|Live Well Foundation:: Connecting Soil, Souls||
My gratitude to many beautiful souls who came together in visible and invisible ways to make May - Karma Kitchen a vegan, nature friendly in every way possible. The planning started a few weeks back shopping for organic ingredients, looking for a commercial baking place and staying committed to values that we all hold very dear that is to make Karma Kitchen a healthy place for all.
A day earlier to Karma Kitchen last weekend Sandy, Prakash, Ann and Markus all came together to bake the vegan banana-walnut muffin with was showered with their love, mindfulness and joy to feed the guests.
Karma Kitchen was bustling with people by 2pm, engaging in beautiful mindful discussions around nature, composting, planting, community building, honeybees, pets and kids. When asked what would you like to drink, a 3 year old kid who was really mindful of the gift of fruits specially oranges said, he does not need anything to drink looking at the offered fruits he said "these oranges are full of juices" :-), talk about mindfulness :-), this little one taught us all about it in just one sentence.
Others said they totally felt home and felt they were visiting friends and family. One liked the muffins so much that she decided to gift it forward to some more friends who were visiting her in the evening. We were also blessed to have a 3-legged visitor dog Tigger (yes, tigger has just 3-legs, lost one leg and few toes on only remaining back leg when he was a puppy when a truck ran over him, is a rescue dog, still lives a full playful life) and it felt like circle of life is perfect as it is.
We had visitors from our own community; Sunnyvale, Fremont, Foster city and we specially thank each and everyone of you to come out on a beautiful afternoon to support Karma Kitchen. More in pictures below..
Thought of you all when I read this piece earlier - http://www.luanafarm.com/Family.htmlThanks to our dear friend Subru Bhat for connecting us to this resource, he even stepped it up by writing a news-paper article in a poupular local daily (dedicated to serving farmers) all the way across oceans in India. Wow! -- what a ripple.Enjoy the read.Smiles :-).
Photo courtesy: Launafarm.
Reflections from Sandy -
3 May 2012 a.m.
I've been afraid to get rid of things that make my life appear full, or things that I wish to reminisce about or return to, things that I would find useful when needed and I have on hand, things to entertain or engage me when I am alone, things that mark passage of time and the usual rituals and semblance of family.
I've been afraid of an empty home reflecting an empty life and loneliness.
By clearing the space, it is opening to others as I wish to do with my life. My home mirrors my life and my intentions.
To follow the example of what Prakash and Shruti did to open their home. To create a welcoming place for others as well as myself. To open to fill the heart as well as the home.
From the practice to know what has real meaning for me, and to clear away everything else.
Master Bell is the Chi Kung master. I am witness to what he experiences. He creates a space of stillness and energy. When I mirror that space of stillness, there is a connection. This is what I've learned. He is the example of self discipline and routine bringing ease of living. Everything is taken care of. The mind becomes clear.
Prakash is the example of yoga as worship, steadfastness and courage in practice, challenge and humility. Gratitude for small great gifts and the richness of life even with strife and hardship.
I am so blessed to have these teachers.
Thanks to the teachers, and the sage Patanjali who has given us the gift of yoga. Aum shanti, shanti, shanti.
Thank you Sandy, we bow down to you for being who you are and your service to Mother Nature.
"You can not love, unless you understand. You can not be compassionate and accept the other person unless you understand him, her or them.
But understanding what? Understanding their suffering, their difficulties, their obstacles, their despair. Once you understand, your heart opens. The nectar of compassion springs up. And you don't suffer any more because compassion has been born in your heart." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo courtesy of ॐ Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective ॐ
This is the story of one of our neighborhood tree. It's a beautiful lone tree in one corner of a otherwise everyday life city road. Like every season, this season too it has been giving gifts to all in abundance. Don't even know how much it has given to how many -- the fruits are naturally falling and becoming compost food for the micro-organisms at its and other plants roots, seeds birthing new seedlings, birds and squirrels are feasting on them, fruits have reached countless homes in the neighborhood, reached far & wide to Wednesday meditations, community yoga, urban gardens, temples, monasteries, churches, karma kitchens, janitors & security in business offices, anonymously into the bags of homeless people, hands of playing children in the parks, hands of many hard working urban farmers in local community gardens, lunch bags my co-workers, tagged along with other gifts at a local author event in the library, creative healthy recipes for the season, food for new compost pile, as a gift to a new born's mother, several smile card moments....and the list goes on...unending...
What a beautiful lesson this tree is teaching me just by standing still, holding ground, giving unconditionally.
Thank you TREE & all your family in the world -- may your clown THRIVE :-)
Photo courtesy of DailyGood
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Courtesy: The Food Revolution Summit
Continuing from a recent post from our Community Yoga, we are so blessed to witness the flow of more and more ripples around. A few sampling that spontaneously opened up as I started to write them, sharing the joy :-)
A Very Happy Earth Day
"Waste not even a single grain, single drop of water; for it amounts to waste of our own and someone else's love, labor & life. Everything is a gift of God" --LiveWell
We have been often asked about our journey and share our practices around minimizing waste especially around food, water, materials, transportation & living space. In a nutshell, it's our experience that once we live with minimal waste, one begins to see uncluttered, cleaner, brighter and welcoming space to live, to live well & thrive.
