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Archive for October, 2009

Title: Vegetarian Cooking Class
Location: 18819 Evergreen Falls , Houston, TX 77084
Link out: Click here
Description: Vegetarian Cooking Class with ample sampling, a full meal, REALLY!  Only $35 with all written recipes, and the support towards your center… :)
Start Time: 14:00
Date: 2009-11-07
End Time: 17:00

The idea was first presented by Edward Lorenz, an American mathematician and meteorologist, that the flap of a butterfly may affect the formation of a tornado in Texas.  Scientifically this is based in the chaos theory.  Scientifically this means that events are highly sensitive to the initial conditions.  I believe I have felt this effect in my life.

Many times I have doubts on the importance of my daily events.  How it is that in my commute honking the horn may affect the day’s events, mine or the other person’s?  How does smiling to the clerk at the coffee shop (although I do not drink coffee!), or the stranger in the elevator may have an effect in someone’s life, including myself?  How can my little simple actions and thoughts may have any effect in the world?  In MY world?

What if I actually woke up and made a conscious decision to smile?  What if I decided to be courteous to all drivers?  Be polite and generous with all “strangers”?  What if I held all other influencing factors in my live the same, except that one… I wonder what would truly happen?

What if I just go deeper than my mind?  I could just take a few seconds in the morning and breathe.  I could fill my heart with gratefulness, devotion, with love.  The mind will follow my heart.  My small or big world might change.  I can start being, as Mahatma Gandhi said, the change we need to see in the world.  I have many times failed at this – ok, most often.  But I know that life always presents an opportunity for improvement, where I can leave my ego behind, and focus on my heart.

Can we make a difference?

Can we make a difference?

I see hope, in every yoga class, in every breath, in every person on their mats, in every vibration created in every class.  Hope that that we all start changing our world.  I see hope that we all begin taking healthy responsibility for the wellbeing of the bad driver or stranger in the elevator.  I can have faith that the flapping of our wings, of one or two, together, will create a new whirlwind of kindness and love in our world.

Green lentil sprouts or mung

Green lentil sprouts or mung

The monsoon is the great growing season in India.  It’s also the giving season. It’s when the gods pour rain onto parched land. Farmers smile with relief, and city dwellers buy all their rain supplies in crowded markets: rain boots, umbrellas, and rain coats. Big fat droplets cool down the summer heat and a new blossoming green drapes the country side with the color of vegetation, symbolizing growth and fruition. In India, there are festivals to celebrate the season of abundance. Then there are fasts and pujas, weddings and after wedding celebrations that go on for the whole year. But this fun always starts with rain, with the resurgence of new life, when nature gives plentifully with open hands. The fragrance and flowering of those descending sheets of water never leave the hearts of Indians especially those from my home state Maharashtra, of which the capital city is Mumbai. From this rain crazed Mumbai, we bring you sprouts. When tiny shoots scramble out of those pretty green lentils, earth beckons you to rejoice and cook your first homegrown protein rich meal. Go on, make your own lentils. Soften them with oil and spice. Spread the stew (usal) on steamy rice. Add some ghee if you’re thoroughly spoilt, and squeeze a lemon just for kicks. It might rain today.

How to sprout:

Basically, the process resembles a lesson in germination. Give a seed some water. Incubate it in heat and humidity. Watch it sprout.

Steps:

  1. Soak 1 cup of mung, green lentils in 3-4 cups of cold water. Cover with a lid. Let it sit undisturbed for 24 hours.  (I usually use a bigger bowl than seems necessary to avoid overcrowding, so my lentils have enough room to absorb water and grow turgid.)
  2. Scoop out the lentils along with some remaining water into a white cheese cloth.  (Make sure to let in some water, enough to dampen the cloth, else the lentils will not sprout). Throw away rest of the water, emptying the bowl.
  3. Pile the cheese cloth over the lentils to make a bundle. Secure with a knot. Place the bundle, knot down into a bowl (I use the same bowl from step 2 above). Allow to sit for 6-8 hours covered in a warm dark place (time varies depending on heat and humidity).
  4. Untie the cheese cloth. Transfer sprouts in a container with a lid. Refrigerate immediately. Left sitting on the kitchen counter, lentils will start to give off a bad smell- remember all the heat that’s gone into it? – So, cool the sprouts unless you are throwing them in a hot pan right away.

I normally make a big batch and save it in freezer bags. That way, I have a ready supply for a quick delicious meal any time I want. If you’ve got the munchies, try some mung sprouts with peanuts, like I do. But beware; they are hard on the digestive system when raw. So go easy.

FYI… The time and quantity of water in this recipe are approximate. As mentioned before, how long it takes to sprout, and how much water the grain actually absorbs both depend on environmental conditions and quality of the grain itself. So watch and adjust.  You can never go too wrong. Even if you get minimal germination, or none at all, have a heart; you tried your best didn’t you?-just like I try my Pashchimottanasana and feel good about it any way. As in Yoga so in cooking; your best today is the finest ever.

Just in case, try this… On very cold and dry Houston days (what are these?) I trick my lentils into believing they are back in the tropics. I warm the oven for 5 minutes, turn it off, and then place the nice soggy lentil bundle (from step 3) in the oven, in

Mother Vidula practices vegetarianism and teaches cooking classes for the center

Mother Vidula practices vegetarianism and teaches cooking classes for the center

 sprouting heaven.

Bon appetit! and “Namaste!”- From the divine in me to the divine in you.

Expect to find Sabrina lovingly attending her garden, her pets, practicing yoga, and cooking wondeful food!

Expect to find Sabrina lovingly attending her garden, her pets, practicing yoga, and cooking wonderful food!

The Garden. It’s been a love and hate relationship. It has tested my patience, my need to control, as well as my expectations on how things will turn out. The Garden is a challenge, yet it keeps seducing me back because of its whispered promise of better things yet to come. 

I come from a line of female gardeners: my grandmother and my mother. Talk about green thumbs! They made it look so easy. I’ve had to work harder. I came into gardening out of spiritual necessity for I was in a place in my life that was thirsty for a  spiritual connection.  The traditional church home was not my answer so Nature,  dressed in all its finery, extended an invitation to me into its welcoming home. There, I learned I could restore and deepen my senses and therefore my spirit. 

Early on, I discovered that one of my favorite activities in the garden was the weeding process because weeding offered me instant gratification. Wow, I thought, I can make this chaotic space look quiet and serene so quickly and besides it so appealed to that side of my personality that found comfort in order! As my expertise in weeding grew, I realized that I was meditating. I came to look forward to my weeding dates because I discovered I was onto something. Gardeners define weeds as plants that are just unwanted because they are in the wrong place. They tend to leach out energy and therefore hinder the normal growth of nearby plants that were intentionally placed there by the gardener! And so, the more I weeded, the more I recognized that the weeds in my mind where just like the weeds in my garden:  misplaced and in need of attention. 

So without expectations of how things will work out, I finish in my garden of weeding by composting the weeds and my worries as well. A feeling of contentment fills me because I’ve just cultivated my garden within and feel so ever grateful for Nature’s sincere invitation in her most welcoming of homes, the Garden.

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