Featured

Tasting Brahmacharya –  4th Yama of Yoga – Non Excess

Preserve Your Energy, life force, Prana is what is sustaining your life and is the most precious currency that you have in this life.  The fourth Yama in Yoga, Brahmacharya, is all about using, preserving, and saving one’s creative, life sustaining energy in order to live a vital life and to connect deeper with our Higher Self, aligning mind, body and spirit in harmony. – yogaalive.net

Deborah Adele describes Brahmacharya as a reminder that we aren’t embodied in this form to feel dead but to feel alive.  We can’t snuff out our vitality and passion through overindulgence only through expression.  Howard Thurman uinderstood the importance of our passion to the world when he said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive.  Then just do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Espresso Meditation Shot — Practice of Brahmacharya

Holidays on the Side ~ Cheezy Creole Shrimp Toast

In the Mix:

Bite-sized SHRIMP TOAST! With the creamiest, cheesiest shrimp topping with Parmesan and mozzarella! You won’t be able to stop at 1!
In the Mix
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 French baguette, ends trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch slices
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Putting it all together:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Place shrimp in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, combine shrimp, mayonnaise, sour cream, mozzarella, Parmesan, onion powder, thyme and oregano; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place baguette slices in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Top with shrimp mixture; sprinkle with cajun seasoning. Place into oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cheeses have melted.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
This delicious recipe brought to you by
https://damndelicious.net/2017/09/07/cajun-shrimp-toast/

Namaste!
Blessings to all…
In Gratitude,
Jan Marie

Eating your Dosha!!

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved. No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Featured

Holidays on the Side ~  Raw Kale Meets African Black-Eyed Pea Salad (Saladu Ñebbe) to make “Raw Hoppin’ John ~Spade 2 Fork Cookbook

Raw Hoppin’John aka Nigerian Saladu Ñebbe

“Our thoughts and feelings have a chemical effect on our bodies. Stress, repressed emotions, depression, anxiety, lives lived half-assed —  all have profound effects on our wellbeing.

Even our fears, hurts and sufferings need to be digested, along with our last meal.

Being truly nourished has just as much to do with our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences as it does with what we are feeding ourselves on a daily basis..”

                                                                                                                   Corona @nurturepod.com

Saladu Nebbe ~ Raw Hoppin’ John

Serves: 4 to 6

Black-eyed peas are not just for New Years! They are delicious little white beans with a mild taste and smooth texture, and as such can and should be enjoyed year-round. This simple, refreshing  pea salad recipe makes a great summer side or potluck dish. I add cauliflower* and sliced avocado to make it a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (I used frozen black-eyed peas Cook black-eyed peas and yam in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain; cool and set aside
  • 10 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 red and yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers or 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Bunch of raw kale chopped finely

Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2½ limes, juiced)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley (I like cilantro sometimes to give it a nice kick)
  • ¼ to ½ to  cup olive oil 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard * See note below
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

If you want to make it an entrée add:

  • 1 Cauliflower* with 1 tsp. turmeric in food processor blend to the size of  raw rice kernels mix with rest of ingredients
  • Sliced avocado as garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice and parsley. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth dressing.
  2. Add the black-eyed peas, scallions, bell pepper, tomato (try not to transfer the tomato juice and seeds to the salad), cucumber, and minced pepper to the bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and use a big spoon to toss the salad. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate up to overnight to marinate and meld the flavors. Add raw chopped kale. Serve chilled or at room temperature. To make this salad a main dish, serve it on top of cooked brown basmati rice and top with avocado slices.

Notes

  • Adapted from Saveur Magazine, May 2012.
  • The original recipe called for one cup canola oil, which seemed like way too much oil. I reduced the oil by half and used olive oil instead. You might be able to get away with just ⅓ cup oil.

 

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan

 

Eating your Dosha!!

 

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Featured

Self Care ~ Back to Basics Part 2

To set the mood

Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.

by Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc

Tailoring Your Profession to Your Dosha by Kayse Budd, M.D

A dosha is an explanation of your mind-body type in Ayurveda. There are three—Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. You may have one dominant dosha or be a mix. Knowing your dosha can inform your life and decision-making.
An especially intelligent, talented, and hard-working client told me about some difficulty he’s been having at work. He feels a lot of pressure—such as pressure to be productive multiple hours in a day and pressure to execute numerous company goals. This type of sustained focus and achievement doesn’t come naturally to him, which is a source of great anxiety. He thinks he is defective in some way and wonders if he is in the wrong profession.


Vata

After a big, compassionate sigh, I remind him, “But you’re a Vata!” I implored him to consider this carefully. Vatas naturally have short attention spans. They think and work in spurts—alternating moments of inspiration and activity with periods of rest and (restorative) distraction. Vatas perform best in roles that highlight creativity, thought, and new or changing directions. Vatas naturally lack structure and appreciate variety.
The Vata personality is enthusiastic and cheerful with amazing mental agility. Vatas are sensitive and perceptive. When stressed, they become anxious. Vatas are born visionaries—excellent at thinking outside the box. This makes them an amazing asset in the right role. As creatives, they have an innate tendency to be disorganized. This lack of order can be a challenge in some environments but can be harnessed for innovation in others.


Pitta

Pittas, on the other hand, are organized, dedicated, determined, and persistent. They have drive, ambition, efficiency, and a penetrating mind. Most Pittas possess a notable desire to do things “right” (and show others how it’s done). Pittas have passion! They are capable, take-charge people who want to succeed at all they do.
Pittas can lead with warmth and purpose and be an exceptionally productive member of a team. They have excellent focus. Their intensity and expectations can lead to greatness (or occasionally mire them in tension—internally and with colleagues). In a collaborative environment, Pittas can excel by picking up a creative impulse put forward by a Vata and developing it to its fullest potential.


Kapha


Kapha is the slowest, most steady, and most easy-going dosha. Kaphas are not as driven, responsive, and fiery as Pittas, nor as eager, flexible, and imaginative as Vatas. Kaphas are supportive. They are nurturing. They are finishers.
It is great to have a Kapha on a team because they will usually speak the voice of reason and practicality. They naturally create the structure a business needs to function. Kaphas’ resistance to change, however, can sometimes delay progress or hamper dynamism. Kaphas usually do things the long and sensible way. They have excellent integrity and are consistent and dependable. When the Vatas (first) and then Pittas (much later) become bored with a project, the loyal and responsible Kaphas follow through all the way to the end.

Listen to Your Dosha


Each dosha is dramatically different when it comes to natural abilities, energy level, work style, strengths, and weaknesses. These differences ideally need to be considered when thinking about personal work goals and optimum professional environments. You have a touch of every dosha within you, but usually one or two predominate. More often than not, your dominant dosha influences your work style and preferences, whether you realize it or not.
With so much change happening in the world, many people are rethinking what they want to do, how they want to work, and what their true dharma (soul purpose) might be. This is a perfect time to consider what makes you happy (in life and in work) so you can make sure to incorporate more of that into your world moving forward.
Vatas will likely find this time (and the needed inner conversations) easier than the other doshas because relative “comfort with change” is one of the gifts of Vata. Kaphas generally have a harder time letting go of what is familiar, even if it is no longer serving them. And Pittas fall in the middle. It’s okay wherever you fall. Get to know your unique self as best you can, and try to work toward the goal of evaluating what you really want to do and be in this next stage in your life. Sincere inquiry helps you progress on your soul’s destined path.


