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I was really looking forward to the experience, because the restaurant had a reputation for exceptionally delicious food. To my dismay, our lunch consisted of ordinary pasta with red sauce, and plain boiled vegetables. Bland and unappetizing, it was essentially a meal from which the meat had been removed, but nothing at all interesting had been added!

A vegetarian diet can actually provide us with much more variety in tastes and textures than the typical meat-based fare. And, not all vegetarians eat alike. Because of varying concerns about the quality and means of obtaining non-flesh animal products, there are differences in diet within vegetarianism.

The three main approaches are:. In general, a balanced vegetarian diet is based on natural foods, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Even fresh, natural foods have varying influences on our consciousness, which affects our health and happiness.

The teachings of yoga recommend following a diet that promotes harmony rather than stimulation — one that keeps the nervous system calm and peaceful, and fills the body with energy, vitality and strength. According to these beliefs, all creation — and therefore our food — is composed of three subtle qualities, those that are elevating, activating or darkening.

The Choice for Consciousness: Tools for Conscious Living, Volume 1

When we eat, or surround ourselves with, one of these qualities, our consciousness is drawn in that direction. By our awareness of these tendencies, and by choosing carefully how we feed our bodies, we can influence and shape our minds and lives. Here are some guidelines:. Natural, calming and cleansing foods are elevating, as are foods that increase life, vitality, strength, health and joy. They draw us toward goodness, truth, purity and spirituality, and foster within us such qualities as expansiveness, intelligence, creativity, love, sympathy, calmness, patience, and devotion. Elevating foods include raw fruits and vegetables, fresh raw milk and cream, butter and ghee, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit, as well as pure water, clean air, and sunlight.

Cooked, spicy and stimulating foods are activating, as are foods that are excessively hot, bitter, sour, or salty. Naturally activating foods include whole grains, lightly cooked vegetables and fruits, onions, garlic, eggs, cheeses, fats and oils, salt, refined sugar, soft drinks and coffee. Lamb, poultry and fish are also activating. Overcooked, spoiled or unwholesome foods are darkening. They lead us toward dullness, laziness, inertia, negativity, anger, covetousness, deceit, lust, and body consciousness.

Darkening foods include moldy cheeses, deep-fried food, very hot spicy foods, overcooked food, and foods that are canned, frozen, over-processed, chemically preserved, or fermented. Alcoholic beverages, beef, pork and all dried meats are darkening. One might think that to achieve perfect health and lift our consciousness, we would want to eat only elevating foods. But Paramhansa Yogananda, the great master of yoga, recommended a diet that includes foods with both elevating and activating vibrations. For one thing, many people are unable to successfully digest and therefore draw the life force from raw foods.

Also, most of us have active lives, with many duties and responsibilities that require physical energy and initiative. As Yogananda pointed out, we need to balance our need to fulfill these outer demands with the desire to seek a higher consciousness. Therefore, his recommended diet included whole grains cooked , vegetables and fruits raw and lightly cooked , low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, butter, nuts and seeds. Even though each food has its own innate vibrations, our consciousness and intention in cooking and eating that food can help us to infuse it with uplifting, more spiritually supportive vibrations.

Whole milk is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins. Eggs are a wonderful source of high-quality protein, abundant B vitamins, and minerals. They can both be part of a healthy vegetarian diet. However, mass-production farming methods, long-term storage, and long-range shipping requirements have greatly compromised the quality of most dairy products and eggs available in the markets today. Many people, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, have found that dairy products can contribute to health problems such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and heart disease.

Whole milk is high in fat and contains cholesterol, making it a poor choice for those who need or wish to limit their fat intake. In addition, some individuals lack the enzyme needed for digesting lactose, which is the natural sugar found in milk. The variety of reduced-fat and non-fat varieties of milk, cheeses, and yogurt now available has provided a partial solution, as has the advent of lactose-free milk products, but these are all highly-processed foods.

