Walk through the kitchen doors at The Expanding Light, Ananda Village's yoga and meditation retreat center outside Nevada City, California, and the first thing you might see is a circle of people chanting Om-blessing the room before they begin cooking. Stay awhile and you'll witness the gentle hum of activity as executive chef Premdas Ghirla, with the help of volunteers, assembles golden noodle stir-fry and nine-gem curry for the day's 65 guests here on retreat. On the stovetop behind a pot of lentils, framed photos of gurus rub shoulders with pepper mills and bottles of hot sauce, and around the room, mixers and cutting boards share counter space with burning incense and candles, deity statues, and soothing water fountains. The stove's overhead vent is adorned with affirmations like "Joy is within you" and "God's limit is nowhere." Someone turns on the boom box, and Ghirla and the volunteers happily chant as they chop cauliflower and cabbage.
Conquer the Art of Really Getting Away
Ahoy, Food Lovers!
San Francisco Magazine
Food for Life
Retreat & Reinvigorate
Where bubbly sparkles all the time
Salute the Sun
OZZY IS GIVING ME ATTITUDE—bumping against my pack, nosing ahead, blowing his semisweet-fermented breath in my face. I nudge him on the chest to keep him behind me as I inch down the steep sandstone, but he clearly has personal-space issues. I chose Ozzy . . .
Growing up, I was The One Who Could Not Sing. My older sister and brother, on the other hand, were routinely cast in musicals and chosen for high school Madrigals (the “Glee”-like choir reserved for the cream of the teen vocal crop). At Christmas, my . . .
My best friend and I rarely call each other. Not because we don’t enjoy talking; we just prefer to catch up in person, ideally over frosty drinks in a foreign land. But before our recent trip to Nicaragua, I texted her, “Are we taking backpacks or rolling . . .
“What’s going on?” Dan asked, smiling. He nodded at my feet, which tapped to the beat of zero music. My hands were in constant motion, too—fidgeting with my phone, flipping through the in-flight magazine, rustling in my purse, playing with the barf . . .
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” –Ayn Rand