The Ancient Four-Fold Path to
Health, Simplicity & Inner Peace

By L. Kevin Johnson & Donna Philippe

Health, simplicity and inner peace are valuable possessions in our modern industrialized, computer-oriented society. Since ancient times men and woman have sought the secrets for fulfillment, good health and fortune through many methods, teachings and systems of thought. Some have gained power and riches through determination, hard work, divination, psychic manipulation and plain ole good luck, but few have ever touched the heart of inner peace, maintaining lives of abundant joy, developing the skill of simple living and natural health, and still fewer have accomplished a life of spiritual enlightenment, utilizing the power of trust and surrender. But right now, in your hands, you hold the proven secret formula anyone needs to attain satisfaction and contentment, without drugs and without the need for attaining wealth and power.

The following four-step system is based on teachings similar to those found in ancient Persia, Egypt and Palestine revealed and practiced by many esoteric societies such as the Essene Brotherhood, mystics and followers of the Greek philosophers and Zarathustra. These simple steps if utilized earnestly and faithfully will guarantee you success, enabling you to obtain a life of health, simplicity and inner peace. What more could you want? What are money, power, fame and fortune without radiant, natural health, calmness of mind and self-respect? What good is a successful career, stock market portfolio or large estate when you are loveless and dissatisfied, alone, sexually unfulfilled or overburdened with anxiety, uncertainty and discontent?

What you are about to read can dramatically change your life once and for all; it can allow you to realize incredible physical well-being, fulfilling relationships and quietness of mind – all without dogma, without ritual and without belief systems of any kind. Furthermore, this Four-Fold Path can transform you into being the kind of person that others can value and cherish, bringing forth from within you an inner glow. This is the formula for mastery, the proven vehicle of transformation, as realized by all the great ancient masters such as Moses, Gautama the Buddha, Christ Jesus, the master gardener Zarathustra, Lao-Tzu and many other individuals, of all faiths, throughout human his-story.  These simple steps are the foundational method common to all of them, enabling you to reconnect with your own natural strength, compassion, wisdom and inspiration.

The Four-Fold Path should be carefully studied and applied over the course of several weeks. You should be prepared to devote time and effort to each step everyday, until you have fully absorbed and utilized them as part of who you are. They cannot simply be read once or twice, pondered briefly and then cast aside in search of something better; what you hold in your hands is ancient wisdom, the secret to cultivating a life of health, simplicity and inner peace.

Before beginning with the lessons, it is suggested that you spend some time with pen and paper, writing out a few sentences about yourself; do this so that you can clear your mind and formally begin this new phase along your personal journey toward spiritual unfoldment. Afterward, respond to the following questions as truthfully as you can. You may want to spend the better part of a day, walking alone or driving, thinking carefully before writing down your responses. Don’t be tempted to rush through this process. It is a vital part. Transformation and re-direction requires re-education, focus and time, so please, be sure to take this first step very seriously. This can be an important turning point in your life. You will not be asked to accept any thought system, belief or religious philosophy. Instead, this is a system of practical living, one that gives you the tools you need to function more efficiently, both socially and spiritually. This is a rare opportunity to consider some important questions, a step all the ancient masters made along the way. Most people will probably never consider or think about these issues, but we assure you, they must ultimately be addressed because they deal with the fundamental condition of human life, namely, love, hope, anxiety, impermanence and inevitable surrender to the karmic law of cause and effect.

Read each question carefully, take as much time as you feel necessary, then write out your responses in as few sentences as possible. Do not write too much, but do not be vague either. Be as straightforward, clear and as honest as you can. When you have completed your responses, you may wish to read them over, checking to see if you feel they are honest and sincere - then seal them in an envelope and put them away. After you have worked the program for at least 3 months, go back and review them. You may be very surprised at the change in your consciousness!

 

Self Pondering Questions

 

1.       Who are you and what makes you unique?

2.       What do the people who are close to you think about you? Are you loved, feared or despised?

3.       Was there a time in your life where you really felt happy? When? Where? Why?

4.       Do you believe you can attain what you really want in this life? Why or why not?

5.       Where do want to be living in one year? Five years?

6.       Where do you want to be spiritually or emotionally in one year? Five years?

7.       Do you want to be healthy and physically fit? Explain why or why not.

8.       What is your current attitude concerning food? Concerning spirituality or religion? Concerning sexuality? Concerning other races of people?

9.       Do you believe in a higher power? If so, what is it?

10.   What is love? Fear?

11.   How long do you want to live? When do you think you will die?

12.   If you could choose the time, situation and place of your death, how would you like it to be?

13.   If you could meet and talk to anyone in the universe (either living or dead) for one hour, who would it be? What would you talk to them about and why? What do you think they would tell you?

