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Independence Day – Thomas Jefferson on Patriotism

Today is Independence Day. A good reason to reflect for a moment on the origin’s of this wonderful country.

One of the founding fathers was Thomas Jefferson. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence.
Here is a short excerpt from the first part of the declaration.

“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…..
The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription – IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson has left a large legacy of thoughts, many of them in letters that he wrote to different personalities.

Light and LibertyHere are some excerpts from the excellent book Light and Liberty, by Eric Petersen, with Thomas Jefferson’s statement about Patriotism.

Happy Independence Day!

…The Sole Depository of the Sacred Fire…
We are trusted with the destinies of this solitary republic of the world, the only monument of human rights, and the sole depository of the sacred fire of freedom and self- government, from hence it is to be lighted up in other regions of the earth, if other regions of the earth shall ever become susceptible of its benign influence. All mankind ought then, with us, to rejoice in its prosperous, and sympathize in its adverse fortunes, as involving everything dear to man. And to what sacrifices of interest, or convenience, ought not these considerations to animate us? To what compromises of opinion and inclination, to maintain harmony and union among ourselves, and to preserve from all danger this hallowed ark of human hope and happiness.

My earnest prayers to all my friends are to cherish mutual goodwill, to promote harmony and conciliation, and above all things to let the love of our country soar above all minor passions. To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens, promote their prosperity and happiness, reunite opinion, cultivate a spirit of candor, moderation, charity, and forbearance toward one another, are objects calling for the efforts and sacrifices of every good man and patriot. Our religion enjoins it; our happiness demands it; and no sacrifice is requisite but of passions hostile to both.

The first object of my heart is my own country, the asylum for whatever is great and good. In that is embarked my family, my fortune, and my own existence. I have not one farthing of interest, nor one fiber of attachment out of it, nor a single motive of preference of any one nation to another, but in proportion as they are more or less friendly to us. There is not a country on earth where there is greater tranquility; where the laws are milder, or better obeyed; where everyone is more attentive to his own business or meddles less with that of others; where strangers are better received, more hospitably treated, and with a more sacred respect; where the virtues of the heart are less exposed to be weakened.

A character of good faith is of as much value to a nation as to an individual. A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society. The man who loves his country on its own account, and not merely for its trappings of interest or power, can never be divorced from it, can never refuse to come forward when he finds that she is engaged in dangers which he has the means of warding off. To no events which can concern the future welfare of my country, can I ever become an indifferent spectator; her prosperity will be my joy, her calamities my affliction.

Our fellow citizens have a sacred attachment to the event of which the paper of July 4th, 1776, was but the Declaration, the genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time. Small things may, perhaps, like the relics of saints, help to nourish our devotion to this holy bond of our Union, and keep it longer alive and warm in our affections. Even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the 4th of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

Looking forward with anxiety to the future destinies of my countrymen I trust that, in their steady character unshaken by difficulties, in their love of liberty, obedience to law, and support of the public authorities, I see a sure guarantee of the permanence of our Republic; and retiring from the charge of their affairs, I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion that Heaven has in store for our beloved country long ages to come of prosperity and happiness. God send to our country a happy deliverance.

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The Music of the Beyond, Part 1 Ludwig van Beethoven

Please find the link to the Blog here.

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The Oneness-Fountain-Heart celebrates its 17th anniversary!

Dear Friends of the Oneness-Fountain-Heart,

Originally, I only wanted to come for three months to New York to get some more practical experience in how to run a vegetarian restaurant. Monticello Team

Now I have been already 7 years part of those 17 years existence of the Oneness-Fountain-Heart.

Stage Beauty OFH
A restaurant is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to be flexible and spontaneous, keep your cool even admits a sudden avalanche of customers, a failing coffee machine or an employee who broke his arm while riding the bicycle to work.
The overcome challenges is ultimately one of our life-goals and it always brings feelings of satisfaction and joy.

I particularly like the interaction with the guests at the restaurant and the growing relationships, in many cases over years. It feels like a big family to me and it is a wonderful family!
CKG meditation
Sri Chinmoy inaugurated the Oneness-Fountain-Heart on June 7, 1998 and is still the inspiration and guiding force behind our efforts to create a peaceful oasis where you can enjoy food that nourishes body, heart and soul.
One of our main Motto’s is “Love and Serve” and we aim to make this a growing reality at the restaurant.
We all hope that we can continue for a long time to “marvel” you with our international Gourmet Vegetarian Cuisine.