Find Your Dharma

What if you don’t know what you want to be doing? How can you figure out your purpose or dharma? Astrology shines with this endeavor, though it’s not the only way. Observing and listening to the feedback from yourself over time is one of the most reliable means of finding your soul’s intended path in life. Learn to feel and follow gentle signs and synchronicities. Observe restlessness as well as engagement. (Are things working out easily or with great difficulty?) Notice feelings of fulfillment or dissatisfaction. What is missing? Continue to make subtle micro-adjustments—adding and subtracting things as you hone in on what is right, now.
Simply orienting toward the good may be over-simplified, however. You are meant to work through challenges in life, as this is how the soul learns. Sometimes a path or person you feel “guided toward” may end up causing pain and hardship. This does not mean the direction or connection was or is “wrong.” It most likely means there was something important to learn on that path or with that person. “Pathfinding” is the journey of life. It is always evolving.
An astrology chart validates intuition because it clearly shows a person’s innate tendencies: gifts, challenges, work themes, family issues, relationship potential, and so on. Some people have much stronger professional dharma in their charts than others. It’s useful to know this, even if you never explore astrology further. If you feel extremely motivated to produce and excel in your career, chances are high that you are one of the people with strong “career purpose.”
If instead, you feel a greater call to be domestic or focus on family or self-development or community/social interaction, then those things are likely part of the learning plan or path of your soul. It’s good to embrace the idea that dharma can be many things—not just financially productive work. Most individuals in this world need to make money, however. So, if your heart’s focus seems to lie more strongly in another area of life, then consider your dosha when trying to figure out what kind of professional environments could be a suitable fit.


3 Exercises for Finding Your Professional Fit


A good place to start with the quest to align with your dharma (after understanding your dosha) is to examine which workplace roles or functions worked well for you in the past. Grab a journal and make a list of your most meaningful professional experiences.

There may be a pattern toward enjoying interactions with a certain type of client or colleague. (Challenges earlier in life often create talent with specific populations, for example.) There may be a natural ability with sales or a preference for behind-the-scenes support and organization. A love of teaching or writing may be evident. There could be an appreciation of a reliable paycheck. The wish for more or less autonomy, creativity, or responsibility could be present. Think about your dosha as you examine the two columns. How do the likes and challenges you’ve written relate to the doshic tendencies described above? This is an excellent exercise for reflecting your values.

The second exercise is to think about past work reviews and feedback from clients, colleagues, and coworkers. Make notes about what people said you did well and also what they identified as your weaknesses. Does any of this feedback meaningfully relate to your dosha? Purpose is a part of you that comes easily. It can literally “light you up” (you become more animated and “brighter” to anyone watching). Soul-aligned work makes you feel better when you are doing it.
Think about whether you’ve ever had a “flow” moment at work—a moment when time seemed to stand still and take on a kind of energetic openness. In these flow moments, you function intuitively, almost as if guided by a mysterious energy or higher power. In flow states, the personality seems to move out of the way a bit, and it’s possible to enter a kind of sacred space with a client or project. Flow is a wonderful experience that causes people to feel energized and inspired. It helps you know when you are on the right track.


This third exercise is very important. Think about what you love (Exercise 1), what you are good at (Exercise 2), and what the world needs (or wants) that you can provide. Many people get a bit stuck thinking their work has to be aligned with their absolute favorite passion. It’s an excellent goal! But, for a professional endeavor to succeed financially, that passion has to translate into something people want or need. This sweet spot exercise is a creative opportunity! Can you think of a way to turn your passion and talent into a business concept, position of employment, or product? Use this exercise to ponder whether you have skills and gifts that people also want and need, even if they aren’t your most favorite-favorite thing.
Again, think about your dosha here. A Vata may be able to turn a passion or talent into a usable idea relatively easily, but they may lack the drive or perseverance to see it through. If they are really committed, the Vata may want to recruit a Pitta and a Kapha whose dreams and abilities also align with the Vata’s inspiration. Ultimately, you have to feel in your heart which way to go in life. Only you can make the crucial decisions. But don’t worry; there is no “wrong way.” If you go down a path and reach many roadblocks, observe that feedback, and consider another way. Your choice provided learning and experience, and that information has now set you on a new course. On you go.


Honor Yourself


Vatas are likely to have paths that are varied. Their norm is to do many jobs and try multiple different things. This is the nature of Vata. And thus, variety most likely plays a role in the dharma of a Vata. Pittas frequently climb quickly to the top of their company’s ladder and/or reach early success. They may move to another company or another line of work after exhausting growth where they are. If they do not move, a Pitta can become bored or depressed. Lack of challenge and reward depletes their vitality. Achievement is likely part of the dharma of a Pitta. Kaphas, in contrast, regularly stay in a single position or with a single employer for a long time. This is due to their inherently stable nature. Kaphas often have difficulty letting go of a position even after it is failing to bring growth or emotional fulfillment. Supporting others likely plays a part in the dharma of a Kapha.

To all the Vatas out there, look for positions that value new ideas and enthusiasm, have potential for fresh projects and collaborations, and offer opportunities to exercise your excellent teaching, speaking, and writing abilities. Make sure to honor your natural need for variety and tendency toward lower efficiency and weaker organizational skills. Some structure may benefit you; too much will be constraining. Think about and discuss this when you say yes to your next position.
Pittas, see and value your incredible work ethic and passion. You will most likely be best suited to professions that have a well-developed structure, with room for growth and achievement. You can be excellent at many things—as your natural warmth enlivens almost any endeavor. Pittas can shine in sales, the corporate world, coaching, owning their own businesses, law, medicine, and much more. Take care not to let the Pitta drive and determination keep you in a less-than-joyful situation long. Pittas can burn out by relentlessly pushing themselves in a position that is no longer creating the growth they crave.

Kaphas, you are the foundational people in any enterprise. You provide the support and structure that can help a business or project succeed. You do well in roles that allow you ample opportunity to exercise your natural sense of nurturing and grounded guidance. You can thrive in environments steeped in tradition or time, where rapid changes (which stress your sense of stability) aren’t likely. University settings, government, hospitals, or other institutions are potentially good fits. But any role where you are providing backbone stability or support would honor your natural doshic gifts and allow you to feel fulfilled by being exactly who you are. A position with occasional variety or surprises (or Vatas on the team) may serve to keep a Kapha from becoming languid.


In Summary

Your work is important. It occupies a huge portion of our time and energy. Finding optimal professional expression is one of the most important tasks in life, really. But remember, dharma evolves! Honoring who you are is key to getting on the true path of your soul. When we’re on the soul’s path, fulfillment is an easy, regular occurrence. Using your dosha to help you know and value your strengths, while making compassionate room for your weaknesses, is a way to honor yourself.

