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26th PACIFIC MACROBIOTIC CONFERENCE
Vista Del Camino Park,
March 18 -21, 1993.
1. Macrobiotic Healing - Presentation by Kaare Bursell.
2. What can macrobiotic practice heal? Alzheimer's Disease, Allergies.
3. Personal Stories.
1. Traveling Food.
2. Sharing Macrobiotics.
3. Correlations between organs and emotions.
Saturday, March 19th.
1. Natural Healing- Presentation by David Jackson.
2. How to see balance.
3. Osteoporosis, Calcium, Menopause.
4. Salt, hypertension.
1. Macrobiotic Community.
2. When to widen diet.
3. Order of eating.
4. Mental discharges.
SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS.
FRIDAY, MARCH 18th, 1993.
This was a presentation given by Kaare Bursell. He began by saying that most people start into a macrobiotic practice because they are sick but as we begin practicing and learn how to cook etc., it becomes evident that this word macrobiotic is a very deep one and that physical health is only a very small part of being healthy. Thus it is useful to have some kind of framework or guide to allow us to see what the levels or stages of healing entail. The source for what he presented is George Ohsawa's writings and he said that if we wish to learn and develop our understanding of macrobiotic practice, then he is the main writer to pay heed to, because he is the only person who has been able to express in words the macrobiotic spirit behind the practice.
George Ohsawa developed what he called the seven levels of judgment, which are:
These are called levels of judgment or understanding but they can be applied to any human endeavor or process so Kaare decided to apply them to healing, so there are seven levels of healing. The conventional understanding of disease is that it is something that happens to you over which you have no control, and that it means that there is something wrong with your body. However, the macrobiotic characterization of disease is that the symptoms being manifested are symptoms of our way of life, the way we are living our life. So the symptomology being expressed is not only a reflection or expression of our way of eating, it is also expressive of our way of thinking, our attitudes, our world view, our emotional gestalt, our relationships, the type of work we do, our moral life etc.
So, when we start macrobiotic practice we think we are doing so because we want to get rid of our cancer, or heart disease, or arthritis or whatever. However, this is a very small view of macrobiotic practice. Now, the process which unfolds when we begin our macrobiotic practice is universal, it is true for everybody and the description that follows is of a process which we have no knowledge about when we start our practice.
The mechanical level of macrobiotic practice is when we begin putting the food into our bodies any way we can; we do not know how to cook macrobiotically, we do not understand yin and yang. In terms of healing all it does is satisfy our appetite, although in terms of bodily functions this is the fundamental level of healing. The responses of our body to the change of diet are on this level, so although we do not have any consciousness of what is going on here, the consciousness involved at this level is a very deep and spirit-filled consciousness. We experiencing this level of healing as detoxification, various manifestations of discharges like sore throats, nasal discharge, headaches, fevers, aches and pains, flu-like symptoms etc. The mechanical level is always going on and if we were to draw a figure that illustrates the process, it is a pyramid with the mechanical level as the base. This level is really the foundation of the healing process.
The first three levels are focused on food. The sensory level is where the food tastes good, and we need to develop our cooking skills to the level where we begin to enjoy the taste of the food. In terms of healing this is felt as a profound sense of well-being on a bodily level. It is almost as if the body feels "at home" for the first time, and it is profoundly comforting on a visceral level. At this level of healing it is our senses that become healthier, our eyesight becomes clearer, our hearing sharper, our sense of space and time become much deeper and so forth. We generally become more sensitive to our surroundings in the sense of being more attuned to the weather, the seasons, the rhythms of the moon etc. Our senses are more alive.
The society in which we live is a society in which the senses are dead, so that is why every where we go we have neon lights, loud music, spicy food, eyeglasses, microscope and telescope. We are a desensitized society so everyone wants this heavy stimulation just to know they are alive.
The sentimental level has to do with emotions. The problem here is that we can have physical symptoms of illness which are the result of emotional stagnations, disturbances, and that physical stagnations can cause emotional disturbances. So, in many instances we can have physical illnesses which have little to do with our way of eating, although that is also involved because we eat rich, fatty foods to suppress dealing with our emotions. Thus at this stage of healing we have to deal with any emotional disturbances we may be carrying around like hate and anger and resentment and worry etc. We need to consciously address these so we erase the blaming, complaining, whining mode about our lives that many people are in as a habitual way of feeling.
Kaare asked, what is the biggest emotional problem of this country? The answer is fear. Fear is the driving force for just about everything that goes on in our culture; we are fearful because we are insecure and as a result we build many walls to protect ourselves in our insecurity, and these walls are many and varied, like job security, life long tenure, pension funds, social security, life insurance, health insurance. Everybody enslaves themselves to the delusion that there is any security in those things, and there is none whatsoever.
Thus people are perpetually in a state of fear because they are insecure, and why are we insecure? Because we are out of balance. If we look at the spectrum of human food according to yin and yang, then if we eat from one extreme to the other on a daily basis, then we are swinging between these extremes on a daily basis- meat and sugar, eggs and diet drinks, sausage and cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol etc. Thus we have no center and we have everyone frenetically running around busily dying in the rat race, frantically shoring up these insecurities with jobs, investing in health insurance, life insurance etc.
In terms of healing macrobiotically, then we feel as we go through the days and weeks and months of our macrobiotic practice, more calm and stable emotionally and we feel nurtured by this way of living and we begin to see where we need to work on our personal emotional baggage so we can become more constructive, positive, compassionate and secure.
Kaare said that most people who start a macrobiotic practice and are consistent and patient in their practice will experience these three levels of healing almost as a matter of fact experience. However, in his experience, very few reach the intellectual level of healing. Because at this level is another fundamental cause of illness, and that is our way of thinking. Here we have to change our way of thinking, and in terms of macrobiotic healing, the only way we can do that is by studying yin and yang and developing an in-depth understanding of yin and yang and the Five Transformation Theory. And that takes at least three years of daily study of yin and yang for most people to begin to get a glimmer of understanding of yin and yang.
