I admire the Bicycles’ Country for all those things you can see around… For most dutch people it is pretty common and nothing surprising, not dutch myself I find it amazing 🙂
Carrying trash. Some people might see laziness, I see Genius 🙂
Riding together…in one bicycle never seemed that easy!
Carrying his son and the skateboard
going to the lake…
going to/ from the station/airport…
Bringing a friend’s bike 😉
Carrying our best friend
Fougasse is a typical Provençal loaf somewhat similar to the Italian focaccia. (but let’s be honest, IT IS NOT 🙂 ) The French version is commonly rolled out and formed into the shape of a leaf, or an ear of wheat and is delicious with any dip or even on its own.
To make 2 fougasses
- Fresh yeast 6g
- Water 180g
- Wheat flour (french T65) 280g
- Extra virgin olive oil 20ml
- Salt 6g
- Herbs of Provence 10g
- Black Olives 110g
Make the dough: combine the fresh yeast, flour, herbs de Provence, and salt. Mix the dough for about 7 minutes.
Add slowly the olive oil to the dough. Mix until all is well combined.
Leave the dough rise for about half an hour, covered, in a warm place. Then, put the gas off with your hand, and make a flap, add the black olives.
Leave the dough rise again for half an hour in the same warm place. Divide the dough in two equals, give them the form of fougasse and leave them covered for about an hour.
Preheat the oven at 260 Celsius degrees and bake them for about 10 minutes.
“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” Ram Dass
♣ Observe wild kangaroos ♣ Cycle Europe and more ♣ Explore Sensory Deprivation ♣ Someone waiting for me at the airport ♣ Practice meditation on a daily basis ♣ Put a pencil in my nose and go to the hospital ♣ Travel as much as possible ♣ Living 7 days saying yes to everything ♣ Bath in the Ganges ♣ Having a white Christmas ♣ Communicate with someone without sharing a common spoken language ♣ Go on a road trip ♣ Figure out my priorities ♣ Grow and Eat my own vegetables ♣ Drive the Great Ocean Road ♣ Learn a new vocabulary every day ♣ See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) ♣ Learn to surf ♣ Do a Marathon ♣ Be able to say Hello in 50 languages ♣ Create a website ♣ Live abroad for at least 6 months ♣ Dance Tango in Argentina ♣ Forgive my parents ♣ Float around the Dead Sea ♣ Touch a Penguin ♣ Help Out a Random Stranger in distress ♣ Solve a Rubik’s Cube ♣ Allow myself to make mistakes ♣ Learn Sign Language ♣ Kayak in the Bioluminescent Bay of Fajardo ♣ Go Wooffing and Miss it ♣ Go to the Bienal of Flamenco ♣ Accept myself for who I am ♣ Learn to Sail ♣ Fruitpicking ♣ Get in a taxi and yell “follow that car” ♣ Living a van, be an hippie ♣ Send a message in a bottle ♣ Loose at casino ♣ Taking a year off ♣ Scuba dive off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ♣ Spend Christmas on the beach ♣ Help someone without wanting anything in return ♣ Go to a masquerade ♣ Volunteer for a charity ♣ Go in search of the Lochness monster ♣ Visit Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice ♣ Help someone else fulfill a goal ♣ Learn to speak another language fluently ♣ Write myself a letter and read it ten years later ♣ Make a documentary ♣ Go Hiking in the Rainforest ♣ Learn to Salsa dance ♣ Become a teacher. Make a test where every answer is “C”. Then, enjoy the show. ♣ Laugh until I cry ♣ Be able to play Ukulele ♣ Go Skydiving ♣ Walk barefoot in the rain ♣ Write a Book ♣ Bungee Jump! ♣ Learn Capoeira ♣ Travel ALL South America ♣ Memorize the periodic table of elements ♣ Be part of a flashmob ♣ Learn to knit ♣ Recycle as much as I can ♣ Stay away from drama and negativity ♣ If in doubt, bake a cake ♣ Support Local Organic Farmers ♣ Learn Hindi & Dutch Language ♣ Once a year, go someplace I’ve never been before ♣ Learn to Dance Flamenco ♣ See Salto Angel in Venezuela ♣ Hike the Kilimanjaro ♣ Change one thing (or more!) a week ♣ Be able to Sing without hurting people ♣ Take Theatre Lessons ♣ Downsize, own less stuff and use every thing I have ♣ Sleep to Antoine de Maximy’s Place ♣ Swim with a whale ♣ Travel Africa ♣ Travel India, Nepal, Indonesia, Bhutan ♣ Live and work in the country of the bicycles (The Netherlands) ♣ Do more activism ♣ Help an Animal Sanctuary ♣ Being Self Employed ♣ Sea Shepherd Mission ♣ Hitchhiking in Switzerland and Failed ♣ Learn to travel light ♣ Do a +100km Bike ride ♣ Do a +200km Bike ride ♣ Do a +300km Bike ride ♣ Travel Europe by bike ♣ Sell things I do not use ♣ Use Non Violent Communication as much as I can ♣
and… the pictures I took of the March to Close the Slaughterhouses, taken on June 16th, 2018, in Amsterdam (The Netherlands):
You can make up the difference. We are so price sensitive in the store, and 10 cents will swing us one way or other, but in the kitchen we throw out so much money without even thinking about price. It is not good for our wallet and definitely not good for the environment. Here are some tips to reduce our waste in the kitchen:
Use reusable bags.
