I am very excited to announce this new series of my blog and newsletter in which I will be letting you in on some of my very favorite things. It may be a book, a blog, a food product, service, or anything else I think is beneficial to share. For my very first “favorite thing”, I would like to introduce you to my friend and colleague Jeff Cannon who is an expert in modern day meditation. This man has a fascinating story, which includes owning a successful PR firm in NYC, healing after the removal of multiple brain tumors, and awakening to a better, more fulfilling lifestyle. That is the very abbreviated version of his story, but you can read more about Jeff and his journey here.

Although Jeff is a wealth of knowledge in regards to staying sane in this hectic world, this post will focus on what I think is a beautiful gift for almost any occasion, his handmade Nepali prayer ribbons! Read on to learn the meaning and inspiration behind these beautiful ribbons.

JHW: What was your inspiration for creating these ribbons/bracelets?
Jeff: I wanted to give back to the community and the world at large. It’s why I teach Modern Meditation – to create a more mindful world. When I learned of the ribbons the women in Nepal were making, it just struck me as something much bigger than just turning old saris into silk. It represented a larger circle that carried a lot of energy. I wanted to expand that circle and widen it. These ribbons are my way to doing just that. Every one we sell sends money back to help educate and provide healthcare for the women of Nepal, just as their work sends their energy to each of us.

JHW: How do you hope these ribbons will inspire people?
Jeff: Each ribbon has been touched by dozens of hands. They represent the hopes and dreams of a lot of people. That energy is bestowed in the ribbons and the charms we have attached to them. They are a reminder of the good in the world and in the human heart. When you tie one around your wrist or around a door knob, you are transferring that energy to whatever it is you want to bless. So join us and join the world with a blessing and a reminder of love, care, and energy

JHW: What is the vintage fabric made from?
Jeff: Each ribbon is hand torn made from vintage silk saris. Local Nepali women spend their time, hand-tearing the strips that are wound into each prayer bracelet. They are fair trade items that help the women who up-cycle this unique and beautiful fabric. They are also the source for donations to the Asha-Nepal Foundation [http://www.asha-nepal.org]

JHW: Tell me a little bit about the organization you donate to:
Jeff: Asha Nepal is a small charity run on a totally voluntary basis in the UK by a small team of trustees with a deep personal commitment to transforming the lives of exploited, abused and endangered women and children in Nepal. In Nepal, they have a small, dedicated, salaried team of staff. The Nepal coordinator, a qualified nurse with a degree in counseling and psychology, has over fourteen years’ experience of working with trafficked women and victims of HIV. Asha Nepal is a human rights organization working towards the social and economic empowerment of women and children affected by sex trafficking. Asha is the Nepali word for hope. Hundreds of thousands of women and children in Nepal suffer daily from extreme human rights abuses – sex trafficking, sexual and physical abuse, child labor, and discrimination due to gender, caste and HIV/Aids. We are fighting for women’s social status to be raised, to help victims break free from this vicious, violent circle.

JHW: How do the ribbons tie into your philosophy of including meditation in our modern day lives?
Jeff: Each ribbon is a circle, the same circle we create within ourselves when we become mindful. We become aware, we acknowledge our thoughts and we let them go. These bracelets help us maintain that same circle in our daily lives by becoming aware, by acknowledging, and by letting go. The work these women do is a reminder of what we have and how we can help those thousands of miles away.

So there you have it friends, my first favorite thing! I assure you anyone would be thrilled to receive this beautiful gift as a symbol of mindfulness, blessings, hope, and philanthropy. Check out all of Jeff’s products, workshops, and programs at www.simple-truth.com. Click here for a direct link to the prayer ribbons.