Taking care of yourself

Dear Friends,

Greetings

Taking care of yourself

Many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Our health and well being is a very important aspect of our spiritual growth. We need to have a body/mind capable of taking us on this journey of enlightenment. How do we go about nurturing our body/mind?.

Nourish your physical body through nutritious/wholesome food, regular exercise, restful sleep. We get energy not only through food, but also through pulsating life force that is available from nature. So spending time in nature is important to get energy and vitality. Interacting ,talking and listening to your body is a great way to honor your body. You can offer your gratitude to your body everyday. Take some time to appreciate the beauty of your body.

Our emotional bodies are nourished through joy. We are gifted with five sense organs to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature. Listening to sounds of nature, indulging in fragrances of flowers/spices, seeing the colors/shades of nature in various forms, including variety of tastes in our food, exposing our body to the touch of fresh air and sunlight will not only give you joy, but also relaxes and nourishes the whole body/mind. You can commit yourself to do atleast one thing everyday that brings you joy. Laughing at yourself, laughing at the paradox of life will help you to keep situations in perspective and light hearted.

Our mental bodies can be nourished by being curious and learning something new, by being creative and doing something new, by taking a break from routine life, by allowing your mind to quiet down, by expanding your perspective on life.

None of what is written in this message is new or radical. Though these are simple principles that are known to us throughout our life, the only reason we don’t follow them is we don’t give priority for taking care of ourselves. Whether your goal is enlightenment or not, caring for your body/mind is essential to achieve your dreams/desires and for the happiness that you are seeking. So take sometime to take care of yourself.

You can read all the previous messages posted at http://www.intent.com/venky/blog

Peace,

Venkatesh

The Illusion of a “Free” War, Part 1

Societies don’t remain the same after a war but find that they have radically changed. Sometimes the change is catastrophic, sometimes not. But it can never be ignored. A major undercurrent in the 2008 presidential campaign centers on this fact, because the people who devised and promoted the Iraq war want to preserve the illusion that nothing in America has really changed, when in fact a host of illusions died on the battlefield. On the other side, the anti-war party (as the Democrats became de facto over the past five years) is struggling to invent new realities to replace these lost illusions. The public is caught in between, for there’s no doubt that comforting illusions have a way of springing back to life, if only history could be reversed.

Consider the major illusions that perished — or should have — in Iraq:

1. The illusion of a "free" war.

2. The illusion that American nationalism is good nationalism.

3. The illusion of America as the friendly superpower.

4. The illusion that alliances are expendable.

5. The illusion that America and the free market are synonymous.

Each one has a complex history and will continue to, but there’s no doubt that reality has shifted so dramatically as to undercut all these false beliefs.

1. The illusion of a "free" war. In the wake of the first Gulf war and the so-called Powell doctrine, it was supposed to be true that overwhelming force could reduce U.S. casualties to a bare minimum. Conflicts would essentially cost us close to nothing as long as victory was certain beforehand and technology could quickly overpower an under-equipped enemy. But this notion of a "free" war was dead before it began, as witness the quagmire of Vietnam and the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. A determined insurrection cannot be defeated quickly, easily, or by conventional means.

Iraq was supposedly free in other ways. The war was going to pay for itself through Iraq’s resurgent oil revenues — until the rebels started blowing up pipelines and terrorizing the contractors hired to rebuild the oil industry. Another free aspect was the social cost on both sides. The Iraqi population was going to suffer minimal damage compared to Saddam’s elite corps of soldiers in the shock and awe campaign. Instead, innocent citizens died by the tens of thousands, while the Iraqi army dispersed into the shadows and turned into bitter insurrectionists. As for minimal loss to American civilians, it’s true that only a small percentage have been wounded or killed, but the vast majority became lulled into allowing the war to continue years after it failed, thus promoting and extending its toxic effects.

2. The illusion that American nationalism is good nationalism. (One could easily say the only good nationalism so far as the right wing is concerned, since God approves of it wholeheartedly) Because of the humanitarian effect of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe in the late forties, the U.S. firmly believes that it holds a patent on good nationalism, the kind that the whole world loves. We are shocked to find out that we might be hated elsewhere, and when that revelation dawns, our nationalism reverts to the bad kind, which invades, kills, and wreaks havoc. After five years of doing this in Iraq, and threatening more of the same in Iran, a realist would abandon good nationalism for something more palatable to the world at large.

Specifically, the U.S. possesses such strength that it can afford to put nationalism on the back burner and reinvent itself as the leader of a global interests vision. There are stirrings of this new role, and it may yet prevail. But a huge amount of old conditioning has to be overcome. We are conditioned to believe that the U.S. is the freest country on earth, which makes no sense given the equal freedom enjoyed in England, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, and the rest of Western Europe. We conveniently forget the numerous countries, as many as 29 by some counts, that the U.S. has either invaded or tampered with internally since the Fifties.

We overlook our greedy overconsumption of natural resources. Most of all, we use nationalism as a wall, protecting our insular view of the world — in large part the fiasco of the Iraq war was due to deep ignorance about that country and Islam in general. Finally, American nationalism is outdated, running on the fumes of victory in World War II and the notion of defeating nation-based enemies through a large standing army, when in reality the enemy is diverse, scattered, and free from national boundaries. The invasion of Iraq was a nationalist cause to begin with based on landing in Normandy on D-Day, again an illusion that should have died in Vietnam but refused to.

