The Basics of Spirituality

One should not pass over these things, simply saying they are food. They are in reality a complete civilization. –Abdulhak Sinasi, Camlicadaki Enistemiz (1944)

I really like the philosophy and spirituality of the Mevlevi (a Sufi brotherhood which originated in the Seljuq period, under Mevlana Jalaluddin-i Rumi) because the kitchen is central to their philosophy and daily life. Their rituals value the importance of taking time to cook, something we are missing in the modern age. Many of our ancestral rituals, whatever culture we come from, focused around food and cooking. The alchemical mystery of fire, water, air and earth coming together to create something new that nourishes and pleasures our bodies and senses has inspired mystics and poets, around the world, for thousands of years. Food is an aspect of spirituality that we all easily resonate with.



Wolf Medicine

Please sign a petition to stop hunting endangered wolves.

I have been wanting to get to Wolf Haven International for a while, so when our niece turned two we took the kids on a trip to see the wolves. Wolf Haven is just South of Olympia in Washington State and takes in wolves that have been kept as pets. I had assumed that the wolves were eventually released back into the wild, but once a wolf has lived around humans they can’t survive in the wild. Wolves are wild at heart so once they get past a certain age they are unpredictable (which is why they can’t be kept as pets).



Big Pharma’s Weak Link

A while back I discovered Sepp Hasslberger’s website which has an amazing amount of resources and information about a wide variety of topics. He recently posted a discussion he had with some friends on facebook about health reform and how to have health reform when there was a whole underlying problem that needs to be addressed so we can really get to the roots of this issue. The post and conversation can be viewed here.



Belly Button Rings and Qi

Passion NavelI had a strange experience the other day. I was in the shower and suddenly got a weird metallic feeling in my belly button. It seemed to originate from my navel piercing and shot upward towards my breastbone. It felt like the sound of a fingernail on a chalkboard and sent shock waves through my cells.

I pierced my belly button the end of the summer in 1994. My friend and I had been working at a boy scout camp in Lake Arrowhead as cooks for the summer. These were some spoiled boy scouts if you ask me — they had a heated pool, we cooked them 3 meals a day 6 days a week, and on Friday they had BBQ ribs. Anyway, whatever, it was hard but fun work and we were so glad to be done for the summer that we rushed into the nearest tattoo parlor and got our belly button’s pierced. We had been warned to eat beforehand, but didn’t heed the advice so my friend passed out when she leaped from the chair right after her piercing. I took my time getting out of the chair after that and was fine – but it took a while for my belly button to heal. I was at a point where I was going to give up, when it suddenly healed up and has given me no trouble for 14 years. Part of the reason it was strange to suddenly get this nerve grating metal feeling from it.



Gotta Grow GARLIC!!!!

Extra Pungent and Powerful…

“It is truth, garlic gives man youth.”

–cry of 5th century Greek garlic street hawkers

Allium sativum has been called many things from bountiful bulb to poor man’s treacle

Liliaceae: Lily Family. The other members of this family-the onion and leek, also contain many of the same compounds that are in garlic to a lesser degree and are therefore used quite similarly in most cases.

History and Mythology:

Garlic is the name given to the leek (herb) with gar (spear) shaped leaves and phallic flowers. Perhaps referring to the belief that garlic imparts warlike properties and raises passion. Its Latin name Allium sativum is derived from al = burning, sativum= harvested. It is uncertain exactly where it originated but it is believed to be from either Central Asia and/or Siberia.

William Harvey who published a revolutionary book The Motion of Blood in 1628, was intrigued by a folk remedy for colds which placed a clove of garlic in the stockings overnight. This generally led to the smell of garlic on the patient’s breath the next morning, and reinforced his ideas of how blood circulated around the body. The other well-known connection between garlic and blood is the herb’s traditional property of repelling vampires.

Garlic was also reported to destroy a magnet’s power of attraction. Galen described it as the rustic’s theriac, (meaning heal-all or antidote to poison). Garlic has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes all over the world.