Understanding natural doshic tendencies can help you minimize comparisons, release impossible standards, and stop pushing yourself to squeeze into a role that may never fit. Embracing who you are and expressing this self-knowledge to potential clients and employers is something that will set you and them up for much greater success in the long run. Commit to your own greatness and to the greatness of any company or client that hires you. Aim to exemplify the very best of your doshic potential. And if you really want to shine, add the magic ingredient of love. Endeavor to express love through your words and actions to clients, colleagues, strangers, everyone. Allow the work you do to be a conscious extension of yourself. Let your dosha guide you to your dharma and slowly unlock the beautiful mystery of you!

 

Eating the life you were meant to.
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© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved
No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Tasting Asteya ~ Non Stealing

“A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other people, living and dead, And that I must exert myself in order to give in the full measure I have received and am still receiving.”

~ Albert Einstein

Asteya, or nonstealing, calls us to live with integrity, equanimity and reciprocity. If we are living with fears and lies, our dissatisfaction with ourselves and our lives leads us to look outside and exhibit behaviors such as a tendency to steal what is not rightfully ours. We steal from others, we steal from the earth, we steal from the future, and we steal from ourselves. We steal from our own opportunity to grow ourselves into the person who has a right to have the life they want.  This is rooted in the scarcity mindset believing that ~there is never enough, more, more more and what have you done for me lately.

Asteya is the recognition of the value of life we have received by using all our talents and possibilities for our own good, for our families and communities we live in and the through this process awakening to our life’s deeper meaning. 

Espresso Shot GUIDED MEDITATION – BALANCED GIVING AND RECEIVING

  • Hold the hands, slightly cupped, in front of the solar plexus, with the palms facing upward.

 

  • The forearms are parallel to the earth.

 

  • The hands pulse slightly away from each other with each inhalation, and rest back toward each other on each exhalation.

 

  • Relax the shoulders back and down, with the spine naturally aligned.

 

  • If your comfortable close your eyes or look down at a point in front of you.

 

  • As you hold the Hastaphula mudra, take several natural breaths to attune to all the feelings and sensation evoked by this gesture.

 

  • Notice how your breath is gently directed into your solar plexus, allowing you to attune more deeply to your center of personal power and energy.

 

  • With each inhalation, sense gentle warmth radiating outward from the solar plexus, and with each exhaling breath, allow this area to soften inward and rest.

 

  • Take several breaths to sense your inhalation and exhalation lengthening evenly, cultivating a sense of balanced giving and receiving at all levels of your being.

 

  • Begin by reflecting on your balance of giving and receiving within your financial dealings. Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness and integrity between that which you give and that which you receive.

 

  • With your inhalation, visualize yourself receiving all you need to support your life journey, and as you exhale, sense your natural reciprocity, giving with fairness and generosity.

 

  • Take several breaths to reflect on your level of balance within your relationships. Ask yourself if there is a natural fairness of giving and receiving in terms of your investment of quality time and emotional energy.

 

  • With your inhalation, visualize the abundant love and support you receive and as you exhale, affirm your ability to share love and friendship wholeheartedly.

 

  • Now take several breaths to reflect on the balance of giving and receiving within your community, sensing your level of natural fairness in relation to all those that contribute to your well being.

 

  • With your inhalation, open to receive the support of your community, and as you exhale, affirm your intention to reach out to serve with an open heart, especially to those that are most in need.

 

  • Now, sense your level of balance giving and receiving within the natural world, reflect on your level of gratitude for everything you receive in your in relation with your natural surroundings.

 

  • With your inhalation, recognize nature’s bounty and beauty, and as you exhale envision yourself returning the gift by consciously supporting the natural world’s inherent harmony.

 

  • Now, take some time to sense the even flow of your breathing and your natural balance of giving and receiving within all your interactions and ativities.

 

  • Affirm your integrity, repeating the following three times, aloud or silently:

 

  • Through balanced giving and receiving

 

  • I live in complete integrity.

 

  • Slowly release the gesture, taking several breaths to affirm your natural fairness.

 

  • When you are ready, open your eyes, returning slowly and gently, affirming your ability to balance giving and receiving.

Namaste!   Till next post featuring Curried Tofu Potato Aloo,

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan Marie

 

Eating your Dosha!!

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Tasting Satya ~ Self Healing

 

“Gastronomy is the rational study of all related to man as he is eating.  Its purpose is to keep humankind alive with the best possible food.” ~ Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

Currently I am working on my Cookbook  (Tasting Enlightenment).  I have always wanted to include recipes with jazz and mindfulness that were sustainable and fit your body-mind-spirit individual profile.  I have decided to work from the Aryurvedic Yoga lifestyle which takes into consideration your dosha and dharma archetypes please see earlier posts).  It is facinating to feel fully vibrant and I have lost a significant amount of weight by eating according to being a Vata – Aryurvedic Nutrition.  The Yoga lifestyle is helpful in creating a balance as well as incorporated Self care to building a healthy daily practice of mindfulness and self understanding of how to live according to the Yamas and Niyamas, the 1st yama is Non-Violence and the Second yama ~ Truthfulness which is what the focus is this week.  Being honest with ourselves and making space through mindfulness and meditation will allow for your life to flow irrespective of the challenges that arise and giving space enough to process and respond at a better time.  Here is a recipe that I learned during my kitchen apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm in 2019 that is one of my all time go to favs.

Curry Tofu Potato Aloo

Tofu and Potatoes Prep:
  • 1 lb Extra firm Tofu pressed for 1 hour, cut into same size as potatoes
  • 10 medium sized Yukon cut into medium small cubes
  • ½ c. soy sauce, ¼ c. toasted sesame oil in spray bottle
  • Place tofu and potatoes in bowl.  Spray and mix to evenly coat the tofu and potatoes. Cover with saran wrap and place in refrigerator for minimum 2 hours.  Ideal would be overnight.
  • Spread tofu and potatoes evenly onto parchment paper and bake at 450 degrees rotating every 20 min for total of 45 min.
 Curry Aloo
  • 5 tablespoons EVOO or Sesame oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped small
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1” knob ginger peeled and grated
  • 4 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon hing,
  • 3 tsp. marsala spice
  • 3 tbls Curry powder
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • Himalayan Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper and 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced and 2-3 tablespoon parsley or cilantro for garnish.
***4 cups Brown or White Basmati Rice cooked with grated ginger and lemon peel slices.
Putting it all together
  • Heat wok with 4-5 tbls of Sesame or EVOO
  • Saute onions for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent
  • Add garlic and ginger and saute until blooms about 3 minutes
  • Add curry powder, marsala, garlic powder stirring consistently add salt then add the roasted tofu and potatoes.
  • Blend till everything is evenly coated.

Serve over hot rice.

Bon Appetit!

 

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan Marie

Eating your Dosha!!