On the surface, yin and yang is very simple, and in fact it is, but it is also very subtle, very profound, very complex. If we were to characterize the thinking of this culture, which we are trying to change, is that it is analytical, which means that it cuts everything up into pieces and boxes them up in different compartments, which as a result appear to have no relationship with one another. It is also abstract, which means that it is a delusion, essentially. Abstract thinking means that whatever is being studied is removed from the context in which it is embedded, so it is discontextual. For example, in the medical profession this kind of thinking has given rise to specialists, such as ear, nose and throat specialists and this specialist has no understanding that the condition of the ears is related to the condition of the kidneys, that the condition of the nose is related to the stomach, the heart and the bronchiole tubes. Thus, we have to say that modern medical thinking is nonsensical and therefore destructive.
And this kind of thinking is going on everywhere in our culture, like economics. Economists have no understanding of the economy, not the slightest idea. Politicians have no understanding of politics. If we develop a thoroughgoing understanding of yin and yang etc, so that we really think macrobiotically, reading the daily newspaper, or any journal or magazine is to experience pain. Thus true healing is inclusive of changing our way of thinking, and this is a rigorous self-training. And in Kaare's experience maybe one in a hundred people exercise themselves to the point that they undergo mental, intellectual healing.
And the fault here lies with macrobiotic teaching over the past ten to fifteen years. In his opinion, macrobiotic teaching has degenerated recently because it has remained at the first three levels, because the thinking in macrobiotic around the country has is to make it an alternative or substitute to modern medicine. And it is not an alternative, and it does not have any relationship to modern medicine. Kaare was a veterinary surgeon and clinician in large animal practice, practicing modern medicine on animals and his experience of seven years of veterinary medicine and subsequently seventeen years of macrobiotic living has made it very clear to him that there is not even the remotest connection between modern medicine and macrobiotic practice.
He thinks that what has happened in macrobiotic teaching over the past ten to fifteen years is a diminution, a shrinking of macrobiotic teaching to suggesting it is an alternative to modern medicine. Modern medicine is a degenerate aberration of macrobiotic practice, rather than macrobiotic practice being an alternative to modern medicine. Thus what people are getting from the books that are published and the various public lectures and seminars is macrobiotics as symptomatic medicine. You cook and eat this way to cure your disease symptoms. However, not only this a misunderstanding of macrobiotic philosophy, it is also a puny reason for doing macrobiotics. Thus, we are not interested in getting rid of our symptoms, we are, radically speaking, interested in getting rid of our selves, meaning all the habitual, conditioned, second-hand thoughts and feelings that we have allowed to be programmed into us by education, politics, media etc. Thus, we can only get rid of our symptoms if we change on all levels of our being. And this means we have to give up many things. The problems of the world are problems of human behavior and thus we have to change in this way because macrobiotic practice is not the invention of the human intellect; it is human reasoning based on the observation of nature and how to harmonize ourselves with nature, and therefore, with the cosmos.
At the social level of healing, we understand that we as individuals are the basis of society. Social events are the aggregation of the condition, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, of the members of society. Thus, at this level, macrobiotically speaking, if we see any symptoms of social disease, like drugs, or violence, or political corruption, or weapons development, or ecological damage and destruction, then we say we are personally responsible for that. Macrobiotic thinking and practice has nothing to do with social reform. Do you know how many laws there are on the books? 64,000,000. And that was in 1984! Laws never made a hill of beans difference to any social ill. Why? Because they are to the body politic, the social organism, what pharmaceutical drugs are to the physical organism. They are symptomatic and they drive the illnesses of the social organism deeper into the body politic.
At the social level of healing, macrobiotically speaking, we say to ourselves, not only must I continue my healing but I must distribute what I have experienced to the society in which I live. Furthermore, at the social level of healing, macrobiotically, we have to undergo a rigorous self-examination as to whether the job and lifestyle that goes with it, and the ramifications thereof, are consonant with our macrobiotic practice. Thus, if we begin a macrobiotic practice, and we begin to examine our job, then in many instances today we will find that we can no longer continue with that job if we wish to be comprehensive in our macrobiotic practice. For example, and there are many more you can think of, if are a butcher, or a manufacturer of weapons, or a doctor, then we must change our means of livelihood from those if we wish to become healthy.
Now, the social level of healing also consists in this, which is summed up in a statement of George Ohsawa's where he said that macrobiotic practice will never reach its goal until every stream in the world is clean. Thus, socially, our community not only consists of human beings, it also consists of the soil and the denizens of the soil, it consists of the plants and flowers, the animals, birds and insects and so forth. Our social environment also includes these and macrobiotic practice must spread to the extent that we no longer rape and ravage the earth. An old Japanese statement says that the human being and the earth are not two, so what we do to the earth we do to ourselves and what we do to ourselves we do to the earth.
Religious level of healing means we are eating and living in order to bring about a healing of the spiritual world. We are also spiritual beings living in a spiritual world but we do not see it.
The reason for having this discourse is because macrobiotic practice is a religious practice and we need a macrobiotic framework for understanding where we are and what we need to do to get to what macrobiotic practice promises.
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What can macrobiotics heal? (Alzheimer's, Allergies and related conditions).
This topic was brought up by Sherry Kornbluth since a relative of hers is in the beginning stages and she was wondering if a macrobiotic practice would be helpful. Kaare said that he did not know of and hadn't heard of anyone in macrobiotic counseling working with people who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he hadn't himself. However, he thinks that macrobiotic practice can help the body heal itself of any condition provided that the person's body is still capable of healing. Because many people come to macrobiotic practice after they have had years of pharmaceutical drug intake, they have had massive interference with their bodily functions with chemotherapy and radiation etc. So, the question is, how have their bodies been able to withstand the ravages of theses modalities?
