Why Meditate?

“You will have to understand one of the most fundamental things about meditation: that no technique leads to meditation. The old so-called techniques and the new scientific biofeedback techniques are the same as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation is not a byproduct of any technique. Meditation happens beyond mind. No technique can go beyond mind.” – Osho

 

Why Meditate?

 I’ve been meditating since I was a child. I use to walk into the sheep pasture and slowly trace the paths in which the herd had walked. Mindfully I would place my feet inside the lines of the path. Sheep spread out in the field but when they are traveling from one area of the pasture to the other they walk in a single file line and in time the field that is a lush green color has narrow brown lines marking the trails. I suppose these trails marked throughout the pasture were my labyrinth. I would ponder my worries, talk them out loud and sit in quietness amongst the herd, make up songs and sing as loud as I could. I enjoyed watching the behaviors of the animals, the texture of nature and the grounding of the Earth beneath me. As an adult, I learned that these behaviors were called mindfulness and meditation.

The psychological benefits of meditation are that it reduces stress-related conditions such as anxiety and depression. When we meditate, the brain and the nervous system undergo radical changes that cause the reduction and prevention of these conditions. Meditation increases stress resilience. Meditation popularity is increasing as more people discover the health benefits. Some other benefits of meditation are promoting emotional health, enhances self-awareness, lengthens our attention span, reduce age-related memory loss, can support us in generating kindness, may help you fight addictions, improves sleep and helps control pain.

For me, meditation helps me burn off the emotions that need to be felt and processed such as anger, sadness, disappointment, worry, anxiety, stress and enables me to have a deeper understanding of my inner-self. I have been able to gain a better understanding of my life’s purpose.

What is meditation?

Often I am told, “ I can not meditate I’m terrible at it, I just can not clear my mind!” I explain that meditating is not about clearing the mind to a state of nothing. It isn’t even about sitting in quietness to meditate. You could sit in the middle of Times Square and still meditate. It is about taking time to sit in your stillness and observe what bubbles up for you. We forget that the mind is an organ and its thoughts are its movement. The mind also shares inner wisdom and the ego can make a lot up. When we take time to meditate it allows us to discern which-is-which for us. The goal of meditation if there even is one is to go beyond the superficial thoughts of the mind and experience our true essential selves because we are not stressed, we are not anxiety, we are not depression and so on. The mind itself is often our biggest obstacle standing between ourselves and this awareness. When we are fixed on one particular belief or outcome than it impedes our ability to grow.

I also want to share that meditation isn’t about always having a positive and happy mind. I’ll use myself as an example. When I first started my yoga journey I thought wow this is a lifestyle method in which I will always be positive, positive things will always happen to me if I learn these techniques. As I am nearing almost two decades of personal practice I am learning that life still happens, challenges and storms still happen, and all emotions still happen. It is more about acknowledging the opposites and choosing a course that is in the middle

How does meditation improve mindfulness?

Meditation and mindfulness are a mental discipline. It is often started by focusing your attention on your breath, doing a body scan and focusing on a body sensation, or even an affirmation or word. You take an inventory of your thoughts, emotions, sounds that are arising from moment-to-moment and observing them without criticism or analyzing. If you find your mind drifting into the past, future or something that is not the theme that you picked you recognizing that and bring it back to the present moment. This act is an act of mindfulness. In the May 2011 issue of Neuroimage suggested that one effect of this focus and refocused is increased brain connectivity.  There have also been studies using MRI’s to document the changes in the brain and the relationship of the health benefits.

Research on meditation?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), many studies have investigated mediation for different conditions and there is evidence that it may reduce blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, flare-ups for ulcerative colitis, ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and help with insomnia. Some research suggestions that it may physically change the brain and body to promote healthy behaviors.  Meditation is generally considered to be safe for healthy people. There have been rare reports that meditation could cause or worsen symptoms in people with psychiatric problems.

Sara Lazar of MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program a Harvard Medical School Instructor in Psychology explains: “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist through the day. The study demonstrates that changes in the brain structure may underlie some of these reported  proves and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”

Brittain Holzel first author of the paper and research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany states: “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that by, practicing meditation, we can plan an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life. Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanism in the brain that facilitates this change.”

Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness, physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping, illness and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind-Body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior. There are many types of meditation, however, there are some shared elements such as a comfortable posture, a place that you feel safe and offers fewer distractions, a focused attention, and an open attitude.

 

Resources:

 

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overviewhtm

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Why do we disembody from our mindfulness practices?

Over the last three years and I have struggled with maintaining my own mindfulness practices. I experienced a tremendous amount of grief all at once. It hit me as if someone had pulled the chair out from under me and I had not realized how far it was to the floor. I was being hit so fast with so much that my body was using disembodiment as a protection mechanism –which there is value to this. I was experiencing my being through a whole other aspect. I have kept up with my self-care practices even beefed them up more than usual. I let go of my attachments to what “I thought they should be” and allowed myself to choose practices that “would support me” at the moment. I no longer felt guilty for doing my self-care practices because I realized that they were an act of self-care and self-love and those that judged me for doing them told a story more about that person than me. Society doesn’t value the miraculousness of the body’s ability to self-regulate and self-heal.

As I found a path out to a new perspective I realized that this was an act of mindfulness and yet again another personal growth journey. I began to take my learning into the worlds of nerves, organs, feelings, and needs. I am no longer afraid to feel the big joy and aliveness that my personal practices bring me. When I manage the mud the lotus of my heart can bloom.

What does dis-embodiment mean? It is the act of instance of disembodying on the state of being disembodied.  Disembody is the separate or free (of something) from its concrete form and to deprive of bodily existence. We know that roughly ninety-five percent of what we do is driven by our unconsciousness. If through our personal practices of movement we can make the unconscious conscious how will that affect our lives? This leads me to my next question- How do I inspire clients to understand the treasure of their body? When we are alive and doing our movement practices to the best of our ability at that time of doing we are living in the present tense and we have an awareness to listen to our bodies messages which are embodiment.

 In the unconscious mind, we have things like our belief system, memories, narratives, intuition, moment-to-moment sensations and so on. Do we fully allow ourselves to feel it? Or have we turned down the volume because our culture couldn’t tolerate all the feelings or not have the ability to understand us. We don’t get to turn the volume down on just pain instead when we turn the volume down we are turning the volume down on everything. This leads to things like losing trust in ourselves, thinking that movement will hurt us, that any felt sense must be bad and so on. Our right brain is where we connect with our feeling of being whole. When we allow our stories to take over we are disconnecting from our sense of knowing and our “should’s” take over. Stories don’t happen in the present tense. Examples of stories are: I’ll ruin someone time with my needs; I’m a burden; No one likes me; When I get the new job I’ll feel great.  How do we avoid our body? We disconnect through moving to the left brain and work on becoming our “should’s” our ego mind says to stay within these narrow parameters?  While our inner wisdom usually asks questions like: What are you capable of? Who are you? What is good for you?

All of this is difficult and painful work as we learn to accept all of our emotions and flow the body through movement. No Mud- No Lotus!

 

Resources: Bliss and Grit Episode #12 http://www.blissandgrit.com/

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What is Truth?

No valid plan for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts

 

In yoga philosophy, there are four functions of the mind. Manas (senses) which is where the sensory, processing mind lives. Chitta (consciousness) which is the storage of impressions. Ahamkara (ego) where our “I-maker” or ego is. Buddhi (intellect) where we know, decide, judge and discriminate. You can think of these four functions as spokes of a wheel and at the center of the wheel is the hub that directs energy out to the spokes. That hub is known as atman or the self in which we observe from. As we observe our actions and speech it reveals the underlying thought process in the mind. It is this observing of actions and speech, that we observe the inner process of the mind at the same time.

Alan Watts in his “Veil of Thoughts” series discusses how and we mistake symbols for reality, and he argues that civilization may be a misguided experiment. He offers an observation about the way in which abstractions have become more powerful than the realities they are referencing. He further talks about how we can become “unbamboozled” from these ways of thinking.

Thought is a means of canceling truth….we are living in a state of total confusion between symbol and reality.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts suggestions are:

1.) Thoughts are largely symbolic, and not necessarily true.

