As much as I love being a teacher, I really, really love being a student.
This summer has seen me traveling a whole bunch with my cooking classes and I have had a total blast. To compliment all this running around and hearing a little too much of my own voice, I thought that taking a course where I am on the knowledge-receiving end would do my spirit some good.
I decided to take a Reiki class and obtain my level one certification to enhance my abilities to heal myself and others.
What is Reiki (ray-key), you ask? Simply put, Reiki is an ancient, energy-based healing art that works as a support mechanism for the body. The light-touch therapy helps to re-establish a normal energy flow throughout the body’s systems, which in turn can enhance and accelerate the body’s innate healing abilities. The word Reiki can be broken down to two parts: Rei meaning universal spirit, and Ki meaning life force energy (in Chinese this is known as “Chi” and in Sanskrit it is known as “Prana”).
Reiki can be practiced on oneself and on others, and every single person has this capability within them. In fact, one of the most powerful concepts my Reiki master shared with us on the first day of class, was that Reiki was simply “remembering what we already know”, meaning that we are born with an innate guidance system that we often lose track of as we get older. Reiki does not conflict with any religious or meditative practice, nor does it conflict with allopathic medicine. Reiki in fact is a wonderful compliment to other therapeutic treatments such as massage, reflexology, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, psychotherapy, etc. I have obviously been attracted to more natural, or as some would say “alternative” therapies, for healing any and all body ailments for some time now. I find the less invasive and preventative modalities are more in line with my lifestyle, and I appreciate the fact that everyone in the world can practice this technique simply and safely – it’s like the universal healing tool!
As no class would be complete without homework assignments, part of level one involves completing some out-of-class projects – but the best kind possible (in fact, being the keener I am, I actually asked for extra assignments because they were so much fun!). Our first task was to use the chakra colours in a creative way, so of course my first thoughts landed on food. The Reiki master, familiar with my love for all things edible, quickly told me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself to something different (which I will do in time, I promise!), but for now I give you my first homework assignment in the form of a fruit salad. I think I’ll get an A+.
The chakras are the major energy centers in the body, of which there are seven. Beginning at the very base of the spine and moving upward to the crown of the head, chakras are said to be moving wheels of light, colour and sound that regulate all energy entering and exiting the body. The energy that flows through the chakras regulates the healing abilities of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. Although it may sound like pretty far-out stuff, I am amazed and inspired by the marked responses in my own body to this type of energy work.
Something that particularly caught my attention with studying the chakra system (which I was familiar with through my yoga practice), was noticing colours more than usual. As each colour corresponds to a specific chakra in the body, I realized that colours really do play an important role in our lives, and the ones we choose to surround ourselves with say a lot about us.
It is clear that colour is pretty important in my life, as creating vibrant hued food seems to wind up on my priority list almost daily. Although prior to taking this class this felt like more of a health-conscious decision, the importance of “eating a rainbow” and all that jazz, but now I realize that perhaps there is some truth to my cravings for specific colours. Red lentils to ground me when I am feeling a little too head-in-the-clouds, leafy greens for nourishing my heart, and violet berry smoothies when I need a serious spirit lift! Something to ponder at the least…
So yes, I had to make something using all the colours of the rainbow and what a pleasurable job indeed. The summer market called to me, and what I created was a rainbow fruit salad with a bright, light and spiced tahini sauce to bring it all together. The fruits I chose were just what I found and had on hand, but you can of course use any fruits you like and that are in season near you. The Enlightened Tahini Sauce tastes delicious on any sweet fruits. Even just slicing up an apple to dip in the lusciousness would be welcomed. Experiment and rejoice! Anything goes.
Chakra Fruit Salad with Enlightened Tahini Sauce
currants – red / root chakra
oranges – orange / sacral chakra
plums – yellow/ solar plexus chakra
kiwi – green / heart chakra
blueberries – blue / throat chakra
blackberries – indigo / third eye chakra
grapes – violet / crown chakra
Enlightened Tahini Sauce
hemp hearts to garnish (optional)
1. Choose fruits representing every colour of the rainbow.
2. Wash and prepare with love and gratitude.
3. Drizzle with tahini sauce and sprinkle with hemp seeds. Share and enjoy.
Enlightened Tahini Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
¼ cup tahini
1 Tbsp. raw honey (or maple syrup)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice
¼ tsp. cinnamon
pinch dried ground ginger
pinch of sea salt (unless you are using salted tahini)
4-6 Tbsp. water
1. Place all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake well to combine. Add more water to thin if desired. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
Although I can’t claim that eating this fruit salad will bring your spirit closer to enlightenment, I can tell you that your tummy will be. What better way to celebrate summer than with a refreshing bowl of raw rainbow sweetness to share with precious friends and beloved family? No matter how you slice it, nirvana is often found in the place you least expect, and sometimes even on the plate right in front of you.
Peace, bless, and lots of summer love to all,
* * * * * *
And speaking of enlightenment, I am beyond excited to extend an invitation to my weekend workshop in Lisbon, Portugal next month!
Come and spend a few days relaxing and rebooting your spirit in and out of the kitchen with Ayurvedic and Raw Food classes as well as yoga and mediation workshops. This will be an unforgettable experience all hosted at the gorgeous Casa Vinyassa. I have been collaborating with my new yogi friends to create a very special, inspiring event for everyone. Spread the word, treat yourself to a trip to Portugal, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Please email the contact on the flyer for more information, and check out our Facebook event too.