“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be wars …”

Tolstoi

A nutritional study was done in a maximum security prison in America. This was a prison, like many others, where violence was a part of daily life for the inmates; violence in the form of rape, assault, and even murder. Half of the prison was given a change of diet. Instead of the standard fare of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, the experimental half of the prisoners was given a vegetarian diet. They were fed no meat or fish. The other half of the prison acted as a control group, and continued to be fed as they always had been. The two groups were in separate facilities and had no contact with each other.

There is Plenty of Colour in a Fruit and Vegetable Diet

For the vegetarian group subtle changes occurred almost immediately. Then, over the course of several months this experimental group of vegetarians became much less aggressive and violent. They stopped harming each other and appeared far more content. For the control group life remained unaltered, with violence as the norm.

Would You Eat Chicken If You Had To Buy From Here?

Back in 1994 we lived in a house in the country in Golden Bay, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. At the time our daughters were aged one and three. One evening meal was interrupted by the persistent bawling of cattle. Lucia and I took the girls with us outside to investigate. Two farmers were selecting members of a herd for slaughter. Each steer chosen to be killed was marked with paint. We observed was the rough and insensitive way in which the animals were being treated. It was obvious these men didn’t consider it an issue that these cattle might have feelings. The insistent wailing should have been a giveaway. We returned to our meal, disturbed by what we had seen.

Later I took the girls to visit the incarcerated cattle. The men had left, presumably to enjoy a beef-based meal, and the bawling had abated. The cattle shuffled around forlornly, resigned to their fate. At that moment, nothing could convince us that these animals were unfeeling and stupid creatures. We stood at the fence and I spoke for the three of us, “Not all people are as insensitive as these men who mistreated you today. We care. We’re sorry. We love you.”

A subtle shift could be seen in the herd. They calmed visibly. The experience was one of many that helped our daughters to develop into the caring, compassionate young women they are today.

 
 

Pigs in Gestation Crate

 

Everything created is interdependent; so it follows that what affects one form of life must affect all other forms as well. If we deliberately cause suffering and disease in other lives, we increase our own suffering and disease.  It would seem self evident that killing animals for food only adds to the level of suffering on this planet. I’ve lived without meat and fish and other animal products (with the exception of the very occasional egg or piece of organic cheese) for close to thirty years. I am healthier today than I was in my early twenties. The hay fever and eczema I suffered from as a boy have completely disappeared. I can stick my nose into any flower and thoroughly enjoy the exquisite fragrance without sneezing. Clearly, I have demonstrated that one needn’t rely on animals for sustenance. Many others have done the same. It seems it is just a matter of changing our conditioned habits of eating. Are you prepared to make such a shift? You will improve your health on many levels and you’ll contribute to a more compassionate world in which to live in.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Advertisements

I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water.

D. H. Lawrence

 

Two days ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Alanna Moore. Alanna has been a dowser/geomancer for 25 years and has specialised in making ‘Power Towers’ across Australia over the last ten years, as well as divining for devic energy fields. In her work she likes to focus on practical applications for healing Mother Earth. She is acclaimed in the international dowsing fraternity for her magazine articles, books and films. Her partner, Peter Cowman, is renowned in Ireland for his shelter making writings, teachings and occasional television appearances. I suppose you could say he specializes in ‘living architecture.’ They are both ardent permaculturists. They had arrived in New Zealand from the UK just over a week before and were travelling our fair land giving workshops and talks on their specialties. After the evening interview I took Alanna and Peter down to the beach.

It was a crystal clear night. A shooting star coursed the sky. The Milky Way was draped like a warm, white blanket over us, the beach and the bay. We spoke of traditional cultures and the connection they had and hopefully still have with the magic of nature. Alana mentioned a book, Dark Sparklers, which gives some first hand knowledge of Aboriginal Cosmology. She said they spoke reverently of the dark areas between the stars and of how their dreamings originated in the Universe before manifesting in their outback landscape.

I mentioned the Buddhist practice of star bathing. Suddenly, as I spoke, my perception shifted. The heavens began to pulsate rhythmically and I could see energy pouring down from the night sky. This energy, this light, was streaming forth from every heavenly object and it was pouring into us and everything around us. Astrologers tell us that each planet exerts an influence on us. Rudolf Steiner, the prolific Austrian clairvoyant spoke of the connection between various plants and planets. This suddenly made visible and energetic sense to me. It was no longer just supposition. It was fact. My strong desire to walk in the dark under the stars now felt more than justified. So did the idea of star bathing.  We are being constantly bathed in celestial light; we too are beings of light. Although we were just three people standing  on  a  beach at night,  I knew we were connected with the universe and that same universe was nourishing and energizing us.

We often speak of Oneness. Sometimes, as in this instance, Oneness speaks to us.

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

We are indivisible from Nature. You breathe in the same breath exhaled by the ancients, by Confucius, Buddha and Jesus. The stuff that makes up these bodies, these vehicles, is the same stuff that makes up every form of existence. Look at compost. The decomposed bodies of plants are the building blocks of the fruits and vegetables we eat. And we are what we eat.

