a loved one by the fire. These are few of our favorite things.

After spending an afternoon picking pumpkins or apples, take some Lavang (cloves), Jaiphal (nutmeg), Dalchini (cinnamon), and Gur and boil in water so the scent embraces your home. Let these exotic scents wash over you as you sway to music or nestle in a beloved armchair with a favorite book.

Allow yourself to truly luxuriate with a favorite red wine. Fall and red wine are the most perfect-partnered dance.  As nights become chilly, an earthy dark, red wine with a balance of aromatic fruit, a hint of caramel, and a slightly spicy finish embody the warming character of sitting next to a fire. Often the magic in these nights is in their simplicity. Fall is a social season, a time of gathering together.  A perfect fall evening can be a bottle of wine, a few good friends, and a Scrabble board.

Fall is a time to take things a little slower, a bit more meditatively.  Through taking the time to witness the crimson colors of autumn, keeping warm the love we have nourished, and rejoicing in our bounty with others, we prepare our inner soil for the seeds of the upcoming year.  It is in the witnessing of this seasonal change that we become aware of the powerful movement of nature; as we match our internal rhythm to the Earth’s, we can gather an abundant harvest of our own, sensual fall magic.



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Alison Leporati for LXV Wine

About LXV : LXV is a boutique California wine, inspired by the 64 Arts of KamaSutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you...the 65th Sutra.

www.lxvwine.com 
www.facebook.com/lxvwine


October 18, 2012

LXV Wine chats with sensuous dancing diva, Auti Angel

Photo Courtesy Push Girls,
Sundance Channel 
“ To me, movement...is sensual.
No matter how you do it, it is yours.
So own it and work it, to make it work for you.”
                                         AUTI ANGEL
                                         Stars of Push Girls
                                         (Sundance Channel)





While exploring the interconnectedness between dance, sensuality, and a gratifyingly pleasurable experience LXV had the double blessing of interviewing Auti Angel, an extremely talented and beautiful dancer/choreographer who pioneers huge change in the media and how the disabled are perceived. 

At the height of a successful professional dancing career performing with well-known Hip-hop artists (such as LL Cool J, N.W.A., and Kid ‘n Play), Auti joined and all-female Latina hip-hop group which Columbia “Ruffhouse” records signed to a recording contract.  On May 3, 1992, Auti was in a life threatening auto accident that snapped her back in half, severing her spinal cord, and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. After a difficult seven years that included the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, depression, drug abuse and jail time, Auti  began to rebuild her life. She returned to dancing, becoming the first hip-hop dancer to continue her professional career in a wheelchair. 

In 2005, LXV's Neeta Mittal made a film with Auti Angel. Seven years later, here is Auti Angel speaking her wisdom dance and how it can help us form a deeper relationship with sensuality.

LXV: When was your first experience of recognizing your ability to evoke a powerful response from your audience through your  performance?

Auti: I first experienced the ability to evoke a powerful response from my audience when I entered the freestyle circle in Junior High School for the first time. I remember being the only girl who would go in the circle to battle the guys with my fiercely crazy unique moves and an attitude that wouldn't quit. The crowd went wild and I that’s all she wrote!

LXV: What advice do you have for someone who is uncomfortable in their body yet want to learn to embrace their sensual side? What are some basic ways for anyone to express sensuality through movement?

Auti: To me, movement...is sensual. No matter how you do it, it is yours. So own it and work it, to make it work for you. I remember after my accident that left me paralyzed, I would think, wow, I wished I had my old body back or I could dance the way I did before. But once I learned to love me,I embraced my new paralyzed body, and because I embraced myself, I learned to move in ways better than before!

LXV: You have worked with Neeta Mittal, founder of LXV wine, on the film "Wings Of Legacy" and both of you really tapped in to showcasing the idea of individual expression without boundaries;  Can you talk a bit about your experience of this while working on the film with Neeta?

Still from "Wings of Legacy", created by LXV founder Neeta Mittal, starring Auti Angel
Auti: Neeta Mittal and I connected from the very beginning. The moment she shared her passion about creating a film that shared a unique and inspiring human experience, I jumped in with both wheels.

LXV: I watched the trailer for the movie, “Musical Chairs” that you co-star in, and was really excited by the ballroom dancing scenes. What is your approach to the sensuality of partnered dance?

