Saturday, August 20, 2016

Vegan KFC drumstick recipe (Krishna-Feel'n Crispies)


When I was a monk, one of the favorite things we looked forward to were the cauliflower pakoras at the weekly Sunday feast. Pakoras are a traditional part of North Indian cuisine and are deep fried battered vegetables, usually cauliflower, onions, peppers, or potatoes. 
The North America (non-veg) equivalent of pakoras is "Buffalo wings" and "KFC drumsticks". Recently, someone in the vegan community created a vegan version of buffalo wings and a vegan ranch dressing. But although it was a nice alternative it really cannot compare to a traditional pakora or a KFC drumstick. 
The recipe I am going to share here is not meant to be a fake meat version of KFC's drumstick but more of a KFC-version of a traditional pakora, and it is based on the actual KFC recipe. Enjoy!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chickpea (Garbanzo) flour 
  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/3 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegan yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed oil
  • enough water to make a slow running batter
  • Cut one whole cauliflower into florets with a long stem. 
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Mix the flour in a bowl with all the herbs and spices; set aside.
  2. Mix the vegan yogurt and flaxseed oil together in a separate bowl until combined.
  3. Add yogurt/oil mixture to flour and then while whisking, add enough water until you get a slow-running batter. 
  4. Cover and place batter in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  5. Meanwhile, steam the cauliflowers for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  6. Add oil to a large, deep saucepan or wok to reach a depth of 8cm. Heat to 170°C over high heat (when the oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden in 20 seconds). Add cauliflower to the batter and stir to coat. Add half the cauliflower to the oil. Cook for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, reheating the oil between batches.
  7. Place the cauliflower in a serving bowl. Top with fresh coriander and season with salt. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When you know Angels have your back

Dionne
Big thumbs up to Delta Airways customer service reps at JFK, Dionne and Omar. I am on my flight to Slovenia, via Paris. Here is what happened.
To start with, the taxi driver dropped me off at wrong terminal and I am crazy late. As I entered the terminal at 6:15pm for my 7.00pm international flight I hear karatals. I look over and see a swami is arriving. It is someone I know and admire, Gopal Krishna Goswami! I had no time to say hi, but took it as a good sign and continued racing up the stairs to the check-in.
It turns out, getting dropped at the wrong terminal was a blessing in disguise, because when I went to counter, one lady called Dionne said, "Oh my, let me check for you. Do you have bags to check?" I said "no." She asked her colleague Omar to find out the gate number so she could call to see if they could take me, but the phone did not work. Minutes are ticking by and she had to find another phone but no one answered. Omar said, "it is too late." You missed the flight! I am like, no, please help me. I am not travelling for personal pleasure. I am travelling for a charity. Then Dionne finally got an answer on the phone, "Hi, I have a customer here travelling for a charity. He does not have bags to check, can you take him?" The quick answer was no, it is too late.
Dionne said, "I am sorry, sir, but you'll have to rebook your flight," but then something happened.
Omar handed Dionne boarding passes. "What is this?," Dionne said. "The flight just miraculously opened up," said Omar, "so I quickly printed him a boarding pass!"
Dionne said, "This is a miracle. Ok, sir, you have to follow me fast. We have to run."
We were at terminal 1 and had to get to terminal 2. We ran as fast as we could. Dionne then took me to the front of the security line and then helped me unpack and repack after the check. I grabbed my roller bag and asked her, "Where is my computer bag?" "Oh, I have it. Let's go." We then raced downstairs to catch a bus, Dionne carrying my backpack on one arm and me dragging my roller bag. The bus line was huge, but she took us to the front and right into the bus, telling them to just go!
We then took a 10-minute ride to Terminal 4. The one I needed to be at, but she told me if I had gone to terminal 4, the security lines are too long and I would not have gotten a boarding pass. "You have Omar to thank for that," she said.
Finally, we arrived at the terminal and then we had to run 20 gates to get to my gate. Dionne saw one of those terminal buggies and said, "get on" and asked the driver to get me to Gate 28 asap. The Spanish lady said, "Sure," but did not understand the urgency.
Anyway, we got on, but then she had to pick up other people, a family with lots of bags. They were taking their time and minutes were passing and my flight was boarding. Dionne was hurrying everyone up. Finally, we get going, but there are huge crowds to pass through. I realised, I should have just run, but we get to the gate in the nick of time, and I am the last person to board. I made it. I hugged Dionne and thanked her for helping me. Without her and Omar I would not have made it. Thank you, ladies. Dionne, you went above and beyond good customer service.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I was Hugged by a Saint


I had not seen Radhanath Swami since the time I was living in New York in 2010. He has always been very kind to me and even back then when I was probably at my lowest point in life, he extended his compassionate hand to me.

At that time I had decided to deconstuct everything I ever knew and to reset my outlook on life, even to the point of adopting a strict raw vegan diet. My hair was a little longer and I spoke and wrote differently about my spirituality. Some of my older Krishna friends had thought I had lost my way, but I was as passionate as ever to find spiritual truth and meaning. Like the true wise sage, Radhanatha swami did not change a beat in how he related to me. He happily sat down with my friends and I at the Sunday feast at the Bhakti Centre in New York to share funny stories of his college preaching days in the 80s when he hosted a vegetarian club on campus. This was also the same time that I began writing my book, FOOD YOGA - Nourishing Body, Mind & Soul.

A few months later, I left the US and returned to Australia to continue my new journey and admired his successes and wisdom from afar through Facebook posts and videos, and like so many others, I thoroughly relished reading his first book, The Journey Home

I was so happy to be able to see him again once I heard he was releasing his latest book, The Journey Within at the George Washington University tonight.

My wife and I arrived on time and took our seats. My son, Bhimal is usually very peaceful, but tonight he was also excited and was making many oohs and ahhs. I watched and listened with wrapped attention as Maharaja spoke. My eyes are not good at the moment, so he was slightly blurry to me from a distance, so I was straining my eyes to really focus on his face, hoping to capture his eyes. Like any good speaker, he constantly scanned the room from side to side, communicating to the entire audience. At times, I felt that he looked my way and I hoped that he would remember me.

