5.28.2008

brown rice: an update

so apparently god loves me after all. I tried the saveur directions for cooking (which, incidentally, were almost the same to the ones devadeva posted) and my premier batch came out quite nicely. I have to say, it was a little more cooked than I would have liked - I think if I take it off the heat a few minutes earlier it will be perfect - but overall, I'm just glad I found something that works. yeay, whole grains! if you'd like to check out the directions, you can find them here.

I had a bunch of stuff in my head that I wanted to write about - but I'm kind of tired. I made a vow that I would walk three miles a day for a whole week - just to see if I could do it, and I've been doing really well so far. though I am afraid I might have to break it tomorrow because I don't think I will have the hour to spare - but I am meeting with my yoga "teacher" tomorrow, so I think an hour of yoga is a good substitute. anyway, my point was that I'm tuckered out from my walk tonight, so I'm off to bed.

5.27.2008

srimati radharani

I called my husband from work today (he was home) to tell him about a job listing I found in the paper. he listened... or pretended...and then out of no where said, "honey, srimati radharani is manifesting!"
I knew he had decided to start painting the radha-krishna deities we purchased while in vraj a few months ago.
they are beautiful in 8 inch soap stone. the way we went about acquiring them is a whole story in and of itself - it's not all that interesting, so I'll move on...
anyway, when I came home and saw them I was taken aback. unpainted they were beautiful; now they are just exquisite. I don't think it's just because my husband is an exceptional artist - he is, no doubt - but I think also that radharani is blessing us with her mercy (oh, yes, krishna too).
I've been struggling with my chanting for a long time now... hmmm, the past 7 years? after my husband was done painting them for the night, he put them on the altar - not to be worshipped (they don't even have any clothes yet), but just for a place to rest until he can put them away. so I decided to go and chant before them. I can't claim it was the most attentive or pure or perfect round I've ever chanted, but I felt something while I was staring at her beautiful face. something that made chanting attractive, tasteful, even if just for a moment.

I was going to take a picture and post it. but I think I should wait. I don't think it would be right to put it up now, when they are not finished or dressed.

oh, and just so you don't think I'm too biased - krishna is also super beautiful. he has the most dreamy eyes I have ever seen. just wait until you see them.

5.26.2008

rice karma: my husband says it's because god hates me.


help, people. no matter what I do, I cannot make brown rice. I know, this seems stupid, trival. but I just want to eat some whole grains, is that so much to ask??? seriously, I just have horrible rice karma. regular white basmati usually comes out ok - though even that sometimes doesn't work in my favor. but brown rice... oh, the tragedy of brown rice. I've tried everything. and I mean everything. I've followed the directions on the back of the bag to a tee. I've tried to vary the directions. I've tried different varieties - short grain, long grain, basmati, organic, conventional - all to no avail. I even bought a rice cooker, thinking I was just stove-top challenged. but no, it either burns, doesn't cook, or comes out like baby mush. does any one have any advice, words of wisdom? please help!!!

5.14.2008

on attachment

my husband told me last night that I'm not detached enough. he didn't say this in a critical or fanatical-devotee way, but in a "hey, this is really what's going on with you" sort of way. it's true. here's how it goes - I've told you about how I've been really disappointed with the way life has been going. I really feel like no matter how hard I try, things never go either the way I want them to or the way I imagine would be best. so problem number one - I try to be the controller. then, when things don't work out, I get super disappointed - like uber-depressed and hateful - like greek-tragedy style cursing the fates. that leads me to negative thinking in future endeavors. for example (and this is how my husbands comment came to pass...) I applied for a job at this super-upper class private school. I was trying to get all of my stuff together - cover letter, resume, letters of rec - and I needed one of my references to update something, and then I wanted to print everything on really nice paper, blahblah, but time was ticking and by the time I got everything together it would have been tomorrow, so I thought, you know what, screw it, I'm just going to fax everything in as it is and just let Krishna take care of it. if it's going to happen, it's going to happen regardless of how I send it in. I made the endeavor to apply, and my stuff was good and presentable, so que cera. I explained all of this to my husband, and then I went on to say how I'm being detached - in the end it doesn't matter because I most likely won't even get an interview for the job, so who really cares? and that is when he laid it on me - no, this is not being detached, this is being negative. click - the lightbulb turns on. I need to stop being so negative and just be detached.
sounds so easy, right?
I let this idea sit with me for a little while. then we went out for a walk with our crazy little dog and I asked the inevitable question..."Ok, so how do I do it? How do I actually become detached?" my husband went into some explanation - but really, I don't know if I will be satisfied by any answer other than one that includes a very simple and systematic process (like, ok, to become detached from the results you need to go to the store and buy a "become detached" kit, follow the directions, and voila!). unfortunately it's not so easy. so I'm not sure what to do with it, or how to take it, but for now, just knowing the problem may be half the battle.

