In the quiet town of Santo Antônio do Pinhal, in the interior of the State of São Paulo, lives Muktatman (Ricardo Arroio) from São Paulo. He says he became a margii five years ago when he was initiated by the Acarya Jinanananda Avadhuta, on the recommendation of his friend – and pracaraka – Gurucaran (Gustavo Prudente). According to him, Gurucaran was the first margii he met, and it was the gleam in his eyes that made him think, “I do not know what it is, but I want some of that too.” This, he says, is his advice to all pracarakas: “invite with that sparkle in your eyes,” because “it makes all the difference in bringing more and more practitioners.”
After initiation, Muktatman began to deepen his understanding of Tantra, which led to a great change in his life. At the time, he worked with the management and production of major events, but with the practice of meditation, he began to feel the need to attend human development programs. He ended up making it his job. “After I began to meditate, a million things happened. I released my power in the world, and for that I am very grateful for this path,” he says.
Today, he uses the knowledge and tools of Tantra in various forms of pracar, as in his training and coaching consultations in the Programa Ser (which focuses on wholistic health) and in the work with the NGO Wyse International http://www.wyse-ngo.org (which conducts leadership training for young people from many countries around the world). He also uses his knowledge to enrich the projects of Ananda Marga, as in the voluntary meetings he conducted with the daycare educators of Avadhutika Ananda Jaya Acarya in São Paulo, SP, Brazil http://amurtsp.org/.
Among his different forms of pracar, one of the most common is food. He takes the subtle food to the culinary events he promotes, the programs he has developed (such as Programa Ser and Wyse International) and educational projects like the innovative “Culinária & Meditação” (Cooking & Meditation, free translation) that he developed at Lumiar International, a school in the city where he lives.
The kitchen came into his life as a legacy from his family and his time working in restaurants in Australia. If before he always cooked with garlic and onion, after meeting Ananda Marga and giving up these seasonings, he discovered a new universe of flavors, colors and smells. “I noticed the difference it made in my digestion,” he says.
Everywhere he cooks, he explains why not to use onion and garlic. In this way, he has the opportunity to spread some aspects of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti’s philosophy. To support his argument, he explains that other spiritual traditions do not consume these same spices, such as the Vaisnavas (hare krsnas), and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.
“People are delighted because they can realize that it is possible to make subtle food without sacrificing taste, but rather exploring new flavors. As for me, food is a passion. It ends up being a gateway to talk about meditation, the devotional path, and spiritual practice. If I were to list my main ways of doing pracar, I’d say it was mainly through food”.
Thai Rice Recipe
1 cup white rice
1 cup coconut water
1 cup coconut milk
2 leaves of lemongrass
Half a lemon grated
The juice of half a lemon
Salt to taste
Method of preparation:
Wash the rice and let it drain.
Spread the uncut lemongrass at the bottom of an ovenproof dish, to facilitate removal when ready.
Add the washed rice, the coconut water, the coconut milk, the lemon juice and the salt.
Mix well and taste to see if it needs more salt.
Spread grated lemon and do not stir.
Cover the dish with foil and place in moderately heated oven (200 ° C) for approximately 20 minutes, or until the liquid dries.
Remove from the oven while still covered, and let sit for 15 minutes, so the rice doesn’t clump.
Remove the foil, the lemongrass leaves and serve.
You can use any type of rice (basmati, jasmine, brown, etc). Depending on the type of rice, the proportion of liquids may vary.
If you make a large quantity, the cooking time may vary.
Suggestions for side dishes:
Veggie curry or vegetarian moqueca.
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