Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"I say a little prayer for you..."

Honestly, I love that song! Truth be told, what I'm about to write about it has absolutely nothing to do with the original lyrics or intent of what Miss Aretha Franklin was singing about.

Those of you who know me personally know that I'm not a traditionally "religious" person. I'm somewhere between an atheist and a spiritual humanist. Which is why the notion of me "praying" is seemingly bizarre for me to suggest. That said, I feel that offering a "prayer", made in one's own heart of consciousness that can only be heard in the silent, collective subconscious of us all, takes us to that deeper level of interconnectedness between All Living Beings and our Source.

It is Ghandi who said, "The most violent weapon on Earth is the table fork." We vegans know how true this is. How insidious and unrelenting the table fork can be. We know how unthinkingly and unconsciously it can be used. So, for me, a helpful and healing practice has become to take just a moment before eating (or when preparing my food) and offering a silent, internal "prayer"; almost like saying grace before the meal. I offer up to my higher consciousness in good faith and intention that my "action" of being vegan and choosing not to eat animal flesh or products at that meal be a form of Karmic healing to all who suffer (non-human and human alike) and to Our Mother. For me, it helps to infuse purpose in each meal and it keeps me conscious about my consumption and forces me to think about where my food came from. I find that in doing so, I inevitably feel gratitude for this bounty of food I enjoy. It also is an opportunity to focus on the non-violence; The Ahimsa in my food choice. This creates opportunities for me to focus on my non-violence and I feel strongly that strengthens me in my resolve to respond and to act in non-violent ways throughout my day.

I urge you to try this form of internal "prayer" if it is comfortable to you. For me, it's one of the most rewarding feelings I ever experience. I feel as though it gives me many occasions throughout my day to bask in the glow of the peacefulness of Ahimsa, knowing that with every single bite I eat, every day, I have chosen love. I have chosen peace.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Tribute to Mothers

Mother's Day is coming this Sunday and for most of us, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the person who gave us life and nourished and loved us from birth. For many of us, our mothers are still alive. Some of us have tragically lost our mothers. Many of us are women and mothers ourselves. Some of us are not mothers but can still appreciate the intensity of relationship to our own mother. We all know how strong the bond between a mother and child is. This bond between a child and it's mother is transcendent of logic or rational thought. It's as instinctual and as basic as our need for food, water or sleep. This Mother-child bond is not just a human phenomenon, it is something that nearly all mammals experience.

As a tribute to my own mother and to all mothers on this Mother's day, I am sharing with you two articles from two different blogs (the links are below). I share these in the hope that one day all mothers, everywhere can live in a world where they are free to love, nurture and raise their own children.

The first article is a somewhat upsetting one to read, but I share this not to upset you. I think it's important that we all understand this. I'm not ashamed to admit that, until very recently, I didn't actually know that this was happening with mothers and their newborns. Especially for those of us who value our own mothers and those of us who are mothers, this is a must-read, in my opinion. The second article is not an emotional one but a very excellent scientific analysis- it's more medically-oriented. Either way, whether the ethical issues in the first or the humanitarian/health concerns of the second are what touches you, I hope you'll consider the great information in these two blogs.

The facts are the facts, even if they're hard to read, let alone wrap our minds around. Even if you can't bring yourself to make a change in the present moment, it's important to be conscious of what we do to ourselves, our bodies, and to others. The sooner we come to grips with this reality, the better our world will be. For all of us. For all mothers.

Happy Mother's Day.