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June/July/August 2004

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Summer issue of my newsletter. In this issue you will find Words Of Wisdom from Albert Einstein and Charles Lloyd, questions about vegetarianism, ear problems, and career in Questions and Answers, an analysis of Albert Einstein in The Lives Of Great People, my Workshop and Kirtan schedule for the season, news of my upcoming Ancient Ayurveda training courses, and other Ayurvedic information in Ayurveda News.

Highest Regards,

Gandharva


ASK GANDHARVA

In each newsletter I will answer one or two questions that I have received. Please email questions to gandharva@earthlink.net, along with the birth information of the person you are asking about. Include month, day, year, time and place. Keep those questions coming!

QUESTION:

Dear Gandharva,

What do you have to say about vegetarianism? Is it a major issue? Do you agree with how the Hare Krishna's (and probably many other eastern spiritual organizations) handle the issue? Or is it just a side issue? Aren't there much more important things to be worrying about when it comes to approaching God, or is it true that how we deal with our tongue is the first step on the spiritual path to God- and therefore, that's why chanting God's names and eating "karmic-free" food is so stressed by the Hare Krishna's?

Specifically, I'm caught in between two decisions. I got a great job at a restaurant, and now I'll be able to pay my car insurance without my parents help, but the restaurant serves meat, and a Hare Krishna told me that it would be better to NOT pay my car insurance than to serve meat. BASICALLY, MY QUESTION TO YOU IS: Is vegetarianism something that, at this stage in human evolution, we should try our best to follow, but not be that concerned about, or should it be a priority that influences all of our lives decisions?

Thanks. I'm just looking for your say on this issue, because I do value your insight.

In Christ,
Paul

ANSWER:

Dear Paul,

Thanks for such a thought-provoking question. The answer to your question (and really any question) is, it depends on who we are talking about. The Ancient Ayurveda looks at each person as unique, so not one type of eating will work for all people. The old adage "one man's food is another man's poison" is really true. There are basically three types of people: catabolic (deficient, breaking down), anabolic (excess, building up) and mixed. These three types are further broken down into six more specific types: Heat, Light and Dry (catabolic), Cold, Heavy and Oily (anabolic) and a seventh Mixed type. I would suggest two books to you in this regard: Ayurveda Revolutionized by Edward Tarabilda, and The Metabolic Typing Diet by Wolcott. For optimum health the catabolic types need around 70% protein and fat, 30% carbohydrates. For best results, most of the protein and fat for them needs to come from animal sources, as most in this category have trouble digesting beans, and soy protein just will not do it (I do not recommend large amounts of unfermented soy - tofu, soymilk, soy meats, soy cheese etc. as they can be potentially hazerdous to health). Of course the problem with meat today is not the meat itself but the meat industry (read Diet For A New America), so for these types I only recommend free range and organic animal products, raised and processed humanely.

The anabolic types need 70% carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits and unrefined grains), and 30% protein and fat. These are the people more likely to thrive on a vegetarian diet and it is usually what I recommend for them. An anabolic type who eats a lot of animal protein and fat will absolutely have physical problems sooner or later, and a catabolic person who is vegetarian will also absolutely have physical problems sooner or later. So you can see, the same food causes two different effects for different types, so the ideas that "everyone needs to eat meat" and "everyone should be vegetarian" are complete fallacies from the standpoint of the physical body.

Your body Paul, falls into the anabolic category, meaning that you would do very well as a vegetarian, as long as you are not consuming too much fat, which for you will harm your prostate and reproductive tissue and could raise your blood pressure.

The concept of ahimsa (non-harming) is an important one. If you are not giving your body what it honestly needs then you are harming your physical body, and ahimsa begins at home. One of the most enlightened spiritual leaders in the world, the Dalai Lama is a catabolic type and eats meat. I also remember the words of Jesus "it is more important what comes out of your mouth than what goes into it". I do think the most important point is compassion, not judgement, for what each person decides is right for himself. This is truly the wholistic way.

Peace,

Gandharva

Question:

Dear Gandharva,

On April 18, 2003, I became ill with what was diagnosed at the time as labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear affecting my balance. Although I have not been nearly as ill as I was in the first two weeks of this illness, it has never gone away. My head feels like a fish bowl filled with water that sloshes with every step I take. It has interfered with my energy, with my work, and with my ability to be consistent in spiritual practice. The physicians I have seen seem to know very little about what is wrong and less about what to do about it. I have been physically very healthy all of my life.

I am requesting any insight you might offer as to the origin of this illness which I feel is more than physical.

Thank you for your time and thoughts,

Jenna

Answer:

Dear Jenna,

Your body has a Kapha way of going out of balance, specifically in the quality of Heaviness. This can affect the liver, fat tissue, and among other things, the ears. I agree that this illness is more than physical for you and seems to have been triggered by some stress in the relationship area (possibly a loss of a friend or relative) that took place shortly before. I would suggest some mantras for healing: For forty Mondays in a row please chant AUM CHAM CHANDRAYA NAMAHA to balance your relationship energy, and for eleven Thursdays please chant AUM BRIM BRIHASPATAYE NAMAHA to balance your physical health. Also, physically you need to avoid heavy, fatty food, and focus on lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens. You must also keep your body moving with stimulating exercise. I would also suggest the kapalabhati breathing (bellows breath) to be practiced every day. You can learn this from a yoga teacher. You can also try the Bach Flower Remedies Impatiens and Chicory: 4 drops under the tongue, four times a day.

Peace,

Gandharva

Question:

Dear Gandharva,

I took a workshp at Intergral with you a while back. I cannot afford a consultation now, so I will try to ask a succint question, hmmm. I am a certified yoga teacher had a studio, and made a video, as well as an art teacher, I just moved from NYC, to a cold climate to teach art, full time, and am not happy-I left behind someone I really cared for and have regret, and am not able to reconcile with them, as they are no longer interested. Also, I don't enjoy my colleagues, rough nature, and the politics of working at a university. I am drawn to spiritual study even monasticism, yet I am also very much feeling the need for a fufilling, intimate relationship (though not children), and I feel drawn to live abroad, in Italy, and to travel. I also have studied shiatsu massage and enjoy that. How can I best utilize my diverse skills in an environment that I will thrive in. I know that i have a cold, dry nature.

Answer:

Dear Vivinne,

I would suggest focusing on your diverse spiritual interests, but not monasticism, as your spiritual energy is about radiating in an outward way by being in the world. However, your creative play nature needs silence and solitude for relaxation, this is why you were thinking of the monastic life, but it will not fulfill you so much spiritually. The energy in this area is also why you like yoga and massage, because they are fun for you. Creative play also governs your relationship with children and the reason you are not so attracted to having them is because of your need for space and boundaries in order to relax. I see your strong desires for a romantic relationship. This is fine to pursue if you like, but be careful about being attached to this for your lasting happiness because the attachment will bring suffering. Regarding career it seems that you would make a very good counselor, and the best place to do your work would be in the northeast.

Peace,

Gandharva

 

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