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Wednesday, at lunch, the plan was for quinoa salad with vegetables. The quinoa came out too wet, so were transformed into burgers!

Everything in the universe has that basis of oneness that expresses itself in different forms.  In its highest form everything comes from consciousness and manifests in the infinite variety we see every day. This knowledge popped into my head when I was asked, “Do you want to cook another batch of quinoa?” Instead, I thought, let’s see how we can transform the quinoa, so it expresses itself in another form. That made me smile, for knowledge is there wherever you look.

Here is the quinoa burger recipe using the ingredients from the salad and some additions. If you make a dry quinoa, you can have a salad, and with a stickier quinoa you can make burgers! If making salad, use fresh chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs

We made about 20 burgers. Adjust the ingredients to meet your needs. The Feta cheese is optional. But the salty flavor of feta is a nice addition.

We used about 3 cups of soaked quinoa.  The veggies fit comfortably into a medium sized cast iron pan. They will cook down.

Ingredients

Quinoa

Kale

Red pepper

Asparagus

Soaked Sundried Tomatoes

Organic firm tofu (one large block)

Feta Cheese (crumbled into the mixture)

Salt

Bragg Liquid Aminos

Oregano

Basil

Breadcrumbs (if needed)

Cornmeal

Instructions

Cook quinoa about 20 minutes.  You want a sticky quinoa rather than dry. Remove from pot into a large bowl and let it cool.

Meanwhile, sauté the veggies in olive oil on medium heat. Add finely crumbled oregano and basil (you can do this by rubbing the herb between with your fingers and thumb as you put it in the pan), sea salt, and a quick squeeze of Bragg over the vegetables, as they are sautéing.

Start with the finely chopped kale. When it softens a bit, add red pepper cubed, chopped asparagus, and chopped sundried tomatoes.

In the food processor bring the tofu to a smooth consistency.

Add the veggies a little at a time until tofu and vegetables are completely blended.

Add this to the quinoa until completely mixed.

Then add the feta and also blend this into the burger mix.

Check and balance spices.

If the mixture feels like it should be a little dryer, place bread into a food processor until you have crumbs and add them to the burger mix.

Grease a baking sheet, generously, with coconut oil. Do not use too much oil.  You want enough oil to help the burgers form a thin crust on both sides.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, increase to 400 when you place the burgers in the oven. (If you are making a smaller amount, you can also fry them on the stove.)

Place cornmeal onto a plate or bowl and add crushed basil and oregano and blend together.

Form the ingredients into patties. Coat them with the cornmeal mixture and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or so, then check to see if they burgers are crispy. When they are, turn them and bake the other side.

Serve with tomato and lettuce.

(You can also melt cheese on top!)

 

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For those who have met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, heard him speak, seen how mischievous, charming, attentive, and caring he is, we have already set aside days to come to the Centre while he is there. If you have never met him, then here is an incredible opportunity to be with someone who devotes himself to raising the life of each individual, renewing human values, and caring for everything and everyone. One minute of his attention and focus can change your life. He works miracles because he knows you are the miracle, only you must discover this, so he listens, brings you to joy and leads you back to yourself through meditation, breathing, knowledge, and silence.

What would you not give to be in peace, in happiness, in joy, to move through life’s stresses as if they are only another situation?

Rain falls and we can dance between the drops with an umbrella. Life is a dance, at times, intricate and complex but with the right tools, the right steps, we can bend, twirl, leap, and pass through challenging situations gracefully.

Here is an opportunity to be with someone who graces our lives with possibilities that bring us home to ourselves.

Come be with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar July 13th to 24th and bring someone along to share the joy!

 

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“Often business is looked down upon by spiritual people, and spirituality is put off as impractical by business people. The ancient people conceived that spirituality is the heart and business is the legs. An individual or a society is incomplete without both these aspects. Business brings material comfort and spirituality brings mental and emotional comfort.  Spirituality brings ethics and fair practice to business.

In the mind body complex, depriving either the body or the mind of comfort means depriving both of them comfort. You cannot talk of spirituality to the poorest of the poor people without taking care of their basic needs. They need to be supported materially.  There is no spirituality in the world that is devoid of service and service cannot happen only through lips, it needs legs to work.”

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Looking back at last summer’s YES! Camp, the first image that comes is of smiling, happy, dynamic teens, ready to take on life!

The first day, there was some excitement, some uncertainty, some awkwardness and even some anger towards parents who “pushed me into coming.” But take 17 talented, inspiring and inspired individuals, put them together for a week, then play, breathe, laugh, sing and dance, have them face challenges and support each other, and something magical happens – they begin to change.

Odeth was terrified of getting into a canoe, but everyone encouraged and supported her. As the boat moved further into the water, she started to feel more comfortable and finally safe. It was her courage and her peer’s support that made this happen.  When Danielle conquered her fear of heights during the ropes course, she too felt so proud and confident!

