Author Archive

When you come to a Master

Posted on: June 17th, 2018 by raahi

DD_Comix_Master_01DD_Comix_Master_02DD_Comix_Master_03DD_Comix_Master_04DD_Comix_Master_05DD_Comix_Master_06mysterious_things

 


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Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.

 

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Hibernian Rhapsody

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by raahi

My parents loved to sing. Dad sang light opera in his deep baritone. My mother was a little less tuneful. It did not stop her though. They were love birds, singing to each other. Oblivious to everything else. She always sat on his lap and he did not seem to notice that she was off key.

Singing as a family made long car journeys tolerable. Scout campfires blazed to our songs. Comic ditties brought light relief, Irish rebel songs brought the passion of injustice raging in our hearts.

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Pop and rock music was not so readily available. At my friends house, we watched Top of the Pops and listened to his records, slowing down the 45’s to 33 rpm to try to work out the lyrics.

It was always at friends’ houses. Friends’ houses to listen to music. Friends’ houses to escape the control at home. Friends’ houses to hear their first attempts at starting bands.

Trying to learn the guitar myself, my cheap acoustic became a monster, and it got the better of me. The neck was as thick as my arm and the action was intolerably high, so I gave up on trying to make a decent sound with it. I never gave up on the dream though.

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We had a Dansette record player and a few old albums in our sitting room. The sitting room was “the good room”. It was reserved for special occasions and always kept neat and tidy. It had a bookcase with rows of encyclopaedias. (If you don’t know what they are, google them to find out what we did before google.) Sofa and chairs with antimacassars crocheted by my mother. A glass cabinet with Waterford crystal. A black and white wedding photo of my parents alongside the framed papal blessing of their wedding from Pope John XXIII.

The thing was, you didn’t go in there. Normally.

When I started working part-time jobs as a teenager, my mother suggested that I could buy a record to play.

Little did she know what she had started..

The special occasions in that room became my adventures into music. The first record I bought for myself was a 7″ single by the Sex Pistols – their cover of the Eddie Cochran song, “C’mon Everybody”. Soon, that special room was exploding with loud, expressive music which helped me to deal with my teenage angst in a musically cathartic way. I drew band logos on my school books and my bedroom door. Debbie Harry gazed lasciviously at me from my bedroom wall.

Music initially showed me boundaries. I was influenced by the music my friends liked. But ultimately, it showed me how to break those boundaries. I bought a cassette of Rod Stewart’s Greatest hits, and because he was wearing a pink jacket, I was taunted that I was gay. Luckily, the same bullies had not seen the back cover of one of my favourite albums, Lou Reed’s “Transformer”.

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I didn’t care about the gender or sexual orientation of the singers, I just cared about the music. But I also became aware that their “gender bending” was about freedom. Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, just plain freedom. A freedom I did not feel in my suffocating small town, Catholic, 1970’s repressed Irish society.

Music brought me on a journey. It spoke to my heart, in all its raw emotions. Whether it was Freddie Mercury singing “Somebody to Love” or Bon Scott snarling “Touch too Much” or that new Dublin band, U2, with their intriguing guitar & drum sound on “I Will Follow”.

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I’ve managed to learn to play guitar. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and to know musicians. I’ve attended concerts by world class artists in huge auditoriums and in small back rooms with 2 or 3 people in the audience.

I am eternally grateful to all the musicians who have had the courage to climb on a stage and share themselves through their music. You have made my world a better place.

Music opened me up. And it still does.

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If you’d like to hear a pretty random (and small) selection of some of the music which touched me along the way. Check out this Spotify playlist:


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Raahi is a sannyasin.
His name means “Traveller in search of the truth”

He lives peripatetically, creates images, loves beauty, uses words and attempts to play the guitar – not necessarily in that order.
(he also makes silly Dad jokes and dodgy double entendres)

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Embracing the Unknown

Posted on: February 16th, 2018 by raahi

My first encounter with Biodanza

A room with beautiful decorations, joyous laughter, hugs and whispers, many pillows arranged in a circle on the floor. The same amount of humans as the pillows. Everyone is a stranger to me. Yet we will join in one common dance and celebrate New Year’s Eve together. I feel awkward and shy. I did it again. By following my crazy inner voice, I end up in funny odd settings like this that require trust and courage. At the moment, though, I am just standing here and observing the whirls inside me and around me.

