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Following my principles...or just my ego again?


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#1 ElPirana

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 07:36 PM

As I’ve been been on the path to learn who is the real “me” I’ve learned not to trust myself. I’m starting to recognize some of my decisions, however well intentioned I think they are, are based in my ego. But the problem is that I don’t know about my other decisions, which leads me to my current question.

About two months ago I started eating a sattvic diet. So no meat, no deep fried foods, no caffeine, the foods that you eat are essentially those that allow balance for the mind. Now I’ve occasionally been in situations (like visiting relatives) where meat is one of the main courses of the meal. My wife told me that I need to eat what is served and that if I didn’t then it’s my ego that is making me make a point of doing something different. So in those situations I’ve gone ahead and eaten meat, but I really don’t want to. At what point do I hold to my new values or let things slide?

Any opinions or advice?

By the way, I learned of eating sattvic from Sri Ramana Maharshi, who I consider to be my teacher. I feel like I can trust his teachings.
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#2 onediadem

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:03 PM

I let my normal way of eating go to crap because I was in a situation that was almost impossible to keep up. Recently, I have gotten back on track. I do whole raw veg and fruit/ veg protein powder smoothies every meal, because I just feel better all around doing them, and my back is to the point I have no choice unless I want them hacking into me again. Plus the extra weight I am carrying around is uncomfortable I have no issues with eating meat whatsoever if I am out, or at friends. I just look at it as a treat, because I do love meat. However, going back to eating nothing but veggies, and once a week chicken, made a rough detox for me, since I was already battling a lung infection.

 

Just examine your reasons for choosing to eat the way you do. Only you know what you are comfortable with. It is OK to bring something for yourself if you do go to friends. They shouldn't have to change the whole menu around you, unless they too enjoy whatever it is you are eating and they should be understanding if you bring your own food. If not, then they really aren't that understanding, are they? The important thing is the gathering of friends, not the food. Whatever you decide, decide for you, not people who do not have to live in your body.

 

All my hopes.


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#3 Alder Logs

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 09:03 PM

When I got this body off beef a bizillion years ago, I found that just the tiniest bit of it makes me really ill within a few hours.  I get fever, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.  I got off pork for a long time and found that if I ate some dish that had a little of that in it, I didn't get sick, but have had bad dreams after eating it.   I just eat at home mostly, and if out at all, it's at my neighbor who invites me and makes the effort to conform to my impossible diet of no fried, no gluten, no sugar, no dairy, etc., maybe some fish or fowl once in a while.   I don't eat fowl at home, and occasionally someone gives me a piece of fish which I will eat. 

 

As far as what is ego or not, just hang with the inquiry and don't judge, just see.   Let what seems to be ego go by, seen but not resisted or identified with.  Just this watching will bring discernment and discrimination in a little time.  The made up you never was, only seems to be.   The witnessing has no identity, no attributes, actually.  It is what is, and it is alive and present.   The images of identity will go on, but seen for what they are and are not.


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#4 August West

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:05 AM

If it's "balancing the mind" that you're after, you may consider more than just the food. It is more than just the food that affects your mind in these situations. You have to weigh the effects of not eating the food served to you on your relationships to the people involved - wife, friends, neighbors, family...

 

If the choices you make about your diet cause problems in your relationships, perhaps it's not worth it. If you don't mind the consequences of your diet choices on those around you, perhaps it is worth it. There's more to balance than the sustenance you consume. The concept of "sliding values" is not a zero sum game. Perhaps some values must slide in order to hold on to others.


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#5 Dieseld

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 07:07 AM

There have been some very great replies here so far. And I am in total agreement with them! In my own journey, I've found that not everyone will be on board or even tip their scale to lean my way sometimes. As in your question about eating meat. IF eating meat has an affect on you, negatively, either mental or physical than those around you should respect your choice/need to not eat it. But in the same respect, I'm hoping that you are respecting their life choices in this moment of this existence. 

 

Ego is a true destroyer of many many things, including ourselves. Your point of asking yourself and us, if what you're experiencing is Ego, is really a good thing! As was mentioned, sit with this and "see" where it takes you. 

