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4 cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons mace (or nutmeg)

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup butter, room temperature,

2 1/2 cups brown sugar or demerara

2 tablespoons egg replacer, arrowroot or cornstarch, mixed with 1/3 cup water

1/2 cup milk

½ cup yogurt

1 1/2 cups baked and mashed pumpkin or squash (Butternut or acorn squash look and taste like pumpkin, and are often even sweeter, but be sure to discard skins.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one large bundt pan (or 2 cake pans).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, mace, and cloves. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs replacer. Gently mix in flour mixture, milk and yogurt until just combined. Fold in pumpkin puree until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully turn cake onto rack too cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Adapted for Vegetarian Cuisine from a Martha Stewart recipe

 

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There are many myths about yoga. One is that it is simply a system of physical exercise.  Another is that in order to participate you have to be physically fit and flexible.

In Sri Sri Yoga the course is more than just postures. It combines yoga essentials – breathing techniques, stretching and postures, meditation and relaxation, and yogic knowledge. By incorporating all these beautiful facets we are able to look beyond the level of the physical body and sharpen our sensitivity and awareness.

Sri Sri Yoga integrates elements from the different paths of yoga, especially Hatha yoga, uniting the body, mind and breath in awareness. “This course has brought me a lot of joy,” one student said. “It is yoga with knowledge and not just physically, but mentally, and spiritually.”

Sri Sri Yoga helps one become more fit and flexible. Each individual begins from where they are, from within their own limits and extends beyond those limits. As one participant commented, “Anybody can take this course.  You work within your own capacity.  You work within your own body, and push outside your limit so you can grow.”

Another student poetically described the same diversity in the class when she said,

Different bodies,

big and small.

Different bodies,

short and tall.

The practice of Sri Sri Yoga cultivates a more healthy and happy lifestyle. The emphasis is on yoga as a way of life. It is a practical discipline that is both gentle and powerful.  Students have stated that, “it transforms both the body and the mind,” Not only did my mind become quieter but my body stronger.”

Regular practice of Sri Sri Yoga improves health.

For the body

  • Strengthens and revitalizes internal organs
  • Improves flexibility
  • Strengthens muscles and bones
  • Better posture and body alignment
  • Improves digestion, circulation and immunity
  • Enhances function of neurological and endocrine organs
  • Increases energy

 

For the mind

  • Develops intuition
  • Reduces Stress and calms the mind
  • Sharpens intellect
  • Enhances memory
  • Increases clarity
  • Blossoms creativity in one’s life

 

We invite you to restore the balance in your body, mind, and spirit with this joyful fun experience that will leave you feeling fresh and new.

Join us for classes every Saturday morning starting at 11:00 and ending at 12:30.  We invite you to stay for a group meditation and a delicious vegetarian meal at 1:00.

The course is offered through 2013 on a donation basis. Red boxes are available in the building to leave a donation or if you like, a donation can be left at the office.

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A river needs two bunks to flow. The difference between flood and a normal river is that water flow is regulated in a river. During floods, water has no direction. Similarly, the energy in our life needs some direction to flow. If you don’t give direction, it is all confusion. Today, most people are confused because there is no direction in life. When you are happy, there is so much of life-energy in you; but when this life-energy doesn’t know where to go, how to go, it gets stuck. When it stagnates, it rots. For life-energy to move in a direction, commitment is essential.

Life runs with commitment. If you observe every small thing or big thing in life, they go with certain commitment. A student takes admission in a school or college with a commitment. Needless to say, a family runs on commitment: mother is committed to the child, child is committed to the parents, husband is committed to wife, and wife is committed to husband. Greater the commitment you take, greater the energy/power you gain to fulfill that commitment. Greater the commitment, easier things are. Smaller the commitment, suffocating it is for you. Smaller commitments suffocate you because you have more capacity, but you are stuck in a small hole!

When you have ten things to do and if one thing goes wrong, you can keep doing the ten things; the thing that has gone wrong will set itself right! But if you have only one thing to do and that goes wrong, then you are stuck with it. Usually we think we should have resource and then we will commit. Greater the commitment you take, greater the resources will come to you automatically. Whatever you are committed to brings you strength. If you are committed to your family then your family supports you, if you are committed to society, you enjoy the support of society. Commitment will always bring comfort in the long run. Make a commitment to make this world a better place to live.

