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32nd Pacific Macrobiotic Conference,
March 21-24, 1996.
The 32nd Pacific Macrobiotic Conference was held in Phoenix, Arizona, in the elegant home of our gracious hostess Jo Dean. Thirty five people attended the conference over the course of the week-end and it was held in a spacious and comfortable house with a marvellous airy feeling and large kitchen. The weather was beautiful and the conference very interesting. We met on Thursday evening for the welcoming dinner, beautifully prepared and cooked by Grace Stanley and her helpers. After dinner we gathered to introduce ourselves and then set the agenda for Friday, as we also did after dinner on Friday for Saturday's agenda.
Friday March 22, 1996.
1. Levels of macrobiotic practice.
2. Yin and Yang- macrobiotic and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspectives.
3. Macrobiotic Diagnosis versus Traditional Chinese Medicine & Modern Medicine Diagnosis.
4. Relation of macrobiotics to exercise and fitness.
1. Facial Diagnosis.
2. Earth binding and Heaven opening foods/diet/process.
3. Kushi Macrobiotic Cuisine.
4. 9 Star Ki.
Saturday, March 23, 1996.
1. Healing Diet for Cancer.
2. Non-food products - macrobiotic style.
4. Ginger Compress.
1. Blue-Green Algae et al.
2. Shiatsu and macrobiotics.
3. Ideas for disseminating macrobiotics on the World Wide Web.
Levels of Macrobiotic Practice.
This topic was brought up by Iona Singleton who related how she felt she was somewhat of in a rut with regard to her practice and she has been doing her macrobiotic practice for about three to four years and she is interested in knowing what she needs to do in order to move forward. We then talked about how when we change our dietary habits to a macrobiotic practice it takes 10 days for the blood plasma to be renewed and 4 months for all the red blood cells to be renewed and 7 years for all the body cells to be renewed. At about half way through this process, approximately 3 years, is what is a 'watershed' moment in a person's experience of macrobiotics. Kaare Bursell related how his observations of people doing macrobiotics is that at around the three year point of their practice it appears people do one of two things. They either give it up or they experience a real shift in their macrobiotic experience where the focus is no longer merely the diet but macrobiotic practice moves into where it actually becomes a way of life, where one's whole being shifts toward working on oneself and looking at the world and one's experiences in the world as expressions of one's practice, not only in terms of diet but also in terms of yin-yang thinking, on an emotional experiential feeling level.
It was discussed how the exercise of studying yin and yang is fundamentally not graspable through the intellect alone; that in order to be able to fully begin to understand it one has to be able to get a feeling for it so that yin and yang are experienced as real tendencies of movement within the phenomenological world manifesting as mineral, vegetable, animal and human life. And that the gaining of the feeling for yin and yang is mainly achieved through learning how to cook macrobiotically, where the cooking is an expression of one's study of yin and yang, and the Five Transformation Theory.
There are seven levels of macrobiotic practice, and these are based on George Ohsawa's idea of their being seven levels of judgment, a concept which can be fruitfully applied to any human activity or experience:
Level One is Mechanical where we begin our practice really as an act of blind faith. Anybody starting out a macrobiotic practice is actually completely ignorant of what we are doing. We have been to a lecture, read a book or talked to someone and have decided to begin by getting a cookbook and start cooking and eating these foods. Of course, this is an act of blind faith because we do not know what we are doing but our body responds to our ingestion of whole grains and vegetables by initiating the healing of itself, and this happens on a subconscious level.
The second level is where our practice leads to a change in the quality of our sense organs, the getting attuned to the rhythms of the earth and cosmos, where the seasonal changes and the phases of the moon are events one pays attention to and make conscious responses to in terms of the way we eat and the way we conduct our day to day activities.
The third stage is emotional feeling and the practice here reaches the stage where the felt sense of being an integral aspect of the universe is one which affords us a stability and calmness of emotional life which is known on a level where it is non-intellectual and that our lives our not accidental or whimsical. One actually senses one's life has a specific meaning and purpose and is significant in the great scheme of life, from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic. These first three stages are largely unconscious in that what is going on in our bodies and the responding changes in our souls are largely happening unconsciously.
The fourth stage is intellectual and is one where people generally start to get to stuck. People need to realise the body changes as we go through our dietary practice and we need to understand the principles on which the dietary practice is based in order to make adjustments in our dietary habits as we change. These principles are yin and yang and the Five Transformation Theory and we also need to be practicing daily one of the forgotten fundamentals of macrobiotic practice, which is self-reflection. Self-reflection means asking ourselves two fundamental questions- what am I, and, what am I doing with my life? Doing a lot of soul searching is necessary if we are to make any progress at this stage of macrobiotic practice. This stage is very tough because it means we have to change our way of thinking which is to reflect on our thinking; that is, to think about our thinking. This is a lot more difficult to do than changing our way of eating, which is hard enough as it is! And unless we change our way of thinking, decondition ourselves from old habits and received ideas from our upbringing in family, church, mass media, school etc., then we cannot make any progress.
The next level of macrobiotic practice is the social level and this conference is a good example, where we gather together to share our experiences, insights, questions and concerns. Another aspect of the social level of macrobiotic practice is the distribution of the information to more people in our circle, in our community, whether it be at work or family or church or wherever. Macrobiotic theory and practice is a tremendous gift to humanity, and we have been fortunate to have received this gift and if we do not share and distribute what we have been given, then our progress stops. Of course, the distribution need not only be through fee-based services like counseling and classes or operating a center; we can do this in many ways such as buying books for friends and relatives, sharing our experiences with different social groups and hosting potlucks.
The next level is the religious-ideological is where it is necessary to have a religious spiritual path as part of a macrobiotic practice. Macrobiotic practice as such is neutral with regard to spiritual practices; it is perfectly feasible that a person can be a devout Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, or Pagan and still practice macrobiotics; there is nothing in macrobiotic philosophy that says you have to follow Shintoism or Taoism to practice macrobiotics. However, without an authentic spiritual practice it is doubtful that any macrobiotic practice is going to be helpful to anyone. And by virtue of being a human being one belongs to one of several spiritual streams that exist and it is very important to find out what spiritual stream each of us belongs to and then to practice it in daily life. Also moral qualities are very important to develop - truth-telling, honesty, conscience, forthrightness, doing good deeds. These are very significant and to illustrate their significance there is the case of George Ohsawa.
George Ohsawa is still the main teacher of macrobiotics and he developed a list of qualities he said a person had to have in order for them to be considered healthy, such as good appetite, good sleep, never being tired, always being on time, never complain, always grateful etc., etc., each of these he assigned points to for a total of one hundred. So you could use this list and see if you were healthy or not. This list remained unchanged for thirty years, and then Ohsawa changed it; he added one more attribute and assigned it 50 points, so even if you fulfilled the other 10, you still were not healthy because you only had 50 out of 100. This attribute to which he assigned 50 points is "Never lie to protect yourself", which is a moral quality.