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Tasting Satya ~ Forgiveness ~ Path to Your Truth

Today pay close attention and go slow enough so you “do it right the first time.” You don’t have to backtrack to apologize or correct mistakes and where you don’t run from any hard tasks that present themselves. Face each moment head on with clarity and courage.  Use this time for forgiveness.  This is my process of incorporating and learning the Yoga lifestyle as a way of learning and growing spiritually to live the life that is meant for me.  This is how I am making the necessary modifications that work to gain a better understanding of my truth and will hopefully enable you to thrive and live a mindfulness filled bliss life.

Yoga: A way of life

Satya is one of the Yama. Ashtanga Yoga has eight limbs: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Yama is a list of yoga precepts that a Yogi should cultivate for successful mastery of Yoga. Different Yoga scriptures list a different number of precepts of Yama. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali prescribes five precepts: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, and Aparigraha. In other words, Nonviolence, Truthfulness, Nonstealing, Continence, and Non-receiving are the five-fold Yama.

Satya is the second precept of five-fold Yama Satya Meaning The Sanskrit word Satya means Truth or veracity. The meaning it indicates is more than the meaning the English word Truth indicates. Satya stems from the Sanskrit root Sat which means reality or existence. Sat refers to empirical reality. Rtam In Rig Veda, we come across the triple term: Satyam Rtam Brhat. It is one of the most important religious conceptions of Rig Veda. Sri Aurobindo explains these terms in his book: The Secrets of the Veda. He explains “This psychological conception is that of a truth which is the truth of divine essence, not truth of mortal sensation and appearance. It is Satyam, the truth of being; it is in its action Rtam, right, the truth of divine being regulating right activity both of mind and body; and it is Brhat, the universal truth proceeding direct and undeformed out of the Infinite.

Later, the word Sat has been used to mean the absolute truth and Satya has been used to mean the relative truth or worldly truth the nature of which is changing from time to time; where absolute truth is permanent.

Satya and Yoga In Yoga, Satya is one of the Dharma to be observed. Dharma means the observances of righteous thoughts and behavior. It is one of the five Yamas or Self-restraint prescribed in Yoga. Sathya in Yoga Sutra Patanjali defined Satya as “Satya pratithāya kriyā Phala āśrayatvam. It means by the establishment of truthfulness, the Yogi gets the power of attaining the fruits of works without doing work, for him and other. Swami Vivekananda explains When the power of truth is established with you, then even in a dream you never tell an untruth, in thought, word, or deed; whatever you say will be the truth. You may say a man ‘Be blessed’ and that man will be blessed. If a man is diseased, you say to him ‘Be thou cured,’ he will be cured immediately”.   https://bit.ly/Subscribeyoga.

Expresso Shot Meditation ~ Truthfulness through Forgiveness

 

 

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan Marie

 

Eating your Dosha!!

 

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

 

Tasting Satya ~ Truthfulness

“What is so dangerous in the moment about the truth that you are choosing to lie?

~ Carl Jung

I feel like you can’t really be truthful as an artist and empathize with the human experience, unless you know your truth and you’re not living a lie. So I’m learning through it, and it’s making me a better person, and it’s making me a better artist, I think.  ~ Diane Guerrero

What is Satya?

 The practice of the second yama ~ Satya requires developing a deep understanding of your own truth; mindfulness ~ awareness with a delicate infusion of honesty as the foundation of your practice.    ‘Sat’ literal translates to ‘true essence’ or ‘true nature’. It means something that is pure and unchangeable. ‘Sat’ is interpreted as ‘that which exists’, ‘no distortion’, ‘that which is beyond time, space and person’,  as well as ‘fact’ or ‘reality’.

Being truthful isn’t as simple as being truthful in words. Satya is a total commitment to truth— in being, in words, in actions, in intentions.  Exploration of living with Truthfulness in all aspects; taking time for reflection and journaling will give new insights into your life and the practice of truthfulness.

Just for this week try to frame your exploration into Mahatma Gandhi’s statement I know that in embarking on nonviolence I shall be running what might be termed a mad risk. But the victories of truth have never been won without risks.

Today observe the difference in how you feel when being “nice” and “real.”

Notice situations where you were nice. What feelings were invoked in you? What were the outcomes?

Notice situations where you were real. What did this experience invoke in you? What were the results? From whom or what do you seek approval? Did you act from your “niceness” or your “realness”?

Discovering Your Creative Truth

“The basis of why we create is our creative truth. A creative truth can be one big fat juicy truth, or a bunch of little tiny truths. I’ll be the first to tell you that it isn’t always easy to tell the truth. Sometimes it can be downright scary because these truths can conflict with how our life is now, or our truth can seem so big that it is impossible to accomplish”.  ~  Keila White, Medium, February 10, 2018

Growing up biracial in Los Angeles during the 60’s was a tumultuous time for me.  I wondered how my father could write and arrange beautiful music at 4 am every morning in June of 1965.  Maybe because jazz was his gift and as Picasso says, the meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.  I was three years old when my mom taught me how to read phonetically.  My parents converted a bedroom into a library where I found my passion for reading, abstract art and writing.  With the Watts riots going up in smoke and the curfews at sundown, all I could worry about was being brown in a Black and White world.  There was no refuge.  My father believed that because he had the gift for jazz that meant that he could identify and proscribe a life he thought was best for me.  So I wrote in secret.  Not trying to fill his shoes but to live my own truth.  The only way to keep the peace was to play by the rules and live outside of myself until I got to my room.  That was my sanctuary. That’s where I could be myself.  Of course, I lived in constant fear of being found out that I was aware of living a lie, but I started to believe that I would never be good enough.  I was so unhappy that I accelerated my education by graduating a year early from high school.  We had moved back to New York in 1967 after my father finished conducting the orchestra at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dizzy Gillespie and the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra.  I This topic was covered in my blog Fifty Shades of Jazz)

 In 1971, I graduated from Jamaica High School in Queens when I was sixteen and with the help of my mother, a teacher and my hero intervened and I was accepted by Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey without my diploma.  By that time my father had moved us over to Newark to start his business and there was no chance of my going away from home which my grandparents had set up a college fund to go to Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Radcliffe, Vassar, or Wellesley.  I picked Rutgers to keep the peace.  But I did use the opportunity to take a lot of Humanities courses in philosophy and psychology.  I was able to amass 90 credits in two years so I could qualify for Early Admissions to Medical School.  I was eighteen years old and the Dean of Admissions asked me if I was applying to college and not medical school.  The end result was three weeks later I was accepted into New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark.  My dad thought that I should have waited and insisted upon driving me to Medical School at 9 am and picking me up at 5 pm.  I knew it wasn’t my calling however I did meet my upper-class buddy that I fell in love with.  I withdrew shortly thereafter to reaffirm my commitment to being a doctor.  I decided to go to Fairleigh Dickinson University Dental school to get a master’s in Human Anatomy and Neuroscience.  Neuroplasticity and bone plasticity to be exact.  I was able to do research at the Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers in my freshman year studying Psychogalvanic Reflexes in Pain.  The lab was to isolating and sterile but I wanted to understand myself and human behavior better that was my true passion. 

