food and love, part 2

Gilbert went to an ashram in India and studied, meditated, and prayed as a follower of a Guru. At first I was skeptical of the Guru idea, but in Eastern traditions, a person is so committed to devotion to God that she may obtain a tremendous amount of education, and spend many hours a day meditating and seeking to know God, for a lifetime. (Think Buddhist monks, or the Dalai Lama.) Do you think God could hide from someone that loyal, who wants sacred connection that much–regardless of what her “religious affiliation” is?

How many of us do that here in the Western world? As for myself, I am running around like a headless chicken most of every day. I consider myself at my spiritual zenith when I read scriptures for a little while, say a two-minute prayer, ponder a bit in the car or at yoga, and go to church on Sunday.

So regardless of your religious belief, you have to be impressed at that kind of commitment to finding a spiritual center. Everything out of the mouths of the Gurus Liz studied seems very true to me, even profound. I would love to go to an ashram for three months. Unlike Liz, though, I’ve got these four kids to feed and haul to school and soccer practice. By myself. So, I hope to find my own unique path to the same place.

One teaching of all the Gurus, one constant at all the ashrams, is vegetarian meals. If someone cannot access spiritual experiences, the Guru asks, “How is your digestion?” Don’t gulp your food, she says. Eating light meals consisting of plants (and not animals) is critical for spiritual enlightenment. Gilbert, having come from a decadent three months in Italy eating everything in sight and putting 20 lbs. on her divorce-gaunt frame, noticed a dramatic difference in her ability to access sensitive spiritual experiences, eating the ashram’s vegetarian fare. You simply can’t sit for hours to meditate, she says, if your body is struggling with digestion.

She sheds obsessions (about broken relationships, mistakes, denied wants) that had taken over her thought processes. She is able to quiet her mind and tune into her spirit. She experiences profound, undeniable phenomena that remind her that she is more than just human, that she is connected to God. She overflows with positive emotion towards others that she’s never experienced before.

Granted, lots of meditation and a pure intent to have these experiences play a big role. But have you noticed that a lightness in your body, in your gut, results in lightness in your mood? I have commented on this before on this blog. Many times when I have been eating all-raw for a while (which I often do for days or weeks at a time), I experience sustained periods of such joy, energy, compassion, generosity, and pure love for literally everyone, including strangers, that I ask myself this question:

“Why don’t I do this ALL the time?”

What is your experience with this?

3 thoughts on “food and love, part 2

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  1. Thank you for writing this. It was exactly what I needed to hear at this time. I’ve recently had to cut all grains out of my diet due to celiac disease (just gluten didn’t alleviate the problems). I was already a vegetarian, but since eliminating grains, my diet has naturally become over 50% raw, and easily reaches 8 servings of fruits and vegetables by lunch. It has been an extreme struggle, having to make so many changes so quickly, eliminate so many things…even the simple act of eating out is a chore. But I have so much more energy and, when I stop focusing on the struggle, I am filled with joy and love for everything. Your post really helped me to realize these extra benefits and has given me a new way to appreciate my new eating lifestyle.

  2. Well.. Let’s see :p

    To start, this is.. a really informative site.. I actually just accessed it after reading a webcomic “Sinfest” and seeing something about Fluoride reducing IQ.. Now if I had read that a year ago, I prolly still woulda looked it up, but today it brought me here.. And I’m glad for that.

    I literally became a Vegetarian only Thursday after a whole life of eating bad food and meat, being an absolutely picky picky eater (Anything green?? YUCK) and always considering myself a Carnivore (My Veggies were Corn and Potatoes)

    I chose it because since this year had begun I’ve been living differently.. It started with dancing to musicals.

    Graduated to Yoga and taking Vitamins (Let’s face it, my food intake was terrible, I’m still taking supplements)

    Then to switching out Milk for Soy (Till I found out about Soy and went back)

    And other than going Herbal and taking *sadly* Processed Ginseng and Gingko.. as well as reading through dozens of books about natural health, from the Green Pharmacy to the Bible Diet..

    I hadn’t done much.

    But in the time I’ve had to myself after making my friends become ex-roomies.. I’d found so much of me yearned for even more.. I’ve always been spiritual in the extreme, raised by a Grandmother who while a Christian Zealot (As.. I have become) we both find our faith to be beyond the norm… Even I’ve started acknowledging the Hindu faith.. Divine Mother, an Over spirit.. It all kinda fits together, even for a rather analytical and scientific mind like mine…

    The Zen achieved after dancing, allowing my body free roam in whatever it wants… then leading it through Chi Kung (Practice of the Shaolin).. and finally restful pause.. Meditation and Yoga… It’s truly electrifying… But something had been wrong, every time..

