Lora Hogan > Recipe  > Existence, Life, Death, Rebirth & Blueberries

Existence, Life, Death, Rebirth & Blueberries

Last night, as I still reeled and mentally strove to grasp the events around the Boston Marathon the Kundalini Yoga mantra “sa ta na ma” worked it’s way into my head. And stayed there.

It’s meaning? “Existence, Life, Death, Rebirth.”

The popular mantra in the more spiritual and meditative Kundalini Yoga practice is designed for creativity and balance. For “evolutionary change” (see Kundalini Yoga for more information).  A mantra designed to trigger massive change. A wake up call to truth and a spiritual rebirth following life and death.

How relevant is that right now?

It amazes me that, after years of NOT practicing Kundalini Yoga (I have not had a regular Kundalini Yoga practice since 2007), this mantra of “sa ta na ma” should plant itself in my head in the wake of the horrific tragedy of Monday.

Now is the time as America, as a world, that we need transformation.  We need rebirth. We seek a new balance. We need emotional clarity.  We need new energy.  We need to let go and we need to let in love and light. We need a massive change to love. We need existence, life, death, REBIRTH. Sa ta na ma. Transformation and a return to joy, compassion, love, peace.

And so, I have found, in the back of all my activities, in my personal meditation practice, the mantra “sa ta na ma” keeps humming. Keeps buzzing. Keeps swirling in the air.  And I pray that it shall rub off on our universe.  We need great cataclysmic change and transformation for the better. And we don’t want to wait for it.

Let it begin now.

Do you want to chant with me? You can find a detailed description of the meditation here.  I will let you know if I find a good video tutorial!

Also, I find that, as always, baking is an extremely therapeutic meditation in motion.  I was able to get some extremely local, super duper fresh, amazing blueberries at our St. Pete market.

On Saturday, I baked wheat blueberry muffins with sunflower seeds.  And, after Monday’s events, I made some good old fashioned comfort food in the form of blueberry cornbread. I didn’t remember to take as many photos. (Somehow my brain was preoccupied), but the baking provided a much needed release.

Check out the recipes, below!

Blueberry Cornbread

Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

Butter, to grease pan
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries


  1. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients, through salt.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl, combine egg through yogurt. Mix well.
  4. Make a hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients into hollow. Combine with a 5 spoon, taking as few strokes as possible.
  5. Gently stir in blueberries.
  6. Cook for 20-35 minutes, or until center is “firm to touch” and a toothpick entered comes out clean.

I enjoy the cornbread as a side to BBQ, with a dollop of butter and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, or even as a post-run snack. (SHH!!!) You can serve it immediately (warning: may be hard to take out of pan if super hot), warm, or at room temperature.

Wheat Blueberry Muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour (did you know that you should refrigerate your whole grain flours for freshness?)
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup organic milk
1/4 cup organic butter (unsalted)
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed, dried, and picked for stems
Sunflower Seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners.  
  2. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients, through sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together wet ingredients, through vanilla.
  4. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Slowly add wet ingredients and mix, taking as few strokes as possible. Do not overmix!
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Pour batter evenly into muffin pan, filling each well until it is approximately 3/4 full.  Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick entered in to the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan for at least ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool.

Note: These muffins freeze splendidly. I like to put them in individual bags in the freezer to take out and de-thaw at whim!

After meditating, I find there can be nothing better than a fresh, juicy blueberry exploding in your mouth.  I highly suggest sitting down with one of these muffins after you try the Sa Ta Na Ma meditation.  Savor each bite and allow yourself a moment of happiness, separate from the outside world.

And keep breathing, keep baking, keep loving! We can create a transformation.  Believe in the power of good.  Believe in love.


  • Nichole

    April 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

    All of your baked goodies look delish! I wish I could wrap my head around Monday’s events, but right now I am just so sad by it all.

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      April 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Thank you. Yes, I am so sad too. It’s interesting as I try to harness that sadness and use it for something good. (And super hard!)

  • Kate Slagel

    April 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Wow. Both of those recipes look super delicious. I absolutely LOVE blueberries! In fact they are possibly my favorite fruit. When I need therapeutic soothing I often turn to baking too. Last week I was having an absolutely horrible day and before I knew it, I had baked over 4 dozen cookies (three different types) and was feeling much better.

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      April 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      I wish I had been there to EAT THEM! I’ve had a day already that has left me wanting to bake some chocolate chip cookies!!

  • Jennifer B

    April 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    It’s so pathetic that this is what our world has come to. I can’t even process what would make someone want to do this. Like you, I find solace in cooking and baking. It helps to calm my mind for sure. With that being said, I think your blueberry muffins look great!

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      April 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Isn’t it amazing how baking can help us out? Calming the mind can be so hard in difficult times!

  • Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints

    April 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Hmm, how can I make these gluten free?!

  • Lane

    April 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Both of your blueberry dishes look delicious! We are attempting to go to the Blueberry Festival at Keel and Curley next weekend and pick some blueberries. Definitely will be giving these recipes a try.

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      April 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      Let me know how the blueberry picking is! I have heard it is crowded but want to know how the blueberries are!!

  • Stacey Merrill

    April 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Recipes look great- cant wait to try the cornbread. Our berry bushes are slowly ripening- just hope to pick before the birds get them

    • Lora (Daily Southern Sunshine)

      April 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      MMM! Your own berry bush! That sounds amazing! I hope those birds stay away. And I *highly* recommend the cornbread. I have tried many variations and this one was definitely the best! 🙂