Primrose’s eyes flared and her heartbeat danced as she stared at the glucose meter. It was 90…normal! And she had taken NO insulin all day. An hour went by, and she checked again. Normal!
Oh my god, she thought. This actually works! My doctor won’t believe this.
Her phone gave a rapid-fire beep.
“Time for the next juice!”
As she pushed neatly cut apples through the juicer, listening to the mechanical growl, a deep, vibrant smile awoke on her face. Her heart expanded and a newfound joy enveloped her. She had spent 28 long days cleaning her body out and giving it the best nutrition she could. And now, Primrose was looking at the fruit of her efforts.
Food is powerful. We literally build our bodies with it. To underestimate its importance is to neglect a potential support for our well being. What is unfortunate is that many people, Americans in particular, live off of junk food—McDonald’s, TV dinners, candy bars, and Frankenfood. If the maxim of “you are what you eat” holds true, imagine the dilemma.
What is cool is that food can help us grow multidimensionally if we embrace some basic principles. This means that our minds and spiritual awareness are enhanced, in addition to our bodies. We find a tradition of food-aiding spiritual growth in a variety of cultures. For example, in India, it is well-known among yogis that sattvic (high vibration) foods are the best for seekers on the path. We’ll examine these types of foods in this post, and offer some tips for leveraging diet in our ascent.
In addition to better health, a proper diet can help to sharpen our intuition, raise our energy levels, and improve our overall sense of joy and lightness.
- GO DIY
Look at the ingredients list of a popular brand of cereal. Pretty long, huh? And what the hell are some of those names?
The closer we can get to whole foods, the better. Most of us already know this, but most of us might not necessarily put it into action. So try this experiment: for a full week, make all of your meals. Plan ahead, and keep out anything that is processed (white flour, rice, sugar, etc.) and anything that contains any variation of corn syrup. If it’s brown, it stays in town. Make your own soups, salads, sandwiches…almost anything you like, as long as YOU make it. By the way, only make it while in a good attitude. Play some fun or relaxing music if you have to. We’ll get to the why of this later.
Notice how you feel at the end of the week. If you’re game, you can take more steps on this dietary journey.
- GREEN AND ALIVE
The sun is our battery. It gives energy to plants via photosynthesis. Animals eat the plants. Then we eat the animals, in effect taking the sun’s power in a roundabout fashion. Doesn’t it make sense to get that power more directly, though?
The modern Indian sage, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, says that every life form has a specific energy pattern. When we consume another life form, we imbibe that energy pattern with the food and adapt it to our own energy bodies. Sadhguru explains that the more sophisticated an organism is, in terms of conscious expression and nervous system, the harder it is to imbibe its energy pattern. The simpler it is, the easier it is. Plants are much simpler life forms than animals, so they are a good option for humans to digest physically and energetically.
Another consideration is that food that is raw and fresh contains more vital force than food that has been dead for awhile. Plants can retain vital force more easily before coming to the dinner table than animals. If left uncooked, they contain countless enzymes and nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Cooking warps—or denatures—many of the enzymes in the food, making them unusable. While we can still gain nutrition from cooked food, raw food is more life-giving. Plants are great for this, as raw animal meat is often a health risk.
With all this said, some practical steps you can take are to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Salads, smoothies, juices, and pieces of fruit are convenient ways to start doing this. It’s not necessary to go 100% raw or vegetarian. Small steps are important. Plus, over time, as your body clears and your senses get stronger, you will know more easily what is right for you.
- BE CONSCIOUS
How you eat is nearly as important as what you eat. The best way to approach a meal is mindfully, being fully present and engaging as many of your senses as you can. Smell, see, maybe touch the unique texture, or listen to the crunch. And, of course, taste is important. But allow yourself to eat slowly, really tasting your food and relishing it.
Being grateful for food is a natural extension of enjoying it. Gratitude can be defined, at its root, as a sense of embracing and merging. It will lend an extra positive energy quality to your meal. Love can be another great quality to add (one reason why Mom’s cooking is so good), or even joy. Be conscientious of the energy you put into your food! You’re consuming the whole package.
Pay attention to your body’s sensations, and your intuition, when it comes to food. You will know what is good for you and what isn’t by listening deeply to the signals. Allow this instinct to guide your food purchases. We are all unique. We also have changing needs. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, only guidelines. Your intuition knows best.
A traditional sage might live off of rice, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit. You don’t have to do that to grow spiritually, but you will add fuel to your path the closer you get to a simple, plant-based, conscious diet. If you live in an industrialized city, any extra boost you get helps!
Happy adventures on your new diet regimen!
This post does not seek to replace professional medical or nutritional advice, nor does it claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or otherwise influence any disease or medical condition. Please consult a medical professional for any serious illness or disease.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_text]
For my 30th birthday, I took on the name ‘Dorjee’, a choice born out of a year’s thinking on who I am, and who I want to be. As you can imagine, my mother wasn’t too impressed, having given me a name already, but I think she understood my desire to experiment, she did raise me after all.
I wasn’t exactly happy with where I had come to this point. I’d already spent six years in the business world with not much but experience and debt to show for it. I mean, I had the self-employed luxury—freedom of time, but did I really? I was still missing significant moments in my friends’ lives because I didn’t have the money to fly out and be there for that wedding or the car to show up for that birthday celebration. Sure, I didn’t have a boss lording over me, playing political games with my career or otherwise cutting me down, and I could take a break whenever I wanted, as long as I got the work done in the end. But was that really the freedom I was after?
