health-benefits-ginger

Wellness, Naturally: Health Benefits of Ginger

By AOLRC
January 4, 2018

health-benefits-ginger

 

Health benefits of ginger

The perennial plant ginger is cultivated all across the world. It is available in different compositions and widely known for its culinary use. However, ginger is more than just a spice that can be added to your favorite dishes. The Eastern holistic healing approach of Ayurveda recognizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body and celebrates ginger as a tonic that can help balance the body. Ginger root also offers a huge variety of health benefits.

 

Ginger for weight loss

Obesity can reduce a person’s life expectancy by as many as 20 years. However, research shows that ginger may be instrumental in controlling your weight and suppressing obesity by reducing a variety of contributing factors, including glucose and body weight.

 

Ginger for beautiful skin

Thanks to its anti-aging properties, such as gingerol, this perennial plant also helps to rejuvenate your skin. Studies indicate that ginger helps reduce the synthesis of melanin and reduces aging of the skin.

 

Keep infections at bay

Ginger’s antimicrobial properties make it a powerful tool for fighting infections, including bacterial infections like strep throat. It’s been used to remedy a variety of conditions, including flatulence, nausea and flared sinuses. Ginger is also an ideal immune support during cold and flu season.

 

Minimize inflammation and pain

Some conditions, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, can come with chronic pain due to inflammation — the body’s natural response for healing injuries. The longer the inflammation persists, the more painful it can be, but ginger may provide alternative pain relief. Research shows that ginger helps to reduce inflammation and pain, due to the presence of gingerols and essential oils.

 

Ginger for digestion

This famous superfood can help you to not only digest your food, but it can also help control and enhance your appetite. A common Ayurvedic practice includes consuming ginger during lunch, as it is believed to facilitate nutrient absorption.

 

Including ginger in your diet

Leveraging ginger’s health benefits is not hard to do. Here are four simple ways you can include ginger in your diet:

 

1. Ginger Tea. Relieve stress and uplift your mood with the power of ginger tea. Ginger tea can provide soothing relief when you have a cold. You can boil ginger root in water to flavor the warm beverage for a potent taste. You can also add ginger powder to a hot drink or take an even easier route by steeping ginger tea bags in hot water.

2. Cooking With Ginger as a Spice. Ginger adds a little kick to the flavoring of meats, fruits and veggies. Try enhancing the taste of your steak, chicken or asparagus by incorporating some freshly peeled and diced ginger into your dish.

3. Pickled Ginger. You can include ginger in your diet in pickled form. Pickled ginger is great appetizer that for neutralizing your taste buds, especially after you eat sushi or raw fish.

 

The health benefits of ginger stretch beyond its culinary appeal to help with skin rejuvenation, healing and appetite control. Using the power of ginger, you can adopt the Ayurvedic approach to extend balance from the mind to the body and leverage its numerous benefits.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , food , ginger , Recipes , skincare , weight-loss
Art of Living Retreat Center - Carrot Currant Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Carrot Currant Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
December 21, 2017

Art of Living Retreat Center - Carrot Currant Salad

 

Yes, carrots are good for the eyes and so much more!

This popular root vegetable has an interesting “personality”. Ayurveda tells us that substances with a sweet taste have a cooling energy. Although the carrot is mainly sweat in taste (rasa), it has heating energy (virya). This makes the carrot a great seasonal vegetable for winter.

 

Rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, the carrot is a salad superhero and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Immune-boosting qualities, the ability to bring down blood pressure and protect the liver, act as a diuretic, improve appetite, and treat IBS, are just a few of it’s superpowers!

 

The other ingredients in this salad are great sidekicks that help this dish pack the perfect punch! They are nourishing, grounding, and unctuous, making this a welcoming, wonderfully warm winter recipe.

 

This is a raw salad that I suggest be warmed before eaten, or at least eaten at room temperature to aid in digestion.

 

Carrot Currant Salad

  • 1 cup of currants, raisins, or chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 3/4 tbsp maple syrup or jaggery
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 3-4 cups grated or shredded carrots (about 4-6 medium carrots)
  • Optional: about 1/4 cup fine toasted coconut flakes for garnish
 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak the currants, dates, or raisins in the warm water for five minutes. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the soak water.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, except for the carrots and coconut.
  3. Stir in the carrots until coated well with the dressing.
  4. Warm before serving, and garnish with toasted coconut.

Serves four as a side dish.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , carrots , food , recipe , Recipes , salad , winter
Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Summer Green Bean Salad

By AOLRC
August 23, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Warm late-summer days are perfect for enjoying the bounty of the season. A fresh summer salad is a great way to take advantage of the wonderful flavor and nutritional value of in-season vegetables,  including an Ayurvedic favourite – green beans.

