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Home / Articles / Columnists / Healthy Living /  Spiritual Living Through Ahimsa
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Thursday, October 4,2018

Spiritual Living Through Ahimsa

By Karen Ellis-Ritter  

In this incomparable chapter of Western socialization, we are bombarded by constant technological distractions. We engage in emotionally distant and impersonal online communication. Human beings have largely abandoned their vulnerability, and seldom utilize their emotional intelligence. For those who are less introspective, that may appear acceptable (or even easier). But to individuals who are actively on a path of spiritual advancement – and to those who are wired empathetically (like me) – it takes a crippling toll on our emotional health. Many in the latter category partake in meditation, yoga, and other practices that help create a balanced life. In these new age circles, I often hear talk about being sensitive to the energy of those around us and the importance of avoiding those who emit “toxic energy.” I can relate so much to this, and I try to avoid toxic relationships at all costs.


With that said, I am perplexed by how little thought and acknowledgment goes into the energetic nature of food. A common foundational baseline for the health conscious is that we should avoid processed foods, additives, dyes and flours… we should opt for organic options whenever possible. But somehow, when people are faced with a package of animal flesh, they rarely consider the energetic nature contained within.

In last month’s issue of Happy Herald, I discussed “humane” labels in the animal agriculture industry, how misleading they are by design, and how successful they have become in duping the public about their products being ethically sound. Even under the best possible circumstances, these animals were terrified – they suffered and were violently killed, either in their infancy or as adolescents. Their bodies were flooded with the hormones cortisol and adrenaline from the stress of terror.

If we talk about the hidden ingredients of meat, we must consider pesticides, antibiotics, hormones (naturally occurring estrogen, testosterone, casomorphins, cortisol and growth additives), the genetically engineered foods they consumed (such as corn, wheat and soy), in addition to mercury-laden fishmeal and fillers. If we can further acknowledge the imprint that emotions leave on the body, we must consider that they experienced extreme stress, terror, fear, betrayal, and grief. From an energetic perspective, the flesh is an extension of one’s experience.

If we eat suffering, how can we experience peace? What we fund, consume and bankroll is what manifests in our lives.

For those who are unfamiliar with the word and philosophy of “Ahimsa”, it is a Sanskrit word (in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions), used for the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. We obviously need to eat to live, and perfection is an unattainable status. However, consuming plants – rather than sentient beings who can experience pain and a wide range of emotions – is energetically sound. After all, we readily take our children strawberry picking and we mow the lawn… we don’t go on field trips to the slaughterhouse. Violence and suffering are an assault to our senses and our ethical sensibilities. Most of society will shy away from bearing witness to suffering. So why consume what our eyes, hearts and minds reject?

Namaste, Ahimsa.


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