This is an invitation how to feel the illusion of separation

We can speak about our connection and that we are dependent on nature all day long, but nothing beats experiencing it. To feel it. It’s tangible and deeply spiritual at the same time.

I have started to introduce a new practice in my life and I have the feeling that it will be with me for a lifetime. Not for every meal, but sometimes. I can feel how my body and soul are celebrating the new nuances of a deeper awareness.

This is it. It’s a practice to do before and during a meal:

Take a moment and feel your heartbeat.

Eat some, slowly, mindfully.

Feel the heartbeat again.

See if you can feel that there’s nutrition flowing through the heart, nutrition in the bloodstream.

The food that we are eating basically come from the soil. This is a quality that we can learn to feel. We can learn to feel the quality of the earth as it comes into our body through the food that we eat, being digested and flowing in our bloodstream.

One of the primary reasons that our blood is moving through our body is to provide us with the nutrition that comes from the soil and the energy from the sun. This is how we are completely biologically dependent on plants. Interconnected with nature and our surrounding.

We wouldn’t need the plants if we could just eat dirt and sunlight directly. We receive the concentrated nutrients through plants. Through the food that we eat.

When you are done eating, check your heartbeat again.

A cooking idea with Purslane.

Purslane tofu scramble with mustard seeds, turmeric, black pepper, coriander, ginger and salt in the pan together with some coconut milk. I also added dry long pepper leave powder.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a wild growing plant that’s cooling and moistening. Purslane can be eaten as a spinach/vegetable and you can eat quite a lot but cooking or blanching reduces the oxalates – if you want to eat larger amounts.

Every part of purslane is edible. Researchers have identified purslane as the richest vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid.

In addition, purslane contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

And, it’s really really tasty!

Purslane is both medicine and food. It’s analgesic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, inflammatory modulator, laxative and vermifuge.

We have an intimate relationship with plants, we need to remember this over and over again. To take a moment and feel our heartbeat. To see what’s there. Our human brain seems to think very independently, but we can feel it in our body and soul.

End note: A list of my main sources of inspiration and learnings.

Is our ability to create new life dependant on food that can create life?

We have cut the link with nature in many ways. I find it easier to grasp this common statement by looking at it from a practical spiritual point.

From that point, I can surrender to life and take action from a deeper place inside of me.

This is how I think that we have broken our connection. One of the ways. One that might have an essential impact on us. On our ability to grow, reproduce and on the evolution of our consciousness. 

We came out of the earth and we are evolving together.

We are part of the evolution, part of the flow of universe that was created 13.8 billion years ago with the big bang. This is where all comes from, the sun was born out of the universe, other planets, the moon, our planet… a whole creation of evolution that gave us life… we have evolved and continue to evolve with universe and nature. 

What we eat become a part of us and that is all part of the evolution. Our digestive process is making something that is not us to us.

We know that the plant with all its branches, flowers and fruits are contained in the seed. The information is stored in the seed. 

We also know that many plants are cultivated and modified for different reasons. Such as hybridisation (often labeled F1), to grow faster, uniform colour and size etc. The seed of hybrid plants are often sterile or they will be considerably less vigorous. We have manipulated the seeds for our short-term benefits and these seeds are predominant in the industrialised agriculture, as well as sold to home gardeners.

Open-pollinated and heirloom plants (where pollination occurs by insect, bird, wind, humans, or other natural mechanisms) are more genetically diverse and allow plants to slowly adapt to local growing conditions and climate year-to-year. They produce seeds that can give life to new plants.

Wild growing edible plants adapt to the surrounding by producing nutrition and medicinal compounds that they use to protect themselves, for immune protection, reproduction and to grow. The plants are constantly monitoring their surrounding, responding to climate change and other threats.

Plants use complex feedback loops and vary the amount and combinations of phytochemicals that they make, they even vary the phytochemicals they put in individual seeds. Studies show that wild plants often are genetically stronger then cultivated or modified plants.

We use the information from plants, the nutrition and medicinal compounds, to live, grow and evolve. What we choose to consume as food determines how our body and consciousness function. 

Imagine the difference of eating food that can create new life and food that cannot create new life. 

Food that can create new life.

Food that cannot create new life.

The information we receive in our body is totally different. 

What can that do to us? What is the cost of eating food that cannot create new life. Could it change how we experience ourselves and what we feel in our everyday life? Could it ultimately change our ability to create new life?

Life need life to survive, thrive and evolve. But we have cut the link, we have broken the connection. In a very practical way, which also is very spiritual.

