My recent talk on Ayurveda. It is just a recording so you can enjoy it while you are doing something else!
Can you imagine a country that:
- makes 22kg of finest chocolate per person per year
- has 1000 varieties of beer
- that invented chips?
Is this country some kind of food heaven?
No just a short hop over the English Channel and you are in Belgium—a food lovers paradise!
What’s more amazing still is that they would invite an English man there to talk about food… well, that’s exactly what happened last week! I was invited to the wonderful city of Reimst in North Belgium to give a ‘Keith on Food’ charity workshop.
Our first stop was to the World Peace Flame monument for which we were raising money—this is a real eternal flame on the northern gateway to Belgium.
Hmmm I was tempted to show people the English way of over-boiling vegetables (particularly our festive treat of soggy brussel sprouts)—but the workshop was on Ayurvedic cooking and finding your Ayurvedic body type. Try my quiz for yourself here to find your own type.
For some hands on fun, we also set up the kitchen so that everyone could make a dish from my forthcoming recipe book ‘Cooking with Keith’.
Ayurveda can be confusing—especially when explained in a second language by a foreigner! Luckily it was me doing the explaining—adding a few words in Flemish (which I’d looked up in my dictionary the night before) and drawing pictures so everyone could understand….
I did try speaking in Dutch but everyone looked more confused—probably because Flemish has different pronunciation. But I do find they struggle with my Dutch in the Netherlands too! I don’t think my London accent helps.
The results though were fantastic here is my Mojo sauce and potatoes. The Belgians really are great cooks and managed to improve a lot of my recipes, with a few basic skills.
The stir fry with tofu and seaweed was fantastic. The best ever!
A fantastic salad combination
Here are some of the recipes…
1 tbsp / 15ml sunflower oil
1 leek (washed and sliced)
1 tsp / 5 ml black mustard seeds
1 tsp / 5 ml cumin seeds
1 tsp / 5 ml turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 lb/500g butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
1 lb/500g sweet potato (washed and chopped)
1 ¾ / 1 ltr pints water
1 tsp / 5 ml grated ginger
4 tsp / 20 ml bouillon powder
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop for a few seconds.
- Add the other spices and leeks. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the veg, ginger and water, boulion powder and simmer for 35 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon and bay leaf. Then liquidise.
Cashew and Apple
4 carrots grated
1 onion sliced
1 small potato diced
1 large apple grated
2 oz / 50g butter or margarine
1 3/4 pints / 1 ltr stock
2 oz / 50g cashews
- Sauté the onion in the butter till softened.
- Add the carrot and apple and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the stock, potatoes, and cashews.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until tender.
- Liquidize and season to taste
Incas’ Quinoa Salad
8oz / 200g quinoa
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
small bunch fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp / 30ml linseed oil
2 tbsp/ 60 ml virgin olive oil
2 tbsp / 60 ml tamari
juice 1 lemon
- Wash the quinoa carefully to remove any bitter saponin. Washuntil the water runs clear.
- Cook the quinoa with two cups of water, bring to the boil then simmer with a tight lid, until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. The grain should be transparent and the spiral germ separated from the grain.
- Cool the quinoa then add the oil, tamari, lemon juice and crushed garlic.
- Dice the peppers, slice the tomato, and chop the basil and add to the quinoa.
- Stir in the olives and decorate with basil leaves and tomato roses.
Stir Fried Veg
4 oz / 100g mushrooms
small tin water chestnuts
small tin bamboo shoots
½ tsp / 2.5ml sesame oil
2 tbsp / 30 ml mango chutney
2 tbsp / 30 ml tomato puree
1 tbsp / 15 ml tamari
2 tbsp / 30 ml water
- Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Slice mushroom and onion, cut carrot and courgette into sticks.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over a high heat.
- Add the carrots. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the courgettes and onion. Cook for a further 2
- Add the chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the sauce and serve.
8 oz / 250g Tofu
1 oz / 25g Dried shiitake mushrooms
¼ pint/ 100ml Water
1tsp/ 5ml Dried Oregano
2 Garlic cloves pressed or fine sliced
¼ pint/ 100ml Olive Oil
3tbsp / 45ml Red Wine Vinegar
5 tbsp / 75 ml Mirin
¼ pint/ 100ml Tamari
Ground Cloves good pinch
Black Pepper good pinch
- Cube the tofu in 2 cm cubes and put in dish with deep sides.
- Simmer the mushrooms in water for 15 minutes
- Toast the oregano until aromatic but not burning.
