Wednesday, 3 June, 2009

Sun Gazing - My Experience

Dates and facts
I began as recommended by HRM, 10 seconds, within the safe, UV-free hour of sunrise, on June 2nd 2009.

The experience
Today is only the second day and I'm on 20 seconds.
Yesterday, felt an energy surge... a bit uneasy, in the pit of my stomach, in the solar plexus and in the heart region. My eyes felt a little warm. These days, I am driving the car in the window time, when I'm not meditating (a pre-fixed appointment). So I stop at a spot where I can see the sun clearly, and there is a mud and stone ground, where I can stand barefeet. Today, drank water before and after the sun-gazing. After 10 secs (I'm mentally counting 1001, 1002...), the sun became a shimmering, dull circle. So much so, I double checked after I was done to make sure it wasn't covered by clouds after I began. It wasn't. I closed my eyes after the gazing this time, and saw a green ball between my eyes, which turned yellow, and then it faded out after a while. No physical discomfort today.

My state of health
Just now I am underweight, have low stamina and energy levels, have a sharp shoulder pain radiating into my right arm that's not answering to self-administered Reiki or Quantum healing, or positive suggestions. I am recovering from a persistent UTI, have a back pain, which seems to be a result of persistant leucorrhea. I am myopic with 1.25 dioptres in both eyes. I have a sciatic problem that acts up now and then.

Note: The back pain and leucorrhea suddenly showed up yesterday (after several months). Yesterday was my first day of sun gazing.

Day 3, 30 seconds
Change of location. Couldn't find a large expanse of sky, and gazed at sun between a tree and edge of roof. When I closed my eyes, the image was a blue irregular ball within a green splash. The blue ball turned green, different shades of yellow, then grew small, and became a light pink.

After I opened my eyes I continued seeing a yellow spot wherever I looked for a little while. I got a dull headache (I'd washed my hair just before gazing... and going out in the sun after a head bath has always given me a headache), and felt somewhat nauseated, which went after half hour, and felt some surges in my stomach. After a while I noticed that my sharp back pain had reduced. The leucorrhea hasn't occured today (but I also took my own herb-based medication for it later). I've been feeling cheerful and upbeat generally. But I've also been going to Ma Sahiba's dargah, where I feel a special connect.... usually I am anti going to places of worship, etc.

I'm still counting... haven't yet found a stop watch with a timer.

POST SCRIPT: The rest of the sun journalling is on another blog - I reckoned a nine-month (or more) account deserves a blog of its own.

Thursday, 27 November, 2008

Warm Notes for a Winter Day

Twigs and brews, oils and leaves
Will befriend this cold day with ease

Sniffles and colds always pick up the chilliest weather to put on an appearance. Brews and herbed honeys are the best combatants for these days.

For colds, asthma and joints
Honey draws out the moisture of whatever you put into it, and is therefore very conducive for fresh leaves, fruit or roots. For respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, colds, etc, garlic honey is a great pick me up, preventive and curative. Peel the garlic pods and without cutting them, fill a small glass jar half with the cloves. Fill it up with fresh untreated honey. Lid and keep it in a cool, dry spot, and stir with a wooden spoon daily for four weeks. When the pods turn opaque, the honey is ready to use. Strain out the garlic, and bottle the rest. Store in cool, dry spot. Eat a teaspoon twice a day on a relatively empty stomach. Spreading it on your toast is the most delicious way of eating it. Garlic honey is good for arthritis, rheumatism and general joint pains. You can try your variations with basil, rosemary, amla, ginger, etc. They are all good for the respiratory system. With amla, you’ll need to refrigerate the honey, since it draws out a lot of water, and can spoil very fast. At any rate these honeys should be made in small quantities and consumed within six months of preparation.

A favourite winter brew of mine, that also fights respiratory ailments is a cinnamon and clove decoction. Pound a little cinnamon and a single clove, add one and a half cups of water, and simmer for a while with the cover on. When there is one cup left, strain out, add raw sugar or honey to taste and sip up. And drink lots of warm drinks, soups and water to prevent dehydration of the skin.

For that sore throat, three pinches of pure turmeric powder added to a tablespoon of honey does the trick. Or tuck a piece of liquorice root (mulethi) in your mouth. When you do your gargles adding a pinch of turmeric to the salt water enhances the effect enormously.

Summering your Skin
If you want to keep away from chemical-based commercial moisturisers, here’s a simple but very moisturising and softening recipe –
Take half a cup of rose water (good quality rose water is expensive, so don’t buy the cheap ones that only have the chemical essence) to half a cup edible glycerine. Add two teaspoons of raw honey. For a thicker moisturiser, increase the ratio of glycerine, and vice versa. If you don’t like or get good rose water, add the juice of three lemons instead of the rose water. And on no account use very warm water on your face or head. It will not only dry your skin and scalp, but is also energy sapping.