As a part of the process we go through is the phenomenon of having emotional discharges which have to do with getting rid of old patterns of thought and feeling. David Jackson recommended a book which are very helpful in terms of beginning to learn how to think in terms of yin and yang, one of them is "Natural Healing through Macrobiotics" by Michio Kushi.
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Yin and Yang- macrobiotic andTraditional Chinese Medicine perspectives.
This topic came up out of an article in "Macrobiotics Today" by Don Matesz on this issue of yin and yang interpretation from the macrobiotic perspective and the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Are we to try to have one interpretation which everybody follows and so we are all on the same page or is there any positive, constructive reasons for having two different interpretations. Then followed a discussion on why George Ohsawa changed the traditional interpretation. It is because he felt the western mind is more materialistic and embedded in matter than the traditional oriental mindset. The quintessential interpretation of the philosophy of yin and yang is The I Ching , or "Book of Change" in which the active creative power of Heaven, being the 'generator of all things' is designated as being more yang, whereas the expression of the activity of heaven is therefore more yin, characterized as Earth. George Ohsawa said that is fine and there is nothing wrong with that, but from the perspective of a culture that is heavily embedded in matter and materialism, it makes more sense to say that for the human being walking on the solid, condensed physical body of the earth means the earth is more yang relative to the wide, flung out expanses of the space above our heads, which is therefore more yin. Thus, the macrobiotic expression and interpretation of yin and yang is geocentric, whereas that of traditional oriental thinking is metaphysical. So, it is not that one of them is right and the other is wrong; just don't get them mixed up. And there is nothing to prevent one from learning both; if a person is practicing macrobiotics then they will be best served learning the macrobiotic interpretation of yin and yang and, once having understood it, learn the traditional Chinese Medicine approach, if you want.
Kaare Bursell mentioned he had been talking to Carl Ferre up at the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation(GOMF) about this topic recently and Carl had told him he was talking to a man who had found a very old book on Chinese Medicine and the interpretation of yin and yang in it is the same as that of macrobiotics. This man says what is called Traditional Chinese Medicine's interpretation of yin and yang is actually a degeneration and the original Chinese interpretation of yin and yang is the one used in macrobiotics.. Carl says he is considering having this book republished by GOMF. Kaare has also been talking with a man who has been an acupuncturist for over twenty years who has been researching old, old treatises on Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) and he says that what is being written and practised today in TCM is complete garbage compared to what is in these old books.
The discussion went on to talk about practical examples of the differences in these interpretations such as TCM saying the kidney is a yin organ whereas macrobiotics says it is a yang organ; the only time a problem will come up is when people are uninformed of the different perspectives of the two approaches and when, in the usual retrogressive manner of this culture, insists one interpretation is correct and the other is wrong -usually it is stated the macrobiotic interpretation is wrong.
The other problem which is illustrated heavily in Don Matesz article is trying to compare TCM with Macrobiotics. This problem is people thinking that macrobiotics is a medicine, whereas it is nothing of the sort. Medicine today has the connotation that, whatever approach you happen to employ, that you go to some expert practitioner in order to get a diagnosis so that the practitioner will then give you a potion, herb, pill, powder or concoction of some sort that will treat your symptoms. Macrobiotics has nothing to with medicine, and although we can and do use food as medicine, this is light years away from being a medicine. All this talk and writing about macrobiotics being a medicine simply show that the people who write this way have a superficial understanding of macrobiotics.The whole problem is not to get into this calling macrobiotics worse than TCM and Don Matesz really had no reason to call us disrespectful and put down macrobiotics. If he, being a relative novice to macrobiotics, had had the gumption to talk to people who have been in macrobiotics a lot longer than him, and simply asked why is there this difference then it would have easily been cleared up.
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Macrobiotic Diagnosis versus Traditional Chinese Medicine & Modern Medicine Diagnosis.
This came up because Ze'v Rosenberg was heard speaking about this subject and belittling macrobiotics, by Iona Singleton, who brought up the topic. Ze'v Rosenberg has been in macrobiotic practice for a very long time and recently, over the past ten years or so, has gone into TCM and is the instructor in Chinese Herbs at an institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He feels macrobiotic methods of diagnosis are clumsy compared to TCM. Dorcas also heard him speak at the Fall Health Classic and her impression was he was pushing what he does, which is TCM diagnosis and prescription of a herb formula whereas macrobiotics is about giving us the tools to be able to heal ourselves using food and our own commitment, our own chewing and our attentiveness.
David says he thinks everybody has this fear and they want to know exactly what their problem is and to pinpoint how to treat it exactly. Macrobiotics is about healing ourselves and to heal means to make whole which means we have to take the approach of changing ourselves through our eating habits and our thinking and our emotions etc., etc. We are are relying on the body healing itself whereas TCM and Allopathic Medicine is about treating symptoms and any symptomatic treatment is going to have side effects and do not address the deeper issues which is the problems of the way a person is living their lives -eating, thinking, feeling and doing. In other words, macrobiotics, properly speaking, does not need to have any really specific pinpoint methods of diagnosis because we are not interested in treating a person's symptoms because a person's symptoms are symptoms of their way of living. Thus diagnosis is about general condition of the organs and the overall condition in terms of yin and yang and using that as a basis for the dietary recommendations and home remedies. And for this purpose, facial diagnosis is more than adequate, along with reading the voice and eyes and meridian diagnosis.
We then went on to discuss various common conditions and how we diagnose them macrobiotically and how we approach them from a macrobiotic standpoint. During this the question of antibiotics came up and we discussed how damaging antibiotics are to the liver, the intestines and the kidneys; so the problem of antibiotics is based on fear because the mentality is one of blaming the organisms for these diseases and they are not the causes of any diseases.
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Relation of macrobiotics to exercise and fitness.
Bruce Pond brought this topic up and talked about how the marathon community, in the men at least, are getting many cases of prostate cancer. The macrobiotic idea of exercise is simply to be active and busy and to get away from the idea of exercising for health because fitness and health are not synonymous. If a person likes to do some kind of exercise then it is fine if it is something a person does for fun and enjoyment, not because they are doing cardio-vascular strengthening etc., because several people have died of heart attacks while running and jogging. The idea in macrobiotic thinking is we eat according to our condition and lifestyle and if our lifestyle includes heavy, explosive exercise, like a professional basketball player, then we would eat differently than if we are an office worker. The experience of someone eating macrobiotically is to not really be attracted to heavy exercise because we are not overly yin which attracts one to the yang of exercise in the first place.
The need for doing exercise comes from the meat and sugar diet leading to the stagnation of the eliminative organs which then means we feel better getting rid of the excess through the exercise. As we clear up our eliminative organs then we get rid of excess normally and we do not feel the need the do this exercise. The best form of exercise is walking and if people want to do exercise then yoga, tai chi and light stretching exercises are fine.
