In every civilization there are 4 main social institutions:
I have been listening to The Sermon on the Mount by Richard Rohr and it has helped to make sense of things for me as to our current state of affairs. Throughout history typically one institution dominates and the others become subservient, used as tools to feed the dominant one. In the time of Jesus family institutions dominated. Church services were held in the home for example and the focus was on community and breaking bread. The merchant class was the minority and did not hold much power. However today it is clear that the dominant institution is that of economics. War and politics are used for economic gains. Using the red herring of abortion, religion is used to gather votes to deepen corporate pocketbooks. The military industrial complex is for its own economic gains and to protect other corporate economic interests. Yes our Chief of State is the former CEO of Exxon Oil.
Make no mistake and this is no disrespect of our brave soldiers but the military has been hijacked for corporate interests. Religion is used for fear to justify war. All of our meddling in the Middle East is for our own economic interests yet we are lead to believe that it is for freedom, self determination and to protect innocent children while rejecting these very same child refugees. Church gatherings are no longer in the home but in institutions that primarily have their own economic interests at the forefront and are satisfied to stop at simpleton and short sited born again theology where one can claim one is saved all the while being driven primarily by the ego with truly no deep understanding of their True Self and Christ Consciousness. Where even meditation is frowned upon as dangerous. Does it not merely serve the business of religion to keep their flock dependent and ignorant to their true selves and the charade their church leaders are playing?
Prosperity theology is an example of this where to be rich is valued over being loving & serving children of God.
Jesus taught to love one another, to pray, contemplate and give alms in secrecy so as not to merely feed the ego and prevent a deeper knowing of ourselves and Christ Consciousness. Now our meaning is tied up in how others see us in our social financial status. Now we are told to be a good citizen we must produce and consume and to be out of work seems to be more despised and judged than to be a criminal. Let us remember that Jesus was a Galilean peasant that taught that the world of love was more important than the law and the world of power. Remember that those who persecute & justify discriminating against the LGBTQ community and other religious faiths are citing verses in the bible, mainly Leviticus, Numbers and Chronicles that were all written by the priestly class who wanted to keep themselves in control by persecuting those that didn’t follow their laws and give payment & subservience to them required to be considered morally and spiritually ‘clean’. It was a racket. Jesus knew this and the New Testament, aside from Paul who was still so locked down by Judaic law, was a radical rejection of any doctrine that stood in the way of compassion. Laws can provide a foundation but I challenge all of us to look at any law or belief and ask: does it prohibit or inhibit love and compassion. Jesus taught that if it did it should be thrown out. Jesus was a threat to the priestly order, the establishment and for that reason was crucified much more than his so called blasphemous declaration that he was the Son of God.
Most Christians never understand this and have fallen into the laws of judgement and control just like the Pharisees did in the time of Jesus to appease their ego and look good in the eyes of others as morally pure. What a shame. What a sham. The teachings of Jesus, so radical that I challenge even the most radical feminist, persons of other faiths or atheist to logically criticize. He simply taught us to love one another. Period. Yet history repeats itself. We still have not learned the good news of the Gospel. That we are ALL, believers and non-believers, children of God. We are all brothers and sisters. And more so than what the bible can offer us, the most clear manifestation of God’s love for us is our very own lives and this planet that we share. Most Christians because of their hypocrisy are discarded rightly so by rational thinkers. Like Ghandhi said, if Christians actually practiced and followed the teachings of Jesus all of India would be Christian. Politically as a populace we would couldn’t be more ignorant. To consume is a religious action. Consumption is actually a virtue in modern times at least in this country. As Christianity dominated the time of the reformation where most of the land in Europe was owned by the church, where in their lust of power many non christians were slaughtered, now we see a similar parallel today with the rise of islamic fundamentalism used for economic gain and power. We are merely fighting the evils of Islamic fundamentalism as we should have fought and fight today the evils of Christian fundamentalism, more this fundamentalist Islamic faction is being used as an excuse to justify meddling, murdering and all out war in the Middle East and other countries where Western and other first world corporations corrupted by greed fight over fossil fuels. The 59 missiles that Drumpf ordered, where the Russians and Syrians were told to leave before the bombs came, when the airstrip was operational only one day after the bombing was a gift to military economic interests, a political distraction and just another excuse to continue to go to war with any country who does not want to play ball with us economically. The Moab bomb dropped in Afghanistan killing unknown innocent people again was a gift, if we build these bombs we need to use them right. And what better testing ground than Afghanistan where other than oil, we fight over mineral interest, the heroin market and trust that the American public will continue to care less for people of other colors and creeds.