Auti: Partnered dancing is a spiritual dance in itself. First of all, I am used to dancing solo as a hip-hop dancer. Once I had learned to become vulnerable, by sharing my circle of comfort, I was introduced to a whole other level of freedom.

LXV: There is also a short by and about you entitled “The Strength of Legends!!!” What does it take to become a Legend? What would you like to leave as your legacy in regards to dance?

Auti: It takes a determined soul to become a legend, a soul that is willing to use it’s gifts and talents to pave the way others! It also takes a servant to become a leader.I am serving my dance as a gift to others. I created Wheelchair Hip-Hop Dancing to teach people how to express themselves from the inside out in a positive light so that we can heal the world together!

…And healing the world she is! 

There is a depth of character that comes from overcoming obstacles and alchemizing them from challenges into an inspiration.  That radiance shines and brightens the world: it starts from finding that center within, letting it expand, allowing it to move and grow.  Dance is the perfect metaphor for this, and Auti Angel is a glowing example of how strong, gracefully, and triumphant we all have ability to be.
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Alison Leporati for LXV Wine

About LXV : LXV is a boutique California wine, inspired by the 64 Arts of KamaSutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you...the 65th Sutra.

www.lxvwine.com 
www.facebook.com/lxvwine

September 26, 2012

LXV Wine Presents Nritya, the 3rd Art of KamaSutra



The aim of the 64 Arts of the Kama Sutra is not merely to be a good wife, but to be a skillful, playful, understanding, refined, sexual, beautiful and intelligent women. The Kama Sutra also expresses cultivation of the male, his understanding of female nature and the importance of cultivating sensual moods and intimacy. 


With such intriguing promise, where does one begin? Perhaps here: Wine and Dance are two of the most universal of the Kama Sutra’s arts,  dance being the third and making of wine the 23rd. The journey of the grape into wine is an alchemization from its earthly body into a more advanced nature. Much as a dancer learns to surpass what was once their physical limitations into a realm of acquiescent movement, aerial fluidity, and releasing of an intuition that is far more ambitious than daily life, wine is a grape’s higher possibility made real; a transformation into a more complex sensory experience.  


Dancers are confident and comfortable with their body. They are experiencing pleasure in presence. Without the distracting witness of self-judgement, they experience presence through pleasure. This innate comfortability with self is a vital role in any experience of sensuality. Their bodies and minds have merged as will into a convergence of bliss as they are taken to a higher level of being. In these moments we are exalted simply though watching. It is the slipping off of the layers of thought that fight for attention in our self where the magic happens. As the feeling fades we desire to experience again.


The dancer and the wine drinker experience pleasure in presence; a merging of duality producing an altered, unfettered state where one is open to loftier emotions. In those moments when we are present and in touch with our inner most being, we are most attractive to ourselves and others. We enjoy our body, so others do as well. For some, unveiling their sensuality through dance is an awareness of their body and the reactions others have to it; for others, it is an undivided focus on a rhythm that unifies the body, mind, and music to the universal. These dancers create in themselves, and in those watching, a state of sublime emotion that transcends their ordinary consciousness. It is in this altered state where sensuality makes its presence known.


Sensuality is more than just physical pleasure; it is an experience of heightened beauty, grace, and delectation that, although subtle and refined, is lucid and palpable.


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About LXV : LXV is a boutique California wine, inspired by the 64 Arts of KamaSutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you...the 65th Sutra.

www.lxvwine.com 
www.facebook.com/lxvwine

August 28, 2012

On the Sensuality of Spirituality


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RISE Design Studio is a multi-displinary design firm in Los Angeles whose primary focus is to create dynamic visuals that resonate with the mind, body, and soul.  The firm's founder pursued academic studies in religion, philosophy, and psychology… to which he added a deep personal interest in history, the humanities, and cultural anthropology.  RISE works to creatively reintegrate the realms of spirit and sacred culture into the world of contemporary art and design.  The firm produces client work, commissioned artwork, and fine art. 