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David Jackson opened this topic by saying we could not possibly cover all aspects of facial diagnosis and we realise that there are additional ways of diagnosis we use in macrobiotics including emotional and eye diagnosis, posture diagnosis and meridian diagnosis. This session was a synopsis of facial diagnosis given by David; this topic was brought up by Dorcas who has noticed that people's noses appear to be getting bigger and she was interested in going over this subject.
While David was drawing the face on which to show the topography of the organs on the face he was asked if he ever had the desire in the normal course of meeting someone to do facial diagnosis and tell them what organ problem they may have. David said the desire is there but he doesn't do it unless he knows the person fairly well. It was also asked how long it takes to develop the ability to do facial diagnosis. Kaare said facial diagnosis is an art so once you have learned the topography then it is a matter of practice, practice, practice and more practice- this we do by spending one week in our day to day rounds looking at the noses of everyone we see and meet; next week, upper lip; the following week the lower lip and so forth. Since it is an art it only by practicing it we get to be adept at it and then we begin to see a great deal. As we practice by looking at people's faces over time we get a feeling for what is normal and median in people's faces.
David recommended studying "Your face never lies" and "Book of Oriental Diagnosis -How to see your health" both by Michio Kushi; and the book "Healing Ourselves" by Naburo Muramoto.
The topography of the organs on the face are as follows, with the condition of the lungs being reflected in the cheeks, left cheek being left lung and right cheek being right lung. The area surrounding the mouth shows the condition of the sexual organs and when we see lines and pimples and moles and other blemishes in this area it indicates problems in the reproductive organs.
The mouth, being the entrance to the digestive tract shows the condition of the digestive organs with the upper lip reflecting the condition of the stomach and the lower lip the large intestine; the condition of the small intestine is shown on the inside of the lower lip. When the digestive functions are healthy and vital the vertical dimension of the upper and lower lips are approximately the same; this is a very unusual site these days- most people have lower lips that are enlarged relative to the upper lip, which means the large intestine is stagnated. David mentioned that people these days are injecting material into the lower lip, or sticking rings and such like in them, in order to make them enlarged and he thinks this means the condition of the large intestine in people who are doing this is really, really bad and they are doing these practices subconsciously in order to try to stimulate the large intestine, like having an intense acupuncture treatment. In the lower lip, the right side shows the condition of the ascending colon, the midregion the transverse colon and the left side the descending colon.
The tip of the nose shows the condition of the heart, with an expanded, swollen nose meaning the heart is swollen; the strawberry nose, where it is red and shiny indicates inflammation and circulatory stimulation usually through alcohol consumption; or there are scales or incrustations on the skin indicating animal protein, oils and fats are being discharged from excessive build up of those substances in the heart.
When there is swelling this means the organ in question is overly expanded from too much yin like excess liquid, sweets, fats, oils and if there is tightening and overly dense areas then this is from animal protein, too much salt, and dry foods.
The area of the forehead show digestive condition; the double chin can be from kidney stagnation or from prolapsed large intestines.
Skin texture as a whole shows the condition of the lungs as the skin is really a secondary breathing organ; also we need to get know different colorations on the skin and what they mean like redness and black and brown and blue and grey; this is done by getting the aforementioned books and studying and then looking at people. Of course the best person to practice on is yourself; when we start practicing macrobiotics we can look at ourselves in the mirror everyday and watch how our face changes and the skin texture improves; it is also very helpful to take a photograph when we start our practice and then take another one a year later and then a year later after that; this is very instructive.
Also any kind of skin discharge anywhere on the body always the excretory organs are stressed, stagnated and overly stressed - the lungs, kidneys and large intestine.
It was asked whether the facial diagnosis done macrobiotically could be confirmed by allopathic medicine or by TCM. TCM could easily confirm what facial diagnosis gives us, but allopathic medicine's methods of diagnosis are so crude that it is only when an organ is in serious trouble that it is capable of making a diagnosis and in many of those instances a wrong diagnosis is made. Of the many problems that lames modern medicine from having any beneficial consequences for the human being is that it has developed as a medicine of crisis; modern medicine only gets to work "after the horse as left the barn and the barn is burning down" as Kaare put. The problem is that people in today's world do not know that the body puts out many warning signs that an organ is getting into trouble way ahead of getting into the crisis stage; this is why facial diagnosis is so significant because it is an easily learned tool that requires no special expertise or training other than sound reasoning and attentiveness to acquire and it is very accurate.
The problem with comparing macrobiotic facial diagnosis with TCM diagnosis is that the two do not have the same ends in mind. In macrobiotics we are not interested in the least in treating a person's symptoms; the reason for doing facial diagnosis is to get a general idea of the condition of a person in terms of yin and yang and to recognize which organs are belaboring the most. Thus, when dietary recommendations are given, they can be modified so that emphasis is put on the foods which are helpful for a particular organ or organs, as well as giving advice as to which home remedies to use. So, macrobiotic practice, properly understood, is pre-medicine. All the medicines that have been developed by humankind over the course of history are those which have developed after the knowledge and wisdom of "food as medicine" had been forgotten, including TCM. So, macrobiotics deals with the underlying cause of the symptomology whereas all medicines treat the symptoms and in most cases do not even know of the condition of an organ underlying the symptoms or what causes it. Therefore it is misleading and shows a lack of understanding of macrobiotics to even contemplate comparing it on a par with TCM or acupuncture etc.,etc.
We then had three people come up from the group who volunteered to have themselves diagnosed based on what we had discussed in order to give flesh and blood vividness to the knowledge imparted to us. People always love doing this!
A fundamental tenet of macrobiotic practice is the body is always healing itself and symptoms of discharge like headaches, fevers, sore throats, coughing, sneezing etc. as well as skin discharges mean the body is healing itself.
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Earth binding and Heaven opening foods/diet/process.
Dorcas Gerace introduced this topic by saying she knows from her experience how changing her eating habits from the "meat and sugar" diet to the macrobiotic diet has changed her perceptions in that the macrobiotic diet is made up of what she termed "light-filled" foods and that eating these on a regular basis has opened her up to a more subtle and deeper awareness of Nature and the "heavens". And that the normal American diet of the heavy, gross animal saturated fats like beef and pork and bacon etc., keeps us from having a light filled spirit. So the question is how can we maintain the body to have the best quality blood and dynamic spiritual activity.
How could it be described so that this body, the temple of the spirit, can be maintained in full, vital health until we die and when it is time for us to die, our passage on entering fully into the spiritual realms is cohesive?