Now that I have left medical school I was left with looking for a job or applying to Georgetown University getting a Ph.D./MD degree in Anatomy.  Cooking became a way for me to express my creativity because mom wasn’t allowed to cook (I imagine it was a 50’s thing) and didn’t mind washing the dishes.  My father bought me the Times International Cookbook series and I learned to make dishes from China, Greece,  Africa well just about everywhere.  Still I struggled with how was I going to make a respectable living as a cook, or a writer or an artist or identify my gift and make money at it.  I realized that the jobs I wound up getting were a continuation of my limiting belief that you had to be starving to be an artist/writer.  And being a cook in my father’s eyes was the same as being a maid.  I had too much education for that. 

My reading books blossomed at seven years old.  I would hold up in my room reading  Jung, and eastern and western philosophy and meditation from Ram Dass.  What differentiates people who continue pursuing their goals?  They have to do it and don’t set it aside and procrastinate once you have a solid grasp of your creative truth. Creative truths can be simple or complex by design to what we need them to be. Some artist want to heal and release by creating  things that reflect their mood while some artists want to change the world with their art. I am somewhere inbetween.

Espresso Meditation Shot ~ Healing the Mind, Body & Soul

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan Marie

 

Eating your Dosha!!

 

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

 

 

Tasting Ahimsa ~ Self Love

Happy Friday! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we are gearing up to make the most of this Holiday season despite COVID’s pandemonium. Our lives are blessed with opportunities that we are not conscious of– cancer, autoimmune illnesses and are dismissed because of our limiting beliefs or fears. If you utilize your time in a mindful way you will be present to make harmonious important decisions. Our fears or opinions of others place us in a put off until tomorrow what we need or dream of today. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now — because we entertain thoughts of failure as a weakness. So our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain and uplift us.  In my present moment,  I am using this time to finding joy and wellbeing instead of feeling that my plans will never happen soon enough.   For me this is when my mind goes aggro and I wind up eating too many sweets, crave alcohol and don’t drink enough water.  That became a pattern to share my misery and throwing the body~mind~spirit  into a negative balance.  

Creating space and balance in our lives is not an easy thing. We are a hungry, noisy people, bombarded with stimulation and advertisements that promise to grant us our deepest desires. If we are not on purpose when creating balance for ourselves, we easily fall victim to false promises and fill every breathable space with appointments and activities and all the responsibilities that coincide with a full agenda. It is an adapted American proscription that believes that anti-cultural to claim any space that is simply space, or to move with any kind of lingering, or to take time for closure. We are bombarded and we bombard ourselves. And if we have any doubts, our calendars will reveal the truth of our craziness. The repercussions are inescapable, immeasurable violence to ourselves and those around us.

Espresso Meditation ~ Somatic Self Care

Ahimsa for Yourself

Courtesy of connie@awakeningself.com

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on a couch. You want to be relaxed and at ease in this practice. If it feels right, close your eyes, so you can focus your attention inward.
  • Pay attention to your breath. Gently and deeply inhale, and then relax as you exhale.
  • Now, take one hand and place it on top of the other. Feel the warmth of the hand on top as it touches the bottom hand. Give your full attention to the experience of being touched by the top hand. Take in the warmth and the contact. Breathe into it.
  • Begin to gently and slowly stroke the bottom hand with the top one. Do this with a loving, soft touch. Find a way to touch your bottom hand that feels soothing and pleasurable. As if you were a mother comforting a baby.
  • Can you allow yourself to feel the sensation of being touched, kindly and lovingly, in this manner? Be present with yourself and the experience of touching your hand and being touched by your other hand.
  • Hold the other hand with your top hand. Feel the embrace and stronger connection of being held. Breathe into it.
  • After a few minutes of this, what do you notice? Just the practice of paying attention and becoming present with the sensations can be calming, but the gentle, loving touch is also soothing. You are taking the time to connect with yourself, and connection helps release anxiety.
  • You can touch your arm, belly, or face in a similar manner. Explore how it feels to be very present, compassionate, and loving towards yourself. Notice how you feel.  Savor for as long as you need in this new found space you have created.

 

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan

 

Eating your Dosha!!

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved. No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Tasting Ahimsa – Non Violence (1st Yama)

Setting the tone

Practicing the Yamas and Niyamas frees the mind from chatter when feeling guilt, shame, victimhood, revenge or any other fear-based emotion. Ahimsa is the state of being non-violent.  You are emitting harmonious vibrations.  Dharma is our life’s purpose within the universe.  Karma doesn’t affect Dharma.  However Karma does affect the expression of Dharma.  BKS Iyengar says Ahimsa is love that embraces all creation. Denounce the violence but not the person doing the violence understanding freedom from fear and anger.  The female perspective roles are as nurturers and mothers who bring new life.  This dharmic purpose causes us to face our inner demons and to do the Shadow Work to develop self-love and compassion so we will live our own dharmic purpose and realizing bliss.

There are only two states of being:  Love and Fear.  fir cannot share the same couch.  Today I realize that  forgiveness is the substrate that violence we have imposed on ourselves due to materialism or ideology and ego.  Fear is driven by the thought that our boundaries have been violated.  Fear fuels thoughts of scarcity and limitations that block the flow of your life.

So now I am going to get personal and explore how my Dharma Teacher/Vata Dosha has played out according to truly understand about my life and thrive .

The Teacher is here to teach the experiences they undergo. They find the lesson in their human experience and share it with others. They’ll write a social media post revealing their key takeaways and action steps for you to learn too. They’re the type of people who taught themselves how to make vegan desserts or launch successful online businesses, and are now teaching others to do the same. They learn through teaching and everything they experience is understood through sharing it with others.

 The Teacher’s mission is to serve through knowledge. The obstacles they go through are exactly what they’re meant to share with others, which is why most coaches are Teachers. The personal experience fills them with a genuine desire to teach what they’ve overcome. They are the type to see the lesson in an obstacle even as they are dealing with it, and use it as an example as they guide others through it.

Teachers have natural leadership abilities, coupled with a deep empathic sense. They can tell instantly who is having an off day and provide them with the tools they need to lift themselves up. Of course they make incredible teachers and professors, but they could work in any type of career where they are able to pass along their teachings to others.

It’s also important for Teachers to know who wants the teaching, and not run their mouth imparting lessons to people who have no interest. That can come off as preachy, annoying, or aggressive. As a Teacher myself, I’ve had to learn to wait for interest. I can easily meet someone and instantly start fixing all their problems and inspiring them to live a new life—even though they never asked for that. We have to understand that we can screw with other people’s karmas by telling them things they aren’t ready for; part of their journey is to learn it themselves when the time is right and desire is there.

Teachers’ high Vata energy makes us especially tapped into the cosmos, allowing us to channel higher Source consciousness. A good teacher can speak to their students so that the knowledge is received. They know that self-awareness must come from within, and the best way they can educate others is to ask the right questions and remain in a high vibrational state so they can come up with their own answers.

