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What’s the next step?

May 2, 2011
Dear yogis
Very often I find myself looking at life, thinking about what works in my own life and what doesn’t, more frequently than not seeing myself repeating the same cycles, making the same mistakes. But recently I was reminded that these cycles do not necessarily have to be viewed as mistakes. We can also take the view that we’re continually spiralling upwards, repeating some cycles, learning from others. This makes sense to me. We all seem to have our own specific handicaps in life, and part of the reason we repeat cycles is the yearning to heal ourselves. As Eckhart Tolle writes in A New Earth: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

  

So what changes? Perhaps only the view one takes. Last month we looked at the first of the yamas, namely ahimsa or non-violence. When incorporating this way of life it may start out in very broad terms, like not harming other human beings or animals physically. Later this concept may evolve in one’s life to include not harming others emotionally either and even later one may realise that it includes the way one treats oneself and the whole universe, not only physically, but also in thought, emotion, and spirit.

The second of the yamas, which we will explore here, is truthfulness, or satya. This seems so straightforward: just speak the truth. However, as human beings we all sometimes clamp down on ourselves and look away from pain, our own and that of those around us, in order not to have to feel it or deal with it. We tell ourselves we’re doing just fine and repeat the same perceived truth to others as well. But what, if for a moment, we could dis-identify from the pain and see what it really is, what it is attached to? Then, and only then, does it become possible for us to see what lies the pain might be attached to. For example, you may often feel unloved. And objectively this may seem true to you. But if you dis-identify with the pain you may realise that in fact you are loved, by friends and family. If you go one step further you may even really understand that you are love itself and that you therefore don’t need to be loved by others in order to feel loved. And right there is the beginning of freedom.

For me, a way to check in with myself is observing my own relationship to food. Women, especially, eat when they feel unloved. But what if you can change your view by observing your habits? This is of course only one aspect of life and one could choose any, but perhaps take the opportunity this month to observe your relationship to food and see what it reveals to you. Anything can be spiritual practise after all, so why not start here?

Next month we will look at the third of the yamas, namely non-stealing, or astaya. As always, feel free to write to me and share your thoughts at chants_za@yahoo.com. And enjoy the recipes! They’re great for the changing season ahead.

Namaste`

Chantelle

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 Broccoli soup served with olive-chilli bites

4 garlic gloves, peeled and crushed

1 large onion, finely chopped

10ml dried coriander

200ml olive oil

1 small can of tomato paste

500ml vegetable stock

200ml soy milk or soy cream

5 large carrots, diced

5 celery stalks, sliced thinly

3 punnets of broccoli

2 tomatoes, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large pot, sauté the garlic and onions with the dried coriander in a little bit of the oil. Once the onion starts to brown and the flavour of the coriander is released, add the rest of the oil and the tomato paste. Now add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and broccoli and fry together all the ingredients, adding as much salt and pepper as you like. When the vegetables become al dente, add the vegetable stock and allow the broth to cook for a while. When it reaches boiling point, let it simmer, allowing the flavours to mix. Once the broth has cooled a little, add the soy milk or soy cream and blend the ingredients with a hand-held blender. Serve with the olive-chilli bites.

(By the way, I sometimes add kidney beans afterwards for added texture but the soup is delicious as is also.)

Ingredients (olive-chilli bites)

Pakco Chilli Bite Mix

½ packet sliced black olives

1 onion, diced

½ bunch of spinach lives, chopped finely

Olive oil

Canola oil for deep frying

Method

In a pan, fry the onion and spinach leaves in a bit of olive oil. When ready, set aside. Now mix the Chilli Bite Mix as directed on the packet (just add water) and then add the spinach, onions and olives. Mix well and then drip the batter (about a teaspoon full) into the canola oil to fry. Serve as an alternative to bread with the broccoli soup. This also makes a great starter to almost any meal!

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Ginger-nut chocolate crumble


Ingredients

200g dark, vegan chocolate (The Woolies brand is vegan, but if you’re having a poor month, Cadbury’s will do!)

100g finely chopped cashew nuts (or any nut you like really)

50g pickled ginger, blended

Method

Melt the dark chocolate in a double pot on the stove (place water in the bottom pot and allow the steam to melt the chocolate in the top pot). While still on the stove, add the nuts and ginger paste to the chocolate and mix well. Line a square baking pan with wax paper and pour the chocolate mixture onto it, spreading the contents, though not too thinly. Allow to cool and place in the fridge for two hours. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove it from the fridge and break it into pieces. Serve with tea or coffee after your meal.

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Chantelle Chantelle Roelofse teaches yoga in Muizenberg and co-owns a vegan restaurant, CLOSER, in the area as well. When she isn’t in an asana or thinking about food, she runs, plays piano and writes. She is interested in the philosophy of yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and veganism.chants_za@yahoo.com

Images: Andy Nixon, www.andynix.co.za and Chantelle Roelosfse

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mari Fouche permalink
    May 5, 2011 2:41 pm

    Really enjoying!

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