這個秋天陽光份外和煦，我來了幾場即興野餐，在草地上吃吃坐坐，看天放空，躺平讀書，也有腳踏着青草，和朋友進行靈氣治療，身處大自然，善用大地的能量。人在這片土地上活着、學習、體驗，多少是依靠大地的能量才可生存 —— 栽種在泥土上的蔬果植物、吃草或榖物的牲口、大樹釋放的氧氣等等，大家相生相依。生長在泥土之上的蔬果，看着讓人感到生命的力量和奇妙，我卻偏愛長在泥土內的根莖類蔬菜。紅蘿蔔、白蘿蔔、番薯、芋頭、蓮藕和百合我自小愛吃，長大後也喜歡吃紅菜頭（金菜頭更好吃但不易買）和牛蒡，薑及蒜也時常在料理中用上。根莖類蔬菜大多是儲藏營植物養份的器官，因此比綠葉蔬菜香甜。後來讀到食療相關的文章，說不同種類的食物有不同療效，而根莖類植物便是 grounding 的食物。
日本短粳米 1.5合 / 270毫升
鹽麴 2 茶匙（或海鹽半茶匙）
- 以中高火煮沸後，調至小火，煮12分鐘。12 分鐘後關火，不要打開鍋蓋，燜焗 10 分鐘。
In meditation, there is a basic practice called grounding. The meditator sits cross-legged or on a chair with straight back and feet on the ground, and then starts visualising roots growing under the soles or body parts that touch the ground. The roots grow through the cold and hard flooring, into the soft and moist soil and, slowly, reaches the core deep in the earth, connecting to mother earth. All your emotions, thoughts and physical sensations are drained away, released and diluted. While receiving the nourishing energy from mother earth, our mind returns to the present, clarity and stillness. I always include this grounding practice in my meditation and awareness practice. One time when I was going to meet a friend, upon our meetup she said she was unwell, feeling spacey and ungrounded, and her head was aching too. I asked her to sit down, relax and have her soles on the floor, and guided her through a grounding meditation. Within two or three minutes, she felt much grounded and headache was relieved.
The earth is just so tender and healing.
The autumnal sun was particularly warm and mellow this year that I went on impromptu picnicking for several times. On the lawn, I ate, lay, spaced out into the sky and read. Since we were in nature, I stood on the green and practiced reiki healing on friends, making the best use of the energy of the earth. We live, learn and experience on this land, and our survival is based greatly on the energy from the earth — fruit and vegetables grown on the soil, livestocks eating grass and grains, trees releasing oxygen and so on. We live with each other. Looking at the fruit and vegetables that are grown on the soil, I see the energy and magic of life, yet root vegetables grown in the soil always have my heart. Since little, I have always enjoyed carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, taros, lotus roots and lily bulbs. Growing up, I acquired the love of beets (golden beetroots are even more delicious but they are hard to get) and burdock. Ginger and garlic surely are always used in my cooking. Root vegetables are the storage organs, yielding a sweeter taste compared to leafy greens. I only learnt about the healing properties of different food when I read on dietary therapy — root vegetables are grounding.
In this bright and beautiful world, they, silently, grow inwards in the lightless soil, into earth at a slow, humble but assuring pace. We cannot see its growth, however, as time passes by and with quiet nourishments from mother earth, we know fruition with strong roots will eventually be unearthed from the soil.
Sweet Potato & Shio Koji Rice
Purple sweet potato 250g
Japanese short grain rice 270ml
Water (for cooking rice) 250ml
Shio koji 2 teaspoons (or substitute with ½ teaspoon of sea salt)
Black sesame seeds To taste
- Wash and drain the rice. For the potatoes, scrub clean, cut off both ends and cut them into large dices with skin on.
- Put the rice, water and shio koji into a donabe and stir well. Put the diced sweet potato on top of the rice. Using a rice cooker will work equally well.
- Bring the rice mixture to the boil over medium-high heat, and then turn it down to low heat. Boil for 12 minutes, turn off the heat, do not lift off the lids and let the rice sit for 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice and sweet potato, serve in a rice bowl and top it with black sesame seeds.
- You can make onigiri with the sweet potato rice for picnics; at home, serving it with miso soup or vegetable curry makes a hearty delicious meal.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.