His lecture and answers to the questions after the talk were beautiful, enlightening and entertaining. The entire auditorium listened with respectful silence and focus as he delivered each and every word with careful consideration. Maharaja talked about his dear friend Bhaktitirtha Swami, who on his deathbed asked Radhanatha Swami to promise to tell his spiritual journey in the form of a book. That book, The Journey Home is now translated into 24 languages and has inspired millions of people.

Tonight's talk introduced the wisdom shared in his latest book, The Journey Within, that our search for true happiness has to start from within -- we are the "witness" the soul to all of the changes that are taking place in our life and bodies.

After the lecture, Rukmini Walker the host, asked if people would like to get their books signed. I jumped at the chance and got into the line. There were about 5 people in front of me and soon the line started to snake around the room. I waited anxiously wondering what I would say, but our main purpose in coming tonight was to ask Maharaja if he would bless our new baby, Bhimal. My wife, Juliana readied him in the stroller beside me. Suddenly a young man approached me and asked for our names. I asked him to write down our spiritual names, Priyavrata, Jagannatha Priya and Bhimal. It seemed that he only started taking names with us and those that went before us introduced themselves.

Soon it was our turn. I offered my respects by bowing my head to the ground in the traditional manner and reciting a prayer of respect to all Vaisnavas. At first, Maharaja did not seem to recognize me. I handed him my book for signing and then the boy with the notepad showed him our names. Maharaja glanced at our names, but still did not make a connection. Knowing Maharaja would not have much time to chat, I immediately introduced my wife and son and asked him to please bless Bhimal and if he would kindly do the grain giving ceremony for the child next week. He immediately agreed and leaned over to touch the boy's head. He then looked at me again and his eyes lit up. His pupils dilated like they were taking in the universe and with a broad smile, he communicated clearly that he remembered me. We touched hands and then he leaned over to hug me. I did not feel worthy, but gladly complied as we embraced for a good 5 seconds. Maharaja buried his face in my shoulder and I felt so much gratitude. He asked where I was living and I told him we now live in Colombia at my wife's animal sanctuary.


It is said in the scriptures that even a moment's association with a devotee of God will guarantee one a successful spiritual journey. The Chaitanya Charitimarita says it this way:

'Sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’—sarva-śāstre 
kaya lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya

SYNONYMS
sādhu-saṅga sādhu-saṅga—association with pure devotees; sarva-śāstre—all the revealed scriptures; kaya—say; lava-mātra—even for a moment; sādhu-saṅge—by association with a devotee; sarva-siddhi—all success; haya—there is

TRANSLATION
“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.

Tonight I got a hug from a saint and although I felt extremely unqualified, it made my day. As I read Maharaja's book later tonight, tears welled up in my eyes as he recalled his meeting with Dorothy at the airport. Dorothy was an elderly lady that had literally gone through hell and felt the entire universe swallow her up. Her story was so sad but Maharaja was there to comfort her with his simple words of wisdom and helped her see the positive side and how we always have a choice as to how we respond to each situation in life.

We all go through challenges and I have had my fair share. Lately, however, although in many ways life is good, it can still be overwhelming and has brought me to tears.

When I hear the stories of Radhanatha Swami and his incredible successes, I feel like I've achieved nothing and are far from reaching my full potential. In some ways, this makes me hopeful that things can only get better, but there are times, when, like Dorothy, I feel that God might have forgotten me. But when you come into the presence of a genuine holy person and take the time to attentively hear their wise words, you get a direct connection to transcendence which puts everything in your life in full perspective. Just like a light bulb turned on in a dark room, suddenly things become clearer and make sense.

In the Chaitanya Charitamrita there is a wonderful exchange between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his dear friend, Ramananda Raya.  CC Madhya 8.251
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, "Out of all auspicious and beneficial activities, which is best for the living entity?"
Now, Ramananda Raya could have given so many good suggestions here, even some very obvious ones like, "Oh the most auspicious activity is chanting the holy name of God," or "visiting a holy place," but he didn't. His answer was much more profound...
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "The only auspicious activity is association with the devotees of Kṛṣṇa."
The ONLY auspicious activity! In making this amazing statement, he clearly declares that there is nothing auspicious about this material world. It is a temporary realm of birth, disease, old age and death, combined with three kinds of suffering (bodily, other living beings and natural causes). His statement supports the bold claim that even a moments association of a pure devotee of God can guarantee one all success.

We try to build big "castles" of wealth and fame in our life, but in reality, they are all made of sand and will not last past our demise. It is important to stay fixed on what is really important in this life -- self-realization. Who are we really? That is the journey within and most of us need a constant reminder from the saints and sages of this world.

I felt really blessed tonight after that hug. Thank you, God. Thank you, Krishna.

Books by Radhanatha Swami

Friday, May 13, 2016

POEM - The wisdom and love of a mother


Mothers are like rock candy -- please let me explain,
They're soft inside, even though they sometimes complain...
About your dirty socks -- lying all around the floor,
They'll collect them diligently -- even the ones behind the door.

Despite your sad failings -- and your less than ideal ways,
Your mother loves you unconditionally -- and come what may.
She'll never give up on you -- nor will she trade you in,
Your hers forever -- regardless of your sins.

Sweet and tender inside -- but with a tough outer shell,
She's the rock you've been calling for -- the one who'll ring your bell
When the going gets tough -- and you need a helping hand,
Your mother is the one who'll forever understand...

Your weaknesses and strengths -- and your fears and misgivings,
Your silly character traits and those times unforgiving
But she'll leave them all aside, knowing you're doing your best,
Because every challenge we face is just another soul test.

You see, your mother gets it...she's wiser than you or I,
She knows a thing or two -- but she's not one to pride.
With age comes wisdom and the foresight to know,
When to fold one's hand and when to let it all go.

She has wisdom in spades -- a sage of high accord,
Your first guru -- worth more than you can afford.
So never devalue her worth -- or minimize her role,
For she is the divine vessel -- that introduced your soul...

To this material vibration -- a place to educate,
A chance to renew -- and our soul to elevate
For we are not these bodies -- but eternal spirit souls,
Pure, intelligent and blissfull -- trapped in a "black hole"...