Thank you for being part of our family and for your continued visits for the next 17 years!

Shashanka Karlen and Team

Here is our special birthday Menu! Check it out and try it out!
Birthday Menu

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Vegetarian Essentials Part 2

Please click here for part 2 of the Vegetarian Essentials Blog. Enjoy reading!

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Vegetarian Essentials – Part 1

Please click on the link below to come to the blog:
Enjoy reading!

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Kristin Hoffmann live at Panorama

Please find our latest Blog post here.

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Running on the Road of Self-Transcendence

Over the last weekend some members of our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team were participating in a 24 hour road race in Cape Girardeau in the state of Missouri.
SCMT 24 hour race

A 24 hour race is an Ultra-Marathon of extreme endurance and is usually run only after many years of running experience and the participation in Marathons and shorter Ultra races of 50km, 50 miles, 6 or 12 hour races.

To be able to fully reach and manifest your potential you need more than just a well-trained body. As longer as the race is, the more the mental and spiritual dimension comes into the picture and plays an often decisive role. Endurance, perseverance, focus, patience, will power, detachment and surrender, cheerfulness and inner balance are qualities that are essential.

Of course the nutrition also plays an important role. Although there are certain general rules of the relation between carbohydrates, proteins and fat, the spectrum of what runners eat is huge and goes from the extreme of chocolate and coke to only fruits and other raw foods. Between these two extremes lie the more average sports nutrition that contains, energy bars and -gels, mineral supplements, bananas, oatmeal, honey bread, avocado, chia porridge or -drinks, soups, rice, potato, salty pretzels, nuts, etc.
Food table at race

To optimize the interplay between all these different elements of physical ability, mental and spiritual strength and sustaining energy from the nutritional intake is something that has to be learned over many years and races.

A 24 hour race is a tough endeavor, there is no way around it. Our team won both the men’s and the women’s division. Galya Balatsky finished with 138.84 miles (223.394km) and Dipali Cunningham set a new course record and personal best with 122.13miles (196.507km).

Why would somebody take so much difficulty and strain on him or herself?
Because these events are unique opportunities to learn about yourself, to get closer to your true inner self, to transcend inner and outer challenges and hurdles and to experience inner feelings of complete happiness and fulfillment.

I used to wonder why runners would come back year after year to the 6 and 10 day races that are taking place each April at Flushing Meadow Park in New York. When I started myself, I knew why….

Are you ready to try?

The plane

Cool guys
In the sky
Manhattan by night

On the way back……

Poem of the day:
Each new day beckons you
To walk on the road
Of self-transcendence.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 39, Agni Press, 1984

Results from the 24 hour race
Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
Self-Transcendence 6 & 10 day races
The Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race – the longest certified road race in the world
International Association of Ultrarunners – IAU

Ultrarunning Magazine
The Thrive Diet – Sports Nutrition

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Light and Liberty at the Oneness-Fountain-Heart with President Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
It was indeed an evening of light and growing liberty from our daily and mundane constraints. Author “Nripal” Eric Peterson came to the Oneness-Fountain-Heart as Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of this great nation. “President Jefferson” gave a fascinating insight in the situation and times of the founding of America.

As we can read in the few excerpts that are following, an extraordinary spirit and vision prevailed among the founding fathers at that time. A vision that was build on a deep inner conviction and that not only concerned the liberty and self-government of this nation but of the whole world. His description of an ideal society invokes and strengthens the dream that resides deep in each one of us that peaceful and harmonious coexistence among all peoples and nations of this world is possible.

Thomas JeffersonLong live Thomas Jefferson’s spirit and legacy– long live Nripal Eric Petersen!

Excerpts of the speech by “Nripal” Eric Petersen, as President Thomas Jefferson at the Oneness-Fountain-Heart, March 15, 2015

About the founding of America:
“All of my fellow patriots and I carried the same feelings deep in our hearts. We felt that
every human being has an interest in the peace, prosperity and happiness of every other. We felt that the happiness of mankind is best promoted by the useful pursuit of peace.”

