My Teacher Lama Jigme Gyatso

Lama Jigme Gyatso’s latest teachings  will be This coming Saturday. The teachings are absolutely free. You can attend either in person or online. For more information, peruse the link below
Don’t miss a single video or essay

BOOK REVIEW: Rituals for Living Dream Book and Planner

Rituals for Living Dream book

Peter Borten and Briana Borten

Rituals For Living Dream book is not merely a daily planner, or even a calendar. It is GPS for the soul. Through the use of ritual and dreams, we are able to put our lives into perspective, and accomplish goals that we once thought were impossible. Authors Peter and Briana Borton guide us on an exploration of our personal journeys, through ritual, dreams, health, well being and connection with family, friends and the world as a whole. And by doing so, we can lead richer, more fulfilling lives.

The book begins with a series of interesting, thought provoking questions, and through these questions we are able plan out the details of our lives; some of these details we many not even be aware of. As the reader works through the series of questions, we find that the dreams we once thought were unattainable, are doable, providing we use proper planning.

Once we complete the journal questions, and contemplate them, we move on to creating mind maps. These mind maps provide us with a way to take our thoughts and ideas and put them into a visual context. This creates big picture plans that we can break down and utilize without becoming overwhelmed and quitting even before the planning stage is completed.

As we travel deeper into the book, we see how these big picture plans are broken down into annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly plans which neatly manages projects without the reader becoming overwhelmed. There is even a section for lifetime plans, and smaller places on the pages for daily and weekly tasks, as well as a fun checklist that we can use to make sure we get enough play time in. At the end of the week are summary pages where the reader can log items of interest, such as the completion of a task ahead of time, or aha! Moments, dreams or anything that comes to mind..

The hard cover version for Rituals of Living Dreambook and Planner is $45.00. Rituals for Living and Dreambook without Planner is $40.00 It’s a bit pricey for most people, but worth every penny. However, if money is tight, there is a PDF version the reader can get for $15.00. The PDF can be easily printed off and placed in a 3 holed binder. It also makes it easier to print off and use new sheets as the need warrants it. Or the reader could also get a bound blank ruled journal and simply hand write everything out. I do that myself and found it to be a very organic and enjoyable experience, with plenty of inspirational and aha! moments.

My copy of Rituals for Living is now a constant companion. I use it every single day, and it never leaves my side. I absolutely love this book and I think you’ll love it too. Rituals for Living Dream Book is available at Dragontree Apothecary as well as It is a hot item and sells out quickly, but Dragontree Apothecary tells me that Amazon has a new order in, so go get it now while it is still in stock.

The Dragontree Publishing

ISBN# 978-0-997278-3-9

© 2015 by Peter and Briana Borten

Price: $.40.00 Hardbound, $15.00 Paperback

Reviewed by Patricia Snodgrass

How to help Louisiana flood victims

I am not from Louisiana. My grandfather, however was as well as my ancestors. Rapides Parish is my ancestral home. And Louisiana beats in my heart. I’ve been watching the flooding, much like yourselves and it breaks my heart. Here is a website that you can peruse to assist those in need.

May the flooding cease and no more deaths occur.

Koui Vini Vs. Louisiana French. What’s the Diff? John LaFleur straightens it out.

This is an essay from John LaFleurII reprinted by permission.

Are Louisiana French & Louisiana Creole (Couri-veni”) Really “Two Separate & Unequal Languages”. As Some Believe?

Louisiana, French & Acadian Cultural NEWSFLASH with John LaFleur II, copyright 2016, All rights reserved. Repost updated.