Where to go from here? Start with what’s easiest, what you feel most comfortable with:

1) eliminate processed food, 2) check where the vegetables you are buying (or seeds if you grow yourself) come from and choose open-pollinated and heirloom plants/seeds, 3) introduce wild plants into your meals.

Go small with what you already know and continue from there, while paying attention to the effects it might have on your body, mind and spirit. You can use this practice to check in with yourself.

A drink idea with Shatavari.

  • Vegetable milk (1 cup)
  • Shatavari root powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • A few crushed cardamom pods
  • Some cinnamon powder
  • Honey

Warm the milk to boil, add shatavari, cardamom and cinnamon and let infuse for 10 minutes. If you like, sweeten with honey. Enjoy this calming and relaxing drink.

Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a sweet, bitter and cooling plant that has been used for many centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.

The root powder is used as a general health tonic with a range of health benefits, such as improving vitality and fertility. The name literally means “the woman with a hundred husbands” and is particularly used for the female reproductive system.

Shatavari is an adaptogenic herb said to help our bodies cope with physical and emotional stress and can be taken daily over several months.

Plants function in us all the time, without us needing to do anything. Becoming aware of our intimate interconnectedness and biological unity with all life will transform us.

End note: A list of my main sources of inspiration and learnings.

What’s moving in my heart is moving in your heart

I invite you to put both of your hands on your heart. You can do it now while reading. Hold it tight to feel into your heart, feel it pumping. Take a deep breath.

What’s moving in your heart?

How we all are connected in our hearts
The sun enables all life on this planet. The plants that grow around us absorb the sunlight and converted it to food, through its photosynthesis. The plant also absorbs water and nutrition from the soil.

We harvest the plants and eat them. And then, what happens?

We have sunlight in our heart
Our bodies are a mirror image of the plants. Our metabolism releases the sunlight from the plant, it passes through channels in the small intestine into the bloodstream and through our body. It goes through our heart.

We have the water element in our heart
Imagine that you are holding a piece of watermelon. The watermelon is not a part of you, but when you eat it, it becomes a part of you.

Our bodies release water from the watermelon, it passes through the stomach, goes to the small intestine and from there into our blood and through our body. And now it’s circling through your heart. It will come out and go back to the environment again and then it won’t be you. It’s flowing in everybody’s heart.

What more?

We have the earth element in our heart
The plants are releasing oxygen that we inhale, we are releasing carbon dioxide that they inhale. We use the oxygen to break down the carbohydrates that the plants have created by photosynthesis. 

By breathing in the opposite pattern with the plants, the nutrition from the soil can go into our bloodstream, through our body and heart.

The entire world is passing through our heart
At some level, our heart knows the condition of the soil through the food that we eat, it knows the quality of the air and water. It knows how the food was grown, what chemicals that might have been used, how it was transported, the love or suffering involved.

The inside of our heart is in contact with the outer world in every heartbeat. No matter where you are or what you are doing, this is happening. Constantly. It’s biological.

We are all connected in our hearts through the elements that we are dependent upon.

A smoothie bowl idea with Moringa.

  • A handful of wild green leaves (I used portulaca and moringa leaves)
  • Some bananas (frozen if possible, it will become creamier)
  • Dates (amount as you prefer)
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Coconut milk

Add all in the mixer and go for it!

I added coconut sabja seed pudding (similar usage as chia seed but local to where I am), a few activated almonds, edible hibiscus and harmony flowers, and sprinkled some guduchi powder on top of my smoothie bowl.

The leaves of moringa (Moringa oleifera), also called the “Miracle Tree” or “Tree of Life”, are nutrient dense and well known for its high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. It also provides properties that may reduce inflammation.

The leaves can be eaten often and used for smoothies, when baking, in soups and stir fries, and externally in poultices and skin healing remedies. Both the leaves and flowers can be harvested perpetually, and used fresh or dried and powdered. The long, slender, seed-pods can be used as a vegetable, but that’s another story.

Food connects us to the greater world. We can use wild edible and medicine plants as a doorway into perceiving the deeper level of our interconnectedness, our biological unity with nature, universe, with where we come from and are a part of.

End note: A list of my main sources of inspiration and learnings.

The food is already there, it’s just not recognised as food

Food and medicine is outside our door. It has always been there.

Many of us have lost or are losing this relationship, the relationship with where we come from and are dependent upon. I’m regaining it by giving it time and space. As any relationship, it cannot be rushed and it need attention.