- Add oregano and everything else to the mushrooms. Bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Pour the boiling marinade over the tofu. Make sure the marinade covers all the pieces.
- Cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hours, preferably overnight.
- Place a little oil in a pan and fry the tofu till all the liquid has evaporated
‘All you need is love’ applies to food too. I have put this as my first tip, because it is the least recognised, but most important one! I call it vitamin L and most of us are sadly deficient in it!
Like mothers food, or a romantic meal. Love is the magic ingredient that makes food more delicious, and nourishing. You add something of yourself to the meal when you prepare food. It can transform a simple meal, or spoil the best ingredients.
See my post on Anna Yoga, the yoga of food.
This is my second favourite tip. Most of us just consider the nutritional benefits of what we eat.
But how and when you eat is just as important. If you are stressed or agitated you can’t absorb the nutrients so well, no matter how good the ingredients.
Being relaxed means you can absorb all the elements of the food. Try my food meditation to develop awareness as you eat.
What you eat is of course important too! Try eating more alkaline foods. Which are fresh fruits and vegetables, and unrefined grains and pulses.
Reducing acid forming foods, sugar, refined and processed foods and too much meat.
Good food and sleep are the foundations of ayurvedic health. Being regular allows your body clock to help with sleep and digestion.
There are also times of the day, that help certain activities. The sun is strongest at midday, and this fire energy favours digestion. An adequate lunch and breakfast, is better than eating too much late in the evening.
In Ayurveda fire energy is also strong again at midnight, so it recommends getting to bed before this, for a nourishing sleep. Rather than work or party into the early hours.
Superfoods like barley or wheat grass powder are a great way to supplement your nutrition naturally. Your body recognises it as food, and it has the whole package of nutrients your body needs.
My saying is ‘Buy a juicer and give your microwave to someone you don’t like!’
Fresh vegetable juice is the fastest way to get fresh nutrients into your body. Also it is full of vitality,I call it vitamin V. This is another ingredient you won’t see on the packet!
In Dru Yoa it is called prana, or life force. Having living foods like fresh juice is like eating vitality, which gives you more energy. See my post on juicing.
If you are stressed all the time, you can’t absorb all the good things in your food or detox.
They can all be done safely and easily by yourself at home. Don’t wait till you have spare time. ‘Make an appointment with yourself’ on a regular basis.
In ayurveda oil massage is used to relax and nourish the body. It also helps move lymph around the body and drain toxins.
See my post on Self massage it is a great way to have a free, and regular relaxing therapy.
Adequate hydration is important, but if you are stressed, your body dehydrates and water goes straight through you. Regular relaxation is important, so your body hydrates properly.
Linseed tea can help. It has a relaxing effect on your colon, and makes the water slightly more viscous and easy to absorb.
Ayurvedic health is based on balancing the elements in our body. That is why walking in nature is so healing. All the elements are there:
There is fire in the warm sun, air in the breeze, earth beneath our feet, and water in the earth, a stream, or in the rain!
Walking through the living energy of the plants, also boosts your vitality.
This spice mix contains all 6 Ayurvedic tastes, so it makes any meal easier to digest and more balanced. It is like magic powder that makes everything more delicious and healthy. Join in with my cook along video below.
3 parts fennel seed, 1 part turmeric, 1 part cumin, 1 part dried ginger, 1 part black pepper, 1 part cardamom seeds, 1 part salt, 1 part sugar, 1 part fenugreek, 1 part dried mango powder (all powdered)
For each batch I use 3 tsp (15ml) fennel and 1 tsp (5ml) of all the other spices.
The Daily Grind!
Some spices are better freshly ground, this time I used fennel seeds, cardamon pods and coarse ground black pepper and ground them myself in a pestle and mortar.
Found this old grinder in my Mums loft, sparks a bit and fused the house briefly, but was handy when my arms got tired!
Although cardamom is available ready powdered there is nothing like the aroma of the freshly ground seeds, especially when someone else is doing the work! First you need to remove the shells and peel enough so you have 1 tsp of the seeds.The cardamom is a ‘sweet’ taste in ayurveda which increases decreases the elements of air and fire in your system. It’s great if you feel too fiery or agitated, or airy and ungrounded.
I then added the fennel seeds which are also a sweet taste, and the pepper which is a pungent taste. The pungent taste is the opposite to sweet, it increases air and fire, strengthening digestion and energy.After grinding the spices to a fine powder, I added a teaspoon of salt and sugar, and ground it a bit further. The sugar, obviously is a sweet taste and the salt, salty! Salty Ayurvedic taste decreases air so grounds airheads, but increases fire so use with caution if you already feel a bit hot and bothered!