From where we can absorb light -- through acts of pure devotion,
And re-awken our love for the Lord of pure emotion.
Your mother is an example of that Source of pure love
Empowered by the divine Goddess -- glancing down from above.

Honor her always -- and remember her sacrifice,
For there is no one and no thing that that can repay the price...
She has invested in your success -- and the elevation of your soul
To make you the best you can be -- to make you whole.

Dedicated to my dear mother, Alison May Turner




Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to make your own natural vegan toothpaste at home

For strong teeth and an irresistible smile, we need to keep our mouth free of bacteria and brush after every meal. However, the most important thing is to stay away from toxic substances contained in most toothpaste, especially fluoride.

Over 95% of the toothpaste sold in the U.S. now contains fluoride, even the popular vegan toothpaste, Tom's of Maine, that started out fluoride-free until the company was bought by Colgate in 2006 for $100 million.

The presence of fluoride in toothpaste, particularly during early childhood, presents a huge health risk. This is why the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US.
The warning label on all major toothpaste brands

The Fluoride Alert Network explains the danger

"Risks from ingesting fluoride toothpaste include permanent tooth discoloration (dental fluorosis), stomach ailments, acute toxicity, skin rashes (perioral dermatitis), and impairment in glucose metabolism. All of these risks have been unnecessarily increased by the marketing practices of toothpaste manufacturers, who use cartoon packaging and candy-flavors to target *adult-strength* fluoride toothpaste to young *children.* The dental community’s failure to educate the public about the dangers of swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste has further exacerbated the problem." - Source: http://fluoridealert.org/

What to avoid in your toothpaste

These ingredients are found in most major toothpaste brands:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), as it can dry out the mouth and cause canker sores. This ingredient is often added shampoos too because it creates the foaming effect that is most desired by people.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and glycerin, as they also cause drying and can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  • Fluoride or fluorine is a very common ingredient for tartar control. However, a side effect from swallowing too much fluoride is dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a defect in tooth enamel caused by excessive fluoride intake during the tooth-forming years (age 0 to 8). In its mild forms, dental fluorosis presents as cloudy white splotches and streaks on the teeth, while in its moderate and severe forms, fluorosis can cause extensive brown and black staining along with pitting and crumbling of the enamel.

What to include in your toothpaste


A healthy and safe home-made vegan toothpaste should contain the following ingredients:
  • Alkalizing agents such as sodium bicarbonate or aloe vera powder, which reduces inflammation in the mouth and relieves irritation of gums.
  • Natural abrasives like the natural fibers of the Indian Peelu tree or the very refined diatomaceous earth that can gently remove stains without damaging the tooth enamel.
  • Natural sweetener like Xylitol. This natural sugar helps prevent tooth decay by stopping the growth of bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Co-Q10, which has been shown to cure and prevent gingivitis.
  • Olive Leaf extract, which helps prevent tooth decay while boosting the health of the entire mouth.
The ideal toothpaste would be the combination of xylitol, Co-Q10, aloe and olive leaf.


Expensive version


  • 2 Tbsp of Indian Peelu tree powder or diatomaceous earth
  • 1 Tbsp Aloe powder
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Leaf Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon Co-Q10
  • 2 - 5 drops of essential oil
  • Distilled water to mix into a paste
Aloe powder
Xylitol powder

Olive Leaf Extract

Peelu branch made into a natural toothbrush
Diatomaceous earth 
Diatomaceous earth powder in a container

Simple version #1


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • 2 drop of essential oil (peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, clove or cinnamon)
  • A few drops of distilled water to make into a paste
Mix everything well to make it consistent.

Simple version #2


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda (use the aluminum-free kind)
  • 2 drop of essential oil
  • Some distilled water to make into a paste
Try this out and see how you go. I assure you it is safe and your teeth will love you. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Saturday, March 12, 2016

How to eliminate kidney stones naturally and easily

So, you've felt the excruciating pain of a kidney stone? Or you've heard about it and want to avoid one? Well, I can tell you honestly, there is a simple and effective way to treat and avoid kidney stones that can save you thousands of dollars and weeks of inconvenience.

But before I get to the remedy, let's first understand what kidney stones are and how they are formed in the first place.

What is a Kidney Stone?

A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematuria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.

The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.


Nephrolithiasis is the medical term for kidney stones. Did you know that one in every 20 people develop kidney stones at some point in their life?

Kidney stones form when there is a decrease in urine volume and/or an excess of stone-forming substances in the urine. Dehydration is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation.

The symptoms of a kidney stone include flank pain (the pain can be quite severe) and blood in the urine (hematuria).

People with certain medical conditions, such as gout, and those who take certain medications or supplements are at risk for kidney stones. Diet and hereditary factors are also related to stone formation. Diagnosis of kidney stones is best accomplished using an ultrasound, intravenous pyelography (IVP), or a CT scan. Most kidney stones will pass through the ureter to the bladder on their own with time.

Natural Cure

The first thing to note is your diet? Are you eating foods that cause kidney stones to form? Are you eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables and staying hydrated? 

I have personally tried this and it is harmless and effective. 

Step 1. 
Drink apple juice and distilled water throughout the day to keep thoroughly hydrated. Keeping hydrated will increase urine output in the urinary tract, cleansing the kidneys and preventing infection while kidney stones are present. This also helps guide the kidney stones to the urethra for natural removal from the body.

Step 2. 
1 cup of extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon

Procedure:

Eat a light lunch and then do not eat after that until the next day. At around 7 pm, begin taking 1 Tbsp of lemon juice followed immediately by 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Repeat this every 15 minutes until the entire cups of olive oil and lemon juice are finished. 

Do not drink this mixture all at once, as it can cause nausea and vomiting, which would render treatment ineffective. According to the Alternative Health Gazette, kidney stone pain should subside within 15 to 20 minutes after taking the last dose.

Lay down on your right side and sleep. 

Visit the restroom every time the urge is felt. Kidney stones will be broken down within 12 hours and passed through your stool or urine, depending on the stone's position in the urinary tract during treatment. The passing of the stones should be less painful or pain-free.

