Wild Mother

My favorite twitter place ..

http://twitter.com/MotherEarthus

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Wild Karma

Want to improve your Karma?   Want to approach life in a respectful manner – less the conqueror and more the thoughtful assistant?

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-Conserve water.

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-Inhale deeply and exhale completely before replying to an angry or upset person.  Do not respond to or ‘mirror’ their emotions.

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-Be thankful for everything.  For waking up, for eating breakfast, for having a good bowel movement.

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-Plant a tree or start a garden just for birds and small animals.

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-Become accustomed to your own two feet .. walk or bike at least part of the time.

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-Be kind to animals .. including the wild ones.

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-Don’t kill any creature unnecessarily.

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-Breath Well.  Smile Often.

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-Forgive yourself.  And let others forgive you.

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-Think twice before buying or using products that harm any beings, either in their production or application.

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-Reduce what you use.  Reuse what you use.  Recycle what you no longer use.

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-Do a random act of kindness.  Here are some examples:

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-Eat less meat.  Meatless Monday is a great way to start.

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-Be aware that factor farming harms the environment.  Be informed in your purchases.

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-Conserve electricity.

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-Drop your spare change into a Coinstar machine and hit the “donate” button.

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-Find alternatives to leather and fur.

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-Be content with yourself.  Don’t tell your butt that its ‘ugly’, your hair that its ‘bad’.  Be accepting of the whole you.

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-Be healthy.  Have a Fruity Friday .. eating fresh fruit with every meal.

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-Clean your home with nontoxic products that you make yourself.  Vinegar and backing soda worked well for your grandparents.

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-Compliment three people daily.

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-Excuse mistakes in yourself and others.

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-Let go of grudges, of anger, of hate.

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-Inspire others to be inspired on your blog.

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AUM and Peace Out!

Wild Advice

“This is what you shall do:

love the earth and sun, and animals,

despise riches, give alms to every one that asks,

stand up for the stupid and crazy,

devote your income and labor to others,

hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,

have patience and indulgence towards the people,

take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,

or to any man or number of men;

go freely with the powerful uneducated persons,

and with the young, and mothers, of families:

read these leaves in the open air

every season of every year of your life:

re-examine all you have been told

at school or church, or in any books, and

dismiss whatever insults your soul.”

-Walt Whitman (“Leaves of Grass”)

Wild Sattva

Recently, on my facebook wall, I was discussing the merits of a vegetarian diet.  Ayurveda was mentioned and it was suggested that this was a vegetarian approach.  My response is:

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It is important to demarcate between Ayurveda and a Sattvic diet/lifestyle.
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An Ayurvedic diet acknowledges that there is no one dietary choice for everyone, which is why it has three basic body types and several combinations of body types.  It does include meat for every dosha (body type).  Whereas the Sattvic approach to diet (aka: Yoga diet, sentient diet) emphasizes pure foods rich in Prana, coupled with a lifestyle that promotes spiritual awakening.
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Sattva means ‘pure, existence, reality’.  Aside from eating ‘pure’ food, or that which is “as close to {the} s/Source as possible”, there are other observations.  Such as:
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-Have a purely vegetarian, healthy and (where possible) organic diet.  A Sattvic diet includes both vegan and lacto-vegetarian.  A Sattvic diet is one that avoids meat, fish and eggs, and where dairy is taken.  Milk, yogurt and cheese are acceptable from either a cow or goat that is raised in good surroundings, is healthy, has been raised from birth at its current location, has been fed well, it treated well when ill, and is never over milked.
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-Eat locally.  The closer to home and the fewest number of hands handling food is best.
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-Avoid overcooked and undercooked food, unripe and over ripe food, putrefied, stale and burnt food.
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-Sit while eating.  Eat in silence and face east (regardless of the time of day).
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-Likewise, eat alone or with mindful friends.
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-Be mindful while eating.  Refrain from reading, music, or eating in front of the television.
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-Pray / give thanks before eating.  Acknowledge Mother Nature in the food harvested and eaten.  Beyond religion / spirituality, this is an act of reciprocity.
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-Avoid restaurants or only eat at known restaurants.  In such establishments, food is a commodity so not always fresh.  Food that one may throw away in their own kitchen, may be cooked and served in a restaurant.
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-Likewise, if someone else cooks for you, let it be someone who loves you, for this is transferred through food.  (Hence the reason to not eat meat, for that animal was filled with fear and suffering.)
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-Before eating, chew ginger to awaken the taste buds, start the digestive fire and purify the mouth and tongue.  After eating, drink lemon in water to aid digestion and cleanse the intestinal tract.  Where possible, it is best to not drink while eating.
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-After eating, give thanks, clean your mouth and tongue, urinate/eliminate and take a walk.  If one has eaten heated food, wash the eyes with water to prevent them from drying out or becoming weakened from the drying/cooking process.
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-Live in accord with the philosophy and disciplines of Yoga on a daily basis.  Meaning, adherence to the Yamas and  Niyamas (for example), and the psycho-physical asanas (‘exercises’) of Yoga (especially those suited for your dosha / body type).
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-Understand the affect of external influences on one’s consciousness.  So that one is best to avoid tamasic (sexual, malicious, insensitive, critical) and rajasic (violent, dark) movies, books, music and the like.  The Sattvic lifestyle is one where the individual focuses their life on holy wo/men, works for the welfare of others (including animals), reads spiritual literature, listens to uplifting music and watches inspired films.  Sattvic living includes brahmacharya (divine-like virtue), moderation, time spent in prayer and worship, and daily meditation.
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-And association with those who are on or are learning about the Sattvic lifestyle.
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In all, Sattva is the singular quality sought by all spiritual practitioners.
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AUM Tat Sat!

