The Intersection of Scotland and Zen

With seventy-percent of the earth’s surface covered by water, it’s no wonder the ocean is nature’s most spectacular force.

Colloquially known as Paddy’s Milestone, Ailsa Craig—a beautiful island just off the west coast of Scotland—is where the stones in our pendants were collected. The stones were smoothed by the tumbling waves of the sea, and are now worn by my husband, son, and self.

Scottosh Sea Slate


  • Simplicity
  • Inner peace
  • Strength to weather a storm


  • Be calm and patient
  • Be yourself—down-to-earth, non-superficial
  • Flow—move forward with the natural current of life, don’t fight against the tides

In Scotland, it’s traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns grow ever larger. An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn — “I’ll put a stone on your cairn.”

Do you have a favorite tradition?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are  choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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X is for Xanadu

Laurie's Dream Cottage

Laurie's Dream Cottage

You remember the 1980 musical/romance film, Xanadu, with Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck, and Gene Kelly.

Xanadu—where time stops and the magic never ends.

Xanadu has come to represent the ideal, Nirvana, or paradise. The photograph in this post is of my dream cottage located in the extreme northern Highlands of Scotland. It represents my idea of utopia; my Xanadu.

Geographically speaking, where is your Xanadu?

By the way, Xanadu—the song by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra—was ELO’s first and only #1 hit. The song has been touted as being the only song in the Billboard Hot 100 to begin with the letter “X”.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

The Color of Wellness – Continued

Tobermory Bay, Isle of Mull, Scotland

When the ferry pulls into the bay in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, you can’t help but grin at the colorful buildings as they greet you from the waterfront.

People react to color. It triggers responses at the subconscious level—personal associations, memories, and vibrations. We express ourselves through the colors we wear and surround ourselves with. We’re irresistibly drawn to certain colors and repelled by others. Psychologists have found that colors affect our preferences, character, behavior, and personality. The world-famous psychological test—The Lüscher Color Test—bases color as indicators of basic personality traits.

Color also affects our response to food. For example, in fast food restaurants the décor is often designed around appetite-promoting colors which include red, yellow, and orange. We see these colors so often in marketing campaigns that we not only associate those colors with food, but with the idea of increasing the portion size on our plate. As a society we’ve come to refer to this as “super sizing.”

Each color has a variety of shades. For instance, pure colors are bright or high chroma. Muted colors are lower intensity than the pure colors. Shaded colors have even lower color intensity than muted colors. Every shade of color can speak volumes about your personal style, without you saying a word. And while color perception is highly personal and connects directly with individual memories and emotions, it has a universal language.

We’ve all heard the sayings: “Red with anger,” “Red-blooded,” “Yellow-bellied,” “Golden experience,” “Green with envy,” “Give the green light,” “Feeling blue,” “A black mood,” “White as sheep,” “White elephant,” and “A colorful character.”

Color has remarkable therapeutic benefit. The pineal gland secretes serotonin which has an uplifting effect. It helps us to stay aware and alert. It’s stimulated by daylight and the colors yellow, orange, and red.

Melatonin—a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles—has a sedative effect. It’s stimulated by night and the colors green, blue, and purple. People suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a specific type of depression in winter months—have high levels of melatonin due to lack of sunlight. They respond well to therapy with a full-spectrum white light.

Color produces moods, feelings, and sensations that almost everyone recognizes. Many people use color to transform the place they live into a place they love. In each of the next seven “classes” we’ll take a close look at specific colors and how they can help to unleash the unlimited potential and possibility of different aspects of your fundamental nature.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.