Reflections from Ganga: plus, Vishnu,The Sustainer, Banana Cake, and more
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My People

my people, my people
who are not my people
even if I stand before you with
blinders on
with a shield before my heart
if I tell the truth
then who are not my people

guilty of hatred
guilty of fear
of small mindedness
of a petty heart
if we stand before one another naked
then who, are not our people

― Tracey Rich


Make Love Not War!

by Ganga White

All around us, there is suffering and war. We sometimes hear the admonishment that we shouldn't enjoy ourselves while others are suffering. While we all are affected by the immense reservoir of suffering in the world, it could also be argued that we should do our best to add to the reservoir of love and joy in the world. We all need to be aware of and respond to suffering--and we should also consciously contribute to love, joy, and well-being.

Make love not war was, and is, an aphorism of my generation. Love includes compassion and giving our energy to alleviate the suffering so widespread in our world. Hard love can mean...


Finding Vishnu in Your Practice

by Tracey Rich

"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance."

― T.S. Eliot

Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are three classical representations in Yoga. The Creator, The Sustainer, The Transformer. Much is made of Brahma, as the creative force is experienced everywhere. And Shiva, the formidable power of transformation, who is also seen as The Destroyer, has a mysterious, sometimes terrifying, awe-inspiring hold on our lives.

Expansion and contraction are the ebb and flow in asana. In the bigger arc, the two most defining energies are the inhalation that brings us into life, and the final breath upon which we leave the tangible world. There is building up and breaking down, as well as beginnings and endings in the dance of Brahma and Shiva which we are experiencing endlessly.

But what about Vishnu The Sustainer in the play of our practice? How do we discern this force in our asana dance?


From the White Lotus Kitchen

Tracey's Take on Jan's Banana Cake

Light and moist, this banana cake is a food group of its own. I always try to make sweets that have high food value and low--why did you just eat half a cake made of sugar, flour and air kind of value. Our friend Jan's banana cake is renowned, but when generously sharing her recipe with me, she knew I would take liberties. Thank you for sharing, Jan.

In this recipe, once again toasted almond flour makes up at least fifty percent of the flour, and organic brown sugar is used. I made my own buttermilk using organic A2/A2 half and half from Alexandre Family Farms. A2/A2 dairy products are rich and delicious, and are reported to be more easily digestible. I used Miyukos vegan butter, (sorry, Jan), which is my butter of choice these days. I added toasted pecans, but they are not really necessary as the almond flour already makes the cake nutty. Up to you if you want to add walnuts or pecans. You could also add dark chocolate chunks to this cake and I'm sure it would soar even higher.

Enjoy making your cake and eating it too. As always, take liberty to go your own way.