It Does Not Get Much Better (and Satcitananda)

The key concept of yoga–satcitananda can be elusive, like all abstract concepts in the yoga philosophy and in other philosophies or areas of study. We are given metaphors and analogies in the texts to help us recognize when, through our practice, we experience in our self the manifestation of what had just been theory (book knowledge).

It is hard to describe, for example, what it truly means to be fully present and aware in the moment and thus suffused with bliss

There was a moment, standing in the hot sun, when I tasted a sun-warmed, perfectly ripe blueberry that I thought, this is a moment many of my students might imagine to be able to extrapolate the abstract concept of satcitananda.

Notice also the volunteer purslane at the base of the blueberry bush. Weeding and harvesting greens for salad and stir fry can be coextensive. Don’t poison or discard your purslane (or your dandelions). Pick it and eat it; purslane is a great plant source of omega fatty acids.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


Found Exhortation (with Commentary)

This bumper sticker (on an enormous black SUV with suburban plates) is likely intended to have only a message about the current wars in which the US is engaged. I wholeheartedly support the sentiment at that level.

What if we took it at other levels? What if we applied it to spiritual-religious practices? We could interpret this as suggesting that we honor the great teachers who have gone before us, invite religious observance and spiritual practice to heal ourselves and others, and dissolve notions of differences among religions and spiritual practices as bases for conflict. How many wars between countries or civil wars would end if saw unity while still honoring difference in this regard?

Perhaps most cogent for the yogi: what if we thought of the exhortation in terms of our own personal practice? It would be an invocation to honor our ancestors, heal the wounds of our family and upbringing (samskaras), and release inner conflict. This is, I think the point of practicing (whatever the style of practice) so that true peace can abound.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


The Photographer’s Dilemma (and “Morning Sprout Sandwich”)

At which point I put down the camera and ate.  Uma turned her back and looked out the garden.

Morning Spout Sandwich–whole grain toast, tahini, avocado, assorted homegrown sprouts, fresh herbs picked the moment before garnishing (dill shown here), a sprinkle of sea salt (optional)


Aerial Views of the Garden

In response to requests, here are some photos of the garden in its current state.

The vine on the left is grapes–there are many dozens of bunches forming.  The vine on the right is a kiwi.  I planted it four years ago, and finally there are some fruits–at most a couple dozen, but it’s a start.  There aren’t enough strawberries to bring inside, but there are always a couple to eat when I am out working.

Current herbs:  cilantro, basil (thai and genovese), Mexican and Greek oregano, parsley, sorrel, tarragon, lemon balm, spearmint, kentucky colonel mint, garlic chives, savory, sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender, stevia, and dill.  Greens include mesclun, arugula, kale, chard, and are ready to eat now.

Snowpeas are on there way (and I ate snow pea greens with garlic scapes and herbs for dinner tonight).  Beans are blossoming; cherry tomatoes and cucumbers have formed, as have a couple of zucchini and a variety of peppers.  Blueberries are ripening and figs are just starting to bud on the new growth.  Carrots and turnips are mostly just a promise, but I expect at least a few.  Leeks and spring onions are poking through, but don’t seem to be getting along with this year’s weather patterns.

What’s growing in your garden?  (Even when I lived in an efficiency apartment in school, I had herbs growing in pots.  And sprouting is its own kind of gardening and only requires a kitchen counter.)  A garden can be made wherever you are, if you want one enough.