Fork Over Knives

Since March I have only consumed plant food- no oil, dairy or meat, after reading Dr. Esselstyn’s book ‘Preventing & Reversing Heart Disease ‘ and watching the documentary ‘Fork Over Knives’.

I made this decision for four reasons. First, the book convinced me that there is a correlation between the consumption of dairy and meat with cancer. Second heart disease and host of other medical problems can be avoided and reversed with a plant based diet without oil, meat or dairy.The book had photographs of hearts of patients who had followed the plant based diet and reversed their heart condition. Third, you can eat delicious food without counting calories- the book contains healthy and tasty recipes. Finally, I like the diet because it respects the sanctity of life and causes the least harm. Sometimes a life well lived is the one which causes the least harm even if if does not do the most good!!!

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The Story of the Bee and the Human Being

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Armed with righteous authority of legal title

to a piece of land I call home, backyard and all,

A Bee made its hive no more than a foot by foot

on the side of my deck,

disturbing none.

Does not the Bee know I am the owner of this all; I have a paper to say so?

I set out to destroy the hive.

Confused, the Bee asked:

How do humans live?

Cannot a Hungry Child eat a fruit in plain sight?

Cannot a Homeless Family build its nest on vacant land?

Is that not the Law of “It” who you call God?

“We are civilized,” I informed the Bee.

“We respect both the Fat and the Hungry; the Homeless and the Sheltered:

A child may eat a hanging fruit in plain sight as long a fence and titled deed gives her the right;

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The homeless may build on vacant land not owned by someone else.

Yes, this does not feed and shelter all

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but without our laws chaos would ensue and civilizations crumble.”

The Bee fled thinking all the while:

I have not seen hunger or thirst following “It”:

Unto man his laws.

I have not seen a Mightier Fool.

Leonard Cohen: Democracy is Coming to the USA/ Show me the Place

I discovered the music of Leonard Cohen this year and have enjoyed it very much.  The music is contemplative, deep, often poetic, and always a soothing melody of sound. Some of his interesting music /poetry is:

Democracy is Coming to the USA (Poetry/Music)

Show me the Place (from an album yet to be released/ deep music)

 

Personal Reflection on Hajj-Part 2

This is a follow up to Personal Reflections on Hajj- Part 1. However, if you have no experience with Hajj, you are better off reading Part 2 first and then moving on to Part 1 as this is written for a general audience.

It is my belief that Hajj is a symbol to hidden and manifest spiritual truths ready to be discovered and guide.

The Symbol of  Circle of Life

The Hajj begins at the Kaaba, a place of worship believed to have been built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael- commonly known as the House of God.   All are dressed in unstitched white clothes. The Muslims are required to circle the Kaaba anti-clockwise

It is symbolic that the journey begins with God at the House of God. Why then depart from it only to return to it after days of journeying away from it? To journey away from the House of God to God Himself.

This is symbolic to me of “Adam and Eve” beginning their journey with God. What is also symbolic is that the approach to the House of God is in circles- I began at the outer edge of the circle slowly making my way towards the House of God.

You need very little- you can carry only very little

Your journeying away from the House of God to God requires you to carry only as much as you can carry. You carry what you need and you figure out how little you need. If you carry more than what you need it becomes a burden to you because the journey is long and tiring through the heat of the dessert sun and its cold nights. Since my Hajj in 2007, I have often wondered whether I have applied this beautiful lesson in my life. How much do I own that ends up owning my “soul”?

Letting go of vanity- a movement to your true self

During Hajj you are not allowed to look at yourself in the mirror. And by the end of the Hajj, when you have walked under the dessert sun, slept with fellow Muslims under a tent, and rested wherever you can, you “forget” yourself and ironically find your true self-you realize how unimportant your looks are and how much you need to look at yourself as both you and other human beings see you-not the cosmetic you, but the real you. This is one of the great blessings of Hajj.

The next stop is at Mount Arafat- the mountain where Adam and Eve received God’s “forgiveness” for approaching the “forbidden tree”. It is also known as the Mountain of Knowledge. What is interesting is that in the Holy Quran, the tree is linked to Adam and Eve becoming conscious of their nakedness and covering themselves with leaves! This is very interesting- 1) it links self-consciousness of the body to a lower state of being (may be this is a connection in not being allowed to look into the mirror) and 2) unconscious nakedness as a higher state.
 Part 3 will be written soon- God Willing.