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Research done in England found that a baby smiles 400 times a day, an adolescent 17 times and an adult doesn’t smile at all! The more successful one keeps a very stiff face. Is roughness a sign of success? Is being stressed a sign of prosperity, growth or dignity? You should smile more. Every day, every morning, look at the mirror and give a good smile to yourself. You know what happens when you smile? All the muscles in your face get relaxed. The nerves in your brain get relaxation, and you get the confidence, courage and energy to move on in life.

You know, your smile is so fragile! Just one telephone call is enough to take it away! But what is the big deal about your feelings? Bundle them up and throw them into the ocean! Once you are rid of your ‘feelings’ you can be happy. Just see why your spirits go down? Because somebody said something stupid to you. And why did they say a stupid thing? Because they had some garbage they needed to throw out and you were there, ready to catch it! And once you have caught it, you hold on to it so passionately! Come on! Wake up! Don’t let your smile be snatched away by anybody!

Usually, you give your anger freely and smile rarely as though a smile is costly. In ignorance, anger is cheaper and smile costly. In knowledge, a smile is free like sun, air, and water and anger is extremely expensive, like a diamond. Make your smile cheaper and anger expensive! You are here for a greater cause. Just remember that. Take a challenge: “Come what may, I am going to smile today and be happy!” Smile more.

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Adjusting to autumn is always a delicate seasonal change for everyone. Fall increases Vata, so you may notice your digestive system is a little ‘off’-some gas, distension, constipation or even a gurgling colon or involuntary twitching of muscles. All these are signs of increased Vata. It can be corrected by more warm moist foods and water. We can also give ourselves a short warm oil massage. We also need to take care, especially, to keep our ears covered in cold windy weather. Then our balance returns quickly and we move through the season with comfort.

People with strong Vata discomfort also need to increase their digestive fire.

One delicious way of doing this is to grate and squeeze some fresh ginger, add lemon juice and honey to taste and a pinch of rock or sun-dried sea salt. Take 1 teaspoon before meals and enjoy.

Another is this recipe for squash soup. Start to finish it takes about half an hour.

Squash is a great energy vegetable because it sits in the sun and absorbs loads of Prana.

Use as many organic veggies as you can. You can play with the recipe by experimenting with other herbs.

Quantity for two persons:

– one small butternut squash

– one medium carrot

– one stick of celery

– a little grated ginger and a pinch of cinnamon if you wish

– salt and pepper to taste

– a teaspoon of ghee or olive oil

Wash the vegetables. Without peeling the squash, chop into smallish pieces, removing any seeds (keep these to dry roast with a little celtic salt for snacks). Chop the other vegetables in the same way.

Heat the ghee or oil in a pan. Add the vegetables and turn and roast for a few minutes until colouring a little. Add water to more than cover the vegetables. Add seasonings of choice. Simmer until cooked (around 20 minutes). Pass through a blender, and correct the consistency and seasoning to taste. Place in a bowl and add a little chopped parsley or cilantro for colour. Serve with some crusty bread or crackers.

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IMG_4636Silence is the mother of all creativity! Silence is the mother of beauty and love. Intuition, invention, poetry, everything comes out of silence.  Even Sudarshan Kriya came out of silence.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Prayer within breath is silence

Love within Infinity is silence

Wisdom without word is silence

Compassion without aim is silence

Action without doer is silence

Smiling with all the Existence is silence!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

When I thought of writing something about silence, I said to myself, “Writing an article about silence will not be an easy task. It is even funny to think of writing an article about silence. How can we talk about silence? Silence is silence.” Then, I said to myself, “The best way to start this article is to be quiet.” Being quiet started showing me the beauty of silence. Silence is not something to be understood! It is something to be experienced! In stillness, we experience the beauty of silence.

I am a very silent person and I loved silence. My father loved silence also. He was silent most of the time. Then, I realized that being silent doesn’t mean only not talking. It is much more profound than that. It means having a quiet mind, a silent mind. When we do an Art of Silence Course, usually, at the end of the course, we are really silent. When it is time to leave the course, the course should start at that time because the mind is so quiet. It took almost 3 to 4 days to bring the mind into stillness.

