In this era of science and technology, we can be creative and productive, and at the same time not lose the humanness that we are all born with. Just material things or comfort alone do not make you comfortable. You may have a good bed to sleep on, but unable to sleep because of insomnia or worry! You need to get a broad understanding about yourself and your priorities. Clarity in the mind makes things much easier-understanding your basic emotions like love, your interaction with people around you, knowing about your ego or what your intellect or mind is saying to you and introspection will give you a few minutes of relaxation which is very vital. So, what is most important is introspection about one’s own life and how to improve the quality of life-this intention itself will open many doors for you to feel better about yourself. First of all, find out for yourself whether you are healthy.
a disease-free body
a quiver-free breath
a stress-free mind
an inhibition-free intellect
an obsession-free memory
an ego that includes all
a soul that is free from sorrow.
Have you ever thought what is the purpose of your life? What is the meaning of life? What is life all about?
These questions are very, very precious. When these questions dawn in your mind, only then your life begins! But, when these questions come into your mind, don’t be in a hurry to get an answer. Those who know will not tell you and those who tell don’t know! You can plug your ears and walk off! These questions are the tools by which you can dig deeper and the answers come from within you. Once these questions come into your life then you start “living” life rather than just existing. To know why you are on this planet, find out what you are not here for!
You are not here to be sad.
You are not here to blame.
You are not here to be miserable.
You are not here to worry.
You are not here to show off.
You are not here to get stressed out.
You are not here to get irritated and irritate others.
The list goes on.
All our struggles in life are to know more. You are trying your level best to understand your feelings and emotions, and you get into more and more and more confusion. This is what has happened with psychology today. It tries to explain to you why you feel the way you are feeling. The ”why” arises always when you are unhappy. You ask ”Why this problem to me of all the people?” Nobody ever asked, ”Why am I so happy?” You want to understand, ”why am I not feeling good?” or ”why am I angry?’’ or ”why is this not happening?” The more you try to understand and try to dig into it, you seem to understand less and less. The mystery deepens, but an illusion comes as though ”I know it”. But that is for a short while. We ourselves do not know, and we try to explain to others! Stop your explanations; your explanations have put you into a soup and make other people also more confused. You don’t know what is happening in your mind. The mind is like a roller coaster-it’s a crowd. Just be in the simple and innocent state of ”I don’t know!’’ This life is a mystery – beautiful – live it. Living the mystery of life so totally is joy. Becoming the mystery is divine. You are a mystery! When you see life in this context, clarity dawns in your mind and your life improves.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Stephanie spent the summer at the Centre mostly working in the garden and landscaping, which she does as a profession. She was particularly interested in the potential of the garden to yield a variety of plants that could be used to create a tasty nutritious salad. Before she returned to France she wrote up her discoveries which we share below. While she has given clear illustrations, if you are hesitant whether the plant you have selected is the one pictured, always check with an expert in your local area before putting it in your salad.
To make a delicious tossed salad, all you have to do is combine a variety of plants that have flavorful leaves and that go well together. Also, look for wild plants growing around your garden or even next to your regular plants. Don’t be shy to also toss in a few edible flowers that will be appetizing, lend color, and make your salad tastier. In the Centre’s garden, we have the following plants and flowers and add them to our salad. We hope our combination gives you a few ideas: Begin with different types of lettuce. When fresh, they are rich in provitamin A or beta-carotene, which is essential for our vision as well as for healthy skin and tissues, and in vitamin B9, needed for cellular growth and, therefore, for the growth and regeneration of body tissues.
Red Russian kale is a miracle plant for consumption since it contains, among other nutrients, protein and has antioxidant properties.
Try adding Bok Choy and Red Bok Choy to your salad. We planted these in our garden mainly because they are rich in vitamin A and potassium.
Red Bok Choi
Arugula’s delicious peppery flavor will liven up your salad.
Spinach also grows in our garden. In addition to its great taste, it provides vitamin B9 or folic acid. Spinach is also known for its properties as a blood thinner and, particularly, for promoting increased blood flow to the brain.
Endive is a type of lettuce that will lend a slightly bitter flavor to your mixture.
Beet leaves are rarely used, but don’t throw them away; instead, include them in your salad. Like the rest of the plant, beet leaves have excellent antioxidant properties and are rich in iron.
Swiss chard is a good source of vitamins C, A, and B6, as well as riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and folic acid. It can be eaten cooked or raw and can be added to your salad.
Basil is an aromatic herb traditionally found in most gardens, comes in many varieties, and can also be added to salad.
Oregano offers, in addition to its flavorful taste, antiseptic properties and it is said to aid digestion.
Dandelion is a wild plant that provides vitamins C and D as well as the vitamin B complex. It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and manganese. After flowering, the plant’s leaves become bitterer, but its taste can be balanced out by the mixture of greens you choose. Autumn dandelions are also delicious.
Purslane is an annual plant used in herbal medicine. It grows easily all by itself in the garden. Its creeping leaves are rich in trace elements: potassium, magnesium and calcium. Its tart flavor will spice up a salad
Chickweed is a wild organic plant that is indicative of fertile and well-balanced soil, so it is a good sign to see it growing in your garden. It can be eaten in soups or added to salads. It contains calcium, silica, magnesium and vitamin C.
Lamb’s quarters is an annual plant that often quickly appears after the soil has been tilled. The young stalks can be eaten like asparagus. Add its leaves to your salad since they are very rich in protein, vitamins A and C, and calcium.
Sorrel grows wild in our garden. Surprise your dinner guests with its delicious tart flavor. Its fresh leaves can be eaten, but you can also make a soup with them. It should be eaten in moderation because the oxalic acid it contains could be harmful to our bones and reduce iron absorption.
