1. Raw Milk Chronicles
The milk conversation started before Maya was even born.
“What kind of milk will we give the baby after breast-feeding?”
Pediatricians, the FDA, and pretty much anything mainstream would find this to be a most ridiculous question. But for a family that places spiritual development as the #1 priority of life and has also identified nutrition and eating habits to be intricately connected to that development, it is a seriously tough question to answer. I mean it took us 2 years of reviewing research and articles, talking to nutritionists, other parents, religious figures, etc., before we were forced to finally decide — he’ll be 2 in June, surely we cannot breastfeed forever. And by “we” I mean, Katy.
Anyway, everyone has great arguments for all kinds of milk alternatives — almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, etc. — and part of the problem with deciding was the fact that there is a pro and con for each variety that speaks to our values. I even completely understand why buying “regular” milk from the grocery store would be a viable option for us. But in the end we decided to continue down the hippie rabbit hole, join a farming co-op, and get that unfiltered, uncut cow’s milk straight from the udder.
We got our first shipment on Friday night and on Saturday morning, for the first time in my life, I drank milk. Real milk. Not only did it taste different but apparently I am not lactose intolerant as I previously believed. Maybe there is something to this “pasteurization intolerant” stuff we read about on the co-op’s website.
Isn’t it funny though how we are living life in a completely unnatural way? I mean, our food is as prepared, packaged and modified as our entertainment. We spend way more time indoors than out; most of our jobs involve staring and interacting with some version of a screen more than with other people, animals or plants. There’s a lot of talk about “sustainable living” these days, and it occurred to me that our disconnection has to do with living a completely managed existence that evolution has not prepared us for and is therefore unsustainable. I don’t know where I’m going with this….those are just some thoughts that occurred to me while I was drinking milk for the first time in 37 years of being alive.
2. Seva Pierces the Ego
I have been getting a lot of messages lately about implementing more selfless service (Karma Yoga) into my practice. At first I didn’t clearly understand how it would work — do things for other people with no expectation of reward, praise, or even acknowledgement and somehow this brings me closer to Self?
Nah, I don’t trust it.
But I am not one to ignore messages so I’ve been doing some Seva lately and there are two things that I am have already taken away from the experience.
1) The urge to know “what I’m going to get out of this” is so much stronger than I ever believed. While mindfully performing Seva, those kinds of thoughts are so illuminated that I can see exactly how much (a lot) my ego is a motivating force behind even the slightest of actions.
2) Seva creates space between myself and the ego’s rampant desiring and craving. This space is crucial for denying identification with the body while affirming my innate Spirit of Divinity.
So I’m sure all of the saints, masters, buddhas, and christs are right about the need to give unto others, but I’m not one to believe it until I know it for myself. And now I’m getting to know for myself.
3. “On any given day, anybody can amaze you.”
Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor and maybe the greatest “game show” host of all time, gave those words to last night’s winner of Fans vs. Favorites 2. Something inside of me clicked as soon as I heard him say it, and I instinctively felt a movement towards allowing myself greater freedom to be amazed every day. The whole cosmos and everything within it is amazing…typing these words on this machine to send out into something called the internet where anyone can read it for as far into the future as I can imagine — is Amazing! Driving a car is amazing…wait, CARS ARE AMAZING! Hell, being able to move one foot in front of the other over and over again until you reach a predetermined destination is frigging amazing! They say Einstein once said “There are two ways to live your life. One as if nothing is a miracle, and the other as if everything is a miracle.” Actually, he had a lot more to say than that on the subject. Jeff’s words last night was yet another reminder not to sleep walk through the miracle of existence. I cannot take anything or anyone for granted because if I am not being amazed in every moment of my life then I’m not doing it right.
And that’s what I learned this weekend…