Monthly Archives: April 2011

wednesday wisdom

Urdvha Mukha Svanasana on Playa Guiones, Costa Rica 2011

“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We will fall!”

“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

– Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet/playwright/art critic


wednesday wisdom: tico style

“Just take your time.”
Esteban, fearless surf instructor & wise soul

meatless monday (tuesday): costa rica edition

Friends: I’m blogging to you from Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica, home of  YOGA | SURF | RETREAT, the 2011 edition! Everyone arrived safely, and yesterday began our yoga-ing and surfing. I enjoyed the most amazing salad yesterday, consisting of microgreens, avocado, cashews, and a lemongrass cashew dressing that I cannot begin to describe. Just pure amazingness. I’m not sure how I can even post this recipe, because the secret’s in the sauce. The easiest way to have this salad? Experience it here, at Harmony Hotel, in Nosara, Costa Rica. So here’s to Meatless Monday, Harmony-style:

in harmony: greens, avocado, cashews, flax bread, lemongrass cashew dressing

Fly to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR). Continental has daily direct flights from Houston and Newark. Rent a car (with 4WD) in Liberia, and drive the 1.5 hours to Nosara, in the central coast region of Guanacaste. Follow wooden signs to Harmony Hotel, near Playa Guiones. Check in with reception, take a right at the bar, meander on stone path through tropical gardens to the juice bar (open daily from 9am to 4pm). Order salad #3, sit and eat, digest in nearby hammock. Both American dollars and Costa Rican colones accepted.

wednesday wisdom

Why think of liberation at some future time?
Liberation is in the little things, here and now.
BKS Iyengar

meatless monday: make your own (vegan, simple) cheese

Cheese: no longer just an offering from goats and French guys in Pyrenees caves, or chemists from the Kraft company. We now can make our own vegan, soy-free cheese at home! This recipe via GreenWala seems simple enough, and I like that I learned something about palm oil (don’t use it!). Add your own fresh herbs and high-quality olive oil to impress your generally unimpressed friends at your next cheese + wine party.

vegan cheese: made from blanched almonds

Vegan “Feta”
1 c. organic blanched almonds
3 tbsp. + 1/4 c. good olive oil
1/4 c. organic lemon juice
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 clove organic garlic, peeled
Organic fresh herbs, your choice (basil, chives, rosemary, herbes de provence…)

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with three inches of cold water. Soak for 24 hours. In a food processor add all ingredients except 1/4 c. olive oil and the fresh herbs. Puree for 6 min., stopping every minute to scrape down sides of bowl. Place in strainer with three layers of cheesecloth. Allow to strain overnight in the refrigerator. Squeeze out excess moisture and remove cheesecloth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 200 F. Place cheese on baking sheet and form a six-inch round nearly an inch think. Bake for 40 min. Cool then chill. Place remaining oil and fresh herbs in a saucepan and heat but do not boil. Drizzle herbed oil over cheese and serve with fresh vegetables, crackers or bread.

april spotlight on: ritual

My daily first ritual, almost without fail, is a cup of coffee, preferably with a splash of almond milk, preferably in my big yellow mug. There is joy in that first sip, and also in the act of holding the warm cup with two hands. When you work freelance and make your own schedule, your days are often varied and sporadic (which can be exciting and interesting, a major reason why freelancers chose this work life). If the rest of my day is a whirlwind of constant change and flux, my first ritual is a reassurance.

We perform rituals because they create order, familiarity, and comfort, and it’s in our nature to seek out comfort. Think about the number of daily rituals you do, from the moment your eyes open (maybe when your eyes open is a ritual in itself), to the moment you close your eyes at night.

April is the month that many people choose to cleanse and purify their bodies and lives, to wake up sluggish digestion, to clean out closets and junk drawers, to purge all that excess stuff we’ve acquired over the winter months. Let’s also examine our rituals, purge the unnecessary ones and bring mindfulness back to the ones that give us meaning. Brushing your teeth is (hopefully?) a daily ritual, one that gives meaning (you take care of your teeth, you had good oral health), but is easily accomplished mindlessly (it doesn’t require contemplation or even that much attention). What if we brought the art of mindfulness back into the rituals of everyday life, the most mundane, the most banal? What would that look like? How would it change our lives? Would it change our lives?

The writer Alvin Toffler says this: “You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” The practice of mindfulness in mundaneness gives us a chance to be amazed (or re-amazed) at the smallest things, like a warm coffee mug in your hands, and your teeth.

wednesday wisdom

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Shakespeare (from Hamlet)