My latest attempt at group meditation was a massive failure. I attended a group meditation class some time ago offered by a colleague of mine. There were more than 30 people in the room, and as I walked in a scanned all the faces of my classmates, I wondered what had brought each of them into the room.
Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and chose the path that leads to wisdom. Buddha
My classmates ranged in age from early 20s through to 80. They all seemed terribly serious and clearly took this meditation thing very very seriously. Our teacher chimed the gong and we all were asked to sit down and cross our legs. We then closed our eyes and were asked to feel the energy throughout our bodies, feel the stress melting away from our bodies until we felt light and free.
Then we were to picture a white light coming down and entering our bodies through the crown of our head. I was somewhat confused and not sure how the light should be. I imagined a thin beam and decided that it was enough and then, I changed it to a ray of light and then I decided that that was not right and decided it should be far more all-encompassing. And while my mind was trying to figure out how my beam should look, I heard some loud snores coming from one end of the room. I dropped my white light beam immediately, opened my eyes and followed the sound to see who this was. The snore completely erased any intention I may have had as my mind was whirling like a top I had just spun and released and there was no stopping anytime in the near future. My mind went through so many topics that I thought it hardly possible within such a short span of time.
I went through scenes from my childhood, my recent phone calls with family, my breakfast, my lunch from three days ago, my trip to Bali….. I thought about what my life would be like of I was born in the 14th century and what types of food I would have eaten back then, what I could possibly eat when I retuned home what I would make over the weekend and so on and so forth. I felt as if I had a serious bout of attention deficit disorder, which I simply could not control.
By the end of the session, my butt was in pain and my feet were tingling from having fallen asleep and my mind was hyper active as if I had just guzzled down a Red Bull. I felt complete restless and was most famished.
I returned home feeling a great sense of failure. Feeling somewhat disappointed with myself, I went to bed, thinking that I would make more effort tomorrow. I could, however, not for the life of me fall asleep. So at 3am, I gave up, headed into the kitchen and decided to create a raw vegetable “lasagne”.
This creation take quite a few steps, and cannot just be whipped up within a few minutes. About half way through the process, I realised my mind was calm-much calmer than it had been all day and greatly calmer that it had been in the meditation session. As I made my raw lasagne, I realised that I had become completely emerged within the process-which in fact, in itself was my meditation. I was completely in the moment, not in the memory of past events or looking into future hopes. I was right there, with myself in that kitchen. Once my creation was finished, I was in such a state of utter gratitude and peace. I went to bed with a smile on my face and had a most restful sleep.
What is your meditation?
Here is the recipe for my raw “lasagne”, which was inspired by James Russel. I made 4 little circular “lasagnes”, and they are most delicious. The walnut-tomato filling is terribly flavourful, and the cashew cream serves to compliment this fabulously. The pesto layers and the marinated zucchiniS add the fresh, vibrant touch, making this one of my favourite and most fulfilling creations!!
It certainly does take a bit of time and effort, but it truly is worth the effort.
Recipe for Raw vegetable Lasagne inspired and adapted from Pure food and Wine
- Serves 6
- Preparation time: 2 hours ( including the soaking)
- Cooking level. Intermediate
- 2 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast if you have it
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup of walnuts soaked for an hour in filtered water and drained
- 2 cups of sun-dried tomatoes soaked in water for at least 2 hours
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1/4 a cup of virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup or brown sugar
- 2 tsp. of dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- a dash of chill pepper
- 3 cups of packed basil leaves
- 1/3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- one clove of garlic
- 4 medium zucchinis
- 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp of dried oregano
- 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
For the Cashew cream “Ricotta”
- Place the cashew nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast ( if you have), and salt in a food processor or blender, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Gradually add 6 tablespoons water, and mix until the texture becomes fluffy.
- Place the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
For the Walnut Tomato Sauce
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender, and mix until all the ingredients are well blended together.
For the Pesto
- Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until relatively smooth.
For the Lasagne layers
- Cut the ends off of the zucchini.
- Shave each zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices (but thick enough for you to handle), using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler.
- Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 6 singular serving circles ( such as the ones I used in the photos above) with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil.
- Spread 1/3 of the walnut tomato sauce over it.
- Now, and a bit of of “ricotta” on top of that.
- And now, you can add a layer of pesto.
- Repeat the process twice and finish with a last layer of zucchini.
- You can place this in the refrigerator to set for a while, or eat at once.
- To serve, cut into slices, or if you used a circular form, turn it upside down and spindle with some of your favourite herbs, and a bit of pepper. I trust that you will enjoy this.