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"It’s like the Zen story of the monk hanging from a cliff.  Above a hungry tiger prowls; below, jagged rocks.  What does he do?  He sees a wild strawberry growing out of a crack beside him and tastes it.  Not bad.  Acceptance can change everything.”


One Song: A New Illuminated Rumi by Michael Green

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"A Warrior of the Light often loses heart.

He believes that nothing can stir in him the emotion he desires. He is forced to spend many nights feeling that he is one of the vanquished, and nothing seems able to restore his enthusiasm.

His friends say: “Perhaps his fight is over.”

The Warrior feels pain and confusion when he hears such remarks because he knows that he has not yet reached the place he wanted to reach. But he is stubborn and refuses to relinquish his aims.

Then, when he least expects it, a new door opens.”

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— ~ Warrior of the Light: A Manuel by Paulo Coelho

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"Not associating with fools, but associating with the wise, and honoring those who deserve honor—this is supreme good fortune."

— Sutta Nipata 259

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"Choose well,
your choice is brief
and yet endless."

— Goethe

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“Perhaps you are familiar with the term ‘diseases of affluence.’ These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity. Throughout the world, whenever enough wealth allows people to move away from their basic needs, the prevalence of these disease increases. In the United States, diseases of affluence are rampant. In China, they are either practically nonexistent or notably uncommon.

It is not a secret that the more affluent and industrialized a society, the more animal products and refined foods its people consume. Americans consume 16 million animals, 165 million eggs, 11 million pounds of fish, and 345 million pounds of dairy products every single day. The United States leads the world in diseases of affluence. In contrast, the Chinese primarily eat the cleansing foods: vegetables, grains and legumes, some fish, and no dairy. What is of inestimable importance is that they obtain 7 percent of their protein from animal products, while Americans obtain 70 percent of their protein from animal products. Ten times as much!

The major reason Americans eat so much animal protein is that over the years they have been effectively conditioned to believe that protein every single day—indeed, every single meal—is absolutely essential for their health, and that animal products are the very best source of that protein. So, many people are running fat and cholesterol through their arteries, every four hours.

The idea that it is difficult to obtain sufficient protein from the plant kingdom is an outright falsehood perpetuated by the industries that make money selling animal products and by their hired ‘experts.’ Millions of dollars have been spent over the years to condition you to automatically think of meat and other animal products whenever you think of protein. One of the most frequently asked questions of a vegetarian is ‘Where do you get your protein?’ As if by not eating animal products the nutrient can’t be obtained. The conditioning has worked all too well.

The China Health Project rather soundly obliterates that particular profit-driven nutritional myth. In Eat for Life: The Food & Nutrition Board’s Guide to Reducing your Risk of Chronic Disease, published by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Paul R. Thomas writes, ‘There is nothing nutritionally unique about meat products that other foods cannot supply.’ Dr. William E. Connor, author and head of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at Oregon’s Health Sciences University in Portland, sums it up well by saying, ‘The public has been sold on the idea that protein from animals is best and doesn’t realize that plants contain high quality protein. Everything that grows has protein.’ After all, isn’t that where the animals we eat get theirs?

Heart disease in China declines to an almost negligible level when fat and cholesterol levels are low. The China Health Project shows that a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet protects not only against heart disease, but also against cancer of the colon. The more animal products eaten, the greater the risk to human health.”

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Harvey Diamond, Fit for Life: A New Beginning

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"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

— Siddhārtha Gautama

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"Maintenance Principal 4: Deepen your yoga practice
Like anything else you’ve dedicated yourself to in the past-where dieting and exercising are concerned-you know that when you stop doing them, you stop benefiting from them. And you know there are plateaus in health and in life.
Yoga is no different. The more you build your yoga body, the more you strengthen your mind, sculpt your biceps, tighten your butt, and flatten your belly. If you already have a regular yoga practice, keep at it. We recommend a minimum of 3 hours total per week, to begin. When stress is under control, you’ll see that with the absence of tension, the mind and body begin to crave more of this relaxed state.
What exactly does the phrase “deepen your practice” mean? It simply means “explore."

— The Yoga Body Diet by Kristen Schultz Dollard & John Douillard, DC, PhD

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"To change, a person must face the dragon of his appetites with another dragon, the life-energy of the soul."

— Rumi

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"In one moment your entire life can change course. The moment you decide where you’re going because you refuse to go back to where you’ve been."
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"Surely, it is an excellent plan, when you are seated before delicacies and choice foods to impress upon your imagination that this is the dead body of a fish, that the dead body of a bird or a pig; and again, that the Falernian wine is grape juice and that robe of purple a lamb’s fleece dipped in shellfish’s blood; and in matters of sex intercourse, that it is attrition of an entrail and a convulsive explosion of mere mucus. Surely these are excellent imaginations, going to the heart of actual facts and penetrating them so as to see the kind of things they really are. You should adopt this practice all through your life, and where things make an impression which is very plausible, uncover their nakedness, see into their cheapness, strip off their profession on which they vaunt themselves. For pride is an arch-seducer of reason, and just when you fancy you are most certainly busy in good works, then you are most certainly the victim of imposture."

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 

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"‘God placed his pharmacy in the woods and fields,’ Wicca said one day when they were resting under a tree, ‘so that everyone could enjoy good health.’"

— Brida by Paulo Coelho

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"We should never fail to overlook the psychological implications of something as emotionally charged as killing animals for food."

— James McWilliams

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Different Ways to See the Same Thing

"Organicville Dressings add delicious flavors to all your favorite salads.  Flavors you can really taste because we use superior ingredients from organic food artisans from around the world.  And naturally, Organicville Dressings are certified organic, vegan, gluten free and taste great too!  Enjoy!"  — My Organicville Non-Dairy Thousand Island Salad Dressing, distributed from North Carolina

"Even salad dressing was problematic because of all the ingredients—over a dozen different foods logging their own milage to get to a salad dressing factory, and then to us.  As fuel economy goes, I suppose the refrigerated tropicals like bananas and pineapples are Humvees of the food world, but multi-ingredient concoctions are sneaky sports cars." — Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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"The main barrier between ourselves and a local-food culture is not price, but attitude. The most difficult requirements are patience and a pinch of restraint—virtues that are hardly the property of the wealthy. These virtues seem to find precious little shelter, in fact, in any modern quarter of this nation founded by Puritans. Furthermore, we apply them selectively: browbeating our teenagers with the message that they should wait for sex, for example. Only if they wait to experience intercourse under the ideal circumstances (the story goes), will they know its true value. “Blah blah blah,” hears the teenager: words issuing from a mouth that can’t even wait for the right time to eat tomatoes, but instead consumes tasteless ones all winter to satisfy a craving for everything now. We’re raising our children on the definition of promiscuity if we feed them a casual, indiscriminate mingling of foods from every season plucked from the supermarket, ignoring how our sustenance is cheapened by wholesale desires."

— Barbara Kingsolver - "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"