The Upanishads

December 19, 2013

We are starting the New Year with a dive into a classic yoga text: The Upanishads. We will be discussing in Yoga Book Club on Tuesday, January 28 at 8 p.m. We are meeting at the office of Inner Balance in the Southern Dairies complex. This club is open and free to all; please join us!

Among the oldest of India’s spiritual texts, the Upanishads are records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by illumined sages to their students. Widely featured in philosophy courses, the Upanishads have puzzled and inspired wisdom seekers from Yeats to Schopenhauer. Eknath Easwaran makes this challenging text more accessible by selecting the passages most relevant to readers seeking timeless truths today.

Holiday ‘Nog

December 19, 2013

There is nothing yummier than a glass of eggnog at the holidays (shout out: my dad makes exceptional eggnog!) but it can be a bit rich for everyday drinking… So, I am particularly grateful to Kris Carr for sharing this delicious smoothie recipe for a vegan eggnog that you can do equally for breakfast or an after dinner treat. Save the real deal for Christmas/New Year’s only!

 

For the Love of Nog

3 cups almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)

1 banana

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (secret: nutmeg is a tummy soother so this is awesome for this time of too-much-rich-food)

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp almond extract

2 dates, pitted

Blend in a high-speed blender until frothy and smooth. Cheers!

In just a few short days, I’ll be co-teaching my final class of 2013 alongside Octavia Raheem & Ian Boccio for our Winter SOULstice event. Our hope is to share a 2 hour exploration of the soul with you. And, while I don’t want to give away all the surprises this evening will hold, I thought I would share a few of the quotes and phrases that inspired the creation of this evening.

Enjoy! (PS. Don’t forget to purchase your ticket in advance to save $ and your spot!)

“The soul doesn’t seem to make the distinction between the light and the dark. It chooses both. It doesn’t care whether you do something successfully or fail at it; it just wants to know, did you do it in your way? Was it you who failed, or were you trying to be someone else when you failed? If it was you, the soul is happy, because it was your experience, your failure, and no one can take it away from you. The question is not: Did you fail, or did you win? The question becomes: Did you go your own way?” —David Whyte

“Soul, to me, means “embodied essence,” when we experience ourselves and others in our full humanity – part animal, part divine. Healing comes through embodiment of the soul. The soul in matter is what I think the feminine side of God is all about… The feminine soul is what grounds us; it loves and accepts us in our totality.” – Marion Woodman

Soul Fire

Always we hope

Someone else has the answer…

At the center of your being

You have the answer,

You know who you are

And you know what you want.

There is no need

To run outside

For better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;

For the more you leave it; the less you learn.

Search your heart

And see

The way to do

Is to be

—Lao Tzu

 

“While the spirit path often feels like a flash of bright light in Forever’s frying pan, the soul path often feels like a slow, bloody crawl through thick, dark mud.” – Sera Beak

December’s Yoga Book Club Selection: Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence by Matthew Sanford. We are meeting on Tuesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. Book club is always free and open to all! I hope you’ll pick up this book and join us! Our location has moved; if you plan on joining us please email me at info@merylarnett.com for location details.

Matthew Sanford’s life and body were irrevocably changed at age 13 when his family’s car skidded off a snowy Iowa overpass, killing Matt’s father and sister and leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. This pivotal event set Matt on a lifelong journey, from his intensive care experiences at the Mayo Clinic to becoming a paralyzed yoga teacher and founder of a nonprofit organization. Forced to explore what it truly means to live in a body, he emerges with an entirely new view of being a “whole” person. In this searingly candid memoir he delivers a powerful message about the endurance of the human spirit and of the body that houses it.

Thanksgiving Success

December 2, 2013

This year for Thanksgiving, we tried out several new recipes and while everything was fantastic these green beans turned out to be my favorite dish! This recipe comes from the incredible resources of the Vegetarian Times. With 10 carnivores and 3 vegetarians in my house for the holidays, creative vegetarian dishes are a must! This is just like your traditional green bean casserole except you get to skip the weird cream of mushroom soup and fake onions.

Serves 8

Shallot crisps are the star attraction here and can be made in advance. In a tightly sealed jar, they will keep at room temperature for 2 weeks—but you’d better hide the jar.
Shallot Crisps

  • 5 large shallots (½ lb.), peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Green Beans

  • 2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts (½ lb.)

1. To make Shallot Crisps: Spread shallot rings on paper towel, sprinkle with salt, and cover with another paper towel. Let stand 10 minutes. Blot excess moisture from shallots.

2. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, and fry 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

3. Pour shallots and oil through fine mesh strainer, or remove shallots with slotted spoon. Spread shallots on paper towels to drain and cool. Discard oil. Store shallots in jar, if desired.

4. To make Green Beans: Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, and maple syrup in serving bowl. Add green beans, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with Shallot Crisps and chopped walnuts, and serve.

Inhabit Your Body

December 2, 2013

You know how sometimes you get in the car and 20 minutes later you are exactly where you set out to be but you have no recollection of how you got there? Did I run every red light? Did I fall asleep? How did I get here? It’s scary and it happens far too often to far too many of us.

The antidote, I believe, is to stop looking outside for answers and to start doing a better job of inhabiting our bodies. ALL parts of our bodies. The answer is to stay inside, even when it is uncomfortable or scary, to sweat and search and flail around until we feel the answers. Until we access our inner knowing. It is so easy to check out. I just got on the mat for my first full practice (aka more than 10 minutes of stretching) in four days. OH. When we aren’t moving, when we aren’t breathing fully, it is so easy to go up and out. Head in the clouds. Eyes on someone else. But, when we move and breath and stretch, maybe just maybe we can dig down. Maybe we can open our eyes and see every moment, every green light along the way.

 

Always we hope

Someone else has the answer…

At the center of your being

You have the answer,

You know who you are

And you know what you want.

There is no need

To run outside

For better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;

For the more you leave it; the less you learn.

Search your heart 

And see

The way to do 

Is to be

—Lao Tzu

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