Kaare entered into attempting to answer this question by taking the usual well-known "Spectrum of Human Foods according to yin and yang" and placing it vertically on the board so that the yin aspect of the spectrum was up and the yang aspect was down; he the placed in juxtaposition to this the column of the seven chakras, as follows:
YIN AND YANG
ROOT or SEX
Generally speaking this juxtaposition illustrates that if we eat a diet based on the Meat Group as our staple food then our consciousness, perceptions, attitudes, motivations are dragged down into the material world and we look at the world from a lowered state of consciousness, enslaved to matter. If we eat a diet which is based on dairy and fruit as the staple foods then we tend to have a very spiritual consciousness, but because this is not balanced or centered we tend to have illusory perceptions and fantastical, hallucinatory and fragmentary concepts about the spiritual worlds. This is readily seen in the spaced out, "wu-wu" ideas and concepts which we find so prevalent in the New Age these days.
Of course, since yin attracts yang and yang attracts yin no one can eat a meat based diet without eating sugar, dairy, fruit or alcohol and no one can eat dairy and fruit without eating salt or fish so the tendency toward being overly "wu-wu" or enslaved to matter depends on a person's constitution and condition. If we look at the history of humanity we will find it is afflicted by this "world-schizophrenia" of those who say the world is nothing but matter and are entirely contemptuous of anything smacking of the spiritual, being actively hostile to it, and those who think that matter is nothing but "maya" and are entirely contemptuous of it also. However, it is not without reason the creative spirits who engendered the world gave us a physical body and at the same time told us how to take care of it so we could maintain a balanced relationship to both spirit and matter; that is, they instructed us that grains and vegetables is the proper diet for humanity. Our task is find the spirit in matter and work creatively on the world so as to become active in the making of it's future.
What has happened for the past four hundred years is the gradual replacement of the whole grains and vegetables as the central food of humanity by meat and sugar; this as entailed as a consequence the separation of humanity from the rhythms of the earth and the cosmos so that we have become disenfranchised from our heritage and have lost our center. Eating the whole grains and vegetables means we have a direct relationship with the earth even if we are not growing the food ourselves and this means we become centered and begin again to consciously relate to the rhythms of the seasons and the moon and become grounded in reality.
Al Lewis asked where does this self-centeredness and greed which is endemic in our culture come from and Kaare said he thinks it is because the disenfranchising of humanity from the rhythms of nature and the cosmos has made humanity an infidelistic culture; a culture with no faith and this in turn has lead to a culture in which meaninglessness and insecurity are its hallmarks. Now, when people's lives have no meaning and they are also insecure, we subconsciously do all we can to shore up our insecurities and today we do this with ownership of property, life-long tenure, pension funds, retirement plans, acquisition of wealth and goods and we do this at the expense of our fellow men and women. It's every man and woman for him or herself and the devil take the hindmost.
We then went into a long discussion of protein needs and discussed how beans are not necessary to eat from the point of view of having to get all the essential amino acids because we get them from vegetables and to stay away from tofu as a daily food because it is highly refined, is high in fat and too rich in protein. This lead to a discussion of the scientific gobbledegook (as it was said, if ever there is a voodoo science, modern medicine is a strong candidate) that we are being bombarded with more and more every week with regard to nutrition and health, where they contradict themselves every other week and how modern medical science not only doesn't know anything, it can't know anything, because its approach is fragmentary, discontextual, superficial and mechanical.
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Kushi Macrobiotic Cuisine.
David Jackson opened this topic by passing around some samples of the packaging of the food products being put out in the "natural foods market" under the brand name Kushi Macrobiotic Cuisine. He read some of the by-line on the package -'with Kushi Cuisine you are not only getting naturally delicious easy-to-prepare food, you are also getting a healthy bit of philosophy. Michio Kushi, world-renowned father of the Standard Macrobiotic Diet, believes with the right food you can achieve harmony with nature and in life. The term macrobiotic means long life. Today, the kitchens of Michio Kushi, under the watchful eye of Michio Kushi himself, have created a small miracle - natural foods that actually taste good(David interjected here, as if natural foods don't taste good!). In short, perfect replacements for imperfect foods(this is the corporate slogan)."
Dorcas said, read it and weep. David gave a short history about Kushi Macrobiotic Corporation which started about a year ago (and we discussed it at the last PMC in Oakland) and has been through some changes but has raised approximately 8.00 million dollars after it went public on NASDAQ. David discussed how the salt he distributes is very high quality and he was talking to Nori Kushi who said they were going to put out a very high quality product and they wanted to use David's seasalt in the products and his is about ten times more expensive than regular seasalt. So, David is at the Natural Foods Expo in Anaheim in March(the week before this PMC) and Kushi Macrobiotic Corporation has a booth there for Kushi Macrobiotic Cuisine and he tasted the food and he says natural foods taste a whole lot better than this stuff. Then he is talking to people there and he finds the Kushi Macrobiotic Corps is taking other people's products and using them to make their product. The gomasio they use is Eden Sesame Shake with their label on it; the noodles they use come from Soba-Ya who make good quality noodles- in other words they are taking other company's product and repackaging and selling them under the name Kushi Macrobiotic Cuisine.
So, David asks where is the quality and David saw Michio at the Expo and took him aside and asked him "what happened to the quality" because it says on the package 'under the watchful eye of Michio Kushi' and Michio says to David "I don't know, it is a corporate decision and I just put my name to it." David replied that this is all misrepresentation on the package and Michio should be careful about with whom he has dealings! The man who was the CEO of the Kushi Macrobiotic Corporation was found to be a liar and misrepresented the company and one week ago the whole staff was thrown out and new staff brought in. It turns out that someone came to Michio and said we want to start a natural foods business and we would like to use your name and Michio said okay and gave them a few guidelines which were never followed and of course, he gets a cut of the action.
The company has also brought out a Kushi Macrobiotic Corporation of The Standard Macrobiotic Dietary Recommendations booklet as their own edition of the one done originally by Bill Spear and published under Michio and Aveline Kushi's name. In the back of the Kushi Macrobiotic Corporation edition where there is a week's menu plan it has recommendations to eat their product instead of cooking your own for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is seriously misrepresenting macrobiotics.
David says he thinks that although he believes this product is a little bit better than a lot of the natural foods fast food products that are in the marketplace it is still not macrobiotics and these products are nowhere near what people should be eating if they want to heal. David says the product is priced too high and he thinks the products may do well initially but they will price themselves out of business and we will keep an eye on them over the next year and see what happens.
The general consensus is that this is compromising and it will lead to confusion. The discussion lead to discussing moral issues around macrobiotic practice and integrity and that we reap what we sow. Some people thought the product would be fine for people if they are travelling or backpacking etc., but it should not be eaten on a regular basis at home and that it is definitely not macrobiotic quality. Also some people said it represents a very sad episode in macrobiotic history and in the long run it doesn't matter because Michio obviously cannot help himself and we need to not worry about what he is doing and keep on developing macrobiotics so that we get away from this disease approach and take it to the level where we need to instruct people that if they want to heal we need to change our lives using the food as a tool. Kaare said he has for a long time been a critic of Kushi's behavior with regard to macrobiotic philosophy and practices and this is just another episode which shows he simply does not really understand macrobiotic philosophy. If Michio had come right out and said this is a money making scheme to help me fund the Kushi Institute, then at least this would have been honest.