David Jackson said that with a condition like Alzheimer's it is very difficult because such people need to be cooked for, and they need a lot of care and attention.
We also talked about hair loss and how it is possible to reverse hair loss on a macrobiotic diet and using various special dishes and topical applications, such as lotus root/kombu dish and umeboshi juice rubbed into the scalp every day.
Allergies are an intestinal condition and Kaare gave the information which very few people know about. This information comes from a research scientist who spent her entire research investigating the effect of dairy food on the digestive organs. Her name is, He thinks although he is not sure, Dr. Barbara Cunningham. She discovered in the course of her investigations what she called Secretory Immune Factor, which is secreted by the mucous epithelial cells lining the gut wall. The function of this substance, which is really an enzyme, is to break down molecules so that by the time they reach the small intestine they are below a certain threshold size before they enter into the small intestine ready for assimilation.
If the secretion of the Secretory Immune Factor is depleted or diminished for any reason, then molecules enter the blood stream which are too large and they then initiate the allergic response. This is the scientific explanation, and the food that is more responsible than any other for cause a depletion of the secretion of the Secretory Immune Factor is dairy food, because dairy foods, milk, cheese, butter, ice cream etc., are the largest molecules that are ingested by the human being.
The yin and yang explanation of allergies is that the allergic symptoms are the rapid elimination by the body of excess yin. Macrobiotically they are one of the easiest conditions for the body to clear up on a macrobiotic diet. Usually, the first season after starting a macrobiotic practice the allergies are greatly diminished and by the second season they are gone.
We also discussed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as being a related condition and being resolvable by a macrobiotic regimen. The key point that cam eup was that people are being programmed by the medical profession to think that all these immune related disorders like candid, epstein-barr, AIDS etc are disorders that you can do nothing about, and it is based on the fear that is generated by the ignorance of the medical profession.
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Alexia Plass started with her story of being diagnosed with cancer in the intestines, lymphoma, and she was given the option of chemotherapy and she also started changing her diet slowly. She did the chemotherapy and a year after finishing with chemotherapy lumps began appearing on her neck. She had a catheter inserted for her chemotherapy and she still had that in her when she started her macrobiotic practice about a year and a half ago. She had a consultation with Kaare who told her that she needed to get the catheter out because when her body started to get clean as a result of going on the diet, it would begin to reject the catheter as a foreign object. So she had it taken out five days after getting the consultation. The doctors she was working with called her the day before she was due to have it out telling her she was making a big mistake and that she was going to have to have more chemotherapy etc but she held her ground. She went down to 95 ponds and is now up to 107 lbs. She feels very good and is hoping to eventually get into counseling.
We then had a general discussion of weight loss and the one problem that came up is with excessive weight loss of someone who is 400lbs and then the tremendous weight loss leads to the skin hanging loose on the body and in such cases the person needs to do a lot of vigorous exercises.
Michael Abad told us about how he got into macrobiotics as he has multiple sclerosis and he is in a wheel chair and he had a session with David Jackson and he has been doing the program arranged for him by David for a few months and he feels great, he has more energy, he doesn't need to sleep as much, or eat as much and he feels a lot better. His color is better, his voice is better, his skin is better. As far as his physical healing goes with regard to his muscle function, he feels this is beginning to return, remembering that his diagnosis was in 1982.
(Note: much of the material here was missed due to the tape recorder temporarily malfunctioning).
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Sherry Peale related that Lino Stanchich told her to stop running and start walking instead and this was very bad news to her because she loved to run. When she got home there was Habitat America sponsoring a 1000 mile walk to celebrate their 10th anniversary. You had to walk 18 -20 miles a day so she decided to sign up for this and she trained for it and then went to Georgia to participate in the walk. Her biggest concern was her food and she took along one bag full of grain, brown rice, quinoea and some millet. And some whole wheat sourdough bread but she didn't know whether she was going to be able to cook. It so happened that on about every third night they would be at a place that she could use the kitchen and she would cook a pot of grain, and she took nori and umeboshi plums and she made rice balls.
So she made rice balls and would occasionally have carrots and celery sticks, because food was made available but it was chicken and ham and pizzas and potato chips etc., etc. And the blessing was that she was the only person on that walk that did not get sick, that was not laid up with blisters on her feet every night. Other people would be plunging their feet into buckets if ice water and have blisters. The medical staff took along medical supplies they thought would last the entire two month trip and they had used them all up in the first five days. People got the flu etc., etc. She had three rice balls a day. She was on the trip for 550 miles of the 1000 miles.
Now their traveling is not as extreme and they, Sherry and her husband Sherm, have a camper which is stocked with macrobiotic staples and it has a three burner gas stove, so they have no problem traveling.
Most people use rice balls as their staple on the road and then you can go to restaurants and find steamed vegetables and bean salads and salads to supplement the rice balls. Mochi is also easy to travel with as is rolled oats and order a cup of hot water and then add it to the oat meal, and let it steep for ten minutes and you have cooked rolled oats to which you can raisins. Muesli is also an excellent traveling food, since it was developed by Swiss cowherds and they would get it because they needed to have a light, nutritious, concentrated energy food to take with them when they traveled through the mountains for up to six weeks to check on their animals.
David said that when he goes traveling he spends half an hour on the phone and, using the Macrobiotic Directory, starts asking around and he always finds what he needs.
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Michael Huckel started this off by saying a while back he had written an essay which he decided to read to us and the title of this essay is 'Awakening'.
"The first step in any movement from a more limited context to a more liberating one is becoming aware of one's present situation, for only then can we willfully improve that situation. Before that awakening we can easily be made a pawn in someone else's schemes or at best we drift aimlessly according to the whims of chance and in the present world situation very few have the luxury of this aimless drifting. And the direction of world events indicates that soon it will no longer be an option. And this is because we are heading into a global situation of decreasing freedom, one that threatens to engulf humanity in an order altogether under the banner of the dollar bill, the measuring unit of all things.
This order will truly make all people equal, equally enslaved to the order and whoever is orchestrating it." Here Michael interjected that he was brought up as a catholic, and although he does not agree with the way catholics have interpreted Christianity, he wrote this essay for an audience that is familiar with the idea of an "adversary" or the force that divides people against each and anthropomorphised it and called it the Adversary. "In order to understand how we have become enslaved in that way, we must look at our ancient past, to a time when people existed in an edenic state. Each individual lived within the love and care of their father in the heavens and their mother the earth and because the link was never broken, people's needs were freely provided and their was no jealousy or antagonism of any sort and there was no knowledge of these because the link had never been severed. This state of paradise was one of ignorant bliss.
It happened that this direct link between heaven, earth and people was interrupted, not by accident or chance but by the design of one who is known as the Adversary which signified the end of the age of Paradise and the next stage was begun. The law of creation is such that everything changes and thus it was inevitable that humanity's direct link with the divine parents would also be broken.
Furthermore if one accepts the premise that creation is ultimate perfection then it must also be accepted that the severing of this connection was a good thing, just as the severing of the umbilical cord is a good thing, healthy and natural. We mustn't lament the breaking of our connection with oneness for this is equivocable with the desire to crawl back into the womb. As such, we would never mature into adulthood. Similarly, it is a waste of time to blame the Adversary or the Devil, Satan or whatever our name is for the force that divides, for our present state, because to flail and rage against this force is only to feed and empower it. Our energies are more wisely spent upon our own development for this is what feeds and empowers ourselves.
The age that began with the separation was one of freedom without responsibility and we are experiencing the climax of that age now. It is an age notable for its extremes of strife and prosperity, peace and war, golden ages and dark ages. It is has been a sort of proving ground for people to gain a degree of self-mastery and maturity necessary to proceed into the next phase, into our next world phase. The present age leads naturally into the new age in the following manner. It has been observed that everything in the universe moves in cycles, from chaos to order and back again. It can also be seen that the present age was birthed in chaos because anytime there is freedom without responsibility there is also a tendency for individuals to fight amongst themselves, exploit each other for their personal gain because there is ample room to escape the repercussions of such actions. This is the nature of our 'known' or written history.
Our history documents people fighting each other, ravaging the earth for immediate pleasure and instant gain. And these actions promote unharmonious relationships between people and divisions between humanity and its environment. These are qualities that strengthen the adversary. Thus while we fight amongst each other and ravage the earth we simultaneously weaken ourselves and feed the adversary who in turn uses his growing strength to further divide humanity against each other.
Our written history documents the expansion of the human race to all areas of the globe and by filling up the land masses we have consequently made it more difficult to sidestep the ramifications of our actions and thus we move ever nearer to an age of responsibility. As we grow to encompass the earth's surface our knowledge of the forces of nature also grows, but our wisdom of ways to develop these forces has not developed in tandem.
We have always used the knowledge we have gleaned as leverage against our neighbors, hence the cold wars in this century, Athens versus Sparta, all these innumerable times of arms build ups. So, we have grown in our capacity to destroy while at the same time eliminating the safe havens to flee to when we leash these deadly forces. We are rapidly approaching the crossroads where we must make a choice. Do we continue as we have in the past and complete our march into the maw of the adversary, and degeneration and destroying ourselves for the pleasures of the moment?
Or do we instead forge a new way to cultivate our wisdom to match our knowledge and learn to heal the wounds we have inflicted upon ourselves and upon the earth? Either way we inherit the responsibility for the actions of the past and at the crossroads we are confronted with two possibilities.
On one hand we may choose the smooth road which leads to a system or order which promises such things as 'progress', a global economy, higher education, guaranteed medical care. On the other hand is the rough trail leading away from the smooth road to we know not where the one we choose.
At a glance the smooth road may appear to be the better one, it is certainly familiar, and easy.
However, before we commit ourselves to either one it would be wise for us to consider our alternatives. Any publicly syndicated higher education would obviously espouse the same values as the government which funds it. Any system in which its highest assessment is a monetary value can never accomplish the true aspects of wealth, such as freedom, health and happiness. As for guaranteed medical care the very notion is profoundly absurd. This would ensure that, no matter how degenerative a lifestyle I choose for myself, no matter what perversions I commit, the system would absorb the burden of caring for me. This is in essence my license to behave as I please, with once again more freedom without responsibility. Guaranteed medical care is not the solution to the problem, it is the perpetuation of one.
Furthermore, modern medical and surgical practice cannot offer you true health, because their thrust is not toward healing the body, but toward killing the disease. The distinction between these two methods is crucial. In any battle, be it between armies, gangs, individuals, body cells, both sides become weaker as they expend they energies against each other. In the end the loser is simply the one which collapses first. We can see this on all these levels. This is why medicine and surgery as we know them do not heal. Tools such as knives, drugs and radiation corrupt and weaken the flesh so that even if the disease is fought off, the body is left vulnerable to deadlier ailments in the future.
True health can only be obtained by living in accordance to the natural earth environment. Such an earth centered lifestyle vitalizes the body so that it can heal and maintain itself, as it was intended to do. With all this in mind it becomes increasingly clear that continuing along the familiar road will lead us to a system which is designed to empower its architect at the expense of the masses. The nature of this architect, the adversary, is that of a parasite feeding upon humanity. As a rule whenever a parasite grows stronger than its host, it turns on the host and consume it. Thus the adversary seeks to make humanity dependent on his system as a sort of life support system so that he can drain every drop of energy from us before consuming us entirely.
