In the web of life, many choices are available. Ten years ago, I got to meet my Italian publisher – once. She was a delightful person who insisted on treating me to a local delicacy for lunch. Whether she was testing me out as a die-hard vegetarian or not, I’ll never know. We were in Vicenza, Italy, neighbor to Venice, Italy. The delicacy in question featured small fishes that swam in the local urban canals. Frankly I was more concerned about how clean an urban canal could be; I knew I was willing to bless and appreciate the small fishes themselves. As a guest, what could I do? I chose to eat the fish dish.
I broke my veggie fast in a similar way this week. Not with Vicenza fishes, they live many miles from here, yet with a variation on that dish (which at the time, I was not sure I would ever choose to consume again, with all respect for those sentient beings). In the web of life many choices are available. I made a variation on that honored dish from Vicenza with my Party Polenta recipe, which follows. Organic polenta, cubed, red onion, chopped, a large bunch of organic greens from our garden box…and a can of sustainably caught wild sardines, in place of cheese. No, the prana most likely was not flowing through the can freely.
I felt a certain relief.
That night I dreamt. In the traditions I work with, each person in the dream can represent a part of oneself, the dreamer. In this dream, I met the Obamas; I was part of some interview team. First Barak Obama, then later Michele Obama, individually. Each was clear: they were very angry. While each was in their own intimate setting, both were impeccably dressed, as they often are. Both were furious, and reserved. Intimidated, I thanked Michele in the closing sequence as loudly and clearly as I could as I headed for the door, adding “for being you”.
The Obamas are centrists, they work to get along with many different kinds of people. They are not met with universal approval. Yet they are highly popular. The next morning, I saw in waking reality that they could easily be very angry at the actual events covered in the coming day’s news (7/15/19). Yet this was a dream. What part of myself could they represent? I asked them, mentally, inside. What are you so angry about? The answer I got was, It’s not about whether someone eats meat. In the web of life many choices are available. It’s about INJUSTICE and DIVISIVENESS. How people are treated on the border, and in this country, and all over the world.
INJUSTICE For some of us, the injustice of how animals are treated will be our struggle. For others, protecting the trees in the forest will be what we need to do. For others, protecting the rights and lives of immigrants and all people. At the National Ayurvedic Medical Association conference this year LINK, 450 of us came together to celebrate and exchange vital ideas about how this ancient nature-based system is healing now. There was a lot of diversity and respect. It was gladdening, refreshing. The openness of attitudes and interactions supported the free flow of prana, healing for us all.
In the web of life many choices are available, including eating meat. May we be clear about what each of us needs to do to live coherently, and do this. May we continue to live coherently, without dividing ourselves, with respect for the different ways we choose to live and eat and heal and work.
Image thanks to Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/main-course-menu-vegetables-polenta-1866133/
EASY PARTY POLENTA
Time: 30 minutes or less; serves 8
Nice dish for fall, winter, or spring; make it with a friend for fun. I first made this for my dear friend Angela (of Angela’s Guacamole fame) for her birthday. Soon after our neighborhood was having its first harvest party, thanks to Scott. I figured, this is the dish. The gathering and all the dishes were so successful, we just had our second Annual Harvest party. I brought this dish again by request for an encore.
Prep the food:
Open up one pound of original organic polenta in a tube and cut it into bite-sized cubes. (If polenta is new to you, it’s often found in the pasta and tomato sauce aisle. It’s gluten free, made of corn. Ancient Italian dish, easy to digest, tasty.)
Chop: five green onions in ¼’ pieces
Wash and dice: 6 baby zucchini or summer squash, about 2 cups. If I’m in the mood, I get goofy here and use different squashes, each variety cut in a particular shape. You can do moon shapes with one kind of squash, triangles with another…whatever floats your boat. It looks pretty at the end. Only do if it’s fun for you. It’s a party, no need to get too serious, keep it light.
Finely chop: ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
4 cups fresh arugula
2 ripe tomatoes, in 1” chunks
Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan: ¾ cup water
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mineral salt
Add the polenta and green onions; simmer 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the summer squash and 5 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled over the top of all the ingredients in the pot. Sprinkle over the cheese ¼ teaspoon pippali or black pepper.Cover and simmer for another 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the basil, arugula, and tomato, simmer until the greens are a little wilted and the squash is tender, another 2 – 3 minutes. Stir and serve.
Effects: neutral for all doshas, Variation: skip the green onions if you’re nursing.
Amadea Morningstar, MA, RPE, RYT is expert in Ayurveda and Polarity Therapy health care. Amadea has taught about Ayurveda, Polarity, and Marma Therapy at Kripalu, Omega, the Sivananda ashrams and venues around the world.
She meets you where you are, and is available with respect, bringing over 40 professional years of experience, academic training and hands-on knowledge to her sessions, teaching, and books. Sessions with Amadea include Western nutrition, Ayurvedic nutrition and herbalism, Polarity Therapy bodywork, Marma therapy, Integral yoga, and nature-based approaches.
She and Renee Lynn are co-creators of the Easy Healing Drinks series.