Here is your bi-weekly dose of 5 Delicious Thoughts, an exciting list of what I’m enjoying, pondering and is for sure expanding my mind and senses.
How I rule myself
What I’ve been reading
What I’ve been listening to (music, focus@will, Tibetan monks)
What I’m (re)watching
What I’ve been cooking (recipes)
How I rule myself
How do you, rule yourself? Are you a wise, compassionate king or queen to your bodymind's kingdom?
“Every morning when I wake up I remind myself to contain my energy with focus, to commit and be continuous so that my reason, my will and my action are penetrating, purposeful and prepared. I fill myself with gratitude, love and compassion for myself and all living beings as I joyfully access and experience the wisdom and vitality deep within my cells.
I remind myself that life's purpose is to remember the higher spirit and that we are cruising through the cosmos in an epic journey fueled by fire, water, the atmosphere, the infinite emptiness all around and a mysterious, organized intelligence that has kept life evolving for billions of years.
I take deep breaths, taste the morning air, practice presence and possibility through Ashtanga Yoga and occasionally speak one of my Yogananda favorite affirmations:
"I am fearless. I am made of the substance of God. I am a spark of the fire of spirit. I am an atom of the cosmic flame. I am a cell of the universal body of the father. I and my father are one."
I then head out onto the day to ride the great mystery, pay attention, experience and create magic.
Everyday I am grateful and remind myself to be compassionate to every single person I interact with, filling myself with love, joy and wisdom.”
Note: I am not Catholic, or follow any other institutionalized religion. If I had to pick one, it'd be Buddhism, mostly because I think they were the first Resistance movement to the domesticated, conditioned living that our species started with the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago.
What I’ve been reading in the past 3 weeks
- Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Wayfinders (why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern Day) by Wade Davis
- Augmented by Brett King
- my 23andme results which have added so much to my National Genographic results from 2010.
In Sapiens, Harari’s initial premise is that we separated from Nature around 70,000 years ago when we developed the ability for FICTION.
"The real difference between us and chimpanzees is the mythical glue that binds together large numbers of individuals, families and groups. This glue has made us the masters of creation."
Basically and most importantly the reminder that we are all (like) sorcerers and live in magical and fictional structures that bind us in large numbers.
“Fiction: the human superpower.” Or “Homo Sapiens, making shit up since 70,000 bc”.
Our ability to tell stories about our experiences is what led us down this high-speed evolutionary path as we transformed everything around us, including ourselves, and today even more so with all the advances in nanotechnology, prosthetics, bionics, gene-editing and so on.
Anyway, Harari basically says that since then, it’s all been imaginary orders: countries, religions, nationalities, LLCs, capitalism and all other imagined orders, ideologies, EVERYTHING is fiction first and then shapes the material reality we live in.
So the big AHA! that I want to share with you, inspired by Sapiens is this one: Since it’s all an imaginary order and we all have access to creating this mind-magic that changes the world around us, WE MIGHT AS WELL CREATE OUR OWN RULES OF THE GAME IN OUR OWN UNIQUE IMAGINARY ORDERS. We get to do that, we get to dream up how we want to live… how amazing is that!
Evolutionary thinkers, naturalists, geologists, historians and writers.. they think about us as a species and look at the mind-boggling facts we now know about how the f*** Life’s gotten to this point in the past 4 billion years. And by Life I also mean us, of course.
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert explores what creative living entails and the thought that ideas are actually alive and looking for someone to express them. Pay attention to their call or they will find someone else to come through. Amazing book on the magic of riding the natural great perfection - as Buddhists would say - that is life and trusting the process, even when it seems you’re not in full control.
She also points to one amazing question: You love nature, don’t you? Would you also agree that Nature loves you back? Bringing that awareness to my daily practice added to the understanding that we are part of the natural great perfection: We are Nature, and are inextricably linked to this perfect organization that makes everything happen.
I like to remind myself that clearly the solar system has been working perfectly for billions of years, and Life has evolved even to the point of creating us, without us having anything to do about it, and definitely without us agreeing.
I’m amazed everyday, at everything.
I also just started reading The Wayfinders, and I know that I’m in for a treat, since I also just got my 23andme results and that is one of the first things Wade Davis talks about early in his book.
We live in an age when science allows us to take a look back in time at the memory we carry in our blood, at the journey our genes have taken around the planet.
I know I have Spanish and indigenous (native American, I was born in Colombia), and Middle Eastern certainly as well, on my dad’s side. What I didn’t know was that I my DNA is 57% Southern European, 17% Middle Eastern-North African, 17% East Asian-Native American, 2.5% Sub-saharan African and the rest undefined yet I am 11% more Neanderthal than most people even though my Neanderthal DNA accounts to less than 4% of my total genes.
Amazing! On top of that, my maternal DNA is more than 50,000 years old and my paternal one about 16,000. Of course, this is only based on the references they have so far, yet how fascinating is it to see, through the lens of science, what I’ve know from my own experience, limited family history and intuition?
Basically, my genes have traveled on both directions around the globe since leaving Africa thousands of years ago. Oh and I have something like < 0.1% Ashkenazy, even though I am not Jewish, someone clearly had a one night stand somewhere on the Road.
Augmented by Brett King. The technological and scientific changes that will happen in the next 20-30 years that will profoundly change our world beyond how the last 300 years.
Music I’m enjoying — Brandon Ernst / Focus@will / Gyuto monks
Brandon Ernst is usually at my friends’ places in Topanga, playing some amazing tunes. I haven’t stopped listening to his playlists on Soundcloud: Burning Man decompressions, etc. for the past couple weeks.
Focus@will is my app of choice for DEEP FOCUS work, tunes composed AND engineered to turn off the fight-or-flight brainwaves in your brain so that you can peacefully get crackin’.