We still use and discard nearly 1 trillion plastic bags a year! Bring your own bulk shopping bags (love the hemp and organic cotton ones but any reusable bags would suit! ) and keep them in your backpack/purse. You can also buy fruits and veggies with no bags at all as I always do at my organic coop.
Use a reusable bottle.
It requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it. Bringing your own bottle limit that.
Reduce fast food or Bring Your Own Containers.
The biggest source (49 percent) of litter is fast food. If fast food is the only option, opt out of napkins, straws, condiments or plastic utensils.
Buy in Bulk.
Don’t confuse purchasing bulk foods with buying in bulk from a large big box store. The items you can find in bulk bins are endless: dried fruits, mixed grains, nuts, dry beans, flours (including GF flours), spices and herbs, ground and whole bean coffee, seeds (including chia and flax), dry pasta (including GF pasta), nutritional yeast and other odds, etc… Shopping the bulk bins allows you to get just what you need rather than paying for too much and the packaging. Buying bulk foods reduces food packaging waste and is better for our planet. It will save you an average of 14%- Organic bulk foods on average are 89 percent less expensive than their organic packaged counterparts. Buying in bulk allows you to try new things. Do not forget to take your own containers or re-use containers (make sure to get the tare weight if using your own).
O Bocal, a beautiful shop in Nantes, France.
Ditch paper towels.
Every day, over 3000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. The average person uses 2400-3000 paper towels in a year…ONLY at work!!
Do not throw away the leftovers
Yes! You can use the almonds pulp (also called okara), aquafaba from chickpeas and beans….the list is endless: you can use your creativity or you can find easily tons of recipes with vegan leftovers, it’s just about having fun in the kitchen.. 😉
Give back to the Earth by composting
It doesn’t matter if you have a garden it is always possible to compost!! Composting is nature’s way of breaking down biodegradable materials to form a rich soil used by gardeners and small farmers – But not ONLY! Everyone can do and should.
As usual, we are cooking simple…and we got almost 5kg of almonds from the organic shop (FOR FREE!!) soooo had a lot to do.
With a proper blender, just blend the almonds until they become a paste, buttery texture 🙂
You can use any nuts : cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, …
You can toast them too just a lil’ bit before mixing.
from the book “Sister Outsider” by Audre Lorde
I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect. I am standing here as a Black lesbian poet, and the meaning of all that waits upon the fact that I am still alive, and might not have been. Less than two months ago I was told by two doctors, one female and one male, that I would have to breast surgery, and that there was a 60 to 80 percent chance that the tumor was malignant. Between that telling and the actual surgery, there was a three-week period of the agony of an involuntary reorganization of my entire life. The surgery was completed, and the growth was benign.
But within those three weeks, I was forced to look upon myself and my living with a harsh and urgent clarity that has left me still shaken but much stronger. This is a situation faced by many women, by some of you here today. Some of what I experienced during that time has helped elucidate for me much of what I feel concerning the transformation of silence into language and action.
In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But wa all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly; now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.
I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bringing our differences. And it was the concern and caring of all those women which gave me strength and enabled me to scrutinize the essentials of my living.
The women who sustained me through that period were Black and white, old and young, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual, and we all shared a war against the tyrannies of silence. They all gave me a strength and concern without which I could not have survived intact. Within those weeks of acute fear came the knowledge – within the war we are all waging with the forces of death; subtle and otherwise, conscious or not – I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior.
