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September 27, 2008

National Student Leadership Forum

Well, I can't lie, not even when it would be polite.

The forum was difficult. I faced some quite fierce arguments about God, and I don't like arguing about God. I believe that all religions are the work of one God, which some may not even like to call God, but I can't think of a better word. It is difficult to express my beliefs, particularly in an analytical environment, for it reduces something that to my mind is perfect, to the realm of words, which are imperfect.

So I stumbled and stuttered and feel I utterly misrepresented my God, and have learned a valuable lesson. Babaji has always told us not to share our faith too publicly, and now I know why. For a start, I don't feel I can do my God justice with words, and second, it just seems to cause fights.

And to be even more honest, I didn't expect a leadership forum to be quite so evangelically and fundamentally Christian. In that regard I feel quite mislead myself, as none of the advertising of the forum suggested this would be such a singularly religious forum.

But I did learn from some inspiring speakers, uncle Bob Randall, Kevin Rudd and David Busseau to be specific. And came across a wonderful quote:
"A leader is a dealer in hope."
Napoleon Bonaparte.

September 25, 2008

I want...

The truth is we all want something, anything, or we wouldn't be here. It is our desire that separates us from the Divine. But there's no use trying to pretend we don't want things, cause no one, certainly not God, believes us. Like at an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting we must raise our hand and say "I want..." For it is better the devil you know.

Once we acknowledge our wants we can harness that energy for the forces of good. I asked a friend once what she wanted to eat, she said "oh anything, I'm not fussy." Whilst it is generally considered good not to be fussy, it is a dangerous game. Maybe it's the fact that we just eat 'anything' that has gotten us into this great, fat, processed, refined, fast food mess. Maybe if we payed a little more attention to what we wanted we might actually eat more broccoli and less hamburgers, because we would know what our body truly and deeply wants rather than just eating what's in front of us or succumbing to our addictions.

So we must practice owning our wants. For if we want nothing we have nothing to sacrifice in the service of others. Want it, and be prepared to give it up anyway. It may be small things at first. Whilst it may feel strange if we aren't used to it, contrary to popular belief it is not selfish. For if each of us were a little happier we'd pull up the whole world with us. It is our service to the world to be happy!

September 22, 2008


Thought of the day...

There is no end to learning Ayurveda. You should carefully and constantly devote yourself to it's study. Increase your skill by learning from others without jealousy. The wise regard the whole world as their teacher, while the ignorant consider it to be their enemy.


September 17, 2008

Just an update

My husband and I are going to the National Student Leadership Forum at Parliament House tomorrow! We were nominated and sponsored for the work we have done with young people at risk of homelessness, Aboriginal women and for my husbands plan to launch a philanthropic community foundation next year.

I don't yet know exactly what the forum will involve, but I am very excited to be around some inspirational people, and maybe even meet the Prime Minister!

Life is changing very rapidly. I'm now working full time, for the first time since contracting Hep A more than two years ago. I'm moving home to Fremantle in a couple of months to smell the ocean and feel the sun on my bare skin. I'm starting a Bachelor of Health Science next year so I can become a qualified Ayruvedic Consultant.

September 14, 2008

Majja Dhatu-nerves and bone marrow

I had a question a long time ago about bones, and I already wrote about joints, Asthi Dhatu, now it's finally time to write about Majja Dhatu, the bone marrow and nerve tissue.

Majja is oily, and lubricates the body. It fills in hollow spaces in the bones, brain and spinal cord, so as you can imagine by this brief explanation Majja Dhatu is governed by Kapha. Healthy Majja Dhatu gives feelings of contentment and satisfaction, unhealthy Majja Dhatu will cause loneliness and fear of death.

Whilst different tissues correlate to different dosha, they are all somewhat Kapha, due to their substance. Whilst Majja is particularly Kapha, any dosha can enter any dhatu, and excess Kapha in Majja can cause blockages, whilst Pitta and Vata can cause deficiency.

Vata in Majja cause nervous disorders such as headaches and insomnia. Pitta in Majja may lead to sicatica or inflammation. Although Majja is Kapha in nature, excess of Kapha can still lead to problems, such as melancholy, stagnation and depression.

Majja is the second last dhatu, being nourished by Asthi. The nutrients are refined further and payed them forward to Shukra Dhatu (reproductive tissues), the final tissue in the chain.

September 10, 2008

Nuts-raw or cooked?

So I really love nuts, in case you haven't noticed. I eat nuts everyday, but only a small handful at a time. I always loved nuts, but only truly came to appreciate this food when I began to roast them.