Then we had a long discussion about how to spread macrobiotics and we all know from personal experience that this is a very difficult task because the general sensibility is that there is far less openness toward macrobiotics than there was even ten years ago. Basically this Kushi Cuisine is pseudo-macrobiotics and is really no better than eating blue-green algae or any other packaged junk food. It won't bring about any change in people because it is designed to fit in with their lifestyles. The idea behind Kushi Cuisine is conning people into thinking they are helping themselves and doing macrobiotics without having to think or cook and is simply another snow job.
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9 Star Ki.
This topic is to address applying Nine Star Ki to 1996. It is a system of cosmological knowledge and is a compilation of what are called the 12 Heavenly Forces and the 10 Earthly forces and David refers to it as Oriental Astrology. It follows the Five Transformation Theory to some degree. Essentially David gave a a brief presentation on how it is derived and it the best way to indicate to readers of this report what was discussed is to get the book "Oriental Astrology" by Michio Kushi and study it. 1996 is a 4 year which is a time of new beginning and it is also The Year of The Rat, physically and socially it is a time of 'choosing new seeds'.
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Saturday, March 23, 1996.
Healing Diet for Cancer.
We talked about specifically a diet that has to do with female organ cancer especially in reference to eating soy-based products; we started off with a review of the basic dietary recommendations in terms of the percentages of the different foods; we do not think the idea of weighing the food is a great idea; the notion of weighing the food is really going to get people all bent out of shape - it is better to just get a general idea of the amount of cooked food by volume. Of course, recommendations vary according to the climate and season and the individual but in general grains are 40-50%. Of the whole grains perhaps 5% are broken grains like good quality bread, noodles, rolled oats etc. Sea vegetables on a regular basis, around one sheet of nori a day or its equivalent of kombu and wakame. Beans we did not recommend, especially in the beginning, because protein is a growth force and so it is better to stay away from excess protein and we are getting more than enough in the grains and vegetables. If beans are recommended, then they are only aduki beans to begin with and only 2-3 times a week.
Liquid intake is very important to restrict from what is the normal intake. The general recommendations are three to five 8 ozs of fluid a day including the one bowl of miso soup a day. David said he thinks excess liquid is one of the major causes of depression along with simple sugar intake. Most people are waterlogged, retaining too much liquid. This culture abuses liquid intake because of animal protein and refined sugar intake. Also oils and fats in cooking is kept to a minimum and in some cases is not recommended at all.
Miso soup only once a day and about one cup, and no more than 1 teaspoon a day. As far as vegetables go then we recommend items from the root group, ground vegetable and leafy greens, especially the latter - at least two servings a day.
Of course, it should be noted that we do not mean that there is anything in the macrobiotic diet that has any healing properties at all, because there is no such substance. What we are doing with the macrobiotic diet is getting rid of all those foods that are causing the body to become toxic, stagnated and stressed and eating foods that support the body in healing itself.
Also it is important to not eat soy milk, rice milk and amasake. These are very yin substances and also not to use tamari on the food and to use gomasio(1-4 tsps a day) every day (about 1-16 to 1-20 as the ratio of seasalt to sesame seeds). It is important to have small quantities a couple of times a day of pickles like the daikon pickles and sauerkraut. Vitamins and Herbs are not recommended at all- macrobiotic practice is about allowing and supporting our bodies healing forces and giving them the work they need to do in order to strengthen themselves. Vitamins actively weaken the healing forces and herbs are too extreme and should only be used sparingly and for short periods of time in cases where people are in need of a subtle boost to their organs .
As far as cooking styles and we actively recommend not using electricity for cooking; so if people are all-electric then it is a good idea to get a gas top with three or four burners you can get at outdoor type places. You can use butane canister stoves placed on the electric stove for cooking indoors. Avoid at all costs using microwave cooking. Fruits are a weak food so they are avoided entirely to begin with, for the first year at least.
Addressing the question of estrogen and female organ cancers from the perspective of yin and yang. If a woman has a cancer of the female organs then, because cancerous diseases as a whole are from more extreme yin causes then, in the question of estrogen we have to ask ourselves whether estrogen is more yin or more yang than progesterone. Well, it is more yin. Therefore, it is not surprising to find in the case of women with female organ cancers that they have higher concentrations or amounts of estrogen in their blood than is normal. This is coincidental with the cancer. However, it does not follow that estrogen is causative of female organ cancers or that these cancers are estrogen driven. So, in terms of soy bean based products we have to know which ones are more yin and which ones are more yang; the old (1 1/2 yrs or older fermented misos) and tamari or soy sauce are more yang than tofu, tempeh and soy milk. Therefore we avoid the latter and consume the former if we have cancer. So, what is done in conventional voodoo modern medicine is women are told to take tomoxofin, which is supposedly an estrogen blocker. Well, tomoxofin is even more yin than estrogen; so it doesn't make an iota of difference-and when these women come for counseling who have been taking tomoxofin we find their cancer has come back, or it's gotten worse or it hasn't gone away.
The fact of the matter is the idea of a carcinogen is nonsense- there is no such thing because is any disease is the response of the body to a lifetime of imbalanced eating, emotional stagnation, lousy attitudes, limited world view, mechanical and materialistic thinking, moral turpitude just to name a few factors.
Now, the Kushi Institute is recommending women with female organ cancers to take tempeh, tofu and natto to get natural estrogen. It was asked why the Kushi Institute is saying this- because the bodies of these women store the excess estrogen in the various female organs where it feeds the cancer and this estrogen has to be replaced with natural estrogen. This logic is regarded here as tortuous and wrong-headed. What we are doing when we go on a macrobiotic diet is to aid the body in healing itself and part of the healing process is the restoration and revitalization of the organs and tissues of the body, thus leading to the individual woman restoring her body's capacity to make estrogen which is unique to her; so, if you are taking a food substance that has so-called 'natural estrogen' in order to replace the so-called 'bad estrogen' you are not giving the woman's body a chance to do so. So, it is a disservice to say this. Of course, the same argument applies to progesterone replacement therapy.
We were asking earlier why in macrobiotic circles at large is there the need to even bring in all this scientific mumbo jumbo? It is because these people do not understand the fundamentals of macrobiotic practice and as a result of being so lacking in their understanding, they are insecure in their understanding. It is only when people are insecure in their understanding that all this scientific mumbo jumbo, which is buzzing around us everyday, gets to become compelling. Everyday in the paper we are being assaulted with material on vitamin C or estrogen or aspirin or cholesterol or whatever or this or that gene and on and on and on. And you read this stuff and it is total and utter gobbledegook and you get the impression that even the scientists don't know what they are writing. And every week there is some study that contradicts an earlier study.