Suddenly a sweet friendly-looking woman appears right in front of me and gives me a warm welcoming hug. We are smiling. Slightly taken aback I ask: Who are you? It turns out she will be our guide on this journey into an unknown territory called Biodanza. At least unknown for me because I never tried it before.

We form a circle holding each other’s hands and begin moving, dancing, embracing, breathing, caressing, connecting, departing, flowing, living and loving and getting to know the other travellers, getting to know ourselves, getting to know a divine feeling of being nourished, getting to know God on our terms. “What if god were a verb, an unfolding dynamic processing?”1

The whole universe is unfolding in one embrace. One of my fellow travellers is coming closer, I am getting closer, we are so close that I can feel the presence, the energy. I can smell the body. I can see the details of the neck, the hair, the shoulders. And then my mind kicks in, begins its job to compare and judge all the information that my cells are transmitting to the brain in the split of a second. Draws on past memories or is flying into the future to find a label of positive or negative and provide me with a plan of how to react and what to feel. The first touch of hands and arms reminds me to come back to the present moment, to let go of thinking, to focus on every single breath. And to dive into the physical sensation of being in contact, of letting our souls come forward and greet each other. What a pleasure this is. Our eyes have not even met yet.

Leaning against each other, shifting weight, finding comfort, being able to relax. Enjoying holding and being held at the same time. The waves of our breaths tune into the same rhythm. Out of this contentment arises the next stream of energy. A fragile emotion helps us into the dance. A dance in silence. Turning around in slow-motion. Adjusting inch by inch. Fingertips wandering and exploring and resting into new positions. Muscles, bones, limbs working perfectly and precisely together. Making space for our bodies without losing the soft bond that we created. Being cautiously aware of this delightful gift of trust and love that we share in this moment. Full of gratitude we finally sink into a warm embrace. Our faces resting against the shoulder of the other.

When our eyes meet for the first time, we already know each other, we are already at home with each other. My glorious joy is mirrored in the eyes of the other. We are One. I am you. You are me. Every cell of my body is filled up with this feeling when breathing in. It eventually enables me to breath out and easily let go. With mutual understanding and tenderness we depart from each other. In slow-motion. Honouring and cherishing this divine connection.

Both my feet are well grounded on the floor which is an unusual state for me. I feel the strength and stability from our Earth and abundant love is rushing through my heart. I can stand here in peace and beauty. And just be me, a living and loving human being, one of the tribe. Through embracing someone else I embraced my Self. Thanks to a journey called Biodanza.

1 https://www.globalonenessproject.org/library/articles/lessons-old-language

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Rachana150H_02Rachana loves trees and snow and dogs. After long travels she now lives not far away from Hedalen. Being a sannyasin gives her the love and the energy to start being creative and make life more beautiful.

 

 

 main photo by Raahi


 

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Cous Cous with Caponata

Posted on: January 13th, 2018 by raahi

 

This New Year’s Eve, Dharma Mountain hosted a QiGong retreat with Sebastian Bauer. I didn’t join in the group, but was taking part in the magic in the kitchen when someone asked for this Cous Cous recipe. As promised, here it is!

Photos by Raahi


 

Serves 4

For the Caponata:

1 medium eggplant

1 big red bell pepper (or 2 small)

2 small zucchinis (squash)

a small handful of dried apricots (25-50 grams)

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

 

For the Cous Cous:

80g dried cous cous

160g dried quinoa

soup stock (bullion) – either homemade or powdered organic

1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, to taste

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

black pepper

Garnish:

toasted almonds (60g), coarsely chopped

a few sprigs of spring onion & parsley, finely chopped

 

Notes: If you prefer,

1. you can substitute the cous cous entirely for quinoa or the other way around.