Creoles of Color, like their white ancestors and cousins, spoke Louisiana French, once referred to as “Louisiana Creole French” (because it was spoken by Creoles of Louisiana!) and which they appropriately referred to as “Creole” because it is one of many unstandardized dialects of Colonial French; which in Louisiana, assimilated the Mobilian-Choctaw trade jargon, along with some African and Spanish-Cuban vocabulary; all of which linguistic sources reflect the several different historical and cultural layers of creolization (cultural fusion) unique to Louisiana’s history.
See Dr William H. Read’s “Louiisiana Place Names of Indian Origin” and Dr. James Broussard’s “Louisiana Creole French” -Foreword.
See also “If I Could Turn My Tongue Like That…” by Dr. Thomas Klinger (Tulane University, New Orleans) a coauthor of our two “separate, but believed unequal” forms of Louisiana French dialects. He is a chief proponent of the “two totally separate languages” theory.
But, he does honestly acknowledge that our people, the speakers of both dialects, do NOT see or believe these to be “two totally separate languages.”
Although I understand the argument for this theory, I don’t buy it either.
The French of Canray Fontenot heard in this splendid video is the language of his ancestors-both French Colonial Canadian
“Courreurs de bois”” Metis/creole, and that of the first West African francophonic slaves.
It was also the language of non-Cajun, Amedee Ardoin!
It is absolutely not “Courri-veni” or “Gumbo;” or nowadays, relabeled “Louisiana Kreyole”!
CODOFIL’s supporters later switched the previous historical labels of our two Louisiana-based dialects to force the Anglo-American bi-caste social division of black or white; under the “black is Creole” and “white is Cajun” racial stereotype; and thus, gave the misleading impression of a “black French” and a “white French” which is still promoted out of Lafayette for the last 47 years; and, it all began-notably-in 1968.
The truth is that white, black and of color folks simply speak either of our two kindred forms of French, all depending upon their communities’ particular tradition or dialect.
“Louisiana Kreyole” formerly known as “Gumbo” or as “Courri-veni” is a Louisiana French-based dialect which allegedly follows an African syntax; but, it has always been spoken by white Acadian descendants, and Creoles-of all colors!
To outsiders and the impressionable, whose starting point is the later Anglo-American racial model of how to look at our linguistic-cultural situation, it does indeed, appear to be a “black or white” cultural issue.
What may be argued as “African syntax,” and not “French” syntax, is a tricky matter since Louisiana French was a Colonial French patois from the start and, predates any later FRENCH standardization.
There were also Spanish and Germanic language groups who both adapted and adopted Louisiana Colonial French creole as their new tongue; did they, too, create “new languages?”
Do we conclude that the syntax of their original tongues is or was imposed upon their Louisiana French speech, too?
Most of these folks were also illiterate in their native language, AND in Louisiana French, too!
This black vs White French notion is largely due to the mass marketing and publishing of such ahistorical stereotypes fostered out of Lafayette’s Cajunist tourist bureau and the writings of her former pro-Cajun university professors.
Shane Bernard, a pro-Cajunist, trained historian, for example, disregards the historical-chronological term of Creole when referring to non-Acadian families and pre-Acadian Louisiana Colonial history!
Thus, he leads the Cajun cavalry of perpetuating the false impression that all of the “French-speaking triangle” dubbed “Acadiana” since 1971, is, was and always has been an original Acadian settlement region. It has not.
Uninformed readers and today’s public, and our children are thus conditioned to believe the Lafayette racial-cultural stereotype, and Cajun myth/history.
The myth of Louisiana’s “Couri-veni” or “Gumbo” and now, “Louisiana Creole,” as being a “totally unique language” independent of its clear Louisiana French mother source, and presumed to be a singular “black French” more nearly resembling Haitian Creole (notwithstanding its unique Louisiana cultural predictable and expected birthmarks of Choctaw, Spanish & American lexicon, which attest to its Louisiana-based evolution), is a politically-motivated, imaginary lie!
“Gumbo” (“Louisiana Creole”) is deliberately written in International phonetic script in its own dictionary, which gives the misleading impression of being a mysteriously different language altogether. It is also always written phonetically, as if by a child who doesn’t yet grasp correct spelling. Is that accidental?
But, in fact, every word of it is indisputably our Louisiana French patois, which incorporates the Mobilian-Choctaw Trade jargon; and this is clearly seen when it is written in Roman script!
So, what’s the benefit of learning “Louisiana Creole” or more precisely, “Couri-veni” patois-besides evading learning to pronounce, read, write and spell Louisiana French grammatically correct, and reinforcing the illiterate black stereotype?
For some, it is the SATISFACTION of a fantasy of an exotic/romantic “African heritage” -which Africans-appropriately-disclaim, as they do the Haitian Creole!
For still others, it is the triumph of dividing a once commonly held cultural identity into the preferred Anglo-American social apartheid, or caste making everyone, “black or white.”
Ironically or curiously, the “Dictionary of Louisiana Creole” was published by the same publishers of the “Dictionary of Louisiana French…” (read its Foreword regarding the inappropriate relabeling of our historical Louisiana French as “Cajun French” in this big book!).
And, despite some pronoun and verbal differences in usage by its speakers, “Couri-veni” remains and retains every other component of Louisiana French!
With the exception of only one pronoun, the Louisiana Creole or “Couri-veni” dialect is entirely FRENCH.
It evolved in Louisiana, not in Haiti; the result (or consequence) of French-illiterate slaves struggling to imitate the language of their French and diverse Louisiana Creole masters.
Prior to 1968, South Louisiana celebrated one unifying franco- and Creolophone culture shared by whites, free people of color and blacks.
“Creole” had never represented any one race in all of its 500 year history until the American Louisiana attempt to racialize it; first, by whites as representative of the so-called “ruling class” of French and Spanish-descended citizens of Old New Orleans; and nowadays, by racist-inclined “Creoles of color” who think that having babies or family with “good hair and bright skin” automatically makes them magically “Creole,” while disdaining black Creoles!
The older Franco-creole folks, black, white and of color, have never been fooled into believing what these “scholars” see or say. To them, this is an outrageously stupid misinterpretation of our Louisiana French language dialect. And, I must agree.
In spite of the ignorance and/or arrogance of these folks, Creole remains our shared Louisiana-based cultural, local and historical identity; one that even the children of the Acadians claimed before and after their Louisiana transplantation.
That unique cultural identity is “Creole” toujours, cher, and it was long and proudly paraded behind late 19th century license plates and souvenir mementos as late as the 1960s; after which decade CODOFIL and the University of Lafayette began its shameless division of this once singular culture into its Anglo-American-preferred white or black, Cajun vs Creole apartheid, and stereotype.
Today, mass misinformation, coddled by insatiable greed, promotes this naive stereotype, as does local and personal ignorance; and sometimes, hubris.