When I was younger, before I was devoted to Ayurveda I used to experiment with a few different systems of health, including raw food. My conclusion on raw food is that it's certainly no good for Vata, with Kapha and Pita tolerating it better. It can be useful for particular conditions, or for short term detox or weight loss. But it doesn't work for me.

One of the ideas behind eating food raw is that when you cook it you lose a lot of the enzymes. I have since read, in one of my trillions of Ayurvedic books (sorry I forgot which so I can't credit it!), that when the body digests food these enzymes break down in the body anyway. You may as well let a stove do the work instead of your body.

Besides all of this, nuts taste SO good when they are cooked. And if Ayurveda is all about taste, then cook my nuts I will!

So, how to cook them. I always skin my almonds first, but other nuts are fine as is. I like to do a batch at the begginning of the week so I can take them to work for snacks or add them to stirfries or porridge. Don't make too many, the fresher the better.

There are basically two ways, on the stove or in the oven. For the latter preheat your oven to 200' and then spread you nuts out on a tray and leave them in there for just a few minutes. Watch them carefully. The advantage of the oven is they are more evenly roasted, but it can be a waste of electricity to heat up the whole oven for just a handful of nuts, so do a bigger batch, or cook them before or after your using the oven for something else anyway. It isn't a good idea to ut nuts in at the same time as other food as the moisture might stop them going crunchy.

The stove top method requires constant stirring, but you are less likely to burn them cause you can't walk away and forget about them. You can do a small amount too, just a handful to eat in front of a movie for example. Heat a heavy bottom pan on a medium heat and throw you nuts in. Give them a good shake and stir until they are gently browned. It's hard to get them even on the stove. Some nuts will pop and dance.

Let your nuts cool down before eating them, because this is when they get all crunchy. Here's a few ideas for what to do with your nuts...

September 07, 2008

Factors of health

My best friends been getting terrible colesores, despite eating very well. So it got me thinking that there is no one answer, no single path. There are many ways in which we can heal, or become sick.

The following areas are just my own thoughts, not from any classical text. I have heard doctors try to measure their importance with a percentage or a weighting, but to my mind they are all important. Their strength depends on the patient and the illness and the circumstances.

Of course, everything you eat is of great importance in Ayurveda. The diet should suit your prakruti, virkruti and environmental factors such as the seasons and your lifestyle.

Routine is crucial for me, being Vata. I like to sleep, wake and eat at the same time everyday. Even if I am on holidays or unemployed I still wake up at 6am, eat at 8am, 12pm and 6pm, and sleep agan at 9 or 10pm. It's not a chore, I love it, I find I have a lot more energy, and I get a lot more done. Other lifestyle factors include stress, relationships, where you live and your job. All of these can balance or imbalance your dosha.


Ayurvedic Medicine is extremely powerful, I am constantly surprised by it. Don't self medicate, find a great doctor and visit them regularly, and tell them the truth about your diet, lifestyle etc.


Ayurveda offers wonderful treatments for all sort of conditions. For example massage (oil for Vata, dry for Kapha), Panch karma for serious detox, or Shirodhara for rejuvination.

The mind is the most powerful tool of all. If you believe in your cure it is more likely to come, like the placebo effect. Faith, prayer, meditation, visualisation are all very useful tools towards health.

The truth is is, the physical body is impermenant. For all our best efforts we will die, so to some degree health is random. Just do what you can, but if it doesn't work out, don't blame yourself or your doctor or God, just accept that we were born and we will die. Make the best of the bit in the middle.

September 03, 2008

Something we can learn from cows

I read an article in the newspaper recently about cows.It caught my eye because cows are, of course, very sacred in India. The Veda's have always observed and admired and learned from them, and now that we have satellite imaging, modern scientists are taking a closer look at cows too.

"European scientists who studied satellite images of cows around the world have discovered that these animals tend to align themselves with Earth's north-south magnetic fields while they graze or rest.

Farmers have found that cattle stand perpendicular to the sun to heat up their bodies on cold, sunny days, or stand parallel to the wind during winter days with particularly strong winds, the scientists noted."

It makes perfect sense of course, and matches wonderfully with Vedic Architectural concepts too. According to Sthapatya-Veda we ought to align our beds and slope our home's roof and plant trees in particular places. It's all based on factors such as the rotation of the earth, gravitational pull, wind and magnetic fields, which amazingly they wrote about thousands of years ago.

I wonder if humans would naturally align ourselves with the earths natural forces if there wasn't so much interference. We can learn a lot just from observing nature.

NB-I just found out that cow is a gender specific term referring to a female of the species. We use the term cow more generally because the term cattle, which is plural, has no singular form, and refers more to livestock then bovines in general. So really I should say 'cows and bulls' align themselves with the earth. What a funny thing words are!