For the dry nose, first thing in the morning when you get up, dip your little finger in ghee preferably made of cow’s milk, and spread it on the insides of both nostrils. As per Dhanwantri this daily practice is also good for the eyes, brain, and keeps your facial skin supple and soft.

If you happen to suffer from chilblains, soak your affected fingers or toes in the warm water of boiled pieces of turnip. It works quite fast.

Lastly, keep the bowels going, make good use of the winter apples and have at least one everyday. Apples that are organic and grown from seed are a lot more therapeutic than the hybrid or inorganic ones.

Monday, 24 November, 2008

Botanical: Phyllanthus niruri Linn. (Euphorbiaceae)
Hindi: Jaramla, bhoomyamlaki, bhoomi amla
Sanskrit: Bhumiamlaki, tamalaki
Tamil: Keeranelli
Telugu: Nelausirika
Other names in the world: chanca piedra, stone breaker, hurricane weed, quinine weed, creole senna, cane senna

Area of Observation, and photographed in: Gurgaon, Haryana

Description: A small branching 30-40 cm high herb.
Grows wild in the rainy and warm months on the northern and central plains of India. Should be perennial along the coastline and Southern/Eastern India, since it is indigneous to the rainforests of Amazon. In semi-arid areas grows from March to October, and dies out in winter.

Tiny green fruit, the size of mustard seeds appear under the leaves.

Aurvedic dosha: KP- V+ (I assume it increases vatta since it is considerably bitter)

Uses: Whole plant ingested for speedy results in jaundice, and other forms of hepatitis. My father (a doctor himself) was given a tight ball of the plant to eat as a child, and he said his jaundice was cured within three days of the daily dose. But he mentioned that the plant was remarkably bitter and unpleasant. I tasted a ball myself, and though it was confirmedly bitter, I didn’t find it repugnant. But then, I am used to eating a lot of bitter herbs. Traditionally root taken (10-20 gms) with buttermilk for leucorrhoea or white discharge in women. It is also used for diabetes, sores, ulcers, skin diseases, urinary tract diseases, chronic dysentry, and dyspepsia (
source- FRLHT)

An infusion in water works best for diabetics, since the extract works as a hypoglacaemic for non insulin-dependant diabetes. I was unsure about using alcoholic tincture for liver conditions - but worked for a friend who'd already recovered from jaundice but not its effects; she took this with beneficial symptomatic results even after being diagnosed with hypothyroid (which has, to my knowledge, nothing to gain from phyllanthus niruri. 1ml to 2 ml of tincture twice a day mixed with half a glass of water was her dosage. For children, could be given with honey.

Phyllanthus niruri is called Chanca piedra in Spain, meaning 'stone breaker'. It is considered extremely beneficial in removing kidney and gall bladder stones. In clinical research over the years, the plant has demonstrated liver protective, antilithic (expels stones), pain-relieving, hypotensive, antispasmodic, antiviral, antibacterial, diuretic, antimutagenic, and hypoglycemic activities. (
source - Raintree)

Sunday, 10 June, 2007

Political fervour

There is another kind of fever, which plants can’t do much about. The acquisitive fever. Excess of kapha, according to ayurveda. Our times are excessively afflicted with this malaise. Combined with the pittic ambition to get ahead of everyone no matter what, this fever completely consumes. I know it is unfashionable for aspirants to sound cynical, but I do think being concerned about corruption is as green as it can get.

We were invited by ITC Maurya Sheraton to participate in an exhibition marking the environment day. We were thrilled that there were no stall charges, struggling as we are to get the Grasroutes business on its feet. There was a generous five star breakfast laid out for everyone too. With good reason we realised. We had a five-minute crowd that breezed in with Sheila Dixit, the Delhi chief minister, and after gorging on the food, disappeared soon after her. It became obvious that ITC MS wanted something of the chief minister and this ‘event’ was organised only to get her attention and approval. Her escort stopped at length at the ITC sponsored table displaying recycled plastic woven bags (they were pretty good, too). There was applause and camera. Our payoff was the ‘free stall’ for five minutes of attention, air-conditioned insides to cool off in the 43 degree outdoors: sufficient, they reckoned, for the week of dizzy preparation it took to be a ‘major’ environmental event. What about spreading awareness on environmental issues? They did serve organic fruit for ‘breakfast’ to a whole crowd of school children.

We were sad to see old hands like CSR, Developmental Alternatives, and TERI given the same treatment। Or maybe sadness is wasted… who knows what politics brew in these valueless times. On a bright note, there were a couple of people who came up and wanted to know about the weeds we’d displayed. There were a handful that stopped at the stalls to know and understand.
And that should count.