On a 10-Day Silence Retreat, we are go deep because the mind becomes so quiet. It is so simple, the quieter our mind is, the more deeper we go. In the stillness of our Being, we realize how beautiful we are. How complete we are. We have no needs in that state. It is such a beautiful state. Then, we can understand a little bit what Guruji means when he says: silence is the mother of all creativity. All the beautiful words he said at the beginning of this article make sense when we reach that state.

Guruji says that when we speak, we loose so much energy. Our mind is scattered in so many directions. “When we are in silence,” he said, “our mind is one, united, composed, whole.” Isn’t it beautiful? We conserve so much energy when we are in silence.

The silence that we experience during meditation is unique. We can’t describe its beauty and its value. It is impossible. But to experience it, it is very possible and very simple. Guruji has given us all the tools to experience silence: meditation, sudarshan kriya, chanting, yoga, pranayama, even seva. When we do seva 100%, we experience silence. Isn’t this so? We are so fortunate.

We have to take the time to be silent, to be in silence with the silence. Silence is so deep, infinitely deep. Silence is the mother of beauty and love (Guruji’s words). And for those of you who have been on a long course, in silence, we feel closer to others the less we talk. We feel the other person much more than when we talk to them. In silence, we feel one with the other. In fact, in silence, there is no other. Only one is there. It is so beautiful. One consciousness, one vibration permeates the whole atmosphere.

We should take the time to be in silence once or twice a year for many days each time. It has so much value. Just a glimpse of deep silence (Samadhi) will transform our life.

I have a little story for you. When I met Guruji for the first time, 25 years ago, he told us that story. He said that when he was with Maharishi, he has been asked to take care of finances. I don’t remember all the details of the story but in short, Maharishi asked him to take care of some financial problems. And it was a huge problem involving many millions of dollars. Guruji had no experience with money. He didn’t know what to do. How to resolve that big problem? Then, he realized that he knew one thing very well – how to sit in samadhi. This was very easy for him. And this is exactly what he did. He sat in meditation for many hours and when he came out of meditation, the solutions to the financial problem started coming to him. Everything fell into place. And in a few days, the problem was resolved.

“Silence is the mother of all creativity,” Guruji says. And it is so true.

Just take the time to be silent and in silence. The value of silence is infinite. The beauty of silence is indescribable.

JGD

Pierre

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What comes to mind when you hear  the word facial? Something for beauty conscious women concerned with aging skin? A pampering beauty ritual? Yes  its all this. A facial massage can give you  younger-looking skin. It can also firm, smooth and sculpt the face.

But an Ayurvedic facial is much, much more. It is a truly holistic treatment that will take care of your face, mind, body and soul. As on client said after her Sri Sri Ayurveda facial, “I felt as relaxed as if I had had a full body massage. My mind was calm and quiet. The benefits seem to linger for days.”

Ayurveda says specifically that your facial appearance is a reflection of your body’s internal condition. You can easily identify a person who is over stressed by looking at his or her face. This is because stress affects the facial muscles and causes them to contract.  Massaging your face releases endorphins, the “feel good’’ hormones that help us to relax and feel positive.

A face  massage is a particularly pleasurable experience – most people are surprised as the amount of tension they hold in, particularly around the jaw. When stiffness from the muscles is released, it brings  gentleness to the expression and  youthful contour to the face.

The Ayurvedic facial massage also enhances nourishment and cleansing of tissues which makes for a glowing complexion. This type of massage is also tailored to individual needs according to the dosha (body and skin type) orskin condition at a particular time (Vata – dry skin, Pitta – normal, combinational or sensitive skin, Kapha – oily skin).

But if you are  not convinced yet about the restorative benefits of the facial, there’s one more major reason to take the leap: Ayurvedic face massage will promote health at all levels within the body by workingprimarily on the marma points of the face, head and neck. 37 of 107 marmas in the body are located in the face, head and neck, shoulder and upper chest area. Gently stimulating these points maintains optimal health and enhances the awareness of pure consciousness in the body.

As one person exclaimed, “It’s a treat for the body and the senses!”

For more information on Sri Sri Ayurveda facials and Shankara Skin Care products contact Egle Uzu at canada@shankara.com, tel. 819-532-3328.

Egle Uzusienyte

Sri Sri Ayurveda Facial Specialist