 

A great book that may help you is "Ego is the Enemy" no religion in it, just a great lesson

 

 

Fair well and keep your journey on track


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#6 ElPirana

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:03 AM

I don’t feel sick if I eat meat, but I know that by not eating meat it changes my outlook on life. Not only that, but even when I don’t get enough sleep (almost always) I actually feel more awake and aware throughout the day.

Another reason for not wanting to eat meat in particular is that I know my outlook on the life of all animals will change when I don’t take part in their destruction. I have an example of a similar experience I have had with plant life. About half a year ago I moved into an apartment. I no longer have a yard to take care of and consequently I never have to directly cause harm to plants. I used to kill weeds like nobody’s business when I had a yard. I have been finding myself enjoying the “weeds” as much as all other plants lately. I can see the brilliant way that the sun reflects off the petals of a dandelion flower. I notice the subtle colors in a thistle plant, etc. Without having a judgement about these plants, thinking of them being neither good or bad, I can enjoy them for what they are, an expression of life and nature around me.

As I’ve been writing this, I just realized that I do interact with animals differently already. It’s easy to enjoy looking at animals that we label as “cute” or “colorful” or “rare”, etc, but how about those that we label as “nuisance” ? In the past weeks I have gotten a wasp out of my apartment without harming it, I have let little bugs (like gnats?) go away on their own, and those are surely situations that would previously led me to just kill them without hesitation.

#7 ElPirana

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:05 AM

By the way, I really appreciate all your replies! You have definitely given me some things to contemplate.

#8 Moonless

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:47 AM

Hello ElPirana,

 

I don't always live life how I think it be best lived, I fall into traps and make mistakes, but heres how I try to live my life in this regard. First and foremost I have a duty to my body to make sure it don't get sick, I find that when someone invites me over I have a responsibility to say my dietary needs. Usually this is no dairy, meat gluten. Its just vegetables for me. If i haven't a meal to accommodate for me and it has gluten or dairy (my allergies) then I'll get sick. I used to be really strict about not eating meat and wouldn't eat any meat that was served to me but these days I've changed. Someone whom I respected a lot told me that being respectful to people by eating the food your given is important. So when I was at a thanksgiving dinner or any situation where there aren't enough vegetables (like central Mongolia or Tibet) then I'll eat some meat. This doesn't happen often, because most instances we are able to ask for accommodations however in the cases where it slips or isn't possible I think its best not to make too big of a deal of it. This is rare as well, doesn't happen to often especially because I am United States and my country has many vegetables plus a cultural shift in how we think of our food and the environment.

 

I must say that people be weird when they need accommodate to others diets. Like it be some difficult thing. So alot of my insecurities about my behavior in regard to being mostly vegan diet is from the instances where I've felt othered because of me asserting my diet, from family and friends. its not just the individual ego but also the collective social norms and persona that leads to this un-ease. So in all I think not to worry so much, alot of people have said positive and good ideas in reply. You are doing good!

 

cya,

Moonless

 

 


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#9 Alder Logs

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:10 AM

I live on, and help operate a disc golf course.  There are both plants and animals that don't play well with others (meaning us).  So, when some poor golfer steps into a place that caves in to a ground yellow jacket nest and gets twenty stings, I go and kill the nest.  When there are stinging nettles and devil's club on one of the fairways of the course, these are removed.  There is a trade-off.  It gets people into our beautiful woods for fun and enjoyment who might only ever experience pavement and manicured lawns in their day to day lives.  

 

I got criticized by a friend because he didn't like seeing the sword ferns trimmed back so the golfers wouldn't lose their discs.  He could only see his ideal image of a mature second growth forest, though he drove here in a car and does what most all Americans do as a way of being.  He also smokes tobacco, to which I am extremely allergic.  I rarely disc golf with people here anymore because so many of the younger golfers smoke.  I have COPD from my years of chain smoking, and telling them they also may have this malady to look forward to is all I can do.   Am I being disrespectful by not smoking, or breathing their smoke?  How is that different than not eating something that is only a little bit poisonous to this body of mine?   