How can someone conquer a deeply ingrained fear in just a few days or even in one simple experience? First, the breathing techniques, so simple and beautiful, are powerful tools for reducing stress. Also, when we feel safe and encouraged, we gain more courage. The more relaxed and less stressed we are the more we are in the present moment, which means we do not judge our present situation based on past experiences.

Yes! Camp emphasizes human values through yoga, breathing and meditation.  The program helps teens learn how to manage stress and negative emotions, build self-esteem and leadership qualities and get active through yoga, swimming, and outdoor activities.

The camp team is amazing!  This year we have two qualified instructors, three dynamic camp counselors, an Ayurvedic expert, one organic farming expert, and a dedicated, supportive team of professionals that create a healthy, safe, comfortable and riotous camp experience!

We love organizing the camp at the International Art of Living Centre, because the location is so special! Imagine a fun filled adventure in pristine nature, with three lakes, comfortable lodging surrounded by trees and forest,  organic vegetable gardens and orchard, where people have been meditating for years. This is a place that calms the mind and brings out our best, making it easy to relax and establish new friends and connections.

Working with kids and teenagers can be a challenging. Every parent or teacher knows that.  However, to be part of the lives of young individuals is amazing. Yes! Camp helps teens discover their best values and skills, offers techniques for removing stress and negativity, allows young people to rediscover innocence and love, gain tools for building a society free of stress and violence, and empowers them to do the same for others. This is a priceless experience for everyone.

We’re looking forward to this year’s camp experience. Join us, and let’s make this an incredible summer!

Yes! Camp will be from August 2 to 9 at the Art of Living International Centre, Canada. More details at www.yescamp.ca

 

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From the beginning seva, sadhana, Satsang have been the building blocks of Art of Living.  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said, ask yourself, “How can I be useful to people around me and to the whole world. Then your heart starts blossoming. Otherwise we are always thinking, “What about me, what about me?”  There are many places and ways you can serve, but have you considered going some place where seva is made complete by sadhana (meditation) and Satsang (singing and knowledge).

The program at the International Art of Living, in Canada, combines all three components.

We begin the day with morning yoga, meditation, and pranayam. Then a healthy morning breakfast, and we are off to work. You might be in the garden, kitchen, office, on the computers, in maintenance, or reception, carpentry, graphic design, or perhaps landscaping.  At 12:30 there is an afternoon meditation, lunch, and by 2:00 we are back to work, which ends at 5:00. Dinner is at 6:30, and in the evening there is Satsang for an hour (bring your guitar, violin, flute, drum, etc.)

There is one day off a week and time for relaxation and play – ping-pong, soccer, swimming, canoeing and paddle boating.

We are located on 250 acres of wooded land. People coming to visit always comment on the cleanliness and freshness of the air and the beauty of the environment. The Centre is about 10 minutes from Parc Maurice, and two hours from Montreal and Quebec City.

Watch your self change and grow. Come, volunteer, with us this summer!

You are also welcome to volunteer for shorter periods of time, maybe a weekend or a few days. In this case, you can write to artdevivre@artofliving.org to let us know of your interest.

To apply go to http://center.artofliving.ca/seva

Check Out these videos to know more about our programs.



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It has been a long winter, but the shifting of light, and feeling the sun’s warmth on cold winter days, hints of spring’s coming.  Garden seeds are arriving, and people ask about the next Art of Silence Course or want to bring a group for an April seva weekend.  We are thinking of soccer and wondering if the tree mended in spring made it through the winter. Have broken branches fused?  But we must wait for the snow to melt before unwrapping the branches and disconnecting the strings that hold everything in place.  The kitchen and Isha have been given a face-lift during the winter months, but we long to be out. Long to smell the earth and hear the waters rush down rocks and hills to swell the lakes. Winter’s blanket of white is still with us, but we would not mind if our present moment was of flowers and even a few insects.  Enjoy these photos of winter’s beauty.

 

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Rhett and Gabriel

When Rhett first came to volunteer at the Centre he could only make a grilled cheese sandwich. He has just been accepted to cooking school! You can hear his story on You Tube.   http://youtu.be/2aAyXcsYvnI

When I asked about his peanut butter cookies he said, “What’s important is to be creative!”

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup of melted (butter, ghee, or coconut oil)

3/4 cup (sugar or turbinado)

Egg replacer (1/2 mashed banana, or 1/4 cup apple sauce or 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp hot water (place it in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of an egg, about 10 minutes)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 or 3/4 cup peanut butter (to your taste)

1 cup of flour (all-purpose, spelt, kamut, or any combination works)

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup chocolate chips

(When I multiply the recipe I usually put in a little less chips. For example: recipe x4 I put in 3 cups instead of 4)

pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Directions

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg replacer and vanilla, followed by peanut butter then flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and mix.

Take a bit of dough in your hands and roll into a ball. You fingers should fit loosely over the ball of dough. Place on a greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper.

Bake for 12 minutes or until golden.

