ABC’s of meditation, ch6, part 1: Vegetarian lifestyle

ABC’s of Meditation – CHAPTER SIX

(from a book published by Devaki Groulx)

WHY BE A VEGETARIAN?

Perhaps you have wondered why so many meditators are also vegetarians. Perhaps you didn’t even realize that this was a fact. Because, as I said previously, everything is made up of energy or vibrations, this includes the food you eat. If you want to feel more peaceful and in control of your life, you will naturally put things into your system that will aid in this result.

Animals by nature are aggressive. Their vibration is that of restlessness and aggression. When you eat that animal’s flesh, you are ingesting some of those qualities. That vibration naturally affects you and makes it more difficult to meditate or to calm yourself to the point where you can meditate. Vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes on the other hand come from the land, do not have an aggressive vibration, and needless to say, are excellent for our overall health. There are countless reasons to support vegetarianism, from the ecological to the environmental to a reverence for all life.

I became a vegetarian when I was sixteen. At that time no one knew that the soybeans being used to feed the cows we ate could supply enough nutrition to feed starving people in third world countries. Soybeans have as much protein in them as meat, but only wealthy people can eat the meat, and the poor continue to needlessly starve. People didn’t know about the repercussions of cutting down the rainforests in order to grow more grass to feed the cows to feed more wealthy carnivores.

Who knew then of the disastrous effect it would have on our ecosystem? I sure didn’t. I basically didn’t believe in killing anything in order to eat. I used to live near an abattoir in Toronto and on certain days I could smell a most nauseating stench in the air. It literally made me sick. I figured it was the smell of decay and death. In the summer of 1969 I was fortunate enough to be picked from a large number of high school students to be an apprentice in a summer stock theatre north of Toronto. We all took turns cooking for each other: the actors, the apprentices, the staff- everybody! It was a real co-op. One day as I sat waiting for dinner the most horrible smell drifted from the kitchen. Some of the meat had spoiled but was being cooked anyway. I have extra-sensitive smell, so it affected me more than the others. I ran to the bathroom to vomit and swore at that moment never to eat meat again. To this day almost 50 years later, I haven’t.

As providence would have it, there was a girl there who was a vegetarian, and when I made my new dietary statement, she showed me how to cook some simple vegetarian meals.  You can imagine the reaction when I returned home to announce to my family of six that I would no longer eat the meat prepared for meals. I was told I’d have to cook for myself then, and I did. My mother, who had to cook the daily meals for the family, ended up liking my food more and another vegetarian evolved.

Today it is a well-known fact that the fat and cholesterol from red meat is extremely harmful to the heart and arteries. More and more people are opting for a healthier lifestyle in general, which includes less meat, more fresh fruit and vegetables, seaweed, tempeh, grains and legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc.). If you’ve thought about becoming vegetarian, cut out the meat slowly and replace it with tofu (soybean curd found in Chinese and Japanese recipes) or more healthy grains like quinoa. There are lots of books on vegetarian cooking that can be found in your local bookstore health food store and online. Today veganism is also popular. Vegans eat no animal products like eggs, dairy, honey etc. at all.

Good luck! You’ll feel much better, lose some weight, and be able to meditate much more easily.