2. you can substitute the cumin & coriander seeds with ground cumin & coriander powders

 
Make the caponata:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Dice the eggplant and red bell pepper into small cubes. Slice the zucchini lengthwise in two, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and dice the remaining flesh.

Coat the veggies in olive oil, mix in the garlic and season with salt. Spread each vegetable out separately on a tray and roast until they’re toasty-brown on top and taste sweet. Keep an eye on the zucchini so that it remains a bit firm, not becoming total mushy.

While the veggies are cooking, dice the dried apricots. When the vegetables come out of the oven, pile them into one big bowl or tray, stir in the apricots, and cover with a lid. Let sit while preparing the cous cous.

Make the cous cous:

Heat a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Add  the cumin and coriander seeds, and roast for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan constantly, until rosy-brown and fragrant. Grind them into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.

Cook the cous cous and quinoa in separate pots, using the bullion. Season with salt & pepper, and mix in the ground cumin and coriander. Once the grains are cooked, stir in the apple cider vinegar and a little olive oil.

Assemble:

Mix the cooked cous cous & quinoa into the caponata. If the mixture has become cold, warm the whole thing up in the oven. Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted almonds on top and garnish with the parsley and spring onion.

Bon appétit!

Deva Dasha

 

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A frog finds water.

Posted on: October 28th, 2017 by raahi

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Living in the desert
Once upon a time there lived a tiny little frog in the desert. He was so different from his family of desert reptiles and insects. His skin got easily burnt by the sun. He felt vulnerable but everyone told him: “Have more self-confidence, be stronger and faster, and you will be a wonderful reptile!” So he did his very best to put on a thick skin and to please everyone. But inside, he was still suffering from the heat. He did not know why he could not be as happy as everyone else.

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The first raindrops
One day two of his reptile family members died. Sadly enough these two had been a bit more similar to him than the other reptiles. So he felt very desperate and alone now, almost like dying, too. In his struggle to find help he came to a spot in the desert where sometimes raindrops were falling down from the sky. What a relief! Water! There, he overheard the question “What would you do if you truly love yourself?” This changed everything. He instantly realized he had been longing for rain all his life. He knew he had to search for more rain, for a place beyond the desert.

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The long journey
So he embarked on his journey and wandered through different landscapes and climate zones. He found nice flowers and little ponds, and was so overwhelmed that he cried of joy. He was tempted to settle down near the pond. But after a short while he felt uneasy and sad again. Yet, one sweet little butterfly and two buzzing bees appeared and showed him the way onward. So he survived the hard and tough days, too, relying on his trust and inner instinct that had grown stronger ever since he had left the desert.

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Settling down
Finally he arrived at a place with very special rain: it was white and soft and cold, falling down slowly from the sky in a million different shapes; covering and cooling and healing his wounds. He was so happy that he had not given up on his journey because he finally felt at home in this new area. He even met some other creatures that had a similar frog-like appearance and he worked hard to learn their lingo. Some of his new friends eventually offered him to join their summer meeting.

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The Lake of laughter and tears
He followed the invitation and joined a big crowd of frogs that gathered at a big and endless lake.

That is hilarious: searching for raindrops, he had finally come to an ocean! He almost won’t believe his eyes when he sees the other frogs jumping into the lake and swimming and splish-splashing. Full of excitement and astonishment he sits there in the shallow waters and realizes he is a frog that cannot swim. That makes him laugh and cry for hours and hours.

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The miracle of the Master
While he is shivering with all the emotions that are coming up, his gaze is now focused on the calm water surface. There he can notice how a face gradually becomes visible, a face so kind and loving like nothing he had ever seen before. It is the big frog master! What a miracle! When the master is talking with his comforting voice, his sweet words fall onto the little frog`s body like a million little bubbles. His skin absorbs them eagerly and they fill his whole body with a love he has not known before. Life is so full of beauty. Life is just beauty. No longer is he waiting for someone to kiss him awake so that he can turn into a prince of the reptiles. His only desire is to be a real frog and to learn how to swim in the waters of unconditional love.

written by Rachana in a letter to Swaha during the Mystic Rose Retreat July-August 2017

Drawings by Kalan

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Rachana150H_02Rachana loves trees and snow and dogs. After long travels she now lives not far away from Hedalen. Being a sannyasin gives her the love and the energy to start being creative and make life more beautiful.

