True Friendships

True FriendshipsWe had a really nice meeting of the Bournemouth veggie/vegan group today, great food at the Mad Cucumber and scintillating company as always, and some blossoming friendships however you care to measure them.

You cannot judge the quality of another’s friendship by superficial appearances, especially when things are going smoothly.

It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times, when we have plumbed the depths of life, that we can truly experience the joys of genuine friendship.

Only a woman or man of principle, of resolve, a person who stays true to their chosen path, can be trusted and a true friend, and have real friends in turn.

All Things In Balance

Everything In BalanceThe China Study is a book that can really get under your skin. Having already rid my diet of meat and fish many years ago, I have turned from Vegetarian to Vegan in the past eight months, hence adding dairy and any animal derived products to my list of ‘banned’ substances. However, having put effort into researching the pros of such a diet, I needed to investigate the alternate view.

I found a few interesting counter-arguments on the internet, belittling the research of Dr Graham or citing other research that appears to reverse the findings used in the book. There is however, one difference between Dr Graham and his detractors, they all seem to have some agenda or are trying to sell something.

In trying to keep an open mind, I continue the diet, despite reading evidence that overturns almost everything I have ever been taught about diet and nutrition. I would like to be able to present you the truth, but it seems that it comes in a number of various hues.

You may have read my posts about the book. If you would like to read the other viewpoints I suggest you Google (other search providers are available) ‘china study myth’ and take your pick of the articles available.

From my own point of view? Well I didn’t start my HCRV diet because of the book, I fell into the book because of the diet. I feel that the example of Freelee and DurianRiders health and fitness lends at least as much evidence to back the diet as does the book.

I guess it’s a bit like not walking under a ladder, just in case you end up with some unfortunate outcome. Maybe it’s far more complicated than I’m describing, but with all the horror stories surrounding the food industry, I’m sticking to fruit and vegetables for the rest of this lifetime, at least.

The China Study – Proven (Again)

Everything In BalanceI make no apology for reposting this, in the wake of recent revelations… Having already rid my diet of meat and fish many years ago, I have turned from Vegetarian to Vegan in the past few weeks, hence adding dairy and any animal derived products to my list of ‘banned’ substances. However, having put effort into researching the pros of such a diet, I need to investigate the alternate view.

I have found a few interesting counter-arguments on the internet, belittling the research of Dr Graham or citing other research that appears to reverse the findings used in the book. There is one difference between Dr Graham and his detractors however, they all seem to have some agenda or are trying to sell something.

I am trying to keep an open mind, despite reading evidence that overturns almost everything I have ever been taught about diet and nutrition. I would like to be able to present the truth, but it seems that it comes in a number of various hues.

You may have read my posts about the book. If you would like to read the other viewpoints I suggest you Google (other search providers are available) ‘china study myth’ and take your pick of the articles available.

From my own point of view? Well I didn’t start my HCRV diet because of the book, I fell into the book because of the diet. I feel that the example of Freelee and DurianRiders health and fitness lends at least as much evidence to back the diet as does the book.

I guess it’s a bit like not walking under a ladder, just in case you end up with some unfortunate outcome. Maybe it’s far more complicated than I’m describing, but with all the horror stories surrounding the food industry, I’m sticking to fruit and veg for now.

A Balanced View?

Everything In BalanceThis China Study book is really getting under my skin. Having already rid my diet of meat and fish many years ago, I have turned from Vegetarian to Vegan in the past few weeks, hence adding dairy and any animal derived products to my list of ‘banned’ substances. However, having put effort into researching the pros of such a diet, I need to investigate the alternate view.

I have found a few interesting counter-arguments on the internet, belittling the research of Dr Graham or citing other research that appears to reverse the findings used in the book. There is one difference between Dr Graham and his detractors however, they all seem to have some agenda or are trying to sell something.

I am trying to keep an open mind, despite reading evidence that overturns almost everything I have ever been taught about diet and nutrition. I would like to be able to present the truth, but it seems that it comes in a number of various hues.

You may have read my posts about the book. If you would like to read the other viewpoints I suggest you Google (other search providers are available) ‘china study myth’ and take your pick of the articles available.

