A Perfect Day

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I find that when I go to a seminar in an idyllic country setting during the summer, I hope and expect that it will be accompanied by weather that allows an array of hiking, kayaking and other outdoor delights. However, being at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck this week has been an opportunity to appreciate the days with clouds and rain. On a positive note, I am less distracted and able to absorb the information that Master Robert Peng presented.

Today though on the third day of class, I managed to come without putting on every piece of clothing that I brought with me. Someone didn’t give me the memo to prepare for 60-degree rainy weather. In this  age when we are all so computer attached, I am embarrassed that my expectations didn’t include poor weather.

But today was different. The sun managed to slip through this constant rain. And Master Peng took all 80 of us outside where we spent over 2 hours doing Qigong on the grass taking in the plants, trees, mosquitoes, butterflies, sun, sky, and the soft earth beneath our feet. It is one thing to imagine the earth and heaven within it but it is a different reality to feel them all around you. It becomes the most invigorating thing that you can give to energize and cleanse the body and soul doing this work in such an idyllic setting. Just being outside and breathing puts the cycle of healing in motion.

And while this particular class with Master Peng is an introduction to his teachings, the emphasis this glorious day was on how to work on nourishing all aspects of the person, whether it is the mind, the emotions or vitality.  As I looked in the vibrant eyes of everyone in the class I found that we were open and genuinely more interested in each other than the day before. Clearing the energy fields through Qigong was totally amazing.

I feel a great sense of appreciation for nature and for the people I’ve met. This makes it a great day.

Be sure to enjoy these last days of summer indoor and outside.

 

 

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The Taste of Summer

 

Growing up summers were filled with pleasures. We would take long trips to see the rest of the family to Arizona or Ohio that defined the highlights of summer vacation. But there was also the day-to-day living with the slowness of the summer and the enjoyment of the outdoors. There were endless times in the water and that would tend to be the ocean or the lakes nearby.

And along side all these memories of summer vacation are the tomatoes that you could pick right off the vines. I don’t know whether it’s an individual thing or genetics, but I love tomatoes. At the Farmers Market today the tomatoes are back. These aren’t the ones that are genetically altered so that they grow all year long. These are the large juicy red tomatoes that only appear once you find yourself hot and sticky enough to remember to keep drinking water.   Summer is here.

From a nutritional perspective tomatoes are high in lycopene, which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. As well, it is a source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Lycopene is a super antioxidant that protects cells from damage. It is thought to help prevent prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovarian, colon and pancreatic cancers. Eating your tomatoes is like sending loving kindness to these organs.  Using them in sauces, soups, or as ketchup puts them in a form where your body can absorb the lycopene more easily. My great pleasure is just to eat them with a little oil and salt, sliced on a plate with nothing else.

And tomatoes are a vegetable that you can preserve through canning or dry freezing. So you can remember that hint of summer throughout the year. But nothing compares with the memory of being a child and taking it off the vine with a little salt. The memory stays with you forever. As the tomatoes we also can guarantee the presence of cucumbers, squashes and soon eggplants. And we get to experience it every year.

Enjoy the taste of summer. And eat your fruits and vegetables.

 

 

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