August 4, 2012

History of Wine from the land of KamaSutra


LXV Wine is inspired by the ancient philosophies of India, where in 2012 wine is an emergent industry.  Wine has a rich but chequered history in India, which is better known for the KamaSutra and its sensuality than for wine and its sensuality, but this could be about to change. Demand for wine in India is increasing at about 20-30 % per year, mostly due to the rise of increasingly prosperous and globalized middle and luxury classes.  India is also becoming an important economic center that attracts sophisticated travelers and professionals from every country, many of whom appreciate world-class wine. Perhaps more than any other country in the world, India has long been intimately linked to systematic approaches to altered states of consciousness: religion, yoga, meditation, and alcohol, among the most famous.

Unicorn intoxicated by a mesh and chalice
In India wine has been the drink of elites, which consisted primarily over the past few thousand years of the most powerful religious groups and the country’s rulers. Viticulture in India has a long history dating back to the time of the Indus Valley civilization when grapevines were believed to have been introduced from Persia.. During the 2nd and 1st millennia, known as the Vedic period, Aryan tribes in the area that is now known as India had a reputation for becoming intoxicated, most likely from wine made from grapes introduced thousands of years earlier by Persian traders. It was referred to as “Somarasa” (The juice extracted by squeezing plants).  

In the 4th century B.C. the writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, reflect the ambivalence about wine that has lasted up until now. The Kshatriya warriors, one of the four social orders in Hinduism held the unique privilege of drinking wine, while lower castes could drink beverages with alcohol that came from fermented wheat, barley and millet. Throughout the next two thousand years India’s wine history has been characterized by prohibitions and elite appreciative partaking. 

Mughal Lady holding wine cup c.1650-60
From 1526-1757, the period ruled by Muslim Mughals (direct descendants of Genghis Khan), alcohol was prohibited in accordance to Islamic dietary laws. For the most part, the masses obeyed. During this period the economy and the arts flowered spectacularly: India became known world-wide for brilliant architectural achievements such as the Taj Mahal and the Pearl mosque. Prohibition of alcohol use has never extinguished the desire for either altered states through alcohol or the deliciousness of grape alcohols, and the Mughal ruler Jahangir was known to enjoy his brandy.

During the Portuguese and British rule of this region viticulture again began to flourish throughout the region; both colonists appreciated wine and encouraged its local production. Beginning in 1863 in France, a phylloxera pest that originated in the Americas devasted vines in Europe and Central Asia. It was a long road for the Indian wine industry to recover from the devastation at the end of the 19th century. However, after Independence from British rule was declared in 1947, the new Indian government stated that one of its aims was again to prohibit alcohol. 

Because wine can be complex, delicious, social, state-altering, and even beautiful, enjoyment of wine will continue to persist despite transitory suppression.
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About LXV : LXV is a wine inspired by the exotic arts of India. The style of the wine is at once classic and contemporary, showcasing the uniqueness of Paso Robles wines. Every release of LXV showcases a small-lot, hand crafted, luxury wine inspired by a particular art of Kama Sutra.  
www.lxvwine.com 
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July 31, 2012

From LXV with Love...

A visual essay on sensuality courtesy of RISE Design Studio 

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RISE Design Studio is a multi-displinary design firm in Los Angeles whose primary focus is to create dynamic visuals that resonate with the mind, body, and soul.  The firm's founder pursued academic studies in religion, philosophy, and psychology… to which he added a deep personal interest in history, the humanities, and cultural anthropology.  RISE works to creatively reintegrate the realms of spirit and sacred culture into the world of contemporary art and design.  The firm produces client work, commissioned artwork, and fine art. 


July 25, 2012

The Umami of Cumin

by Juanita Netoff

Cumin is the umamiest spice in the world, a rising star about to overtake pepper as our favorite seasoning. 


Umami of Cumin | LXV WineLess well-known than basic tastes like sweet or salty, umami is the fifth basic sense/taste, and like all the senses, helps us make good survival choices. Umami signals the presence of amino acids, essential building blocks of proteins. The chemical receptor in the tongue for glutamic acid was identified in 1908 by the Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who named this taste umami, which in Japanese mean delicious and savory. Meats, fish, ripe tomatoes, shittakes, seaweeds, aged cheeses, soy sauce,and some roasted vegetables naturally contain umami and signal highly nutritious foods. Cumin contributes by evoking and enhancing umami, and the senses quicken…

When toasted, cumin really comes alive: the seductive aromas signal satisfaction. Like all spices, cumin affects our perceptions of how good something tastes, how much we desire a food, and what we will do to get it. Of course so do expectations, attitudes, and ambiance. If we expect a sensual, deeply satisfying food experience, and the environment is supportive, our experience reflects exactly that. If our food is also umami, we experience savory satisfaction.

