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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

who cut the cheese?

i'm not ashamed to say that i did.

and so did all the others who were gathered at richard wegman's home in venice last night, where it started to get pretty fragrant by the end of the evening...

fragrant with the aroma of onions, garlic, ginger, and all the other ingredients that we were busy chopping up for the hearty indian lunch that was to be served at a homeless shelter the next day :)

our food preparation committee was just one of the many others -- such as decorating, shopping, cooking, and serving -- that were mobilized for shanti house's latest project:

THANKSGIVING COMMUNITY SEVA PROJECT
Wednesday, November 21st
Shanti House will be decorating the the Bread and Roses Café for Thanksgiving week and creating a healthy, organic, vegetarian and yummy meal for our homeless guests on Nov. 21st, with live music to lighten the heart. Run by St. Joseph Center, this amazing café in Venice has been serving up to 150 homeless people, 5 days a week for the past 20 odd years. Here each guest is treated with courtesy and dignity by a volunteer serving staff, with great food and flowers at each table.


there were over half a dozen volunteers, mainly yoga students and teachers, who showed up for duty last night. besides the cheese -- actually, it was paneer, an indian cheese -- there was a long list of items that needed to be prepared. just like santa claus, richard wegman was making a list and checking it twice to make sure that nothing was forgotten when it came time to transport the food to the shelter the next morning.

Shanti House is a non-profit seva organization whose goal is to empower and involve the local healing community to provide food, healing services, wellness education and yoga to the homeless, at-risk youth, and the economically disadvantaged in Los Angeles. Shanti House also aids and supports other local non-profits already in the community.

i had first heard about this organization when i attended saul david raye's ananda ritam fundraiser at sacred movement last september. at the time, i added my name to the shanti house mailing list, hoping that i could somehow be of service to them with the little time i had available in my busy schedule. so when i heard that they needed people to chop up veggies for a few hours, i immediately signed up to help out.

after battling pre-holiday rush-hour traffic on the 405 and the side streets to get there, then having to bail early to catch a late-night yoga class, i only was able to put in half as much time as i'd wanted to; regardless, richard and everyone else busy working knives and cutting boards in his kitchen (and living room, too!) seemed appreciative enough of my short stint.

i can't wait to hear how the luncheon went earlier today. i hope shanti's guests enjoyed the meal that was prepared for them, especially the saag paneer (spinach with cheese) dish that i personally had a hand in preparing :)

2 Comments:

Anonymous slpete42 said...

Will be very interested in any account of how the meal went in its service, presentation and enjoyment--- if one comes your way and you can pass it on. Will check the sites. Sounds like it was a joy in the preparation, though not so easy to do.

8:45 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi slpete --

i just received this note of thanks from richard wegman via kelly vogt campbell, our food prep committee leader:

Jai Ma! Blessings to all and we hope you had a rewarding and heart opening experience on every level of doing SEVA for this project.
My heart is bursting with love for you all, as I sit with my family today and think back on the last two months of planning, meeting, e-mails and I sit in awe as I realize how we all played our part to bring service to the community. I feel we did a lot more for ourselves as a community then we could even approach doing the one meal we gave the community members. The tears, the smiles, the joy, the love, the hugs, the service, oh my!!
What a blessing it was to get to meet some of you in a way I had not before, to work and give service with you all. I am overwhelmed and to think this is just the beginning!

12:15 PM  

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