I know, I know. I've been a bad girl... vanishing from cyberspace like that without a word. I just got back from a 10 day meditation retreat at the Vipassana Center in Merrit, BC. I found out I was going only at the last minute and barely had enough time to pack.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Vipassana, it's one of India's most ancient meditation techniques and was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana, which means "to see things as they really are", is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. While most meditation techniques aims mainly to quiet the mind, Vipassana works at a deeper level, purifying the mind of its negativities/ conditioning. This non-sectarian technique also allows one to realize the truth of impermanence in a direct and experiential way within the framework of one's own body. After using it daily for the last 7 years, I am still amazed at how simple yet effective Vipassana is. I can honestly say that this technique has positively changed my life in a tangible way.
One of the unusual aspects of the Vipassana Centers is that they are operated solely on a donation basis. Old students volunteer their time and energy in order to 'serve', allowing others to benefit from sitting a meditation course. So this time around, besides meditating about 6 hours a day, I also gave a hand in the kitchen, preparing the daily salads and special meals. I even managed to come back with a few recipes, including this lovely oil-free dressing that Dana, the manager of Merrit's Center, has kindly accepted that I share with you.
Sunflower Dill Dressing
Courtesy of the Vipassana Centers' menu
Yields 4 cups
2 cups sunflower seeds, ground
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs dried dill
1 tsp tamari or salt
1 tsp honey
Begin by grinding the sunflower seeds in the blender (a coffee grinder would also do).
Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth.
~ This yields quite a bit of dressing so you may want to halve the recipe.
~ The recipe calls for dry sunflower seeds but I bet soaked seeds would work beautifully.
~ You could replace some or all of the apple cider vinegar with lemon juice.
~ You may need to add water as the dressing thickens as it sits.
7 hours ago