Pulverizing cumin seeds by hand in a mortar, say Tunisian olive wood, with a hard round wood pestle, makes the food feel deeply sensual. Toasting releases an earthy warm, nutty, brothy quality that can now be beautifully imparted to grilled, summer-ripened white peaches, opulent aubergines, or to a a garlic hummus topped with cilantro and paprika. Impossible to separate the blending of all the senses, and each taste—sweet, sour, salty,  bitter, umami and fatty, acts as a signal guiding us towards selecting which foods and nutrients we need to survive and enjoy.


The Rig Veda indicates that cumin was in common use in the region of India thousands of years ago and probably originated in that area.  When you anticipate pleasure by pairing Indian food such as Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry with cumin) with an artfully Syrah and Grenache, you optimize the pleasure and value food and wine can provide.  Some of the best cumin recipes evolved over thousands of years into present-day Indian curries, and no surprise, India is the largest producer of cumin in the world: 25 to 30 thousand tons annually. 

While curry is probably the best known Indian dish featuring cumin, the recipe below offers sensual satisfaction made simple:

Recipe for Hummus 

If we fully engage in creating a dish like the hummus pictured above, which is not only the oldest appetizer in the world but also possibly the most popular and one of the healthiest, we get multisensory-enhanced umami, way beyond taste: we get emergent flavor that is a fusion of everything. Every aspect of the process from toasting to dining will affect your final experience. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes including roasting red peppers and toasting cumin seeds
Total Time: 8-20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons freshly roasted, pulverized cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
cilantro leaves and olive oil to garnish
1/3 c sour cream
Roasted red peppers—optional
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste

Preparation:

Roast cumin seeds in cast iron pan for 5 minutes till lightly browned. Heat the skillet fairly hot; a then stir seeds with a wooden spoon until they begin to emit their fragrance and look lightly toasted.  Cool then add to mortar with garlic and salt. Pound till more flavor is released from garlic and cumin.  Grind pepper.

Optional*: (basic recipe is still delicious but roasted red pepper increases overall umami and adds sensory notes of smokiness, charred, sweet and also bitter) Roast red peppers in 450 degree oven till browned on all sides. Peel skin. Pull our seeds and center and dice pepper flesh finely. Add to hummus at very end.  Save a few strips for the garnish.

Put 1/2 the lemon juice, tahini, cayenne, sour cream and pepper into the blender and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches a granular and more or less homogenous texture, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. This can also be done by hand which adds a few minutes. Put blended ingredients in attractive dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle with paprika and make a swirl pattern on top. Garnish with cilantro and black olives. Serve with pita wedges, lightly toasted.

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June 26, 2012

4 Ways You Can Have Rock Star Sex

by Ayelet Shimron




Rock stars are energetic, they don’t care what people think, and they go against every social convention known to man. So how can you apply these same rock star traits to enhance the energy in your bedroom and become a Rockin’ & Rollin’ Sex Star? Simple! Follow these easy steps and watch your sex life rock n’ roll! Yeah baby yeah!!!


1. Forget about the orgasm! I know this sounds contradictory, because most of us who engage in sexual activity are anticipating the orgasm to occur at some point in every sexual encounter. However, this view of sex could not be more false. If you want to have sex like a rock star, focus on the act of making love as the goal, and not on the orgasm. When we aim for orgasm, not only are we missing the point of love-making, but we set all these expectations up in advance, making it impossible to enjoy the present moment prior to orgasm. Rock stars don’t worry about the future, they rock in the moment! When an orgasm strikes, let it happen. But do not equate sex with orgasm itself. Be conscious in ever present moment during sex, and you will see how much more intense sex can be.

2. Stop thinking and start doing! Whenever you do something that you have been trained to do, such as play sports, you ironically think less about strategy and technique, and you simply play! Get rid of unnecessary thoughts, such as; “is my partner enjoying this” or “does my tummy look fat from that angle?” When you are surrounded and absorbed by racing hormones, the last thing your partner is worried about is that little bit of left over pudge from the ice cream Sunday you had last night. It simply does not happen. When your mind is filled with thoughts of passion and love-making, there physically is no room in the brain for ego and thoughts of judgment. When you start to understand that your partner is just as worried about his or her performance as you are, you begin to trust that what you are doing is always exactly what the other wants, and you stop worrying. Period.