There was a story in US News and World Report this month on the history of the 25 years since the American Government declared War on Cancer. In the case of every cancer known to humanity, the incidence of cancer has increased dramatically and the mortality rates have increased and people are getting it at a younger age than they did 25 years ago. This is in the same time frame that over 25 billion dollars have been spent on cancer research; you know, you'd think that by now people would realise there are serious flaws in the whole scientific approach to disease and quit wasting their time and effort on what is a completely useless and utterly futile quest - to find a cure for cancer. The fact is, modern medical science has been flying blind for four hundred years and is the single most significant retrogressive influence to any resolution of the problem of cancer, or any other disease and all the manifold problems related to disease.
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Non-food products - macrobiotic style.
This topic was about what products we use which could be considered macrobiotic quality like sunscreens, shampoos, soaps etc. We do not use deodorants or perfumes or creams or makeup on the body. We try and use natural products as much as possible which are environmental clean and ecologically sound. Again it depends on our condition but we obviously avoid dyes and colorings and artificial preservatives. We discussed avoiding using magnets and such-like and hair dyes and sunscreens and why. The whole idea of why we are doing a macrobiotic practice in the first place is to get rid of all extraneous non-essential items. Among other benefits, we save so much money!
The discussion evolved into bringing children up macrobiotically and the essential point here was to be flexible and teach the children the value of macrobiotic eating, grains and vegetables and also not to be overly stringent and fanatical about them eating strictly. Children are very dynamic and are growing rapidly and they need more wide range eating than people who are sick and attempting to heal themselves. Many macrobiotic parents are way too strict with their children and this is not healthy.
We also talked about the importance of wearing natural fibre clothing and bedclothes because synthetic materials block the flow of chi around and in the body and if we are in the healing mode of our practice these synthetic materials actually prevent the body from discharging toxins. We also discussed the question of the toxic buildings in which we live and work and the toxicity of many of the materials which are used in modern construction.
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This topic was introduced by Bill Neall who wanted to have this condition clarified and we asked if any women in the group had experienced menopause before they had started macrobiotics and any who had experienced menopause after they had started macrobiotics to give us their experiences so we could compare what, if any, were the differences of experience. Dorcas Gerace said she had amenorrhea when she was 14 and she was given large doses of estrogen and then when she went off the estrogen she didn't have a regular period - like it would go 3 months, or six months or a year between menses - until she was 38 yrs old and at that time she had started working with her diet and it began cycling every 28 days. She was on macrobiotics when she started menopause she began having exudations and hair and nail loss and she found out she had no thyroid function and is now on 1 grain thyroid replacement a day. She tried the wild yam and her legs went weak after two weeks and she doesn't do it, after trying it again later with her legs getting weaker even faster. So she thinks her problems were set up by the earlier intake of large doses of estrogen. Another lady said she started menopause after macrobiotics and had no symptoms at all of PMS.
Another issue that came up was the research of Dr. Lee who had found that it is progesterone that is lacking and, as we mentioned earlier, progesterone is more yang than estrogen, and being more yang it is responsible for making the bones more dense, whereas estrogen, being more yin, makes the bones more light and 'airy' in density. More research was done and the Mexican Wild Yam was investigated and it was found that women taking it increased bone density to normal.
In terms of yin and yang the explanation is that when our blood and tissue fluids become overly yin, then, order to make balance for its overly yin condition, minerals, being more yang, are attracted out of, that is, leached from the bones, muscles and ligaments. Then, when balance has been restored, if there is an excess of minerals in the blood, some go back into the bones and muscles and some are lost to excretion via urine and bowel movement. Thus, if the blood and tissue fluids are continually being made more yin through eating sugar, fruits, refined flour products, nightshades like tomato, potato, green pepper and also spices etc., etc. more minerals are being lost than are going back into the bones and loss of bone density is the result-osteoporosis.
Now, one of the major reasons why women have more longevity and stamina and endurance than men is the menses, because every month the flow of blood gets rid of excess yin in the blood, perhaps not all of it, but is getting rid of some(and of course, heavy blood flow at the time of menses is a more yin characteristic than less blood flow). When menopause occurs, then the monthly overflow of blood ceases and so the blood tends to be more yin than it was prior to menopause (in women not eating macrobiotically) and thus bone loss is accelerated after menopause.
Interestingly enough, the Medical Association of Osteoporosis had a meeting in San Rafael in Northern California about three of four years ago and said they do not know what the cause of osteoporosis is; then, about a year ago it was reported in the Bay Area that the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) had done a study which said the problem osteoporosis is a problem linked with animal protein intake. Now, in terms of yin and yang, when we are talking about nutrients, protein is more yin than complex carbohydrates. So that fits with our scenario here. Although, probably more to the point is eating beef, eggs, butter, cheese (overall more yang) etc makes us want to eat sugar, fruit, drink alcohol and sodas and excess liquid generally(overall more yin).
Also, it must be emphasised that osteoporosis is NOT a problem of calcium deficiency. A study was conducted recently by Cornell University in conjunction with the People's Republic of China where they took data from all the provinces of China of stool, urine and blood samples and dietary intake of selected individuals. There is no osteoporosis in China and they do not drink milk or eat dairy food. Thus, the marketing program of the Milk Marketing Board to induce us to drink milk to strengthen our bones and muscles is false advertising because drinking milk actually has the effect of weakening the bones and muscles.
The macrobiotic approach is obviously to do the macrobiotic diet and also to do the ginger compresses and to do the daikon baths. In all developed countries the problem of female organ stagnation and toxicity - of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and breasts is endemic - is endemic; and not only physical stagnation, but also related emotional and psychological stagnation. Thus, from a macrobiotic perspective, the daikon baths are absolutely essential in the beginning of any woman's macrobiotic practice. Also the thyroid in women is directly related to the condition of the ovaries; thus any thyroid condition in women means the ovaries are stagnated and toxic. Also in terms of women, the liver meridian runs right through the uterus so liver condition is tied in with the condition of the uterus, which is why at menses and at menopause women get the moodiness and irritability and become emotionally upset. (Toxic, stagnated liver means we are subject to irritability, frustration, impatience and anger).
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In this session we had a demonstration of the ginger compress by David Jackson.
I gallon container(thick sides) of boiled water.
1/4 cup freshly grated unpeeled ginger root(does not have to be organic) in a cloth bag.
2 cotton towels, or cotton diapers folded to cover the abdomen from the sternum to the pelvic bone and from one hip to the other.
1 dry towel.
2 wooden bowls about 10 inches diameter.
The bag of ginger is squeezed to get the ginger juice into the pot of boiled water(do not boil the ginger), right after you have boiled the water, and then the bag of ginger is placed in the hot water.
David's method is different from those in the books where he has two of the wooden bowls you can buy at oriental stores, the bowls being the ones made of interwoven strips of wood. These are about 8-10 inches in diameter. What you do is place one of the folded towels between these bowls and immerse it in the ginger water so that the towel gets heated and because you are holding the towel between the bowls you do not have to put your hands in the water.
