August - dharma arts round-up

Dharma Arts round-up August

Goodbye summer of 2018, you were hot! 



One of the best things about living in Sweden is that winter is winter and summer is summer, they are poles apart. Each half of the year requires a whole different approach to life, a different wardrobe, different pastimes. So though it's kinda sad that summer is coming to an end, I've found myself starting to long for the winter things. Time to get the knitting out.
Knitting is all about using our hands. And it turns out that using our hands makes us feel happy - 
"I made up this term called 'behaviorceuticals,' instead of pharmaceuticals, in the sense that when we move and when we engage in activities, we change the neurochemistry of our brain in ways that a drug can change the neurochemistry of our brain,"
says Kelly Lambert, a neuroscientist at the University of Richmond. 

It seems that our brains have evolved to 'reward us' for making things with our hands, not just the reward of the finished wooly scarf, but a little high every time we engage in the process. 

It looks like the people at Lion's Roar are also ready for the knitting season - Zen Mind, Knitting Mind




One of the things I do all year round is eating. My mum used to say, 'some people eat to live, we live to eat!'

I’m going more and more in the direction of Indian cooking, and for a ton of good reasons. Flavours, obviously, but another big plus is pulses; beans, lentils and chickpeas. Pulses have amazing health benefits and, unlike chia seeds and goji berries, they are dirt cheap (we love dirt). Combine them with a big variety of veg, pump up the flavour with spices and fresh herbs, and serve with brown rice or breads made with whole-wheat flour.

My current inspiration is Meera Sodha, find her in the Guardian or on her website


I seemed to have completely missed out on The Grateful Dead, how did that happen?
It’s true that I was only 6 years old when they were making music, but the same goes for Janis Joplin, Dylan, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground and Bowie, all of whom I was obsessed with. For a long time I’ve had a vague sense that I’d missed out on something, but then listening to Kamalagita’s talk on The Grateful Dead from the Buddhafield festival, I decided I really do need to remedy this.
I’m buying a turntable soon, so are there any deadheads out there who want to recommend a first album?


I’ve decided I need to put my money where my mouth is. There’s a race on, just now, to become the first trillion-dollar company, bets are on either Amazon or Apple. Amazon seems to have the winning combination of tax avoidance and appalling pay and conditions for workers. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that matters these days is short term profit.
I noticed myself getting upset about this, then noticed myself about to order a book from amazon. What motivates my shopping choices?

I looked for an alternative to amazon and found Hive. It’s an online book store that supports real life bookstores, you nominate a book store to get a percentage of your purchase. Great. The catch is this, the book I want is a couple of pounds more than on Amazon. 
You know, I’m really tempted to buy it from Amazon. How can I be so outraged at this ‘profit above all else’ mentality, when it is also my mentality?
Today I closed my Amazon account (easier said than done, follow the instructions here). I ordered that book from Hive (next I need to buy an new e-reader as my kindle is tied to amazon).

Win or lose? Win, not only because I did something that is good, but because it also feels great! 
Look out Ryanair, you’re next. 

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Wishing you cool breezes and all other good things, 

Rachel aka Vajradarshini