There are those delightful practice experiences where two things that ego had fused together get separated. For example, I used to think that when a friend is sick, I was supposed to bring them soup. Those two things just went together in my mind: friend is sick = bring them soup. It seemed so obvious -- that is clearly the "good friend" thing to do! However, it was a perfect set-up for self-hate because if I happened not to be in a position to bring them soup, self-hate got to beat me up for being an awful friend, so self-centered, etc. It was a painful bamboozle.
At the New Year's Retreat, the food was out-of-this-world. Each meal, we were offered an abundant array of fruits, vegetables, soups, salads, dressings, condiments, vegetarian entrees, and breads -- all of which none of us lifted a finger to prepare. It was, to me, giddiness-inducing. The first couple of meals, I watched my giddiness go to gluttony as I sought to fill my plate with a bit of practically every item offered. Not a pleasant experience for the body...
And that's when I had the experience of two-things-ego-had-fused-together-getting-separated. It dropped in that two distinct processes were going on: 1) loving the food and 2) eating the food. And the two didn't have to be joined. I could love the food without eating it. I saw a deeply held assumption that the process of loving the food required eating it, and when eating stopped, so would the joyous love I'd been experiencing. But it turns out, it doesn't need to. After I finished enjoying my meal, I took a little stroll around the salad bar and let the senses take in the sights and smells of that glorious food. Both heart and body were well-fed.
I wish I could share with you their recipe for Winter Squash and Sweet Potato soup, but since I don't have that one, here is one that is equally delicious -- and perfect for a cold winter evening meal.
Lentil and Cauliflower Soup
(adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon)
Makes approximately 9 cups
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets
1 medium yam, peeled and diced
5 oz. baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1.) In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes, until translucent.
2.) Stir in the ginger, coriander, turmeric and cumin and sauté for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
3.) Add 5 cups water and red lentils and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more.
4.) Stir in the cauliflower and yam. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add more water to cover all the veg as needed. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.