Ostensibly my friends adored me, I had a loving partner, had bought a house (which I managed to keep despite the ups and downs of my self-employed income), and my family surprised me by flying in for the birthday celebration. That’s love, right? I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t happy. You remember that woman who raised me, yeah, she even mentioned something about my low spirits. I can pretty much hide my true emotions from anyone, except my mom.
Dorjee Wangchuk was a name given to me, an expression of who I am spiritually by the master teacher under which I took refuge in the Tibetan Buddhist religion. I took refuge under the Nyingma tradition, the oldest, unbroken Buddhist lineage. ‘Unbroken’ just means that the oral teachings were passed down continuously, without a break, from Padmasambhava, the founder of this lineage a thousand years ago to students today. Each student receives the teachings as they were handed down from the teacher’s teacher, all the way back to the eighth century. This is an incredible accomplishment! In a tradition like that, the energy runs deep and is very powerful.
’Taking refuge’ is a special moment, as like any coming of age ritual, where the teacher and student touch, hand to crown, and a spiritual exchange happens. I exchange the commitment to regard Lord Buddha’s teaching as my source of and path to enlightenment, and I communicate this commitment telepathically to the master, who receives this transmission, and gives a name to it. This was a life-changing experience for me because I saw pure light energy enter my being and jolt me awake, kind of like sparking a fire to light. I received my spiritual name through his words, and “Dorjee Wangchuk” was born. The name I was given when I took refuge is a description of how I held my commitment when I made it as witnessed by the teacher, and is expressive of how I walk this path.
Dorjee Wangchuk means ‘lord of the thunderbolt’ (irresistible force; knowledge) or ‘diamond’ (indestructibility, compassion). Known also as ‘Vajra’ in Sanskrit, it symbolizes knowledge (ñana-vajira) and compassion forged and joined by wisdom that disintegrates the grasping of consciousness (vinnananam-pariggaha). Think about that for a second. “Hello, my name is Dorjee. I’m here to disintegrate your grasping of consciousness.” It wouldn’t exactly impress my next boss, but then again, I left my last boss in 2007 and never looked back (well, maybe once or twice…). At that time, I entered onto a path that would forge my spirit into the name I was only beginning to understand.
Indeed, this name is a lot to live up to. Personifications of Dorjee in Tibetan culture were often wrathful warriors or nature spirits. I think I know why I spent so much time staring at a wall conquering my emotions: to express my emotions unbridled is seriously destructive, and has caused a lot of damage. I’m truly sorry to those I’ve ever hurt. I vowed to not cause harm, and I protect that samaya by keeping my mind in check.
It’s All About the Mind
You see, the mind is what makes or breaks this reality: “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Hamlet). I had already decided in high school that I wanted to be a psychologist, and in college, I realized the deplorable state of an industry that was setup to fail. Mental health was being meted out under intense regulations and ‘evidence-based therapies’ were not working. I had already glimpsed another reality, parallel to ours, traveled in our dreams or meditations, which had far more pervasive and lasting impacts than anything the current establishment could offer.
So I hung back from grad school, and delved into my own deep study of the human mind: what it’s made of, how it works, and how it evolves. The tools I’ve found that actually work don’t look anything like what you’d get in a traditional therapy environment, and the energies at work can’t be assessed scientifically. By its very nature, infinity defies science as immeasurable in nuance, but so obvious in its broad impact, that the instruments just don’t exist to capture and explain what’s happening.
But like the perspective of the greatest engineers of last century, what’s more important is that it works, we can always find out how later. I think that’s why so many people are flocking to the esoteric mysteries, which are now being so freely revealed, to answer age-old questions about the universe and themselves that has been secret knowledge held by initiates around the world for so long, yet has not been accepted by the modern scientific establishment when put to the test. We don’t need to know the ‘why’ anymore, we just need to know the ‘how,’ and that knowledge is coming forth in droves. Are you listening?
Re-Defining the Self
So as I move into my next year, and reflect on my experience as ‘Dorjee’ last year, I realized how powerful a name can be at generating new thoughts, new contexts, new opportunities for growth. I thank and appreciate everyone who made an effort to experiment with me and help me grow. My year as ‘Dorjee’ has helped me come home to a greater acceptance of myself, and what I have to contribute. I understand who I am more deeply now, having claimed all that Dorjee has to offer my life, and will continue to provide me as my spiritual name.
And now, I recognize and honor the lineage from which I come, and desire to truly be a part of a heritage that runs powerfully and deep. Having spent a year as another name, I’m now ready to choose what was previously my given name. It is no longer just given, it is now chosen.
I choose my name to be Matthew Koren.
This name means ‘gift of god’ and ‘root’, as in the indivisible part of a word, carrying its fundamental importance. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). I’m carrying a gift that I can’t wait to share with you, it’s a gift from God. It’s of fundamental importance to you, this world, and the whole universe. It is the Word of God, and it’s inside you waiting to be expressed.
Go now, and create your Word in the likeness of God, and you will be like him, indeed you will be him, creator manifest. This world is your playground.
Play hard, my friends, and have no regrets.