First Sunrise of Spring 春の初日の出

Have been very busy since I returned to Chicago on Sunday, on the day of the Spring Equinox. The next morning, I took an aerial video of the sunrise, which I will share with you here.

春分の日曜日にシカゴに戻ってきてから、とても忙しくしています。 春分の翌日の朝、上空から日の出の動画を撮影しました。それを皆さんと分かち合いたいと思います。

The simple beauty of the beach 浜辺の素朴な美しさ

Since I’m still here in India, I thought to share a couple of photos of the beach adjacent to Amma’s ashram.

If it looks tropical, that’s because it is.

Every day, the temperature ranges from 75 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. (25 – 33 C).

If you right click on the panorama photo and open it in a new tab, it will enlarge…






Calling All Youth  すべての青年たちへの呼びかけ

It has been about 2 1/2 months since I posted, part of which is due to the fact that I have been in India for the past 6 weeks and internet access here has been difficult. But today, I have something really special to share with everyone.


This year, AYUDH will again conduct its annual youth conference, The Ripple Effect. AYUDH, or “Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara” is the youth wing of Embracing the World, aiming to use the powerful force of young people to perpetuate natural harmony, social justice, and personal empowerment. AYUDH is open to youth between ages 15-30, irrespective of religious, social, and cultural background. It aims to use Embracing the World’s volunteer based methodology to tackle global issues on a massive scale.

MAセンターシカゴでは、今年もAYUDH(アユーダ)の一環として毎年行っている青年会議リトリート『ザ・リップル・イフェクト(波及効果)』を開催します。AYUDHすなわち“Amrita Yuva Dharma Dharaアムリタ・ユーヴァ・ダルマ・ダーラ”は、エンブレイシング・ザ・ワールドの青年部で、若者たちのパワフルな活力を活かして、自然の調和、社会的正義、自己啓発を持続させていくことを目的としています。AYUDHには、その人の宗教、社会的あるいは文化的背景に関係なく、15歳から30歳までの若者なら誰でも参加することができます。エンブレイシング・ザ・ワールドのボランティアを活用して、大きな規模で地球が抱える数々の問題に立ち向かうことをめざしています。

To launch its promotion for The Ripple Effect 2016, AYUDH has posted a nice video with clips and interviews from last year’s youth conference, which was held at MA Center Chicago. Please take a look and share with your friends.


Stay tuned for more details and hope to see lots more new youth at this year’s event!



Mother Nature’s Medicinal Magic — Plant Medicine Workshop 母なる自然の不思議な薬効 ―植物薬ワークショップ

Many of you may already know that in the Spring of 2014 we began growing the medicinal herb echinacea  here in MA Center Chicago. In previous posts, I mentioned how we prepared to seed rougly 1.5 acres of echinacea purpurea, then actually planted it, how it looked after 4 months, how it progressed this spring and early summer, and a post this summer showing how the field went from this…


 to this…これに・・・

… in just 6 weeks! ・・・たった6週間の間に!

Here’s an aerial video of the field at it’s peak this summer, just 15 months after it was planted from seed.


While the plant is indeed beautiful when it explodes into countless bright pink flowers, the medicinal properties are at their highest levels later in the fall. So, we decided to conduct a workshop in early October, called “Mother Nature’s Medicinal Magic — Making Plant Medicine”.

沢山の鮮やかなピンクの花々が一斉に咲きほこる光景はとても美しいのですが、この花が持つ薬効特性が最高値に達するのは秋中旬頃です。私たちは、早速10月の初めに “母なる自然の不思議な薬効―植物薬作り” のワークショップを開催しました。

We were fortunate to have Richo and Jebran Cech from Horizon Herbs in Oregon come out to conduct the workshop. Both of them love Amma deeply and are strong supporters of all the humanitarian activities she has inpsired. Here is Richo in our greenhouse with some local devotees.



