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Go See “Eating You Alive”

eating-you-alive-bus

The Eating You Alive bus at Seaholm High School

Last night, my wife, Billie and I had the pleasure of attending the very first pre-release screening of the movie, “Eating You Alive” with about 450 other Detroit area people interested in better health through eating a whole-foods plant-based diet. It is a great movie and will be as (or more) successful than “Forks Over Knives”. It stars some of our favorite heroes: James and Suzy Cameron, Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. John McDougall. There are a host of other voices we hear from too from the medical and scientific community on the subject of food and health, plus a myriad of people with heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, lupus and other ailments whose stories bring out the benefits of eating a whole-food plant-based diet.

Billie Bussineau at the Eating You Alive premiere (on the red carpet).

PBNSG Volunteer, Billie Bussineau, at the Eating You Alive premiere (on the red carpet).

I was quite moved to hear the story of the filmmakers on stage after the screening who started this journey without this end in mind. They were contacted to do some short segments for Dr. Michael Hollie and his plant-based group who was instrumental in starting a program called Dinner with the Doctor, but after doing these short promo segments for eating healthy, they took the information to heart and started eating a vegan whole-foods plant-based diet. Their diet change created a transformation in their perspective which drove them to want to share what they had learned so that others could learn about the benefits of eating this way and not live a life of misery on drugs, procedures and hospital visits.

It is a compassionate movie and message. It hits the other factors involved in with eating a whole-foods plant-based diet too: animal suffering and environmental destruction of the planet.

It’s a movie based on scientific fact-based data which, if we are listening, should move us all.

There is a quote in the movie about the covenant between a caregiver and their sick patient where it is stated: the caregiver will tell the patient what is wrong. This is not happening in our modern society and this reminded me of what my Buddhist teacher has taught me about the Buddha and his message 2,500 years ago. The Buddha is likened to a physician, over and over again, in most Buddhist teachings. He is a physician who teaches us how to wake up from our delusions, hatred and attachments. He tells us what is wrong and is completely honest with us. Then it is up to us to take the medicine and fix ourselves. This whole path comes down to three items: Sila (morality and ethical behavior), Samadhi (meditation) and Panna (insight or wisdom).

How does this relate to living vegan and eating a whole-foods plant-based diet and the movie Eating You Alive? It is morally wrong when we have the scientific data to continue to eat the Standard American Diet. It is not being communicated to us from most of the medical community and certainly not by our government. It is ethically and morally wrong because it hurts and causes so much suffering for human beings. It is ethically and morally wrong because it is wasteful of precious resources, is killing the planet, and causes suffering to trillions of land and sea animals. When we learn about this and just think about it, mull it around and meditate upon it, we can gain some insight. And when we implement what we learn: that eating plants and just plants creates health, heals the planet and saves billions of animals from suffering, we are living the life of an awakened one: a Buddha. I was very happy to be with 400 + awakened ones last night with the PBNSG group at Seaholm High School for this first screening.

Seek out the movie. If you are a vegan eating a whole-foods plant-based diet, get the information, understand it, commit to the change, and implement it. When we learn about this way of living, make these changes, and share them with others then we are doing what the Buddha taught and have sila, samadhi and panna since we certainly have insight and wisdom and are living a more ethical life for the people, planet and animals. Connect the dots.

in metta,
John

Resources:

http://www.eatingyoualive.com/

http://www.pbnsg.org

 

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With the heart of a stone Buddha






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Veganism Is Practice

Practice, that thing we do on the cushion each day. We may set the timer. Or ring a gong. Sit in a chair, on a yoga mat, or on the ground. We can watch our breath. Recite mantras. Count our mala beads. And visualize enlightened society or any object of refuge we choose to focus upon. We set our intention to benefit all sentient beings. To be better people. More generous. More diligent. More compassionate. Grateful and more helpful rather than harmful.

When does your daily spiritual exercise take place? Does your practice come at a certain time of day? Or is your life your practice? Does practice include every step, conversation, thought, action and breath of each day? I believe this is what the Buddha taught– that we must step into the practice cultivating mindfulness in each and every moment and when we lose our way, as inevitably we all do, we regroup and find our way back.

So work is practice, thinking is practice, action is practice, speech is practice, cleaning is practice, sweeping is practice, feeling is practice, cooking is practice, and how we eat is practice. These daily routines off the cushion are as much practice as being on your cushion being a noble dedicated meditator.

Joan Halifax and Steven Batchelor recently spoke to actualizing “the way” in our daily life as the way of practicing and if there isn’t translation into our everyday life then the question becomes: what are we doing? Joan postulates if we walk out of the room and do not turn off the light we should understand we are “priming global warming” and understand interdependence and the consequentiality of that action. And so practice should be seen as completely integral to the myriad of activities within our life, body, speech and mind.

When we discover our own negativities, our own robotic reactions to life where we create negativity, and we are able to take stock of interdependence — we realize our wish to do less harm in the world becomes our practice with each moment.

Just so veganism can become practice because we deeply know an intensely sentient being must die for us to eat flesh and we do not want to be the cause of death and suffering.

And just so veganism can become practice when we crave a piece of cheese on sandwich, or in a salad but we know connected to the cheese is mother cow enslaved on a farm whose child has been taken from her so that we could eat this cheese from her child’s milk, stolen from her breast.

In this way veganism can and is a form of actualizing practice in our daily lives. We can practice kindness and compassion at every meal. We can be informed of interdependence at every meal.

In the opposite way the standard American diet (SAD) is a form of practice in our daily life which is rooted in greed, attachment and delusion. Eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs harms our body creating a host for diseases to arise but we are delusional when we believe we are creating health. It is greedy from a resource standpoint utilizing protein from plants in a wasteful manner, using excessive amounts of water, fossil fuel, herbicides, pesticides and enormous amounts of fertilizers which end up on the rivers and oceans killing more sentient life in the form of 600 marine dead zones globally.

We can either practice being part of the death and destruction of all sentient life on earth and eat the SAD diet, or we can practice being mindful of the interdependence and interconnectivity of all life helping rather than harming.

Does your daily practice embody the consuming of death, disease, violence and creation of global warming? Or does your daily practice embody peace, connectedness with all life and humbly honor the resources of our world?

Let’s be vigilant and remember eating is practice too.