Meditation

I Want to Practice Meditation, but my Mind is Racing all the Time. What can I do about this? – by Brenda and Georg Feuerstein

Over 2,000 years ago, Prince Arjuna asked this same question of the enlightened master Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. Krishna assured him that the mind can in fact be controlled. In our own times, while it is quite likely that the mind is racing faster than in previous millennia, still, in principle, the truth abides – the mind can be controlled! We may, however, have to enlist some extra help to calm the mind, such as uncluttering and simplifying our lifestyle, by delegating or not taking on quite so many tasks and obligations.

It is in the nature of the mind to produce thoughts. Even a little bit of conscious relaxation or meditation can thin out our thoughts and create mental space. In the early stages of meditation practice, it is natural for thoughts to boil on and on, leaving us with the impression that we will never gain mastery over our mind. Wrong impression! As we sit in meditation regularly (daily), we find that the mind slows down, and maybe even slows down considerably sooner than we assumed.

As neurologists have discovered in recent years, the brain is surprisingly adaptable. Contrary to previous opinion, brain cells can in fact regenerate throughout our lifespan. Regular meditation will retrain the brain, so that gradually meditation will become easier and “successful.” The mind will stop racing and begin to settle down. Later, it will go beyond its assumed boundaries, and still later it will find itself in the sublime state of ecstasy.

From “The Matrix of Yoga”, by Dr. George and Brenda Feuerstein. Copyright Hohm Press. Used with permission.

Brenda L. Feuerstein is an author and a yoga scholar. Her books include The Yoga Sutras from a Woman’s PerspectiveYoga-Nidra/Yoga Sleep (audio recording) as well as co-authored works with her late husband and spiritual partner Dr. Georg Feuerstein include, The Matrix of Yoga; Green Yoga, Green Dharma; and The Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation. She lives in the quaint village of Eastend, Saskatchewan. Brenda is an internationally acclaimed Sanskrit scholar and yoga philosopher.

Spelt Scones

Autumn Warmth in Delicious Spelt Scones

By Jools Andrés

Spelt is an ancient grain, a wheat ancestor that was very popular in Europe in the Iron and Middle Ages. It has some really nice qualities that appeal to modern palates, however, including an easier to digest form of gluten along with a satisfying texture and high fibre content.

Be creative with the fruit you use. I have used fresh slices of strawberries, cut pears and peaches, and soaked goji – all quite yummy. Try some nuts – pecans are wonderful – or ribbon coconut. Blueberries are a given.

Please make a practice of using organic ingredients whenever possible – it’s better for you and the planet. For vegans: use your favourite egg and dairy substitutes.

Make a full batch of 15. They freeze well for a week or two, but don’t usually sit around uneaten for long, especially if you add an extra handful of chocolate chunks.

Whisk in small mixing bowl:

1 large egg

1/2 cup cereal cream

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together into medium-sized mixing bowl to mix well:

2 cups spelt flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Prepare and mix together, set aside

1 cup berries or chopped fruit, or mixture

1/2 cup (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup (or more) nuts / coconut (optional)

Cut into 1 cm cubes 1/2 cup cold butter

Cut butter into dry ingredients quickly, reducing butter chunks to small pea size. Use a pastry cutter.

Mix wet ingredients into the flour and butter mixture, adding fruit, chocolate, and nuts partway through to incorporate evenly. Form into a ball. Do not over mix or handle.

Place a piece of waxed paper or parchment on the counter and dust thickly with more spelt flour – or use something interesting like quinoa flakes. Press dough onto the floured paper and pat into a circle about 1.5 cm thick. Dust the top lightly, then cut into rounds with a small glass or deep cookie cutter.

Place on ungreased foil on cookie sheet. Bake for 16 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 15 smallish scones.

Jools Andrés (E-RYT500, SOYA, IAYT) is a Lead Trainer for SOYA’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Pitt Meadows. She has devoted 17 years of dedicated practice along with abundant training in Ashtanga, Freedom Yoga, Restorative, and Yoga Therapy. She is an artist, writer, editor and graphic designer. If you want to get creative in your yoga, join Jools for  “Unshaping Your Yoga Practice-The Body Creative” Oct 27, in  Vancouver!