Vegan Hip Hop

3 Awesome Vegan Hip Hop artists you need to check out! 


 

Grey 
He’s ever popular “Vegan Thanksgiving” song and video blew up the internet back in 2016 with Lyrics like “You can fill your plate up without all the guilt, We whip pies up n**ga, out of almond milk” Grey’s music has really got vegans in a frenzy! He has been taking his live show to VegFest’s and joining forces with animals rights groups at Slaughterhouse vigils around the USA. You gotta follow this guy on Instagram and Facebook, his music is really something cool! He also has his own clothing line Plant Based Drippin


 

Illy Rap
New York rapper Illy Rap sends a strong message with the powerful lyrical content of his music. Illy makes reference to the treatment of animals and the slavery of black american people as a similar evil and incorporates strong factual statements into his songs. The song “Bite of Hope” is both thought provoking and uplifting to give us hope for a kinder world. Illy is a loud voice for the animals across all of his social media channels, where you will see him pictured at his local farm sanctuary giving love to his animal friends. he is also creator of the Vegan Hearted cook book. Check out the song below. 


KRS ONE
A household name to many hip hop and rap listeners, KRS One has been releasing music since the mid 80’s. He has long been an advocate for peace and change and speaks of shifting consciousness through the food we eat. He also started the “Stop the violence” movement after a band member was shot dead. In his song “Beef” KRS One’s raps in detail on how the people consuming animals take on all the sickness and stress that is inflicted on animals in the slaughterhouse, the song has been used as the outro music for YouTube Channel “Vegan Gains.”


 

Cabbage & Pineapple Salad

Cabbage is serious brain food, loaded with vitamin K and anthocyanins that help with mental function and concentration.Pineapple, well thats just damn tasty and is packed with vitamin C, combining these two precious plant foods together raw on your plate is a great addition to any meal. It goes particularly well with Pumpkin, so for this dish I have roasted pumpkin in a small amount of coconut oil and fresh rosemary along with some baby carrots, beetroots and sweet potato. The coconut oil blends well with the pineapple!

Making the Salad
Finely shred cabbage and dice pineapple. (see pictures)
Use equal parts pineapple to cabbage to keep flavour balanced.
Sprinkle sesame seeds and flax seeds for some texture.
Serve with roasted vegetables.
Enjoy!

Watching is the key to Meditation

“Watch your mind.”

“Don’t do anything – no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of god – just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.”

“As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes aflame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing – without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.”

-Osho

Ashram Life – The birth of Vaju

The year of 2011 was the hardest time in my life. I had been working my whole life towards having a successful career in music. Financially it was tough and I was feeling severely overworked. I had pushed myself to my absolute breaking point. On top of that my Love relationships were failing, I had grown unhealthy attachments which were the cause of all my suffering and I had fallen into self destructive behaviour and when I finally awoke in a hospital bed one morning I knew it was time for a change. So began my journey to the forest and to discover a magical place. – Samaya Ashram,  and the beautiful family of people there who accepted me with all my wounds and all my sadness and shone a light on me that would change my life forever!

 

As the sun rises I wake in my cabin to the sound of the forest birds singing their beautiful song. I walk out my front door and look over this magnificent 100 acre property to see wallabies playing and munching on the lush grass and plants. I make my way down to the meditation hall past the big banana trees. Its 6am and the prana energy and vital essence is strong in the air, I step inside embracing the peace that is present in the room. I take up a place next to my beautiful brothers and sister and turn my awareness inwards, allowing the movement of my thoughts to settle as i journey to my centre. We sit in silent meditation then listen to discourses from Osho to help expand our awareness and knowledge of the inner world. The sound of the bell eventually brings me back into my body and I mindfully make my way down to our eating place and fill my plate with rich nutritious cereals, nuts and fruit. I sit down in the garden to enjoy the morning sun as i eat my delicious breakfast picking the fresh herbs around me to add to my cup of tea.