“focus@will is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses specially sequenced instrumental music to increase your attention span up to 400% when working and studying. Our tool helps extend your productivity cycle and effortlessly zones out distraction.”
Here is a fascinating discussion between Bill Harris (founder of Holosync) and Will Henshall (founder of Focus@Will) about why and how they started their companies and why their focus technologies are incredibly complimentary. If you want to SUPER CHARGE your productivity at work or study, check this out.
Sometimes, either for deep focus work or still meditation, I’ll play the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, especially singing the Heart Sutra. Here’s a version with Deva Premal for a more “westernized” version. So much power, so much depth.
Here are 2 links where you can find translated details
What I’m (re)watching
Earth The Power of the Planet with Iain Stewart. The 4 forces that have made our planet: The Ocean, Volcanoes, Ice and The Atmospher. Epic and spectacular, Iain Steward is an extraordinary host, the takes and graphics of how our home planet works are amazing and it’ll give you a timeless sense of evolutionary geological perspective.
How to Grow a Planet: Life from Light with Iain Stewart tells the story of the rise of plants and how they essentially created all other life forms on Earth. He also closes out by asking whether they take care of us or we take care of them. Who’s working for who?
“In the third episode, Iain discovers the remarkable impact of just one plant: grass. On the savannah of South Africa he sees how grass unleashed a firestorm to fight its greatest enemy, the forests. He shows how cutting your finger on a blade of grass shows us how it transformed life in the oceans. In Senegal, he meets the cleverest chimps in the world. And, in the ruins of the oldest temple on Earth, he tells the extraordinary story of how grass triggered human civilization.”
Rise of the Animals: The Triumph of the Vertebrates with David Attenborough. In a spectacular journey of Life from Stromatolites (which are slumps of bacteria that kinda look like giant mushrooms and ruled the planet for 2 billion years) to actual fish developing a backbone, then a jaw, then fins, then limbs, then lungs, then dry skin, then a hip, then wings, then mammals, then us. Wow. Plus you get to hear the sweet voice of Grandpa Attenborough.
What I’ve been cooking
Foodgasms, taste-budgasms, braingasms, mindgasms and orgasms, we like them all, right? I like food that gives me light, long-lasting energy AND that is fast to make. There are so many other amazing things that I want to be doing with my days, that I usually spend no more than 5 to 25 min making a meal on a regular basis.
Here are 3 that go from 10 min to 35 min, and the 35 min one is because it’s Morel season and they happened to have some today at Whole Foods Venice.
Fast Food in my universe - 3 Recipes
All you will need at home to speed up your cooking is a food processor. If you have the budget, add a Vitamix, Blendtec or any other amazing device like a Thermomix. But you’re good with an 11-cup Cuisinart food processor like this one. It's my favorite size, doesn’t have to be Cuisinart.
- 12-min lunch: Grassfed skirt steak and Babaganoush
- Turkey tacos with paleo tortillas (I tried these guys SieteFoods, pretty awesome tortillas)
- Morel Risotto (This one’s a 20 min stirring meditation)
- With a fork make a few holes in a big eggplant. Put directly on burner on the stove and give it a good black burn on all sides (it’ll take about 5 min). Remove from flame, let it cool down on a plate. Peel, throw in food processor with 1 big tbsp Tahine, 1 tbsp EVOO, pinch of salt. In the meantime, heat up your cast iron pan, add 1 tsp coconut oil. Season your grassfed skirt steak with coarse sea salt. Grill medium-rare. Spread Babaganoush on plate, sprinkle ground cumin you’ve previously roasted. Let skirt steak come together on a cutting board for 3 min before slicing. Plate on top of Babaganoush. Voilà! Enjoy.
- Take 1 yellow onion, peel and cut up, throw in food processor with 3 scallions and 1 bunch cilantro. Mix with 1lb ground turkey. Stir fry, stir, squeeze a couple limes and mix well til it’s just done. Dice a yellow bell pepper, 1/2 red onion, some cherry toms, small bunch cilantro. Mix, plate on lettuce leaves. Dig in!
- Dice 3-4 shallots, throw in a pan with 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp EVOO on medium high. When they are translucent throw in 1 lb diced Morels, 3 garlic cloves (crushed, sliced, chopped) and 2 cups Arborio rice. When the water in the Morels is gone, add 1/2 cup pastured chicken stock to the pan and stir with your wooden spoon. Keep adding 1/2 cup stock for about 20-min. You will need about 1 quart chicken stock and 2 cups of water. When the rice is al dente, add 1/2 cup Pecorino or Parmigiano, another 1/2 cup stock and 1 tsp freshly roasted and ground black pepper. Stir. Plate in bowls. Sprinkle some chives. Enjoy!!
Etymology note: Between Flavor and Taste, I prefer the word Taste, etymologically speaking, because it is related to the sense of touch. But if I had to choose, I think the Spanish word for taste or flavor, and its origins, is the most exciting one: Saber means both to taste and to know as a verb, and knowledge, wisdom. It comes from Latin: Sapere (to have intelligence, and to have taste)
And so taste travels from tongue to brain to be perceived and understood, and wisdom and insight travel from brain to tongue, to be expressed.
Bonus - 5 Quotes I’m pondering and a secret charm: Become intimate with everything.
“At one time you were a mountain, you were a cloud. This is not poetry, this is science.” Thich Nhat Hanh
"It is because suffering is impermanent that we can transform it. It is because happiness is impermanent that we must nourish it." Thich Nhat Hanh
“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” (Albert Einstein, 1954)
“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)
"I am food, I am the consumer of food, I eat the consumer of foods, I consume the whole universe.” Taittiriya Upanishad
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And the only way to be yourself, Tomás, is to listen to your heart.
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