3. Go from one extreme to the next! When rock stars perform, you never see them performing at a steady pace. They either rock extremely slow to build the intensity, or they peak at high-level-energetic magnitudes; jumping up and down, slamming guitars to shattered pieces, drums banging so loud till you can’t tell the difference between the beat of the drum and the beating of your heart. This is how sex must be. Go intensely slow, feel every little bit of movement and breath, even if it feels uncomfortably slow… that’s okay, it means you are preparing for the eruption of energy. Then let it all out, no remorse, every bit of tension, anxiousness, and sexual emotion should get released from every pour of your body until there is nothing left. Then repeat the process. Intensely slow, then transition automatically into intensely “hard-core”! 

4. As soon as you “finish” just remember you are not yet done! Give your body time to absorb the rock star sex you just had. Even though your mind may acknowledge that you have finished the act of sex, there are still immense amounts of electrical energies moving, not only throughout your entire body, but between and around the space you and your partner inhabit. Lay next to each other. Feel the other’s breath. Notice their heart beat through the skin covering their rib cage. Feel the heat that exists between both your body and your partner’s. Simply lay there and enjoy the lasting post-sex moments.

Always remember that sex is supposed to be fun. It should have a rhythm to it. When sex starts to feel like work it gets boring and dull. Go with the flow, feel the energy, and make sure to be conscious and intense in every single moment no matter what! Enjoy future Rock Stars!

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About Ayelet Shimron: Ayelet Shimron is a transformational coach, relationship/sex consultant and motivational speaker. Having traveled to over 30 destinations across the globe to study spirituality, meditation and cultural communication, Ayelet's evolving expertise span from purposeful living and guiding meditations to helping people to love and be loved. “What is life if not experienced in its entirety and with intensity; when we open the door to our hearts, naturally life reveals a dynamic universe of vibrant colors.” Ayelet recently returned from Israel, where she spent 4 months studying the deep mystical secrets of Kabbalah; By applying these secrets to her practice, Ayelet is helping people find true meaning by tapping into the channels of mind, body, and soul.

Twitter: @CoachForLove

June 20, 2012

Today is the MOST sensual day!

by Neeta Mittal


Photograph by Nima Moghini
Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It has deep roots in love, sexuality, sensuality and spirituality... it is about the inner You!

Nature intended this day to be a time of  intensity, renewal and great potential. Amidst the crazy schedules, endless to-do lists, take an hour, a few minutes, a moment: to FEEL... to feel your body, mind and spirit by doing something different.

Have a warm cup of tea in a quiet corner, be still and try to listen to the birds, feel the blades of the grass on your lawn by stepping out barefoot, use your Ipad to play a random album on Spotify, lie in the sun, call an estranged friend. Smile. 

Bask in the afterglow of your sensations...

Numerologist Avia Venefica gives the symbolism of the solstice: This is symbolic of the light of our consciousness shining more brightly in our awareness. It's also symbolic passion, desire and sensuality burning more intensely within the hearts of both humankind and animal kin. The sun is a warming entity, so it fires our passions and heats up our hearts to the potential of life that abounds."

After this day, each moment of light recedes a bit more, leaving each a day a smidge darker than the last.

So, step outside ... NOW ! Soak up the sun, savor the summer heat, seek out a SUNFLOWER!
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June 18, 2012

Khajuraho : Expression of an evolved civilization





Known to have one of the world’s oldest civilizations in its history, India has also been known as a land of mysticism and exotica. For centuries travelers have come here seeking its treasures both material and spiritual and have never left empty-handed. Today, more than ever, people come here from around the world to learn more about its culture and to gain in-depth knowledge of its ancient scriptures and way of living; yoga being quite the crowd-puller. But what has surprised and piqued the curiosity of the world most about India as they stepped foot here, is its unabashed sensuous history. For a coy country comfortably ensconced in arranged marriages and sexual prudery, the casual traveler has been left surprised by the incredibly sensuous sculptures adorning none other than its holy temple walls…

Many have debated over the importance and relevance of the curvaceous nymphs carved into the walls of Indian temples along with passionate scenes of love-making straight out of the pages of the famed Kamasutra. The reasons could be many; different experts have different views on this subject. The most common belief, though, is that the temples were carved to depict everything about human life – from wars that people fought at that time to routine daily chores and to, of course, the act of procreation. Increasing the race was highly encouraged and considered an act of celebration, which is also probably why it was joyously depicted in the sculptures. Moreover, it cannot be denied that these are also a  celebration of the human form, particularly the female form, apparent in the hundreds of full-figured, graceful apsaras that adorn the temple walls.