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Isha

When Sri Sri Ravi Shankar comes to the Centre we are at our busiest. We can have as many as 1000 visitors. So, we have been asked, “What do you do when we are not here?” This question always makes me smile. As if work retreats when numbers are smaller. It’s a time when a different type of work gets done. This winter, Isha is getting a facelift, which includes painting, sanding, staining, installing new light fixtures, and changing the furnishings a bit.

The office was the first place cleaned and rearranged. Wires were contained and removed from the floor, shelves tidied and plants added.

The kitchen, though, has received the most attention. The goal was to make it easier to clean and less crowded. Freshly painted walls have been covered with a washable plastic. The new wire kitchen storage units have wheels increasing mobility and cleaning ease. The floors were buffeted with wax three times, bringing a high shine, which makes cleaning them easier. There is also a new counter and new light fixtures that brighten the space.

The walk-in, where fresh produce is stored, will be metal inside with a tilted floor, have better lighting, and new wire storage racks.

Walk out of the kitchen and into the hallway and you will notice it too has been freshly painted with new lighting. There are, now, metal coat and shoe racks and a bench to sit as you tug on your boots. And there is a new all weather carpet at the entrance!

All the wood baseboards, doors, and framing on the first and second floors have been sanded and will be stained whereas before they were varnished. As well, the hallways and vestibule have received a new coat of paint.

If you use the computers when you come, you will notice that area has been redesigned and made cozier and more comfortable. The walls are now a soothing contrasting light and dark blue.

Changes are still materializing.  Stop by and check out our progress or come and lend a hand and join this celebration of transformation!

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We live in words from morning till evening, till night. We engage ourselves in words – words, words, words and words. Everything should make sense to us. We can’t be with something that doesn’t make any sense. Everything should be purposeful. In this run of searching for purpose and purposefulness, we lose all purpose. Living in words goes to such an extent that we don’t even have a sound sleep. Even in the night we are bothered by words. Many people speak while sleeping; their lips move; they keep saying something. There does not seem to be a rest from words, doesn’t seem to be freedom from words.

Words are the root cause of worries. You can’t have a worry without words, can you? Now worry for 10 minutes, but don’t use a single word. We are so stuck up in words; we get caught up in words. Our friendship is based on words. Someone says, “Oh, you are so wonderful, you are beautiful, you are kind-hearted. I have never seen a person like you in my life.  I have been looking for a person like you all my life.” You fall in love suddenly. What if someone hurls some abuses about your honesty that puts you down? What is an abuse? It is words, just words.

Life is very shallow if we base it on words. Anything that is meaningful cannot be expressed in words. A real feeling of love cannot be expressed in words. True gratitude cannot be expressed in words. Real beauty knows no words. Real friendship, true friendship has no words. It doesn’t require a word.

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What does a gardener do during the winter? Hibernate?  That would be a good way to store up energy for the work ahead, but all gardeners have time for is cat naps – last year’s garden must be reviewed and improved, seed catalogues perused, seeds ordered, this year’s garden organized, and seedlings started.  It is also a time for reading and attending workshops and conferences.

Snows started early this year, the end of October, as we were finishing spreading cow and horse manure.  We have had quite a bit of snow already, but this means the ground should not be frozen too deeply when spring comes.

The Centre has a 2 ½ acre organic garden, one acre of fruit trees, some herbs, a pond, an area for small fruits (strawberries and blueberries) and a section for green manure to revitalize the soil.  This is not a backyard garden!

We have a detailed calendar for each fruit and vegetable growing in the garden.  If you think you might also like to try this, you need to consider three things. First, when to plant the seeds, also the period of growth for each plant, and finally, which plants prefer a cooler or warmer environment.

For the first time, we are sowing our own seeds indoors and outdoors.  For indoor plants we will start around March 15th with tomatoes, then around April 1st tubular flowers like lilies and begonias, April 15th for cabbage, pumpkins and squash, and the final seeds should be planted around May 1st, such as lettuce and some herbs.  We start sowing others seeds and transplanting indoor seedlings by the end of May or beginning of June, depending on the weather.  We usually have about 70 different plants and by the end of the gardening season have placed 20,000 individual plants into the ground.

We also looked at the period of growth for each plant.  Some plants, like cabbage sauerkraut, take up to 120 days, while others, like radishes, only need 20-25 days.   Certain plants can be enjoyed throughout the summer months, so they are planted successively (every two to three weeks), lettuce and radishes are an example.

Like people, plants have preference for cooler or warmer environments. Cool season plants include lettuce, bok choy, and spinach, for example.  Those plants that like a warmer environment would include tomatoes and cucumbers.  By starting them indoors, early, they can grow in warmth, be transplanted during the warmer days of summer, and harvested before the first frost.

Gardening involves long term planning especially when the garden is large.  We want to have as high a yield as possible, to feed as many people as possible coming to the Centre for courses, to visit, or to buy organic produce.

So while we would like to hibernate, we can only take cat naps and know that in only two months we will be ankle deep in earth and manure.