There is peace among my friends as we all give gratitude for our beautiful surroundings enjoying a laugh and sharing our feelings and emotions. Breakfast finishes and I set out to do my daily work which today is deep in the forest building forest trails. Walking through my picturesque surroundings, the clean crisp forest air fills my lungs. I explore a world that seems so far from the life I left behind. I stop for a moment to think.. how did i get here, where am I… who am I?
I am here in this present moment, becoming aware, becoming awake. The work strengthens my body, lifting rocks , hauling logs and digging trenches… all part of this daily meditation in action exercise. 

Lunch time arrives, we gather together and join hands to chant “Om” 3 times and begin to indulge in a colourful meal filled with fresh greens and hearty grains. Our food is prepared according to the book “Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity” a diet our master Samaya has followed through out his life and is a testament to its benifits. An 83 year old man that can beat us all in an uphill race and can work digging lifting like he was 25 years old. After lunch the sun is shining brightly so I walk down to the waterfall to wash and soak in spring water. I stand naked in the river looking around.. Am i dreaming? This world around me is something I could only compare to things I have seen in the movies.. Its magical, sureal… breathtaking. I dive under the water and as i rise to the surface the water streams off my hair, i feel the old world i used to know wash away… all the stresses and anxiety of the city life, the constant doing and sickness of the outside world disappears. 

I meditate on the warm rocks and let the tropical sun dry my body and eventually head back to my cabin to read, meditate and play music on my porch as the sun sets over the green mountains. Dinner time arrives and i sit for another delectable meal, soaking up the great atmosphere of my beautiful family sharing the joyfulness they bring to my life.
The meal is filled with fresh vegetables grown right here in the Ashram gardens and it give us energy for the evening ahead. 7pm arrives which means it time to head back to the meditation hall. as I approach I can feel an energy shift. I step inside to see all the Ashramites dancing frantically to the high energy sounds that fill the room. This is the ritual for every night, “dance meditation”. We dance Rejoicing and celebrating life with every movement. Letting go of everything, becoming totally ecstatic and energised! The music builds and builds and eventually it stops abruptly and we all freeze in silence. I hear a voice “connect with this feeling of Aliveness!” after a few minutes of silence we sit in a circle for more silent meditation. Then we hear a few words from Samaya the elder of the Ashram. He will touch on words from “Osho” and go into a sharing which is the moment we can have a chance to share feelings, emotions and topics that are part of our lives. 

We hear stories of love and intimacy between people, emotional struggles some might be facing and all being expressed openly with no judgement from anyone. The people hear have been an inspiration to me from day one and the more I dedicate myself to the practice of meditation and the teachings of Osho Magical things that are starting to happen within me. After a beautiful evening of meditation and sharing with my friends I make my way back to my cabin. I look in the mirror… Who am I?? My name is Dhyan Vaju. This is the name I have been given by Samaya. Taking on a new name is a way of leaving the old world behind and surrendering fully to Ashram Life. My friends call me Vaju which is a sanskrit name for the great and powerful Hindu Deity that is the lord of the winds, holder of the atmosphere. 

Dhyan is the prefix which means Meditation. I reside in my cabin for the rest of the night reading and playing music and some nights connecting with a close friend. In these moments of total awareness where I have experienced pure bliss.. in dancing, meditation, walking in the forest and making love. being totally present in that moment is where ecstasy can be found. The last few weeks I have experienced some of the hugest highs of my lifetime, with no drugs.. just a clean body. celebrating life, aware of all the beautiful things that surround me in every moment. The birds in the trees, the koalas, the magnificent insects with vibrant colours, the snakes making love in the sand. This is my new life… The life of Dhyan Vaju.

London Travel Tips

London! A complete contrast from my home base in Chiang Mai, Thailand. London is Fasted paced and F-F-Freezing cold! 

A shock to the system but I embraced every moment and open myself to new things! The result, great experiences and memories! 

Im working for an amazing travel company in Thailand and we promote our Thailand tours to people in the UK, so this London trip had some business mixed in with plenty of spare time to rome around and see the special sights of London and the England countryside.

This blog may help you if you are a traveling vegan or just wanting to learn a few things about the great city of London, I will also lend my tips on saving a few dollars during your stay.