 

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Potatoes + Porter

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by raahi

I guess I could say that drink gave me my first “spiritual experience”.  A glass of wine – or a pint down the pub – can still relax me into a space which seems to expand my consciousness. My inhibitions relax, and words & creativity seem to flow more freely. It’s easy to feel how the bars of Dublin were the favoured haunts of the Irish writers and poets of the 1950s. In the Palace bar, with the skylight offering both a literal and metaphorical view to the heavens, the pints of black porter lubricated the flow of poetry and prose.

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As an Irish born man, I’m very aware of the strong influence of alcohol on the culture of Ireland. I’ve never had any issue with drinking alcohol. Being Irish gives me a “license to drink”.

I grew up in an alcohol–free house. “The drink” was not a part of my childhood experience.
For my parents, there was a mixture of fear and pious abstention. There had been alcoholism in my mother’s family and the Catholic church encouraged the taking of the “Pioneer Pledge” whereby children receiving confirmation undertook to be alcohol free for life. Both my mother and father took, and kept, this pledge.
For me, drink was an illicit pleasure to be investigated outside of the home.

On a recent visit to Rome, I stayed with an Italian couple in their apartment. Each evening, we ate a home-cooked dinner, and drinking wine was an integrated part of the meal. My previous personal experience had been that eating and drinking were two distinct activities – that potatoes and porter are separate. Here was a different scenario. An integration. A balance.

A balance I feel that was missing in the Ireland in which I grew up.
And this imbalance was the basis of my curious relationship with alcohol.

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My first “real” job was in a TV station. Full of creative people, working odd hours, often traveling away from home, overnight, to work – the perfect opportunity to indulge in alcohol. I was a kid straight out of art college. The glamour, the lights… A lot of fun. A lot of creativity. A lot of drinking.

After a while, I began to realise that my relationship with alcohol was different to some of my friends. While I was choosing to drink, they were not making a choice. They were driven by something else, something I could only touch vicariously.

I had a hole in my heart. I knew there was something more to life, but I did not know where to find it. I did not even know where to look. Alcohol, and the Irish culture around it, enabled me to hide. To hide my pain. To hide my shyness. To hide my sensitivity.

But drink is a fickle mistress. Court her and she will flirt, gifting you with glimpses of wonder. But she is a siren as much as a muse. As she enlightens you, so she befuddles you. Many a man in many a pub in Ireland has solved all the problems of the world. But has he solved his own, internal conflicts?

And what about potatoes? For the common Irish people of the nineteenth century, potatoes were the staple food. A disastrous failure of potato crops in the 1840s led to years of famine, death and emigration. It has been said that The Great Famine left a deep scar on the Irish psyche and perhaps that is true. I have visited places in Ireland where it seems that sadness hangs in the air – that the land itself is in mourning.
Now part of a more balanced diet, potatoes are also used (both legally and illegally) to produce a distilled spirit called Poitín.

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Porter is a black beer with a burnt, hoppy taste, so named because of its historical popularity among the men who loaded and unloaded ships in the ports.
In my youth, pubs close to the docks had a special license to enable them to open at 07.30 in the morning. It was in these “early houses” that you could often find the ones who could not bear to face the world sober. The ones who were ending the night, or beginning the day, in the only way they knew how – anaesthetised by alcohol.

I visited this strange world on a few occasions – curious and experimenting. Luckily, I could walk away, looking to find a clearer way to fill the hole in my heart. I’m still walking that path, and my heart is becoming whole again.