5.09.2008

a simple moment

this evening while I was in between teaching I went to go get something to eat. I sat myself down at a table with a book (you know, so I didn't look like a loser eating by myself) and was situated in such a way that I had a view of two ladies in a booth. they had also just sat down with their salads. I was absently observing them - you know, when you're looking at something or someone, but not really intending to be looking - and all of a sudden they both bowed their heads and began to say a prayer. I couldn't hear what they were saying because they were across the room, but it was a simple but shocking sight. not shocking in a horrifying way, but more in an unusual and out of the ordinary way. do people really pray before they eat these days? as a devotee, I am supposed to do the same before I eat food blessed by Krishna - though I rarely say the prayer. it's such a simple thing, yet so thoughtful and purifying. I can also see this as a tool to be in the now - to be grateful for what I have been given in the moment. actually there are so many things like that in kc, and I so ungratefully neglect them. so selfish, so thoughtless.

5.08.2008

the here and now

yesterday I went to a new yoga class. I've been taking yoga with a girl (a student) who isn't exactly formally trained but who is looking to get more experience. she's good and willing to come to my house and not get paid very much (it's a win/win situation). another student told me about this class in toms river that is only $5. you can't beat that, really. so after a while of procrastinating, I decided to finally check it out. it turns out that this lady has the same training (but more experience) as the girl who I have been working with. it's really laid back and low key, and there were only 5 other people there. the best part was that the place where she offers the class is situated right on the river...and when I say right on it, I mean, literally if I decided to jump out the window I would be swimming. so as I am doing my triangle and warrior poses I am looking right out onto the water. it was so relaxing and comforting. it was nice to be able to sink in to it - the relaxation that is.

life has been disappointing me lately. I don't like when the world does not move according to my desires. I am wanting. wishing. dreaming. and nothing is coming to fruition. I crave everything (almost) other than what I have. it is not a way to live. in fact, life is just passing me by as I look towards and try to plan my perfect future, which will most likely never come to reality. this has been one of my biggest struggles - being in the here and now. the interesting part of the idea of being in the here and now is that that concept is huge in the counseling world. it is my job as a counselor to help my client be in the here and now - to not dwell and live in the past or the what if's of the future. I often wonder how I can do this for my clients when I am so distant from the here and now myself. on a kc note, I can see how much I want to be the controller. how much I try. but what would my life be like if I just accepted what Krishna gives me? accepted that He is the controller, that all I have is my ability to react? it is so hard to depend on someone you barely know. and that's how I really feel - I barely know Him.

5.06.2008

my moon phase

a few years back when I was in vrindavan (not this past time..probably about 7 years ago), I went to see several astrologers. some of whom where pretty bogus, some who seemed pretty good. one mystic seer in varsana predicted that I would soon marry and have a child within a few months (how that actually went down is a long story - but I was, in fact, pregnant soon after my return home). that same seer told me that my future husband's first name would start with a "j" sound... weird, huh?

anyway, I digress... a different astrologer told me that at that time I was in my moon phase and it would make me overly emotional. at the time, that explained a lot. I think by now I should be out of my moon phase. I can't remember what he said was coming next, but somehow the emotions are just as strong as ever. I can cry over the most ridiculous things. I well-up when Oprah crowns a Katrina victim "princess for the day". my eyes go watery when I watch a child (someone elses' child who I don't know, mind you) do well at madhavi's dance competition. when madhavi dances, the tears roll down. when I think about her future I get choked up. hell, a good tv make-over can send me into hysterics. it's kind of ridiculous at times. if I start talking about something really sad, or something that hits me emotionally, I can become visibily emotional - a blush, watery eyes... oh hell, some real tears.

when I really think about it, though, I think I would rather be a cry baby than a stoic. I think there's something to be said for sensitivity. I think it means I really feel things at a deep level, to my core. I think without it I would look at the world differently and wouldn't be able to see the poetry in life. so even though it is sometimes painful, I think, in the end, I wouldn't change a thing.

on a side note, in case you didn't already know, I recently took second in place in the Kean University/Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize. you can see my work here.