I finally made GHEE!

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I’m not sure why I was reluctant to make ghee, but it is super easy and I love it – especially on toast.  Recipe:

1 pound unsalted ORGANIC butter.  Put the butter in a heavy, medium-sized pan. Turn the heat on to medium until the butter melts. Turn down the heat until the butter just boils and continue to cook at this heat. Do not cover the pot. The butter will foam and sputter while it cooks. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. The butter will begin to smell like popcorn after a while and turn a lovely golden color. Keep a close watch on the ghee, as it can easily burn. After a while it will become a clear, golden color. You will have to take a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. When it is clear and has stopped sputtering and making noise, then it needs to be taken off the heat. Let it cool until just warm. Pour it through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan. The ghee is burned if it has a nutty smell and is slightly brown.

1 pound of butter takes about 15 minutes of cooking time. The more butter you are using, the more time it will take.

Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered. It does not need refrigeration. The medicinal properties are said to improve with age. Don’t ladle out the ghee with a wet spoon or allow any water to get into the container, as this will create conditions for bacteria to grow and spoil the ghee.

Two pounds of butter will fill a quart jar with ghee.  I prefer to use small jars.

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Review – Teavana Perfect Tea Maker

TEATIMEAfter purchasing the dreadfully expensive Breville Tea Maker last year, I have found that for one person it is a bit of hassle to use.  While visiting the local Teavana store, I noticed that the Teavana Perfect Tea Maker was on spring promotion for 30% off (approx $14) so I decided to give it a try.  I am quite impressed with the design.  I like that the whole unit, once finished brewing, sits on top of your tea cup and pores the tea from the bottom of the unit.  Why is this important?  I like to reuse my tea leaves and this allows them to stay in the unit without being soaked in water.  I was able to brew the same tea leaves three times and still be satisfied with the taste.

Bottom Line – save yourself $190 dollars and go with this very easy to use, great for travel, Teavana Perfect Tea Maker.

Kirtan Wallah – Krishna Das

IMG_5041 Krishna Das has a voice that silences my busy mind and pulls me back within myself, allowing my heart to sing and vibrate its way open ~ one baritone chant at a time. His latest CD, Kirtan Wallah, is no exception.  The packaging is colorful with fantastic artwork by Shamina Rao-Herel. The insert details how each chant came about and includes a transliteration guide and lyrics. The opening quote from Neem Karoli Baba is especially touching:  “Once I take hold of your hand, I never let go, even if you let go of my hand.”

This CD began as a Kickstarter Project with a $54,000 goal.  By the end, $207,185 had been pledged by 2,269 people,  just a small indication of the support for this beloved kirtan wallah. Listening to this CD is like that moment when you are in a yoga pose and your entire body is filled with tension.  The breath and energy are stagnant – then you inhale deeply, exhale and the body softens into the pose, receiving the breath at a cellular level.  That sweetness of receiving is the nectar of these chants.

There isn’t a track that I don’t love, each bringing something a little different to the compilation.  If I had to pick three standouts, the first would be I Phoned Govinda.  I love the bluegrass vibe and the depth added by Jenni Muldaur’s vocals.  Second, would be Sri Argala Stotram/Show Me Love.  There is something magical that happens when Krishan Das and his daughter, Janaki Kagel, sing together.  It feels like a little love bomb hitting you with each note and you believe that if everyone were shown love and could really feel it, we would live in a much different world.  Number three?  That’s a tough one.  I love the upbeat, joyful feeling of 4am Chalisa, and I also love the Goddess chants Saraswati and Tara’s Mantra.  The entire set went straight away to the top of my playlist.  Official drop date is April 15, 2014. Pre-order available on iTunes and amazon.com.  Checkout the youtube preview videos at https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kirtan+wallah+krishna+das&sm=3.

 

I’ve been dreaming about Ravens lately – could it be a reminder to go within?

photo“Lady, see that Raven set wings to the sky, for he fears nothing of what is veiled, for his sight is within”

ancient wisdom from a blog post by Siannaphey

great info from Dr. Lad on emotional health

In regards to emotional agni Dr. Lad offers this to us:  According to Ayurveda, the ancient science of self-knowledge, the emotional body can be purified by the same methods which purify the physical body. Strotomukha vishodhanam is cleansing the passages through which emotions flow. If there is fear, anxiety, anger – surrender to it. That letting go opens the channels of circulation. Then the emotion can move freely.

Vrudhi means to increase impurity. On the psychological level, the emotions must be provoked before they can be released. Encourage crying, see a sad movie, do anger release work. This gets the emotion moving, but it doesn’t end it for good. Abhisyandhan is de-crystallization or liquefaction of emotion. It makes the emotion as a fluid just as salt or sugar melts in the sun. This can be done with deep tissue work, vigorous massage or by reclining the body in a gentle easy posture – this will help your emotions become liquid.

Unknown-3You cannot yield juice from an unripe mango. If you try, you will destroy the mango. Then you will have neither the mango nor its juice! But if you ripen the mango the juice flows easily from the fruit. This ripening is called pachan, which digests the emotion and brings maturation. Maturity is the perfume of life. To ripen your emotions, bring total awareness to your feelings. The memory of an insult is lodged in your mind – bring complete awareness to it and you will no longer be attached to it. Stay with your grief with total awareness. The flame of awareness will cook your grief and like a dry leaf it drops to the ground. Stay near your feelings, stay near God. Fast from food. Fast from talking. Allow the emotion to ripen. Allow your grief and anger to flower and they will die their own natural death. Suppress them and they will fight for their existence.

Deepana means to enkindle the flame of awareness. Stay in the stops between your breath. Stay in the gap between your thoughts. Meditation is the medium through which the flame of awareness is enkindled.

~Vasant Lad

 

 

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Spiritual Terrorism

melissa:

This is my kind of Terrorism!

Originally posted on All We Are Saying Is . . .:

WASHINGTON—In a 45-minute video posted on Tibetan websites Thursday, Tsuglag Rinpoche, leader of the Buddhist extremist group Kammaṭṭhāna, threatened to soon inflict a wave of peace and tranquility on the West.

Speaking in front of a nondescript altar surrounded by candles, burning sticks of incense, and a small golden statue of the Buddha, Rinpoche did not specify when or where an assault of profound inner stillness would occur, but stated in no uncertain terms that the fundamentalist Buddhist cell plans to target all Western suffering.

“In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West,” said Rinpoche, adding that all enemies of a freely flowing, unfettered state of mind will be “besieged with pure, everlasting happiness.” “No city will be spared from spiritual harmony. We will bring about the end to all Western pain and…

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