Steam from a hot cup
blows upwards, against candlelight.
It caught my eye just as I sat, and I thought, in the still and silent space where I sit, that the dancing steam is just as alive as I am, just as present as I am, without ever being recognised but only in the silence and in the stillness..
I sat down to eat my lunch today, in a quiet cafeteria (which was like being back in school) two other girls joined the table. I got my food out of my bag, and it fell silent, as though I'd just placed a tub of shit on the table. I could feel the stares as I was eating (not shit, but a colourful salad with grains, beans, squash, spinach and hummus), but I carried on. Then one girl said..''Is that all you eat?'' It took me a few seconds to answer..''No, I eat more than this..this is my lunch.'' She looked at me as if for another explanation. ''I'm vegan, I don't eat meat or dairy.'' I said, with a smile. And she seemed a little uncomfortable and defensive. Then the table fell silent again. I felt like an alien, an alien eating alien food, but I let the feeling pass and continued to enjoy my tasty food. The girl finished her food quickly (pork pie, chips and pizza) and left for the next class.
When arriving at the classroom, our next lesson was ''food hygiene and food handling.'' We were shown a film about how to keep clean with handling food in and out of the kitchen. Then, it went on to talk about the dangers of raw food. The main foods that were the highest risk were meat and dairy products..meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, shellfish, and also rice..which can be dangerous if re-heated more than once as bacteria can spread and become harmful. Doesn't this tell us something about meat and dairy? Can it really be that good for us? We can eat veggies and fruit raw..and there is a massive variety of these.. and eating it has massive health benefits and there are no side effects from eating it..as there is with meat and dairy..(sat fats, raises blood pressure, high cholesterol) and fruits and veggies don't contain hormones, enzymes, blood, mucus.....
As the film played, pictures of cooked meat and poultry were shown, each time they were I could feel the girls' (from lunch) eyes looking at me, her head quickly turning, as if waiting for a reaction, but she seemed to be quite horrified by the sight of the images..making gagging and retching noises. I wanted to say to her..if it makes you retch at the sight of it, then why do you eat it?
She made me quite uncomfortable. Yes, it makes me sick the thought of eating anything from an animal, and makes me very sad and upset at the very sight of it on someone's plate when I'm sat opposite them in a cafeteria, but I don't sit there giving funny looks or looking at them as if they have shit on there plate, because it's rude and disrespectful and makes that person feel alienated and separate.
What they have taught us here so far is that we're all individual, we're all different - having different views, beliefs, religions etc, and that we each should respect that of one another.
I wonder if that's sunken in to anyone on the course yet?
Yes, we all have different views and beliefs, and we should respect each person for that and their own choices that they make. Everyone has a right to their own choices..of what they want to eat, to wear, how they wish to live, but we're all one, deep down we're all the same, and I'm a little weary of this term that they use ''we're all different'' ''we're all individuals.'' I think it's a little contradictive and mixed up. It separates people into thinking/believing that we're all different from one another, alienating us more.
With the intention they have of bringing people together, it's actually pulling people apart and disconnecting people.
We're not all different. We're all one.
We eat, we shit, we love, we feel, we breathe.
What makes us ''different'' and ''individual'' is the ego we create/portray, and in most parts of the world are encouraged to do so. If the ego isn't portrayed or recognised it becomes defensive, and will judge.
Be in touch with being, with feeling and with breathing, and be comfortable with who you are. Show yourself with love and with grace..and the ripples will travel far.