2.) Symbols create and contain abstractions.

3.) The separation of self from the environment is uncomfortable but ultimately the illusion.

4.) Reality is difficult to define because it is ever present, yet ever changing.

We can only experience reality by bringing our whole consciousness into the present moment.- by allowing our minds to unconsciously respond to the present as the trees respond to the wind- without hesitation or thought. This is meditation!

The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.” – Marvin L. Minsky

Truth is inconvenient- How do we navigate the pain in the ass place that happens over and over again in everyone’s lives? What happens when we don’t listen and instead stick our head in the sand? How do we manage desires, ego, and thinking errors?  When you understand why you feel nervous, annoyed, hassled, driven, blue, or inadequate, those feelings have less power over you.

Yamas in yoga are moral disciplines and Satya means truthfulness. The Upanishads teach us that we are not three-dimensional beings but multi-dimensional beings that have five kosha body’s or sheaths. The Kosha sheaths are the Physical Body, Energy Body, Emotional Body, Wisdom Body and the Bliss Body. This is the healing model from which Yoga Therapy works from.

Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

 

Resources:

Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, PhD. With Richard Mencius, M.D. https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Brain-Practical-Neuroscience-Happiness/dp/1572246952/ref=sr_1_1/133-9015475-7796041?ie=UTF8&qid=1517346873&sr=8-1&keywords=buddha+brain+book

www.alanwatts.org

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Do we actually know what is in our our best interest let alone someone else’s?

This blog is inspired by my own life experience, and Harvard professor Michael Puerto who has written the book The Path and Heather Lanier Ted Talk -“good” or “bad” are incomplete stores we tell ourselves.

 

The phrase “getting what I want” or is it a broader interest of “doing what is best for all those I come in contact with.” I struggle with this question during this phase of my life. I am halfway through my life and as I reflect I had desired to have accomplished more and yet grateful for everything that I have created in my life. I struggle with this question in regards to advocating for my aging parents. Different things matter to each of us; we see things through a different lens of life (personally, history, values). This question weighs on my life as it takes a dramatic shift. As my parent’s age and I am looked upon to make decisions for them in the future. I mean I indeed live a different life than my family will I make the decisions about their life that they had envisioned for themselves.

 

This struggle comes from my western view of good and bad, as I learn through my yoga practice to stop fixating on solutions for whatever I deem as not reasonable and instead learn to take life as it comes. As I learn that things aren’t one or the other and get a higher perspective of a bigger picture I learn that it is about finding the middle ground between the opposites. As I practice this, I begin to notice more peace, joy, and love in my life. There is this ancient Taoist parable that is about 2,000 years old it is a story about a Farmer who lost his horse. One day his horse runs away. And his neighbor comes over and says, to commiserate, “I’m so sorry about your horse.” And the farmer says “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” The neighbor is confused because this is apparently terrible. The horse is the most valuable thing he owns. But the horse comes back the next day, and he brings with him 12 feral horses. The neighbor comes back over to celebrate, “Congratulations on your great fortune!” And the farmer replies again: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” And the next day the farmer’s son is taming one of the wild horses, and he’s thrown and breaks his leg. The neighbor comes back over, “I’m so sorry about your son.” The farmer repeats: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” Sure enough, the next day the army comes through their village and is conscripting non-disabled young men to go and fight in the war, but the son is spared because of his broken leg. And this story can go on and on like that. Good. Bad. Who knows? The point is the western paradigm of labeling things as good or bad is a false dichotomy because it isn’t clear. If I look at my life events thus far I can see this in my own life.

 

Maybe you are familiar with the Yin Yang symbol in yoga. We see things as black, white, wrong, right, good, bad but they all flow and melt together on this symbol. It is not contradictory but complementary. Knowledge helps you to bring flowers to bloom again and again. In Chinese philosophy, they talk about four things. TAO “the path” no path leads in a certain direction; because we create the way as we go. MING “fate” things we can’t control happen all the time with the main question of how do we react to them? CHI “energy” when you smile, you offer someone else a little piece of happiness. Chinese philosophers say that refines our chi. YIN “head heart” train your head and heart to work together so you can think clearly and be in touch with your feelings at the same time. It is when we as humans show ourselves without reservation, our armor falls off, and it feels like glimpsing into each other’s souls. We gain wisdom through our experience – good, bad, storytelling and so on that speak to our human condition.