 

Some trade-offs are okay, and some not so much.  We are not these bodies, but having them makes demands of us in action.   We are not our environments, but none of it comes as something separate from our being.


Edited by Alder Logs, 21 May 2019 - 11:43 AM.

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#10 onediadem

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:46 PM

As I said above, it is ok to bring your own food to events. A lot of people are weird about certain diets, but do not seem to have much of an issue if you bring your own and don't make a big deal out of it. Just plate it on one of their plates and most times people are cool with it. I think people just don't want to hear about it. You don't have to go into long explanations. If they ask, just tell them certain foods make you feel bad after eating them so its easier if you to bring your own and leave it at that.


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#11 ElPirana

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:10 PM

I live on, and help operate a disc golf course.  There are both plants and animals that don't play well with others (meaning us).  So, when some poor golfer steps into a place that caves in to a ground yellow jacket nest and gets twenty stings, I go and kill the nest.  When there are stinging nettles and devil's club on one of the fairways of the course, these are removed.  There is a trade-off.  It gets people into our beautiful woods for fun and enjoyment who might only ever experience pavement and manicured lawns in their day to day lives.  
 
I got criticized by a friend because he didn't like seeing the sword ferns trimmed back so the golfers wouldn't lose their discs.  He could only see his ideal image of a mature second growth forest, though he drove here in a car and does what most all Americans do as a way of being.  He also smokes tobacco, to which I am extremely allergic.  I rarely disc golf with people here anymore because so many of the younger golfers smoke.  I have COPD from my years of chain smoking, and telling them they also may have this malady to look forward to is all I can do.   Am I being disrespectful by not smoking, or breathing their smoke?  How is that different than not eating something that is only a little bit poisonous to this body of mine?   
 
Some trade-offs are okay, and some not so much.  We are not these bodies, but having them makes demands of us in action.   We are not our environments, but none of it comes as something separate from our being.


I understand that decisions are made, actions are followed, whether we are identified with those actions or not. We all seem to come from a point of ignorance (identification through duality) and some of us move varying degrees towards truth, ultimate truth being that which does not change, which happens to be the same truth for us all. As I’ve slowly moved toward non-dual identification, I become more open, my stance on others’ ideas soften.

So in this case, as I think it over more, I can recognize that the people I am surrounded by are still very much in a restrictive way of thinking and viewing the world. Maybe it is not necessarily my ego that is the problem with wanting to eat a certain way when I am visiting others, but the problem may be that other people will view it as if I am judging the way they live...and by all means that is not my intention. I actually see myself in the people around me, I have somehow come to see the reality of how I could just as easily be in their shoes and making the same decisions as them. Hell, I can’t even seem to get angry with people anymore most of the time, no matter how bad they are.
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#12 ElPirana

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:14 PM

As I said above, it is ok to bring your own food to events. A lot of people are weird about certain diets, but do not seem to have much of an issue if you bring your own and don't make a big deal out of it. Just plate it on one of their plates and most times people are cool with it. I think people just don't want to hear about it. You don't have to go into long explanations. If they ask, just tell them certain foods make you feel bad after eating them so its easier if you to bring your own and leave it at that.


Your suggestion makes sense, I just need to follow it at the right times. Yesterday at work, they ordered in food, I simply skipped over the sandwiches and deserts and only ate salad, then later ate my own food that I brought from home.

In the case with my wife, I want to respect and honor her too, so as long as I don’t feel sick and since it’s not often, I may just continue to accommodate her wishes until she’s ready for another change.

#13 Alder Logs

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 07:27 PM

 

...I can recognize that the people I am surrounded by are still very much in a restrictive way of thinking and viewing the world.

 

I like to say, even if we, ourselves have dropped identity, those invested in identity will be all too happy to assign us one anyway.   People see the world they believe is there.  Belief is in time, and can be seen to be so, but if one lives in belief, belief is about all one will see.   We sort of have to play along, and it's good to remember when we more occupied our pretend worlds than the present.  


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