Then you put the other dry towel try against the skin of the abdomen, and, after immersing the two bowls with the other towel place between them in the hot ginger water, you lift the bowls out of the water, and squeeze them firmly together to squeeze the excess ginger water from out of the towel. Then you take one bowl off the top of the ginger towel and place it underneath the other bowel, and place the hot ginger towel on top of the dry towel on the skin of the abdomen(you are doing the compress lying back against some pillows against a couch or wall).Then you cover that towel with another dry bath towel, also folded.
The heat and ginger chi penetrates through the dry towel into the abdomen, and you can feel your skin heating up. After a few minutes, as you feel the heat cooling down, you take off the top covering towel, and flip over the two towels on the abdomen so that the towel that has been recently soaked in the ginger water is now directly on the skin. You then place the one that was originally on the skin between the two bowls, while covering the one on your abdomen with the dry towel. You then immerse the two bowls with the towel inserted between them in the hot ginger water, take them out, squeeze the excess liquid out, and lifting off the covering towel, place the hot ginger towel on top of the one still on the skin, and cover them both with the covering towel. Then, once you feel the towel against the skin cooling off, you flip the towels over so that the recently heated towel is directly on the skin and proceed to take the top towel and place it between the two bowls, having placed the covering towel on top of the ginger towel on the abdomen, and immerse the bowls in the hot ginger water, etc. You go through this procedure for half an hour. If you have a gallon pot with thick sides, then the ginger water should easily retain enough heat for half an hour.
This method ensures that you have constant heat on the skin throughout the course of the half hour treatment.
Activity of the Ginger Compress.
The ginger compress works because of the etheric or 'chi' activities of the heat and the ginger root. From the perspective of yin-yang theory, the ginger root has strong yang activity by virtue of its "rootness". This more yang activity means the etheric activity of the ginger has a strong, downward penetrating movement. When you grate the ginger you will notice how the aroma of ginger powerfully fills the room, attesting to a strong dispersing, expansive movement of chi. The reason for this is the ginger root grows sideways, meaning it is more influenced by yin activity than, say a burdock or carrot root, and this yin dispersing activity is further enhanced by finely grating the ginger. The feeling is that by making the compress in this way, laying the towel soaked in this etheric activity, thereby harnessing it, on the abdomen while lying on our back, the towel focuses these etheric forces on the abdominal cavity in which the intestines lie, and they penetrate into the tissues by means of the root activity and break up the mucus stagnations encountered in the tissues by means of the strong dispersive activity. Furthermore, the etheric forces of the ginger stimulate the etheric, formative forces of the intestines, thus stimulating their proper activity.
The heat activity of the compress stimulates the blood and tissue circulation in the area being treated which then facilitates the bearing of the dispersed toxins away to be excreted.
The combination of these three etheric or 'chi' activities means the tissues of the walls of the intestine begin to receive clean, revitalized blood (if we have also changed our way of eating, and it has to emphasised the ginger compress is a waste of time if we do not) for the first time in years and decades, and they become revitalized, leading to regeneration of the tissues and restoration of their proper, harmonious function.
The Daikon Hip Bath was also discussed because it is also essential for women to do along with the Ginger Compresses. In this case, women do two ginger compresses and two daikon baths a week for sixteen weeks or 32 daikon baths and 32 ginger compresses.
The dried daikon leaves can be obtained by purchasing them through the mail from Razel Plemmons at Box 895, Arbuckle, CA 95912 for $6.50 a bag. Or, if this proves too much for your pocketbook, you may try to obtain the leaves (also dandelion or turnip greens may substitute for daikon leaves, or arame[in the case of arame about a handful]) from a grocery store that sells daikon. If the daikon are obtained by the store with their leaves attached, they normally cut the leaves off and throw them away. Ask the grocery store manager if this is the case. If it is, then ask to have them save you a bag of leaves-maybe they will charge a nominal sum to do this for you. Then take the leaves home and string them up over a piece of string in your garage or attic or whatever, and let them dry (they must dry in a place away from direct sunlight). They are ready when they are brittle.
Take 4-5 bunches ( a bunch is the leaves which are attached to one root) of the dried leaves or half a packet and place in half a gallon of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 1/2 hour. Add one handful of any kind of seasalt and stir in thoroughly. Meanwhile run a hot bath until the water level is up to your hip bones when sitting in the bath. Pour the daikon water into the bath through a colander or sieve (discard the cooked daikon leaves). Get in the bath, sitting up in it, and cover your head and shoulders with a dry bath towel. It is also possible to lie in the daikon bath water up to your neck if you so choose. Remain in the bath, with the water as hot as you can comfortably stand it, for ten-fifteen-twenty minutes. Get out of the bath, dry yourself off, don nightclothes and a dressing gown and a scarf on your head(and socks on your feet)-the idea is to get well covered to keep the heat in, and go straight to bed (the daikon hip bath should always be done at night before retiring). Do not shower until the morning.
How and why does the daikon hip bath work? In order to answer these questions it is first necessary to recognise that the hip bath functions spiritually, and we employ the theory of yin and yang to understand this. In essence, yin activity is that which moves upward and outward effecting the functions of dissipation, dissolution, separation and dispersion; in contrast, yang activity acts downward and inward effecting the functions of gathering, assimilation, organization and fusion.
Thus, when we observe the daikon leave as it grows, and the form it assumes at maturation, we can readily recognise that it is mainly under the influence of more yin energy, since it grows upward and outward from the seed. Thus it has the effect on the body of effecting dispersion and dissolution.
In addition, because the leaves are allowed to dry in a place not accessible to direct sunlight, as they dry they contract and become brittle, showing that the drying process is more under the influence of yang energy.
The combination of these two forces, in the sequence that they unfold in the process of preparing the dried daikon leaves means that when we cook the leaves in water, the daikon water becomes the bearer of them. Therefore, when sitting in the bath, these two forces act on the body in the same way they unfolded in the preparation of the dried daikon leaves.
In effect then, the taking of the bath means that the dispersing, separating yin activity is working first. So, what is it working on in the body? Remembering that yin is attracted to yang, the dispersing activity works on any stagnated, fatty, mucous deposits lodged anywhere in the body to break them up and dissolve them. In rapid sequence after this dispersing activity there follows the pulling inward and downward of the lesser yang activity brought about by drying the leaves.
Since one is sitting in the bath with the water up to the level of the hips, the main focus of the action is in the pelvic area, so it acts mainly on the lower digestive tract and the uterus, bladder (therefore also on the kidneys because of the kidneys/bladder pairing), ovaries, fallopian tubes etc. If you choose to lie down in the bath, then the activity is more evenly distributed over the whole body.