Regardless of your body type, or dosha, this salad is a delicious delight that will help you balance the effects of the season.

Although most beans are harder for Vata to digest, green beans are one of the exceptions to the rule. This green bean salad, with sauteed squash and red onion, is especially balancing for Vata.

Pitta may be extra aggravated during the summer months, so it’s best to introduce more hydrating and cooling foods. Salads are a summer necessity for Pitta.

Kapha is balanced by cooked, whole foods that are lighter and drier in texture. These foods are ideally served warm or hot. For a summer salad, room temperature or slightly warm cooked whole grains mixed with fresh vegetables are best for Kapha digestion.

   

Green Bean Salad

  • 1 cup of green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crumbled goat’s milk cheese or chevre 

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard or brown mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 each salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
 

Directions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until slightly tender. The green beans should still have a light crunch.
  2. While green beans are cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, drain thoroughly and immediately add to the ice water to shop the cooking process. Drain in a colander. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. To make a vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together, adding the olive oil last. Set aside.
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saute pan on medium heat.
  5. Add red onion and cook until just tender and slightly translucent. Add yellow squash and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Take squash mixture off heat and add to green beans. Stir all the vegetables together and add the vinaigrette.
  7. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.

For Pitta: Replace the cooked squash and onions with fresh chopped and seeded cucumber. Replace cilantro with mint for extra cooling

For Kapha: Add 1 cup cooked room temperature couscous. For easy couscous, pour 1/2 cup couscous into 3/4 cup boiling water, stir once with a spoon, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Wait 10 minutes, and then fluff couscous with a fork. Let cool before mixing into the salad.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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Ayurvedic Recipes: Indian Okra

By Diana Bellofatto
August 2, 2017

Summer is here, and you may be experiencing extreme temperatures and the imbalances that accompany the high heat. One of the most effective ways to regulate body temperature and bring one’s self back into balance is through diet.

Pitta is that which is governed, mainly, by the fire element, and responds well to sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes to bring it back into balance when overheated. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the hot summer is pitta season. We want to be careful not to add too much heat to this already fiery time of the year! Choosing the appropriate seasonal foods will help pacify pitta’s predilection for pyrogenic tendencies.

   

Indian Okra

  • 2 cups okra
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼  tsp turmeric
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ lime
  • Handful chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

When preparing okra use dry cutting board and knife to avoid okra getting wet.  Heat ghee in pan until melted.  Add cumin seeds until they “swim.”  Reduce heat and add fresh ginger.  Add coriander powder and turmeric.  Combine okra with spice mixture and cook on low for 15 minutes or until tender.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.

     

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , dosha , food , health , healthy lifestyle , natural lifestyle , Recipes , salad , summer , weight-loss

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sensational Summer Salad to the Rescue!

By Diana Bellofatto
July 3, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Salad

Summer is here, and you may be experiencing extreme temperatures and the imbalances that accompany the high heat. One of the most effective ways to regulate body temperature and bring one’s self back into balance is through diet.

Pitta is that which is governed, mainly, by the fire element, and responds well to sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes to bring it back into balance when overheated. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the hot summer is pitta season. We want to be careful not to add too much heat to this already fiery time of the year! Choosing the appropriate seasonal foods will help pacify pitta’s predilection for pyrogenic tendencies.

 

This light salad is a great way to honor your body’s nutritional needs without feeling too weighed down in the heat. See how the seasonal and light nature of this salad provides a tantalizing, tasty, and nutritionally balanced meal as each of the ingredients pave the way for pitta pacification.

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TAGS: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , dosha , food , health , healthy lifestyle , natural lifestyle , Recipes , salad , summer , weight-loss
Nourishment - Art of Living Retreat Center

Exploring Wisdom: What Are You Truly Hungry For?

By Andrea Lieberstein
May 13, 2017

Nourishment - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Are you feeling well-nourished right now? This week? This past month? What does feeling nourished even mean to you? Think back to the last time you felt a sense of ongoing well-being in your life, with a resilient pool of resources to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life and these particularly stressful times. A sense of wellness, of being okay, of being able to rest in the present moment with grace, ease, and joy. The kind of nourishment I am talking about is not only from quality food, water, rest, and movement but nourishment of the whole self, including the physical, emotional, psychological, social, creative, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of ourselves.

