November 6, 2017

Chef Shiva’s Recipe for Life

Chef Shiva’s Recipe for Life

   serves all


1 mind
1 heart
1 body
2 tablespoons unsalted humor


  1. Remove mind from cultural packaging and place on empty cookie sheet. Let sit until quiet. You will know it is ready when no more judgment of self or others.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm gratitude and soak heart until it’s protective leaves soften. Then, carefully remove the leaves one at a time, being sure not to dig into the tender flesh of the heart. The gentle, warm flesh is all that should remain. You may want to set the leaves aside for later to grill over a ceremonial fire with some olive oil.
  3. Fold quiet mind and open heart back into body. Sprinkle with humor and serve.

Kirk Merlin

About Kirk

2017-06-14 Yunnan China 021 (5)

Welcome. I'm Kirk and I'm slowly experiencing what I can only describe as a spiritual awakening.

If I try to trace its origins, I might begin around 2012 or 2013 when I meditated for the first time. For a few years I meditated infrequently -- maybe a couple times a week or maybe never for a few months. I never sat for more than 20 minutes.

When I spent six weeks hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014, I became aware of my monkey mind. Being alone and walking day after day introduced me to the scattered, repetitive, and largely unhelpful river of thoughts flowing through my mind.

In an effort to better understand my self and my mind, I attended a 10-day vipassana silent meditation retreat while traveling in Argentina. There I experienced my own chi, or life energy, for the first time.

Just a couple weeks later I attended a week-long ayahuasca retreat in the Amazon jungle outside of Iquitos, Peru. It was my first psychedelic experience and opened further the doors of perception.

I've had two other profound moments of awakening since then.

These are some of my thoughts.

Recommended Podcasts

Ram Dass is the legendary former Harvard professor Richard Alpert who was among the first westerners to use psychedelics and travel to India to learn from a true guru.

This podcast is a collection of many of the hundreds of dharma talks he's given since 1969 when he returned from his first trip to India.

On Rick Archer's podcast, Buddha at the Gas Pump, he has interviewed hundreds of normal people who have experienced a profound spiritual awakening, shifting to a greater state of consciousness. They may be the person next to you at the gas pump with a smile on their face.

Jack has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. The Jack Kornfield Heart Wisdom hour celebrates Jack’s ability to mash up his long established Buddhist practices with many other mystical traditions, revealing the poignancy of life’s predicaments and the path to finding freedom from self-interest, self-judgment and unhappiness.

Krista Tippett thoughtfully delves into the mysteries of human existence. Or at least that's what it says on the National Humanities Medal she received at the White House. She interviews spiritual experts and explorers from all walks of faith.

Duncan Trussell is a stand-up comedian and also a visionary explorer of humanity, love and the divine. He'll expand your ideas of the potential of everything with his deep understanding and comic questioning. 

Chris Ryan is a wise world-traveler and author of the book Sex at Dawn. His podcast interviews are fascinating and get a little tangential, but always in an enlightening way. Filled with fantastic stories and thoughtful advice.

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Ohm equals mc squared