An invite to join Menzi & Simone from 6 – 9 December, 2020 at Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, Underberg, KZN (details below), for a retreat focused on Medicinal Plant Based Food Making & Sharing, that includes the following:
Vegan Food Making Workshop
Mountain Meditation Walks
Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine
by Menzi Mbonambi & Simone Carolissen
Dharmagiri Kitchen managers and vegan cooks extraordinaire
The use of food as medicine is an ancient practice that has been shared by diverse cultures and creeds the world over. Civilisations have sustained good health and maintained well-being by raising their awareness about the use and consumption of medicinal plant foods as a tool for attaining high consciousness and longevity.
Our work is the continuation of this ancient tradition, inspired by the Great Ones whom connect us through a primordial thread of wisdom. Food is our primary source of energy, moreover ; mindful consumption ensuring continued evolution of the human race.
The Dharmagiri duo, Simone and Menzi, have been using food as a medium of communication and a tool for breaking barriers. Simone articulates how she finds joy in using food as a means to stimulate nostalgia and a sense of belonging.
When you arrive at Dharmagiri, we offer you a unique opportunity to experience a holistic, plant-based lifestyle supported by pristinely beautiful surrounds, deeply nourishing meditation guidance and peaceful silence; all held in the bosom of Mvuleni Sacred Mountain.
The medicine found in plant foods works to transform the body and mind, the physical and the spiritual dimension, to support the manifestation of our spiritual heart -forms. It is a complete body “work out”.
Menzi believes that the process of “returning to root”, also includes a repatriation of heart-mind to its cultural and natural heritage. Menzi observes this intersection, with access to indigenous plant-foods and crops. “The land forms such a large part of our being and expression of being that it is imperative that we, the people rebuild and heighten our connection to the land.”
“That journey begins with the tongue”, says Simone. The mouth is where we remember. Word –sound power bellows and breathes. It is where our favourite childhood smells, tastes and memories are softly held. And it is the place from where our truths are spoken into manifestation. We believe that there is a natural mystic cultivated when cooking and sharing food. It becomes a vital source of cultivating this good and healing energy.
Our meals are made with great thoughtfulness and consideration of the retreatants needs and comfort during the guided meditation time and resting. The use of indigenous herbs and plant medicines remain integral as a catalyst for deep healing. Some of the herbs we use and grow is lavender and rosemary – powerful for its calming and deep relaxation effects. These herbs support stillness and act as energy clearing agents. “This is a simple, yet effective way that we utilise herbs for full body healing.”
The team also sources natural medicine from around the country and have a deep appreciation for indigenous herbs from the Cape. There are many other herbs we use in the kitchen, fresh herbs from the garden and surrounding community, used in our cooking. Other favourites include the use of Buchu, Echinacea Root and Moringa as potent herbs for tea-making and drinking.
Our passion for food, culture, people and deep spiritual growth is allowed to flourish and bloom in this majestic setting. Dharmagiri inspires a child-like innocence of mind and heart that is creatively nurtured to produce a playfully inspired plate of nourishment.
Our offering includes: Indigenous African plant-based cuisine, Herbal tea-ceremonies, Vegan picnics, Cave exploration, story -telling, plant-based cakes and pastries, Indigenous knowledge and medicine making, food planting, herb growing.
Everyone is equal around a table. Sharing and fellowship flourish whilst friendships bloom. Wonder and gratitude envelop joy-filled hearts. Remembrance and unlearning dancing on delicate palettes. Unanimity found in each morsel of familiar taste and texture.
Love is in beginning of everything. Care is the keeper of everything. Passion is the driver of everything. Will is everything. Together we are everything and everything.
An ancient soul, manifesting as one of the creative attributes of the universe. Giving life to the lifeless and creating from nothingness to something.I live as an artist, decipher melodies from the celestial realms. The mountain is my home, I always feel a deep connection, I believe there is a higher purpose concerning feeling, hence most of my inspiration descends the mountain. Meditation and drinking from the ancients springs and rivers is my delight.
Food is my medium and medicine for healing and life sustenance, I am a student still, ever willing to learn old and new ways of human interactions. I am looking forward to life at dharmagiri , meeting people from around the world exchanging life experiences it is an exciting adventure. An ancient soul, manifesting as one of the creative attributes of the universe. Giving life to the lifeless and creating from nothingness to something.
Eco-warrior. Inter-dimensional traveller. Truth Seeker. Serial tea-drinker. Lover of life and all things beautiful. Inspired by the journey of teaching and learning, I remain teachable and prepare others to be taught. I am especially fond of working with young people, mentoring and facilitating workshops . Marvelling at the world and deliberating its challenges occupies much of my heart space. In between visioning a better quality of existence for all, I can be found baking indulgent plant-based treats or hosting herbal tea ceremonies!
I believe in the healing power of food as medicine, the meaningful friendships that arise from food fellowship and the strength that lies in reclaiming personal health and well-being. The universe continues to embrace me with grace and gratitude, for which I feel deeply entrusted to reciprocate love and care to all living beings. The journey to Dharmagiri fulfils a life-long passion to live and learn from the land; I endeavour to serve and protect its majesty.
Testimonials to Menzi & Simone 🙂
“Stop blowing my mind with every single meal! Wow! Thank you.”
“Thank you for all the love, details and bursts of flavour you guys put into our nourishment.”
“You are soon talented! You amaze me with every meal! Thank you both so much!”
“Thanks, that was delicious! Loved the non-rotes and spicy curry… and the “custard” – yum!”
“Words cannot describe how blessed and grateful I feel for eating your delicious food. The colours, textures, the flavours are truly sublime. Thank you so much! x”
“You two are amazing. That was a taste sensation! Everything so delicious. Your live shines through. Much gratitude for such care + nourishment.”
“That was a lovely + fun lunch! Thank you for delicious food… falafel + tzaziki… great bowl idea! Thank you :)”
“My deepest gratitude”
“This food has inspired me and shall leave an indelible imprint on me forever.”
“I’m not sure if the OMG acronym is appropriate on a retreat like this but OMG! From yesterday to today the food is so delicious & so nourishing. I am in awe & so much respect! Thank you- for bringing plant-based food alive. P.S. for someone who has to watch her insulin, the pea flour Rotti stole the show for me. Much love”