The more we buy into this system the more we come to depend on it. Therefore, each time we spend money on luxuries and comforts, each time we accept free hand-outs from this system, we take another step down the smooth road, becoming weaker and softer, which makes us viable hosts for this parasitic intelligence. In this way, step by step, we sacrifice our health, our freedom, and our lives for the pleasures of the moment. So it appears that one of our options has serious flaws built into it.
Is the other way any better, and what in fact do we know about it? Since we cannot see very far ahead on this path we must deduce its general direction by comparing it to the past and present growth cycle of humanity.
This diagram depicts the history and possible futures for humanity and right at this time it is our choice to either continue on our present path of degeneration toward our own demise, or to gather ourselves for the task of the getting of wisdom to support our knowledge. And this is the path toward reunion with our divine parents which signifies that we become equals rather than the children, that is, we become spiritually mature. This is way we consciously take on the responsibility of healing the wounds that we have inflicted in our ignorance. In so doing we may achieve in the age of communion the state of conscious bliss, retaining our oneness with creation.
If we do not willfully choose this route toward the age of wisdom(conscious suffering), then by default we enter the age of folly instead. In other words we have to exact our will and we see that in today's world most people are so accustomed to depending on something external such as police, governments, insurance, weapons, etc., for their security that we have all but forgotten what it means to be self-responsible. We constantly hear stories of people who are being faced with the problems of homelessness, starvation, poverty, criminal contamination who beseech their government to provide protection. It must be understood that this is not self-responsibility. It is merely another example of coercing others to deal with the problem so that one can maintain one's own freedom without responsibility.
In order to fulfill ourselves as a race we must as individuals make efforts to confront and solve problems directly. In addition we have to first resolve our personal problems before we can become qualified and justified in dealing with external conflicts. While we remain unhealthy men and women, we house within us the demonic entity, the parasite, whose energies find release in our every action. That is why, even with good intentions, unhealthy people usually cause more harm than good.
The very first step upon the rough road of wisdom is making a sincere commitment to one's own health. Moreover we must begin to recognize that almost all the popular notions of health that we entertain today are incomplete or altogether false. Therefore it behooves us, those that are committed to their health, to make a thorough and exhaustive review of their own ideas about health, asking ourselves questions, such as, is this practice natural, am I doing this for my health or for my pleasure, do I fully understand and accept responsibility for this action.
Anyone who discovers that he or she is not healthy, or is not entirely sure what true health is, would do well to read the book, 'Healing Naturally' by Richard France and Jerome Canty.
(Michael interjected here that he has only just become aware of macrobiotic practice and had been doing it for about a month. He had done a lot of intellectual work and macrobiotic practice and philosophy was the first he had discovered that corresponded with what he had worked out over the years and is doing it to ground and make practical what he has worked out intellectually).
As the earth changes in these tumultuous times, I would urge everyone who has the desire to rise above to begin their ascent now. If the way seems too difficult, bear in mind that the path that leads to true health and restores our connection with the one divine nature begins with an arduous climb. We have been so long on this current road that we have worn ourselves a rut that is narrow and deep and we can't see over the sides in most cases.
Once we complete the initial climb, however, we see a world of possibilities lies spread out before us, which we have become strong enough to pursue. We realize we have been asleep in our blind alley world of the familiar and the mundane. And as we slept, the old world has slipped away and we find ourselves standing in the dawn of the new world awakening."
This is basically Michael's appeal to those who are living detrimental lives and not to say "hey, macrobiotics is the answer!". Ask people to open their eyes to where they are, and if they are not happy with it, then we can take it from there. He doesn't think that preaching macrobiotics works to those who are not familiar with it. For one thing people do not want to hear it until they recognize, 'Yes, I do have a problem, and I do need to change'. No one wants a solution if they do not want to look at a problem, or if they do not even know they have a problem, which is more often the case.
In his experience over the last year there are a substantial number of people who are actively seeking something and he thinks it is spirituality because Michael thinks we are in a spiritual void in this culture, we have lost our connection with the spirit. He doesn't know whether this started with diet but it is definitely reflected in our modern diet which is largely synthetic and fragmented. Spirit and will are basically the same and so if we do not have a connection with the spirit then the will is weakened and gets weaker.
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Correlations between organs and emotions.
We had a wide ranging discussion of the relationship between the dietary patterns of people and their behavior. In the experience of most people who have been doing a macrobiotic practice for any length of time we do find that emotionally we become more calm and stable and less given to mood swings and rarely have any kind of long term chronic psychological problem. Although it must be realized that this is not an automatic process and is contingent upon the individual being willing to address and work on their psychology as diligently as they practice the cooking and eating aspects of macrobiotic practice.
Then we had a discussion on oriental facial diagnosis which was presented by David Jackson. In the course of this discussion we got to elucidating the ginger compress and David has a method, which he learnt from Roy Steevensz. You prepare the ginger water in the usual manner, by grating 1/4 cup of fresh ginger root and placing it in a cotton or cheesecloth which is tied off to make a bag of grated ginger. This is then placed in a gallon of already boiled tap water. The bag of ginger should be squeezed against the side of the container to make sure as much ginger gets into the water as possible.
You need to get two medium sized 'patchwork' salad bowls, readily available at thrift stores and oriental markets for about 15c each. Also get two large, thick cotton washcloths which are the same size.
Then take the two bowls, which fit together very well, and put one of the towels, folded in half, dry, between the two bowels. This is placed in the ginger water, which should have the lid on at all times except when removing and placing the towels in it. Let it steep for a 20 seconds or by holding it in the ginger water. You should be sitting down with a couple of pillows underneath your back to support you at a 33° angle to the floor (The ginger compress must be done lying down). Also place a dry cotton bath towel on your lap folded to cover the abdomen. The area to be treated runs from the sternum to the pelvic bone and from hip bone to hip bone.