 

The Ancient Four-Fold Path to Health, Simplicity & Inner Peace

 

If you found some of the questions difficult or uncomfortable to answer do not be discouraged. But realize that it is important to consider these types of questions at some point in life because they force you to confront the transitory nature of the human condition. Ancient philosophers and wise men of civilizations past have struggled with these and similar types of concerns and what you are about to study now is the common thread conclusion inherent in all their teachings.

Carefully read and consider each step in order to familiarize yourself with the coherent logic of the process. Each step is important and should be followed in order, though it is not wholly necessary so long as each one is given the same level of importance. Then read the commentary that follows. After you have read all four begin the Four-Fold Path by practicing Step One today. Focus some time following the suggestions that are offered. Tomorrow, you will focus on Step Two; the next day will be devoted exclusively to following the suggestions in Step Three, then Step Four on the fourth day. After that, begin again. It is suggested that you follow this procedure for twelve days (or three rounds). Then you can start utilizing all the steps, each day for one year.

You may wish to start a journal or record yourself talking on a tape recorder. As the transformation process unfolds you will undoubably have many thoughts and feelings; therefore it is useful to have an avenue of expression which can be very rewarding and beneficial in itself. Also, if you have a partner who will trek the path with you, you may find it even easier to walk it together, sharing experiences and supporting one another. Again, remember that this is a very powerful method for spiritual growth. The steps you are about to take will deepen your spiritual connection with God, nature and the universe because they are the pre-requisites toward developing the preconditions that lead to surrender and trust in the universal life force.

In the beginning, we must understand the fundamental law of life, and that is, change is inevitable. Our life is very short and temporary. We are alive for only a little while and it is our inability to accept change and impermanence in life which is the number one cause of anxiety, depression, mental illness and material dissatisfaction in this world; but the fact remains, nothing stays the same. The whole universe is constantly transforming each moment. Birth, growth, decay, death and rebirth are all part of the same universal Law of Life. All things must change; all things must pass and reform again as something new. Right now protons and electrons are exchanging between our bodies, trees, other people, wood, grass, insects, oceans, clouds, buildings and trucks. We are all atomically interconnected and inter-dependent on everything. Stars explode while new ones form, skin cells die and become household dust, new cells born, things come and go, we are here today, gone tomorrow; so to keep ourselves from getting too attached and hung up on things that are merely transitory and unreliable, we practice the noble path of learning how to let go. The easiest way to do that is by learning the wisdom of sharing. Therefore, the first step along the path is:

Step One: Give something away every day. 

We have just discussed that life is change, but life is also a play of duality. Each force has it’s opposite counter force, and rather than regarding friction as a battle between good and evil, the wise see all things as inter-connected, harmonious and purposeful forces at play. There can be no front without a back, light without darkness, truth without ignorance, inhalation without exhalation, joy without sorrow. All things are defined by their direct opposite. And so the wise person seeks to understand this and order himself accordingly.

            Imagine that you are happily walking down the street one day, feeling good, all your needs met, appreciating your good fortune… then out of nowhere, a homeless person, dressed in rags, approaches you and asks for spare change. Now, in that moment what do you feel? Are you annoyed, angry, fearful, filled with compassion…what do you feel? If you are freaked by his approach you may feel awkward or embarrassed, perhaps disgusted or repulsed, maybe you are indifferent. The point is some emotion or feeling will arise in you. And that emotion, at its’ core can only be one of two things, either it will feel “good” or it will feel “bad”. That is the nature of duality. The English language uses synonyms, many words to poetically describe the color and flavor of human emotion, but underneath all of that is the raw feeling – either pleasant or unpleasant – love or fear. These are the only choices available to us – either we choose to get jerked around by fear, insecurity, greed and anger or we opt for love, gratitude, trust and peace.

Feelings happen to us at every moment throughout our lives and unless we recognize how our vibrational level gets influenced and manipulated by our emotions amid the world of duality, it will be difficult to choose and maintain calmness of mind or equanimity. Our emotional state is a clear indicator of our vibrational level; therefore the best way to keep ourselves in a state of emotional equilibrium is by consciously practicing non-attachment. That is why step one teaches, give something away every day. It could be your time, money, food, an object, a wildflower, prayer, smile, kind word, thought or deed – the form of the gift doesn’t matter at all. What matters most is that you acknowledge another person in some positive and uplifting way, no matter how small or insignificant. This simple practice in and of itself can make a tremendous difference in the world because it sets in motion the positive karmic wheel, or what is commonly called the Golden Rule, or the law of cause and effect. (“What you sow, that also shall you reap - do unto others as you would have then do unto you - to give is to receive…”) - these are all accepted, timeless statements of truth, but how many of us consciously seek to utilize them each day?

