what do you consume?

by carlydevi

almost daily it seems people ask me what i eat as a raw vegan.

generally, they are referring of course to food, and as an vegan activist, environmentalist and holistic health coach i am driven to answer those questions, to communicate all that is possible and inspire positive change.

so i set out to create this blog assuming a day in the life of a raw vegan . . . would be the focal point for my first post. yet i found, in trying to put it in to words, what i consume on a daily basis that it consists of so much more than just my super foods, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. writing this out proved to be a bigger task than i imagined.

what i consume is so much more than just food.

in Jivamukti Yoga the month of july has been focused on Sex, Death, Sleep, Love, Magic and Pratyahara. the term pratyahara is composed of two Sanskrit words, prati and ahara. prati here translates as against and ahara literally means food, but this term for food in Sanskrit this can be taken to mean anything we take in to ourselves from the outside.

i love this view on food being all that we take in. i had the opportunity to sit with Daniel Rechtschaffen last night, and he pointed out that education is often seen as cramming knowledge in. but the fascinating component, is pulling out what is already inside.

looking “in-to-it” or intuit

combined the term pratyahara is usually translated as “withdrawal from the senses,” allowing space for internal knowledge to emerge. by quieting, or controlling the senses, energy, actions and mind we are able to achieve a heightened state of health. what we eat, is all that we surround ourselves with, through those we interact with, our environmental situations, the music we listen to, the tv we watch, even through what we read create impressions on our being.

ancient Indian practices of Ayurveda recognize that the inappropriate use of the senses as one of the main causes of disease. all mental disease is connected with the intake of unwholesome impressions. turning inwards, therefore is an important first step in treating all mental disorders. similarly it is very helpful in treating nervous system disorders, particularly those that arise through hyperactivity. most of the time we overly express our emotions, which loses tremendous energy. Pratyahara teaches us to hold our energy within and not disperse it unnecessarily. this conserved energy can be drawn upon for creative, spiritual or healing purposes as needed and can provide the extra power to do the things that are really important to us.

physical disease mainly arises from taking in unwholesome food. Pratyahara affords us control of the senses so that we do not crave wrong food. when the senses are controlled, everything is controlled and no wrong or artificial cravings can arise. through proper use of the senses as one of the most important factors in right living and disease prevention.

while focusing on nourishing my body, i recognize i must also nourish my mind and soul. my daily consumption is a deep and full practice that begins upon awaking. each moment leaves imprints and my aim, in the “food” i eat and the situations i place myself in all aim (not to say they all succeed) towards my happiness and freedom, which leads to the happiness and freedom of those around you and eventually but inevitably leads to the happiness and freedom for all.