Remove the wet ginger towel which is being held between the two bowls and then squeeze the sides of the bowels together to get the excess liquid out back into the ginger pot. Place the lid back on. Now, place the dry folded towel on the abdomen to cover the area indicated, and place the wet ginger towel on top of it. The second towel is wet and hot and doing it this way you will not burn your skin. Place the dry, folded bath towel on top.
When you feel the hot ginger towel start to cool you place the bath towel against your lap and flip the two ginger towels so that the hot one is against the skin. Then you remove the cool dry one, place it between the two salad bowls after covering the warm towel with the bath towel. Then you place the cool ginger towel between the salad bowls and dip into the pot of ginger water, first removing the lid. Lift it out, squeeze the sides of the salad bowls so that the excess ginger liquid goes back into the pot and put the lid back on the pot. Put the hot ginger towel on top of the one on your belly (after removing the bath towel) and then flip it to go directly against the skin. Then remove the cool towel, place it between the two salad bowls, cover the one on your belly with the dry bath towel (this is to keep the heat in) and and then dip the cooled towel between the two bowls back into the ginger to reheat it and so on. Do this for half an hour. The same ginger water can be used twice in twenty four hours as long the the ginger water is not boiled. It was recommended that people do 64 treatments as a first round of treatments.
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Saturday 20th March, 1993.
David Jackson gave this presentation. He started off by giving a background description of the context in which we live, the earth and the natural kingdoms, and how these are all subject to cycles of change which we study with the help of yin and yang. And we notice that this is all orderly in its rhythms and maintains itself in a healthy way. We need to observe this as a profound truth and develop what he calls a faith in this beauty and order. Nature maintains a very high level of health and being.
Humanity has gradually upset this beauty and harmony and we realize that we have also disturbed this beauty and harmony in our own lives and health. This nature so to speak 'knows' about health and how to maintain it and our bodies are a product of this same wisdom and so our bodies 'know' how to maintain their health. Thus it, the body, is always keeping itself in balance and maintaining its health.
The faith David is talking about is not blind faith but a practical faith that learns from nature. He likes to think of macrobiotic practice as a natural practice, which is essentially to support the body in its ability to heal itself, natural healing. This we do by eating seasonal, local whole foods cooked in the appropriate manner. However, it must be understood that this self-healing process of the body is always going on, so when we do not know how to support it by eating extreme, processed, artificial foods and extreme lifestyle practices, this healing ability expresses itself as various symptoms which we call disease.
There are different levels of healing and for, example we go to a naturopathic doctor and he tells us to take this herb and sure enough, the symptoms of our body healing itself goes away and we feel better; or we go to the homeopathic doctor and he says take this remedy, and sure enough, it tends to clear some things up. David said he does not like to use these approaches, because these act like crutches and do not allow the body to undergo the deep healing which will strengthen the body. He says that he has never done anything other than eating macrobiotically- no shiatsu, no acupuncture, no herbal remedies, nothing. Now he does not even use macrobiotic remedies, if he gets a cleansing like he does now, in this case a fever, he just lets it run its course. He was telling this to a person who has been practicing macrobiotic practice for many years who was literally shocked when he told her this, couldn't believe it.
More than anything, David said that macrobiotic practice is about self-reflection and self-discipline, faith and patience. The important point is not to try to take over the functions of the body organs with various substances such as enzymes and stimulants, and various so-called 'super foods'.
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How to see balance.
How do we know we are in or out of balance. There are various ways of looking at this problem. One of these is stools and the other is urine and we discussed the various signs that are there if a person is too yin or too yang. A point that Kaare made was that it is erroneous to try to systematize either symptoms or organ diseases as being yin or yang; we have to learn yin and yang and apply it in the context of a particular person at a particular time. For instance, constipation can either be from being too yin or too yang.
Another way is by our emotional state and our thinking process and these happen before any physical symptoms come up. We talked about using a rice fast for two or three days to establish what it feels like to be in a balanced mode, although this is not recommended in the beginning of macrobiotic practice, maybe after a few months and in some cases in more than a year.
In terms of chewing, David recommends the following method. Take a mouthful, put the implement down(fork or chopsticks), fold the hands together, and count your breaths to five while chewing. This method is automatically going to make us chew thoroughly and well.
An important sign of balance is an even rhythm to the pattern of the day on a daily basis; when you see people running around scheduled up to the gills and rushing to make this appointment and that appointment, this is very imbalanced.
Kaare said that what he has noticed over the years of macrobiotic practice is the gradual development of a feeling of inner, calm ecstasy on a daily basis.
We also discussed sleep patterns and how we sleep during the night.
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If you take in anything that causes an over acid or over alkaline condition, like meat, milk, sugar, eggs, etc., then the body has to get some minerals to neutralize(balance) the over acidity or over alkalinity of the blood, and the minerals come from the muscles and bones. Thus osteoporosis. Why it happens in post-menopausal women more than any other group, is because the menses is a way of getting rid of the excess yin or yang and thus help the female organism on a monthly basis. In post-menopausal women this monthly discharge is gone thus the over-acidity is worse and so osteoporosis accelerates.
As far as calcium goes there is more than enough on a regular macrobiotic dietary practice, sea vegetables, greens, sesame seeds.
Dental work is the same thing-over acidity. We had a discussion of mercury and the problem is that most teeth reflect the over-all condition of the digestive tract. Thus, when the mercury is coming out, if problems associated with mercury poisoning occur it is because there is intestinal stagnation which means the metabolism cannot detoxify the mercury fast enough. Also seaweeds are helpful because they naturally chelate heavy metals out of the body.
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We discussed salt, and Kaare drew the Yin-Yang Spectrum of Human Food vertically, so that salt is at the bottom of the spectrum. This way of drawing the spectrum illustrates that seasalt is the pivot or foundation of the diet. If we use too little salt then the our bodies become too yin, expanded, dissipated, dispersed; if we use too much salt, then our bodies become too yang, contracted, hardened, condensed. Thus seasalt is the most critical factor in the dietary practice and each one of us has to find out what is the appropriate intake of seasalt on a daily basis.
