Sowing seeds | November 21, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Living - November 21, 2008

Sowing seeds

Parisa Ambwani translates 'humanity' as 'human unity'

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Parisa Ambwani loves swans.

"They are very dedicated to their family," said the Blackhawk resident. "The swan is the bird who 'married' and was very devoted to his family."

For this reason, the swan graces many pages of her 2008 book, "Human-Unity (Humanity)." The cover shows swans approaching a sunset.

"With sunset, these swans are coming close to God, to the universe," said Ambwani.

Ambwani has recently completed her trilogy of books to promote her philosophy of life and health, helping other people, and everyone taking his or her place in the universe.

The first book, "Recipes from the Heart," incorporated nourishment for the body and sustenance for the soul. Ambwani, who has taught cooking classes for the Town of Danville, said she worked on the book tirelessly for 20 years. She wanted to share her love of cooking and nourishment, which she learned from her mother, who also imparted her philosophy of life to her daughter.

"Good eating habits will enhance your physical, mental and emotional condition; it will also enhance your spirit," Ambwani remembered her mother saying as she was growing up in Iran, which she calls Persia.

The book was marketed largely as a cookbook and won the Cordon d'Or in two categories - Self Published Cookbooks and Culinary Entrepreneur - at the 2005 International Annual Cookbooks and Culinary Arts Awards.

The second book of her trilogy, published in 2007, is "Seeds of Celestial Love and Peace: Building Wisdom That Will Go The Distance." It is slightly more than 100 pages of philosophical sayings illustrated by photographs to help the reader connect with the words.

The photos were taken around the world - including Iran and India - and from under the seas. A reef with fish illustrates the interconnectedness between food and spirit; a wide-eyed grouper illustrates the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people who have realistic goals. A stunning sunrise accompanies, "Try to depend on God's harmonious rule for balance."

In the third book, "Human-Unity," Ambwani thanks her grandfather for planting seeds in her young mind of new interesting ideas. She recalled that when she was 5 years old her grandfather took a large book on astronomy from the shelf.

"He explained patiently to me how the stars and the planets are part of our vast Universe and exert their influence on humankind," she wrote in the introduction. "They move according to the Master Plan of the Universe. We are connected to them and all are part of God's immense plan."

Throughout her life - majoring in fine arts at the University of Tehran to graduate in 1967; moving to the United States more than 30 years ago; raising her son; nursing her husband through his fatal bout with cancer; moving to Blackhawk; and welcoming her precious grandson and granddaughter into the world - Ambwani was developing her nurturing philosophy.

At a culinary conference she met Antonia Allegra of Napa who edited her books. Allegra said that she started as Ambwani's writing coach in the culinary field then continued to edit all three works.

"She sees them as a trilogy. She sees them as all important for a healthy, spiritual life," Allegra said. "I'm a coach for people in the culinary fields but I think that with this last book she's jumping really into where she feels the most interested."

"The message has been there but I think it has been floating in the side notes," she added. "This book is a pure philosophic book based on what she sees for the world."

Ambwani was keen to be reassured that her message was coming across to Allegra.

"She really wanted to know that I understood," said Allegra. "She's looking for a grander idea for a peaceful world."

She said Ambwani's philosophy is summed up at the back of "Human-Unity" in an illustration of her Tree of Serenity, which leads from meditation through the journey to serenity.

Ambwani said her books include everything about food for the body, food for the mind or philosophy, and food for the spirit.

"I believe life goes through circles, life is a journey," she said.

Now that she has completed her trilogy, which include everything she wants to share, Ambwani is going to devote herself to marketing her efforts. The books are available at Rakestraw in Danville.

"I'm not looking to be famous," she explained. "I'm looking to serve people. I wanted to be valuable to society."