Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hope for Haiti

Like so many of you, I have been following the tragedy in Haiti and have been sending love, money, and whatever else I can think of to help. The destruction seems encompassing. I get overwhelmed watching the news and seeing the pain and suffering going on. I have read many heartwarming stories about children raising thousands of dollars riding their bikes around a park, miraculous recoveries, and families reunited. It is often in times of great pain that stories of great courage and strength emerge.
It is in times like these that I look within. I asked my father, the Zen Buddhist Priest, to offer some suggestions for all of us. How can we help. His response was,
"In Zen practice, meditation is paramount. However, we don't meditate to gain anything. Our mindful meditation is simply a complete expression of our own complete nature. Through this selfless practice of being present each moment we affirm our original completeness and the original complete nature of all things. Through our meditation we and all things are benefited. Thus, just the act of one person meditating can have immeasurable benefits to all beings." 
In essence, we can help the healing in Haiti by starting with ourselves. Start by healing our own hearts, letting go of our own pain and sorrow. One more healed person will make the world a stronger place. One happy person can send shock waves through the universe and heal hundreds. One person meditating can start a butterfly effect of awareness and create a groundswell for living with joy in each moment.

Dogen is the founder of the Soto Zen Secto of Buddhism and his words are:
  • "To Study Buddhism is to study the self (Through meditation and mindfulness)
  • To Study the Self is to come to know the self. (We begin to see how the egocentric monkey mind works)
  • To Come to know the self we can forget the self. (We become able to let go of self-centeredness & attachment to self)
  • When we let go of self we are in harmony and accord with all things. (We help all beings manifest their true natures)."
I am going to heal myself and meditate on positive thoughts. With each positive thought, someone else feels the transmission and can make one more step in the right direction. They can dig a few more inches and find that person under the rubble. The power of positive energy has the ability to transcend. It is what carries us from one adventure to another and beyond one tragedy and into the light of healing and overcoming.

We can do this together as a world consciousness. I do believe that this can and will happen if we all put ourselves into it completely. Heal thyself and the world shall heal. That I believe.
I also believe that healing can come through food. And there is nothing better than a warm, soft, and sweet Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin. Now doesn't it just make you feel good thinking about it?  The banana's rich and creamy textures paired with chocolate and hugged together with whole wheat flour make this desert not only comforting for our souls, but healthful for our bodies and minds.

The perfect comfort in the depths of healing and awakening of a new era for Haiti. If you don't have the money to spare in these poor economic times, give them a gift of healing and make these recipes and heal thy self.

I promise, Haiti will get your message.

Banana Chocolate Chip Enlightened Muffins
2 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Ripe Bananas; Mashed
1 Cup Non Fat Vanilla Yogurt
2 Large Eggs
2/3 cup aking BSplenda
1/3 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Walnuts; Chopped (optional)
1/4 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and flaxseed. In another bowl combine the eggs, splenda, apple sauce, mashed bananas, vanilla, and yogurt. Beat this with a whisk until smooth.
3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated. Then add the walnuts and chocolate chips. The batter will be thicker than regular muffin batter because of the whole wheat flour.

4. Pour the batter into muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. These can also be frozen for up to a month in the freezer after baking so you always have some on hand!
Mental Health Tip: In our busy lives, don't forget to nurture and heal the most important person in your life; you! We will all benefit from a peaceful, hopeful, and happy you!

Peace and healing from your kitchen from ours!

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the Kitchen

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