As transformation to a spiritual being occurs, choosing unnatural foods often becomes unappetizing or intolerable for the body to ingest. Cravings for unnatural foods deceases and cravings for natural, fresh, and organically produced foods increases. The joy from enjoying the freshest and most natural foods abounds as the physical body feels better and better over time. Another change that naturally occurs in relation to food choices is the amount of food that is eaten. Eating larger portions than the body’s natural needs begins to dissipate as the body’s own balance of food and energy becomes regulated. Skipping meals and not nourishing the body regularly throughout the day is also a behaviour that shifts. Eating slowly and in the right proportion becomes a natural part of one’s spiritual practice and a heightened level of awareness develops around this ritual.
With heightened awareness comes the realization that food is no longer to be used as a form of entertainment or as a numbing substance for the emotions. As awareness of food and the manner in which it is ingested increases, then the relationship to how the body feels with certain foods increases, and naturally, the connection to one’s emotional life is made. Food is not used as a drug to numb out emotional pain of any kind, including boredom. The body naturally ingests the amount of food it needs to feel well and emotions are dealt with directly, rather than indirectly. Becoming in tune with the natural balance of food and its relationship to one’s overall well-being is an integral part of the spiritual process.
The view that foods low in nutritive value and energy-producing capacity are a ‘treat’ also begins to change. Foods high in fat and sugar, while providing the body with no positive benefits, are slowly avoided. What changes is the attitude toward these foods as one is waking up to a new reality. Foods are now seen for what they are; a part of the living planet that when ingested, become part of the living body. We literally ingest parts of the planet in order to become one with the planet in a synergistic way. We see that a vegetable is actually the soil it grows in, the rain that it absorbed, and the sunlight that fueled it with energy to grow. We are eating the soil and the sunlight in the form of a vegetable. If the energy in the vegetable is now destroyed by processing or it is contaminated with unnatural chemicals, then the body is not being nourished by the planet in the way it was meant to. There is now a disruption in the natural energetic cycle of life.
Food now becomes a sacred substance. It is not seen as a mere survival element but a substance of significant importance. One’s daily life revolves around this nourishment in a revered way. Foods are chosen carefully and become paramount in one’s daily life. Rushing to work and rushing to social events does not take precedence over nourishment. Eating foods that have not been prepared with care is no longer acceptable. Taking an interest in what is eaten, how it was grown or raised, and how it was prepared, is now taken into consideration before anything is consumed. This form of self-reflection seems to become a natural and wanted practice on the path to spiritual emergence.
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There is a tradition in the province of Quebec , Canada where taps and buckets are placed on trees to extract the sap that flows through the trees in spring. It’s quite amazing to see how much sap is collected into the buckets without harming the trees in any way. The sap is collected and boiled down to make a delicious golden syrup. Surrounding this natural, delicious treat is an incredible tradition. Meals are prepared at the boiling sites (called Sugar Shacks) and people gather together to enjoy the meal and the celebration of the sweet syrup.
The sweetness of the syrup combined with the fellowship and the warm sunshine bring together something beautiful, something beyond the five senses. There is a feeling of renewal and lightness, both in the air in our hearts. There is a sense of rejuvenation, shedding a weight that can be physical, mental or emotional. The golden syrup takes on new meaning and conjures up the same deep joy I get during meditation. The syrup is now metaphorical for the golden light that can be accessed during a meditative practice.
With a consistent meditation practice, a golden light is sensed within one’s being. This light can be used to heal the body or the emotions at very deep levels. It makes us more alive than ever as it pulsates through every cell of the body. People who meditate regularly begin to have a lightness of being and a clarity that can be both seen and felt. They are slower to react emotionally, and they are able to remain firmly planted in difficult times. Like a tree with very deep, strong roots, meditation brings strength from our roots up.
Just as the sap runs through the tree to bring sweetness that can hardly be imagined, so does the golden light that runs through us. This light becomes our strength and our grounding. We become like a sturdy tree that is not easily blown over during tumultuous times. We access this light over and over again and it continues to replenish us. It flows in an infinite stream, filling us with vibrancy and light. The tenacity to develop a practice to access this light also deserves celebration. Herein lies a simple but profound way to be in the world that will continuously renew, revitalize and rejuvenate us. Like the sap in springtime, the light is a sweet and simple pleasure that seems almost too good to be true.
“Living Beyond the Five Senses” is available at http://www.amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere
I am propelled to think deeply about so many things I see around me. My husband watches a sporting event on TV and tells me the salaries of the players. Many make inconceivable amounts of money that it’s baffling to me. Has watching sports become so important that ticket prices and advertising has put an enormous value on these players?
I was also recently impelled to think about the ritual of engagement in North America (not practiced in many other parts of the world). I wonder why so much meaning is attached to a ring. The bigger the diamond, the bigger the commitment, the better the relationship? In reality, the ring is easily taken off and the relationship instantly dissolves, so what does this really mean?
Again it happens as I’m out doing errands and spring is upon us here in Canada. I see more and more people out on the roads running. I ran for many years myself, 5 kilometers a few times a week when there were only 3 or 4 people in my community who took to the roads. Now I hear conversations around which marathons people are entering, how fast they are running-even posting their times on social media sites, and discussing which of the latest gadgets they have to track their data. It seems running has become more than something that is good for your health.