And we need to know when we are taking too much salt or too little. One of the problems of counseling is that we can only do it properly if the counselor is in balance, because if he or she is not, then the tendency is to either counsel according to your own condition, or opposite your own condition. So if a counselor is in too yin a condition, they may tend to give too yin recommendations; or the opposite can occur where a counselor who is too yin always makes recommendations which are too yang. And similarly in the case of a counselor who's condition is too yang.
In the early days of macrobiotics in the United States everybody took the recommendations of George Ohsawa and when he started macrobiotic practice, his condition was extremely yin and he also had a more yin constitution. Thus he recommended a lot of salt because he ate a lot of salt. So much so that he sweated salt crystals. When Kaare got to Boston in 1979, people were eating a tablespoonful of miso per bowl of soup, half a teaspoon of seasalt per cup of rice in cooking, an umeboshi plum a day, sesame salt ratio of one to ten seasalt to sesame seeds and 60 percent grains. Thus people got way too tight, contracted, rigid, and of course that tightness means that old toxins are trapped in the body. Thus we need to know what are the symptoms of too much salt in our diet.
In Boston, there were many examples of people who ate too much salt. Too much salt causes gauntness, and the gait of such a person is very stiff, like they have an iron rod inside their spine, the facial expression is very stern and the corners of the mouth are pulled down. Such a salty person gets very rigid mentally and in the case of trying to have a conversation with such a person, it is actually not possible to have a conversation. It seems like so much tightness and hardness causes a kind of invisible barrier to develop around such people and they can speak too you, but they cannot hear what is being said by you.
A very interesting characteristic of such overly yang, tight, salty people is that if they have problems arising because they are too yang, which of course they do, they always think that these problems or symptoms arise from too much yin, and they are in fact afraid of yin. This is because when a person gets so yang, what happens mentally is they become spaced out, because the overly yang nature of their chi attracts a great deal of yin mental forces.
Another characteristic that David mentioned was that such salty people talk through clenched teeth. A lot of such condensed energy also means that a lot of accumulation develops especially in the abdomen and in women, around the female organs.
Then we talked about the quality of seasalt and of course this is a perennial controversy in macrobiotic circles. This subject was covered in detail at the last conference and right now the consensus is that the Si-Salt from Mexico is the best quality because it is the only one that is stone ground, which means that the seasalt crystals are not destroyed, thus maintaining their chi.
Since the quality of seasalt is so critical, it is important to be frank and honest about our experiences. Kaare said that he emphatically does not recommend the Celtic gray seasalt, because he and his wife tried it for a month and they both felt hardening and tightening. Then, a few years ago he was asked to give a consultation to a woman called Patricia Meehan. Kaare had known this person because she was at the Kushi Institute when he was there in 1979-80, and he always thought there was something wrong with her then because she seemed so spaced out and lived in a kind of dream state. So, when she asked for a consultation, since he knew she had been doing a macrobiotic practice for at least thirteen years, he was surprised. However, at the consultation he asked her why were her kidneys so stagnated, and asked her if she had been using the Celtic Gray Seasalt. She said yes and he strongly advised her to change the seasalt to Lima's or Muramoto's, (this was around 1987 or so). He never saw her again, but a couple of years later he met a lady who, it turned out, knew Patricia Meehan. Kaare asked her how Patricia was doing and was informed that she was on kidney dialysis. Kaare was very shocked to hear this and asked if the lady knew what kind of seasalt Patricia had been using, and she told him Celtic Gray Seasalt. Patricia has since died. Kaare found out later that Patricia had gotten into macrobiotics through Jacques de Langre, who is the sole purveyor of the Celtic Grey Seasalt in the United States, or had been helped a great deal by him early in her macrobiotic practice and she continued to eat the Celtic Greg Seasalt out of loyalty to him.
David said that he was giving a talk at the Palm Springs Fall Health Classic a couple of years ago on diagnosis and during the course of the talk he pointed out a lady, who he didn't know, in the audience as an example of someone who had deep kidney stagnation, and he found out later she was a daughter of Jacques de Langre.
David said that Muramoto called him up one time and wanted to buy his seasalt in bulk, before grinding, and wanted to know what the bulk price is. When David told him it was 30 cents a pound, he laughed and said that was way too much. So David asked him how much he paid for his seasalt, and he said 2 cents a pound! So, Muramoto buys the cheapest seasalt he can get and the puts it through his process, which David says that is too much processing.
Then Kaare talked about the blue-green algae phenomena which is really a symptom of deep sickness. People who are attracted to it are too salty, too rigid, too yang in their macrobiotic practice, and on the other hand, their mentality is materialistic, mechanical, biochemical. Now, these people who are the purveyors of blue - green algae in the macrobiotic community got into this very early on, like 1985-86, and since it is a multi-level marketing scheme, they get a cut of every lot sold in their distribution network, which means they are raking in big bucks, 14,000 to 15,000 dollars a month. Now, anyone who is making that kind of money on any product, their judgment is very suspect when it comes to that particular item, it cannot possibly be objective.
However, in Kaare's view, the problem comes down to one of ethics. It is certainly possible within the realm of macrobiotic principles for a macrobiotic counselor to recommend blue -green algae to someone for a limited period of time. But if you are a macrobiotic counselor who is also selling the blue-green that you are recommending to a person, then that is definitely unethical, immoral and if done long enough, will compromise one's integrity as teacher and counselor. Even the doctors have figured that one out.
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Alexia Plass brought this up and her slant was that those of us who are living in cities can feel isolated in our communities. She wondered if there was a place to go to that was a macrobiotic community where we could live out our lives. We discussed this topic last year and we said then that it was up to the individual to find a community.