(to be cont.)

www.intentblog.com

www.deepakchopra.com

The Love of Bread with Vikas Khanna; by Daisy Carrington – Los Angeles Times

When I told Vikas Khanna, the executive chef at Indian eatery Purnima in Midtown, that I wanted to discuss bread, he became very animated.

“If you think about it, it’s such an emotional experience,” he said. “When you think about the grain that makes bread, how can we disrespect that little grain, which fought with the earth to rise up? The weight of the earth was 3,000 times more than his own weight.”

When asked about his charity work, particularly through SAKIV, a foundation he founded that’s dedicated to preventing blindness in South Asian children, his eyes grow large.

“I don’t have the image of Bobby Flay or Emeril [Lagasse], but whatever image I have, I stretch it as much as I can to raise money for these causes.”

When asked about moving to New York, he gleefully starts humming Simon & Garfunkel’ Scarborough Fair, a tune — which he memorized from a worn out tape given to him as a child — that epitomizes the city to him.

“I don’t find it accepting anywhere, except in New York,” he tells me. “Especially for people like me, who have this fire, and they want to do something. It’s like being a kid who wants to play music but doesn’t have an instrument. The city gives you the opportunity to play that music and to make it immortal.”

It is at this point that I realize there is precious little that doesn’t inspire Khanna, who started his own catering company in his hometown of Amritsar, India at 16, and moved to New York to further his culinary career at 29. To Khanna, food takes on a higher meaning.

“I think of food as alive, and as giving us life,” he explains, recalling an answer he gave while on a panel discussion at the Asia Society.

“I said, ‘We can all talk about figures and money, but we can’t disregard the fact that the first feed comes from comes from the breast of your mom, which was given to you unconditionally. If that didn’t exist, the kingdom of humans, or any living thing on this planet, would not exist.’ After I said that, I saw all the women were looking at me like, ‘You weirdo.'”

Purnima

245 W. 54th St., between Eighth Avenue and Broadway 212-307-9797

Q&A with Vikas Khanna

Why did you decide to come to New York to cook?

When you’re cooking, in any part of the world, Frank Sinatra is always haunting you. I thought, oh my God, if I can do it in New York, I can do it anywhere. It’s such a high platform.

How did your parents react when you told them you wanted to become a chef?

When I told my mom, she said, “OK, go ahead, but nobody’s going to get married to you.” And I said, “Mom, let me choose something which gives me happiness, even if I don’t make money. It’s better than being a clone and becoming an architect.”

You also write about food. What’s your next project?

I’m talking very openly in my next book about my war experiences. My family was in the middle of a major war in 1984 in my city. The only thing we had at home was potatoes. My grandmother made potato curry in the morning and the evening.

Once I pushed the plate away and said, “I’m not going to eat this! I had this in the morning, too.” She said, “This morning you had potato curry. Now I’m giving you curry potato.”

It was funny for me at that point. I think, she knew that this moment, this is going to define this guy’s life, and she didn’t want to give me ill feelings, or say, “God damn it that’s all I have.” She just wanted to have sheer love and forgiveness and tolerance. (DC)

The Age of Aquarius

Aquarius
is the sign of the future. And we experience the same difficulty in predicting and forecasting the future as we encounter when we attempt to categorize and understand Aquarius people. Aquarius is the most unpredictable and fluctuating archetype. The fact that they fall under no category is the only category that
they fall under. Aquarians, the people of the future, view the
past as nothing more than a chain that ties us down. They see the past as
redundant, done, and gone. Instead, they proclaim, let

Afterlife Nostalgia

Question:

I’ve been thinking about death lately, and the fact that I will miss unique expressions of the spirit when they die, as well as the question of whether I will recognize people who have died when I die. ( In a childlike way I was wondering if I am going to feel lonely and lost when I die). In your book, “Power, Freedom, and Grace”, I happened to open to the following: “When you die, you don’t go anywhere; your soul is simply vibrating at another frequency.” I was hoping this might mean that everyone who has died is vibrating at another frequency and maybe I could recognize others. Could you possibly help me with this?

Answer:

Each phase of evolution brings with it an new arena with new challenges. That applies to the new cycle of evolution that death offers as well. Don

The 08-08-08 Business

On August 16th we will experience the second act of the drama that was unfolded on the Solar eclipse of Aug 1st. This coming Full Moon in Aquarius represents the completion of a process started on the New Moon in Leo two weeks ago. I received many emails and comments about how powerful, challenging and transforming the weekend of August 1st was on so many levels. It does not mean this coming eclipse will be adding gasoline to the wildfires the eclipse started, but it does suggest that whatever was initiated on the new moon will come full circle on the full moon. So, as the poets say, take heed!

This eclipse in Aquarius, the sign of humanity, friends, groups and organizations will ask us to let go of whatever is holding us back, as a society and as individuals from experiencing the full range of energies of the Age of Aquarius (see below the excerpt). It will ask us to examine all our friendships, clubs and groups we belong to and reassess our connection to our fellow human beings. On this full moon weekend, spend time with your friends or find activities that might introduce you to a new circle of friends

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