Airline

If your travelling from SE Asia or the middle East Gulf Air is a great choice, an airline with reasonable prices and great service. One of the best vegan meals I have been served in the air. You will make a quick stop over in Bahrain if travelling from Asia 🙂

Transport around London

The train and bus service is extremely reliable, I was super impressed. At first it will look daunting looking at the multi-level system of subways and DLRs but it only took me one day out to get an understanding of it.
Download the free phone App called Citymapper. Its amazing! It uses your location and shows you exactly where to walk on the map to catch each form of transport, shows how far away the transport is from arriving. You just follow the blue dot and you will have no problems. An all day ticket cost me 12pounds. I suggest getting an “Oyster card” which you can re-use, you will save some money and as busses don’t take cash you will need it.

Cabs – Those old school looking cabs although look awesome are waaay too expensive. Download an App called “Uber” this links in with the other cheaper cabs, shows you where they are and allows you to msg them directly to arrange pickup. The cabbie that picked me up was super stylish and cool dude wearing a suit and cranking the tunes, It was like flying around London with 007 behind the wheel!

Phone

I got a sim card from Lebara mobile. I topped it up with 10 pounds and that gave me all the data I needed during my 9 days.

Food

England grows amazing vegetable! Rich juicy tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and kale. I picked these items up quite cheap at a little Tesco Express close by to where I was staying. Baked Beans were cheap as chips so these were the staple of my diet during my stay also found at Tesco Express. 
I found many vegan restaurants using Happy Cow 

 

Sightseeing

Take a stroll through old London town, its a great experience. Soho had all the big theatres, lots of sculptures and statues to see. Im not a fan of the Royals but I did cruise past Buckingham Palace for a sniff, lots of people crowded around some interesting statues to see. If you keep walking you will get to St James Park, this was the highlight of my day. Lots of nature and wildlife right in the middle of London. 
If you have the doe, you gotta go! – Too… Stonehenge!!
It exceeded all expectations, I booked my tour with Golden Tours, you join the coach from London city, there was a number of tours listed on their website. The one I chose was titled “Private viewing of Stonehenge (access stone circle) and the Roman Baths.” The tour took us to the town of Bath and some other small towns paved in cobble stone and looked like something from a Harry Potter movie. But it was entering the centre of Stonehenge that was indeed the highlight. You can view my video from that experience HERE

Lentil Salad Wrap

A great quick and healthy vegan snack idea.
I hope this can inspire you to create your own snacks.
You can change things up if some ingredients aren’t available for you.
Tahini and Mountain bread are a great base to start,  you can try changing up the Lentils for Chick Peas or Red Beans also. Adding herbs like Basil and using Lemon juice are great ways to enhance flavour.
Its all about getting creative! 🙂

 

Ingredients
Mountain bread or any other dairy/egg free wrap bread – Mountain bread is great because its very light and easy to digest
Tomatoes
Avocado
Leafy greens – I’m using a variety of spinach and lettuce leaves from the garden
Tofu (organic)
1 can of Brown Lentils (organic)
Alfalfa sprouts
Herbs – Basil and Parsley
1 Lemon
Tahini
Himalayan Salt

Method
Spread Tahini spread over wrap
Lay over leafy greens
Dice other ingredients and layer
2 heaped table spoons of lentils
squeeze over lemon and sprinkle Himalayan Salt
Wrap Tight
Enjoy!

 

My battle with depression and how I kicked its ass!

With so many people in the world battling depression today I felt this story was too important not to share with the world.

Beating depression was the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my life. Many years ago I never believed there was an illness called depression, I thought it was just a word people used for someone that was feeling down or couldn’t get there shit together. That was until around the year 2009, when this dreaded illness had taken a strong hold on me. Life’s pressures and my own internal changes sent me on a downward spiral to the point of suicidal depression. I was constantly overcome with negative thoughts that plagued my mind every second of the day.There was no release!

I was stuck in complete darkness, I isolated myself socially and would often spend many days even weeks just laying in bed with no will to even step outside and face the world. I felt like I was dying, like I was old and ageing, like a fruit that was once ripe but had now developed brown spots and wrinkles and was left to decompose like compost into the earth. I felt I was worthless and began to neglect myself and as things became worse I started to turn to drugs and alcohol to escape the pain and hope that one day I would not wake up. To say things were grey would be an understatement.