The next morning, you should be passing out the kidney stones. 

Disclaimer

For stones that do not pass with treatment, seek medical attention immediately. You should first consult your doctor to first see how large your kidney stone is. This remedy can also be used effectively for gall bladder stones. If you get abdominal bloating, contact your physician immediately. 



Monday, February 8, 2016

Karma is a bull when there is an unfair fight


As a follow-up to my last blog article about fighting, there is one so-called "sport" that stands out amongst all others as the dumbest, most barbaric, ego-centric display of brutality -- bullfighting.

This cruel spectacle of blood and gore continues to flourish in Spain, Colombia and other countries. It is presented as a contest of conviction and skill between a brave matador and a mad and ferocious beast. The matador, dressed in a traditional costume of brilliant colours tries to toy with and evade the charging bull. For many this fight is an ancient ritual of showing the superiority of man over beast, but once they have witnessed the brutality with their own eyes, they typically never come back for a second show.

Like most bovine, bulls are not naturally aggressive, but must be provoked to illicit an aggressive response. What most people are unaware of is the cruel treatment the bulls undergo prior to their entrance into the arena.

The http://www.stopbullfighting.org.uk/ website explains: "What spectators see is not a normal, healthy bull, but a weakened, half-blinded and mentally destroyed version, whose chances of harming his tormentors is virtually nil."

What Exactly Happens to the Bull Prior to the Fight?

"The bull has wet newspapers stuffed into his ears; vaseline is rubbed into his eyes to blur his vision; cotton is stuffed up his nostrils to cut off his respiration and a needle is stuck into his genitals. Also, a strong caustic solution is rubbed onto his legs which throws him off balance. This also keeps him from lying down on the ground. In addition to this, drugs are administered to pep him up or slow him down, and strong laxatives are added to his feed to further incapacitate him. He is kept in a dark box for a couple of days before he faces the ring: the purpose of this is to disorientate him. When he is let out of the box, he runs desperately towards the light at the end of the tunnel. He thinks that at last his suffering is over and he is being set free — instead, he runs into the bullring to face his killers and a jeering mob." (source)


Our Desire to Lord it Over Others

The urge to lord it over the material energy, which includes other living beings, is the root cause of our bondage in this material world. At some point in time, we all desired to be masters, and so, as Vedic scholar, Srila Prabhupada explains in his commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam verse 3.26.5
"...the material energy was accepted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order that He might exhibit pastimes for the living entities who wanted to enjoy and lord it over the material energy. This world was created through the material energy of the Lord for the so-called enjoyment of such living entities. Why this material world was created for the sufferings of the conditioned souls is a very intricate question. There is a hint in the previous verse in the word lilaya, which means "for the pastimes of the Lord." The Lord wants to rectify the enjoying temperament of the conditioned souls. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that no one is the enjoyer but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This material energy is created, therefore, for anyone who pretends to enjoy. An example can be cited here that there is no necessity for the government's creation of a separate police department, but because it is a fact that some of the citizens will not accept the state laws, a department to deal with criminals is necessary. There is no necessity, but at the same time there is a necessity. Similarly, there was no necessity to create this material world for the sufferings of the conditioned souls, but at the same time there are certain living entities, known as nitya-baddha, who are eternally conditioned. We say that they have been conditioned from time immemorial because no one can trace out when the living entity, the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, became rebellious against the supremacy of the Lord."
What these idiotic matadors fail to understand is that for all their machismo in fighting off the charges of a weakened bull, they must ultimately suffer karmic reaction - or "bad karma," and sometimes it ain't pretty.

All karma is bad in the sense that it necessitates bondage to this material energy, however, if a soul acts impiously, acting according to his own whims, he has to suffer a bad karmic reaction, like poverty, disease, ugliness, pain, or some other undesirable circumstance.

In relation to such whimsical and barbaric activities like bullfighting, the law of karma insures that those who cause such violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering - immediately or in the future. The Bible explains, "As you sow, so shall you reap."

OUCH! 
Yes, he did!
Do you have anything to say?

The Law of Karma

When a human unnecessarily takes the life of another entity, especially under conditions of great pain and suffering, this act of overt aggression produces a severe karmic reaction as shown in the pictures above. And, if year after year millions of animals are mercilessly butchered in huge, mechanised slaughterhouses, the accumulated negative karma produced by all those participating is almost unfathomable. Not only is there individual karma, but family, community and country karma as well.

The history of the world has shown that nations that have displayed a total neglect of the health and welfare of their citizenry and exploited innocent animals, collapse into ruin.

Srila Prabhupada explains the connection between the killing of innocent animals and wars...

"In this age, the propensity for mercy is almost nil. Consequently, there is always fighting and wars between men and nations. Men do not understand that because they unrestrictedly kill so many animals, they must also be slaughtered like animals in big wars. This is very much evident in the Western countries. In the West, slaughterhouses are maintained without restriction, and, therefore, every fifth or tenth year there is a big war in which countless people are slaughtered even more cruelly than the animals. Sometimes during a war, soldiers keep their enemies in concentration camps and kill them in very cruel ways. These are reactions brought about by unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse and by hunters in the forest."

Bullfighting, much like other killing sports, is irrefutable evidence of the depths of depravity humanity has fallen to. We are a very sick species and are acting more like a deadly virus on this planet, killing everything in our wake. It is time for those that care -- the real human beings -- to speak up and stop all this madness before it is too late.

Read the facts on bullfighting at http://www.stopbullfighting.org.uk/facts.htm


Sunday, February 7, 2016

How I learned to respect the art of fighting

The legendary Gracie dynasty, master of jiu jitsu

I have been a fan of martial arts from the first time I watched a Bruce Lee movie. However, before that, I followed boxing and watched every championship bout broadcasted on television. My father was a fight fan and he always encouraged us to stand our ground and never be intimidated by others.