What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? Perhaps for some of you here today, I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am woman, because I am Black, because I am lesbian, because I am myself – a Black woman warrior poet doing my work – come to ask you, are you doing yours?
And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger. But my daughter, when I told her of our topic and my difficulty with it, said, “Tell them about how you’re never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there’s always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don’t speak it out one day it will just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside.”
In the cause of silence, each of us draws the face of her own fear – fear of contempt, of censure, or some judgment, or recognition, of challenge, of annihilation. But most of all, I think, we fear the visibility without which we cannot truly live. Within this country where racial difference creates a constant, if unspoken, distortion of vision, Black women have on one hand always been highly visible, and so, on the other hand, have been rendered invisible through the depersonalization of racism. Even within the women’s movement, we have had to fight, and still do, for that very visibility which also renders us most vulnerable, our Blackness. For to survive in the mouth of this dragon we call america, we have had to learn this first and most vital lesson – that we were never meant to survive. Not as human beings. And neither were most of you here today, Black or not. And that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength. Because the machine will try to grind you into dust anyway, whether or not we speak. We can sit in our corners mute forever while our sisters and our selves are wasted, while our children are distorted and destroyed, while our earth is poisoned; we can sit in our safe corners mute as bottles, and we will still be no less afraid.
In my house this year we are celebrating the feast of Kwanza, the African-american festival of harvest which begins the day after Christmas and lasts for seven days. There are seven principles of Kwanza, one for each day. The first principle is Umoja, which means unity, the decision to strive for and maintain unity in self and community. The principle for yesterday, the second day, was Kujichagulia – self-determination – the decision to define ourselves, name ourselves, and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined and spoken for by others. Today is the third day of Kwanza, and the principle for today is Ujima – collective work and responsibility – the decision to build and maintain ourselves and our communities together and to recognize and solve our problems together.
Each of us is here now because in one way or another we share a commitment to language and to the power of language, and to the reclaiming of that language which has been made to work against us. In the transformation of silence into language and action, it is vitally necessary for each one of us to establish or examine her function in that transformation and to recognize her role as vital within that transformation.
For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding. Because in this way alone we can survive, by taking part in a process of life that is creative and continuing, that is growth.
And it is never without fear – of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and perhaps judgment, of pain, of death. But we have lived through all of those already, in silence, except death. And I remind myself all the time now that if I were to have been born mute, or had maintained an oath of silence my whole life long for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die. It is very good for establishing perspective.
And where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives. That we not hide behind the mockeries of separations that have been imposed upon us and which so often we accept as our own. For instance, “I can’t possibly teach Black women’s writing – their experience is so different from mine.” Yet how many years have you spent teaching Plato and Shakespeare and Prout? Or another, “She’s a white woman and what could she possibly have to say to me?” Or, “She’s a lesbian, what would my husband say, or my chairman?” Or again, “This woman writes of her sons and I have no children.” And all the other endless ways in which we rob ourselves and each other.
We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us
The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence And there are so many silences to be broken.
Chocolate petals or flowers are a beautiful addition to any cake or dessert. If you think it’s difficult, no worries just stay tuned for the technique! 😉
To make chocolate petals you will need: some baking paper and/or acetate/rhodoid sheets, a piping bag (if you cannot make one with the baking paper), some vegan chocolate, a bent spatula and something cylindrical like a french baguette mold or a muffin mold.
Make the piping bag with the baking paper or use one reusable.
Start with tempering your chocolate (better if you would like the chocolate ending shining and glossy). You can skip this step if you don’t care 🙂
After cutting some bands of the baking paper, use the piping bag with your tempered chocolate on the baking paper or acetate sheet as the picture shows:
Working quickly before the chocolate hardens curve it up into a half circle. Carefully transfer the chocolate petals on their baking paper(or acetate sheet) to your mold and set aside in the fridge.
Here is the result after a few minutes, the petals became harder and the chocolate is now solid, like this:
Last step is to gently remove the paper from the petals. You can use it as it is or also make chocolate flower sticking them all together…
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!
This raw millefeuille will blow your mind, as it is crunchy, creamy, sweet and sooo tasty!….
For this recipe, you will only need a blender or a food processor, some dates, bananas and apples. If you have time you can soak the dates (I’ve used medjool), otherwise it’s fine.
Chop the apples in slices, cut bananas into thin and long slices, prepare the dates caramel using your blender (dates+ water – the water we soak the dates in or filtered water), set aside.