Furthermore we have to account for the effect of the heat of the hot water in the bath (the hotter we can stand the bath the more effective it is), which is to stimulate the blood and tissue fluid circulation throughout the body, which acts to help move the dissolved fats and toxins (stagnated fatty deposits contain toxins, i.e., chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides etc.) toward the eliminative organs - kidneys, liver, lungs, large intestines and skin. In the case of the latter, at some point after we begin taking the baths one begins to sweat profusely. It is suggested that the baths are taken two or four times a week for sixteen to thirty two weeks, avoiding doing them during menstruation, for a total of sixty four baths.
The daikon hip bath is recommended for any of the following conditions -
Any irregularities with the female cycle.
Vaginal irritation and discharge.
Fibroid Growths in the uterus.
Bladder and Kidney irritation and infections.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes.
Any skin blemishes, especially around the mouth and chin and between the lips and the nose.
There are many other benefits of the hip bath, such as cleansing of the skin all over the body, including the face, melting of fatty deposits around the hips and thighs, (therefore it is very helpful for weight loss). Note that this treatment can only be done by women and that the effectiveness of the treatment is only possible in conjunction with a macrobiotic dietary regimen.
Initially, for the first few weeks or so, the effect of doing the baths maybe such that you feel very drained the next day. So, it is wise when you are first doing them to avoid any activity at all the following day other than staying at home, reading, cooking and generally relaxing. Furthermore it is as well to realise that profuse vaginal discharge may occur, signalling a lot of toxins are being eliminated from the uterus etc. Hot flashes are extreme yin being burnt off and they are therefore the result of excess yin, especially in the liver. So, hot flashes may occur during the healing process.
As far as estrogen goes after menopause, there are sources for estrogen production after menopause, when the ovaries have dried up; these are the liver and the adrenals. Also it is morally necessary to know that Primarin, the estrogen replacement medication, is harvested by a method of factory farming where mares are kept tied up in small stalls, gotten pregnant and then the foetuses aborted artificially and the urine of the mares is collected from which the mare's estrogen is extracted and sold as Primarin.
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Blue-Green Algae et al.
We first asked how many people present are taking blue-green algae, melatonine, shark's cartilage, kombucha, colloidal silver etc. Only one person was taking one of these, blue-green algae. We discussed all these and said that none of them are necessary if we are eating macrobiotically and have done ginger compresses and/or daikon baths and furthermore are actually detrimental in the long run. Basically, any product which is touted as a panacea for everything from vaginal warts to dandruff is to be treated with extreme caution. These are supplements and like all supplements they are touted as being necessary because the soil does not have any nutrients in the soil and no matter what our food source is, it will be nutrient poor. Well, we know many people who have healed themselves of every condition under the sun with just using a macrobiotic diet along with the compresses etc.
The fact of the matter is that no biochemistry goes on in the human organism. In other words, you can take all the laws of physics and chemistry and no matter how long you try you could not, by means of them, justify the existence of the human physical organism. There is no possible way, then, that the human(plant or animal) organism can be produced through using the laws of physics and chemistry, because the laws of physics and chemistry only apply to the material world of minerals, rocks and soil. However, because we are a culture which is enslaved to and by matter and out of that have developed a very sophisticated, advanced technology; and because we have a vast population of men and women who make their living experimenting with materials in beakers and retorts and test tubes and look through the quintessential distorter of reality, the microscope, we are bombarded with chemical physical facts which are fundamentally delusory in relation to the human being. This is not to say what is discovered in the beaker or test tube or through the electron microscope is not real there; but it is not justified in regard to the human organism.
We have to really start to argue against the scientific-material world view being the only possible way to understand life because the epistemology of this world view has been derived from studying dead matter alone -minerals and chemicals etc. Therefore it is unjustified, and a grotesque error, to say that what is learnt about the material world also applies to living organisms, be they plant, animal or human. For neither the plant or the animal or the human being are made of dead matter alone; in the case of the human being we are constituted of material substance permeated with chi, which is called the etheric or chi 'body', or, more aptly, the life 'body', and an additional 'body' called the astral body. If we take something out of the human being and put into the test tube or under a slide to look at it under a magnifying device, then the human tissue, having been removed from the organism, begins to obey the laws of physics and chemistry, because there it is placed in the domain of the laws of physics and chemistry. But do we have the human being before us when we look at a sample of blood, or intestine or liver under the microscope or in the test tube - of course not, for we are no longer looking at the human being, we are looking at dead matter.
Since all scientists and research technicians and doctors believe the delusion that the human being is nothing but the physical body, and because the vast majority of the population also believe it, including most of the people practicing macrobiotics or anthroposophy or Buddhism or Judaism or Christianity, then everyone is easily convinced that our body is a machine and we need all the proper ingredients - the proper fuel and additives to make the machine run better, as if the human organism was just a more sophisticated version of the internal combustion engine, and if we do not get our alpha omega 3546 or whatever, then we are putting our lives in serious jeopardy. So people easily fall into the trap of thinking this stuff, whatever the stuff is, is absolutely necessary, whether they be the sellers or the buyers of the stuff.
The great danger of people allowing themselves to be snowjobbed with this biochemical mumbo jumbo, in addition to ingesting illness inducing forces by taking this stuff, the logical consequence of people continuing to take these substances that have been biochemically manufactured, and any substance that comes to us from a manufacturing process involving chemical extraction and artificial freeze-drying so qualifies, is the mechanization of the soul; in other words people will become less human and more robot-like -cyborgs. And of course, there is plenty of evidence that this is already happening.
Buddha said he went to the plant where the blue-green algae is manufactured and went on the tour of the plant and his feeling is that it is one giant con job. As soon as he realised that he pretty much lost interest.
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Macrobiotics and Shiatsu.
It was asked how come shiatsu became associated with macrobiotics because it appears to have a lot more in common with Traditional Chinese Medicine. No one really knew the answer to this question. It was mentioned that when the Kushi Institute got started in 1978, in the core curriculum shiatsu was placed along with yin and yang, cooking classes, facial diagnosis etc. Probably the major influence on shiatsu being associated with macrobiotics is Shizuko Yamamoto. She was also a student of George Ohsawa and she developed what she called Barefoot Shiatsu and started the International Macrobiotic Shiatsu Society along with Patrick McCarty and she has had a lot influence on shiatsu in America.
Shiatsu is fine in as far as it goes but really it doesn't really have much to do with macrobiotic practice; in other words, if you are doing a macrobiotic practice you do not need shiatsu but if you want to do shiatsu along with a macrobiotic practice; the point is doing shiatsu should not be confused with macrobiotic practice.
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Ideas for disseminating macrobiotics on the World Wide Web.
This topic started off with a description of the Internet and the World Wide Web and asked for ideas on what would be useful and interesting material to put on a web site dedicated to teaching macrobiotics on the Web. We batted ideas around and these will be used for a website which Kaare is going to put up on the Internet starting around June.
(Postcript - The Alchemycal Pages went up on the World Wide Web on 6.6.96,
less than three months after this discussion.)
And so ended the 32nd Pacific Macrobiotic Conference.
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