These days, if someone asks me where I am from, I cannot give a straight answer. To define myself by the geographical location of my birth seems silly. At the same time, while I do not wave the flag, I carry the genes, the conditionings, and the “je ne sais quoi” of Irishness. The playful charm which is as much a part of my heritage as the doom and gloom – along with the ability to laugh about it all.

I may not define myself as Irish, but I am grateful for the rich cultural background of that land of saints and scholars. That land of potatoes and porter.

Every so often, I pause to look over my shoulder.

I see the path that I have walked and I remember the people I have walked it with. The stories of my past are not my story. I am grateful for all I have experienced, but I am even more grateful for now. This place where past and future meet. This place where I live my present spiritual experience.

“Eat me, drink me”, he said.

And I do.

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Raahi is a sannyasin.
His name means “Traveller in search of the truth”

He lives peripatetically, creates images, loves beauty, uses words and attempts to play the guitar – not necessarily in that order.
(he also makes silly Dad jokes and dodgy double entendres)

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Showcase of the Earth

Posted on: July 1st, 2017 by raahi

An interview with Bhauli.

Shortly after meeting Babaji, Bhauli began creating jewelry at home. She has been inspired by traditions from various countries, and bought her stones in folk markets during her travels to Nepal, Turkey, South Africa, Namibia, Ukraine, Estonia, Sweden and Canada. She participated in some expeditions hunting for crystals and also cut stones herself while studying gemology in Sweden.

Curious to see her jewelry and to hear her share, I asked Bhauli for an interview.

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The more you work with the stones, the more sensitive you become. The more you feel their vibrations in the body. I feel in these crystals and stones and the earth – because sometimes I feel like just putting my hands in the ground, and just disappearing; to be the same with this ground.

And these stones or semi-precious stones, they have more fine or delicate vibrations.

So it’s like meditation for me actually. It’s not working, it’s not doing something, but dissolving myself into this.

With some stones, it’s like a reflection. They are not talking to me like people, but sometimes I feel some pull to take a stone, to just sit and watch and see. And I see nothing, I see what’s going on here and… (Bhauli becomes silent) Yeah.

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I feel when I use jewelry with certain stones, I feel more calm. And when I feel I’m tired and need some push, I use other kinds of stones.

Ruby for example, it’s a very sparkly and energy-giving stone. Moonstones calm you down.

There is obsidian, it’s actually not a stone, it’s from volcanic eruptions – it’s glass. “Apache tears” they’re called in America, this very beautiful name. And these obsidians, they take everything that is hiding in you, and take this upwards. They say, “nothing could be hidden from obsidian.”

Apache tears take negativity from you, cleansing your aura, cleansing your energy – some blockages will be removed.

I have stones which are just tumbled (smoothed stones), for healing sessions. But in jewelry it’s also like a healing session, but some people feel this connection, some not. It depends on your synchronicity with these stones. Everything depends on you.

So you’re saying if you’re not open to the energy of the stone it won’t help?
It will work, of course, but it works in a very subtle level. And some people think, “Ah it doesn’t work for me.” It works, but if people are too much in the head, they cannot feel this.

Bhauli

Creativity was very natural for me, from Baba came the spirit of freedom – it was the main goal for me, and then this openness or freeing of energy, and it just found its own way how to express itself…

It’s not like some painters or jewelers who work every day from nine to five or something. No, I could just take paper and paint, or sit and do something with jewelry up to two o’ clock in the night. So it is very chaotic actually, when I see it now, but together it was like a wave, flowing. I didn’t think about or plan something.

If somebody asked me, “Why did you do it?” I don’t know. I started to do it for me, because I was young, and I thought (laughs), like the Russian writer Chekov said, everything in a human being must be fine and beautiful – and face, and soul, and thoughts – everything. So everything must be fine and beautiful. So I did it – what I thought was beautiful for me. But then I discovered that many people liked that, and said, “Oh it’s beautiful.” Okay, so, beautiful.

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check out the slideshow for more pictures:


DevaDasha_blog2

Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.