Prepare the millefeuille: first layer is banana slices, second layer is apple slices, third layer is caramel sauce, repeat all over until you have nothing left 😀
-You can add a pinch of cinnamon on top or into the caramel sauce, if you like it-
Keep refrigerated if you can resist the temptation, or serve it as it is! Bon appetit!
The first turning of the wheel of Dharma
Just as there are three types of training – in wisdom, concentration, and morality – the Buddhist scriptures contain three divisions – discipline, sets of discourses, and knowledge.
Both male and female practitioners have an equal need to practice these three trainings, although there are differences in the vows they take. The basic foundation of the practice of morality is restraint from the ten unwholesome actions: three pertaining to the body, four pertaining to speech, and three pertaining to thought.
The three physical nonvirtues are:
- Taking the life of a living being, from and insect up to a human being.
- Stealing, taking away another’s property without his consent, regardless of its value, and whether or not you do it yourself.
- Sexual misconduct, committing adultery.
The four verbal nonvirtues are:
- Lying, deceiving others through spoken work or gesture.
- Divisiveness, creating dissesion by causing those in agreement to disagree or those in disagreement to disagree further.
- Harshness, abusing others.
- Senselessness, talking about foolish things motivated by desire and so forth.
The three mental nonvirtues are:
- Covetousness, desiring to possess something that belongs to another.
- Harmful intent, wishing to injure others, be it in a great or small way.
- Wrong view, viewing some existent thing such as rebirth, cause and effect, or the Three Jewels as non-existent.
The morality practiced by those who observe the monastic way of life is referred to as the discipline of individual liberation (Pratimoksha). In India there were four major schools of tenets, later producing 18 branches, which each preserved their own version of the Pratimoksha, the original discourse spoken by the Buddha, which laid down the guidelines for monastic life. The practice observed in the Tibetan monasteries follows the Mulasarvastavadin tradition in which 253 precepts are prescribed for fully ordained monks, or bhikshus. In the Theravadan tradition, the individual liberation vow of monks comprises 227 precepts.
In providing you with an instrument of mindfulness and alertness, the practice of morality protects you from indulging in negative actions. Therefore, it is the foundation of the Buddhist path. The second phase is meditation; it leads the practitioner to the second training, which is concerned with concentration.
Meditation in the general Buddhist sense is of two types – absorptive and analytical meditation. The first refers to the practice of the calmly abiding or single-pointing mind, and the second to the practice of analysis. In both cases, it is very important to have a firm foundation of mindfulness and alertness, which is provided by the practice of morality. These two factors – mindfulness and alertness – are important not only in meditation, but also in our day-to-day lives.
We speak of many different states of meditation, such as the form or formless states. The form states are differentiated on the basis of their branches, whereas the formless states are differentiated on the basis of the nature of the object of absorption.
We take the practice of morality as the foundation and the practice of concentration as a complementary factor, an instrument, to make the mind serviceable. So, later, when you undertake the practice of wisdom, you are equipped with such a single-pointed mind that you can direct all your attention and energy to the chosen object. In the practice of wisdom, you meditate on the selflessness or emptiness of phenomena, which serves as the actual antidote to the disturbing emotions.
The 37 Aspects of Enlightment
The general structure of the Buddhist path, as outlined in the first turning of the wheel of Dharma, consists of the 37 aspects of enlightenment. These begin with the four mindfulnesses, which refer to mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind and phenomena. Here, however, mindfulness refers to meditation on the suffering nature of cyclic existence, by means of which practitioners develop a true determination to be free from this cycle of existence.
Next are the four complete abandonments, because when practitioners develop a true determination to be free through the practice of the four mindfulnesses, they engage in a way of life in which they abandon the causes of the future suffering and cultivate the causes of future happiness.
Since overcoming all negative actions and disturbing emotions, and increasing positive factors within your mind, which are technically called the class of pure phenomena, can be achieved only when you have a very concentrated mind, there follow what are called the four factors of miraculous powers.
Next come what are known as the five faculties, five powers, eightfold noble path, and seven branches of the path to enlightenment.
This is the general structure of the Buddhist path as laid down in the first turning of the wheel of Dharma. Buddhism as practiced in the Tibetan tradition completely incorporates all these features of the Buddhist doctrine.
The second turning of the wheel of Dharma
In the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, the Buddha taught the Perfection of Wisdom or Prajnaparamita sutras on the Vuture’s Peak, outside Rajgir.