I was told many years ago, the key to one’s culture is not in the food you eat or the clothes you wear, but in the language you speak. This is why those who wish others to force assimilate into mainstream culture is so eager to destroy someone else’s language. There was a time, not too long ago, when speaking French or Kouri Vini (The language of the Creoles)w as forbidden.  Now it is flourishing. I am wanting to learn both languages, but for now I am focusing on Kouri Vini.

I use the Memrise site to learn from. If you wish to learn as well, here’s the link

I’ll post more about what I learn in the weeks to come. This will be fun.

Cajun? Creole? A Historical Article Written by my friend Christophe Landry


Despite all the racial madness in the US in recent years, there is one positive occurrence.

Twenty years ago, Cajuns and Creoles lived somewhat separate social lives.

Catholic leaders from outside of the state had pressured the Louisiana Catholic hierarchy to racially segregate their congregations. Money proved a final blow to the Louisiana Church’s integrationism: integrated Catholic churches in Louisiana were bursting from the seems, and poor and working class “white” Creoles (great-grandparents of Cajuns) became increasingly confused and resentful that they had to sit next to Creoles “of color” and “black” Creoles in the last pews in church, or in the precepts above the congregation in the back.

Back then, almost all Catholic churches in our community required all parishioners pay pew rentals to secure a place in the middle and at the front of the church.

