Maha Shiva Ratri:

the great festival
of the convergence of

Shiva and Shakti

Feb 17, 2015

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Life seemingly appears as a multitude of opposites: knowledge and intuition, inspiration and form, creation and destruction, pleasure and pain. Shiva and Shakti appear as the embodiment of Divine Self, symbolizing the perfect male and female aspects of the Divine. This celebration unifies them, as the ultimate expression of Divine balance.

By diving into the mythology and yogic concepts of this highly revered pair, we begin to see how their individual qualities stand completely autonomous and yet conjoined. Being Truth expressed both as Shiva/inspiration and Shakti/form, they cannot be separated, for they serve as the definition of each other, as Divine contrast.

Likewise, the pairs of opposites we meet every day, serve the same purpose, for only through knowing the unlimited depth of contrast between them, can we open the door to the infinite possibilities as them, as coCreator ourself.

Shivaratri, for me, represents a surrender to the One Heart One Mind within, by embracing the delineation between them, by honouring their differences in the Light of the Whole, by knowing them as the apparent opposites within my self. One Heart is the Heart as Love and one Mind is the mind as Truth and I am both and there is only one of me.

Late Winter in the Cleansing Kitchen

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My Kitchen Cupboard
THE door to balanced health

February brings us closer to the cleansing time of year, as the long winter gestation begins to shed its thick coat and reveal its newness.  All spring green vegetables are high in bitters, one taste that is often left out of the western diet. Bitters stimulate all digestive secretions and stomach acid, help regulate the absorption of vitamin B12, normalize blood sugar, promote the production and release of pancreatic enzymes and bile, strengthen the tone of tissues throughout the digestive tract, heal damaged mucous membranes, soothe gastric reflux, aid intestinal peristalsis, and reduce cravings for sweets.

If you are fortunate enough to still be eating beets from your garden they are now even more enriched with blood building minerals and lymphatic cleansing agents to boost your immunity through these last few wet months.

Externally, one might consider a short cleanse to bring in a little vitality and give the digestion a break from all the heavy winter storage foods, by water fasting from dinner one night until dinner the next night, or by taking a day of just khichadi, the traditional ayur cleansing dish of split mung dal, basmati rice and a balancing spice masala to boost digestive fire, cleanse the immune channels and support proper elimination.

amrit_dharaHeating foods such as garlic, ginger and curries can lighten kapha and reduce stagnancy. Organic cold pressed oils such as sesame or coconut, used in the daily diet, will help stabilize vata. And of course, consuming ample rich greens like dandelion, spinach, chard, parsley and  kale will increase pitta by igniting energy with the high enzyme action.

 

Lemony Garlic  1014_2_1386775855_lrg
Spring Greens

1 lemon

2 cloves fresh garlic crushed

2 tbls organic sesame oil

pinch of himalayan salt

dash of fresh ground black pepper

For one minute, high speed blend the zest of one half of the lemon, plus the juice from one half of the lemon with the other ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.

Prepare 500gm of fresh spring greens (nettles, chard, dandelion, spinach) by slicing into thin strips. Steam 3-4 minutes, maintaining bright green colour. Once cooked, drain the spring greens over the sink into a colander, steam dry for a minute, then tip back into the pan.

Give the dressing another good shake up, then drizzle it over the greens. Using tongs, gently toss the spring greens in the dressing while they’re still hot to help them soak up all the dressing, then transfer to a bowl and serve straight away. Feeds 3-4 as a side dish.