Let’s see where our food comes from. Are you ready for a short and simplified trip from the universe to our consciousness?

> The sun was born out of the universe

> Plants absorb sunlight, carbon dioxide and water

> The photosynthesis occurs when combining these elements

> Plants form glucose (what we eat) and oxygen (what we breath)

> Plants also absorb nutrition from the soil

> We eat the plants

> Our metabolism releases the nutrition, sunlight and water from the plant

> It moves through the different tissue levels of our body; our blood, muscles, fat, bones…

> All the way to our consciousness

Many of us more or less know this from school, but did we grasp the depth of it? How practical and spiritual it is. I sure didn’t.

If we had learned the depth of this, what would the world look like today?

Most likely completely different. Completely different. But that’s not where we are at now.

Learning about and eating local and wild edible plants helps me to see our intimate interconnectedness with nature and all life. It helps me to stay somewhat sane, whatever that means, when things are feeling shaky.

How well nature wants us to be.

I have been eating and loving bananas all my life, but I never knew before moving to India that we also can eat the banana flower and the stem of the banana. Shops only provide a small portion of what nature has to offer.

A cooking idea with Banana Flower by Solitude Farm, Auroville.

  • 1 banana flower
  • 2 cup of moong daal
  • 2 small onion
  • some garlic
  • some grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bowl of grated coconut
  • 1 branch of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

Preparing the banana flower is a meditative way of connecting with the abundance of nature. How to peel and separate the banana flower:

1) Put some oil in your hand.
2) Start opening the outer petals of the banana flower one by one. Under each petal, your will find a group of long pale yellow flowers.
3) Collect the flowers and discard the petal. While peeling of the petals, the petals will get softer and paler in color and the flowers will get smaller.
4) Keep peeling until you reach the white yellow flower heart.
5) Now start to peel the long yellow flowers:
Remove the feathery plastic like petal back and the matchstick like stem inside the flower. You have remove both, otherwise your banana flower dish will be hard and bitter.
6) Keep the flower that is left after removing those two parts, this is what you will use.
7) The long pale yellow flowers close to the heart will get smaller and smaller. When you can’t clean anymore, just separate the flowers and chop small.

Start cooking:

1) Boil the flowers with moong daal, turmeric and salt till it becomes cooked, then filter the water
2) Chop the onions and garlic
3) Great the ginger
4) Put some oil in the pan and fry mustard seeds
5) Add the onion, ginger and last garlic and let them fry together
6) Add the banan flower mix and let it fry a bit
7) Turn off the stove
8) Chop the coriander and add it to the mixture
9) Add the grated coconut

Make a banana flower party – call friends and neighbours to share the food and knowledge!

End note: A list of my main sources of inspiration and learnings.

We are all children of flowers and it’s not spiritual fluff

“Flowerpower” might sound like spiritual fluff but it’s very real. I would call it practical spirituality.

The first flower can be traced back to 140-250 millions years ago, and plants have been developed during millions of years before. It’s all part of the evolution that started with the big bang 13.8 billion years ago, when the universe was born.

For plants to start to develop flowers, to come up with all that energy, it had to absorb more sunlight. In order to absorb more sunlight, it needed bigger leaves. The whole development lead to a huge increase of oxygen in the atmosphere.

The appearance of flowers transformed the ecosphere, it created the conditions for humans, for homo sapiens as a species, to evolve. It followed by an explosion of the biodiversity, and the food chain as we know it was created. Looking at where our food comes from, almost everything that we eat comes from a flower.

An apple, squash, tomato, blueberry, wheat, edamame bean… they have all been flowers transformed into fruits, vegetables, berries, grains and beans.

So, we can say that we develop from flowers.

This is what we depend on to live, grow and evolve.

A sandwich idea with Neem flowers.

Add a touch of local wilderness by topping your sandwich with some neem flowers. I used hummus and olives as a spread.

Violá! Enjoy the flow from universe to your consciousness.

The young twigs and flowers of neem (Azadirachta indica) can occasionally be consumed as vegetables. The leaves and fruits can be eaten fresh or cooked too.

In traditional medicine (especially Siddha and Ayurvedic) neem are used as anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive and sedative. It’s common to use neem for skin diseases.

But there is a but. Short-term internal use of neem is in general safe, while long-term use may harm the kidneys or liver. For more info check out Pitchandikulam herbarium.

It’s pretty amazing to realise that when we are eating plants, we are consuming the intelligence that formed this planet. 

End note: A list of my main sources of inspiration and learnings.