There is a story that I love. I think it is about the Buddha and a student- if I am not mistaken. In this story, the Buddha asks his student to get a glass of water for him because he is thirsty. The student leaves to fetch water for his master, and on his way to the well, he sees a beautiful woman. He falls in love with her, and marries her. They have children, they make lovely home together. One day, she falls ill, the home is lost in a flood and the children are gone with the storms. The students is heartbroken, ill with grief. He remembers his teacher, the one he had loved, the one who was leading him towards illumination. He returns to his teacher in that moment- and his teacher looks at him and asks, “Where is my glass of water?”
That is the definition of samsara, the human dance on Earth, the way that we all forget what we came here to do.
Awakening is circular, a spiral. It deepens, interspersed with spells of slumber. There is a process of reconciliation in between these cycles. Reconciliation is the moment when you claim an authentic, awake, alive part of yourself that has been left behind. To reconcile means, “to bring together”.
There are quiet times in our lives, and times when the cycle pulls closer to our essence. Those times can feel like cyclones, turbulent and chaotic. We have grave attachments that want to pull us back asleep. The biological drives to procreate and protect the human animal are fiercely strong. As we evolve, there is a continual invitation to look deeper than those biological urges to the essence that lies within. But letting go of those attachments can be scary and the urge to fall back asleep tempts. Falling asleep can be downright calming and feel normal compared to waking up. But if you are lucky, you’ll feel that tugging and realize, “Oh damn, I’m asleep again.”
Sometimes it seems like the entire man made world is built to lull us back to sleep.
It’s so much easier to watch TV than to watch the workings of your own mind.
I find my compass back home inside of silence.
I also find it in nature and in the company of my most authentic friends.
Our awakened self is beyond personality traits, but sometimes I find that certain traits can be markers on the way back home. It might be your love of dance that leads you home, or your love of the ocean. If so, you can always go back to the ocean when you need to find your way again. I have many markers on my path back home.
Food is definitely one of them.
Specifically, vegetarian food.
Don’t get me wrong; I have all kinds of reasons for encouraging people to eat small amounts of sustainable organic animal proteins. I myself will occasionally eat them, especially if they are served to me at somebody else’s table.
But when it comes down to it, I was born to be vegetarian and no matter what I read, what I see, or what I taste- no matter how far I roam- a plate of quinoa and kale is home. And so it is that when I feel unbalanced and lost, eating can sometimes bring me back to my ground. I guess I am just a plant loving girl, in the end. After all, my name does mean, “maiden of the forest”.
Which parts of your authentic self are waiting for you to reconcile?
200 g frozen sweetcorn
200 g frozen peas
200 g frozen broad beans (you can use lima beans)
½ bunch of fresh cilantro
75 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting. I think gluten free flour can work for gluten free.
a good pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tabelspoon sunflower seeds
½ iceberg lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes
2 sprigs of fresh basil
juice of 1 lime
4 large good quality organic burger buns
Harrissa paste, fresh mayonnaise
Remove the veggies from the freezer, then set aside to defrost slightly for around 15 minutes. Add the veggies, cilantro (stalks and all), flour, cumin and cayenne to a food processor. Season well, then blend to a rough paste. Add the sesame and sunflower seeds, then pulse to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into four equal-sized patties, roughly 2cm thick. Add the patties to a lightly flour-dusted tray, turning them over in the flour to coat. Place in the freezer for around 10 minutes to firm up.
Fry in a tiny bit of olive oil to slightly brown on each side.
Serve on a burger bun dressed with basil leaves, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and lime juice.
I also added a dab of fresh mayo mixed with harrissa paste, which is super yummy.
Oh, and cheese, I totally melted cheese on top of them.
This was yummy with spicy coleslaw and sweet potato spears baked in the oven!