Wild Metta

I rely upon the Bhagavad Gita for those moments in life when I am at a crossroads regarding circumstance.  Essentially, how to act (instead of react), how to sponsor (instead of respond).

Which brings me to ahimsa.  Here in the West, it is (more often than not) translated as “non-violence”, when in fact it means “non-harming/injury”.  Now, these two may sound the same (even similar), but they are not.  The antonym of violence, for example, is peace, whereas the antonym of harm is benefit/blessing.  So that ahimsa is not “peace”, but an assist, an aid –  something good and right.  In short, its dharma (more on this below).  And this explains how ahimsa involves self .. as in, for example, self-defense, -concern, -responsibility, and the like.  So that, Yoga philosophy recognizes that injury occurs in life, so that we should strive to not injure either our self or others in our dealings.

What I have experienced firsthand among Yoga pracitiones and new age advocates is an adherence to ‘ahimsa’ as popularized by Mahatma Gandhi; namely, ahimsa paramo dharma.  This phrase was written by Swami Chinmayananda (a disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh).  Specifically:

Ahimsa Paramo Dharma / Dharma himsa tathaiva cha

“Non-injury is the ultimate dharma.  So too is injury in service of Dharma.”

What this means is that – for the every day person, the householder: if one were to hurt another in defending their self, that would be ahimsa.  That when a government executes a mass murderer, that is ahimsa.  When a parent admonishes an unruly child, that is ahimsa.

The word ahimsa is found four times in the Bhagavad Gita.  The phrase ‘ahimsa paramo dharma’ never is.  And in all four references (*), ahimsa is listed as a divine attribute, and for those who live by it, it is not a selective application.  (*Chapters: 10.5, 13.8, 16.2, 17.14)

For example, ahimsa (as I witness it here in the West) is both conditional and lateral, so that one may practice ahimsa towards strangers but not loved ones.  Some examples I have seen include:

-One may donate money to a local shelter but not give an eating out allowance to a loved one.

-One may refrain from being angry at a stranger, only to turn on a loved one later.

-One may practice a religion yet refuse to tolerant the application of another’s idealogies.

-One may promote ‘freedom for all’ while purchasing goods/services from organizations that promote slavery/human trafficking.

-One may forgive others for wrong-doing while privately admonishing them self.

-One may apologize for a wrong-doing while regretting their words in private.

-One may practice ahimsa as a form of appeasement.

-One may be an animal rights activist while treating fellow humans poorly.

-One may be a lacto-vegetarian yet consume dairy from industry farmed, injected animals that live in cramped,  unsanitary and cruel conditions.

-One may promote a spiritual lifestyle while struggling with self-doubt.

So that from my experience, what I enocounter are those who confuse ahimsa with metta, “loving kindness”.  Being kind, having good will, or respect for the rights of others is a human virtue, therefore, according to the Bhagavad Gita, a “duty” .. our dharma.  But in all examples, this must include self.

Bottom line: There is no ‘selective ahimsa’, because ahimsa does not apply ‘here’ but not ‘there’.  For true ahimsa one must adhere to non-injury in every facet of their life .. making ahimsa their number one priority in all decisions, every day, in every situation and in all circumstances.

Therefore, it is best to practice metta while striving for ahimsa.  And in all things, apply metta to one’s self.  For there is no greater gift than loving kindness .. for in loving our self, we truly learn what it means to ‘love others’.