Wow that pretty much sums my life up!   What I discovered is that writing this blog is also a form of my dharmic teacher characteristics.  In my younger years I was heavily influenced by my father and wanting to please him.  It was totally at my own expense.  But you know what?  That is exactly what was suppose to happen.  My father was playing that key role of building this foundation that lead me to become spiritually awakened.  He gave me a name that is Arabic in origin and has nothing to do with my heritage.  So it felt like a massive challenge to my identity and getting banged and victimized because of not fully being conscious of what was going on in my life.    I am working through my limiting beliefs as you may have read in a previous post.  I am working through my traumas, blocks and letting go of most of the things from the past that weren’t meant for me.

Here is an Insight Timer Espresso Meditation Shot

Liza Colpa Using Ahimsa Or Non-Violence to Manifest Total Self Love & Acceptance

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan

 

Eating your Dosha!!

 

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved
No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

My Yogic Journey to Tasting Nirvana

Setting the mood.

Featured Spade 2 Folk Recipe for Holidaze on the Side

I selected this recipe as one of my favorite Vata Comfort foods for the Holidays.  Eating according to my dosha has created space for me to reflect on the Yogic principles of living.  These principles bring understanding to your experiences that will manifest the following experiences.  It allows you to take ownership of your life by knowing your physical constitution (Dosha) and your archetype (Dharma).  Currently I am a Vata/Teacher.  Knowing your dosha and dharma type provides the map informing you where you are and how to look for the next landmark on your path.  But first things first…sustenance.

 

Awesome “Roasted Winter Vegetable Jambalaya”

Ingredients:

1 c diced yellow and red onion

½ c seeded and diced green pepper

1 stalk celery with leaves finely chopped

3-5 clove Garlic minced

¼ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. cayenne

Sea Salt 2 taste

3 tbl. EVOO + 1 tbl Coconut oil

¾ c Glenn Muir chopped canned tomatoes w/juice

1 tbl. Tomato Paste

1 c brown rice (my favorite is “Easy Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice Suoyhaka Genmai” rinsed and soaked overnight and strained for1 hour before cooking.

3 c Homemade Vegetable Broth

 

Roasted Vegetables

1 c peeled and diced carrots

1 c peeled and diced golden beets

1 c peeled and diced parsnips

1 c peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes

1 c peeled and diced white sweet potatoes

½ c baby portabella mushrooms

Garnish

½ c fresh chopped cilantro

½ c scallions with green tops finely chopped

Sauté onion, paprika, red pepper, chili powder, etc. in I for 5 min add brown rice

and sauté until smell the nutty aroma mix in diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Roast vegetables on foil or parchment paper. Mix all vegetables in a bowl with EVOO, Creole seasoning and spread evenly in a shallow pan. Dust with pepper. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes. 

While veggies are roasting.

  1. Bring rice mixture back onto the burner.
  2. Heat the vegetable broth to light boil and turn on rice mixture and pour broth into Dutch oven.
  3. Add the roasted veggies and mix very well with wooden spoon.
  4. Turn heat to low medium to light simmer, cover and cook for approximately 45 minutes remove from stove leave lid on and let stand and steam for 10 minutes more.
  5. I prefer to use the same pot for that down home feel, you may want to use your favorite serving dish. Now it is time to put the Garnish of cilantro and green onions (scallions). Serve with greens or simple salad, French garlic bread and I like sweet green tea, but wine or beer works. Perfect for football, soccer or even tennis matches. I like to have a light dessert like sorbet and fresh fruit.  sound The above soundtrack creates a nice ambiance. Bon Appétit!

 

courtesy-of-soulspringdotorg

 

Week 1 November 15, 2021 Monday

Overview

The Yamas & Niyamas may be thought of as guidelines, tenets, ethical disciplines, precepts, or restraints and observances. I often think of them as jewels, because they are the rare gems of wisdom that give direction to a well-lived and joyful life. In yogic philosophy, these jewels sit as the first two limbs of the 8-fold path.* The first five jewels are referred to as Yamas, a Sanskrit word which translates literally into the word “restraints” and includes nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, nonexcess, and nonpossessiveness.

The last five jewels are referred to as the Niyamas, or “observances,” and include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. Many guides to ethical conduct may leave us feeling overwhelmed with concepts, or boxed in by rule sets. Yoga’s guidelines do not limit us from living life, but rather they begin to open life up to us more and more fully, and they flow easily into one another in ways that are practical and easy to grasp. Nonviolence, the first jewel, sits as the foundation to the other guidelines, which in turn enhance the meaning and flesh out the richness of nonviolence. Nonviolence is a stance of right relationship with others and with self that is neither self-sacrifice nor self-aggrandizement. This tenet guides us to live together, share the goods and do what we want – without causing harm to others or ourselves. Truthfulness, the second jewel, is partnered with nonviolence. The marriage of these two guidelines creates a powerful dance between two seeming opposites. We can appreciate this statement when we begin to practice speaking our truth without causing harm to others. As partners, truthfulness keeps nonviolence from being a wimpy cop-out, while nonviolence keeps truthfulness from being a brutal weapon. When they are dancing perfectly together, they create a spectacular sight. Their union is nothing short of profound love in its fullest expression. And when there is cause for disharmony or confusion between the two, truthfulness bows to nonviolence. First and foremost, do no harm.

Nonstealing, the third jewel, guides our attempts and tendencies to look outward for satisfaction. Often, our dissatisfaction with ourselves and our lives leads us to this outward gaze, with a tendency to steal what is not rightfully ours. We steal from the earth, we steal from others, and we steal from ourselves. We steal from our own opportunity to grow ourselves into the person who has the right to have the life they want.

Nonexcess, the fourth jewel, has been interpreted by many to mean celibacy or abstinence. Although this could certainly be one interpretation of nonexcess, its literal meaning is “walking with God.” Whatever your beliefs about the Divine, this tenet implies an awareness of sacredness in all our actions and an attentiveness to each moment that moves us into a stance of holiness. From this place of sacredness, the boundary is set to leave excess behind and live within the limits of enough. If we have been practicing nonstealing, we will automatically find ourselves primed to practice this guideline.

Nonpossessiveness, the fifth jewel and last of the guidelines known as the Yamas, liberates us from greed. It reminds us that clinging to people and material objects only weighs us down and makes life a heavy and disappointing experience. When we practice letting go, we move ourselves towards freedom and an enjoyment of life that is expansive and fresh. If we have begun to live the first five jewels well, we may notice that our time is freeing up and there is more breathing space in our lives. The days begin to feel a little lighter and easier. Work is more enjoyable and our relationships with others are a little smoother. We like ourselves a little more; there is a lighter gait to our step; we realize that we need less than we previously thought; we are having more fun.

As we begin our study of the final five jewels or Niyamas, we move into a more subtle realm and into an interior resting place, a place that becomes like Sabbath for us. Purity, the sixth jewel, is an invitation to cleanse our bodies, our attitudes, and our actions. It asks us to clean up our act so we can be more available to the qualities in life that we are seeking. This precept also invites us to purify how we relate to what is uppermost in the moment. It is the quality of being aligned in our relationship with others, with the task at hand, and with ourselves. Contentment, the seventh jewel, cannot be sought. All the things we do to bring fulfillment to ourselves actually interfere with our own satisfaction and well-being. Contentment can only be found in acceptance and appreciation of what is in the moment.