Professional boxers and streetfighters were friends of the family. I am talking really tough men that would intimidate anyone and yet they were friends of the family and their influence on us was profound. We even had a boxing gym in our garage and I became really proficient at hitting the floor-to-ceiling ball. My hand-eye coordination was sharp. Kenny Harrison was one of the most feared men in Australia and was a real man's man. He would regularly train in our garage and show us how to punch. I remember one day he hit the floor-to-ceiling ball so hard the dyno bolt holding it to the cement floor was pulled out! Kenny could do 50 pushups on one hand and had a stomach like a brick wall and would encourage us to hit him as hard as we could.

My nature was to be peaceful, but when you have an older brother that taunted and teased you all the time, at some point, you break and it forced me to choose the dark side and pick fights when there was no fight necessary. I later realized this was all to gain the approval of my very homophobic father who saw my artistic, philosophical and passive nature as effeminate.

For the most part, however, I kept the fighting tendency in check and usually just stood up to any challenges when it was absolutely necessary, particularly when I had to defend one of my friends. I remember one day I was at home from school because I was sick and my mother bought me a book about the history of boxing. I immersed myself in learning about the great boxers of the past and relished the stories of bare-knuckle fights that would sometimes last for 50 rounds!

I stayed up late to watch "The rumble in the jungle" (Ali and Foreman) fight in Africa and "The thriller in Manilla" (Ali and Frazer) fight in Manilla. Although I never pursued boxing as a sport, I trained with professionals and could hold my own.


When I was 17, I was playing pool in the local pub with my friends and a 30-year-old man came over and started calling us names and enticing us to react. Everyone ignored him, but something inside said, "You can't allow him to disrespect you and your mates." So I calmly put my pool cue down and walked over to him and with one punch, knocked him clean out. I then walked back to the table and asked, "Is it my shot." My friends were in stunned silence. I picked up my cue and began playing pool again as if nothing of importance just happened. From that day on, everyone respected my right hand. That was the first time I had ever knocked someone out. The next two years of my life were hectic and chaotic, as I navigated my way to adulthood and tried to find my path. There were many more fights and very dangerous situations, but somehow I survived. Suffice to say, that unless something miraculous happened, I would have probably ruined any chance of a successful and progressive life.

At age 19, my best friend Jeff Cassels helped me escape the craziness of the neighborhood I was living and convinced me to move up to the mountains with him. For the next 6 months, I soul-searched, read philosophy, wrote poetry, drew pictures, played music and learned how to cook vegetarian meals. I even practiced celibacy and began doing mantra meditation. And then, just after my 20th birthday, I shaved my head and joined a Krishna ashram and become a monk. For me, it was the most natural thing, but I am sure many of my old mates were shocked.


By 21, I was steady in my vows as a monk and was doing fundraising for the temple, selling things like candles and incense to help support the Food for Life the temple did. This brought me to visit another temple in Melbourne, where something happened that changed my whole perception of violence.

Up until then, like most people, I viewed fighting as a match of egos -- who was the tougher man. That all changed one afternoon I was walking around a Melbourne neighborhood selling fragrant oils for the temple. Foolishly, I decided to enter a pub. Now, keep in mind that I was a monk and had a shaved head, so in order to hide that identity, we wore wigs and dressed in regular clothes. I approached the patrons at the bar at their tables offering them free samples and encouraging them to purchase some for Christmas presents. Suddenly a very large aboriginal man, about 190cm high and weighing around 140kgs, approached me, pushed me aside and began taking bottles out of my presentation bag, telling me that he wanted them and was not going to pay a cent. Basically, he was stealing from me in broad daylight and no one was going to do a thing about it. I was shocked and said, "You can't do that." He laughed and said, "And what are you going to do about it, bitch?" I was weighing around 70kg, but I still had my pride. In that moment, a switch flipped and I threw a right cross that knocked him flat out on the floor. He and everyone in the bar were shocked. As this big bear of a man gathered himself from the floor, I remember an older lady saying, "Kill him, Billy." He came at me full force and I began throwing more punches and then he grabbed me and I felt the massive weight difference. Suddenly the "light" went back on in my head and the internal dialogue went something like this: "What are you doing here? He will kill you. And you're a monk and you have a wig on! Get the hell out of here now!" I ran for the door, leaving my bag of products and escaped to another shop across the road to call the police.

They arrived at the bar, picked up what was left of my bag, after everyone in the bar helped themselves and brought it to me across the road where I was hiding in a furniture store. The police officer rightly asked, "What were you thinking, selling such things in a place like that? You're lucky to be alive." Lesson learned.

I returned to the car still shaking and relayed the story to my fellow monk, Darren, who was an old friend from childhood who knew me well. He said with a smile of concern, "Paul, you have to be more careful." Then he told me the story from the Bhagavad-gita of how Krishna had enticed his friend Arjuna to fight for the greater good in defeating the demonic rulers that had taken over the world. Arjuna fought to reestablish righteousness. His aggression was in service to the Lord. I understood now that everything we experience in this world originates from the Supreme Personality, only that in this world, men and women fight for selfish motives and false ego, whereas the act of fighting can be done for the greater good -- to reestablish righteousness. Even Lord Krishna enjoyed slaying demons, and wrestling is an ancient sport that has been practiced by all the world's ancient cultures.

It was also during my time as a monk that I learned of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I was visiting Dallas, Texas in 1995 when a martial arts friend showed me some VHS tapes of the first UFC tournaments. He was training to compete and would go to the local park and hug trees for 30 minutes to increase his crushing strength and roll iron bars across his forearm, like traditional Shaolin monks would do, to make their arms unbreakable. He was the real deal and we both enjoyed watching Royce Gracie destroy all comers, including men twice his weight. He looked fragile and weak, but he outsmarted everyone and shocked the world, by demonstrated the true meaning of martial arts.

A few year later, after I gave up my vows to be a monk and got married, I continued to follow the progress of the UFC and whenever I could I watched boxing on television. Martial arts is part of my upbringing and although I never took it up as a sport, I have always appreciated the discipline required to be successful in it.

Some of my childhood friends were probably shocked that I became a monk, but that is simply because they never got to know the real person inside -- the philosopher, poet, and artist that kept his "cards close to his chest," for fear of ridicule and out of necessity, considering the tough neighborhood I grew up in.