“I have always believed that America is the hallowed oak of human hope and happiness.”

“I felt that the American vision that we all embraced and cherished was indeed to be embraced ultimately by people all over the world.”

“I wrote at that time “The ball of liberty is now so firmly in motion that it will roll all around the world.”

“Our activities as patriots were done with a view for the future of humanity. We were all students of history, we had studied the ancient Greek and Roman experiments of liberty and self-government. We were very well aware of the many centuries of darkness and stagnation which followed and we knew and felt in our hearts that we had a once in a millennium opportunity to establish the rights of man and representative self-governments for people all over the world. We knew that the ball of liberty was going to roll around the world. We knew it would take a long time. We felt we had to start somewhere and we felt that in America it was time to start.”
Thomas Jefferson Menu
About the ideal society:
“It has always been my belief that nature has scattered talents among all the people of this planet and it took the society to identify which unique talent each individual citizen of our planet actually has, so that that talent can be developed and contribute to the whole, to the beautiful garden, to the beautiful bouquet of humanity.
Everyone coming together with their own unique talents and offering what they can to create a beautiful and perfect society, our happiness-home here on earth.”

“The happiness of mankind is best promoted by the useful pursuit of peace.”

“I feel that the health and vibrancy of our day to day life is sustained by the gift and bounty of nature.”IMG_0472

‘I believe that without health there is no happiness. Attention to health should be above everything else.’

About the current situation in America:
“Are we pursuing happiness in the right way? Are we seeking to achieve abiding inner satisfaction by using the approaches and educational techniques of learning, knowledge, wisdom and insight that will promote that inner happiness?”

“We need to get back to the founding values that make this countries vision what it is. The light of America has gone in somewhat of an eclipse, that we have to say but the hope and promise of America is still there and if we embrace the founding vision of character, of virtue and equality and oneness that inspired our founding and our revolution, we can again move in a direction that our founding fathers and creators envisioned for this wonderful and glorious country.”

“Let the love of our country soar above all minor passions.”

President Jefferson’s kitchen at Monticello
President Jefferson used to say when asked what his profession was “I am a farmer”. He grew 195 different species of fruits and vegetables at Monticello! He imported many new dishes and ingredients from different parts of the world. The kitchen at Monticello was of a high standard and President Jefferson delighted in entertaining large groups of guests at this home.
Dining at Monticello
We wholeheartedly recommend you to dive deeper into the life and spirit, vision and work of this outstanding character and personality in the history of our country. It will be a most rewarding experience!

Light and Liberty, by Nripal Eric Petersen
President Thomas Jefferson on Wikipedia
Cooking at Monticello

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Lotus-Seat and Garden-Sprouts

Salad details
Tonight’s Dinner!

Lotus-Seat and Garden-Sprouts
Today I had one of those cooking experiences that I really love, when cooking becomes a meditation, an art and a river that flows effortlessly forward towards its golden goal.

I went to the health food store with the intention to buy ingredients for a light dinner but without any preconceived idea. I wanted myself to be completely guided by the inspiration of the moment in the store, by impulse or some inner guidance.

I love this complete surrender to the process. It is actually not so easy and takes a good amount of exercise to be able to completely let go and also not to be disturbed by thoughts. Once you enter into this state, you feel a wonderful and all-liberating freedom, a growing trust and confidence. You realize that something or someone is guiding you and if you are lucky you may even enter into a sweet conversation with this inner voice.

I put the yellow belgian endives into my cart, immediately followed by the red and lightly bitter Ciccorino rosso, then came baby kale. I saw the fresh Shitake mushroom looking at me and there they went into my cart. Immediately I saw the combination with Tofu – Tofu and Mushrooms are almost like brothers and work very harmoniously in many dishes – as a topping, lightly stir-fried with olive oil and soysauce. I added some red and orange baby peppers and felt that this was enough.

At home, after a shower and a short meditation, and already driven by a growing hunger, I got at work and prepared the work place and the ingredients. And off I went. Everything was in a perfect flow and I did not hesitate or reflect a single time. Within a few minutes my salad fantasy with sauted Shitake mushrooms and tofu was on the plate and looked like you can see.
Salad big

I can assure you that it tasted great and I just added a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The soy sauce used for the Tofu and Shitake were salty enough to give taste to the whole salad.