And we should ask ourselves in this culture where the bottom line is the almighty dollar. Where financial status matters most. In the land of economic disparity who suffers most? Who starves so that others may feast. How difficult and immense is the pressure on our youth to conform to this culture where economics is king. Where we no longer value the work of our hands, the toiling of the soil, the creation of beauty and peace. How many of our youth have we lost who were not able to feel a part of this culture of economics where outward gains are valued more than inward peace, creativity and joy. It is a unsustainable system. Deep in our core we know this. The child in us knew this and in effort to please suppressed our natural creativity. I wanted to to be an artist or a vetenarian. I chose to be a physician to humans. Partly to be respected and to gain financial independence and be respected in this insane culture of capitalism we embrace. Partly to get to the root of the problem on this earth. To help sick people awaken to their optimal health. If we awaken we can help stop this unsustainable greed machine that is devouring our children, our planet and all sentient beings. There is a price to pay. It is simple biology. When we are not allowed to live our true nature, when money is the ultimate barometer for success it is the biology of the cancer cell. It takes it toll on children who may go unseen unless they dazzle and impress. Who truly sees each others’ hearts anymore. Our innate value as Children of God. Please listen and see our children and nurture their innate love for humanity, for the earth and all sentient beings. Let go of your need to impress others by how ‘well’ your child does. Just celebrate their God given beauty. Live simply with them. Work toward sacred economic and sustainable models of living that embrace our shared humanity and tread more lightly on this gift of planet earth given to us. ‘Be now here or no where’. Be present so you can truly listen to others. To animals. To this planet and most importantly to your inner being that knows what is needed, that knows your purpose in this life.
So on this Earth Day, let us work to love one another and whether you believe in God or Darwin (note they are not mutually exclusive as rational Catholics and awakened Christians believe in the science of evolution and still believe that God created it all) , commit to self understanding & learned compassion, that we need to protect one another and help save our shared home. Turn off Fox News and any so called news channels, papers or websites that inspires hate & stokes are fears, who call are missiles beautiful and Drumpt presidential when he approves bombings over chocolate cake, who buy in to the alternative facts and party line as justification for more war. Please make the connection, choose the path of kindness and help our planet heal, help feed the hungry and help end unnecessary suffering. Lets learn to live simply again, in a shared sacred local economic model where it is not illegal to live off the grid independent of corporate energy. It is in our DNA to live in harmony with the earth, our native cultures can certainly teach us this. We can be happy with less. With love, joy, laughter, art, whole plant foods that supply all our nutritional needs combining with natural innate exercise we can prevent most disease.
“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. There is no path toward love except by practicing love. War will always produce more war. Violence can never bring about true peace.”
― Richard Rohr, Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount
Gabor Mate here touches so eloquently on how our values and culture of the idealization of individualism and the ignoring of emotional needs has to do with the very nature of our economic system. We value not who people are but what they produce or consume.
Dr. Gabor Maté on the Myth of “Normal” in Psychological Disorders. He explains how mental distress and pathology exists in a continuum and are largely a result of a materialist culture that rigidly “idealize individuality and ignores emotional needs,” prioritizing objects over people and well being.
Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience. Click here to see the extended trailer.
What a world, things are feeling really bad. It almost feels like it is too late. So many humans, children dying from wars and starvations, so many species lost. The biologist predict that their will be no edible fish left in our oceans by 2040. Our planet’s fellow earthlings are dying off and the waters are polluted. It is 130 in the AM, I work over 50 hours a week and I can not sleep. It is really hard to block out the realities around this. The greed, fear and disconnect. If not for myself but for my patients I try to stay hopeful and be a source of positivity and love in this crazy world. Every day it seems a battle to figure out how to get the light bulb to go off in a patients mind or how to best help one that has been obviously severely neglected. It is a battle to say present for them and truly listen, to be a role model rather than a hypocrite. One thing that keeps me going is that through my work, others will get control of their health and lives. That they may feel what optimal health feels like for them and reverse chronic diseases through progressive lifestyle changes. Beneath all of this work is my core Hippocratic belief that food should be our best medicine. For our health and that of our shared ecosystem we need to look at, awaken to and support a transition to whole food plant-based nutrition and live in a way that minimizes unnecessary suffering and violence.
