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Spring Cleaning Our Way To Health
Our understanding of the energy of food and eating in harmony with the changing seasons is a sacred path for our health and well-being. Our evolving consciousness is our greatest asset as we determine which foods and which seasons best cleanse and purify us.
I believe that it is through understanding the macrobiotic philosophy that it reveals the spring season as the optimal time for cleansing and also which foods are most cleansing and purifying for us.
For the past 2,000 years, Catholics and Christians have used Lent (between Ash Wednesday in April and Easter in May) as a time of purification. It was a disciplined compulsory action where one had to “give up” or sacrifice something in the form of fasting.
Based on my study of macrobiotics, a 5,000-year-old philosophy about the natural order of the universe, I believe I have found a reason for this tradition. I believe that this season of fasting and purification came naturally because of the lack of food during the spring season. Ages ago, we harvested what we could in the fall (September, October, November), ate our bounty all winter (December, January, February), and were mostly out of food in the spring (March, April, May). It was natural to fast until she began to sprout green again.
Macrobiotics is the study of the order of the universe as the infinite vibrational energy of infinity manifesting as yin and yang. Imagine a circle.
The circle shows the ever-changing cycle of extreme contracting yang power of winter, to ascending yin energy of spring, to extreme expanding yin power of summer, to beginning descending yang energy of late summer, and descending yang energy. from all.
Spring is an ascending energy that provides a natural time of cleansing. It’s the time of year when people have more colds, flus and allergies as the body naturally tries to cleanse itself. I suggest that this cleansing process take its natural course. I believe that suppressing it with drugs not only makes a lot of money for doctors and drug companies, but also deprives the body of natural healing, which ultimately makes the condition worse.
The liver and gall bladder in our body are the organs most affected by the rising spring energies. If we were to superimpose a circle of five (5) transformations on the human body, the liver and gall bladder, which are just below the right ribcage, would be represented by the ascending spring energy located at the top of the circle.
We often hear about liver cleansing and liver cleansing. This can be easily achieved by eating plenty of sprouts and vegetables, which are most beneficial. You will receive the energy of sprouting plants, a manifestation of the rising energy of the earth in spring, and purify yourself.
The cleansing process involves cleansing the fatty, greasy and heavy stagnant foods of winter from our body. Feelings of irritability and anger during winter are symptoms of liver imbalance. Frequent complaints are symptoms of gallbladder imbalance. We are generally stiffer and move less. Although we need extra fat to insulate against the cold in winter, we don’t need excess. Excess is usually stored in the liver, usually in the form of toxins, which manifests psychologically as anger and irritability. In health, the liver is strong and vital, manifesting in patience and perseverance. When we cleanse in the spring with the energy of foods like dandelions, chives, and spring onions, we rid the body of unwanted fats, toxins, and compacted or clotted foods. Spring is the initial time for activation, for the movement of the life force called “chi”, “ki” or “prana”.
The following mostly uplifting earth energy foods help release the stagnation we experience during the winter season and increase the activation needed during the spring season:
o Grains planted in late fall and harvested in spring, such as soft spring wheat or barley, are energetically beneficial.
o Acidic foods or naturally fermented foods that break down and break down through bacteria actually tap into the Earth’s rising energy and can give us more vitality. These include foods like sauerkraut, quick pickled vegetables, rice vinegar and umeboshi plum.
o Newly established greenery such as watercress and especially the tops of mustard greens, lamb’s quarters, dandelions and daikon greens are vibrant in spring. Such energy plants are definitely beneficial.
o Sprouts like mung beans, alfalfa sprouts, and broccoli sprouts have a rising energy that helps us cleanse.
o Seaweeds flowing up in the intertidal pool, such as wakame and dulse, give us not only a variety of macro and micro trace elements, but also amazing flexibility.
o Sweeteners such as maple syrup, produced by the upward movement of sap in maple trees, are best in the spring.
Cooking: Lightly cooking, sautéing, blanching or quickly cooking green leafy vegetables with sprouts is the way to go in spring. Try these healthy foods.
Nabe Cooking: This dish is always a hit as part of our ongoing Friday night dinners. Add the following to a decorative Japanese ceramic or metal Nabe pot or a plain old large pot with a lid:
2-3 cups of fresh water,
4 inch piece of wakame seaweed,
4 chopped shitake mushrooms
A good pinch of Nama Shoyu, quality soy sauce.
Note: Use a small stove with a butane burner to keep the liquid in the pot hot.
Now thinly slice or leave whole 5-6 of the following foods:
Mung bean sprouts
Julienne cut a carrot
Small pieces of Napa
A green head of cabbage
Small cubes of tofu
Thinly sliced squash etc.
Very fine slices of seitan
Arrange them on a large plate with straps or chopsticks for friends to use while dipping selected foods into the Nabe pot of boiling hot broth. You can’t get any more freshly cooked! You get amazing vitality from the freshness of the rising food and the rising energy of the steam.
What a combination!
Serve with cereal mix:
Rinse and soak 1/3 cup sweet rice, 1/3 cup whole berries, and 1/3 cup whole barley overnight.
Place 1 cup of grains and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Add a pinch of Celtic sea salt. Cover with the top of the pressure cooker. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Leave to infuse for 30-40 minutes.
Release the pressure or let the pressure drop slowly.
Serve hot with spring onions or chives.
NOTE: Start the grain mixture first and then move on to cutting the vegetables to cook the Nabe.
Enjoy this refreshing spring dish anytime!
For a quick breakfast, try this:
Stir-Fried Tofu with Pan-Roasted Dulse and Quick Pickled Vegetables:
First, finely chop one cup Napa, one cup bok choy, one cup collard greens, and grate carrots. “Vypotte” is in a mug by kneading with 4 tablespoons of Celtic sea salt. Place a bowl and a heavy object on top to press the vegetables down. Set aside.
Crumble and fry in a pan. This takes about 2 minutes.
In the same hot pan, add olive oil and finely chopped spring onions or sweet vadalia onions with chives or dill. Saute for thirty (30) seconds, then add a block of tofu squeezed between your fingers.
Mix quickly like scrambled eggs.
Serve all three immediately.
David Snieckus is a graduate of the world-renowned Kushi Institute and has been practicing macrobiotics since 1977. His passion is to share his knowledge and experience and create self-awareness in others so they can experience optimal health and happiness.
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