in the west, we live in a strange abundance of lower quality stuff of the masses that comes forth in a media message and idea that you can have whatever you want, whenever you want because you are special and worth it! you don’t need to do anything, you deserve it all! I still have a week left before Easter, and I have to admit, no two years are remotely alike with the journey that used to be so simple as “I gave up candy/sweets/meat on Friday” etc. to now where the old monks in the desert I know, some might actually go 40 days with little to no food at all. it seems odd when we have a plethora of fast food, processed foods, delivery services of anything and the infamous ‘buffets” that I so love.
I have to chuckle as my bodybuilder friend laughs and me that I like buffets despite knowing that as we age 80% of the trick to fitness is mainly nutrition. in a side move, I am going to see if someone teacher tai chi in town, as the yoga and me don’t really play all that well. a young man at the gym asked about aging and fitness and I mentioned it was more about food intake, and simply moving and doing something each day. there you go, what a high tech solution for most of societies obesity problems. “but I am so busy!” is what I hear a lot. it isn’t that people are so busy, rather they have filled their lives with obligations to appear busy because for whatever reason the idea of exerting effort is actually not fun, simple, or instant with solutions in a gym.
I digress. so a few days ago, my friend and I offended some very large people at a table by having a conversation about the USA diet, nutrition, and the sad state of diabetes and obesity in the country. like a stand-up comedian telling a joke, we offended large people sitting at the table – even though we were having a scientific discussion as to why in 2050 – they estimate caloric intake for people would be so high. “is it because we are fit and all athletic? or simply massively large and overweight?"
this past lent, I have worked really hard on the physical and spiritual side of life. when people ask, “why do you pray? fast?” I can only respond that it is a way I found that works to strip off the noise of the world, and then really get me to look at the onions skin surrounding my heart of all that is not perfect in the idea of love. I think most humans simply tend to be selfish and want all the nice fun accolades and good things in life because we somehow are taught from media, society, work - that we deserve it.
meanwhile, if you really read into the Christian ideas Jesus talks about – you get more into the guy was pretty humble, prayed a lot, fasted, and he didn’t see the exterior clothing and riches of people – rather he could see beyond the bullshit of stuff and see human beings hearts and souls. I haven’t met too many people where the image and the reality synched up often. when you do meet such a person, you realize how far off from perfect we all really are in loving others, and you realize how a love that you read about in all the religious books – can exist on earth.
fasting simply cuts off some of the things that you have allowed to become a habit in life. it doesn’t matter what your vice is – food, sex, drugs, liquor, desserts, (tis a long list of possibilities with a society that has freedom and many choices) – but you take a break and stop them for a bit – usually with various digress of success, and you soon find yourself not focusing on everything and everyone outside yourself. but inside yourself.
what you will see, once you get honest and take off your makeup and rose-colored glasses probably will have you think, “oh dear, so I am not all that good, special, or wonderful after all?”
at that point, real change can begin, of which, I don’t know why more people don’t take the time to try and stick to living in a goofy planet and exclaiming they are “too busy” to take better care of themselves.
not sure what this 10-minute missive was about – somewhere in the dribble there Is a message. I just think I missed crystalizing it. and while I am sure the internet spelling and grammar police can have a field day with this blog – the rules are simple…get it out, no edits, and see what comes out each day, post brainstorm. it is like earlier in church, I was a bit miffed at someone asking “what have you done in your life?” and I had to think “what was up with your pride stuff, mark? what a silly waste of time with your pride – why do you even care?”
as far as what I enjoy about lent and my vegan diet…well, I have to admit, I really feel good. maybe this year I can get more discipline in what I eat and that 80% nutrition rule. tis easier said than done in a land of cheap processed fast foods and snacks - much easier when you love to cook your own food and after a while, you sense of taste and smell gets heightened with the fasting, and you truly enjoy the flavor of what you are eating, versus just chewing to consume.
it is like agrowspace in the 3rd world – healthy fresh food. in the developed world, a lot of people are too busy (aka-lazy) to get their hands wet even though they can have fresh food growing in their home year round.