A great ending of the day that helped me to re-centre myself, forget about the very hectic and somewhat confusing day today and that brought some happiness smiles on my face.

I hope you can experience this joy of cooking yourself, with all its wonderful and fulfilling “side-effects”.

Bon appetit!

Poem of the week:
Science is desperately searching
For the cosmic key.
Nature already has it.

Sri Chinmoy, Science and nature, Agni Press, 1996

Panorama Decoration
Panorama’s warm and sparkling interior design – created by Chayanika (New York)

Upcoming events in New York:
An evening with Thomas Jefferson – Reflections on America’s Past, Present and Future, at the Oneness-Fountain-Heart Restaurant.
Sunday, March 15, 6.30 pm – For all the details click here.

Meditation Festival in Manhattan
16-22 March – For all the details click here.

Kristin Hoffmann live at Panorama
Friday, March 27, 8pm – For all details please click here.

Guru Health Foods
The Smile of the Beyond – Vegetarian Diner
Annam Brahma – Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
The Oneness-Fountain-Heart – Gourmet Vegetarian Food for Body, Heart and Soul
The Panorama of My Silence-Heart – More than a coffee shop!
Sri Chinmoy
Light and Liberty

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From Moscow with Love


Today’s Blog comes from the bustling city of Moscow where I had to travel for a book project. Beside the work, there was time to discover a few of the many new restaurants that have opened up over the last years. The restaurant scene is extremely interesting, well developed and you can find restaurants of all styles.

The current crisis though with sanctions and devaluation of the Russian Ruble, has left a big shadow on this scene and last night I heard from a restaurant owner that in Moscow and St. Petersburg alone, 900 Restaurants have closed over the last 2 months!

Let us hope that this crisis will end soon and that the world will finally learn that in a war there are only losers. When will the people and especially the leaders start to feel that the world is all one, one body, one family of nations, one big community of individuals that are all unique and have something unique to offer to humanity. There is no way around working together to tackle all the intertwined and global problems and challenges.

7970 A Perfect Oneness-World

As the countless drops
Of the boundless ocean
Or the myriad leaves
Of a huge banyan tree
Peacefully remain side by side,
Even so, all human beings
Will someday live side by side
In a perfect oneness-world.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 80, Agni Press, 1983

84 Roses for 84 yearsOne leader who had this vision and worked towards it all his life is the former President Mikhail Gorbachev. Although he is currently much more loved in the West than in his native country, I personally believe that history will be clearly on his side. His 84th birthday was yesterday and I had the chance to visit him with a colleague and a huge bouquet of 84 roses, one for each year! It was a warm moment and I will treasure the handshake and the heartfelt exchange of feelings.

I was staying with some friends in a simple, but cosy apartment. The home-cooked food was very enjoyable. Everybody was happy that I bought some extra vegetables, cheese and Kefir. Sasha is an extremely talented cook who has all the passion, the spark, the genius but also the love and concern to become a great chef.
Avocado Salad

Several times he cooked some quick meals that tasted great. You see here an avocado salad, buckwheat with a vegetable-egg curry and the nourishing Penne-Pomodoro with a fragrant local cheese that we devoured this morning after the last morning run and before heading to the airport. A deftly breakfast-lunch!
Sometimes simple meals can be so much more fulfilling if the main ingredient – love – is ample.

Generally the quality of the vegetables as well as bread seemed higher to me, with more taste than in New York. I discovered a small traditional store which had also a section with dried fruit which immediately fascinated me. I bought five different varieties of dried apricots!, different nuts and all of them had incredible flavor so that I decided to “smuggle” a few to New York…


I love Moscow and I hope I will be back soon!

Links for further reading or to plan your trip to Moscow!

    Russian recipes
    The Gorbachev Foundation
    City of Moscow
    Russian Visa (US)

    Coming soon: In two weeks we will have a special event at the Oneness-Fountain-Heart Restaurant about Thomas Jefferson which will also include a special Menu, featuring some of the delicacies served in his home at Monticello.
    Thomas Jefferson Menu

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