I know of no other way that does not have non-violent vegan principles at its core. I know that vegan is a bad word to some, seen as too extreme and people do not want to be told how to live but compare it to tobacco use. There is now consensus that we should be able to live our lives, eat in a restaurant, fly in a plane without being exposed to second hand smoke as we know it is bad for our health. Knowing now that animal agriculture is the number one single contributor to deforestation, global warming and pollution of our land and life giving water; is responsible for the global pockets of starvation where grain is shipped to feed cattle rather than kept locally to feed humans. We know that 27 million children dying annually due to pollution. Can we agree that anything less than a radical change toward vegan living is simply planetary suicide & moral schizophrenia? Imagine a world where eating vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, seeds & nuts was mainstream and obvious just like brushing your teeth everyday. Why kill another being when it is absolutely not necessary? For most, it is for mere taste & habit. Fat tastes good but in excess kills. You see are brains haven’t evolved at all anatomically in the last 100,000 years and still its main job is to make sure it’s host survives the day, the long cold winters. Starvation kills and in our primal reptilian brain we are rewarded for eating fat (sugar too), rewarded for eating the most calorically dense foods because then who knew when the next meal would come. So what are we awarded with other than taste? A spike of dopamine not unlike cocaine or heroin and we feel good. So the drive is there due to the greatness of the reward. (Yes there for sex too) Survival and getting enough calories was of primary importance then but where are we now? Well at least in the West, we are addicted to animal flesh, dairy and other calorically dense foods. We don’t have to work for it compared to an average Paleolithic era human who would walk or run 10 miles a day looking for food. No today we can drive to a drive-thru and order more calories than a Paleolithic human might get in a week or month. We do no real work for it and we are addicted to that reward. Food has become our greatest addiction and now the number one cause of disease in the US is the Standard American Diet. The SAD really now should be called the DAD, the Deadly American Diet consisting of over 90% of animal flesh, baby cow’s milk, cheese and processed foods with a long shelf life. We are killing ourselves really but kept half alive, a shell of our potential, by pharmaceuticals. Think about how much corporations make off us. It is the American way to be addicted to sugar and fat in toddlerhood. Disease starts in childhood, the beginnings of heart disease have been documented in infant autopsies. We are a source of revenue for them, through our glutinous food addictions and the resulting chronic disease and a medical system that merely manages this chronic disease. Through our patronage to the mindless, static activity provided to us to either keep us asleep with distraction or incite fear and scarcity dogma through the corporate sponsored sham media & entertainment industry.
If we live simply and value connection, presence, joy and humility. In sacred union as citizens and fellow earthlings tending and in most cases just getting out of the damn way of other species. Live and let live but protect the vulnerable, the voiceless and the least among us. Live strong and reach our optimal potential on whole plant foods. Let’s save this planet. To do this we must awaken to our oneness. Color or creed we are all brothers and sisters. Our corporate ran government and military create the enemies of this country by their violent and deadly acts of force under the guise of some freedom or false flag operation. It is corporate greed and the insatiable military industrial complex that must be harnessed. There needs to be a rule of law protecting the earth and the vulnerable. An ideal greater than the greed for money and lust for power. There is more than enough land and water to feed everyone on this planet if we get back to a biologically appropriate whole food plant-based diet. For our health there is no better diet. For the planet and of course for the animals the same is true. Go vegan and live a life avoiding unnecessary suffering & violence. Practice kindness. If your religious, let your religion at least be built on and around kindness & love. Thou shall not kill and even worse pay another to do it for us. “If the slaughterhouse was made of glass walls we would all be vegan”. Do you know where many of those immigrants, that many want to throw out of the country, do for those that eat the meat of animals? They slaughter them for you. For your tastebuds and addiction so you can stay disconnected or oblivious. However they become depressed and have very high suicide rates. Most can only take the horror for so long and quit. The average lifespan for a latin male immigrant worker in this county is 56 years old. Killing is not easy for most. I would never want my repetitive desires, the food I eat, the clothes I buy, to lead to both human and animal suffering
Let’s end animal agriculture and feed the world. Let nature and genuine human being, just us being present and living reign. Let’s pray for a return to innate sacred economics and that the capitalistic model of growth for the sake of growth, the ideology of a cancer cell, takes its last breadth. When we stop using their oil and paying their interest rates and support clean energy but live in a way that uses least and truly prevent disease and optimize health through whole nutrient dense plant foods. Subsisting on plants we are energetically kinder and open to understand our true self and our connection. We are called to learn to live in balance with the natural world. To be, to feel joy. To be Kind.