I then added the powdered spices turmeric, fenugreek, cumin and ginger. Keith’s Tip: You can use whole fenugreek seed but they are very hard and difficult to grind The turmeric is an astringent taste which increases the air element. The cumin and ginger are pungent like pepper, and increase fire and air,The last spice I added was mango powder (amchor powder). This is the sour taste, which is good for anyone with too much air in their constitution. Then I ground it a bit more to create the final powder. Use it like table salt to sprinkle over your plate as a condiment.
We all know that it’s great to eat raw food, because it is full of vitality, vitamins and enzymes. But unless it is really hot weather it can be cold, and unappetising.
With Keith’s Ayurvedic warm salads you get the best of both world! Raw food doesn’t need to be served cold in fact it can be warmed up to body temperature over 30 degrees celsius, which is quite warm. Similar temperature we eat cooked food!
In this salad warmth is added though the heated dressing. It also has ‘heat’ added through taste, the mustard seeds and ginger providing a pungent or hot taste. This really makes the dish more appetising.
Get the ingredients together then join in my ‘cook along’ video below.
Warm Grated Carrot Salad
8oz / 250g grated carrots
2 tbsp / 30ml sweet raisins
1 tsp / 5ml minced ginger
2 tsp / 10ml chopped coriander
2 tsp / 10ml lemon juice
1/2 tsp / 2.5ml fresh-ground black pepper
1 tsp / 5ml black or brown mustard seed
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp / 30ml ghee
Rock salt to taste (optional)
1. Combine carrots, raisins, salt, pepper, cilantro, ginger and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Heat ghee in a pan until clear. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. (Hold a lid over the pan to prevent the seeds from dancing everywhere). Add asafoetida.
3. Pour the hot ghee-spice dressing on the salad. Mix well
It’s great to be in the news, for the right reasons! Om Yoga Magazine recently featured my ‘yoga of food’ article. Read all about it, below.
The Yoga of Food (Anna Yoga) By Keith Squires
Never before has so much information about food been available through books, the internet, TV, my blogs and courses. But the most important thing has been almost totally overlooked. Hardly anyone realises that the way food is cooked, is just as important as the recipe and ingredients!
This is nothing new, there is a whole branch of yoga called ‘Anna Yoga’ but it’s nothing to do with someone called Anna or Annie! Anna is a very beautiful Sanskrit word meaning nourishment. In Hinduism there is an actual Goddess Annapurna, who is said to nourish the whole universe, with spiritual and physical food.
Anna Yoga is much more than a guide to eating a healthy diet, it encompasses a whole journey of self-knowledge through food. We may not find time or inclination to do yoga postures or meditation every day but we will normally eat, probably 3 times a day. This can be an empty experience of filling up or refuelling, or ultimately a sacred connection with ourselves and the universe around us.
Anna Yoga is a journey of self knowledge through food
While cooking it’s not just the ingredients that go into the food, you add part of yourself. I don’t mean a broken fingernail, or false eyelash! We surround it with our thoughts and feelings, as we cook, and this becomes part of the meal. The Anna Yoga secret is to add only the best ingredients from your storehouse of emotions. I soon learned if I was fed up when I was cooking, no one enjoyed the food, but if I put loving intention into it, everyone liked it.
Only add the best ingredients from your storehouse of emotions
Anyone can become a loving cook, at first I just liked food, but not people so much. I started cooking because no one else was. But soon I learned that cooking is like a mirror, what you put in, not just ingredients, but also your emotions, is what you get out!
It’s infuriating, when you are fed up, and cooking is a chore, you resent it, that is when everyone complains! It drives you mad! When you are happy, and you put love into it, everyone loves you back. You want it to be the other way round, you want them to change, but that hardly ever happens, ultimately you have to turn the whole thing around yourself.
Mothers love is normally the closest experience to divine unconditional love
For most of us the best example of Anna Yoga, is mothers cooking. Although at times we may have hated it, I used to have huge battles over eating liver and onions, yuk! But usually there was something so nourishing about it, even if it was just beans on toast! That’s because mothers love is often the closest we get to divine unconditional love. It goes into the food making it delicious and nourishing.
When I was young my grandmother had a remedy for any illness, it was evaporated milk with warm water and sugar. Now I think it must be the worst thing if you have an infection lots of sugar and milk fat! But again it was the love and intention that was so healing, not the drink itself.
