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January 2006

The coming of a new year, like the dawning of a new day or even a new moment brings us in touch with the unknown.

"The unknown is the only thing that truly cares about the fate of your soul; therefore it would be good to revere it as much as you would revere holiness. God lives in the unknown and when you can embrace it fully you will be home free."

Deepak Chopra


May you be at peace with the unknown this year and always.

Please diarise Saturday 5 February. We are planning an Ayurveda Wellness Day. We will send you more details soon.


Earth therapy
Recipe: Cucumber and Sesame Seed Salad
Cooking course
Special: Ayurveda Wellness Retreat Half day for two at R810 continues for the month of February.

Earth therapy

"The Earth's condition is receptive devotion" I Ching

"The land is a mother that never dies."  Maori tribe of New Zealand

-        what is Earth element?


Traditionally the Earth element is seen as the foundation and support for life. At a fundamental level it is the ground we stand on.  Plants send roots down into the soil to draw up nutrients, and to protect themselves from being blown away by the wind or washed out by rain or floods.

Earth provides the food you eat and this food in turn creates your physical support structure - your bones, joints, muscles and flesh.

At a functional level, the Earth element relates to our capacity to nourish and support ourselves. The successful result of this is the sweet feeling of satisfaction.

However, the five elements can be understood in a material sense as well as a subtle sense. Earth is not only the terrain of our planet or the iron in our red blood cells and spleen, but also the quality of steadfastness of mind, faith, the slow and quiet undeterred advancement towards a goal, and not being the football of other people's opinions. Groundedness, rootedness, dependability and stability are its primary qualities.


Earth is the heaviest and most solid of the elements. At first glance it appears unchanging, in contrast to fire, which changes with each flicker, or water, which can freeze, evaporate, or change its shape to conform to the contours of its container.

Though solid, Earth is by no means stagnant. Life moves and grows within it, or lies dormant waiting for the opportunity to emerge. Living bone, contrary to appearances, is ever changing. Its cells continually build up its structure, break it down, and then rebuild it. Like the Earth element in general, to see its changing nature you have to look beneath the surface.  

The earth element builds tissue. During childhood,the body needs food that is deeply nourishing, heavy and contains an abundance of the earth element such as organic milk, nuts and grains.


-    how do we know when Earth is out of balance or in excess? 


When in balance, Earth is solid, stable, and well-grounded. Out of balance, Earth is too heavy and unyielding. 

When the earth element is in excess in our body we may feel heavy, sluggish and tired. Emotionally, we may feel as if there are obstacles to the support we desire from others. Conversely, when there is not enough earth element, we feel ungrounded, 'spaced out', empty, light-headed. We are indecisive, lack faith and are unreliable.


-    how can we balance Earth element?

  • Thank and acknowledge Earth in your life by planting seeds or trees, gardening, hugging trees, wearing gemstones.  Some examples of practices in traditional cultures are the worship of certain trees and medicinal plants, visiting holy places especially the confluence of rivers, worshipping mountains. Reverence of earth is related to fertility and sexual potency.
  • You can balance the earth element by placing plants or heavier items in the southwest area of a room, home or office. Plants absorb toxins and help clean our environment. They will create support and protection on an energetic level.
  • Find a relatively quiet place where you can sit comfortably on the ground, or on a chair or bench. Close your eyes and feel the earth beneath you. Consider that the earth you sit on is directly connected to the earth everywhere else on our planet. Think about the earth's great depth and solidity. After a while, open your eyes and look around you. Touch the earth, and if possible pick up a small handful. Is it cold or warm? Damp or dry? What thoughts come to you about the nature of the Earth element?
  • Plants, especially trees, carry an abundance of the Earth element. When you're speedy and wish to settle down, taking a walk in a park or forest is among the most calming things you can do. The next time you're walking on an unpaved area, stop for a few moments and feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the calm that comes from attuning to the energy of Earth.
  • Mud baths rich in herbal minerals are a most valuable skin therapy for re-hydration, detoxification and nourishment. Mud - the earth element - is a natural medium for water, herbs and minerals. Mud has special holding and releasing powers. Just as it holds and protects a seed underground and releases it at the appropriate time, herbal mud protects the skin and nourishes it with the properties it absorbs from the herbs. From the mud application, the skin directly absorbs and integrates the properties of nature.
  • Oil massage using stones or bodywork using heated sandbags is extremely effective for grounding. If there is too much oil in the body already, use dry brushing or rub the skin vigorously with chickpea flour.

  "Everything that exists has Being, has God-essence, has some degree of consciousness. Even a stone has rudimentary consciousness; otherwise, it would not be and its atoms and molecules would disperse. Everything is alive."


Recipe: Cucumber and Sesame Seed Salad 



Sesame seeds

Dry roast in a pan until they 'pop', then set aside

1 T sunflower oil                                     


Heat in a frying pan, fry


2 red onions, thinly sliced



2 garlic cloves


Until caramelized and brown.

Make the dressing by slowly mixing

2 T cider vinegar



t ground turmeric



1 t brown sugar or honey


then stir in

1 T sesame oil


Season with



1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed


Pour the dressing over the diced cucumber and top with the fried onions and garlic and toasted sesame seeds.


Serves 4 - 6


Cooking course:

We will continue our cooking courses once we have moved to a new place. In the meantime, we would like to recommend Helen and Claudio's courses at Capri, near Noordhoek. They are offered monthly on Saturdays or you can join a six week course on Thursday evenings, starting on 2nd March. Please call us for more details.




There is no world.
Neither is there body nor mind.
There is only One pure Consciousness.
I am that One pure Consciousness.
Please see the attached document or our website for a full list of all massages and retreats that we offer.

May 2006 bring you more peace, joy and contentment than ever before.
With love and gratitude,
The Nalanda team

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