Sherry Peale said that she thought many of us have had the idea of how nice it would be if we could buy one or two hundred acres and set up a macrobiotic community. But as far as she knew nobody had actually done it. Kaare said that he saw an advertisement in 'Macrobiotics Today' where some people were looking for others to join them in starting a rural macrobiotic community.
David has purchased 80 acres on the west side of Arizona, right opposite the Zuni reservation, but he cannot do anything himself with it right now. It is fairly desolate, near a town called Witches Well, which has a bar and a cellular phone, generator and a well. He doesn't know of any rural macrobiotic community.
Kaare said that he does not think there has been one conference in the last five or six years when this topic has not been discussed. About three years ago the Gold Mine people, Carlos and Jean Richardson were really hot onto this, along with the Baileys. Also, the original vision for Mountain Ark was Bill Tims being promised some land near Fayetteville in Arkansas called Seven Springs. And he was going around the macrobiotic community in Boston asking if people wanted to join this community. Unfortunately, the deal with the land fell through.
Kaare said that the fact of the matter is that we really need to rethink what we mean by community. Whenever it has been brought up most people's idea of it has been the idea of an intentional community and he doesn't think they work unless they have a strong, visionary type leader with a particular mission. David said that an example of that who are supposedly practicing macrobiotics is the Elizabeth Claire Prophet community in Montana.
David said he had been thinking about this lately and he said it had to be decided what the community was based on. He said it was obviously not on macrobiotics because there is so much individual variation in macrobiotic practice. It has to be based on something that is more common and the only thing he could come up with is the land, so it has to be a from based community. That would be the basis for it and then you would be able to attract more people, and some guidelines could be set like natural healing. We discussed further and Kaare said that his feeling is that we are not ready for that yet.
The discussion continued with ideas about attracting more people to macrobiotics and we came to the usual conclusion that the best form of advertising is example and word of mouth dissemination.
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When to widen our dietary practice.
Kaare drew the stages of diseases on the board, stages 1-7. Then he said that we stay on the strict, narrow macrobiotic dietary practice until we have gone through the stages of disease in reverse in our own particular case. Thus, if we are in stage 4 when we start the dietary practice, then we stay strict until we have gone through stages 3-2-1. As a general rule, this takes as many months as we are old in years the day we start our macrobiotic practice. Thus, if we are forty years old, it takes forty months, if we are twenty five years old, it takes twenty five months, up to maximum of eighty four months. Then we have to widen our diet, because in that healing period we are making balance for all the years of unconscious, excessive and extreme eating habits, and by the time we get to the end of that period, we have made balance for all that. The ginger compresses are mandatory, on the abdomen, during this phase. Kaare calls this phase, 'transition', or 'apprenticeship'.
Here we learn and understand yin and yang, five transformation theory, diagnosis, cooking, how to eat with seasons, etc., etc, including deep self-reflection. Then, after that phase is what Kaare calls "Terra Incognita", the "unknown world". We have never been here before, everything is made new, exciting, interesting, wonderful, especially difficulties and problems.
If we stay on the rigid, strict diet beyond the time necessary, then we will get sick from being too rigid. We need to understand the principles of yin and yang etc., in order to be able to stay balanced in all conditions and under all circumstances. Among other aspects we need to learn how our body is, to learn to read its messages as to our condition.
So, how do we know when to start widening the diet. The key is that we have old stagnations, deep stagnations still in our body from eating beef, or eggs, french fries, chocolate, pizza etc., and we eat those things, then our body tells us, "hey, it's not time for that yet!" and we get diarrhea, nausea, headaches, fevers etc. However, if we have done the rigorous healing, doing ginger compresses, learning how to cook, going for walks, doing Do-in or Tai Chi, learning to think more clearly because doing the ginger compresses on the intestines helps us to think more clearly, since the forebrain corresponds to the lungs & large intestines. Then, having cleaned out the old intestinal stagnations, as well as rethinking our lives so that we get rid of all the conditionings we have received from the lousy educational system we have, and from lying politicians, and preachers who do not practice what they preach, having gotten rid of those stagnations; then when we have the pizza or ice cream then your body, nothing happens, no effect whatsoever. Our bodies simply metabolize and excrete the excess with no accumulations occurring.
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Order of Eating.
What is the best way to eat a macrobiotic meal? We start with the miso soup because it is salty and the warmth of the liquid plus the microorganisms and enzymes prepare the digestive tract for the rest of the meal.
Then, after the soup, we eat a mouthful of grain, as in the following illustration, we eat the side dishes from yang to yin:
1. Meat. 2. Eggs. 3. Seafood. 4. Beans. 5. Seaweed. 6. Root Vegetables. 7. Ground Vegetables. 8. Leafy Greens.
9. Pressed Salad. 10. Raw Foods.
Thus, we eat the first side dish according to the sequence and we complete it first, alternating mouthfuls of grain with mouthfuls of the side dish, before moving on to the next side dish, and we complete that before moving to the next one. We eat our pickles along with the grain. We time the meal so that the penultimate mouthful is the last of the grain and the last mouthful is that of the most yin side dish in that meal. Then, if we are having dessert, we eat it next, and then we have our beverage.
This is a general indication for having the digestion proceed harmoniously and smoothly. Also try to wait four to five hours between meals. Eating late at night is something to avoid, although this may take a few years of macrobiotic eating.
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We talked about mental disturbances and how they relate to the organs according to the Five Transformation Theory. Kaare also said that these troublesome mental states and emotional disturbances can be the result of the activities of what Michio Kushi in his book, "The Book of Do-In", called heavy, dense clouds of vibrations which hang around us, and these clouds of heavy spirits could be more aptly referred to as demons. In that book there is a special spiritual exercise called "Cutting Through Spiritual Delusions", and Kaare said this is very effective if you are feeling disturbed and weighed down with feelings and mental states that are heavy and frightening. This book is highly recommended.
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