 

Be Like the Lily

In today’s fast-paced world we have even more reasons to disconnect from our bodies and what we really need at any moment. The ways our days, schools, and workplaces are set up generally do not encourage self-care as a value or provide systems that support it. We lose contact with ourselves through the external focus of getting things done, meeting deadlines, and spending large amounts of time in linear indoor spaces that do not nourish us with beauty and harmony. The constant bombardment of media from all our devices can leave us feeling hopeless or helpless, draining us of the energy we need to nourish ourselves, others, and the planet. The quick fixes are all around us, including caffeine to keep us awake and alert; fast food and drinks high in sugar, salt, or fat; and TV or mindless eating to numb out with at the end of a long day.

What does it take to stay strong, centered, and attuned in the midst of these societal forces and structures? We can use the image of a water lily, which is rooted firmly in the soil hidden beneath a pond. A water lily is gently buffeted by the flows of water that stream past, as currents change from wind, storm, and passing visitors such as turtles and fish. Throughout it all, the lily stays rooted in the ground, swaying with grace, drawing nourishment from soil, sun, and water, and open to the sky.

 

Pursuing Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps us to tune into what we really need moment to moment. You can check in periodically throughout the day and ask yourself what kind of nourishment you need right now. You can notice what thoughts and feelings you are bringing to the literal or figurative table. Are you truly physically hungry, or is there something else you really need, masquerading as a desire for food? Are you present for the nourishment and enjoyment from your food when you do eat? Do you pause and remember to savor the moments of your life?

 

Learning to Trust Yourself

The first step is to learn ways to quiet the mind enough to see what is truly present. You can bring mindfulness into the moment by practicing a mindful pause—take a few deep, relaxing breaths, then allow it to return to its natural rhythm, gently focusing on its movement. Next, broaden your awareness to include thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. Inquire into your experience with curiosity and kindness. Insights and new perspectives may arise. You may also begin to experience a greater sense of being.

With time it will get easier to notice when you are ignoring or misinterpreting your inner signals for nourishment. Remember to give yourself permission to regularly stop, be still, and listen. The nourishing choice may be to eat mindfully, or it may be to take a walk in nature, or express or feed your creative, social, or intellectual self. It may be to simply remember who you really are beyond all your cravings. This vast pool of compassionate awareness and clear seeing grows with mindful practice.

True Nourishment

Mindfulness, self-compassion, and lovingkindness practice are tools along this journey. They teach us to listen, move gently and skillfully, and respond appropriately like the lily. They help us to connect with our own goodness, to know we are worth it, and to set intentions for deep nourishment. Research shows that the more we practice self-compassion, the more we increase our own self-care and the more compassionate we become to others.

 

Ask yourself daily, “What parts of myself have I attended to today?” Listening and responding is an act of kindness not only to yourself but to all those around you. At first it may take extra energy, intention, education, and discernment to learn how to be rooted and open like the water lily, connected to the deep nourishment, with all the resources you need to flourish. With practice it becomes a way of living and being, navigating the multitude of choice points we have each day and savoring each moment.

 

Andrea Lieberstein, MPH, RDN, RYT, is a mindfulness-based registered dietitian, mindfulness meditation and self-compassion teacher, mindful eating expert, and author of Well Nourished. She has an upcoming retreat at Art of Living Center called Cultivating True Nourishment, July 6-8, 2016.


This article was originally published in Common Ground magazine.

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , food , health , healthy lifestyle , wisdom

Wellness, Naturally: No April Fools Here!

By Diana Bellofatto
April 1, 2017

Ayurveda - Spring
Spring is here, and as the saying goes, “We got this!” Practicing Ayurveda gives us an edge over imbalances that might otherwise sneak up on us, as long as we practice awareness with the right diet and lifestyle.

We surfed through March, riding the wave of fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather. The test of our ability to shift on the fly and make appropriate food choices, while on the cusp of spring, really kept us on our toes.

Now, spring weather conditions are consistently here. We can transition from the more acidic, heavy diet that kept us balanced in winter to a diet more high in alkaline, light qualities. This will help ensure smooth sailing into spring.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Ayurveda is that there is no need to memorize a lot of information. Common sense and an organic approach of following the lead of Mother Nature guides us as she serves up spring’s verdant variety of chlorophyll rich (alkaline) foods that aid in transformation from the acid to alkaline state.

Here are my favourite spring seasonal eating lifestyle tips!

 

Honor Your Agni with Ginger

Encourage strong digestion with ginger tea. Ayurveda has a saying – “honor your agni” – because good health or dis-ease is predicated upon the strength of one’s agni, or digestive fire. When agni is weak, we experience imbalances, and when it is strong, we feel well. This is one of the main tenets of Ayurveda.