The most delicious delicious food I ever had was a dal from an indian temple, it was a simple recipe but made with love and chanted over.
In India one of the staple foods is dal, which is a thin spicy lentil, or moong bean soup. When I was there someone said the best dal you get is in the temple. Not that it is such a great recipe, or there is some secret ingredient, but the energy of the prayers and chanting goes into the food it becomes super charged blessed food, or ‘prashad’ in sanskrit.
Just Start with an intention to put love into your food.
But how do you start to become an Anna Yogi? The first step is to have an intention, that you want to cook with love. Then take small steps in the right direction.
Before I cook, even if I am in a hurry, I stop and think, that the meal is important, and I am making a meal that will nurture everyone, then I try to think of the people kindly. Sometimes, I light a candle, put some nice music on, and allow the healing power of my hands to infuse the food. Straight away something changes, and someone will ‘say that smells nice’.
If I have had a stressful time or been near annoying people, I sometimes have a shower to wash off the physical and the emotional garbage! If I need to I sit for a few minutes and practice my breathing exercise, and image I am inhaling love and positively and exhaling any irritation.
Keiths Breathing Exercises, to calm your mind
1. Put the kettle on.
2. Sit comfortably, and close your eyes.
3. Inhale the cool calm air.
4. Imagine you are breathing in love and positivity.
5. Try to exhale through your nose, feel the warm air going out.
6. Breathe out stress, and negative emotions.
7. Repeat as you wait for the kettle to boil.
8. Make a nice cuppa.
Then I just create an intention, that I am going to make a light filled meal for everyone. Consciously I project love into the food and the people, who will be subjected to it. Then ask my higher self, kitchen angel, ancestor who liked cooking, deceased pet or anyone who might be out there, to help. If its a really bad day I just pray for a miracle. It may all sound like a big effort but it doesn’t need to take long.
But actually cooking itself is nurturing and therapeutic, if you let it be. Cooking is grounding because it involves all the 5 elements of nature. The fresh vegetables are from the earth, you use water to cook and prepare the produce. Then there is the fire in the cooker, and the smell of the food in the air. Your thoughts and feelings are the ether which permeate everything.
Cooking is grounding because it involves all the elements of nature
Often during the day your mind and senses get over stimulated in certain ways. Your hearing can be stressed by traffic, demanding voices, telephone the hustle of modern life. Your eyes by computer screens mobile phones etc. Cooking on the other hand, invokes and refreshes all the senses.
The sense of Touch is refreshed, by the texture of the vegetables, the coolness of the water on your hands as you wash them, and the warmth of the steam as you cook.
The sense of Sight is refreshed, as you look at the colours of the vegetables and the patterns as you cut them., even the onions that make you cry are cleansing your eyes.
The sense of Hearing is refreshed by the sound of the knife chopping, the sissling and sounds of the cooking. Even the microwave going ping!
The sense of Smell is tantalised by the fresh scents of the herbs and vegetables and the alchemy of the aromas .
The sense of Taste can be overwhelmed, if you search deep into the flavours with your awareness.
Your sense of Humour can also be refreshed by a good joke.
Because all the senses are being stimulated at once, it is a totally complete experience. Everything can be totally integrated and balanced by the wholesome experience of cooking..
In cooking a loving meal you are also engaged in something that can’t be totally rushed. Everything has to cook in it’s own time. If you open your senses, the smell of the food will let you know when it is ready.
Magically most things give off a delicious aroma when they are cooked, cakes and bread if baked at the right temperature give off a delicious smell, just at the moment they are ready!
Anna Yoga confirms what we already knew, the way to a persons heart is through the stomach! It’s a wonderful experiment to add love to your cooking along with the other ingredients. Try it and see what happens.
Next time Keith continues with You are, how you eat! – meditating on food and eating with awareness. If you can’t wait, find out more on Keiths Blog! http://www.keithonfood.com
Juicing is a great way to start the day, detox, and supplement your nutrition naturally. It transforms simple vegetables into a delicious drink and the nutrients are in a natural liquid form making them easy to absorb. It’s so easy, try chewing 5 carrots, see how long it takes, but put them through a juicer, and you can drink all those nutrients in seconds! But the really magic thing about juicing is that it is a living food, and when you drink it straight away, it is full of vital energy!
