Macrobiotic “yajna”: eco spirituality

Whenever I read my yoga magazines, I find so much overlap with what I learned in my macrobiotic studies. I loved this excerpt from Yoga International’s March 2006 issue called Re-enchantment by Sandra Anderson. It said:

The Ritual of Life

“Yajna is ritual fire sacrifice on the one hand, but it’s more general meaning is that which contributes to the beauty and well-being of creation. Yajna is that which sustains and nourishes the matrix of life. Swami Rama writes in his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, “In the universe, every action is a ritual, and the ritual is performed for the sake of sacrifice. The raindrop sacrifices itself to become part of the plant, the sun gives up its energy to give light and life to all beings.” He was fond of saying “Giving is the law of the universe.” Selfless actions, he would tell us, unconditional love, the offering of inner vitalities to the Lord of Life, working with less attachment to the outcome and more attention to our highest values — these are yajnas.”

Fragrant yajna offerings are burnt and the smoke ascends to the subtle realms “to nourish and propitiate the forces of nature. Acknowledging this interdependent matrix of life, the Bhagavad Gita says, “Beings are born from food; food is produced from the rain; rain is produced from sacrifice (yajna), and yajna arises from action.” The actions of humans living in harmony with the environment nourish the atmosphere, keeping the rain in balance, and protecting the soil, plants, and entire food chain.”

I feel good knowing that my dietary choices attempt to realign with nature and that somehow I am doing what I can to help nourish not just myself and the people that I cook for, but also the planet. Practicing macrobiotics is a form of yajna. I have a choice not to eat meat, dairy, sugar, and other extreme foods that would not only hurt my health, but in doing so also harm others.

Quinoa, cranberry, and pecan pilaf

I LOVE quinoa. How did life get so far along without knowing about this? I tried it for the first time about 3 years ago. It’s becoming more popular these days, and I often read about this being a good grain for people who want to lose weight because it’s so high in protein so it’s satisying and gives you energy. One of my students told me that her 70ish uncle fathered two children in his sunset years, and the US made him take a paternity test to enter the US. They thought he was lying, but he told them, “What do you think I eat? I’m not like Americans eating hamburgers. I’m CHILEAN. I eat QUINOA.”

Grain pilafs with tart fruit, pungent green onions, crunchy nuts and veges, and a lemon dressing really turn me on!

Quinoa, cranberry, and pecan pilaf

I LOVE quinoa. How did life get so far along without knowing about this? I tried it for the first time about 3 years ago. It’s becoming more popular these days, and I often read about this being a good grain for people who want to lose weight because it’s so high in protein so it’s satisying and gives you energy. One of my students told me that her 70ish uncle fathered two children in his sunset years, and the US made him take a paternity test to enter the US. They thought he was lying, but he told them, “What do you think I eat? I’m not like Americans eating hamburgers. I’m CHILEAN. I eat QUINOA.”

Grain pilafs with tart fruit, pungent green onions, crunchy nuts and veges, and a lemon dressing really turn me on!

Azuki Bean Face Lift

Oriental Skin Polishing Pore Refresher
Macrobiotics Today by Ilanit Tof

Ingredients

? ¼ – ½ cup raw adzuki beans
? 1 clean strong coffee bean grinder

Procedure

? Grind 1- 2 tablespoons of raw adzuki beans at a time
? If the grinder has a pulse mechanism you may like to use this
? Wait 20 – 30 seconds before opening lid to allow to settle and prevent a face-full of adzuki bean powder dust
? Place powder in an airtight glass jar
? Transfer several tablespoons into a small plastic container with a good seal for use in the bathroom/shower

Variations

• use chickpeas for a more moistening mix

Usage Suggestions

• mix with water to a paste after cleansing face
• use as a scrub and rinse off immediately (good for daily – 3 times a week use)
• or allow to remain on face until it dries and rinse off in the shower (use once a week and follow with a few drops of pure jojoba or rosehip oil on damp skin or leave skin bare overnight to rejuvenate and cleanse)
• can be used as a whole body scrub

All About Adzuki Beans

? Revered as an indispensable beauty aid both internally and externally in the Orient
? Powerfully rejuvenate the kidneys and heart when eaten or made into a kidney tonifying tea
? The bean’s astringent action is heightened in the raw state which is utilised in this pore refining treatment that will beat expensive lotions and potions hands down!

Emotions in and out of balance

Healthy conditions of the liver and gallbladder are connected with patience and endurance, while unhealthy conditions produce short temper and anger

Healthy conditions of the heart and small intestine are connected with gentleness,
tranquility, intuitive comprehension, spiritual oneness, and merry, humorous expression, while unhealthy conditions produce separateness excitement, and excessive laughter

Healthy conditions of the spleen, pancreas, and stomach, are connected with sympathy
wisdom, consideration, and understanding, while unhealthy conditions produce irritability skepticism, criticism, and worry

Healthy conditions of the lungs and large intestine are connected with a feeling of happiness, security, and wholeness, while unhealthy conditions produce sadness, depression, and melancholy

Healthy conditions of the kidneys and bladder are connected with confidence, courage
and inspiration while their unhealthy conditions produce fear, lack of self- esteem, and hopelessness

Environmental and Health News

CONGRESS BLINDFOLDS CONSUMERS- REMOVING RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT’S IN YOUR FOOD

On March 8, despite massive public opposition, including 50,000 calls and letters from supporters of the Organic Consumers Association, the House of Representatives passed the controversial “national food uniformity” labeling law, which would eliminate over 200 state food safety labeling laws. The law basically takes away local government and states’ power to require food safety labels such as those required in California and other states on foods or beverages that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning. The bill would also prevent local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients be labeled. Under the bill, hundreds of state laws and regulations would be eliminated, including those relating to the safety of milk, fish, and shellfish. In order to become law, the bill will now have to go to the Senate for a vote. Because of the enormous public backlash against the bill, Washington analysts believe the bill will have great difficulty passing in the Senate. OCA and other public interest organizations have vowed to go “all out” to stop this anti-democratic, anti-consumer bill in the Senate. Take action here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/rd/labeling.cfm

FACT OF THE WEEK

In the 2006 election cycle, big agribusiness has already given $14,562,681 in campaign contributions to members of Congress. Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=A
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U.S. VOTES AGAINST 132 NATIONS ON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD

Biotech corporations are facing off against developing nations and most of the world this week in Brazil in a debate over the United Nation’s Biosafety Protocol. The precedent-setting treaty is an international agreement signed in January 2000 by 132 of the world’s nations. But the three main countries that grow genetically modified crops (the United States, Argentina and Canada) refuse to sign it, because the international law would require that countries be notified if the grains they are importing are genetically modified. Biotech companies want that language removed from the treaty, saying that developing nations and anti-GMO consumers in industrialized nations are not entitled to know whether their food is genetically engineered or not.
http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/goliath060313.cfm

CANCER CAUSING CHEMICAL FOUND IN SOME SOFT DRINKS

The U.S., U.K. and China have launched investigations into benzene in soft drinks. Results of independent laboratory tests in New York, show a couple of soft drinks in the U.S. contain as much as four times above the legal benzene limit for drinking water. Benzene, a known carcinogen, is formed when two ingredients in the beverage react with each other: sodium benzoate (a preservative) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The FDA will not released the names of the beverages with high benzene levels but says the companies are being asked to change their ingredients. http://www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/benzene060303.cfm