The more we learn to leave “what is” alone, the more contentment will quietly and steadily find us. Self-discipline, the eighth jewel, literally means “heat” and can also be translated as catharsis or austerities. It is anything which impacts us to change.

Change makes us spiritual heavyweights in the game of life; it is preparation for our own greatness. We all know how easy it is to be a person of high character when things are going our way, but what about those times life deals us a dark card? Who are you in those moments? This guideline is an invitation to purposefully seek out refining your own strength of character and it asks, “Can you trust the heat? Can you trust the path of change itself?”

Self-study, the ninth jewel, is a pursuit of knowing ourselves, studying what drives us and what shapes us because these things literally are the cause of the lives we are living. Self-study asks us to look at the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and realize that these stories create the reality of our lives. Ultimately, this tenet invites us to release the false and limiting self-perception our ego has imposed on us and know the truth of our Divine Self. Surrender, the tenth jewel, reminds us that life knows what to do better than we do. Through devotion, trust, and active engagement, we can receive each moment with an open heart. Rather than paddling upstream, surrender is an invitation to go with the underlying current, enjoy the ride, and take in the view.

In this book, each Yama & Niyama has been given its own chapter in which the philosophy of the guideline is woven with practical examples and stories. At the end of the chapter, I’ve included a list of questions as a guide for ref lection. I encourage you to journal and/or form a study group to help deepen your commitment to your learning and to yourself.”

*The 8-fold path, or Astanga Yoga, comes from the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali. Pantanjali, curious about what held true for all the different kinds of yoga, codified these basic tenets of all yoga in writings called the Yoga Sutras. Our word suture comes from the same word; think of these truths as weaving your life together in much the same way a medical suture would thread your torn body together. The writings of the Yoga Sutras form a basic text for classical yoga. The other six limbs of the 8-fold path are Asana, or postures; Pranayama, or breath control, Pratyahara, or sense withdrawal; Dharana, or concentration; Dhyana or meditation; and Samadhi, a state of unity.”  - The Yamas & Niyamas:  Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice - Deborah Adele

 

This week will focus on meditation on Yama #1 AHIMSA Non-Violence.  Stay tuned for the next post featuring Week 1 Ahimsa.  The first Yama Nonviolence.  Till then.

Namaste!

Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,

Jan

 

Eating your Dosha!!

 

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

 

What’s Your Dharma Type?

Song to capture the Spirit

“The only way to shape your future is to discover who you are today. Without knowing your current reality, you can’t create your future reality.”

~  Nitin Namdeo

Let us now discover your dharma type…

Overview

In Self Test 1 Choose the answers that describe you best; you can choose up to four for each multiple choice question if you are unable to decide.

Next, read the paragraphs in Self Test 2 ~ Choose two that describe you best. Not all of their qualities have to fit, though they should at least elicit a gut reaction of “yeah, that’s me”—even if you don’t necessarily like them! There are two paragraphs for each type. If it is difficult to decide, you may pick as many paragraphs as you like and narrow the results later. Check the answer key at the bottom of each test to tally your choices. The two that receive the most tallies likely indicate your dharma type and the Life Cycle you are in.*1 It is useful to have friends or relatives help us with the tests and descriptions. Often we see ourselves differently from how the rest of the world perceives us. We may also be in a cycle that makes it difficult to access our essential dharma type. Life cycles can tint our basic expression like different colored lenses—some enhance our light while others sometimes diffuse it—so take your whole life into consideration when reading the following descriptions, and have a friend or relative help you in the process. Looking at yourself from childhood to now will provide a complete portrait that should help determine your type.

SELF TEST I

Circle the answers that best apply to you. You may choose more than one answer for each question if applicable. Try to think of qualities that are permanent in you, how you have always been, rather than how you are at times or during recent changes in your life. Tally them up at the end to determine your dharma type.

  1. Circle the word that means the most to you or describes you best.
  2. Freedom
  3. Loyalty
  4. Wisdom
  5. Honor
  6. Prosperity
  7. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
  8. Independence and Bliss
  9. Love and Devotion
  10. Worldliness and Knowledge
  11. Discipline and Perfection
  12. Entertainment and Fun
  13. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
  14. I love being alone. Sometimes I hate people, sometimes I like them, but they usually don’t understand me.
  15. I don’t mind being alone as long as I have something constructive and productive to do.
  16. I love being alone. I like people but I need time to spend by myself for quiet contemplation and rejuvenation. d. I don’t mind being alone, as long as I have a goal to accomplish. e. I hate being alone. I prefer the company of people, even if I don’t know them.
  17. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
  18. I like strange, dark, or wild and remote places no one has ever thought of or been to.
  19. I like the plains and wide expanses of earth. I like living close to the ground, on ground floors rather than in high-rise apartments.
  20. I like high and remote places. I like upper floors, high-rise buildings, and living above others looking down. d. I like challenging places, places that are high, but not so high as to be remote. I like fortified and strong places.
  21. From the Beverly Hills to gently rolling slopes, I like places where the action is, places that are easy to get to, but also exclusive. I like living in the middle ground, not too high, not too low, where there is activity and access to the world.
  22. Circle the sentence that describes you best.
  23. I am the rebel or black sheep of my family. As a parent, I give freedom to my kids and let them individualize themselves from others.
  24. I am deeply bonded with my family. As a parent, I nurture my kids by making sure they are well fed, healthy, and content.
  25. I tend to teach my family and urge them to improve themselves. As a parent I make certain my kids learn how to think for themselves, get a good education, and understand the world.
  26. I am the strong one in my family. As a parent I lead by example and earn my kids’ respect with discipline and order. e. I actively support my family with shelter and resources. As a parent I provide for my kids and make sure they understand the value of money, self-effort, and making your way in the world.
  27. In religion I most value the following:
  28. Going my own way.
  29. Faith and devotion.
  30. Study and scripture.
  31. Penance and discipline.
  32. Rituals and observances.
  33. In marriage I most value the following:
  34. An unconventional spouse, one who understands my particular quirks and desires.
  35. A dutiful spouse who is loyal and provides for me: a woman who cooks and cleans/a man who brings home the bacon.
  36. A sensitive, intelligent spouse.
  37. A challenging spouse with whom I can do activities.
  38. A beautiful spouse.
  39. I mainly watch TV for:
  40. Horror, alternative political and spiritual viewpoints, science fiction (like the sci-fi, FX, indie, and alternative channels).
  41. Family, drama, history, and community programs (like soap operas, reality TV, daytime shows, cartoons, entertainment gossip, and reruns).
  42. Educational, thought-provoking, human-interest stories and entertainment (like National Geographic, PBS, Syfy, and documentary channels).
  43. Sports, action, news, and politics; adventure stories and entertainment (ESPN, CNN, etc.).
  44. Fun programs, drama, music, comedy, game shows, financial and motivational stories and entertainment (like HBO, the Comedy Channel, and Spike).
  45. Under stress I tend to:
  46. Bend the rules or lie to get my way; feel invisible and self-deprecate.
  47. Become lazy, close down in my own space, and worry a lot.
  48. Be scatterbrained, feckless, and wishy-washy.
  49. Become anger prone, inattentive, and reckless.
  50. Be moody, depressed, loud, and restless.
  51. At my best I am:
  52. A revolutionary, an inventor, a genius.
  53. A devoted friend, a hard worker, a caregiver.
  54. A counselor, a teacher, a diplomat.
  55. A leader, a hero, a risk taker.
  56. An optimist, a self-starter, a promoter, an adventurer.