There were challenges that we had to consciously work through and change our old habits and patterns that had become a part of our daily life! It was not a easy path for us, but we stayed with the changes and now it's a very natural process for us. We cannot imagine our life with old dangerous habits and patterns that destroys everything precious on this planet Earth, home to billion of humans now. We have been living minimal waste life for the past few years, we feel grateful that we are able to do it and we hope our journey will help others to embark on this journey because we know it's possible to do it and do it now!
Lets first start with kitchen where there is a possibility of generating a lot of waste each day. It was the first place we decided to look into when we decided to make changes to reduce our waste.
Important steps to reduce the waste:
We are always attending different events, we made sure we do it a nature friendly way and keeping this in mind we started making an extra effort to carry our own bowl, spoon and water bottle. Now after many events, it's the most natural thing we do :-)) It feels the right thing in life.
Few more ways we reduce the waste:
Beautiful experiences, stories, ripples & community connections from the launch day of KK in Hayward, a glimpse of these from the eyes of the volunteers, sending it out to the universe with love & respect to all :-)
Finally, couple of months of planing made way to our first Karma Kitchen in the heart of the bay - Hayward. It was a beautiful Sunday, a sunny day after a long week of stormy weather with lightning and thunder, I feel it was natures way of expressing it's joy for launching Karma Kitchen in Hayward in collaboration with Snappy's cafe a small warm cozy place, located in the downtown Hayward.
Thank you KK-Berkeley for unconditional support, guidance and everything else :-) to make this happen in this part of the world. Everyone who came in the doors yesterday were filled with positive energy, it almost felt like a marriage hall in India, where everyone was excited about the new beginning, making everyone feel at home even though we were at the cafe! We all met in the cafe rolled up our sleeves and got to work as soon we entered the cafe, rearranging the tables, setting up gift table with many beautiful gifts for our guests, writing the menu out on the white board.
Afternoon started with a circle of sharing our intention for being at the Karma Kitchen, the words that were heard were Trust, Intention, Support, Community , Abundance, Family, Courage, Impact and Gratitude to the cafe for having the open mind to experiment with some thing as crazy as Karma Kitchen concept. We also had our first guest join in our circle, It was truly special for all of us.
A long time well-wisher while reflecting on her experiences being in the space co-created by core volunteers who are all connected through community projects (such as Yoga for all, Healthy Cooking etc) expressed a poignant note. She said - "the other day I was having conversation with a co-worker, and happen to discuss the community events in Hayward, the co-worker immediately responded that Hayward isn't a desirable neighborhood at all for people like us for it's issues with litter, homelessness, gang violence, poverty etc." Our well-wisher steps up by showing her presence, after witnessing the "Be the change" events such as KK launch, Infinite Vision, Community Garden & Community Yoga projects encouraged us to keep walking this path patiently & persistently with absolute courage & conviction. This community needs it the most.
We had a very natural flow of mostly local people in the cafe, some of the reflections from our guests and volunteers:
A teacher was so thrilled that she would love all her students to be part of the Karma Kitchen, she was celebrating the beautiful day at Karma Kitchen with her mom and aunt, they were blown away with the generosity that they experienced and they now want to be part of it every month.
A student of language was so delighted that he now wants to visit all the other Karma Kitchen and be part of it.
This was absolutely necessary in Hayward as this town does not have a good image as other places in east bay, and it is only known as a place not to go to.
One said it felt like a historical event and they just couldn't miss this one! & loves be part of it in future.
There are people who really want to serve others and Karma Kitchen really facilitates that and so it's absolutely necessary that Karma Kitchen grows and they would help to keep it sustainable.
The gift table just blew them away and they were so touched by the anonymous gifts that they were being tagged with, and also promised to spread it around.
A DailyGood moment: Co-ordinator in our local library (who was instrumental in organizing the Infinite-Vision Documentary screening, book reading in a group and Author (Pavi) Live event) was kind to honor our invite & joined KK launch. She walked in as DailyGood co-ordinators were leaving Snappy's, tags Pavi with a copy of book A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. Authored by another brilliant local bay area author who will also be hosted live in our community soon as part of California Reads literacy program. The conversation that followed the tag has opened to the possibility of a DailyGood article soon on this author & her work .Beautiful to see all these interconnected ripples emerging from this space.
Initially employees were little hesitant to join the begining circle but we could clearly see the transformation that had already happened by the end of the afternoon, as we see them come by and sit with us in the closing circle and share their smiles and gratitude with us.
It was such a beautiful feeling that we all walked out with. No words will make justice to that feeling!
And the photo to add more to the fun :-)
Image courtesy : Karma Kitchen.org