Any jar with a pop up lid can be used for home canning. Here you see the pears I just canned using a variety of jars – mostly Trader Joe’s Pasta sauce. These lids can be used over and over and are more reliable and easier to work with compared to traditional canning jars with the two part lids. Apple juice can be easily preserved in old glass juice bottles. Those usually always have a pop up on the lid.
I put the clean dry jars in the oven at 275 F for 20-30 minutes and take them out one at a time and fill them with the boiling hot fruit. The utensils, funnel, etc I use have been boiled for 5-10 minutes in water.
I add the boiling hot fruit slices or applesauce, pear sauce, chutney to the jars with a canning funnel and then use a rag dipped in the boiling water to clean off the rim. Using sterilized tongs I take a lid out of the boiling water and screw it on.
The pop ups on the top will all be up while the jar is hot, but you will hear them popping down as the jars cool. When they are cool, you can press on the pop up button and it should be in the down position with no movement. If they didn’t seal and the pop up is up, it means the lid wasn’t screwed on tight enough. The contents are still good, just put it in the fridge and use it up.
If the pop up comes up during storage it means some bacteria is growing and producing gas. The gas pressure forces the button up. These you want to discard. I’ve never had that happen. Items high in fruit sugar tend to preserve easily.
Buddhism has done a nice job of describing the five obstacles to meditation (or spiritual development, recovery, healthy behaviors, etc).
Does it work?
Will it work for me?
Not wanting to do it (laziness or lack of motivation)
Attraction to worldly things (or unhealthy behaviors or drug of choice)
Resentments, ill will, aversions
Worry, restlessness, distractions
The good news is there are remedies that can be done to rid oneself of any of the obstacles.
If you have DOUBT about the activity you want to do then:
Get more information about the activity
Talk to people
Read up about it
Search the internet
Experiment or try it out and see how you like it
Explore the pros and cons of the activity
Consider other options (e.g. If I eat crappy food instead of healthy food what will my body be like in 20 years. Will I like that?
If you LACK MOTIVATION to do a new, healthy behavior then:
Find out about the positive results others have doing it
Hang out with people that do the new healthy behavior
Think through the next 20 years with your current lifestyle
Focus on what you want in your life and how the behavior helps you to reach your goals
Choose to become good at what your aspiration is
Make the efforts needed to get good at your target behavior
Experience the physical and mental pleasure of doing the new behavior.
If we are ATTRACTED to OTHER THINGS and we forget to do the new behavior because life happens and we are swept away by it, then we must develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is being consciously aware of what we are doing, when we are doing it simultaneous with awareness of the consequences of that action. In the case of forgetting the behavior because we are swept away by attractive situations, opportunities, and things, mindfulness is the process of remembering what your intention is and letting go of the distraction. Mindfulness is a skill that is developed by continuous practice.
AVERSIONS, ILL-WILL and RESENTMENTS can also block our development of new healthy behaviors. In this obstacle we start focusing on what we don’t want. Maybe we desire a strong body, but we don’t want to exercise in the cold or rain or too hard or … you get the idea. We have an aversion to part of the practice. We don’t like the food we have to eat, or the work we have to do, or what we have to give up. We resent our choice and we resist part of it. Or we resent our parents, our boss, the world… for making this change so hard. This, ultimately will lead us to stopping the practice if we don’t nip it in the bud. The correction is to be watchful for the aversion to arise and recognize it doesn’t serve us and bring our attention back to our thoughts of the benefits of the change.
RESTLESSNESS, WORRY and BEING DISTRACTED arise when we are living a hectic life or we are not acting in integrity. We become preoccupied, mentally agitated and lose focus. In terms of making a positive change, a distraction is getting swept up by the day’s activities and forgetting to do the activity that will create the positive change. Maybe you leave the house without food planned and you end up somewhere hungry without good choices. Or maybe your day was so full you forgot to leave time to exercise. Sometimes we just forget to reflect on our life and choices and get swept along in habitual patterns of reacting. In the case of restlessness, we need to consider what we need to put down or let go of. If there are activities or people that prevent us from making a positive change, then we ask ourselves what action we need to take in those areas to prevent us from getting mentally agitated and distracted.
While all five obstacles are different, the solutions are really the same. It is all about focusing on what you desire and what will bring you what you want and turning your back on the activities and things that will not bring you what you want. Keep your resolve strengthened by contact with people with similar goals and by reading about what you desire to achieve and people achieving it.
I was once living with a teenager and we were studying internal martial arts. I always just pushed myself to practice even if I didn’t want to. He was an example of more skillful means. He would turn to YouTube first and watch master martial artists. It didn’t take long before he was inspired to practice. This is certainly a good way of applying an antidote to not wanting to do it, and the other obstacles.
Finally, be gentle with yourself. Sometimes knowing is not the same as doing. We are not our subconscious mind, but the habits and beliefs that reside in our subconscious are influencing everything we do. Part of the path is loving ourselves without judgment. We move to take right action without making anyone or anything wrong – including ourselves. If what we know would be best, is outside our capabilities, then it is not the best action. Choose something that takes less effort and is pointed in the direction you would like to go. Each day affirm your commitment to positive change. Listen to an inspiring podcast or YouTube video or take any action you know that will get you excited. Then end each day rejoicing about what you were able to do for yourself.
Last year I was enjoying the teachings on LoJong by Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé Rinpoche on audio and wrote a little about the preliminary practices.
I am very excited to learn his new book on the topic will be released on September 6th. He is doing a book tour and will visit the Bay Area at the end of September. If you like to listen to books you can already get the audio version.
We’ve all heard platitudes about cultivating love and compassion, but how can we actually develop these qualities in ourselves and—crucially—share them in our world? The Power of Mind provides the proven path of lojong, or mind training, for changing our experience from the inside out.
Regardless of what’s happening in our lives, Khentrul Rinpoche teaches that our route to freedom lies in our minds. A thousand years ago, the Indian saint Atisha risked his life to seek out lojong teachings in Indonesia, and then brought them to Tibet, where they flourished and spread to the rest of the world. This book introduces those teachings—the Seven Key Points of Mind Training—which have been passed down from teacher to student for centuries. Khentrul Rinpoche was inspired by his own teachers, who like alchemists, were able to follow these techniques during the Cultural Revolution and transform their immense suffering into something positive.
The Power of Mind guides the reader through these transformative practices one by one—from recognizing the value of our human life to overcoming the sources of suffering, together with meditation advice for incorporating these insights into our daily lives. This wisdom is accessible to everyone—whether Buddhist or not. As Khentrul Rinpoche states, “Peace and happiness can be attained, but not by searching for something in the outside world. They start within us then extend out to the entire globe.”
Review: “If you train the mind, you can live a happy and fulfilled life. The Power of Mind is a practical manual sharing seven key points that form a complete training. Anyone can apply them to their lives—you don’t need to have any particular belief system to embrace the benefits. Khentrul Rinpoche shares his deep understanding of these teachings so that the subject is most relevant for these times.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé Rinpoche is a United States-based Tibetan monk and the director of Katog Choling, a Tibetan Cultural Center. He oversees meditation groups across North America and in Australia and South Africa. He travels teaching seminars and leading retreats, and he now holds online retreats for his students around the globe. He is also the abbot of a monastery in Tibet. Khentrul Rinpoche is one of the only monks in the world with three khenpo degrees—equivalent to three PhDs in Buddhist philosophy. Many of his students have nicknamed him “the mind training Khenpo” for his passion for teaching mind training practices.
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