 

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The Mystic Rose

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by raahi

 

The Mystic Rose – A Life Experience

April 2015

A new summer retreat – The Heart of the Mystic – with Vasant Swaha will be happening soon, in the mountains of Norway. Once more we will have the opportunity to dive into ourselves, cleaning the layers that separate us from our true essence. In this retreat we will have the unique chance to take part in the Mystic Rose – a 3 weeks process created by Osho.

In April 2015 in Brazil, we also had this process and after the retreat, with my heart full of joy, gratitude and a silent presence, nourished by sitting with the Master for a month, I wrote this text about my experience in Mystic Rose.

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There were 83 people together for 3 hours a day, crossing the barriers of two deeply suppressed layers inside of us – laughter and crying. Only by trust in the Master could we dive into this simple, yet powerful recipe, and open up for the miracle of Life.

 

Laughing at oneself

In the first week, for 3 hours every day, we had to laugh, for no reason at all, digging to find the laughter inside. All that was hindering my real laughter was at risk – the images about myself, all the beliefs, all the stories, all the thoughts, the sensations, feelings. Everything was an excuse for me to find a good, releasing laughter. At one point there was no mind anymore to interfere, only laughter.

I found a point inside to ignite this living energy of laughter. It was a moment where all my cells were laughing and I felt so open for the life energy, feeling as I was making love with the whole universe. How to explain such feeling, such joy?

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A dam was broken

The second week was all about tears. For me to cry was always an issue. Actually when I was a little girl I use to have “crises” of uncontrollable crying, sometimes for small reasons. I don’t remember when and what had happened that at one point I had to “cut off” this crying and become the strong one. Since then it has not been so easy for me to cry. But somehow in this week, as Osho says, a dam was broken, and the tears came from different places: from known pains from recent and not so recent past, frustrations, heart broken stories; also from the unknown hidden pain of losing a beloved partner – a pain that I felt was already cured. I cried and I felt happy for that, as I knew I was getting freer. The pain started to give space for a pure sensibility, vulnerability without reason – just for being human, just for this fragility of life.

To be in the Temple that week, with so many brothers and sisters weeping their pain, or joy, or gratitude was so beautiful, as we were devoting all those tears for the healing of the planet, for the whole humanity. I can’t forget that sensation of beauty, coziness and protection.

A beautiful sensitive flower was sprouting and getting roots in my heart.

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Silent shining Buddhas

The third week was the time to sit, to watch, to just be. My Master used to say “Sitting, doing nothing, and the spring comes by itself”.

We used to sit for 45 minutes, then bringing the awareness in a soft dance for 15 min; then repeating this cycle 2 more times. The Temple was pregnant with a presence difficult to describe. I had a beautiful vision opening my eyes in a moment: I saw a group of silent shining Buddhas sitting together. So peaceful.

Every sitting was an invitation to just be and I felt so excited for this meeting. My mind was much quieter – the thoughts falling with no effort into emptiness. The lake of my Being was getting clear and transparent, ready to quench my thirst.

I remembered in a moment a saying from the mystic Papaji: “Don’t stir a thought”. He didn’t say don’t think, he said don’t stir a thought. For the first time I really understood his meaning. Thoughts come from no-where, but if we don’t stir them, they disappear again in the vastness of our being.

During that week, a peace descended on me and I can’t really measure when or how this simple realization came to me: “I am this space”!

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Change of the Gestalt

I’ve been exploring the path of meditation for almost 20 years. In this incredible journey I had experienced many times what we call the “space” of being, of silence, of bliss, of love, of consciousness. Also many times, I felt the pain of feeling that I was loosing the contact with this space, going back to what I know as myself, my ordinary way of functioning. This time, a new understanding took me down to a very simple, obvious insight: my real self is the vastness of silence, of the Heart. I am this vast space. Simple as that.

This crystal clear realization came to me not as an intellectual realization. What normally used to come as a “beloved visitor”, a distant loving friend, started to be very familiar and close. As the Master says: it’s closer than the close. It’s my own being! That changed the whole gestalt. What before I used to recognize as what I am – all the thoughts, the ways of functioning, all my believes, desires and needs – started to give space to something else. Something impossible to name. – the source of what I recognize as my-self.

