This is my kind of party... Milling about with thousands of glowing vegetarians, tasting all kinds of decadent delights that are actually good for me! There was even a yoga zone. Somebody apparently read my mind. I have been wishing for yoga zones in every public and private space. This fest is definitely an essential annual destination...
Seed Food & Wine Festival in Miami is the nation’s premiere plant-based food event of its kind, gathering an unparalleled group of more than 60 plant-based notable chefs, athletes, authors and celebrities for the festival’s third year. For 2016, event were held on Nov. 2nd-6th, including upscale dinners, fitness events and the nation’s first Plant-Based Burger Battle™. SEED celebrates delicious plant-based foods, fine wine, craft beer and spirits, lifestyle products, and companies, all while raising awareness about conscious and sustainable living.
Many thanks to JLPR marketing & public relations firm for the invite and positive vibes!
There were so many treasures, it was impossible to capture or fully experience all of them, but there are a few snapshots...
This super hero has been vegan for 30 years! Hardly the scrawny, pasty vision of common misconceptions. This is Geoff Palmer, CEO of Clean Machine Natural Sports Nutrition, and he must be doing something right. I was super impressed with their Clean BCAA natural food-sourced branched chain amino acids & electrolytes. It helps me to feel instantly hydrated, focused, and replenished post-workout. Oh, and it's super yummy. CLEAN BCAA™ delivers a 4gm daily dose of L-leucine, shown in a clinical study to increase 5-rep max strength by over 40% in just 12 weeks! I can't wait to try all their other products.
CLEAN BCAA features:
This is Nina, founder and visionary behind Sugar & Oats natural artisan made Vegan soaps, creams, scrubs, and skincare in South Florida. She carefully formulates all products with the purest plant based oils and 100% natural skin loving ingredients. Sugar and Oats promises to stay away from harsh chemicals, parabens, sodium laureate sulfate, and palm oils. Everything is cruelty free (not tested on animals).
Nina shared with me the touching story behind the inspiration of Sugar & Oats... She's a mama! And she wants the absolute healthiest soaps for her family.
I was blown away by the lavender bar soap. This is was the silkiest, most luxurious bar soap I've ever found (and I have tried all the good vegan major brands). The natural lavender scent was a perfect intensity. Also worth mentioning, the bar is a work of modern art, making it a great gift.
Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics, & the Way of the Ancient Future by Richard Power (2016) was my daily morning nourishment. It drip fed me universal truths through the tongue of a seasoned yogi and wordsmith.
This is why I love independent media. In this book of "yoga," you will not find a neatly organized curriculum of poses and philosophy that seeks to package and sell the Great Mystery. God knows we don't need another one of those. Rather, you will walk hand in hand with Richard as he shares his awe, known to be the highest state in tantra yoga, chamatkar. He shares his intimate journey as a spiritual warrior, examining politics, human rights, racism, classism, sexism, creativity, the earth—and the awareness of the humans that tread over Her.
No, you will find no linear path here. You will find a magical labyrinth, with surprises of situational awakening and serendipitous art around every page. The book itself could be a system of divination, as you could turn to any page for an auspicious transmission. You will find ancient artifacts and the nectar of his practice. You will find the mythic spiral of Creation that he lovingly extolls in the book. And you will find an experience, for this book does not just talk about awakening, it actually facilitates it.
From within the perfect triangle of the Sakti Yantra formed by the growth of three redwoods, on a fire trail in the Tamalpais watershed, I will tell you the story of my first encounter with their kind.
Decades ago. I stretched out to meditate in a redwood grove in Muir Woods. I soon fell asleep (i.e. into that state deeper, purer and more direct that what we imagine we are doing in "seated meditation"). And then as I came back into "waking" consciousness, in the space in between, the Redwoods spoke to me.
They said that long ago they were going to learn "human language" but that they only went as far as the vowels. They said the vowels were powerful and sacred to them. But that they chose to go no further. Because the consonants and all that stretched out beyond them only lead to madness.
So they showed me how to speak with them. Aaaaaaaa. Eeeeeee. Iiiiiiiii. Oooooh. Uuuuuuuu.
Some years later, I met their elder sisters the Giant Sequoia, and ...
Well, I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who talks to trees... There is a certain sweet solace in this solidarity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Power teaches me the art of honoring people. He continually pollinates the beauty and divine gifts of everyone—by being the student of everyone. He is a master with the genuine beginner's mind. Catch him at a live event if you can! The tone of his voice alone is an instrument of healing.
Richard Power is a writer, speaker and yoga teacher. He offers workshops, classes and private instruction in yoga and meditation. He is the author of ten books.