    The World had believed that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach for a long, long time.. and I believe that, because when my Gut is in turmoil, so am I..

    But despite knowing the answer since the beginning, that going natural would be my miracle.. I simply couldn’t do it.. I loved meat too much, I enjoyed my processed foods with it too..

    Gradually, however, looking at it made me sick, it’s not out of compassion for animals and the world (It’s a big plus, but my concern did not make me ill) it was moreover that physically, mentally, and spiritually it was toxic… I disliked the feeling.

    What kept me to my old ways even still? My Tastebuds..

    Call it a constant shock, but growing up, Veggies and nigh all Fruits were my bane… To the point that I disliked them so much that even having them in my mouth felt wrong, their fiber, their distinctive texture.. I was oversensitive and would gag if forced to swallow. The taste didn’t bug me so much (though it was never good unless in artificial juices) it was just the texture.

    Recently however, I had noted spiritual masters also kept to a vegetarian diet, not just without meat, but often as possible, “simple” fare, sometimes even uncooked nuts, greens, and fruits.

    Then I noticed the majority of my more mature friends and relatives on Facebook also followed the life… and Every time I wondered at knowing that I would inevitably follow this life.. I thought of quotes, from Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, and Buddha primarily.. but Twain’s quote kept surfacing in my memory.. That someday Men would see the killing of Animals as they do they killing of men.. as Murder.

    I scoffed at it the first time I read it (Years ago) but in more recent times it got progressively less funny and more realistic, for me at least… I even pray for spiders when I need to squish them.

    Then came the last straw as it were.. The Girl I like is following a nigh all Fruit diet (I confess I wish she’d heed my advice of more whole grains and greens) and so I went out and bought fresh Blueberries, Cherries, and Blackberries on the day she was to come over (For me, I have a vivid memory of picking them as a kid with a friend, I fervently wished that back then I ate them) but then her car got hit and the trip was postponed.. So I found myself with an issue.. I had a bunch of Fruit that I wanted to see eaten. And that morning I was found by a distant cousin on Facebook who was also a Vegetarian, she posted a link to HappyCows and I went through it… finding out about Rawists and other pure Vegans..

    There was also a paragraph or two about some people believing in consumption of life energy, that Cooked food and meat.. is Dead.. so instead they reccomended growing sprouts and harvesting just before consumption… Eating still living organic matter, to invigorate you, to bring yourself closer to Life and the world.. It really, really, really affected me..

    I’d always taken an objective eye on my Carnivorous tendencies.. Eating dead flesh and dead blood… the related feeling after eating it that I used to relate to being satisfied after a meal, became more known to me for what it was in myself.. Sickness (Perverse, isn’t it? Like the weighed down feeling, gut extended, body fighting to digest what I put in it.. all accompanied with lethargy and sometimes morose thoughts.. And I was addicted to it, I would continue eating, hunks of meat as a snack just to extend the period of time I felt like this)

    I have to say after hearing about eating life (part of my mind said “That sounds so cool.. Biovore.” and the other half just told me it’s what I always wanted) I decided there and then that Spiritually, Mentally, and Physically… It’s what I needed.. And the impediment from my Taste buds telling me it’s not what it wants.. I won’t allow my senses to be so enamored and selfish that it would drive me to my death, I don’t like some of these things and it’s gonna take a lot of taste testing for me, but there’s nothing I cannot eat that is good for me, even if I have to puree it. (I had a Barium Milkshake when I was a kid, I can drink anything after that)

    So I’m on that path now, I declared myself vegetarian two days ago.. and though yesterday I told myself that it’ll prolly take a decade before I go fully raw and sprout filled life, I’m setting my goals for within Five years.

    It’s a long way to go, There’s more misinformation about nutrition, food, and chemical safety than there is truth.. but I’m willing to find out as I go and sites like yours allow me to find better ways of life, and sometimes even spurring me to choices and giving me ideas that I truly would have never dreamed of, let alone find myself wanting to make true in my life.

    Why’d I write all this?

    Well, you know all those fruits I bought? I’m eating them now :-p

    And I’m afraid the energy they gave me has kept me up past my bedtime, but I feel wonderful.

    And soon? All Raw will be my life, not just a meal.

    <3 Life

    And for clarity, I too feel spiritually more connected on a natural diet.. Closer to God and all that 🙂

    Sorry for the Rambling, but there's a lot of thoughts in there.. And that's what our Interwebs are for. Thoughts 🙂

    Peace to you 😀 I'm so not done with this site.

  3. I for sure know that eating the other way around keeps me from being able to feel the spirit. If I over-eat or am eating bad or lots of meat, etc–I feel slugish and tired and that keeps me from being able to learn what i need to learn and makes it hard to feel the spirit.

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