Friday, January 27, 2012

This Present

This is a new song I've been performing in yoga classes recently. It is based on the teaching that we live 8.4 Million lives before we get the privilege of taking a human incarnation. 

We have earned our right to be living a human life. What a gift! 

Enjoy your present (your life, this moment) today!


English Lyrics 
by Sirgun Kaur

This is a gift you've earned this human life
You have spent lifetimes to be here
Just to be here
To feel this second
To live this moment
To feel this present in the presence of the One

Gurmukhi lyrics:
from Siri Guru Granth Sahib (given by Yogi Bhajan)
Ek Ong Kaar = God and Creation are One
Sat Naam = Truth is our Identity
Siri Wahe Guru = Unspeakably great is this awareness

(MUL MANTRA by Guru Nanak)
Ek Ong Kaar 
Sat Naam
Kartaa Purkh = God is the doer
Nirbhoa Nirvair = God is without fear and without vengence
Akaal Murat = God is eternal, undying
Ajooni = God is without form
Saibhang = God is self-illumined
Gur Prasaad = This is the gift of Divine Awakening
Jap = Repeat (i.e. keep repeating this)
Aad Such = It was true in the beginning
Jugaad Such = It is true throughout the ages
Haibi Such = It is true now
Nanak Hosee Bhee Such = Nanak (the writer) proclaims this shall forever be true.

3 Reasons You're Perfect (But It's Not What You Think)

(Originally published on Spirit Voyage's blog)

Has anyone ever told you that you are perfect?

I’ve been told this a few times in yoga classes and I never believed it. I mean, if I were so perfect, why would I even need to practice? Why would I need to do an entire day of White Tantric Yoga to clear off lifetimes of accumulated karma? If I were so perfect, wouldn’t I know it? Well, no, because that’s the point.

Here are 3 things I’d like to clear up about being “perfect.”

1. It’s Not What You Think It Is: Name something you’d like to be “perfect.” Anything. It could be your skin, your health, your marriage, or your children. What does that look like? Ok. That’s not perfect. Why? Because perfect isn’t what you THINK. What you think of as perfect is created by your mind, which is influenced by commercials, gossip, passing fads—everything that doesn’t really exist (“maya”). Our mind is incapable of understanding our true perfection. It is when we tune in, when we meditate, when we connect to our Self, that we can EXPERIENCE our perfection.

2. Perfection Is Not a Judgement: When we think of our self, we often look at the things we’d like to change. We see “perfect” as a conditional thing. “I’ll be perfect when I’m _____ (insert anything you like: thinner, smarter, happier...).” Yet, perfect is not a judgement. It is not something we obtain when we are better than we already are. It is the thing we already are. And everything that comes along with what we already are—our issues, our insecurities, our debt, our karmas—is integral to that perfection. While our mind tells us that everything we are going through is imperfect, it is exaclty what we need to be going through exactly NOW. We are always perfectly on track.

3. So Why Even Bother? If we’re perfect, why “improve”? This confused me a lot when my yoga teachers would say we were all perfect in class. I would think: “If I’m so perfect, why do I need to come here?” Well... While our innate perfection is as indestructable as God, we are on Earth to forge an increasingly deep spiritual connection to this perfection. While we may still be perfect while we’re innebriated, we will be closer to the realization of our perfection when we are conscious. We cannot do anything to “improve” who we really are since we are already perfect, however, we can spend a lifetime developing a relationship with that perfection inside us.

A Mantra to Cultivate Awareness of Our Perfection:

Pooran is perfectly, unconditionally complete. Pooran needs nothing else to be that which it already is: perfect unto itself. The mantra means that this energy of  “pooran” was perfectly complete before anything existed, perfectly complete in the midst of existence (the “middle”), and will be perfectly complete in the end. Pooran needs nothing else, because it is “Paramaysureh”: the highest source of all.

This “pooran” is inside all of us. And it is this “pooran” that we must connect with to understand what it means to be perfect.

The best way to learn a mantra is to recite it 11 times per day for 40 days. There is a beautiful musical version on Snatam Kaur’s “Anand” CD.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Bread

(Taken from "Babycakes" Recipe Book)

I posted about this amazing recipe on my facebook page this morning and a few people requested the recipe. So here it is. Enjoy!

1 cup garbanzo-fave bean flour (I used garbanzo)
1 1/4 cups cane sugar
1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup arrowroot
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 TBs cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 TB vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 cup roasted apples*

*for the roasted apples I cut, cored and quartered apples, sprinkled them with cinnamon, and baked them in the oven at 325 F. 2 apples should be plenty to make 1 cup, even more.

And Go:
Preheat over to 325 F
Grease a 7 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with oil (my pan did not fit these dimensions at all at it still turned out great).

Whisk together the first 9 ingredients (flour through cinnamon), EXCEPT for 1/4 cup of the sugar, and 1 TB of the cinnamon. Save that for later.

Add oil, applesauce, vanilla, and 1 cup of the hot water to the dry ingredients. Stir until smooth, then add the roasted apples.

Transfer 3/4 of the batter to your pan, reserving 1/4 in the same bowl you mixed in. Add the extra sugar and cinnamon to the reserved batter. Then, use a spoon to carefully mix this "topping" into the batter that is already in the pan.

You can optionally add a little more sugar to the top, though I skipped this part.

Bake for 25 minutes on the center rack, remove from oven, and brush with a generous amount of coconut oil. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes. (I skipped this step and kept in the oven the whole time... about 40 minutes.)

You'll know it's done when a toothpick or skewer comes out of the center clean.

Let the bread stand in the pan for about 20 minutes, then invert onto a board. Cut and serve warm.

Cover cooled uncut bread with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.


I met Genevieve first as a client, then as a teacher, and now as a guest...  Cute example of the malleable roles we take on for one another,...

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