Looking back, it was an odd start to where I find myself now. It is hardly a perfectly scripted life story, but what life is? We all have a certain set of experiences we have to go through in order to become the person we are meant to become in this lifetime. My father was a convicted criminal that spent 5 years in prison. Some of the nastiest and toughest men in Australia (bank robbers, killers and conmen) were friends of our family. We grew up in an impoverished housing commission district of Sydney (Mt Druitt), notorious for crime. I would hustle in bars at age 16, playing pool. There are so many stories to tell, but suffice to say, it was all part of the greater plan to present me experiences that I could draw from to have gratitude later in life and know how to relate to others less fortunate.

My son, Bhimal was born in Colombia, a country famous for outlaws so you can be sure he is going to learn self-defence -- only unlike me -- he will learn it for the honor of protecting what is rightfully his and to defend those that need defending.

The Gracie Family


Royce Gracie and his brothers, who are now also represented by their children have done a wonderful service to humanity in bringing back the honor of martial arts, that over the last 20 years has been tarnished by ego-driven, chest thumping psychopaths, charading as martial artists. Their Gracie Jiu-Jitsu academies are helping kids stand up to bullying by realizing their full potential.

I wish I had this kind of example when I was a child and for sure my son will be joining one of these academies as soon as he can walk. Take a look at this wonderful video below.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A poem for Bhimal -- a blessed birth


You were conceived in Nepal -- in room 433
At exactly 3:44 am -- it was mangal arati.

An auspicious time -- Lord Brahma's divine hour, 
We prayed for a yogi of considerable power...

A devotee of God -- a servant and sage,
Someone that could do wonders in this dreaded iron age.

We chanted and prayed -- and hoped for the best,
While Juliana ate healthy food on this noble quest. 

When we heard the good news, that you'd entered her womb,
We knew this was some kind of transcendental boon.

Throughout the pregnancy, I sang songs and harinam
I read Krishna book and talked about the animals on the farm.

You seemed to appreciate -- my warm soothing voice, 
As you kicked mommies tummy -- we all did rejoice. 

But there were scary moments -- we had along the way,
Corporate nurses and doctors -- hell-bent on dismay...

Misread the fetal monitor, fueling doubts about your heart,
They told us you had arrhythmia -- it tore mommy apart.

But it turned out, you just had hiccups -- a normal irregularity,
Something many babies have -- it was a moment of clarity.

And then the day came -- to enter this material world, 
To abandon the safe haven of your mother's warm whorl.

We prepared the room with flowers and sweet herbal scents,
and played kirtan all day to welcome your descent.

Your mother strained and cried -- while I massaged her back,
Reassuring her with kind words and feeding her snacks.

She was a champion throughout -- so strong and one-pointed,
There was no denying this woman of a baby anointed.

And then you appeared -- at exactly 10:25 at night
after 20 hours of labour -- your appearance gave us a fright.

For you were initially limp, totally white and lifeless,
Exhausted from the labour -- you had lost all your breath.

But with loving caresses, from your mother and midwife,
Suddenly you awoke -- and came roaring back to life.

You let out a cry -- letting us know you're ok, 
Finally, it was time to celebrate -- your actual birthday! 

I jumped in the pool, to join you and your mother, 
I could now finally tell your sister -- she had a little brother. 

Your name would be Bhimal -- a pure son of Jagannath, 
You will walk with confidence and teach the bhakti path.

Born on the 19th -- signifying confidence and pride,
With a double "2" as well -- you'll be an intelligent guide. 

Talkative and psychic -- with empathy in tow,
You'll have things to teach the world -- and let everyone know...

That we're all brothers and sisters -- animals and humans allied, 
"This world needs unity -- for we're all souls inside."

With a middle name of Fox -- signifying Xfiles and cunning, 
You'll have a way with words and will always be forthcoming.

Surrounded by animals -- at your mother's sanctuary, 
Your situation is unusual and extraordinary.

A place you'll learn -- from the day you are born, 
That all animals deserve respect -- and not eaten or worn.

Your mother hopes you'll be -- a servant and devotee, 
To carry on her mission -- she hopes you'll agree. 

Your daddy hopes you'll be a yogi -- a master of your tongue,
to expand Food for Life Global and give prasadam to everyone. 

So thank you for making us -- a happy family, 
a complete triangle accentuated with your sister, Kishori

May the Lord bless you abundantly -- to live a life divine, 
to be the best you can always -- and to forever shine. 

NOTE: Bhimal was born on December 19, 2015. Today he is 44 days old. 










Monday, December 21, 2015

When a woman births a child, she also births a father and the power of prayer.

In a nutshell...my wife is a champion, just like every single mother in the world today and before -- all of them are just amazing. To give birth to a child is a miracle and my wife personifies everything that is amazing about mothers.


Giving birth to a child is the most powerful experience a woman can have and certainly the most impactful experience for a man to observe. My wife, Juliana underwent 20 hours of labour to deliver our little boy, Bhimal Fox Turner. It was nothing short of a monumental feat to deliver him at home in a small pool without any painkillers.

The day started early at 2.30 am when the first contractions started. After one hour of timing them, she woke me up to tell me today seemed to be the day. We continued monitoring them for another hour and then called our midwife, Carolina.

Carolina immediately informed her assistant doulas, Esther and Eloisa.

By 5 am they had arrived and began preparing everything.

Throughout the morning, Juliana gently swayed to music, walked and breathed to welcome every contraction, while I massaged her feet, neck and lower back. It was hard, but nothing like what she would experience later in the birthing.

Juliana's close friend Juliana Atehortua arrived to champion Juliana's efforts. Soon after, another close friend, Hemakanti came and remained with her the entire day and late evening and officially became the 4th doula. Juliana's sister, Dana was the 5th doula.


In the early afternoon, the doulas prepared the pool. Juliana immediately noticed that the contractions were much easier to handle in warm water. "It is like 80% easier," she told me. At one point I joined her in the pool. As our skin shriveled up, we worked together to manage each contraction and prepare for the later stages, that we both knew were going to be way more intense. However, even though Juliana had only just started dilating, she told me often, "The pain is too much. I don't think I can do this." I assured her she could and would be successful, just as billions of other woman had in the past. "You can do this. I know you can. Just breathe deeply through your nose and on the outward breath, say the word, "Allow" in your mind. Try to see yourself as the "witness" and surrender to these contractions, knowing that every one of them is getting you closer to seeing your baby," I told her.