Ginger is heating in nature, and so, helps kindle agni. Ginger aids in stimulating the appetite, improves digestion and assimilation of nutrients, provides an analgesic effect for joint pain, and facilitates the clearing of wastes from the body. Generally speaking, ginger can be used every day.

Those with hyperacidity should introduce ginger into their diet slowly and with guidance from their health care practitioner. A tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger brought to a boil in 8 to 12 ounces of water, simmered for about 10 minutes, and accompanied by the juice of half a lemon can do wonders! Dried ginger in a tea bag is effective as well.

Protect Yourself with Chlorophyll

The many delicious green vegetables that color our plates in spring contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a plant pigment responsible for the many disease-fighting and detoxification properties of fresh greens. Because it slows the rate at which harmful bacteria can reproduce, it is a potent wound healer. It’s anti-viral effects protect the skin from viruses like herpes, that cause cold sores, shingles, etc.

Since cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment, chlorophyll is a boon for cancer prevention. Chlorophyll cleanses and detoxifies the liver by inhibiting the ability for certain chemicals to metabolize and cause cell damage. It also increases the activity of enzymes that protect healthy cells. Chlorophyll is the superhero you want on your side!

 

Snack on Spirulina

This is one of my favorite recipes for a spring snack – chlorophyll-filled, protein-packed Spirulina (blue-green algae) power balls! They’re no-bake and easy to make.

1/2 c. softened coconut oil
1/3 c. raw honey
1/2 tsp. mineral salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. spirulina powder (or, up to 1/4 cup)
3/4 c. white or black sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, ground
1/2 c. hemp, chia, or sunflower seeds, ground
*Optional – toasted coconut flakes or raw cacao powder in which to roll the balls.

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
2. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour, so that the balls stay formed when you roll them.
3. Roll into bite-sized balls, and then roll in coconut or cacao.
4. Store in the fridge, eat and room temperature for best flavor and digestion.

Check out one of our spring Ayurveda retreats for a full immersion experience!

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

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TAGS: agni , art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , cleanse , Detox , dosha , food , health , seasonal eating , Spring , wellness naturally
Asparagus - Ayurvedic Recipe

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sauteed Asparagus with Slivered Almonds

By Paige Reist
March 1, 2017

Asparagus - Ayurvedic Recipe
Asparagus is known for its antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also very low calorie – 10 calories per 100 grams. It’s low in fat and cholesterol, and high in fibre, folates, B vitamin complex, and vitamins K and E.

This makes it a great food for March, where vata season is turning into kapha. It helps decrease water retention, weight gain, improves overall immunity, and increases elimination. Besides the above, asparagus is also good for both women’s and men’s reproductive health, for skin, hair, nails, beauty, and strength. Making the recipe with ghee helps to stimulate the digestive fire, or agni, and the almonds and sesame seeds provide protein and omega fatty acids – the good fat that the body needs for immunity and endurance.

Sauteed Asparagus with Slivered Almonds

Prep time: n/a
Cooking time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

1 tsp ghee

1 bunch asaparagus

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp lemon juice

 

Directions

Heat ghee in pan. Add asparagus and saute until tender (about 10 minutes). Add slivered almonds and cook for 1 more minute. Season with black pepper, salt, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda Recipes , Ayurvedic diet , dosha , food , kapha , pitta , recipe , Recipes , vata

Ayurveda Recipe: Sesame Cookies

By Eloise Ducker
September 20, 2016

Ayurveda Recipe

As we ease into fall and the leaves begin to change we naturally move into a different rhythm and explore other ways to spend time. Getting creative in the kitchen can be a wonderful way to ground and nurture yourself. Read on for a delicious ayurvedic sesame cookie recipe, perfect for dunking in those warming teas as you snuggle on the couch.

Sesame Cookies

Sesame is a special seed, it contains an unusual trio of tastes: bitter, pungent, and sweet. Its naturally balanced composition of heating, cooling, and building qualities makes it a tonic for increasing strength and immunity.

1 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp Everyday Sweet Spice Mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg, whisked
2 tsp sesame seeds, plus extra for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lightly greasing with ghee or coconut oil or else lining with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the ingredients together in the order listed. If the batter is too runny to shape, put it in the fridge for 5–10 minutes (but batter that’s a little runny bakes nicely). Shape batter into tablespoon-size balls or drop with a spoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Leave a few inches between the balls, as they will puff up when they bake. Lightly press down on the balls with a fork. Sprinkle tops with extra sesame seeds. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until they are firm enough to touch without your finger sticking.

Let them cool completely before removing from baking sheets and serving. Puffs will be soft when you eat them. Yum!