Formal segregation of many of our Catholic churches finally materialized in the WW1 era and it was propelled by American and Irish Catholic religious communities—like missionary organizations including the Sisters of the Blesséd Sacrament and Fathers of the Holy Ghost—who built and staffed new Catholic churches and schools, but only for “Indians and Colored people.” Katherine DREXEL thus offered her money in the thousands to relieve overburdened priests in churches to accommodate the spiritual welfare of all parishioners in their ecclesiastic jurisdiction, adequately/equally. But she demanded that the new spaces she financed cater to nonwhites only. This began in 1918 in southwest Louisiana when the Diocese of Lafayette was created.

The diocese’s first bishop, Jules Benjamin JEANMARD, a “white” Creole from Breaux Bridge, bemoaned these changes, and labored to retain the region’s last public integrated spaces (though they had their own forms of discrimination within them). But he eventually had no choice but to acquiesce. By 1940, over 30 new churches, chapels, and schools were established exclusively for blackened Creoles (they too had pew rental arrangements). But under these new arrangements, JEANMARD stipulated in synods that all territorial churches (the original, integrated church parishes) must continue to accept their nonwhite brethren. Some “white” Creoles attended mass at the new racial church parishes (those intended for nonwhites only), too.

These Creoles largely continued to live side by side all over south Louisiana, on land passed down in Creole families since the Spanish period (1762-1803). But all public institutions had racially segregated and Creoles came to live separate public/social lives. Separatism was so effective that some Creoles came to no longer see themselves as one community of diverse phenotypes, and it gave rise to Cajun identity in the 1970s.

Twenty years ago, I worked at the Acadian Memorial in St Martinville. It was rare to see Creoles “of color” visit the museum, and even rarer to see them at the Congrès Mondial Acadien in 1999, and at the annual Fête de l’Assomption celebrations in honor of the Acadian history and people. You saw some Cajuns at Zydecoes, but you could count them on two hands. Creoles were pissed that Cajuns rebranded everything with a Cajun label, claimed it as theirs, excluded nonwhites from the commemorations and identity, and sold these things to the world as somehow coming from Nova Scotia. CREOLE Inc was born out of this dichotomy, as was the Un-Cajun Committee. Some advances were made, especially in Lafayette where the city-parish government adjusted its slogan to be more inclusive and mindful of Creoles who retained the historic identity. But Cajuns and Creoles still mostly disclaimed one another.

Something happened in the last 5 years that brought Cajuns and Creoles together. Now, you see Cajuns referring to Creoles as “mon cousin/ma cousine,” they are establishing meaningful relationships across the so-called color line, are increasingly acknowledging the deleterious effects of Jim Crow on our community, and recognizing that we once shared a commun cultural and locational identity. You even see a surge in the amount of Cajuns who now identify as “Cajun and Creole,” and many who now identify as “Creoles of Acadian descent.”

It’s pretty remarkable considering the racial climate in the US since 2008. We still have much work to do but the great and discrete strides made must be applauded.


Ensemble on est capable !
Nouzòt çé tous in sèl famiy!

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Chef John La Fleur Appearance

From his Face Book Page:

Louisiana, French & Acadian Cultural News UPDATE!
Creole Gourmet chef John LaFleur to appear at Zuppardo’s on Saturday, August 13, 12:00-4:00 pm!

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John LaFleur II

Truth makes for a delicious label on a can, and flavors the soul of all who savor it; even as the wisdom of the Native peoples married indiscriminately to the Franco Europeans, and the West Africans, the Spanish, the Germans, Irish & Italians provides a true “bouquet garni” of healthful, delicious flavors carefully blended in C’est Bon! Old Creole Herb & Spice of Louisiana A WORLD of Flavor!
It’s NOT “just another box of Cajun salt, cher!

Louisiana Creole Gourmet-author-educator to appear in Metairie, Louisiana on Saturday, August 13, at Zuppardo ‘s famous food market on the corner at Veteran’s and Transcontinental from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm to introduce and demonstrate the culinary use and explain healthful benefits of this truly Louisiana Creole product which celebrates ALL of her diverse Creoles, who together, over 300 years created our delicious cultural heritage, it’s traditions, languages and cuisine!

“Creole ” is our shared culture. An adjective from the 16th century, it always referred to the native-born children of foreign-born parents…”