Nowhere are these sculptures more beautifully carved and depicted than on the temple walls of Khajuraho, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Built over a span of 200 years between 950 AD and 1150 AD, these magical monuments in sandstone are the epitome of India’s sensuous history. Here the wonderfully joyful and well-endowed nymphs are showcased going about their daily life with music and dance, sometimes putting on make-up or simply admiring themselves in a mirror. Images of couples in amorous embraces called Mithunas are particularly striking in their gracefulness and explicitness. Each temple houses hundreds of these beautiful sculptures, which are a veritable feast to the eyes. A visit to Khajuraho, therefore, is highly recommended to those who wish to experience the perfect blend of artistry on stone with aesthetic sensuality.





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About Madhu & Savi: On their 10th anniversary, Madhu and Savi decided to try out something they had been dreaming of for a long time … a multi-year trip through India! Today, with the wealth of knowledge gained over the years, they are providing fellow travelers with custom designed trips to India, ensuring them a unique experience in a multi-faceted country that has so much to offer! www.10yearitch.com

June 7, 2012

Genesis of “LXV” (Yes… we filmmakers are a bit dramatic)



Lights camera ..... bottle? Not exactly what I had in mind when I explored the exotic realm of KamaSutra with a pen in my hand.

"The 65th Art": a story about an 1820s Victorian household shaken by an unofficial copy of the KamaSutra! The characters of my screenplay lived a contrived, bottled-up Victorian life in Sealy Manor … paisleys, side saddle, butlers ... you get the idea!!! Until one day, an Indian walked into Sealy Manor.  A man with exotic looks and even more exotic ideologies. A KamaSutra guru! He brought with him a storm of love, passion and romance, dizzying all the characters. The nobility of England found itself exploring the various arts of the KamaSutra, surprising even the Indian. But one special Victorian caught his eye: a nymph named Ana...

But these ramblings are not about my screenplay, but about the manifestation of what happened next, with "The 65th Art"

Well what happened was the ubiquitous writer's block. My characters started staring back at me with the words I chose as if to say: "Really! Is this is the best you've got!". I escaped to the beautiful countryside of Paso Robles for inspiration. Beautiful rustic wineries surrounded by picturesque beauty.  Much like the English countryside. But sunnier... Much sunnier!

I visited various wine appellations: Napa, Paso, Santa Ynez, Templeton, Trader Joes, Ralphs! The mustard fields, smell of fermenting grapes and the lapping winery dogs will do that to you!

Wine and wine country became an inspiration, and then an essential , not only for me, but my characters. My leading lady often demanded a sniff of Gew├╝rztraminer before letting me know what she would do next. Yes, she had exotic tastes! My butler seemed to steal swigs of Merlot. I did not understand why until I watched Sideways!!!


This menage a trois between the characters, the vino and me continued for two years. Till I had bottled the perfect blend - a beautiful screenplay, that is.
 

After shopping around the screenplay for two years and seeing it (almost) on the marquee, things happened, as they do in Hollywood. I had to shelf "The 65th Art!"

As I sat down to pen a new screenplay, all I could remember were the deliciously intoxicated nights at Sealy manor with Ana, the butler, the other residents and, of course,  the Indian guru. As I watched them open up to the possibilities of the ancient Indian philosophy, I wondered: what if the Indian guru were to time travel to where I am???

So on the marquee is LXV - a wine inspired by the 64 arts of Kamasutra, in honor of the the divine sensuality in you: the 65th Sutra!

Welcome to LXV!

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About LXV : LXV is a wine inspired by the exotic arts of India. The style of the wine is at once classic and contemporary, showcasing the uniqueness of Paso Robles wines. Every release of LXV showcases a small-lot, hand crafted, luxury wine inspired by a particular art of Kama Sutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, 
art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you. 
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