How did this happen to me?

My life was great, I had a family that loved me dearly and I had experienced many great achievements in my life, performing music in a band around the country and abroad and had great friends that loved and supported me.

But the pressures of life had taken their grip on me, financial strain, failing love relationships and my own ego felt under pressure to fit into a certain stereotype and tick all the boxes one should as they approached 30. All this was starting to tip the scales on my mental state and escapism through substance abuse felt like the only relief. This went on for over a year and never seemed to be getting any better. I’d often plan out my own suicide but thankfully would never take it to the extreme. I became unpleasant to be around and slowly became alone, how could anyone love me, If i couldn’t even love myself?

Things all changed one night when I took a large dose of drugs and admitted myself into hospital, that night while laying in bed with an IV drip in my arm I awoke to some sort of angel, it was like a messenger that gave me some hope and showed me something beautiful, something much more deeper than the experience I had been going through.

I knew when I awoke the next morning I had to take massive action! I needed extreme change! So the next day I left my residence in the city and moved to an Ashram, a spiritual centre in the forest for the next few months to start to detoxify and cleans my soul and my spirit.

This was not a quick fix from my depression, It was only the beginning of a long journey that took me to the core of my darkness to face it head on to learn the tools to eventually conquer it completely and stand strong and happy today!

The Ashram showed me a teaching from the East, the witnessing of meditation. It was a journey that may have taken over a year but the consistent effort and strengthening my connection to a higher frequency was able to slowly bring a new awareness to my life that empowered me to shift my thinking and see that all I had created in my mind was an illusion and to finally see the truth. I found my light and shone it on my darkness.

I eventually regenerated my life force and stood strong and proud with Love in my heart for everything around me and most importantly Myself! I began performing music again and took my experiences to the highest highs, I was able to have amazing relationships again and enjoy the experience and connection that as human beings we are capable of experiencing. I travelled to other countries and explored foreign places and till this day feel like my life is only just beginning. The once rotting fruit is now a fresh seed spreading its branches to the sky soaking up all the rays of sunshine and beauty life is sending me.

But how did I do it? How did I really conquer this beast? I want to share with you the Key Ingredients I used to beat my depression.

Step 1. Practice meditation The meditation was the first vital step. Meditation is the art of witnessing. To become a witness and separate yourself completely from your mind. It created an awareness in me that helped me see that my darkness was not a part of me. Do this everyday. I recommend at least 2 x half hour session to start with, as you go deeper with it, increase it to more. Make this your ritual. Osho meditations are great, in particular “Kundalini and Dynamic” as well as sitting in silence. The meditation will result in some of the following steps to become natural.

Step 2. Nutrition The right food to bring yourself out of the darkness. A vegan diet made of mostly raw foods. Food that is non-violent is essential to bringing in lighter energy. Depression feeds on darkness. So eating foods that are violent are only going to continue to feed the darker emotions that exist within you. You are already sensitive and If you consume an animal that has been living in a cage for its entire life, in darkness, in pain , in torture this will only fuel your darker emotions. Eat food that is colourful. Alkalinity is important, which are greener foods to aid purification physically and mentally.

Step 3. Exercise The body needs to move, it needs to stretch. Endorphins will be released, the lymphatic system will be regenerated all that good stuff will start to come in. You will look better and as a result develop more self love and respect for yourself. The list goes on and on.. you know its good for you so go hit the gym, do some yoga,  go running.. now!

Step 4. Niacin This step will be particularly important if you have been using drugs or alcohol in the past. Niacin B3 is a natural vitamin that causes a flushing sensation throughout the body known as a ‘niacin flush’. There needs to be a high level of detoxification performed to inturn hit the reset button on your physical body and clear the path for cellular regeneration. I recommend up to 5000milligrams per day if depression is at its highest. If you want more information on niacin google “Dr Abram Hoffer Niacin”.

