“You hear the sound,
you wait around
and get the word

You see the picture
changing everything
you’ve heard

Destroying you with this
must be the one you love

Must be the one
whose magic touch
can change your mind

Don’t let another day go by
without the magic touch

Destroying you
(change your mind)

Embracing you
(change your mind)

Protecting you
(change your mind)

Confining you
(change your mind)

Distracting you
(change your mind)

Supporting you
(change your mind)

Distorting you
(change your mind)

Controlling you
(change your mind)

Change your mind”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse (Sleeps With Angels, 1994)

There have been a number of recent accounts of people who have been practicing a macrobiotic lifestyle for a long time, in some instances for decades, who have learnt they have osteoporosis. This is another indication that people’s practice of macrobiotics today is lacking, at least from my perspective.

In my view and experience there is absolutely no reason for anyone consciously practicing a macrobiotic lifestyle to develop any degenerative illness, IF one is practicing it properly. Now, the statement “practicing macrobiotics properly” may lead to misunderstanding. I do NOT mean that there is a certain way of practicing a macrobiotic way of life which if only everybody did it, they would not experience any degenerative illness.

What I mean is that if people studied macrobiotic principles and used all the tools available in a macrobiotic practice and learnt to apply these to their own condition (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) on a day-to-day, year in, year out basis – as our condition changes with each passing year – then no-one practicing a macrobiotic lifestyle accordingly would ever experience degenerative illnesses.

But, what one finds out is that by far the majority of people who start practicing macrobiotics do not study macrobiotic principles or use the tools available. People generally seem to have this curious idea that all we need to do is start cooking and eating whole grains and vegetables and everything is going to be “hunky-dory”. And the “hook” of it is, if one is actually cooking and eating one’s own macrobiotic meals, it is, initially.

If we do nothing but get a macrobiotic cookbook, and cook our whole grains and vegetables everyday, we will generally feel better, have more vitality, think more clearly, become emotionally calm and stable, and this happy state will generally increase as time goes on. However, at around 2-3 years of doing nothing but eating cooked  whole grains and vegetables, without daily study of yin and yang, the Five Transformation Theory, learning facial diagnosis, doing ginger compresses on a regular basis, and (in the case of women) daikon baths, practicing self-reflection, changing our way of thinking, as well as developing a profound gratitude for everything, ESPECIALLY our difficulties, then our progress will come to a subtle, implacable halt.

From then on, we will start to experience health problems of one kind or another- physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and our practice of cooking whole grains and vegetables will avail us nothing. So, of course, 80% of people who start a macrobiotic practice give up at this point, if they have lasted this long, and say, “macrobiotics didn’t work for me”.

Well, of course, that is just it – macrobiotic practice does NOT work. On the contrary, you have to work at your macrobiotic practice in order to make it work for you!

And since making a macrobiotic practice work for you necessarily means studying yin and yang etc., if we do not, we are really better off with not concerning ourselves with it at all.

I do not say THE macrobiotic practice, for there is no such thing. There are as many ways of a practicing a macrobiotic practice as there are individuals on the earth, AND ALL of us ARE practicing a macrobiotic way of life, whether we know it or not.

Now, since everyone is practicing a macrobiotic way of life who know nothing of macrobiotic principles, including the vast majority of people who are consciously attempting a macrobiotic practice, then what is it that we can expect to happen as a result?

A world-wide epidemic of chronic degenerative and infectious illness accompanied with concomitant mental illness, emotional instability, social diseases, political and economic decay, ecological destruction etc., etc., ad nauseam.

This is what is happening. And we are seeing this in the macrobiotic community. Which demonstrates what I am saying is true.

In other words, I am saying that if we consciously take the time to study and understand yin and yang, the Five Transformation Theory, facial diagnosis, change our way of thinking, develop gratitude, and practice daily meditation/self-reflection, do the ginger compress regimen (and daikon baths if a woman), then it is not possible to develop degenerative illnesses.

Anything less is not only unacceptable, it is to succumb to superstition.

Therefore, if we do develop degenerative illness, of any kind, our macrobiotic practice is incorrect, we are making mistakes due to our lack of understanding. Thus, in the case of people who do develop degenerative illnesses, there is a need for them to start studying and self-reflect on what they are doing wrong, and correct the mistakes that are being made.

And if we do discover the mistakes, and correct them then we will heal. If we do not, we will not.

We also need to understand that we cannot take our health for granted. Rather, we need to realize that being healthy is a religious, scientific and artistic action of daily inspirational creativity. If we approach being healthy as merely eating so-called healthy foods, without the concomitant changes in attitude, way of thinking and daily self-reflection, the only possible result will be degenerative illness of one kind or another.      

Kaare Bursell
1041 Kains Avenue
Albany, CA 94706

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The Alchemycal Pages

“The macrobiotic way of life recommended by the ancient wise people and practiced widely for physical, mental and spiritual development consists of the following arts; the way of eating, the way of breathing, and the way of daily life. Because a human being is part of his environment, and has evolved through biological development covering more than three billion years on this planet, his physical, mental and spiritual conditions are based upon what he consumes from his natural environment and his food. The way of eating is the most essential factor for his development.”

Michio Kushi, THE BOOK OF DO-IN (ISBN 0-87040-382-6)

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(856) 782-7310

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