Are any of these things positive or negative in themselves, I ask? It seems they are neither good nor bad, positive or negative, but they can bring both joy or pain to life, depending on the context. As with all things in life it’s more about the meaning attached to them for me than the object or event itself. If it brings great joy to myself and others then it’s worth investing my time in. If I’m trying to change how I feel on the inside with something outside of myself, then I’m apt to cut it out of my life. I tend to step back more and more often to examine all acts and objects in life. I would now say for the most part, I enjoy sporting events, beautiful jewelery, and the fun of participating in sports while not hanging any sense of worth on any of these. Events and things in my life are not more important than spending time with my children or spouse, they are not more important than taking time to give to community, or more important than global issues of poverty or clean drinking water. It’s because I take these deep and important issues to heart that everything else becomes enjoyable. It’s the deep and meaningful things that make everything else fun because I do not take them seriously. So, sports are fun to watch and play, and beautiful jewelery is just that.
For many years I thought that I had found the answers to my spiritual searching. I would read a book that would expand my awareness and I would have a new understanding. Feeling elated and enlightened, I would feel as though I finally found the answers. In a very short time I would again feel that there was something more to learn. Again I would find the answers I was seeking either in a book, from a conversation, or in a new spiritual practice. The answers always came but these were always followed by more questions, shortly thereafter.
I finally came to realize that this is an unending process of expansion and I was always at the beginning. No matter what I had just learned, there was always more to learn. This was an infinite expansion of exciting new adventures and mysteries. Finally, I came to see the spiritual search not so much of a search at all, but a process of life that expands in direct proportion to our own level of seeking.
The more we want to know, the more that is revealed. It seems we are participating in the process simply by wanting to know! Life is far richer now and filled with wonder as I feel I am always at the beginning of a new vista that is just waiting to open up for me.
Will you ask more questions in your own search and launch yourself into new ways of living?
“Living Beyond the Five Senses” and other books by Teresa L. DeCicco can be found at http://www.amazon.com and bookstores everywhere
Having been born into a Catholic family, Easter was always a big celebratory holiday. We were immersed in holy week, often with rituals that left me perplexed. Did people actually ask themselves why they were doing what they were doing during holy week? Were Christians really the only ones who knew why we were on the planet and where we were going after death? These questions and more led me on a 40 year journey to find out the truth.
Over the years I would visited every church or religious temple I could find. I would first read about their traditions and then pay a visit in order to experience their beliefs first-hand. I explored many beautiful places. Some celebrated life to the fullest while others had a commitment to suffering. They all had their own brand of a Creator and usually a prophet (or more than one) with a devotion that led them to their practice. I learned so much from each and every one, yet still felt something was missing for me.
I wondered if people really had to wear the garments they did in order to find the mystery of life. Did people really have to fast to find the true source of life? Why was sexuality such a big deal that needed to be controlled by many of these institutions? The more I explored, the more questions arose.
Finally, after all the searching and all the questioning I found what I was looking for. Interestingly, it was not in a building or in a church or in a gathering of any kind. It was within me all the while. It came as an understanding to treat others the way I wished to be treated. To live as honestly as I possibly could. To be kind to everyone, especially myself. Finally, to continue the journey for understanding why I am on this planet, why I come in contact with the people I do, to learn my lessons, to grow and change, and to continue to do so. The process of life is not static but ever changing and ever evolving. No matter how we choose to live our lives with respect to religion or spirituality, the key is respect. Respect everyone and everything. So simple yet made so complicated.
The mystery seems to be solved for me, for now.
Happy Easter, no matter who you are or what your beliefs.
With kindness and Love,
“Living Beyond the Five Senses” and other books written by Teresa L. DeCicco are available at www.amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.
When I was a child my mother would engage in the rituals of Good Friday with us as a family. We would not eat meat, we would go to church, and she would talk to us about the significance of the day. She would tell us that we should think about the stories in the bible but more importantly, reflect on our own lives and what they meant. She talked about our purpose and meaning in life; how each of us has a purpose and that we should find that and live it. My personal purpose began to unfold as a young girl as a result of her words.
My mother also talked about being honest. Not so much in a rigid way, but in a way that shapes our lives. Honesty, to the best of our ability, may change and grow as we change and grow. Keeping our word, not using error by omission (e.g. saying the truth rather than withholding it), and not using words to “hook” people into doing what we wish them to do. Watching our words and how they shape our lives is a key factor in what we create. She knew this and reminded us of this often. “Your spoken words are written in the sky”, she would say. Good Friday was a day of self-discovery.
After the ritual of church and discussion we would end the day with a special Good Friday Meal. In full Italian tradition, fried salt cod (my favorite still today), vegetables cooked in mouth-watering ways, a meatless pasta dish and freshly baked bread would fill the house with an aroma that said ‘family is gathering’. So it is always a very good Friday when we can reflect on ourselves, find meaning, find our individual purpose for being on this planet, and celebrate the day with people we love. Yes indeed, it is a very Good Friday.
“Living Beyond The Five Senses” is available at http://www.amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere