It seems to me, one of the most profound skills in meal preparation is the timing. The art of transforming raw ingredients into nourishing and appetizing dishes, all ready and fragrant when your guests arrive at the table is no small task!
Lately I've been referring to my tiny cottage kitchen as Kali's, a place where delicious things manifest, and are devoured with relish, sometimes comepletely unexpectedly!
I've noticed though, that like the Coconut Smoothies (go to the Kali's Kitchen Prasad page for the recipe!) that are sometimes served on the front step or sipped in the car or in the temple-living room, Kali's kitchen has no edge! Kali's kitchen is my yoga mat, my relationships, my mind... In fact it seems, Kali's Kitchen is everywhere!
Kali is the great Mother Goddess of time and material nature. She is sometimes frightening, sometimes sweet. Like time itself, she can be comforting, or terrifying. Kali's nature is to transform; to thrust us into the purifying fires, and bring forth the rasa, the divine flavor of each individual.
My teachers have always emphasized that spiritual concepts need time to "cook". We need time to roll the ideas around, rearrange them, chew on them, combine them with the other ingredients in our spiritual pantries, and last but not least, subject them to the fire of our intellect and our own experience and roast 'em till they make us drool!
There is a saying in Sanskrit that in any situation, we learn just 25 percent from our teachers. We learn 25 percent from eachother, and figure out 25 percent by ourselves. The last 25 percent, we learn over time...Many of you have studied with me during your Hatha Yoga Teacher Trainings or weekly asana classes. We cover alot in a very little time. I encourage you to give yourself time to integrate the ideas and allow them to grow fragrant in your own mind.
I often wonder how you're doing, and hope I run into you again so I can ask, "So how's that stuff we studied together cooking for you?" So I offer you this, Kali's Kitchen, as a place to revisit those ideas once you've had a chance to gnaw on them for a bit, or to gather more of the ingredients you find appetizing to craft the feast that is your own personal philosophy and your own personal sadhana, or spiritual path.
I pray that this offering may nourish you; that you may savor the rasa, the juice of this beautiful lineage of teachings we have the privilege of exploring together.
May the Goddess of Time treat you kindly. May you be blessed with noble companionship and as many pots of tea as it takes to reach enlightenment in this lifetime!