The program hall was set up nicely, with the various equipment newly procured for our nascent tincturing endeavor.



Photos from the actual workshop follow, starting with Richo inaugurating the event.




Later, Jebran took a group outside to show them how to dig up echinacea plants for tincture.



Soon, everyone started hands-on learning of the process …



Everyone appreciated how generous and patient Richo and Jebran were in answering their questions.



In the course of the workshop, a few gallons of echinacea and tulasi (holy basil) tincture were prepared, but only the first step. Weeks later, we had to press, filter, bottle, label and seal the tincture, in order to make it available for Amma’s visit in November.


Stay tuned for more posts on this subject…


An Offering of Service – volunteering at the food pantry  奉仕活動を捧げました ― 食糧庫でボランティア活動

Here’s another example of the community outreach programs at MA Center Chicago. Throughout the year, Amma’s devotees volunteer at the local food pantry in Geneva, just 5 miles from us.


Often, during her annual Birthday Celebrations, Amma says that she, herself, wants nothing from us — selflessness and an attitude of service is what gives her joy. In this spirit, for Amma’s 62nd Birthday Celebration in late September, a large group of devotees used the opportunity to make an offering of selfless service at the food pantry. Click here for the full photo album.


First, they gathered to hear an explanation from the food pantry staff.



Then they set about stocking and organizing food for distribution.



After the food has been properly prepared, the food pantry distributes it to nearby families in need.



This ongoing project has proven to provide yet another opportunity to taste the joy of giving…





Nature’s bounty crafted into tasty delights / 自然の恵みが美味なる絶品になりました

As I mentioned in my last post, some of the produce harvested here in MA Center Chicago was transported far away to help people in need. Throughout the growing season, we also regularly provided fresh, organically grown vegetables to the local food bank. And, I must confess… we did eat a lot of them ourselves, too.前回の投稿では、MAセンターシカゴで収穫された農作物が、助けが必要な人々のために遠い地まで運ばれたことをご紹介しました。野菜の生育期間中は、地元の食糧銀行にも定期的に新鮮な無農薬野菜を届けてきました。そして正直に告白しますと・・・私たち自身もここで採れた沢山の農作物をいただきました。

Here are some other ways in which the local devotees utilized the bountiful harvest, in mid-September.そのほかにも、地元のボランティアたちが9月半ばにまた違った形で豊作の収穫野菜を活用しましたので、それをここでご紹介します。

Before the growing season began, one devotee had the inspiration to start a “salsa garden”, with the intention of growing all the veggies needed to make our own salsa. At the end of the season, the produce from the garden was harvested, and any shortfall was supplemented with produce from another organic farm nearby.野菜の栽培期間が始まる前に、ひとりのボランティアが〝サルサ ガーデン″を始めることを思いつきました。自分たちの手作りサルサを作るのに必要な野菜全種類を育てようというわけです。夏が終わるころに畑から野菜を収穫し、足りない分は地元の無農薬菜園で買い足しました。

Then, they set about chopping everything…それから、全材料を並べて野菜切りに入ります・・・


After cooking the ingredients for some time, they canned them nicely in mason jars…しばらく材料を煮込んだあとに、ガラス瓶に丁寧に入れていきます・・・


Soon, we had our first batch of salsa — both mild and hot varieties.そして、初めての手作りサルサができました-辛味と甘味の2種類です。


I received a jar of each and I can confirm that they were both quite delicious. Though a decent amount was made, every last jar quickly disappeared. :-)私もこの2種類のサルサをいただきました。どちらの味もたしかにとても美味しくできていました。一応それなりに十分な数を作ったのですが、最後のひと瓶まであっという間に残らずなくなってしまいました。

Next year, if we get more help with the gardening, we can certainly make lots more.来年は畑仕事を手伝ってくれる人が増えれば、もっと沢山作ることができるでしょう。