 

As I continue the second half of my life and I ponder the phrase “in our best interest” for myself and my loved ones, may I stay focused on the larger picture. May all beings be happy and free, and may all my thoughts words and deeds; contribute to the happiness and freedom of all living creatures.

 

 

Resources:

https://www.ted.com/talks/heather_lanier_good_and_bad_are_incomplete_stories_we_tell_ourselves

The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476777845/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_1cpwAbQM9XQVT

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Why is the Body Important and How does it Help Us on Our Spiritual Path?

This blog is inspired by my work as of late and my favorite podcast Bliss & Grit by Brook Thomas and Vanessa Scotto.  I am fascinated by the body and can get lost in the puzzle of it for a lifetime. I never bore of my work, and I’m always amazed and fascinated by how the body heals itself. For over a decade I’ve been drawn to the fascia, emotional root causes of disease, and the spirituality of the mind-body connection. In anatomical terms, fascia is described as a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ. Emotions are merely a form of energy that runs through our body like an electrical current. Each feeling has its measurable energy frequency. Spirit in Latin means breath another way to look at it is the body is the soul, and the soul is the body. The breath is the first thing we do and the last thing we do.

 

“Wine got drunk with us, not the other way. The body developed out of us not we from it. We are bees, and our body is a honeycomb. We made the body, cell by cell we made it.” Rumi

 

Jaap Van Der Wal is a phenomenological embryologist who asked himself the question “What is my body telling me about my body?” The skinny of his work thus far is that we are alive, we develop, we grow, we are whole. Jaap’s life work has been The Embryo in Motion Project, and he believes we are a soul producing a body. He thinks there is something more at stake than just the body dimension. He looks at the spirit of the body scientifically and has found that spirit and matter if they exist is one.

 

What is piezoelectricity? Electric Polarization in a substance especially crystals and we are effectively crystals. We have electrical currents in our bodies all the time such as collagen is piezoelectric. It is why astronauts lose bone strength. We lay down calcium and phosphorous which creates hardness, but in space, there is no gravitational stress on bones, so the bones slowly get reabsorbed. An often overlooked benefit of soft tissue loading is the piezoelectric effect. The Curie Brothers discovered the piezoelectric effect in crystals in 1880. Proteins, nucleic acids, and mucopolysaccharides, which compose all tissues of the human body, exhibit piezoelectric properties. We are energetic beings. Can you feel the energy of our being as a whole? Do you feel the electric pulse of your organs?

 

The embryo is a domain to ask questions such as: What are we doing? What is a body? Is a body something producing us or that we are producing? Is my consciousness coming from my body? Have I shaped myself? Phenomenology (what is our body telling about us?) is an approach that concentrates on the study of the consciousness and the objects of direct experiences. Rather than being an onlooker you primarily start to experience the present moment reality. Your body is a lifelong performance- like a symphony. We are not our brain, and the embryo challenges this because we live our first eight weeks without a brain. We produce and perform our body. Our body is not a machine either- we shape this “I” move and collect things like the brain, bones, muscles and so on to move. The body is a symphony performance. The embryo organizes us into parts as we are living organism that is a process and all phases of our lives are part of the whole production in time which is the body.

 

Genes and brains are necessary but not sufficient conditions to give a body its shape. So you may ask What is making the embryo? Something else realizing itself in us. An embryo in Motion is the primary form the bodies appear in time, and time and motion are related. We are motions and processes producing structures and that is what we learn from the embryo. The embryo still unfolds in our adult organism that you are today.

 

“Don’t consider soul or psyche as something added to the body later.” Erich Blech Schmidt

 

Your body is behaving the way we shape our body is what we are capable of psychologically (emotional state) and physiologically (a function of living organisms and their parts). Learn to experience yourself as energy and the energy around you.