In the yogic tradition milk is believed to have uplifting, calming and healing properties—but only when the milk is produced by healthy home bred cows that are raised on natural feed, and not treated with hormones and antibiotics.

The Coolest Thing in the Universe

In addition, the milk should be consumed shortly after milking the cow, and not be homogenized or refrigerated beforehand. Likewise, butter, yogurt and cheeses should be made with fresh milk, and not adulterated with artificial color and flavor. Fresh cheeses, such as cottage cheese or farmer style cheeses, are preferred. Finally, milk is considered to be a food in itself, and not as a beverage to be drunk along with a meal.

For the most part, the American dairy industry produces milk, butter, yogurt and cheeses that do not meet these standards. If you want to include dairy foods in your diet, look for a local, organic source. In recent years, eggs have been banned from the diets of many Americans because of their natural cholesterol content.

Actually, the fat and cholesterol are contained entirely in the egg yolk, along with B vitamins and minerals; the egg white is almost pure protein.

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Contact licensed professionals as needed. The life view here is demanding. At the lower levels before this, the world is seen as hopeless, tragic, frightening, demanding, and antagonistic; people below see themselves as victims, at the mercy of life, and subjected to the forces of the external world. At the level of courage, one sees the world as exciting and filled with possibilities. One undergoes empowerment here. This marks the start of active pursuit of growth. When one sees a gap in their knowledge and abilities, they will act to fill it. For example, learning new job skills, embarking on further education, pursuing personal growth.

The life view is feasible — anything is manageable since the person is willing to take action to deal with uncomfortable situations in life. Here, people are non-judgmental, objective, and able to see things as they truly are. If they are not able to get something, they are equally happy settling for something else. The process is one of release of everything.

The life view is satisfactory , where anything goes. These people are easy to get along; however, they are difficult to engage toward causes and visions because they are detached toward everything. Someone at Willingness can readily bounce back from setbacks, is easily moldable, and is genuinely open to everyone. Success follows them easily. The process one undergoes here is of intention to do anything. The life view is hopefulness. At this level you have people who perform extremely well in their careers in corporations, startups; however as they develop great skills, the question comes to whether they are investing their energy in the best way.

Forgiveness is the dominant emotion. The process one undergoes is transcendence above what one faces in life. The life view here is harmonious. One seeks out huge amounts of information and analyzes them to infinitesimal detail before reaching a conclusion. This is where the noble prize winners, leaders of science and medicine, and great thinkers of history are at.

The Choice for Consciousness: Tools for Conscious Living, Volume 1 by Veronica Torres

However, someone at the level of Reason falls into the trap of over-intellectualization in concepts and theories. When theories clash and each argument is sound on its own, we reach a blockade, leading to the inability to resolve discrepancies. This leads to the process of abstraction or preoccupation with data.

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The life view is meaningful. It is not the same love commonly portrayed in mass media, which is rooted in lust, desire, pride, control, addiction, attraction, jealousy, and possessiveness. Reverence is the main emotion in this level of unconditional love. At this level, duality becomes an illusion; the feeling is one of entirety that rises above separation. Unconditional love is inclusive of everyone and expands beyond self.

Neutral Observation ~ Eloheim Tool #9 ~ CFC1

While reason deals with data, love deals with entirety, thus giving rise to the capacity for instantaneous understanding. This aspect is often linked with intuition. The process one undergoes is revelation. The life view is benign : there is no separation, fear or negativity. This is the inner joy that arises from every moment of existence rather than from an external source.

This is the level where saints, advanced spiritual students and healers dwell. At this level, one is characterized by enormous patience and an unwavering positive attitude in the face of harsh adversities. The world is seen as one of perfection and beauty. Individuals are motivated to dedicate themselves to the benefit of life rather than for specific individuals. Here, transfiguration occurs, where there is an inner serenity and emanating of radiance and compassion for others.

The Origin of Consciousness

The life view is completeness of the world. Near-death experiences have the effect of temporarily bumping people into this level.