The second turning of the wheel of Dharma should be seen as expanding upon the topics which the Buddha had expounded during the first turning of the wheel. In the second turning, he not only taught the truth of suffering, that suffering should be recognized as suffering, but emphasized the importance of identifying both your own suffering as well as that of all sentient beings, so it is much more extensive. When he taught the origin of suffering in the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, he referred not to the disturbing emotions alone, but also to the subtle imprints they leave behind, so this explanation is more profound.
The truth of cessation is also explained much more profoundly. In the first turning of the wheel of Dharma, cessation is merely identified, whereas in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras the Buddha explains the nature of this cessation and its characteristics in great detail. He describes the path by which sufferings can be ceased and what the actual state called cessation is.
The truth of the path is similarly dealt with more profoundly in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras. The Buddha taught a unique path comprising the realization of emptiness, the true nature of all phenomena, combined with compassion and the mind of enlightenment, the altruistic wish to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. Because he spoke of this union of method and wisdom in the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, we find that the second turning develops and expands on the first turning of the wheel of Dharma.
Although the four noble truths were explained more profoundly during the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, this is not because certain features were explained in the second that were not explained in the first. That cannot be the reason, because many topics are explained in non-Buddhist systems which are not explained in Buddhism, but that does not mean that other systems are more profound than Buddhism. The second turning of the wheel of Dharma explains and develops certain aspects of the four noble truths, which were not explained in the first turning of the wheel, but which do not contradict the general structure of the Buddhist path described in that first discourse. Therefore, the explanation found in the second is said to be more profound.
Yet, in the discourses of the second turning of the wheel we also find certain presentations that do contradict the general structure of the path as described of sutras, some which are taken at face value and are thought of as literally true, whereas others require the four reliances, we divide the sutras into two categories – the definitive and the interpretable.
These four reliances consist of advice to rely on the teaching, not on the person; within the teachings rely on the meaning, not on mere words; rely on definitive sutras, not those requiring interpretation; and rely on the deeper understanding of wisdom, not on the knowledge of ordinary awareness.
This approach can be found in the Buddha’s own words, as when he said: “O bhiksus and wise men, do not accept what I say just out of respect for me, but first subject it to analysis and rigorous examination.”
In the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, the Buddha further explained the subject of cessation, particularly with regard to emptiness, in a more elaborate and extensive way. Therefore, the Great Vehicle approach is to interpret those sutras on two levels: the literal meaning, which concerns the presentation of emptiness, and the hidden meaning which concerns the latent explanation of the stages of the path.
The third turning of the wheel of Dharma
The third turning of the wheel contains many different sutras, the most important of which is the Tathagata Essence sutra, which is actually the source for Nagarjuna’s Collection of Praises and also Maitreya’s treatise the Sublime Continuum. In this sutra, the Buddha further explores topics he had touched on in the second turning of the wheel, but not from the objective viewpoint of emptiness, because emptiness was explained to its fullest, highest, and most profound degree in the second turning. What is unique about the third turning is that Buddha taught certain ways of heightening the wisdom which realizes emptiness from the point of view of subjective mind.
The Buddha’s explanation of the view of emptiness in the second turning of the wheel, in which he taught about the lack of inherent existence, was too profound for many practitioners to comprehend. For some, to say phenomena lack inherent existence seems to imply that they do not exist at all. So, for the benefit of these practitioners, in the third turning of the wheel the Buddha qualified the object of emptiness with different interpretations.
For example, in the Sutra Unraveling the Thought of the Buddha, he differentiated various types of emptiness by categorizing all phenomena into three classes: imputed phenomena, which refers to their empty nature. He spoke of the various emptinesses of these different phenomena, the various ways of lacking inherent existence, and the various meanings of the lack of inherent existence of these different phenomena. So, the two major schools of thoughts of the Great Vehicle, the Middle Way (Madhyamika) and the Mind Only (Chittamatra), arose in India on the basis of these differences of presentation.
Next is the Tantric Vehicle, which I think has some connection with the third turning of the wheel. The word tantra means “continuity”. The Yoga Tantra text called the Ornament of the Vajra Essence Tantra explains that tantra is a continuity referring to the continuity of consciousness or mind. It is on the basis of this mind that on the ordinary level we commit negative actions, as a result of which we go through the vicious cycle of life and death. On the spiritual path, it is also on the basis of this continuity of consciousness that we are able to make mental improvements, experience high realizations of the path, and so forth. And it is also on the basis of this continuity of consciousness that we are able to achieve the ultimate state of omniscience. So, this continuity of consciousness is always present, which is the meaning of tantra, or continuity.