Clover is a legume that takes nitrogen from the air and transfers it to the soil, making it a very good natural fertilizer. Its leaves and flowers can also be added in small quantities to salad. The leaves have expectorant and diuretic properties while the flowers are astringent and have healing properties.
Remember to add flowers! Borage flowers can be used to top off and brighten up salad. This annual plant contains potassium nitrate.
Daylilies are edible and you can grow them in your garden and then use them to add flair to your salads and to surprise everyone with their sweet taste. This sumptuous flower is worth discovering.
Here is a delicious vegetable pie. You can use any vegetables you like, but here is what we recommend. The tofu adds protein to the meal. Enjoy!
3 stalks celery
1 cup peas
1/2 block firm tofu
2 cups milk
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup unbleached flour
2/3 cup kamut flour
large spoon of non-hydrogenated trans-fat free margarine
1/3-1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
Chop the vegetables and tofu into bite size and steam until tender. While the vegetables are steaming make the milk sauce.
Pour milk into double boiler, keeping half a cup to the side. While the milk is heating gradually add the cornstarch with a whisk to the milk that was set aside, also adding in the bouillon powder and salt. Add this to the heated milk, and stir constantly until thickened.
Pour the milk sauce over the vegetables and then pour into the pie crust.
To make pie crust, mix the two flours together adding the margarine, milk and salt. Stir first and when it comes together work briefly with hands. Divide in almost equal halves leaving a little more for the bottom crust. Roll out on a floured surface.
Oil a pie plate with butter or liquid lecithin (which can be purchased at a health food store). A Pyrex pie plate works best. Place the bottom crust in the pie plate folded in half. As the crust is delicate, use a spatula or large knife and your hands to place in the pan. Then bring the other half of the crust to the other side of the pan. Spoon in the filling and place the top pie crust in the same manner. Pinch the crust together to seal the pie.
Bake at 325 if you are using Pyrex or 350 if not, for half an hour or until slightly browned.
In love you elevate an object to life. When you love an object, it becomes alive.
For children everything is personal.Children take each object and make it totally personal. Even a stone has a face, even the sun laughs. When you attach emotion to it, all of creation becomes personal. When you remove emotion, even people become objects. Violence is removing emotion. How can a person kill another human being? Violence only happens when someone does not see the other person as a human being: they see them as an object. But even a stone attracts reverence when it becomes personal.
Photo from http://scottsampson.blogspot.ca
It has been two weeks since there has been a blog post and a week since Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was at the Centre. It was an incredibly full time with courses for people new to Art of Living as well as Silence courses, special courses, and programs for children and youth. In addition, four couples scheduled their weddings during this time. These were our first weddings in the new hall, but we hope people see this as a venue for any time of the year. People also had the opportunity to go up in a hot air balloon! And in total, we served approximately 22,500 meals!
A picture they say, is worth a thousand words, so here are a few that show the fun during that time and the diversity of people who came. On Guru Purnima day, the day the student celebrates the teacher, and remembers how much they have grown and changed because of the knowledge they have received – one person said to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “this was the best Guru Purnima ever, and he replied, you say that each year. This made me smile, because it is so accurate. Each time one thinks this is the best, and then once again it is the best, leaving one wondering how is one person able to create such joy among so many people. He teaches and shows us that life is a celebration.
Today Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives for 12 days of courses at the International Art of Living Centre – Canada. We have been gardening, landscaping, painting, hoisting chandeliers, and doing general beautification. This week we share with you some photos of that process.
If you are not able to join us for a course, come in the evening for meals and/or evening Satsang. There is a registration fee of $30 beginning at 3:00, for the evening, or $60 for the day. For more information you can call at 819-532-3328.
Love is the only thing in life for which you don’t need to find a proof. You think you have never loved anyone before; it’s impossible. You know why? Because you are made up of love. It is like a sugar doll a doll made up of a candy asking someone what is sweetness? If a sugar candy doll asking someone, “I have never experienced sweetness, what is sweetness?” You’d give a big laugh.
As a child when you first opened your eyes and looked at your mother your very first interaction with this world is that of love. From then on you fell in love with everything. You looked at the light and you were amazed and you loved the light. Your looking at your fingers and the expression that came out of you was love. Our life is synonymous to love and all the expression in life is part of love.
If you’re angry the anger is because of love. You love perfection so you become angry because of imperfection. You love objects too much it is called greed. You love a person too much it is called attachment/entanglement. You love the past too much you get stuck to the past that’s called delusion if you are unable to see the present. When you love someone too much you become possessive that is called jealousy. So greed, jealousy, anger, lust. Lust is you love the body too much you don’t see the spirit behind it. So all this – greed, lust, anger, jealousy are all nothing but distortions of love. If there is no love none of this thing will exist. They’re born out of love. But the quest of human life is for such a love that is free from these painful imperfections, these various deformations – distortions of love. And that is called knowledge – that is called divine love. The knowledge is something which does not allow love to get fermented and become hatred love to get fermented and become anger jealousy, greed. It’s the knowledge, self-knowledge spiritual knowledge, which keeps love in its purity, in its clarity, in its pristine purity, and it keeps it crystal clear. That is spiritual knowledge – you simply say that is the power of knowledge.
If someone asks why the need of spirituality because spiritual knowledge keeps you away from hated, anger, jealousy, greed and violence and all these things that are self-destructive.
Is it not needed for a person? It is definitely needed for anyone on this planet. Especially grown-ups. Babies don’t need because they don’t have hatred. They get angry for a minute and then they forget about it. Their anger is just for a few seconds; it disappears. Unlike grown-ups who harbor them in their mind and heart and suffer the whole life. Spiritual knowledge liberates you from this suffering.