 

Answer Key for Self Test I

  1. _____    _____          C.  _____          D.  _____          E.  _____

Tally your answers now. The most selected letter likely reflects your dharma type.

For confirmation you should now move on to Self Test II.

  1. Outsider
  2. Laborer
  3. Educator
  4. Warrior
  5. Merchant

SELF TEST II

Select two paragraphs that describe you best. Then refer to the answer key to determine your type.

  1. Sometimes I think no one really understands me, and no one ever will. I love freedom and need to feel independent and free most of all. Although I can fit into many crowds, I never really feel a part of any of them. I wear many hats but none of them defines me. People may see me as secretive or mysterious, but I am just the way I am—different. By fate or choice I am attracted to foreign lands, cultures, religions, and values and have embraced some of these. I have talents and abilities that are not always recognized, and it can be hard to make a living if I do not compromise with my society. My ambitions are somewhat unique, and I have a quirky way of seeing the world. Sometimes I feel lost and don’t know what my true purpose is, but when I look at others I am reminded of what it is not: I can’t conform to somebody else’s lifestyle just for the sake of security, even though I may not have found my own.
  2. I have often dreamt of owning my own business and being financially independent. From an early age I have felt a need to provide and be provided for. I have a strong sense of the value of money and I don’t mind working long hours to generate security for myself and my family. I don’t pay much attention to my body, unless it is part of my business or I have the leisure time. I like giving and the feeling that it creates, but in this competitive world it is most important to secure my own and my family’s needs first. I have a good practical sense and know how to take care of mundane obligations. I believe that anyone can make it in today’s society if they’re willing to apply themselves. I am motivated and self-driven and can’t understand idealistic or so-called spiritual people who deny the importance of financial security.
  3. I like to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I believe in standing up for a good cause whether it is social, environmental, ecological, etc. Money is less important to me than securing justice in the world. I have strong convictions and character, and people often look to me for leadership. I have an inner strength that drives me to achieve. I can usually outperform others by sheer force of will. I have an eye for deception and can tell when someone is lying. I admire wisdom and like to associate with smart and educated people, though I may not have the time or opportunity to cultivate these qualities in myself. I can be highly disciplined and therefore acquire skills quickly. At my best I am courageous, noble, and self-sacrificing, but I can also be distracted, anger prone, and judgmental.
  4. I love the camaraderie of working with others to construct something useful. I am handy, skilled, practical, and not averse to work. I am devoted to friends and family, and though not an intellectual I have a good sense about things, though I can’t always explain it in words. My needs and tastes are simple, and it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy: good food, good company, and a solid roof over my head are the essentials in life. I like being of service and feeling needed. Being useful to someone is more important than how much money I make, though I don’t like to be cheated. I believe in hard work and don’t understand lazy people. I can be superstitious and have deep-seated beliefs about things that often stem from my childhood and cannot be easily rationalized.
  5. I prefer intellectual work to physical labor. I can be idealistic and focus on concepts and philosophies rather than living in the real world. I become disheartened by the ugliness and injustice of life and often lack energy to change it. I have always been smarter and more perceptive than most of my peers, though not inherently practical. I like to counsel others, though I don’t always practice what I preach. I have a knack for encouraging and finding the best in people, and as a result people come to me for advice. I don’t have a killer instinct and that’s a disadvantage if I try to compete in physical or other cutthroat professions. I like to live in a peaceful environment, rather than the hustle and bustle of the busy world. I often know what needs to be done but don’t necessarily have the energy or skills to do it. It is often easier for me to tell others what to do rather than to do it myself.
  6. I set strong standards for myself and expect to live up to them. I love competition, debate, and testing my limits. I even compete with myself when others are not around. I have a huge heart, and my generosity sometimes gets me in trouble. I like to lay down the law in my family and with others. From early on I was blessed with physical and mental strength, though I often abuse these by pushing too much—I play hard and party hard. I like to care for those who cannot fend for themselves: the innocent, the elderly, and the underprivileged.
  7. I hate constrictive social, religious, and moral institutions, and I feel it is my right to speak and act out against them. I also feel justified in flouting an unjust law and not conforming to artificial regulations. I am physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually different from others, and because of this I find it hard to fit in. I can see through people’s bullshit, and that makes me want to run away from society. Sometimes I resent normal people who were born with opportunities that I don’t have. I would rather overthrow the status quo to allow fresh growth than try to patch things up piece by piece. I respect an authority that allows me to be who I am and understands the gifts I have to offer.
  8. I am a devoted, loyal, patriotic person and have a deep connection to the things that are dearest to me: my family, friends, God, and country. I believe it is important to abide by the codes and principles of my country, church, and society. I love to build community. I guess you could say I’m sentimental about the things I value. A dutiful worker, I believe in getting a job done right and am faithful to my word. I am also very good at what I do and specialize in well-developed skills. I secretly admire widely read and cultured people and wish I were a bit more like them, but I just don’t have the time to waste on that and prefer to be better at what I do than to know a lot of trivia. I have to touch, see, hear, or feel something; otherwise it is not real for me.
  9. I love attention and being the life of the party. I am quick and clever and find it easy to get along with others. I can be very likable, though I don’t necessarily like other people and am more attached to the few people I can really trust—myself and my family. I am naturally glib and gregarious, and people tend to believe what I say. I have good taste and appreciation for the finer things in life, things that have beauty and value. However, I sometimes feel an emptiness that I have to fill with outside things, though it is never really filled until I give or do something for others. Sometimes I feel that I am not worth anything, and that if people really knew me they wouldn’t like me. Because of this I respect those who have raised and supported me, and I work hard to pay back their love in return. I am also very emotional and can go to extremes of depression and elation. This volatility may cost me in relationships and in my health, and I sometimes like to numb it with drugs, sex, and entertainment. I enjoy all sorts of fun, from performing for people and being the center of attention to watching others do the same.
  10. I consider myself a rather cultured, mild-mannered person. I don’t tolerate vulgarity or crass behavior. I have special food preferences and daily regimes that require me to be alone for parts of the day so I can tend to my rather delicate constitution. I tend to be solitary in my personal habits and prefer losing myself in a book more than engaging in the hustle and bustle of the world. I like the realm of ideas and concepts, though I am rarely able to embody them in the real world. I don’t have abundant physical energy, though I enjoy sports, games, and being in Nature for their recreational and inspirational value.

 

Answer Key for Self Test II

1 and 7:            Outsider

2 and 9:            Merchant

3 and 6:            Warrior

4 and 8:            Laborer

5 and 10:          Educator