I feel there is a bridge between the sutras and tantras in the second and third turnings of the wheel, because in the second, the Buddha taught certain sutras which have different levels of meaning. The explicit meaning of the Perfection of Wisdom sutra is emptiness, whereas the implicit meaning is the stages of the paths which are to be achieved as a result of realizing emptiness. The third turning was concerned with different ways of heightening the wisdom which realizes emptiness. So I think there is a link here between sutra and tantra.
Different Explanations of Selflessness
From a philosophical point of view, the criterion for distinguishing a school as Buddhist is whether or not it accepts the four seals: that all composite phenomena are impermanent by nature, contaminated phenomena are of the nature of suffering, all phenomena are empty and selfless, and nirvana alone is peace. Any system accepting these seals is philosophically a Buddhist school of thought. In the Great Vehicle schools of thought, selflessness is explained more profoundly, at a deeper level.
Now, let me explain the difference between selflessness as explained in the second turning of the wheel and that explained in the first.
Let us examine our own experience, how we relate to things. For example, when I use this rosary here, I feel it is mine and I have attachment o it. If you examine the attachment you feel for your own possessions, you find there are different levels of attachment. One is the feeling that there is a self-sufficient person existing as a separate entity independent of your own body and mind, which feels that this rosary is “mine.”
When you are able, through meditation, to perceive the absence of such a self-sufficient person, existing in isolation from your own body and mind, you are able to reduce the strong attachment you feel toward your possessions. But you may also feel that there are still some subtle levels of attachment. Although you may not feel a subjective attachment from your own side in relation to the person, because of the rosary’s beautiful appearance, its beautiful color, and so forth, you feel a certain level of attachment to it in that a certain objective entity exists out there. So, in the second turning of the wheel, the Buddha taught that selflessness is not confined to the person alone, but that it applies to all phenomena. When you realize this, you will be able to overcome all forms of attachment and delusion.
I am always grateful to meet people who became friends, even with the distance. Joe is one of them. We share the same passion of vegan food. We had good times cooking together in Montreal. Here’s his recipe of Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.
VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE Ingredients: - Yellow potatoes 1,5kg -Sweet potatoes 600g -Vegan margarine 100g -Crumbled tofu 150g -Spanish onions 200g -Grounded sunflower seeds 75g -Grounded flax seeds 75g -Vegetable oil 100ml -Yeast flakes 50g -Tamari sauce 25ml -Smoked Paprika powder 3g -Corn in grains 300g -Creamed corn 1200g ("mais en creme", canadian preserves) Directions: Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and pound with the margarine. Salt, pepper to taste and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the tofu, the onions, the sunflower /Flax seeds, the yeast flakes, the tamari sauce and some oil. Then pour on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 350 ° F for 10 minutes. Towel at half-cooking. Start the dishes starting with vegan '' meat '', corn, creamed corn and potatoes. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. ....and Voila! Tabernak c'que c'est good!
If you are in Montreal make sure to check JOE LE RATON VEGE
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is a plant rich in amino acids, vitamins A, C, F, B, niacin, and has traces of vitamin B12, with awesome anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, healing, and soothing benefits for your skin, but also hair and intestines. I believe everyone should grow this beautiful precious plant…
WAYS TO USE FRESH ALOE VERA:
- Sunburn Remedy: Lots of chemicals and preservatives are found in beauty products, even vegan and organic ones. It is cheap and easy to get rid of your sunburns…
- Cleansing Juice: because it contains vitamins and minerals, using a small amount of aloe vera gel (skin off), you can add to your organic fresh juices. Drink to lower blood sugar levels—especially for diabetics. Drink to help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections and prostate problems.
- Moisturising face mask
- Aloe vera reduces irritated skin, rashes, itchy bites..
- Exfoliant and moisturise – slice a piece of the leave, sprinkle some sugar onto the flesh and just spread over your body an hour or two before having a shower.
- Acne treatment: it is anti-microbial so it clears off the bacteria. Apply the aloe over the face.
- Hair conditioner: Help hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair!
- Clear sinuses and airways: Boil leaves in a pan of water and breathe in the vapor to alleviate asthma
Make sure to get rid of the yellow liquid (aloe vera latex) as it may cause some rashes on your skin and probably other intestinal problems… To remove aloe latex, you should peel the thin layer of leaf first. After extracting the gel like substance, you will find the latex fluid under the leaf.