Juliana listened and tried to employ what I said, but it was so hard for her. Theory can only take you so far, and this was a real-world, down-to-earth, painfully hard slog. I empathized with her but knew I had to keep encouraging her and helping her to believe in herself.



As each hour passed the contractions got stronger, but Juliana was very slow to dilate and although they never voiced it, I could tell that the doula's were concerned. Contractions in the water are less intense, so the doula's decided that Juliana had to get out and walk and move, circling her hips so as to encourage the baby downward. For the next few hours, we all moved with her as Juliana would hold onto my shoulders for support. I had to lean down to make it easier for her to put her arms around my neck, but my small inconvenience paled in comparison to the powerful waves of pain she was experiencing.

During the labour, Juliana drank liters of fresh coconut water and ate chia seeds soaked in water to give her some strength. She refused all solid foods and did not feel hungry. This seemed to be a good sign that her energy levels were high, and boy would she need it in the final stages.

At 1:51 I wrote an update on Facebook:
10.5 hours. She is doing well. Very strong. contractions are like every 2 -3 mins. Powerful. She is in water getting massages with essential oils. 
Soon after I wrote:
We are listening to Gaurangi Auman Magical Eclipse CD as her sister pours water on her belly.
During the early stages of the birthing, I chose to play the music of our friend Gaurangi Auman, aka Pia and her wonderful music from the album Magical Eclipse. The soothing sounds of this album helped set the mood for the day. Juliana's contractions continued to come, on average, every 2 minutes.


To help Juliana with the pain, I began clary-sage and lavender essential oils in the massage.

By 5 pm, Carolina measured Juliana's dilation and it seemed she had still not reached the magic 10cm mark.

With a new sense of determination and urgency, Juliana welcomed every contraction with gratitude, knowing that her baby boy was as eager to see his mother, as she was to see him. Juliana returned to the pool for what we thought would be the final stage of the birthing.


I sat behind her on my knees outside of the pool, allowing her to hold me as she rode every contraction, minute by minute. She grabbed my hair and dug her nails into my skin and groaned in agony as each contraction ascended into the threshold of what is humanly possible to bear. In between each contraction, I would massage her lower back, neck and hands and often gently stroke her head and offer words of encouragement. "You can do this. I know you can. Allow Mother Nature to do her magic. Surrender to her will," I told her optimistically, but internally, I was wondering if she could get through this. Suddenly it was 6 pm and Juliana was still not fully dilated. The doula's were concerned too. In my mind, I wondered if we might have to go to the hospital. "Surely Juliana cannot keep up with this intensity with no results?"


Juliana got out of the pool again and we pushed on.

I amped the mood with a more up-tempo kirtan of Vaiyasaki das and continued offering words of encouragement to Juliana. "Darling, I am so proud of you. You are doing fantastic," I told her. "I am not," she countered, sadly. "He is not moving. I don't think I can do this much longer. The pain is too much," she told me. "Darling, just remember all the billions of mothers that had done this before. You can do it too." I called for the blessings and the prayers of my mother friends on Facebook, pleading with them for love and prayers to be sent to Juliana, and they responded enthusiastically.

Boy, did we need mercy now.

Another hour passed and still there was not much progress, despite heavy pushing by Juliana. But there was nothing else to do but remain hopeful and keep trying.

Again I updated our friends and relatives on Facebook at 7:26 pm
17 hours. All is good. We are close, ladies and gentlemen. Please keep the love and prayers coming.
Fully dilated, now for the decent
Soon it was 8 pm, Juliana had been in labour for just over 17 hours. She returned to the water for the last stage. It was at this time, Carolina decided to once again test to hear the baby's heartbeat.

It was now time to really ramp up the pushing. She could not afford to take her time now, as the baby had to come out. Juliana pushed and pushed and yet still the head would not show. She was screaming in pain. I continue massaging her neck and whispering loving words in her ears. She was exhausted and bewildered, but so anxious to see her baby. Carolina said, "We are so close. He is right now at the opening. The baby is in the birth canal and literally centimetres from the opening. You can do this, breathe and push," she said, holding her fingers up to show how close he was. Juliana was encouraged and although feeling so sore, she briefly smiled and raised her eyebrows, "He is?"

For the next 2.5 hours, Juliana either screamed in agony with every push or held her breath until she was red in the face. I wished I could have taken some of the pain, but I was helpless. All I could do was encourage and be there for her.

Suddenly, at around 10 pm we saw the boys head start to appear. Juliana readied herself for the final pushes. She changed her position to a squat pose and pushed as hard as she could. I moved to her side so that I could see the progress and report to her. "He is coming, darling." I reached down into the water to touch his soft crown and told her, "I just felt his nose! He is there. Keep going. You can do this." Juliana grimaced in pain but was encouraged.

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhhhhh" she screamed as millimeter by millimeter the boy's head emerged from her fully stretched vagina. I felt for sure she was going to tear. How much pain can a woman's body bear?" I wondered. At this time, Carolina reached into the water to help. At around 10.15pm the boy's head was fully out. Carolina noticed that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and forced her fingers into Juliana's vagina to push it out of the way. She then got her fingers around the boy's left shoulder and helped it out. Once the shoulder came free, he slipped out easily. Juliana could feel him come out now and called out anxiously, "Where is my baby?" However, something was not right.

I noticed immediately, but wouldn't dare say anything and remained optimistic, but it looked like the boy was not alive. He was off colour and not moving when Carolina untangled the umbilical cord from around his neck and body and placed him on Juliana's breasts. We later heard that they too had feared the worst, but did not say anything, hoping for a miracle. But I could see the joy and relief in Juliana's eyes and told her, "You did it." She was overjoyed with pleasure and cried. I hoped and prayed and chanted the holy name of God, but our little boy laid motionless on Juliana's breast while Carolina sucked liquid out of his nose and mouth. Esther then told me, "Paul, talk to your baby. He needs to hear you." I moved closer and said, "Hi Bhimal. We are so happy to see you. We love you." Then suddenly, he coughed and grabbed hold of Juliana's sacred necklace of the Nrsimhadeva yantra. He was alive and a huge sigh of relief flooded the room. Juliana laid in the warm water holding her baby tight to her breast and kissed him gently. I jumped back in the water to enjoy the moment and felt so relieved and overwhelmed with joy.

