Swami Satchidananda Speaking about Death

Not exactly sure how I came across this video, but I found myself watching it a few times in order to feel what the light hearted Swami is really saying. His words and analogies apply very well to matter and low level quantum type situations, but there is something fundamental that I believe he’s missing here.

Before the critic in me comes out too strong, I highly recommend giving this eight+ minute video a going over. Pay close attention to his words or you may be watching it multiple times like I did.

Without further delay:

I have to admit that I love the hanky display. But he asks a question (at 2:40) while he’s holding up the hanky “where did the knot come from then?” Shortly thereafter, he pulls the knot out of the hanky and asks (3:25) “where did the knot go? And where from it came? Huh?” He pauses and then concludes: “That is death and life.”

In this grand scheme of things, the great yogi states that we don’t really lose anything – stuff just changes form. The tree dies and turns into a chair. Its death comes at the hands of the fire where ashes are born which replenishes the earth where the cycle can continue. This argument revolves around the idea that matter simply changes shape – nothing is really lost.

At 4:50 he states a yogic principle of:

  • Earth to earth
  • Fire to fire
  • Water to water

The idea is what comes from one type of matter goes back to its source. There is nothing lost, but things get transformed along the way until they finally make it back to their original state.

The problem is that (at 4:48) he seems to conclude that “where did you come, you go back to your source” implying that we, too, are simply matter. When we die, we go back to where we came from, but he doesn’t state where, he just seems to know that we follow similar natural laws where nothing is lost, it’s just transformed.

But let’s look back at the question this swami posed about the knot in the hanky: “where did the knot come from then?”

I believe that this is where the swami’s simple argument about life and death falls apart. The knot was created through conscious intent but it is no more alive than the hanky!

When something is alive, it has consciousness. When something is alive, the spirit is linked to the matter in such a way that the consciousness gains experience. Life and death are relative to the means by which the conscious spirit is linked to matter in order to gain sensual experiences. The life cycle and conscious understanding of a tree is different than a rock. You may not be sensitive enough to feel the life spirit that dwells in a rock or in a tree, but I’m pretty sure you could sense the life spirit that dwells in a dog or cat.

As the Swami speaks, he seems to lead the listener to believe that death is just a transformation of matter. I would contend that death is the point where consciousness severs its link to matter. At that point you could say “spirit to spirit” but that might be a little harder for him to speak about in an eight minute video.

So, I guess I disagree with this swami – as he speaks in this video. Life is the act of spirit interacting consciously with matter. Death is the point where the spirit can no longer interact – the bond has been broken.

Life and death also come with varying degrees of intensity. When an animal dies, it is clear that consciousness leaves quickly. When a tree dies, it may take a long time to notice. When water dies, could you even tell?

If the knot where conscious, I would have felt something for it when the swami pulled it apart. But, it is not. The matter making up the hanky has some very small sense of life, but the consciousness is too low to be commonly considered alive. If he were to burn the hanky, it would have most likely freed the last remaining spirit it held – in which case, it probably would have stirred some emotion in the viewer.

So, the next time someone talks that death is a simple transformation of matter, correct them by bringing in consciousness.

Life is precious. Life is a conscious experience. Make it everything you want it to be!

Collard Smoothie with Blueberries & Mango

This, I believe, is the best collard greens smoothie I’ve ever had. Every once in a while you come across a combination that simply stands apart from the rest. This smoothie is it. I wish I knew the reason why this one came together so well and I may someday, but it is what it is. And this one is a keeper!


  • 1 cup rejuvelac
  • 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 mango
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 larger medjool dates
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 large bowl collard greens

I added the blueberries to the rejuvelac so as to get a wet measure on the berries. As you can see in the above picture, the liquid line is at about 2 ½ cups. Once you’ve pitted the dates and mango and thrown it all in the blender, you’ll get something that looks like this:

The center of the collard green leave isn’t the most tender steam. Thus, I like to slice them out. I run a paring knife along the rib to shave off each side of the leaf. You’ll end up with a pile that looks like this.

Notice that I’ve spun the fruit just to the liquid stage. It makes it easier to add the greens.

After blending for 60 seconds, you get this wonderful green colored mostly fruit smoothie that’s just loaded with good things for your mind and spirit (body too).

I’ll be making this one multiple times. This was the second real picking of collard greens from the garden and I’m totally looking forward to getting more. I’m going to have to plan the harvest around having a fresh mango on hand. A frozen banana, blueberries and dates can come around just about any time.

Think green – act green everyday!

Cherry Truffles – A Chocolate Dream

Chocolate truffles are no longer just for Christmas! Here is it, the end of July and I’ve found a few extra hours to craft some hand rolled cherry truffles. If you haven’t ever given this a try – and you love making decadent deserts – this project is for you.

The filling has the consistency of gooey fudge and the outside has just a little crunch to it. The secret is the amaretto (or almond extract) that you add to the filling. It’s also worthwhile to serve these truffles are room temperature, but be prepared to get chocolate on your fingers. These are not M&Ms!

Don’t those look great! I hope they last more than just a couple days.

