Spiritual Development

spiritual development

The link between raw, vegan foods and spiritual development is profound. Many people find themselves drawn to spirituality after years avoiding any discussion or pursuit of spiritual ideals. We are tripartite beings: body, mind and spirit. Raw foods build a healthy body and clear mind. But they also do wonders for the spirit! Part of the raw food lifestyle is embracing one's spiritual nature. And although advanced spiritual teachers speak more about the spiritual life unfolding naturally, beginners may find that setting a modest goal can help them focus their spiritual development just as much as dietary goals do.

Our Spiritual Natures

Human beings have an innate spiritual nature. It's the part of ourselves that responds to Beethoven's Ode to Joy in the Ninth Symphony, the soaring grandeur of skyscrapers, cathedrals and redwood trees, the first trill of the morning bird's song and the glitter of moonlight. Spirit is different from religion. Religion may contain spirit, but spirit can stand alone from religion.

Feeding the Heart, the Mind, the Spirit

Many great spiritual teachers recommend eating a vegetarian diet to enhance one's spiritual practices. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., in his book Spiritual Nutrition, describes at length the effect the energy of raw, living foods has upon the energy of the human body. He suggests that eating raw foods helps us clear away blocks that prevent us from tapping into our direct connection with the divine and our spiritual natures. Raw foods energize the body and turn us into human antennas that resonate with the frequencies of the cosmos.

Setting Goals for Spiritual Practices

If you've been eating raw foods for a while and find yourself drawn to the spiritual seeker's path, you don't need to sell your possessions and join an ashram. Try setting some simple goals for your spiritual practice.

1. Explore spiritual traditions, paths and practices.
  If you already have spiritual practice or religious tradition that you feel comfortable, great. If not, it's worthwhile to explore the vast and deep world of spiritual practices and traditions. Begin with the world's major teachers: Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, and many others. Read the holy texts of many faiths. See if anything resonates with you.

2.  Begin a meditation practice. Meditation does not rely upon any particular dogma, doctrine or belief system. It's a great way to quiet the mind's chatter and connect with your spirit. There are many websites, videos, books and courses to help you learn how to meditate. You can begin by simply sitting quietly in a chair with your eyes closed and relaxed. Breathe normally, and repeat to yourself a word or phrase you select that embodies a quality you would like to have, such as "Peace" or "Love."  On the inhale, say the word to yourself, and repeat on the exhale.

3.  Commit to nurturing your spirit.
Commit to a period of meditation daily. Even if it is just five minutes, it will do more to enhance your spirit than anything else will.
4.  Spend time with spiritual people.  Spending time in fellowship or communion with spiritual people has a profound effect. Joining a group or taking a workshop or course is a great way to meet other spiritual seekers.

5.  Open your mind to the possibilities.
  Keep an open mind. Connecting with your spirit takes time and patience. Rigid goals may not necessarily be the best way to enhance your spiritual practice.  Let it unfold.

We are body, mind and spirit. Many raw food books and raw food experts teach only the physical aspects of raw foods: what to eat, how to shop and prepare foods, recipes and nutrition. Yet what we eat transforms us from the inside out, affecting every cell in the body. How our bodies feel is intimately connected with what we think, and all of this is enhanced and modified by what we believe and feel…our relationship to spirit; our own wonderful guiding Higher Self and what we define as our Higher Power, God, or Divine Guidance. May raw foods bring you closer to your own unique spiritual ideal.

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

Written by:  Jeanne Grunert
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