Below is our first official family photo.


I am so proud of my wife for what she accomplished in bringing out little boy into this world successfully, despite the physical challenges and all the naysayers, including doctors and nurses who discouraged her from doing a home birth.

How on Earth a woman can handle so much pain is beyond the comprehension of a man. I know that I could not do what she did and the only explanation is that a female is programmed very differently to a male. The innate motherly instincts are so powerful that it enables a woman to overcome anything to protect her child, to the point that she would kill or walk on fire to save her child.

"I can't wait to tell them that I had my baby at home and that he is perfectly healthy," she told me today.

Bhimal Fox Turner was born at 10:25 pm on December 19, 2015, at our home in Chia, Colombia, weighing 3kg and measuring 51.5 cm.

I love you, Juliana Castaneda Turner.

Thank you to our wonderful midwives, Carolina, Esther, Eloisa, Hemakanti and Dana for their loving support and the 180 friends and relatives on the Internet for sending your prayers. They worked!


#waterbirth #naturalbirth #homebirth #vegan #pregnancy #women





Saturday, December 12, 2015

How to Serve 2 million meals a day and change the world

My interview on the Yoga Talk Show on July 17, 2014, with Lucas Rockwood.

Lucas Rockwood: 

"In this Show, You'll learn:
  • Why Paul is called the “food yogi” and what it means to him.
  • How Food for Life is serving millions of meals to people in need.
  • The easy and hard things of having been a monk for 14 years.
  • How food can be meditative and spiritual."
Many people are unaware of the profound impact Food for Life Global is having on the world. I have tried my best to share this vision with the world and feel strong that what FFLG represents is a solution, not only to world hunger, but every social issue. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

If only more of us took the time to praise others

Praise goes a long way. 

We need to work harder to see the good qualities in others and let them know how much we admire and appreciate them. We've become accustomed to finding faults in others because it takes the focus away from our own faults. This is the same reason why bad news sells. By focusing on the suffering, pain and misfortune of others, we take the focus away from our own shortcomings, which makes us feel better for the moment. But if we take the time to praise others and look for and highlight the beautiful qualities they possess, we enrich them with self-confidence and encourage them to be the best they can. Simultaneously, we will also feel enriched seeing the happiness on their faces.

To serve and please another living being is the innate quality of the soul. It is what gives us life. Service is like breathing. We need it, and yet, foolishly we hold our "breath" and pretend we are independent like a stubborn child seeking attention. We are interdependent spiritual beings and unconditional loving service is what defines us. Praising another person is another form of service. Embrace this natural quality we all share and make a better world. It all starts with one person and this is a lovely example of just that.

Watch this video...


A Radical New Teaching Method
Compliments and high fives go a long way in classrooms.
Posted by AJ+ on Thursday, November 19, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary Juliana - POEM


On the occasion of our first wedding anniversary (November 22)

My dearest Juliana,

I can hardly believe -- a whole year has past,
like a lightening rod -- it went so fast, 
You captured my heart -- in the blink of an eye, 
As the clouds parted -- revealing a starry sky.

And when a heavenly constellation filled my sorry soul, 
I knew, with you, I'd never grow old,
You see, I had a plan -- from the very start, 
To never allow us to ever grow apart.

The idea was simple, and yet profoundly wise,
I just knew it would work -- I did surmise, 
On the night I proposed -- twas an orange colored moon,
A day for lovers -- I made you swoon.

I prayed to Goddess Luna -- to bless our union,
I asked her sincerely for a holy communion --
Of two good souls -- with richly inspired eyes,
And plans to change the world -- before "sunrise"... 

Or that time when a new life -- would officially begin, 
And souls would depart -- to face their sins,
Or rejoice anew -- as liberation did call,
Inviting us higher -- beyond the ice wall...

Of a world so inflamed -- in passion and utter strife,
Veiled in illusion -- are many a life,
But most cannot see -- just how lucky they are,
To have a human birth -- they've come so far!

But we both knew well -- what fortune we had,
To build a life together was going to be rad.
You with your animals, and me with my yogi food,
Was a winning combination -- I had to conclude.

Seeking spiritual equality -- for all living forms, 
Just different ways of achieving the exact same reform,
The ultimate goal -- would be to create unity,
A world full of love, peace and prosperity.

Behind every great man, stands a woman of note,
A pillar of love -- and I do quote...
"Women are made to be loved, not understood"
Said Oscar Wilde, and so he should.

I do find you mysterious -- but fun to be around,
But I hope you don't get tired of this silly old clown,
I really do mean well, even though I mess up, 
Please forgive my mistakes and occasional blowup.

You see, these things come with age -- as time whittles away,
The last thing I want -- is to waste a valuable day,
So my plan was to stay youthful -- as long as I can, 
To avoid those age insecurities -- and forever be your man.

I'm actually young at heart -- and will never grow old,
All that grey hair you see -- is just my wisdom mold.
Yes, I am an eternal youth -- masked by human form,
Nothing has changed since the day I was born,

As a couple, we shall live -- a modest but noble life,
To love and respect each other as husband and wife,
Until that final sunset -- when the stars finally reveal
To that end, my dear, we'll enjoy our last "meal."

I love you very dearly -- as any sane man would, 
I feel pretty lucky -- and I pray to make good,
Of the fortune you've bestowed me -- to be by your side,
And that is why I walk -- with such a confident stride. 

Yes, you give me hope -- you fuel my optimism, 
There is nothing we can't do inside this material prison, 
The walls of limitation -- are simply a creation of the mind, 
And this is the life -- where the stars are aligned...

To bless us with good fortune -- and all things fair and fun, 
Our life will be like -- a never setting sun. 
Hold my hand, Juliana -- for as many years as you can,
And I promise you everything -- as your dutiful loving man.