From my own point of view? Well I didn’t start my HCRV diet because of the book, I fell into the book because of the diet. I feel that the example of Freelee and DurianRiders health and fitness lends at least as much evidence to back the diet as does the book.

I guess it’s a bit like not walking under a ladder, just in case you end up with some unfortunate outcome. Maybe it’s far more complicated than I’m describing, but with all the horror stories surrounding the food industry, I’m sticking to fruit and veg for now.

What Is Love?

Two HeartsLoving, and being loved is really great isn’t it? There is little to compare with the feeling one gets from being part of a loving relationship, but there are two types of love, unconditional and conditional. Unconditional love is about giving without limits, about being happy for the happiness of others. Conditional love, on the other hand, can be painful for both parties. Elements of jealousy, or the need to be loved in order to love, can lead the way to a painful end of the relationship.

Buddhism defines love as an action. It is that force that motivates people to become better, to improve themselves in order to reach eternity and happiness. Love brings out the best in people, as when they love, the target is not themselves but the beloved one. This wish to serve the other is a reflection of an innate knowledge that everyone is connected through the same principle, and therefore, it is an illusion to believe that one can achieve true happiness while those around haven’t attained it . So, love is the action that makes people forego their own ego and concentrate their efforts on the other in a search for fulfilment.

Personally, I have been criticised for suggesting that, if my partner would be happier with someone else, that I would not stand in their path. That feeling, I believe, shows that I love them unconditionally and, arguably, more than someone who wants to control or confine them. It does not mean that I want them to go, just that I want them to be happy, and that my happiness is found through their happiness.

Achieving unconditional love is hard. So many people feel that they need to be loved to be happy. In fact, the most happiness comes from loving another, and the need to be loved is often a sign of insecurity. Loving unconditionally requires a totally unselfish attitude to the other. Being happy when they are happy, being happy for them when they succeed, rather than feeling jealous of their success. Keeping those negative feelings in check requires constant effort, but the happiness gained from so doing is unbounded.

So take a look at your motives next time you tell that special someone that you love them. Will you still love them if that love is not reciprocated? Are you happy for them when they find pleasure in something that is of no interest to you? Would you sacrifice the relationship if that added to their happiness? If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you are not loving unconditionally.

It is not the end of things if you are not, there is always time to change. Loving everyone, in the broadest sense of the word, is a very rewarding way to lead your life. Being concerned for the happiness of someone who clearly has no time for you is tough. Going the extra mile to ensure that the happiness of another at the expense of yourself is not necessarily a natural thing to do, but the rewards for doing so are great indeed.

So next time you say ‘I love you’ to someone, try mentally tagging on ‘no matter what’ to that phrase and see how that makes you feel inside. If you can honestly say that it makes no difference to you saying it, then you have reached the state of unconditional love and that will reward you every time you say it.

The Truth Will Out

The Scales Of JusticeWith the final admission today, by ex-MP Chris Huhne, that he has been attempting to pervert the course of justice by lying to police about a motoring offence that happened over ten years ago, we can see that the lack of honesty can bring about anyone’s downfall .

Lying, or even being economical with the truth can swiftly get badly out of control. One lie leads to another, to another and so on, as the purveyor of untruths attempts to cover each falsehood with the next. How much better would it be for all concerned, in the long run, if the truth were told from the outset?

We might feel a modicum of compassion for Huhne, given that he has been described by colleagues as a very hard working MP. However, I think it only right that he serve a custodial sentence, bearing in mind the position of responsibility he held at the time, the number of people he has let down by his attempted deceit and the length of time he has taken to admit to the offence.

The court will decide his fate shortly, but it has already been mooted that he will serve time inside one of Her Majesty’s prisons. Sadly, like many other of his parliamentary colleagues over the last few years, he has been found to be a downright dishonourable member. Oh how the mighty are fallen, hoist by their own petard.

Total Commitment

Total CommitmentWhen you make a commitment, be that a personal thing, or to your practice, you must make it wholeheartedly and never let that commitment dwindle. If the commitment is to your practice, only you will suffer if you let things slide, but if it to another person, remember that you will make them suffer too if you allow it to slip.