Living energy, or ‘prana‘ in yogic terms, nourishes you physically and mentally. That’s why juice or raw food is so refreshing. But the great thing is it’s totally calorie free! You feel full and energised but not heavy! Juices are ideal when you feel poorly, as you get a double boost of energy, directly from the juice and that you don’t use digesting it! Also the prana or vital energy, stimulates your immune system and magically helps the body heal itself.
Keith’s tip: fresh vegetable juice is full of prana or living energy which vitalises you.
There are basically two types of juicer, centrifugal juicers which mash-up the veg and spin it like a dryer so that all the juice comes out, or masticating juicers that squeeze the juice out. The latter are better, as more juice and nutrients are extracted, but much more expensive. Its a bit like comparing a Harley Davidson and a moped. But like a moped the centrifugal juicer gets you there even if you have to park it down the road out of sight. so it’s great to start with and you can pick one up for about £20.
Keith’s tip Buy a juicer and give your microwave to someone you don’t like
I have a top of the range champion juice (of course). When you switch it on it hums, and I really feel like I know what I am doing. Cheap juicers make a high pitched screech.
Normally I use a base of carrots, as they are nutritious and taste good, a smaller amount of beetroot, you don’t need so much because the flavour is strong. Then some celery, and apple to really make it taste nice, and a little ginger which gives it a bit of a kick.
Keith’s tip: ginger as well as tasting nice is extremely therapeutic, it aids circulation, can reduce nausea and stimulates digestion.
You could also add garlic, which is a great natural antibiotic, and it’s really clever because it only kills the bad bugs! With normal antibiotics the healthy bacteria are wiped out too, leaving you prone to candida which quickly replaces them. Also the garlic smell on your breath really keeps people away from you meaning the infection does not spread.
Finally I added about a teaspoon of flax (linseed) oil which is high in omega 3 fatty acids, and helps you absorb the fat soluble nutrients.
Don’t try to use the fibre for anything but compost, we have had a few disasters trying to make burgers, high fibre soup even ice cream!
The only downside to juicing is the cleaning! Which defies the dishwasher, where is my juice assistant?
‘Last which shall be first, and there are the first which shall be last’
Luke 14 verse 30
A few months ago Sandra from Dimensions suggested I could help with the swimming at the Rhyl Triathlon. Seemed a good idea at the time and I did get a free halva bar! It’s only half a mile just 30 lengths she said.
About a week before the event, I decided it’s about time to start training. The first thing I found is that half a mile turns out to be 40 lengths, and it’s quite difficult, for me, to swim more than one or two lengths, without having a substantial rest!
Soon the great day arrives and we all head for Rhyl. There I see the swimming course and it looks even bigger in real life!
Soon I am getting ready and mentally prepared for the race.
Samia is there filming, and adds much-needed glamour to the event
By some great blessing the whole week has been sunny, so the water is a balmy 18 degrees. Then its ready, steady go, and we are off.
It was all excitement, I managed to do the half mile in 20 minutes, and not be last!
The next part of the relay was the cycling, and Brenda was eagerly waiting to take off. She managed to make up some of the lost time bringing our team out of the straggler zone.
The final leg was the running, led by our super fit, glorious leader Sandra, looking fresh she pushes further up the field, making our prophesy true, The last shall be first, and the first shall be last!
This is the story of how Australia’s most iconic animal got its pouch.
A long time ago the creator got bored and thought today I will go down into my own creation and check how everything is going. He looked at the earth and decided to visit Australia.
He came down in the form of a wombat, that was a bit worse for wear, and decided to sit by the side of the road and see if anyone would be kind enough to help him.
The first animal who came along was a water-rat, the divine wombat asked if he could help, as he was tired and hungry. The water-rat ignored him as he was thinking about his swan girlfriend see platypus story. Then an Emu went by ‘can you help’ he asked agin. ‘No’ said the emu ‘I have gone past you and can’t walk backwards’.
Then a dingo went by, he said ‘think yourself lucky I am not hungry!’ Gulp thought the creator ‘this story could have come to a sudden end’. Then a zebra came by, again the creator asked for help. The zebra said ‘I would but I am actually in the wrong story so I can’t get involved’.
Finally a kangaroo bounded along the road, carrying her joey. At this time kangaroos did not have pouches, so they carried their young in their hands. That is why they hop, keeping their hands free, to carry their young. The kangaroo being a kind animal agreed to help. ‘Sit on my tail’ she said ‘and I will take you to a wonderful place, near a creek, where you will find plenty to eat’.