 

This past summer I spent some time with my favorite gross anatomist or Somanaut (those who explore the inner space of the body and discover the fertile terrain of themselves).  He was showing his latest work and the how beautiful the fascia skeleton of the superficial fascia layer. Fascia is like the skeleton that your body is built around. It is like lace, honeycomb or web and the cells grow into this, and we are knitted together. When you hear that doctors are making a heart what is happening is they take a heart, strip down to the fascia layer as the starting point and then inject heart stem cells. Gil said that muscle is fascia’s bitch and I think that gets to the point rather quickly. Ida Ralph described that muscles should guide over one another like silk stockings and disposal facial does provide us with a sheer or glide.  In our human body, we witness nature solving the problem of total connection, and differential movement and nature’s solution is the fascia system and fluids. We are moving beings. Therefore, we must not force our way through the body but to melt and slowly invite routine movement in the body allowing our range-of-motion (ROM) to expand and not to judge compensations when they do occur in the body because they may have a place for a reason. Choosing a discipline of movements such as yoga or pilates allows you to show up next to your body daily and to meet it where it needs that day.

 

At times we build facial adhesions between visceral surfaces which have a sliding relationship via serous fluids. These conditions could be formed under inflammation or pathological processes such as injury, tumors, disease or as an accidental or intended result of surgery or medical intervention. The texture of the fascia reveals the qualities and character of the relationship in the body and mind. Relationships can be soft, fluid, smooth, playful and move or they can be tense, stuck, unyielding even fractured. The mind perceives differences and inputs separation yet the reality of the union persists. We must learn to accept all of our emotions.

 

 

When something within us is disowned, that which is disowned wreaks havoc” – Ralph H. Blum and Susan Coughlan.

 

 

 Dr. Daniel Keown is a Western Medical Doctor and a Chinese Medicine Doctor who has written the book The Spark in the Machine.  He talks about how we are one cell that develops into trillions and trillions of cells into a perfect complex organism with an energetic blueprint. Being trained in both Eastern and Western medicine, I feel he has a proper perspective on how both are different and similar. Such as western medicine does not heal you they allow healing to occur within you. Western medicine doesn’t have a philosophy of health and healing and tends to teach that qi is removed from healing, so doctors become revoked from the spirit and become dispirited. Qi is the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine. I view it as prana the breath a life-giving energy force within the body. Eastern Medicine is a model of healing, and they know the space between the cells is as important as the cells themselves. I view it as the Pancha Maya Kosha Model that I use as a Yoga Therapist which has a broad range of healing benefits and looks and the whole being. I believe we are not just our physical body or mind we are holistic, multi-dimensional beings made up of many different, interactive layers. You can think of the Kosha like a series of Russian Dolls or like sheaths. There is the Physical Body, The Energy Body, The Mental-Emotional Body, The Wisdom Body, and The Bliss Body. The fluid between the cells is known as extracellular fluid (ECF) and makes up about 40% of the body and constituting about 20% of the weight of the body.  So imagine your skin as a membrane that keeps everything in and this fluid baths the cells it can also be viewed as a communication medium in the body. So this watery fluid medium of ECF acts as a communication medium among cells of the same tissue like a chemical communication pathway. As an electrical current of an emotion travels along your neural pathways, it triggers a release of chemical proteins called neuro-peptides (NP’s). Each emotion has its individual frequency. In response to each specific emotional frequency, your body releases corresponding NPs. Each neuro-peptide creates such specific biological responses that physical symptoms can pinpoint what’s happening in your unconscious mind!

 

Qi (pronounced Che) is the blueprint in which energetic matter manifests. We live in turbulent times, and thus it is time for us to open our minds reclaim society, return to simple medicine and make it about people again. The Science of Epigenetic’s which is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than the alternation of the genetic code itself is what will progress. We have multiple different codes in our mode we aren’t one code, and that is it. For example, if you have a stressful situation we tap into our codes to get us through the situation, which is why we must build stress resilience through our movement practices to create some reserves or resource to self. Genetic science is going into epigenetic. It validates why meditation is important and living a good lifestyle because it resonates with the physical body. I have been working with Chinese Medicine the last couple of years, and I have learned about the different burners in the body. The triple burner refers to the pelvis, abdominal and chest and these areas are separated by fascia that organizes the compartments within the body. Surgeons use these fascia pathways that already exist in the body and blow gas into it so they can navigate. In yoga, we call these nadi’s which mean a channel or stream in which prana or energy can flow. Things go wrong in surgery when a surgeon needs to cross these facial pathways or planes.

 

Dis-ease emerges from you it didn’t afflict you. When we are chronically ill, we must learn to look deeper into society. For example, cancer spreads through fascia and cancer is a breakdown of qi. Qi is the force that keeps everything doing the right thing. Cancer is a group of cells that says damn you I’m doing my own thing and doing my way! Qi is how the body organizes itself. Whether it is cancer or another disease we need to look into the more profound disturbance of cause to the qi disturbance to heal entirely.

 

I love allopathic care, and it has saved my life, clients lives, but it is not the only reality. Connect to the body in the present time so that you can expand your consciousness. By doing this, you have attached and touched into your wholeness, your magnificence and moved beyond the identity of your ego. We are energy beings that are always flowing and growing; we are not our past circumstances. We hold so much of our healing process within us our innerness of self vs. an external stimulus. When was the last time you slowed down and connected to your inner wisdom? You are worthy!

 

“I am imperfect. I often choose to suffer. I am worthy of love, connection, health, learning to tolerate all of my emotions, relaxation and financial freedom. Yoga and Pilates is the discipline in which I practice this every day of my life” Kimberly Searl

Resources:

Bliss and Grit Episode #3 Why the Body? www.blissandgrit.com

Dan Keown on Liberated Body Episode #46 www.liberatedbody.com

The Spark in the Machine www.amazon.com/spark-machine

Jaap Van Der Wal Episode #57 www.liberatedbody.com

Embryo in Motion Project www.embryo.nl

Lessons from the Embryo  https://youtu.be/3mTCjiQLHhk

Gil Hedley www.gilhedley.com

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Holiday Fruit Cake

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours to bake. Makes 1 loaf or 12 individual cakes
SATTVIC, moderately + Vata, – Pitta, + Kapha

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Put a shallow pan filled with about an inch of water on the
bottom shelf of the oven. Beat in a mixing bowl:
2 egg yolks (or Egg Replacer equivalent for 2 eggs)

Beat into them:
⅓ c. sesame oil ¼ c. rice bran syrup
1 tsp. blackstrap molasses ¼ c. apricot nectar or grape juice

Mix together; then stir into the batter:
½ c. whole wheat or barley flour ¼ c. rice bran or oat bran
⅛ tsp. salt ½ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. cloves ⅛ tsp. nutmeg

Flour a knife and a cutting board with:
1-2 Tbsps. more flour
Finely chop on the board:
2 Tbsps. organic orange peel

Then coarsely chop:
1 c. dried Turkish apricots ½ c. dried pineapple
½ c. raw walnuts
Add these to the batter with:
⅓ c. dried cherries (if available) ⅓ c. currants
⅓ c. organic raisins

Whip until they are stiff and just beginning to peak:
2 egg whites

Fold them gently into the batter. Line a loaf pan with waxed paper or oiled brown paper and spoon the batter
into the pan. Or line a muffin tin with 12 individual paper baking chips and spoon a heaping tablespoon of
batter into each one. Put on the top shelf of the oven to bake until done, about 2 hours

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Quinoa – Asparagus Pilaf

Preparation time: 20 minutes
SATTVIC, – Vata, – Pitta, – Kapha

Rinse well:
1 c. dry quinoa
This is important, as it has a natural soapy residue which can disturb some people’s
digestion. Bring the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan with:
2 c. water
½ tsp. salt
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until done about 15 minutes. Wash and chop:
1/2-1 lb. asparagus, in 1” pieces
1 large carrot, in half moons
1 Tb sp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped or 1 tsp. dried
2 Tbsps. onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh savory leaves, finely chopped or ½ tsp. dry (this is optional but tasty)
As the quoina continues to cook, warm in large iron skillet:
2 Tbsps. cold-pressed olive oil