Truly knowing our interconnectedness with all life, all matter, makes us responsible, respectful guardians of this beautiful planet. How can we then pollute the soil, water and air of our home? We are inseparable from these elements. They are in us and we in them.

We are by nature creative beings. To be God-like is to be creative and alive. Why has the Creator brought us into existence? Our journey out into this world is co-coincident with a longing to return to the formless essence from which we come. But to be here in this world is to be a creator.

In order to get something you’ve never had you’ll have to do something you’ve never done. You’ll have to walk beyond the gateway of the known into a land of trust. To grow is to create. To know your interconnectedness with all of life is to create responsibly.

Affirmation:

I Am indivisible from Nature. I create with respect for all of life.

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

jumping-for-joy- Only those who risk are free

We are indivisible from Nature. You breathe in the same breath exhaled by the ancients, by Confucius, Buddha and Jesus. The stuff that makes up these bodies, these vehicles, is the same stuff that makes up every form of existence. Look at compost. The decomposed bodies of plants are the building blocks of the fruits and vegetables we eat. And we are what we eat.

 

Truly knowing our interconnectedness with all life, all matter, makes us responsible, respectful guardians of this beautiful planet. How can we then pollute the soil, water and air of our home? We are inseparable from these elements. They are in us and we don’t want to pollute our bodies.

 

We are by nature creative beings. To be God-like is to be creative and alive. Why has the Creator brought us into existence? Our journey out into this world is co-coincident with a longing to return to the formless essence from which we come. But to be here in this world is to be a creator.

 

We are here to openly and freely communicate and share with each other. In order to bring completeness to our communications we must release any holding on to experiences of the past which bind us. When I was six I was sent to the office to get the strap for saying hello to my younger sister as we passed in the hallway of our school. When I was twelve I was told by a teacher to, “Speak softly John, your voice carries,” while walking through the hallway of another school. For many years I spoke softly in social settings. I had a subconscious fear of being reprimanded. Only through years of sound work and yoga have the emotional memories of these experiences surfaced where I’ve been able to release them. Today I am a confident public speaker and singer freed from the clutches of past fears and experiences. You can be too.

 

In order to get something you’ve never had you’ll have to do something you’ve never done. You’ll have to walk beyond the gateway of the known into a land of trust. To grow is to take chances. Only those who risk are free.

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

Campfire on Beach for Extending FriendshipWhenever uncertainty arises, stop. Be present, fully present. Watch your breath. If this isn’t enough, take a walk in nature, work in the garden or turn to a practice that cultivates stillness and inner connectedness such as yoga, qi gong or meditation.

Life is an ever-shifting balance between stillness and activity. Whenever activity dominates, and this easily happens in our busy lives, consciously cultivate stillness and the sense of peace this engenders. We can spend our lives chasing castles in the sky, when that which we seek has been with us all along. As Peace Pilgrim said, “You cannot give me anything I don’t need.”

All desire comes from a sense of lack. If there is one message I would like to make, it is that we already have enough stuff. Let’s put our focus on the real stuff of life. As Thoreau said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” I might add, “Give me friendship.” For me, this goes further than traditionally understood. Whenever I rest in the stillness, I feel immersed in a warm womb of love. I feel forgiven for all of my errors of judgement, for all of my frailties. I am loved and I Am Love. I know that we are surrounded by unseen, loving friends. They guide us and urge us to aim always for the highest.

Last night I joined our teenage daughters, Amira and Asha, and Amira’s boyfriend, Toby, on the beach for a campfire. The wind was roaring from the west. From time to time, it brought a driving rain. We huddled against a cliff somewhat protected from the elements. The night came on and the stars jousted with the clouds. We watched the fire, enchanted by the constantly changing colours of the flames. The salt in some of the driftwood burned an eerie yellow. Ultraviolet, royal blue, green and an occasional flash of turquoise created a rainbow of fire.

Potatoes, broccoli and carrots were placed in a bed of coals. The tide came in. I felt a deep sense of gratitude. I reflected on what I already had in my life and knew, in that moment, that I was fulfilled.

We dragged the aluminium-wrapped vegetables form the fire with sticks. The aluminium tore and some of the contents spilled on the sand. We laughed. As I ate my salad, the three teenagers munched on charred, sometimes crunchy vegetables. As always happens by the beach, a little sand found its way into the food. We laughed some more. Desert, prepared by Asha, was bananas with chocolate and marshmallow, also wrapped in aluminium. When removed from the fire they were a sticky, delicious mess.

The tide came in further and threatened to smother the fire. Asha, the active one, perched in the swaying branches of a nearby Pohutukawa tree, cackling with glee as successive waves flowed under her.

I relished the exquisite ecstasy of the moment. Immersed in darkness, flames dancing, wind crying, occasional drops of rain finding our sheltered alcove; an unknown bird calling from the water. Times like this remind one of our connectedness with everything. Are not the stars our sisters, the sun an elder brother, the moon a maiden meant for love? The sand crushed beneath us, yet supported our steps. The salty water of the sea and the sweet water falling from the sky cleansed and purified our thoughts. The entire orchestra of nature kept us fully present.

Cultivate a relationship with everything. One cannot feel alone with such a sense of connectedness. This is what I call extending friendship.

Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Your information will not be rented or sold, ever.