Take care of your vegetables and they will take care of you

Take care of your vegetables, and they will take care of you.

What do I mean by this?

People acquire vegetables and then take them home and put them in a refrigerator. I you only have one vegetable in your refrigerator – maybe a head of lettuce or a bunch of broccoli – there isn’t that much to take care of. But this is sad: Not having an array of vegetables, all different varieties of which are wonderful and good to have, is sad. Even more sad is avoiding having vegetables out of some misplaced desire to be clean, or else to be lazy because it means less to take care of.

But the healthy option is to have many vegetables. But having many vegetables means having to care for them all.

“Care for vegetables? What is that?”

Yes, vegetables need to be cared for. If they are not cared for then they will go bad. Vegetables require the proper containment – for example I like to use multiple bags for vegetables because they last much longer when double-, triple-, or even quadruple-bagged. Sometimes in a container you might have to put in a paper towel to absorb moisture, or a moistened paper towel to retain moisture and prevent drying.

When I come home from the farmers market it is a process I have to go through to properly bag each vegetable. I can easily spend a good 20 minutes carefully bagging and tying each vegetable in preparation for storing in the refrigerator.

Not only that, but after coming from the farmers market is a good time to use up older vegetables which have been in the refrigerator for a while. Thus I tend to eat more veggies on farmers market days not only because I was actually at the market, but because I have extra incentive to use up existing vegetables to make room for new ones.

More than anything, vegetables like to be taken out of the refrigerator and used every day. Again, out of laziness or sloth people may avoid the work of taking out all their vegetables, opening all the bags, and taking pieces to use in a salad or other dishes. This is very sad. Time spent handling your vegetables is time invested in life itself.

All of these things make up what can be considered good vegetable hygiene, which is a process of discipline and devotion towards vegetables, which is also of course a process of discipline and devotion of one’s own self and also of Earth.

Take care of your vegetables, and they will take care of you. Love it!

Christmas Procession

I can think of nothing more profoundly moving in the human realm here on Earth than a Christmas procession at a festive Christmas mass. During the opening procession of mass it literally feels like Divinity coming in its effulgent glory. At the closing procession it is like a grand, holy, magical energy has come and is now leaving, the door to a magical world is closing.

It may seem only natural that we want to experience Divinity and that it would unquestioningly be good. But actually experiencing full-intensity divinity is difficult for us mortals because it is so brilliant, so bright that it simultaneously causes profound joy yet also a kind of sad longing.

While that intensity may be so much that it can actually feel painful, that does not mean that we should avoid it. Rather, we must immerse ourselves in it fully so that it lives in us, becomes part of us.

I pray that all that glory, all that energy and intensity lives within us, that we keep it alive in our hearts forever.

Merry Christmas!

Bicycling improves running kinesthetics

Today was my first run in a while after having bicycled a lot recently. During my run this afternoon I was very aware of how the bicycling has improved my running kinesthetics. In particular, it seems that bicycling up inclines is very helpful. When bicycling up a grade it causes you to exert more power into your legs. If you are going up a long incline then you find a balance between exertion and sustaining your power. Bicycling is really good for finding this perfect balance probably because the pedals are fixed and other variables related to exertion are removed. When you’re bicycling up a grade it’s kind of like you’re applying pure power through your legs, you acquire a kind of kinesthetic awareness of the power you are exerting and thus can more easily find a good balance.

However when running up hills it’s a different story. It seems as though it’s not as easy to find the happy balance between exertion and sustained power. But today when I was running I remembered the feeling of bicycling uphill and it seems to have dramatically helped me run better. I then also tried to apply that feeling to running on level- and down-grades and it also helped.

Training my body to bicycle has helped me improve the kinesthetics of running by leveling out my exertion to a smoother, more sustainable model. This was not something I was expecting but just happened to connect with when running.

I’ve been running for 33 years. Nothing has been more revolutionary, more profound, more of an intense positive force in my life than being a runner. That I can not only continue to run but am even running as strong as when I was 16 is truly a blessing.

Running reminds me of the jhanas of Buddhism. While it is blissful to run I eventually want to transcend even the bliss. I want to run all the way to nibbana.

Why is tea so good?

Why is an infusion of leaves of the Camelia sinensis plant so good? I know this is a rhetorical question, but have you ever had a sip of tea – it may be tea that was brewed hours ago and was just sitting in a cup at room temperature – and it just felt like the most healing, nourishing, therapeutic thing to sip it?

I write this because this happens with me all the time. It’s late in the evening now and I would not actually make an infusion of Camelia sinensis tea at this hour, but I still have a cup next to me of tea that I made in the early afternoon and never finished and when I take a sip of it it just produces such an intense sensation of health, goodness, and wellness to me that I cannot describe it.

I just wonder, I really wonder, why is it this good? Certainly something that feels so incredibly good to consume must be very healthy and good for the body.

It seems extremely fortunate to me to be in a world where such a thing as Camelia sinensis tea exists!

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