Peace & Kindness. May we heal ourselves and our shared home.
The mind matters most! So essential and beautiful to have a full presence in the body, space around us, with other beings, earth and universe. To be truly in this life in all it’s glory and holiness. Aside from proper nutrition and water, nothing is more important than a daily mindfulness practice. It is dangerous to your health and soul/true self to not practice! I just got back from completing my 3rd 10-day vipassana meditation course. Details via the link below. Awareness of respiration and body sensations, sharpening the mind while remaining equanimous (with a balanced mind). Not reacting with craving to positive sensations nor with avulsion toward the negative. Recognize the impermanence of all things within the law of nature. Live a moral life full of compassion and joy. Do not kill. Do not steal. Know thyself. Get the band back together: body, mind and spirit!
Below are two that we teach in our clinic.
1. A room, breath and body focus technique:
Sit comfortably or lie down. If you tend to fall asleep lying down, then it is better to sit. Keep both feet on the ground if sitting in a chair. Bring your attention to the room, from far walls, then to objects closer. This will help you to ground yourself into the space around you and help settle the mind. When you are ready bring your attention to your breath. You can close your eyes at this time ideally or keep open. Observe your breath and change it to a slow abdominal breath. (see mindful breathing below) Notice your shoulders: are they suspended above your ribs or resting. Allow them to rest on your rib cage. Allow your facial muscles to relax. Allow your belly to rise on the in breath and fall on the out breathe. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth. Follow your breath for a few cycles or more, especially on the slow exhalation. Then bring your attention to your body. Scan your body for any sensations. From the feet to the head or head to feet. Just observe without judgment. You will notice your mind wandering and this is natural. After noticing the wandering, gently bring your attention back to the breath or body. The mind needs exercise just like the body does. Every time you are thinking or triggered or upset and you bring your attention back to your breadth and body you are ‘flexing your brain muscle’ and strengthening your brain. This is called neuroplasticity. And you can practice this all day long in every occasion. Our stress and struggles in our life, which are often unavoidable, can become teaching moments that strengthen us rather than drag us down.
2. Mindful Breathing:
Shallow breathing may lead to tension and fatigue. Breathing with your diaphragm tends to reduce stress and improve energy.
Abdominal breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a powerful way to decrease stress by activating relaxation centers in the brain. The abdominal expansion causes negative pressure to pull blood into the chest, improving the venous flow of blood back to the heart.
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, with your feet slightly apart, one hand on your abdomen near the navel, and the other hand on your chest.
Gently exhale the air in your lungs through your mouth, then inhale slowly through your nose to the count of 4, pushing out your abdomen slightly and concentrating on your breath. As you breathe in, imagine warm air flowing all over your body. Hold the breath for a count of at least 4 but not more than 7.
Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 8. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely release the remaining air in the lungs.
Repeat until you feel deeply relaxed for a total of 5 cycles. You may be able to do only 1 or 2 cycles at first
Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, it is not necessary to use your hands on your abdomen and chest.
This is the first in a series devoted to the topic of exercise–and how exercise best fits into a whole food plant-based lifestyle. We live in a technologically advanced world with its shopping malls, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, cars, and smartphones. And of course computers of all shapes and sizes. Today, sophisticated tools make it …