Source: The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , creativity , fall , food , kapha , pitta , Recipes , vata , wellness

Happiness Program: Setting the Best Tone for the Day

By Dr. Elizabeth Herman, PhD
May 28, 2016

Happiness Program retreat Dan Joy

Note: We sat down for a conversation with Dan Joy (appropriately named) about his sources of happiness and how the Happiness Program has affected his life. Dan is a budding, multi-talented musician, who shares both about music and how the Happiness techniques set the tone for the day.

 

Before and After

    Before I started this, my work routine would look like this:
  • wake up 30 minutes before the shift starts,
  • frantically get dressed,
  • brush my teeth,
  • run out the door,
  • be five minutes late to work and…

From the onset, from the minute I woke up to an alarm I’d be stressed out. Then I’d get to work that way. Stress translated into my work whether I was working with food or as a server.

 

It always comes across if I come to work feeling frantic or frazzled. So now, I give myself plenty of time in the morning to get myself ready and then I take time to meditate.

 

The breathing practices have actually changed me a lot. Ever since I took the Happiness course, and learned the Sudarshan Kriya, I practice on a daily basis. I usually wake up a little before the sun rises or with the sun rise, start off with a little bit of yoga and then go into the Sudarshan Kriya and meditate for a while before I come to breakfast.

That’s how I start every day; it sets the tone for every single day.

I’ve found that when I come to work having already centered myself, it’s way easier to plan out menus, to delegate tasks to other people, or work with them. So I’ve found that it’s a great way to just get myself ready for the day. It’s become an essential part of my readiness, when I’m preparing for work and everything.

 

The Sudarshan Kriya

 

An automatic reflex happens right in that final moment in the last round of the breathing, right before you lay down. Then I lay down or kinda just sit there and be in that state and ride it out for as long as I can or try to keep track of time.

 

I think that is definitely my favorite part, just when the final breath is taken care of; and then it just washes over me. When I exit out of that I am just so ready for anything.

 

A Period of Transformation

 

The people that I’ve met here and the things that I’ve learned from them have absolutely changed my way of thinking and living completely. The way that I process emotions, thoughts and feelings is all so different from before. I really feel like it has helped me mature and become a man.

 

At the same time, in my work, working very hard with Chef Raju taught me a lot of discipline. Having a very busy work week has shown me a lot of resilience and the value of hard work.

 

I’ve come more into myself; I’ve grown as a person musically and professionally, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, in every possible way. I’ve just blossomed as a human being. 

 

I am very grateful to everyone, this mountain, and the experiences I’ve had here.

 

Sources of Happiness

 
    So many activities bring me happiness:
 
  • Playing with others.
  • Walking in the woods, taking hikes.
  • Seeing beautiful things.
  • Sharing with other people and their dogs.
  • Making food that makes people happy.
 

Music

 

To me, music is pure expression. Whenever I pick up any instrument, I immediately go into expressing myself. Whatever emotion is dwelling inside, expressing that musically tends to make me feel better, even if I’m sad.

 

But if I’m happy already and go into it, it just compounds itself, like a positive feedback loop where I keep getting happier. Playing with others and having a group participate is especially uplifting; you’re borrowing energy and everybody’s on the same wave length.

 

Food: What It’s Like

 

Food is definitely interesting. In my family, it is central. At any gathering, there’s always a big spread. Everybody brings a dish. So to me, food has always represented happiness and companionship, family ties and stuff like that. Especially working here, where the people whom I work with are my family.

I am very grateful to everyone, this mountain, and the experiences I’ve had here.

It brings me a lot of joy whenever I make a dish and my family members come back to me and say that made them feel good. In turn, that makes me happy.

 

Cooking Processes

 

I get into an energetic state of mind when I’m cooking. It’s a fast paced environment sometimes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that tensions are high or people are upset.

 

Here, I find that everybody’s usually in a good mood when we are back there in the kitchen. Even though we are moving fast, everybody’s still friendly and happy with each other. So I love that. I love that fast paced effort; working myself up to meet the deadline to get everybody fed.

 

State of Mind

 

It’s very fun and we put a lot of energy into it. You’re still working during the meal but it’s almost like a roller coaster, with up and down emotions.

 

Then it’s over; you just breathe a sigh of relief. Everybody gets fed, everything goes off without a hitch, and it just feels good.

 

Editor’s Note: A big thank you to Dan for sharing what brings him happiness.  Discover more about the Happiness Program with our online series of guided meditations, breathing practices and insights. The online series is free and a great introduction to the Art of Living. 

 

the starter kit

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TAGS: food , Fun , happiness , lifestyle