Roasted Roots

roasted roots
An easy, warming meal that prepares itself while you finish writing the Great Canadian Novel. Use any combination you like of your favourite root vegetables.


  • Serves 4-6 as a main or side dish.
  • 2 cups (480mL) coarsely chopped leeks
  • 2-2 1/2 cups (480-600mL) chopped potatoes
  • 2-2 1/2 cups (480-600mL) chopped yams
  • 2 cups (480mL) chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) oregano
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) basil
  • 1 Tbsp (15mL) parsley
  • 1 tsp (5mL) rosemary
  • 1/2-1 tsp (2-5 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2mL) pepper


  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the spices over the vegetables and mix in.
  2. Spread out the chopped vegetables in an oiled baking pan or on a cookie sheet.
  3. Cover the pan and bake at 400°F (205°C) for 45 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan and bake for 15 minutes more or until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.

Recipe from The Salt Spring Experience.

Photo by: redcargurl

Wish Tree – Art for self-reflection

wish treeIdentifying what you want to bring into your life – both tangible and intangible things – can be the first step toward making it happen. A Wish Tree can help you clarify and then stay focused on your goals.

What you need:

  • Paper or poster board for the collage
  • Magazines suitable to your goals
  • Scissors, glue, drawing and colouring materials

How to do it:

  1. Draw a tree. It doesn’t have to be great art. A child’s drawing of a trunk and branches is just right.
  2. Look through magazines to find pictures of things that you want to bring into your life. It can be tangible things, like a new car, education, or travelling to visit friends and family. Or the pictures can be symbolic of intangible things, like love, friendship, or courage.
  3. Glue all the things you want to bring into your life on the branches of your tree. Add any other colouring or decorations that you like.
  4. Hang your Wish Tree in a place where you’ll see it and be reminded of your goals.

Image by: Wojtek Kowalski
This Activity is from The Salt Spring Experience.

Shiva Ratri – an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer

ShivaJoin us at the Centre on March 3rd, 2011 for Shiva Ratri, an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer. The celebration begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. An all-night ritual begins at 7pm and is our collective sadhana and offering. In the morning the lingams are taken in a procession to the pond where they are offered into the invigorating purifying waters. We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Approximate Schedule
9am-12pm – Lingam Making (One must fast from food for 24 hours prior to making lingams)
12-7pm – Set Up
7pm – Kirtan
11pm – Forgiveness Asanas
12am – Shivaratri Puja, followed by more Kirtan
4:30am – Sun Salutations
5:30am – Mahashivaratri Puja Yajna, followed by procession to the pond to offer Lingams.

Cost: There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.
Lingam Preparation: If you would like to help with the lingam preparation or would like to offer at one of the Shiva Pujas, please contact Rajani Rock at (250) 537 9537 or Please note, you will be required to fast for 24 hours.
Special room rate: If you wish to reserve a room at the Centre for the night, there is a special rate of $25.

Contact Rajani Rock at (250) 537 9537 or

About Shiva and Shiva Ratri

Shiva, the destroyer, Brahma, the creator and Vishnu, the preserver, make up the supreme trinity of the Hindu pantheon. Shiva is known as the deity responsible for all forms of destruction. While this can be terrifying when one is attached to the world of form, Shiva, as the god of yogis, is also the destroyer of ego, that illusory entity that identifies with form. In reality, Shiva is the destroyer of all illusion; all that remains is Shiva’s true nature, the formless essence out of which all forms arise, but which is itself timeless and unchanging. As satyam, shivam, sundaram or truth, goodness and beauty, Shiva represents the most essential goodness. This is also our true nature.

Shiva Ratri, the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Pisces, is the day when devotees of Shiva around the world gather in communal sadhana. This may take many forms including prayer, ritual, kirtan and the austerities of abstaining from food and sleep. These are all aimed at attaining the dispassion and peace that arise with the reduction of egocentric desires and attachments that keep us from knowing our true nature, the essence of Shiva.

Shankar’s February Greeting

It is most encouraging to read through the applications for our Karma Yoga Service and Study program each year at this time. For 2011 we have more applications than ever, and they come from further and further afield. In a world where the news is often less than uplifting, these applications give us a snapshot of the desires and aspirations of young people from around the world. It is truly inspiring to see how so many of them are turning away from the traditional work-for-money approach to seeking work that has more meaning for them. High on their list is a place where they can work for a social or spiritual cause, and move away from the “what’s in it for me?” attitude. More than ever before, young people are seeking a place where they can deepen their spiritual practice, live lightly on the earth, eat wholesome food, gladly contribute their energy and skills to a noble cause, and, the icing on the cake, share all this with a joyous community of like-minded people. It looks as if the 2011 Centre community will once again be a wonderful group.

Renovations to the program house are moving ahead well. While the basement fire upgrade and the upstairs guest room reflooring are overdue, the complete overhaul of the dishwashing system is a large innovative upgrade – finally, to the relief of all those who prepare food, no dishwashing will take place in the kitchen any more. Another less obvious improvement is the new roof over the kitchen stairs. Many thanks to Joe Lorencz from the kitchen staff who will no longer have to go through the rain to get to the walk-in cooler.

If we start feeling complacent about our achievements all we need to do is look at the lengthy and detailed main house project list that Kishori recently compiled for the Centre Committee. This is a great help in responsibly allocating Centre resources. We have outdoor priorities too. High on our list when the warmer weather arrives is replacement of existing outhouses with much greener composting outhouses, whose byproducts can be used as fertilizer for the fruit trees. Who knows, perhaps 2011 will be the year that the yurt finally gets its much-needed face lift?

We are finalising the staff overseeing our key areas. We bid farewell to Kalyani who has left to help look after her son’s new twins. We thank her for her long and committed service to the Centre and teachings, and wish her and her family well!  Fortunately many such as Kari in the kitchen and Sofya our farm manager are returning. Also thanks to Patrick and Shyam, the mainstay of the Centre’s winter community, who can be seen on the driveway after this year’s frequent heavy rains, filling the potholes. There have been others too, working behind the scenes in the quiet season on finances, website and other administrative functions.

In closing we invite you to the wonderful annual celebration of Shiva Ratri. We hope you can join us for a night of chanting and prayer on March 3rd starting at 7:00pm.

In peace,