Recipe: for the filling

  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup Almond butter (paste)
  • 1/8th tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 6 large Medjool dates
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 oz Amaretto (or 1 tsp almond extract)

This one takes a little bit of preparation – you need to reconstitute the cherries and dates. With the cherries place just a little less than 1 cup on a jar and barely cover with water. Let it stand a few hours. Once rehydrated, remove from water and reserve. With the dates, if you’re using amaretto, pit them and cover with the ounce of amaretto. If you’re using the almond extract, add a little water and let them rehydrate a bit.

We’re going to use a mixer with the S-blade to create this filling. To start with, add the cherries (without the water) and dates (with the water) and blend. You want to really break these down before going further.

Once the mixture looks like really good jam, you want to add the other ingredients. Make an effort to mix the powder in before turning on the machine or you’ll get cacao everywhere. Once done, it will look like this:

At this point, you’ll want to cool it before rolling it into balls. I placed it in the fridge overnight.

While it’s still cold, you want to shape small spoonfuls into little round balls. I rub coconut butter on my hands and keep a little around so that the filling doesn’t stick so bad. Notice that in the following picture there are some that turn out smooth and others that are a little spiky. Well, the filling tends to pick up the coconut butter (oil) so you’ll get a feel for how often to replenish the coating on your hands.

Recipe: For the cacao coating

  • ½ lb. Cacao butter
  • ¾ cup cacao powder
  • 4 Tbsps Agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder

Place the cacao butter in the dehydrator until it melts (or shave it and float a bowl of it in a hot water bath). After it’s melted, add the cacao and vanilla and stir toughly. Lastly, add the agave (if you like it really sweet (which I don’t) you’ll want to add a little more agave.

I melt the cacao butter in a 2 cup measuring cup so it’s a little steeper on the sides (more depth) so that when I dip the filling balls I can stretch the cacao butter a little further.

Using cold filling balls, place one on a fork and dip it in the warm cacao and remove. The cacao butter (coating) should harden fairly quickly around the cold filling. This should only take a few seconds. To get the chocolate coating fairly thick, you’ll want to dip it about three times.

In the end you get something like this…

… which you get to enjoy for lunches for a week or so!  This recipe makes about 50 once inch (or smaller) truffles.

I hope you love these as much as I do.

Cherry Cheesecake Topping – wow!

Sometimes you just stumble across something that makes you say wow! This is it – A sweet cherry sauce with a burst of almond. And it’s so amazingly simple. Rainer Cherries, Agave syrup and Amaretto. Check this out.

Doesn’t that look good?

It was.

So, I’ve probably made The Raw Seed fermented nut cheesecake a half dozen times now and it seems to get better each time. I’ve made some modifications to Meredith’s recipe and so I’ve updated my original article with my new advice. I really highly recommend this tasty cake. Don’t try to do anything fancy with it the first couple times and you can’t fail.

But this last time I wanted to give it a little … Za-za-za-zing. I looked around the refrigerator and noticed that I had peaches, strawberries, blueberries and Rainer cherries. I’m always looking for another way to enjoy cherries, so this idea came to me. It’s this simple.


  • 1 cup fresh Rainer cherries
  • 1 oz Agave syrup
  • 1 oz Amaretto

De-steam and pit the cherries. Place them in a small blender. Using your favorite shot glass, measure out about 1 shot amaretto and an equal amount agave syrup. Blend until smooth (like the picture above). You’ll have little bits of cherry skin, but overall it will have a watery consistency.  Pour it over a small slice of cheesecake and you’ve got something to blog about!

Who would have thought that this would taste so amazing together?

Kale Blueberry Mango Watermelon Smoothie

There are two ways that I most enjoy eating kale 1) with blueberries and 2) with even MORE blueberries mixed with watermelon! Watermelon, all around, makes for a great addition to smoothies, but in this case it thins out (and cools) what is normally thick (and warmer). If you love the Kale Blueberry smoothie post I’ve made before, you’ll really love this one!

Oh, and I have to say that I’m totally excited to see the kale coming on in the garden. It’s still a bit cold for it, but I’m able to get the first smaller leaves. I can’t tell any taste difference between the larger leaves and these smaller ones, but it just takes more. After a harvest, I feel that I’ve left the plants naked and exposed! Yet, when I revisit in a few days they look back to normal.


  • 1 cup rejuvelac
  • 1 cup blueberries (wet measure as you poor them into the blender
  • 1 ripe mango
  • Couple medjool dates
  • 2-4 cups watermelon
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Start off by blending all the fruit to liquefy.

Now we’re going to add our bowl full of kale.

As with most greens, they don’t consume much volume.

After packing the leaves in, blend for 60 seconds or more but don’t let the mixture heat up. You can easily monitor the temperature by holding your hand against the side of the blender. If it’s feeling warm, you spun it for too long! Just run it long enough to break everything down. You don’t want to have to chew chunks of kale.

In the end, you’ll have around 7 cups to enjoy and share with a friend. If you’re the only one, you’ll probably get a breakfast and lunch out of this recipe. It’s worth it, really…

Sometimes I wish I had some voting software that I could include with these smoothie recipes. It would be cool to get the votes of others are they try them out too. I could envision a five start system. Five being the best, I’d put this one on that five star list!