I can feel the presence of this new understanding surrounding me, reminding me in my day-to-day life, even when I get lost in habits, stories and thoughts, that I am not that. Now I know, by my own experience, that I can connect with the real at any time – it’s here, available, waiting for me.

The mystic rose is sprouting in my Heart and to watch and nourish it is the best thing one can do.

Only by the grace of the Beloved can such a miracle happen!

Eternal gratitude Beloved Babaji.

 


Sana_blogSana is a devotee of Vasant Swaha, enjoying and exploring the way back to her true nature. She loves to share herself through Integration Craniossacral sessions and workshops of meditations. Living closer to nature is her biggest joy.

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Spread a little Love

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by raahi

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Tofu.

Does it conjure up an image of a bland, wobbly block oozing beany water?

It does for me.

But tofu is just a raw material, loaded with potential. It doesn’t boast a lot of flavor, but that plays to its advantage. It’s versatile – you can add the flavors you like. A lot of them. Don’t hold back on the spices now!

This week I discovered one of tofu’s fortes: it can be creamed.

Put it in the food processor, whip it up with some herbs & seasonings, and you’ve got a delicious cream cheese replacement.
Recipe below.

Herbed Tofu Spread

50 g Tofu

50 g Cashews

15 g Dijon mustard

2 g Garlic

3/4 bunch Fresh parsley

3/4 bunch Fresh spring onion

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt & pepper

Olive oil

Soak the cashews for several hours or overnight.

If you want to garnish the spread with the herbs, reserve a bit of each.

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

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DD Comics – Touched by Beauty.

Posted on: December 17th, 2016 by raahi

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DevaDasha_blog2

Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.

Responsibility

Posted on: November 4th, 2016 by raahi

It was my responsibility to write a blog post for today, about responsibility.

It became a song.

 

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Raahi

Raahi is a sannyasin. His name means “Traveller in search of the truth”
He lives peripatetically, creates images, loves beauty, uses words and attempts to play the guitar – not necessarily in that order.
(he also makes silly Dad jokes and dodgy double entendres)

Cool Cabbage

Posted on: October 7th, 2016 by raahi

 

Cabbage. Crunchy…. sweet… spicy

Living in Norway, I’m happy to know that cabbage is locally grown, and available year-round.

Let me tell you, health freaks have talked my ears off about goji berries, pomegranates, mangosteen, açai, maça… But who cares about plain old ordinary boring (and super cheap) cabbage?

Cabbage is actually quite a potent food (and did I mention delicious?).
At the top of its class of cruciferous vegetables for preventing cancer by cleaning up free radicals, cabbage also helps clean bad cholesterol that builds up in the arteries.
It’s high in Vitamin C. It fights cancer, Alzheimers, heart disease, ulcers, and helps strengthen bones – need I say more?

Raw cabbage is more nutritious than cooked, although some say steaming cabbage releases some other beneficial nutrients. Steamed cabbage + sour cream (rømme) is a comforting weekday dinner. Cabbalicious.

Can cabbage get any better?

It can be fermented. Oh yes.

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Fermented foods are full of good bacterias – acidophilus, bulgaricus etc.

And one Finnish study found that fermenting cabbage produces additional compounds that prevent cancer growth.

Studies aside, I just love that sauerkraut is a salty-snacky thing. Fermented cabbage – especially kimchi – does wonders to stimulate appetite before a meal.
With the coming of the first frost and the leaves falling from the trees, we’re making preparations in our caves in Hedalen. And who doesn’t feel cool having a pantry of fermented goodies stashed up for the winter?

I know you’re eager now to run to the shop and stack up on cabbage. But let’s not get tooo crazy about it – everything in balance. Listen to your body, and eat what makes you feel happy. For me, that’s often cabbage.