Step 5. Experience Nature. Connect yourself with nature, this is so important for our wellbeing. Take off your shoes, connect your feet to the earth whilst the sun is beating down on you. It is your birthright to be in tune with nature and to be in tune with existence. The birds, the flowers, the ocean,  the breeze. Meditate on these things put all your focus on the beauty that surrounds you and watch your inner world transform.

Step 6. Rejoice! Just live the moment with intensity and totality. Live it with as much joy as possible, with as much love as possible, with no fear, no guilt. This existence is yours and this moment is a gift — don’t let it go to waste. Celebrate, Dance. Connect with friends and family. Don’t hold back!

Osho – The Effects of Non-Vegetarian Food

On the body level, the right food should be healthy, non-stimulating and non-violent; on the psychological level the mind should be in a blissful state, graceful and joyous; and on the level of the soul there should be a feeling of gratefulness, of thankfulness. These three things make food the RIGHT FOOD. Remember food cannot make you spiritual, but if you are spiritual your food habits will change and you will become Vegetarian automatically.

When a person is born in a non-vegetarian/vegetarian family it is natural to learn the ways of their families. But both are unconscious. And I don’t give any value to the unconscious vegetarian. Only consciously Vegetarian has value.

Vegetarianism functions as purification. When you eat animals you are more under the law of necessity. You are heavy, you gravitate more towards the earth. When you are a vegetarian you are light and you are more under the law of grace, under the law of power, and you start gravitating towards the sky. The lighter the food, the deeper goes the meditation. I am not saying that meditation is impossible for a non-vegetarian — it is not impossible, but it is unnecessarily difficult.

I don’t give you any particular instructions, what to eat or what not to eat. I simply teach you one thing: become more and more conscious, become more and more aware, and let your awareness decide.

My own feeling is — remember, it is my feeling; it is not a commandment – that if you become more and more alert and aware, you will find it less and less possible to eat things which depend on hurting animals, which depend on destroying animals’ lives. This has nothing to do with spirituality. It simply has something to do with an aesthetic sense.

.              – OSHO

Stonehenge – A Feeling I will never forget

Stonehenge was nothing short of Amazing! It is a memory I will take with me forever. But what was it that was so Amazing?
This place had an indescribable energy, a feeling I can’t even put into words. I will forever be fascinated by this place and its history.
One only has to look at the facts to try understand how such an energy has been created in this circle of gigantic stones.

Stonehenge was estimated to have been constructed around 4200 BC in the Neolithic period.
It still remains a mystery as to how its circular formation of 160 massive stones was constructed, scientists estimate it would require over million man hours to build, over 4 times the man hours required to build the empire state building!
Some believe whomever created Stonehenge was not from this world.
Some scientists believe it is a prehistoric calculator dsigned to predict lunar exclpises and atrological phenomenon. Below is my video of my experience there and my sharing what I was feeling.

Mung Bean Salad with Tahini dressing

This Salad will blow your Mind! Its a flavoursome Delight with loads of Health benefits. Mung Beans are a legume that reduce cholesterol, are packed full of proteins and fibres that aid digestion and contain an enzyme called Phytoestrogen that enhances skin tone by helping the secretion of collagen and elastin. I’ve added beetroot to this Salad also for the many health benefits, this combination of vegetables with the Tahini dressing is a match made in heaven.
The amounts used and shown in pictures will make one serving. Increase ratios to make larger servings.

Ingredients – Salad
1/2 beetroot
Any combination of lettuce and spinach (I used cos and baby spinach)
Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 Cucumber
1 Small Sweet Carrot
1 handful of Mung Beans
1 handful of Alfalfa Sprouts

Ingredients – Dressing
2 tablespoons of Tahini
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of flax seed or olive oil
1 tea spoon on Apple cider vinegar
Himalayan Salt

Method
Grate Beetroot and Carrot, dice cucumber, halve Cherry Tomatoes.
Mix together with Mung Beans and Alfalfa Sprouts and pour it over Lettuce and Spinach leaves.
Using a hand blender blend up dressing ingredients in a mug and spoon over the salad.

Serve – Enjoy!