The same cooking crew made a large number of apple pies, utilizing just a fraction of the apples harvested from the trees here.同じく調理メンバーが、敷地内で収穫したリンゴのうちのごく少量を使って、沢山のアップルパイを焼きました。


These were also extremely popular, and needless to say, very tasty…こちらもとても大人気で、言うまでもなく、とても美味でした・・・


Next spring, we plan to revive the roadside farm stand that used to be very popular a few years before we acquired this property. There, we hope to make fresh vegetables and other items like these available to the general public.来春の計画は、道端の野菜直売所を復活させることです。ここにMAセンターを構える数年前にとても評判が良かった直売所です。新鮮な野菜や、ここにご紹介したような手作り食品を一般にも提供したいと願っています。

Stay tuned for more developments and ideas on the roadside farm stand plan…道端の野菜直売所がどのように発展し、どのようなアイデアが展開されていくのか、楽しみにしていてくださいね。

Sharing nature’s bounty / 自然の恵みを分かち合う

With the rich soil in our center and the plentiful rainfall, our gardens grew very nicely again this year. Toward the end of the summer season, residents of the Chicago ashram felt to share nature’s bounty with our brothers and sisters in another part of the midwest. We decided to partner with another non-profit, Lakota Circle, to provide organically grown vegetables to the people of Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.センターで育てている私たちの野菜畑は、肥沃な土と十分な雨のおかげで、今年も多いに豊作でした。夏が終わる頃、シカゴアシュラムの住人たちは、この自然の恵みを中西部の別の地域に住む私たちの兄弟姉妹と分かち合いたいと思いました。私たちは、ラコタ・サークルという非営利団体と協力して、サウスダコタ州にあるパイン・リッジ・レザベーションというアメリカ先住民居留地に住む人々に有機栽培の野菜を提供することにしました。

Many of you may already be aware of the health and nutritional challenges experienced on Native American reservations today. In reference to Pine Ridge reservation, ABC News said a few years ago: “An area the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, the reservation is considered a “food desert,” defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a low-income community without ready access to healthy and affordable food. Ecoffey, who is also the Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent for the Pine Ridge Agency, tells ABC News that healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are unavailable because of what he says are limited resources.”もうすでにご存じの方も沢山いると思いますが、各地の居留地で多くのアメリカ先住民たちが健康面、そして栄養面での問題を抱えています。パイン・リッジ・レザベーションについては、数年前にABCニュースでこのように紹介されていました。「デラウェア州とロードアイランド州両方を合わせたほどの面積からなるこの居留地は、低所得層が健康的な食材を無理なく買うことが困難になっていることから、米国農務省が定義する『フードデザート(食の砂漠)』の状態にあるとみなされています。アメリカ先住民委員会パイン・リッジ局の責任者であるエコフィー氏がABCニュースに伝えたところによると、供給先が限られているために新鮮な果物や野菜の入手が困難になっているとのことです。」

So, residents set to work harvesting from their gardens.というわけで、アシュラム住人が野菜畑での収穫に取りかかりました。


Mother Nature was very generous in providing vegetables like string beans…サヤインゲンなどの野菜—母なる大地が惜しみなく与えてくれたものです


Purple beans and sunflower seeds… 紫インゲンとヒマワリの種…


carrots galore and many more… 沢山のニンジン、まだもっと沢山…


Everything was packed in boxes and kept overnight in a walk-in refrigerator箱に詰められた野菜たちは、巨大な冷蔵室で一晩過ごしました。


The following morning, the veggies were handed over to Dan, who happily packed them in his car,翌朝、野菜たちはダンに手渡され、ダンはそれを嬉しそうに車に積み込み、


…then set off on the 850 mile, 12+ hour journey to Kyle, South Dakota.約850マイル(約1360キロメートル)12時間強の運転、サウスダコタ州 カイルへと旅立ちました。


Here is a picture of the letter enclosed with the vegetables…これは野菜と一緒に同封した手紙です…