Here are recipes for Sauerkraut and Kimchi. Enjoy

Sauerkraut:

1/2 head cabbage

1 carrot

2 tsp salt

(these are the proportions – feel free to multiply and make a larger amount)

Grate the cabbage & carrot. Combine with salt in a bowl and squeeze the liquid out of the cabbage with your hands. Do this for some time to get out as much liquid as you manage. (It becomes easier the longer you do it.) Put this in a glass jar and push down with your fist to submerge the veggies in the liquid. Cover with the lid, and leave at room temperature for 3-7 days, depending on how hot the room is. When it tastes good to you, it is ready ;-). Store in the fridge.

 

Kimchi:

1 chinese cabbage (kinakål) – remove white stem, roughly cut.

5 dl kale

5dl chopped nettle (can replace with something else green)

1 bunch spring onion, chopped as you like

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

2 chinese garlic (or any garlic), chopped

1-2 red chilies – remove seeds & finely chop

5cm ginger – finely grated

4 tbsp tamari

2 tbsp vita biosa or other start culture (can be substituted with 1 tbsp salt or tamari)

Squeeze the chinese cabbage and tamari in a big bowl to liberate liquid form the cabbage. If difficult, leave the cabbage laying in the tamari for some time. Add the other ingredients and squeeze more. Place in a big jar and push down with your fist to submerge the veggies in the liquid. Cover with a cloth or paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Leave standing at room temperature for 5-7 days or until the taste is to your liking.

Be aware: kimchi will smell up any room it is in!

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DevaDasha_blog2

Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.

Pimp your Water

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by raahi

how to make natural juicy water.

If we are lucky, there still could be some days of the summer lovin’ left.
And we all know how important it is to hydrate. Especially in these beautiful late summer nights.
What could be better then to add some natural flavor to you drink?

Those of us who were lucky enough to have lunch at Dharma Mountain this summer, might remember these delicious flavors, and maybe your mouth is already starting to water, at the mere memory of these drinks. Here are the recipes that will make your skin glow and your mouth smile.

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We don’t have measures, just taste them til you find the right flavor for you.

Ginger and lemon water:
make an infusion with the ginger (cut it up and put it in a pan with water just covering it. Let it boil for around 20 minutes)
Add lemon juice and honey to the infusion.
Take out the ginger pieces and top up with cold water

Rosemary and orange water:
make an infusion with fresh rosemary leaves (put the rosemary in a jug, add a little hot water and let it sit for around 20 minutes)
Put the “tea” through a sieve and discard the rosemary leaves.
Add orange juice and honey and top up with cold water.

Banana and lemon water:
Whizz a banana or two in a blender.
Add lemon juice and top up with cold water

Watermelon and lemon water:
Put some pieces of watermelon in the mixer and put it through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.
Add lemon juice and top up with cold water.

Mint, lemon and honey water:
make an infusion with some fresh mint leaves.
Let it sit for 20 minutes and discard the mint.
Add lemon juice and honey and top up with cold water.

Berry water:
Put any berries of your liking in the blender.
Put them through a sieve and discard the seeds.
Mix this with cold water.

Tea water:
If there is any fruit tea or herbal tea you like, you can make a strong infusion with it (let the herbs or teabags sit in hot water for around 20 minutes).
Discard the herbs/teabags and top up with cold water (you can add honey to the infusion if you like)

Fruit water:
pick any fruit you like and put some of it a blender (mango, pineapple, papaya and orange, passionfruit, star fruit or a mix…)
Put it through a sieve (if you don’t like to find bits in the water) and mix this purée with cold water (you can decorate the water with pieces/slices of the fruit)
You can always use fresh fruits or herbs to decorate the water (just add them once the water is ready) Bear in mind that if you use oranges and lemons for decorations, they should be organic (chemicals stay in the peel and when soaked in water they are released). If you don’t have organic ones, peel them before you put them in the water.

Enjoy!
Love from the happy Dharma Kitchen.

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DD Comics presents: Addiction

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by raahi

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Part I

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Part II

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DevaDasha_blog2

Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.

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