Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Heartfulness Practice

There are two types of meditation that I practice, mindfulness and heartfulness.The focus of mindfulness practice is on your cognitions, or how you think. The focus of heartfulness practice is on your emotions, or how you feel.

The relationship between how you think and how you feel isn’t binary or mutually exclusive; as it happens, my view is that your emotions are a compound of the cognitions of your mind and the sensations of your body, which is exactly what makes them so very strong and complicated.

As a matter of fact I could practice a third type of meditation that focuses on my sensations, such as a body scan. The good feeling run is this type of meditation, although it has a strong emotional and kindness component. In any case, the exercise is the same in all three meditations—observing yourself without judgment, you’re just applying this to these different aspects of yourself. One thing that you’ll observe is that your cognitions, your emotions, and your sensations come and go, whereas you who observe don’t come and go. I’ve heard it said this way: you’re not your thoughts or your feelings, you’re the one who’s having these thoughts and feelings.

In other words, you’re not to be ruled by your thoughts or your feelings.

The object, though, isn’t that you should rule your thoughts and feelings with an iron fist! They’re pretty powerful, and there’s a lot of them. The exercise is to observe them without judgment as they come and go, and get to know them before you start telling them what to do. This is where I've stayed with mindfulness practice since I started.

Whereas that which is popularly called lovingkindness practice, but following Bodhipaksa from Wildmind I prefer to think of as just kindness practice, has a bit of something that you're working on, the aforementioned lovingkindness or kindness. He doesn't call it heartfulness, but he does say something about this is the soil and this is the seed and I would say that heartfulness is the soil and kindness is a flower that I'm trying to grow in the soil.

Anyway. I wrote a guide, here you go: Kindness Practice. Well, you probably don't have a chain of planets. You could use mala beads or make flashcards or whatever.

[ETA: Here's a shorter version with just the reflections to direct at yourself and one other person, which I actually recommend limiting to if you're just starting out: Short Kindness Practice.]

[EATA: I keep going through iterations of this, this is the best one yet: #thegoodfeelingrun kindness meditation.]

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Golden Milk a.k.a. cafe Au lait—get it, Au :)

More often than not, I make this on top of the tail end of my morning coffee after it's gone cold. So the half cup of water represents the coffee, if you're not up for drinking twelve ounces of milk. But IRL I'm never going to measure out water and milk with a measuring cup to make a drink, I just fill the cup I'm going to drink out of with however much milk it holds and sometimes it has coffee in the bottom.

1/2 cup water
1 cup any milk, I use soy
1 tablespoon honey, or IRL a glug
1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric, or IRL a plastic spoon that lives by the spices
1/8 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk the milk, honey, and spices in a saucepan over high heat. When the milk reaches a strong simmer, add the butter and keep whisking so that the butter is incorporated.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Pickled Stems (or really, pickle anything)

I got the idea of pickled stems from a recipe for loaded fries, IIRC it was oven fries topped with yogurt and some other stuff and pickled stems. Pickled stems, what! At around the same time I started going to the farm to pick up my CSA shares and have been getting plenty of real stems, so now I have real pickled stems all the time.

Stems I have pickled in alphabetical order: bok choy, carrot green, collard green, kale, purslane, tatsoi. I think the only one I didn't do was lambsquarter, those might have been too tough. I just bite a stem and if it tastes okay, I pickle them.

Pickled stem applications: #1 is that I put a big spoonful of pickled stems as the vinegar in a green salad. #2 is they're great in place of the relish and/or sport peppers in a Chicago-style hotdog. #3 I haven't even made those loaded fries yet, haha.

The pickle part of the recipe I adapted from this recipe for Avocado Pickles, which are also very good although it's annoying to get the pit out of a really hard avocado and to get it out of its skin, whereas a ripe avocado is easy to deal with and just as delicious. And by adapt, I mean I just halved it and rounded everything to whole measures because it was destroying me to measure out two tablespoons, a teaspoon, and a half teaspoon of sugar. And as my title says, you could pour this pickle over anything and have quick-pickled whatever.

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
any stems

Combine everything except the stems in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

After you pluck the leaves off the stems and do whatever you do with leaves (blanch, chop and freeze for stew; process into green sauce, as pictured; spin and store for salad), give the stems a good rinse and I think it helps (of course I do) to arrange them in a neat bunch with all the stems going in the same direction.

Chop the bunch into little bits of stem and pack all the bits into a pint jar. Pour the pickle in the jar over the stems, it seems to work out so far that the stems fill the jar and the pickle fills the spaces in between the stems.

Put the lid on, obviously, and refrigerate until ready to serve—I don't know how long that is, the avocado pickle recipe says three hours. I just stick the jar in the fridge and it's generally there for a couple weeks.