His blog, Words of Power, focuses on exploring new language for the truths of the ancient future, and reflects insights into Vajrayana Buddha Dharma, Kashmir Shiva-Sakti philosophy, Hatha and Tantra Yoga, the Shamanic path, and other aspects of the world's collective mystical heritage. It is also a source of commentary on human rights, progressive politics, and vital sustainability issues such as coming to grips with Climate Crisis.
For much of his life, Power worked in the fields of security and intelligence. He has delivered briefings and led training in forty countries, and was an adviser to governments and corporations. His views on security, risk and intelligence have been featured in interviews on CNN, PBS, NPR and the BBC, and quoted in mainstream news media, including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press.
Power grew up in New York City, and lives in San Francisco.
Author Photo Credit: Brenna Geehan
Power's digital stream of consciousness is also accessible via
Amazon author's page
Support the beauty and buy this book on Amazon.
I’ve said it a thousand times. “I don’t have time to meditate.”
I knew that meditation was "good for me," but didn't prioritize it. I looked at it like a luxury to indulge in, rather than a staple like food, water, or air.
I did occasionally meditate, but I was no where near close to going steady with the practice. I was convinced, the rat race just gets too busy for me. I chased my tail around to-do lists, dishes, homework, errands, trumpet lessons for the tween, business obligations, creative projects, financial stress, and the endless “family matters.” I multi-tasked myself into oblivion all in the name of getting it all done.
When any exotic and elusive "free time" arose in my very busy life, I much preferred to be walking, running, sweating, dancing, singing, practicing yoga asana or mantra, making art, or studying sutra. “Movement is my meditation” or “art is my practice” or “studying is better than nothing,” I’d say, politely excusing myself from the more arduous task of just sitting quiet.
“I don’t have time to meditate... really, I don’t.” I was staunch in my statement, only to discover that there was no concrete truth in it.
When a loved one's health crisis took my family to hell and back, meditation suddenly manifested as a life-raft out of the molten chaos. It became the backbone of my balance, despite having no time for it—in theory.
Sometimes my meditation practice would be chock full of epiphanies, insights, and tranquil bliss. Other days, it would feel like treading through the mud of the mind: treacherous, irritating, or worst of all, banal. But I kept at it.
My meditation practice flowered slowly. I began to reach deeper and deeper places of stillness, even in the face of circumstantial chaos. More than ever before, I simply savored awareness, as a gourmet.
Then the magic started happening. I began to feel more harmoniously attuned to the whole. I expressed my soul’s purpose in the world with more grace, ease, and synchronicity. Meditation helped me to fully integrate my other spiritual disciplines and sacred medicines. My relationships deepened, new fruitful opportunities arose, I completed a book, and felt more creatively fulfilled than ever. With steady, long-term practice, meditation was shaping my life for the better.
It wasn't all rainbows and fairies, though. As meditation shaped my life, it was also an earthquake under the existing order of my life. Meditation carved away a lot of nonsense: toxic people, bad habits, activities that drained my energy, and useless distractions. At first, my life-make over felt abrupt. Yet, my meditation continued, as my heart demanded. Fresh shelf space was created, in my home—and in my life.
I was a skeptic who once said: “I could be getting so much done with these extra 10 or 20 or 30 minutes in the morning!” I was certainly moving faster without meditation, but not necessarily better. When I was speed-racing through life sans meditation, I was stubbing my toes and tripping over myself and needing to go back to square one again and again.
Meditation was no luxury to fit into the fringe free moments. Meditation had become the beating heart, the center, the ground, the very source of my fulfilled and peaceful existence.
Ultimately, meditation made time that wasn't there before.
3 ways to make time for meditation, even when you think there is none:
1. Go straight to meditate, before turning on phones or computers. Once the matrix is on, it can hook you right in. More, meditation will lead you to deeper places of introspection and mindfulness if media and communication are not gnawing at the back of your mind. So you're tight on time? Try this suggestion even if you only have 2 minutes, and watch what happens over time.
2. Create a ritual. Tend an altar with sacred images, flowers, power objects, and other inspiring items. Light a candle. Burn some sacred aromatic substance such as sage or incense. Listen to soothing music.
3. Be cozy! Have tea first to hydrate your brain, warm up your body, and stimulate your senses. When you sit for meditation, wrap yourself in a good natural fiber blanket such as angora, wool, or cashmere. The Tibet stores often have affordable, high quality ones. The yogis have known since time immemorial that insulating natural fabric not only concentrates body temperature; it also literally concentrates attention and life force. Use a comfortable meditation seat that is healthy for your knees, hips, and back. I absolutely love the Sun and Moon Originals brand buckwheat filled cosmic cushion.
Dedicate the fruits of your practice to someone or something meaningful. Then, practice letting of any attachments to what the fruits of your practice might turn out to be.
Enjoy your Self!
Infinite thanks to my beautiful husband who meditates with me every morning.
Gratitude to Scott Burgess of Our Lady Stardust Photography, who captured my meditation seal in black sand.