Add the onion and rosemary and sauce until the onion begins to get translucent. It’s time to put the carrot.
Let it cook on medium heat in the skillet, covered until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, cover
and cook another 2-3 minutes until it is tender yet still slightly crispy. When quinoa is done, toss it lightly into
the vegetables in the skillet, using a fork to fluff it. Stir in the freshly chopped savory. Serve

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Minestrone Soup

Preparation time: 1 ½ hours, from scratch

SATTVIC, O Vata, 0 Pitta, – Kapha

Bring to pressure in a stainless steel pressure cooker:
⅔ c. dry beans: navy, whole mung & chickpea are good 8 c. pure water
Pinch of hing or epazote (optional, aid digestion) 1 bay leaf
Cook until done about 30 minutes. Or you can use 2 cups of pre-cooked b beans in their liquid plus 6 cups
of water.

Wash and chop:
2 potatoes, cubed 1 carrot, diced
3 inches of the leek, chopped 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 c. fresh green vegetables: zucchini, peas or string beans
One the beans are done, add the vegetables to the bean pot with:
*1 c. Rose Petal Tomato Sauce (recipe below) ½ c. white basmati rice, dry, washed
1 tsp. salt 2 tsps. dried sweet basil
½ tsp. dried thyme
Let the soup simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Add extra water if needed for the broth. Serve hot with:
freshly ground pepper
*Basic Rose Petal Tomato Sauce
Wash and chop, or put through a food mill:
12 fresh medium tomatoes (about 4 cups)

A food mill helps cull out the tomato seeds which can aggravate Vata, a bit. Or you can simply leave as
many seeds on the cutting board as you can. Simmer the tomatoes in a stainless steel saucepan with:
¼ c. finely chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2-4 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
Cook over medium heat uncovered until thick, about 15 minutes or so. Pour the thickened tomatoes
in a blender with.

2 Tbsps. or more organic dried rose petals 4 tsps. fresh oregano, chopped or 2 tsps. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme 2 Tbsps. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste Up to ¼ c. water (optional)
Puree well. Ready to serve.

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Sweet Potato Soup

Preparation time: 1 hour, most of it unattended

SATTVIC, – Vata, – Pitta, + Kapha

Scrub: some large sweet potatoes
Put them in a large pot with enough boiling water to cover them.

Add:
1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
Bring the sweet potatoes and ginger to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are
soft, about 35-40 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil:
1 ½ c. soy milk or fresh raw cow’s milk
Reserve 1 ½ cups of cooking water from the sweet potatoes (the rest of the water makes good soup stock).
Blend this cooking water, the hot milk, the cooked sweet potato and ginger in a blender with:
¼ tsp. fresh ground allspice
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
Salt to taste

Add more milk or water as desired to reach a creamy consistency. Puree the finished soup until satiny
smooth. Serve hot with fresh greens and a quick bread.
**POLARITY HEALTH BUILDING DISH

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Thai Cabbage Salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
1/4 cup coconut vinegar
1 package rice or buckwheat (soba) noodles
a few handfuls of your favorite summer lettuce, torn
4 small cucumbers, semi-peeled (Persian cucumbers are my favorite)
2 spring onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed away
2 handfuls of sunflower seeds
black and white sesame seeds
a dash of pink salt

Optional: fresh cracked black pepper

Dressing:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons soba noodle water
1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lime

You can run the purple cabbage through my spiralizer to slice it thin. Whatever way is best for you, slice it
very thin. In the morning or the night before, place the cabbage in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Set aside.
If overnight, set in the fridge.
When you are ready to prepare your salad, prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package.
Drain, reserving a bit of the water for your dressing. Put the noodles in a bowl with ice and set in your
refrigerator to cool.

In your salad bowl, pour your cabbage with vinegar, and add the rest of the salad ingredients.
Make the dressing by gently warming the coconut oil with the garlic. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, stir in
the almond butter. Allow that to warm thoroughly for a minute or two, then add the soba noodle water and
whisk well. Take off the heat. Stir in the tamari first and then the olive oil. Add more soba water to thin and
get the consistency you need for a salad dressing. Pour over the salad and lightly toss. Finish by sprinkling
the juice of one lime over the salad and again lightly tossing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, and serve

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