Monday, November 4, 2019
Present moment, nourish the body, bend the mind
It's been 5 months I may finally be adjusting to my new home, transitions are a hard place for many of us and moving rocks your very roots, this makes three moves in 6 years. I have been given a gift that I had not anticipated and my constant practice of staying present has opened my eyes to it, the seasons. The clock turned back I wake up now with the rising sun and an 8th grade daughter, a flurry in the kitchen and she's off to school. I have taken this golden time to bundle up, I live across from a natural preserve, latch a leash on my dog and set out to learn from mother nature. The seasons in a forest have had such an impact on me, daily walks in the early morning have been such a gift. Just a few short weeks ago the trees were lush and full, a canopy of green I would walk through bathing in the forest light of early sun, soft warm amber pine needles just beginning to cover the forest floor, loamy sand, it was vibrant bursting with fruits and berries, juicy with scents undertones of sea and wheatgrass. Dew covered the grass and on the occasional morning as it approached cooler nights I would catch the mist burning off the expanses of the golfing greens nearby. I would think how amazing each step was, from the floor of the forest to the skies and how nothing stayed the same, it was a constant cycle of birth, death and rebirth from the microcosm to the macrocosm. Each organism has it's purpose in this cycle of impermanence.
I am aware of my attachments and think about how to cut them loose to allow for new life.
As days pass the leaves turned into a blaze of color painting the sky like licks of flames against a sunrise of warm ambers and apricot echoing the color of the now more dense cover of pine needles on the forest floor. I am surrounded by warm tones as the winds pick up and rains soften the sandy ground beneath me.
Hastened closer to the house while the rains take down more leaves and soak the forest when I return the path has become filled with scents of decay and fertility, heavy, wet and pungent. The trees now stripped almost bare extend skyward from the potpurri of decay at their roots like arthritic fingers. And I know mushrooms will abound. Deer cross my path, dreamlike there are 6 or 7 and they are walking majestically not more than 5 feet from where I stand.
Everything is interdependent, a beautiful balance, an orchestra of unfolding.
We try to compartmentalize in our daily lives, job and activity over here, and family over there, things to do and places to be, ideas of on time, or late. I'm not there yet. I don't have a poetic perfectly articulated philosophy to share other than, watch nature, observe, witness.
Quietly exist in your breath with no demands or criticisms of yourself. This is the beginning. Notice what is around you and how nothing is bad or good, right or wrong it is just what it is. Lose thoughts of want and don't want, this constant push and pull of desires and disdains is what Buddhists say is the root of suffering. Breathe in and breathe out. Pay attention to the quality of everything, your breath, your posture, your diet, your words because all things are interdependent and all is written, or at least this is where I am in thoughts these days.
"It is not what you do, but how you do, not who you are but how you are"
I say this practice is a daily one because it is a discipline to work against beliefs that have been ingrained by family, society, advertising and the melange of external forces unable to see the simplicity our existence has and how it is complicated by ego, fear, attachments and avoidances.
I would say these concepts are more mainstream now and not as foreign but pay attention to how your practices of meditation or mindfulness manifest, are they sincere? One need not attend a yoga class to find the opportunities to practice mindfulness or even meditation. This is where I am, a walk in the woods, seeding a pomegranate, making a bed are all ways in which this discipline of awareness and inner peace happen.
Nourish the Body
Leaving summer behind the fruits and veggies of fall call my name, apples, pomegranate and celery root.
Heated Fall Pomegranate, Cayenne Honeycrisp, Celery Root Salad
1/2 of a red onion chopped fine
2 tbsp yuzu rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Himalayan pink salt
julienned celery root 1/2 a bulb soak in water to keep color
1 finely sliced honeycrisp apple
1/2 jar Tonino brand tuna filets in olive oil
handful chopped cilantro
1/4 cup goat cheese
1cup raw quinoa cooked and set aside to cool
1 cup pomegranate
lime zest, cayenne, paprika
mix the yuzu, sugar cayenne and salt together in a small bowl to dissolve, add finely chopped onion set aside 30 min
add all other ingredients and to taste add lime zest, olive oil, Himalayan pink salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.
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