Thich Nhat Hanh on Mindful Eating

 

New Contemplations Before Eating

Posted on January 15, 2014 by True Dedication — No Comments ↓

 

As a spiritual family and a human family, we can all help avert climate change with the practice of mindful eating. Going vegetarian may be the most effective way to stop climate change.
Being vegetarian is already enough to save the world. 

– from Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2007 “Blue Cliff Letter”

 

climate change heal preserve planet

We can eat in such a way that “stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet”

Dear Spiritual Family,

Thay has just announced a new version of the Five Contemplations before Eating, after receiving a letter from scientists recommending replacing “global warming” with the more appropriate term “climate change.”

This change is a chance for us all to reflect deeply on what we buy and what we eat. What we buy and eat can contribute to climate change, or it can help stop it. Eating is a chance to nourish our own body with the wonders of the cosmos, knowing that we are not destroying the earth by doing so.

In Plum Village communities around the world, we practice not only to be mindful of the food, but also of our spiritual friends sitting with us. Sharing a meal together is not just to sustain our bodies and celebrate life’s wonders, but also to experience freedom, joy, and the happiness of brotherhood and sisterhood, during the whole time of eating.

New Contemplations before eating:

This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.

May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.

May we recognise and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed.

May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.

We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, build our Sangha, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

polar-bear-on-receding-ice

Polar bear on receding ice (2013)

Plum Village practice centers and retreats have always been vegetarian, and since 2007, they have also been vegan. In October 2007, Thay wrote his famous “Blue Cliff Letter“, where he explained why the community was turning vegan to nourish compassion and help save the planet.

“Dairy and egg products… are products of the meat industry,” he wrote. “If we stop consuming, they will stop producing… According to the University of Chicago, a vegan prevents approximately 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year than a meat-eater does.”

Thay recommended that ”lay communities should be courageous and give rise to the commitment to be vegetarian, at least 15 days each month. If we can do that, we will feel a sense of well-being. We will have peace, joy, and happiness right from the moment we make this vow and commitment.”

Since Thay wrote that letter six years ago, the UN has again called for a global shift to a meat-free and diary-free diet.

 

A Heavy Curriculum by Ram Dass

If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change. If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem on yourself. So, in other words when Christ is crucified, he says “forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing”, they’re not a problem for him, he’s trying to get them out of being a problem for themselves, because he’s clear. Your job is to clear yourself. In ideal situations you would clear yourself within the situation, but very often it’s too thick and you can’t do that. Now, what you do then is you pull back and you do the stuff you do in the morning or at night before you go to work, you do the stuff on weekends, you do the stuff that quiets you down and then each time you go into the situation to where you have to work, you lose it again. And then you go home and you see how you lost it, and you examine it, and then you go the next day and you lose it again, and you go home and you keep a little diary “how did I lose it today”, and you saw that, and then you go and you do it again, and after a while as you’re starting to lose it you don’t buy in so much. You start to watch the mechanics of what it is that makes you lose it all the time.

If I’m not appreciated, that’s your problem that you don’t appreciate me. Unless I need your love, then it’s my problem. So my needs are what are giving you the power over me. Those people’s power over you to take you out of your equanimity and love and consciousness has to do with your own attachments and clingings of mind. That’s your work on yourself, that’s where you need to meditate more, it’s where you need to reflect more, it’s where you need a deeper philosophical framework, it’s where you need to cultivate the witness more, it’s where you need to work on practicing opening your heart more in circumstances that aren’t optimum. This is your work. You were given a heavy curriculum, that’s it. There’s no blame, it’s not even wrong, it’s just what you’re given. You hear what I’m saying? It’s interesting. Can you all hear that one?

-Ram Dass, Summer 1989 

Ramdass.org

 

Good Reminder from Paul Coelho

“When you are saying ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”     Paul Coelho

Dr. Alexander and Life After Death

(TruthSeekerDaily) Do we have a soul? Is there life after death?  In a society where science and empirical testing have taken over as requirements for truth, the idea of there being a life after death is sometimes thought of as wishful thinking.  The afterlife, however, is something that has been experienced by countless people since recorded history who have returned to tell their tales, with the most noteworthy account experienced first-hand by Harvard trained brain neurosurgeon of 25 years, Dr. Eben Alexander.

Before his experience, he did not believe existence of a non-physical spirit. Trained in western medical school and surrounded by medical colleagues who are deeply invested in the materialism view of the universe, he thought that the idea of a soul was outlandish.  Dr. Alexander changed his mind after he was in a coma for seven days caused by severe bacterial meningitis and experienced a vivid journey into the afterlife. He was guided by an beautiful angelic being and shown the Divine Source, which he referred to as “Om”.

heaven real picture

He then returned to his physical body, experienced a miraculous healing, – The experience of the afterlife was so “real” and expansive that the experience of living as a human on Earth seemed like an artificial dream by comparison.and went on to write the NY Times #1 best selling book “Proof of Heaven.” What Dr. Alexander confirms is that our life on planet Earth is a “test” of personal growth, and that the way to make progress in this test is to overcome evil while spreading love and compassion. Here are some other notable points he made:

– The fabric of the afterlife was pure LOVE. Love dominated the afterlife to such a huge degree that the overall presence of evil was infinitesimally small. If you wish to know the Universe, know Love.

– In the afterlife, all communication was telepathic. There was no need for spoken words, nor even any separation between the self and everything else happening around you. All the questions you asked in your mind were immediately answered to you telepathically as well.

When asked what he wants everyone to know about the spiritual realm, he always answers saying that you are precious and infinitely loved more than you can possibly imagine. You are always safe. You are never alone. The unconditional and perfect Love of God neglects not one soul.

Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything. Not some abstract, hard-to-fathom kind of love but the day-to-day kind that everyone knows-the kind of love we feel when we look at our spouse and our children, or even our animals. In its purest and most powerful form, this love is not jealous or selfish, but unconditional.

This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist, andno remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it, and embody it in all of their actions.”

Eben’s neocortex was completely nonfunctional during the time of his coma do to his sever bacterial meningitis, so there is no scientific account for why he experienced this.  The DMT explanation is also not valid here, because with his neocortex being disabled, the molecules would have no anchor point to ground themselves in.   In fact, gives refutations to 9 different possible scientific explanations for his experience in his book.  He is living proof of an afterlife. “Our spirit is not dependent on the brain or body,” he said. “It is eternal, and no one has one sentence worth of hard evidence that it isn’t.”

Source: [spiritscienceandmetaphysics]

 

– See more at: http://truthseekerdaily.com/2014/01/is-this-proof-of-heaven-a-brain-neurosurgeons-journey-into-the-afterlife-2/#sthash.YRLiUtZb.dpuf

“In the end, on…

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you.” – Buddha

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Life Beyond Ideology by Anthony de Mello

“As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.” ~ Anthony de Mello

Limitless Being by Panache Desai

“You are not the limitations that have been spoken over you. Your energetic signature is infinite. And as a vibrational being nothing can limit you.”

Panache Desai

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