01 October 2007

Diet & Dharma

Just this morning, I tasted the first mango to be harvested from my tree. The depth and complexity of flavour was astounding. I truly hope I can continue to savor my food each time with such relish.

I have decided recently to attempt a vegan diet once more. My conscious has been disturbed each time I think on the conditions in which most dairy cows exist. And if I am able to abstain from meat and eggs, than why not dairy? Besides, I truly think there is no better place on this earth for fresh organic produce than Fiji. The exception I will make to this diet is while eating as a guest in another’s home (it would be near impossible to avoid milk in an Indo-Fijian home).

I have been walking besides a path I was too cowardly to step upon. A path where I must hold myself to a higher standard of behavior.

I have felt for sometime that there have been actions in my life, which were less than appropriate: the treatment of those around me, my level of compassion and respect regarding others’ commitments, my diet. In the past, I found some way of consoling myself and disregarded my violation of certain ideas that I hold to be true. If I lowered my standards of expectation for myself, they were easier to attain without failure. But I want to be worthy of the respect I am given, even if it means failure.

The truth I have perceived lately is that being a noble person does not mean denying emotion or contrary thoughts. I do not have to defy who I am to walk this path, I only need to find the benefit in taking the other more challenging action.

The first step in this journey is coming to terms with who I am, not in a struggle to better myself, but to consider my Self a friend. I need to see my Self as I would someone I care for – I would never disregard someone because of their flaws but accept them for everything they are, unconditionally. So why should I not extend the same attitude to myself?

Fun with Hindi - Tati & Tita

In my learning Fijian Hindi, I have made one terribly notable mistake thus far. And I thought I might share it so should you ever come to Fiji you will not make the same mistake.

I was over a neighbor's house playing with her young daughter of about a year when suddenly the child grabs her diaper and begins to shout "Tati, tati!" I had not heard this word before and asked her mother what it meant and she said it translated to (politely put) poop. I laughed and said that perhaps she needed to change her diaper. The next day at the Senior Centre, the staff and I were having lunch and my friend (and counterpart) offered me some of her curry to taste. It was delicious but spicy and so I said to her, "khana bahut sawaad, bahut tati." Yes, I had said "tati" instead of "tita." Meaning - instead of saying that her food was delicious and spicy, I had said it was delicious and shitty. She laughed and still reminds me of it every time we sit down to eat and she offers me food.

Recipe: Maharishtrian Eggplant

I am hoping to post recipes that I discover here in Fiji to give each of you back home a little taste (literally) of my life here.

I've included the recipe as an image so you can just copy and paste it.

Eat, enjoy and think of palm trees!