Nichiren Buddhist practice is a fairly flexible commitment. Practice itself should be a routine, something you do every day, but it can generally fit around the rest of daily life. A commitment to another person is not so flexible. If you say you are going to do something, you must do it, otherwise you are letting both yourself, and more importantly, the other person down too.

Being reliable, trustworthy, committed, is something in which to take a pride. The benefits of being so will bring their own rewards, and foster a strong and lasting relationship with those who come to trust and rely upon you.

So next time you say you will do something with, or for another, make it more than just an empty promise. Be determined to make it a real commitment, do what you say you will do, and be that person on whom they can truly rely.

True Freedom

True Freedom

Being able to allow ourselves or another to be free enough to reach full potential takes courage. But to take any other path would be to stifle that potential and act in a cowardly and selfish manner.

Nichiren writes: “Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings…. The Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo” (wnd, 131). Regarding how to manifest one’s innate Buddha nature, Nichiren explains: “When we revere Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion, the Buddha nature within us is summoned forth and manifested by our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is what is meant by ‘Buddha.’ To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge” (wnd, 887).

In Nichiren’s metaphor, our innate Buddha nature, whose name is Nam myoho renge kyo, is a bird trapped in the cage of ignorance. In other words, our deluded minds create this cage that imprisons our Buddha nature. But when we chant Nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon, which expresses Nichiren’s enlightened life and the potential of all people, our dormant Buddha nature becomes activated.

The singing of the caged bird is our chanting, and the birds flying in the sky are the Buddha nature in our environment, particularly as it is expressed in the Gohonzon. Through our chanting, the Buddha nature within our lives and the Buddha nature inherent in the universe begin their dynamic interaction.

For Nichiren’s metaphor to work, however, it is necessary for the caged bird to recognize the birds in the sky as being its own kind. In other words, when we pray to the Gohonzon, rather than thinking of it as an external power or deity, we must think of it as the mirror image of our own Buddha nature. If the caged bird thinks of itself as an elephant, it is unlikely to give the slightest thought to flying.

Nichiren Buddhism clarifies that the teaching of the Buddha nature is a teaching of faith and practice. All people have it, but not many can believe in it. Furthermore, some of those who believe in their Buddha nature may not practice to manifest it, erroneously thinking-I’m already a Buddha, so I don’t have to do anything. One’s faith in the Buddha nature must be expressed in one’s actions to manifest it.

Those who see the universal Buddha nature of oneself and others, and work to awaken it in all people are already Buddhas, for such actions belong to none other than a Buddha. As we cultivate our inherent Buddha nature through our conviction and actions to manifest it no matter our circumstances, we begin to see it and experience it. In our everyday lives, seeing may be believing. But in the world of Buddhism, believing in the Buddha nature is the first step toward seeing it.

(from Living Buddhism – February 2005)

Trust Your Own Heart

Trust Your HeartI heard a rather profound saying tonight, ‘Don’t lie to those who trust you, and don’t trust those who lie to you’. A pretty good piece of advice in my opinion.

So do you trust your own heart? Can you be sure that, at any time of the day or night, you won’t have some damaging thought, say some hurtful thing, or do something you later regret?

As we tread our own path towards Human Revolution we often find that the things we have hiding away in our subconscious suddenly leap out and try to trip us, or make us deviate from our chosen route.

Do not be alarmed, we are all human, we are all flawed and make mistakes. When these things happen, we must be strong, we must absorb the lessons in order that we are stronger next time, and the time after, and the time after that.

Our path is difficult and long, it will not be without setbacks and mistakes, but while we continue to learn we will only get stronger and grow ever nearer our goal.

Be strong, become wiser and chant with all your heart, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

True Friends

FriendshipYou cannot judge the quality of another’s friendship by superficial appearances, especially when things are going smoothly.

It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times, when have plumbed the depths of life, that we can truly experience the joys of genuine friendship.

Only a woman or man of principle, of resolve, a person who stays true to their chosen path, can be trusted and a true friend, and have real friends in turn.

%d bloggers like this: