I am the South African youth that wrote to you a couple of months ago with a list of questions, which you kindly answered on Christmas eve!!!
Thank you so much for putting me on the right road.
I have been precticing a macro lifestyle since then. My whole outlook to life has been illuminated by this incredibly simple lifestyle\eating plan.
I am happier, healthier and leaner. Coupled with the dawning of a new spiritual age for me, I feel like I've finally found the one and only truly substantial skill to life!
I am now ready for some literature and cookbooks, as I feel that I've mastered the simplicity of daily muesli, brown rice, and miso soup. Some MB variety will do me good!
I am planning on paying with my visa card, but could you tell me what extra costs might be incurred in order to send to Johannesburg, South Africa.
It's been a while since you heard from me. Just wanted to let you know what a great help you were during my first six months of macrobiotics.
I have passed through many phases of detox and now enjoy three macrobiotic meals a day. I attended a conference this summer for four days and my cooking techniques dramatically improved.
I am now healthier in mind and body, able to establish and maintain routines easily, handle all kinds of stresses that used to be a problem, think clearly and make sound decisions. I've lost 33 lbs, yet feel stronger and seem to have more stamina for physical activity.
I'm recommending macrobiotics to all who will listen.
I have much more to learn, but feel confident in my practice and my commitment.
I read your article "Macrobiotics: The Art of Change".
I was raised to believe in the principle of Daoism, where Yin and Yang play the dominant role in everything in the universe.
I was considered to be one of the misfortunate children with Yin energy. I went through many, many challenges in life without understanding why others around seemed to be immune from all the curses.
My father practiced meditation and was able to communicate with the higher being spiritually, and was highly respected in the community. My father passed messages from the Saints repeatedly that I should concentrate on meditation as part of my daily routine. It was not easy for me to accept such practice, being so different from the rest of the kids. However, my perseverance paid off handsomely, more than I could ever put into words. I often find tranquility and flowing wisdom when I express myself. Meditation is the true source of Yang energy.
Before reading your article, I have always explained Yang energy as a mystery based on my personal experience. I knew about the different types of food that possessed Yang energy. However, I was not able to explain it as clearly as you have done. I appreciate knowing that someone out there has such wisdom in clearing some of the obstacles of mystical beliefs.
Keep up with the good works.
Thanks for taking the time to read my letter and respond. I am gratified if my experience has helped you to see Jehovah's Witnesses a little bit differently, but I will admit that I am not entirely surprised by your past experience. I say this because Witnesses basically represent a cross-section of our society at large, coming from all ethnic groups, nationalities, and cultures. Just as those adopting a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle making up a rather small percentage of society at large, there is probably a similarly small percentage among Witnesses. I think that there are special difficulties among people from Western lands in adopting macrobiotics, for whom the ideas of yin and yang seem quite esoteric and mysterious at first.
There are also some who practice macrobiotics who have other beliefs not directly connected with macrobiotics itself that might make a Witness uncomfortable. For example, in the Orient, the principle of yin and yang has been adopted by some as a form of divination, or foretelling the future (I have even read Michio Kushi's condemnation of some such practices as "witchcraft"). Others practice ancestor worship, by which I mean attempts to appease and/or communicate with dead relatives, as opposed to simple respect and gratitude for one's elders and ancestors and the gifts they have passed on to us, including life itself. Those who strive to live by Bible principles (and this is not a belief peculiar to just Jehovah's Witnesses) would avoid this. God's law to Israel, for example, strictly forbade any practice of spiritism, divination, attempting to communicate with the dead, etc. See Deuteronomy 18:9-13. However, neither of these areas should really affect one's understanding of how the principle of yin and yang applies to all observable phenomena, and especially to our diet and health. What I think happens, though, is that some "throw out the baby with the bath water," avoiding all involvement because of discomfort with some tangential practice that they might observe. I've met some (non-Witnesses, in fact) who told me they thought one had to become a Buddhist to practice macrobiotics!
I am very, very patient with my friends and family, Witness and non-Witness alike, when it comes to prejudices and preconceptions about macrobiotics. One reason for this is that it took me many years - about ten, in fact - to overcome my own misconceptions about macrobiotics. Also, having been a Witness for more than twenty years, I have have also been on the receiving end of many prejudices and misconceptions. In most cases, this is quite sincere but not easy to overcome.
Anyway, let me conclude for now by saying that you have given me much food for thought in this regard. I will give serious thought to gathering my thoughts and putting them in writing regarding my experience in reconciling macrobitics with being one of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, as I mentioned in my first message, I am still transitioning to a complete macrobiotic diet, and I still consider myself quite a neophyte in this area. Although I have read extensively and have had macrobiotic counseling to help my progress, I would feel more comfortable expressing myself in a public forum once I feel that I am better grounded in practice, and setting a good example. I think it would betray a lack of modesty on my part to present myself as a practicer of macrobiotics before I have fully transitioned.
Finally, thanks for your encouraging comments regarding the growth that comes from difficulty. In addition to my friend who has cancer, my own mother (not a Witness, by the way) has had cancer, and you can imagine how difficult it is to be unable to persuade her to consider macrobiotics. She simply cannot believe that something as simple as food could help her. Again, I hope that my own example of health transformation will be more powerful than my words.
More soon, thanks again for your time!
Mr. Pulver, it's me again. I was the one with Candida and a urethritis problem.
Some time ago I sent you a note regarding my illness changes. I told you that I was getting better because of the hormone cream I was using.
Well I was wrong; the one that's making me feel better is the miso soup with wakame you recommended.
One time I was very busy for three days and did not have a chance to eat miso with wakame and the burning sensation in my urethra came back. I was in pain again for a few days until I was able to get back on the miso soup diet again. You just don't know how much I appreciate your help. Just for me to say thanks seems not enough. First, I thank God for His guidance for having found you on the internet. I have been praying a long time to send me to someone who could take my pain away - and there you are. This method is really helping me a lot. Thank you very very much.
By the way, have you heard of this book, Autobiography of a Yogi written by Paramahansa Yogananda? It's his own life story. He was an Indian guy who came to the United States in 1920 and started teaching about yoga. I'm just wondering if you are aware of him.
Anyway, God Bless, and thank you again.
Just thought I'd give you an update. It's been amazingly easy to make the changes I wanted towards the MB way--not the struggle I'd anticipated.
The worst part has been skin break-outs. Is that common? I assume it's a result of the body detoxing. It does seem to be getting better--thank goodness!
I'm feeling much more mentally & physically sharp! YEA!!!
I credit your encouragement & words of wisdom with helping ease this transition. As we tossed back & forth, change is not necessarily easy. Your pointing out that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition, and that "cheating" can actually be a means of controlling the rapidity of the change was an immense help in my mind set. Those words made me feel much less regimented, and also removed the sense of someone (myself) standing over my shoulder being critical. It actually allowed me to be much more supportive of myself.
Well, here I am rambling again. And again, thanking you for your help.
Dear Mr. Pulver:
I was diagnosed with stage 4 Colon cancer in June with spread to the liver (survival rate less than 10% after 5 years.) I had surgery and chemotherapy. After following a macrobiotic way of life for a few months, my blood CEA count is now below normal, and two ultrasound scans show nothing! My oncologist says I am in total remission. I am delighted to have discovered macrobiotics - it surely is working for me!
I attribute my success to date to Macrobiotics. I feel it is important to view Macrobiotics as more than just a diet. I have dramatically changed my way of life, not just my diet. I had an overwhelming response from my local church, and in addition I contacted many prayer groups and faith healers via the 'Net, and had a tremendous response there as well. The spiritual side is very important, in my view. Also, I used to sit for 10 hours a day in front of a computer screen - now I have retired, and spend a lot of time looking after my children and taking walks. All this together makes a big difference.
I am still on the the third cycle of chemotherapy - but this will be finished in a few weeks. I also know and understand that in the case of colon cancer with mets, remissions such as mine are fairly common, but the recurrence rate is extremely high. It is still early days for me (only diagnosed 5 months ago!), but with my changed lifestyle, I feel very confident about the future. If Macrobiotics can beat cancer (as it did for Anthony Sattilaro in his book "Recalled by Life"), it can surely hold it at bay once you are in remission!
Here are my thoughts on Macrobiotics and happiness...
Now I feel I can say I'm happy.
One tiny grain of brown rice contains the wisdom of the universe. To take in brown rice is to have living wisdom in me. I am not separated from the universe. So I am happy.
This I wrote in a letter to Fred after 6 months of being Macrobiotic.
I first doubted it when I was told that happiness is something "being Macrobiotic only can give to you".
Happiness for people today is so hard to reach, for they have so many things to get rid of, like disease, family disaster, unemployment and so on.
And to get rid of them, they go see doctors to solve these problems. They try to figure out how they may overcome them in the way where they least get hurt.
I once was told by a doctor that my disease is not curable, and losing hope in my future, was forced to see other doctors who only gave me tranquilizers.
Giving up my career, I transfered to college where I took Asian religion courses and learned "happiness" (awakening) is something that only people who subject themselves to hard meditation training can get. I was told that is Zen, which is far different from the Macrobiotic understanding of Zen.
I tried to understand Fred's words. Why Macrobiotic and Zen have the same root? One seemed to me very simple and the way to the other must be so complicated. It must be a different level of discussion. I got lost there, because I had never expected Macrobiotics to be anything other than a preventive medicine until then. However, it was also true I was happy -- like I was told a shortcut to happiness.
Happiness, I now think, is not the condition in which I have no negative matters in my life. Also, it is not to be the kind that could be maintained by taking vitamin pills to kill active oxygen. It is the condition where you can feel you are part of the great universe where positive and negative (Ying-Yang ) matters act in harmony.
If isolation or uselessness is one of your reasons why you feel unhappy, I think Macrobiotic can help. Because Macrobiotic way of eating has been carrying to me the wisdom of the universe and life that is timeless and infinite. The feeling of being part of such Infinity and harmony gives me joy and peace. And that is enough.
If the whole world was macrobiotic...it would solve all our problems.
I am back to Macrobiotics after trying the "ZONE" diet which caused me to lose 10 pounds, then gain back 20 from resulting cravings. I used to weigh 280 pounds, then lost 130 from healthy eating and I owe (this) to the macrobiotic diet.
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