The divine wombat sat on her tail, and held on tightly, then she started jumping onwards down the road. It was a very bumpy ride and soon he had a very sore bottom! ‘I should have stayed in heaven and let my angels do this for me!’ thought the wombat. Eventually, they reached the spot, a lush green field by the creek. ‘Here you go’ she said, ‘you will be happy here, and there is plenty to eat’.
Suddenly some men appeared, with spears and boomerangs. The kangaroo realised the elderly wombat would be an easy target for the hunters. ‘Hide here’ she said ‘I will lead them away from you’. She hopped off, and hid her joey, then whistled to the men to distract them. They shouted and aimed their missiles, but she jumped away quickly, and the men followed in hot pursuit. She soon outran them, and left the men breathless.
She then doubled back, but could not find her joey. She looked everywhere, becoming more and more anxious. Darkness fell and she went back to the wombat, a broken creature. Up to this point, the creator had just been thinking about his sore backside. That seemed a bit trivial now, that the kangaroos joey was missing. Suddenly it was his compassion that was being tested!
The old wombat hugged her, as she cried and cried, after many hours, the poor kangaroo fell into an exhausted sleep. At dawn the wombat found the joey, and he was reunited, with his delighted mother. Then then wombat revealed his true form and turned into god.
‘You have pleased me today’ said the creator, who sounded like James Mason, with a slight aussi accent. ‘Above all other animals you have been kind. As a reward all kangaroos will now have a special pouch so you will never have to leave a joey unattended again. Also you will be the symbol, and top-selling soft toy of all Australia!’
Earlier this year we had an amazing trip to Australia. One of the highlights was visiting Healesville Sancuary near Melbourne and it was there I met my first real platypus.
The Story of the Platypus
We also found a beautiful Aboriginal story about them.
Long ago a young female black swan was swimming in a beautiful lake, then she saw a water rat, playing in the creek. She felt attracted to his brash and carefree manner. So different, to the quiet (and boring) dignity of her father, brothers and swan friends.
In fact she became very attracted to his carefree, and bad boy ways. He represented danger and excitement! A chance she thought, to escape the dull confines of her swan life.
The water rat caught her glance, but she looked away demurely. However she quietly moved to an isolated part of the creek. He took his chance swimming nearer to her. Her rebellious teenage swan passions were aroused and she was swept into a passionate affair.
However it was short lived, she soon began to tire of his brash manner. Also she suspected that his nights away were not just with the boys. so she abruptly ended it all by text saying’ you are just not my type’.
But a single egg was the result of their union, and a strange offspring emerged. It had the furry body of the water rat, but a beak and webbed feet! He was the original ugly duckling. but never became a swan. He was playful like his father but graceful too like his mother.
But the platypus has a venomous sting too, and this is a reminder of the stinging rejection the water rat received from the swans text. Although he was outwardly rough and brash, he was also sensitive soul at heart. Together though, they brought the platypus to the world.
He couldn’t join a group.
Later all the animals decided to create groups, or clubs. The land animals thought lets invite the platypus to our group, as he is furry and runs across the land. The birds thought they too should also invite the platypus as he has a beak and lays eggs. Then the water creatures thought let us ask platypus as he swims and dives in the water.
The platypus was confused and could not decide which group to join. After some thought he gathered all the animals together and thanked them for inviting him into their groups. Then he said I do not need to join any groups, as I am special in my own way.
Meaning of the Platypus
The platypus teaches us that it is ok to be different and unique, you don’t need to be like everyone else, or part of a group to be special. They are also solitary animals, and show us that it is important to be happy in your own company.
The platypus has an electromagnetic sense in its beak, which it uses underwater means it can sense things hidden from view. This reminds us to trust our own awareness and intuition to swim through the depth of our emotions.
Origins of the Platypus
About 200 million years ago, Australia started separating from the other continents. At that time monotremes were the ‘state of the art’ mammal, with fur, warm blood and milk for the little ones, but still laid eggs! As the continent moved north it became more and more isolated. The marsupials were an ingenious mammal upgrade, with live birth and pouches,and more or less took over, but a few monotremes survived to the present day. One of these is the platypus which is a direct ancestor of ancient animals around millions of years ago.
The first Europeans were amazed by this egg laying mammal with a beak, and webbed feet! Everyone thought the first samples sent home were an elaborate hoax. They guessed it was stitched together from other animals. Later they thought this must be the first animal designed by a committee?
Male platypus are also the only mammal with a sting, and all of them have an electromagnetic 6th sense in their beaks so they really can ‘follow their noses’