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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Viti Levu, Fiji Islands 1989: Restore Your Conscious Appetite for Self-Knowledge

Heaven on Earth, as above so it is below.
In town the smells of the open air market 
lead me straight to a nice lady of India ancestry,
who takes great pleasure 
in my insatiable compliments of her cooking.

The Lady of the Market blesses me, 
and shows me her baskets of spices,
then teaches me to make aloo samosa -
a deep-fried turnover stuffed with potato.
She somehow knows it was my favorite food 
when I lived in Toronto -
so she stuffs my face with her cooking -
occasionally tugging at my cheeks 
to see if they are full – 
or can become fuller.

My Lady of the Market tells me not to leave 
until my food is finished.
She is glad to have a customer, 
with nowhere to go in a hurry, 
with whom she can share her opinion,
of the latest political coup two days ago,
as well as the history of Fiji’s India population.

I gladly swallow anything she offers me -
her food, her stories and my digestion deepens
as I listen to her perception of the divergent histories 
of the Native Fijians, Fijian Moslems and Fijian Hindu citizens.

As I witness her story, I notice -
all the food stalls and stores 
are Indian owned and operated.
To balance my perspective I ask -
what economic conditions support 
the Native Fijian population?

The Lady of the Market blesses me with an answer,
her reply is an extended history lesson
of the epic effects of spices on the human body and mind-
She says;
"To live a balanced life you must know,
how to ground and make fresh curry daily."

She takes my hand, 
and guides me to feel 
the textures of the ginger, garlic, chiles,
coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds.
Presence is required for creating a meal.
She asks me to observe the colours,
and then close my eyes and smell the world ...
inhale the colours and textures ...
be present, with the aroma of tamarind, turmeric, 
saffron, red, pink, green and black pepper.

She explains to whoever is listening ...
in order to take good care 
of our bodies of emotion, mind and spirit –
we must pay attention to the wealth of food on this planet -
and be grateful for how it gives the gift of vitality,
and nourishes our lives daily.
Humans are dried up within, without clean water.
Humans are wasted, within without pure energy.

Our good Lady of the Market shares her world of the spices;

"All beings voyage,
a cosmic quest of the world and beyond ...
starting from the point of Panchabhuta the five elements.
According to Indian mythology 
there are various types of fires. 
The four important internal and external fires are 
fire of the earth, fire of the sky, fire of the stomach, 
and the fire on Earth we commonly use to complete actions.
Fire of the stomach is the power to be hungry,
and digest all things related to the food of life forces.
First, humans must try to understand the five elements
which are Earth or Pritvia; Water or Jal;
Fire or Agni; Air or Vayu, and Ether or Akasha.

Each of these Five elements has its own character, 

and celestial elements - 
which within everyone, 
everyone engages with, in their own life.
Our Panchabhuta five elements manifest,
in an enjoining manner to form our life force, 
and then, later, our five elements disintegrate -
to ensue a celestial traverse at our atom level.
All aspects of life are made and unmade, 
made to be unmade and unmade to be made again.

Universe in one Heart, multiverse within and without.
Our good Lady of the Market relates; 
"Spices are important
to the religious life of the Hindus, 
and according to ancient stories told, and in books,
spices affect the balance and harmony of the body’s temperature.
Fennel, cloves and green cardamom are known as “cool spices”,
and take body heat away during the steaming hot months of summer.
“Warm spices” like bay leaves, black cardamom, cinnamon, 
ginger powder, mace, nutmeg and red pepper -
generate internal body heat, so are eaten in winter cold weather.

During sacred marriage ceremonies, 

in the part of India where her ancestors are from,
the wedding banquet is offered to the spirit which protects life,
and must include eleven sacred elements 
of rice, sandalwood, betel nuts and leaves, 
turmeric, coconut, bananas, sweets, fruit, 
holy grass and holy water –
to ensure the goodwill of the spirits of creation 
including Sun, Earth, Moon, water, thunder and wind.

Our good Lady of the Market thinks it is funny, 
that I am from Canada, 
because an India born philosopher
name Kashyapa, later called Kanada, 
is credited with having propounded 
the concept of atom for the first time.
Kanada believed that atom was indestructible,
a particle of matter of the material universe made up of Kana.
Kanada felt that when matter is divided and subdivided,
we reach a stage beyond which no division is possible -
the indivisible element of matter is Parmanu ...
indivisible, indestructible, 
and yet not sensed through any human organ.

I sneeze 

as the wind blows salt 
from the ocean into my face
and red pepper up my nose.
My senses load 

the harmonic magic of chemistry 
held fast in the heart of female ancestry.
Our good Lady of the Market 
fed my internal balance ...
I am full of her food
and nourished by her sharing her wisdom.
Now, she leans over her spices 
and whispers more wisdom into my ear ...

"Start listening to your five elements, 
you have the power to hear Ether Akasha,
and all sounds man-made or otherwise -
You must ... you must ... if you want to ...
restore your conscious appetite 
for expanded Self-knowledge".

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~

In 1989 when he won the Nobel Peace Prize,
The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso shared;
“No matter what part of the world we come from,
we are all basically the same human beings.
We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering.”