It is not the value of the thing given that matters, the value is in the act of “giving”. Everything in nature flows constantly. Consider breathing for example. Inhalation and exhalation are the processes of life. You cannot only breathe “in” and you cannot only breathe “out”. Both occur, one after the other, the ceaseless rise and fall of the lungs and the coming and going of air define the process known as “breathing”, the force of life. All of life is a balance of opposite forces. If we want to order ourselves to this process, we must develop the skill that will bring balance, harmony and contentment. And giving to others is the reflection of this natural process.

Ancient cultures, such as the Native Americans, Mayans, as well as many ancient indigenous people all understood the importance of giving. But giving Christmas gifts or birthday presents to loved ones at certain times of the year are not enough. These are more or less social customs, promoted by marketers. What we are talking about is spontaneous, daily acknowledgement of another person – consideration and compassion toward suffering, or the extension of brotherhood or goodwill. Begin today by practicing this simple step. Give something away each day and over the next few days and weeks you will discover within yourself a spirit of detachment and a precious feeling of abundance.

           
Step Two: Eat a natural, raw food diet.

            We must eat to live, but let’s face it, eating is not cheap. We have always felt that the perishable things in life are the most valuable. You can’t eat money, but with it you can buy food (if you can call most of the processed stuff in restaurants and supermarkets food). Anyway, the point is this…how can we use our hard-earned money efficiently to purchase the most valuable, tasty, enjoyable and healthy foods possible? And what is the easiest, most sensible way to eat?

            The answer is…raw food; - but what we have discovered about diet and health is this: most people are not really interested in health. It seems that the majority of the world’s population cares more about taste and convenience rather than whether or not a food is really useful to the human body. It seems that it matters little how food is grown, ripened, processed or prepared, as long as it tastes good. This puzzles us quite a bit, because we have always been interested in feeling good and being healthy. For example, neither one of us take aspirin, vitamin supplements, cold tablets, over-the-counter drugs, nor do we drink coffee or smoke. And the only alcohol we drink is a small amount of red wine once or twice a week. So given this, we don’t want to abuse our bodies by eating foods that are going to diminish our vitality and strength, causing consequences of ill-health later on in life.

Food is what sustains our physical bodies, but most Americans take better care of their automobiles than they do themselves…why? Our bodies cannot rebuild living cells with dead food, that is, food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, processed, preserved, microwaved or that is no longer fresh. The living micro-organisms in the soil are the same ones needed by our gastro-intestinal tract to break down the nutrients in the food we eat to re-build cells and new tissue. Without these micro-organisms the human body cannot function properly. And any type of heat preparation or cooking destroys most or all of the vital elements and micro-organisms in the food.

For example, if you put sugar in the gas tank of your car it will ruin the engine. The same is true for your body. Refined sugar suppresses your immune system and one can of soda contains up to 9 tablespoons of sugar! And forget about diet soda, it is so filled with biocidic (life-destroying) chemicals that it would be better for you to drink the 9 tablespoons of sugar. And this is just one example! There is more information about natural diet in Part 2 of our book, Primal Conscious Living but the important point is this…the human body, to work and function at it’s best, must have whole, healthy, fresh and uncooked, organic food. The ideal ratio is this: ¾ of our food consumption should be raw fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, sprouted grains and grasses, germinated seeds or soaked nuts, clabbered milk or yogurt from healthy, well-nourished cows or goats, homemade sauerkraut’s or fermented seed cheeses or grain milks. The other ¼ can be cooked whole foods (not processed or chemicalized or microwaved non-foods or fried foods). These could include whole foods such as dehydrated meats, wild-game made into jerky, baked potato, whole grain rice, sprouted wheat flat bread, simple soups, or steamed vegetables. One cooked food per meal insures that we are not overloading the body with foods that are toxic and hard to digest.

Realize that modern researchers have proven that 5 out of the 10 leading causes of death in America are DIRECTLY RELATED TO DIET. These are heart disease, some cancers, stroke, diabetes and arteriosclerosis. As fast food companies invade poorer countries, ill health begins to expand globally, causing other cultures to give up their taste for natural whole foods, which have sustained them for centuries. The growing mania is for fast and convenient deep-fried, salted, sugar filled and plastic rather that whole, nutritious and simple foods. We’ve heard it said, that if the Garden of Eden were to be returned again, modern humans would probably build a McDonald’s in the middle of it!

The issue of raw food eating is one of the hardest aspects of spirituality and simplicity you will ever confront. This is because modern society has turned so far from the natural way. Natural diet is very important. Without your health, you are enslaved by the power of the multi-national corporations who seek to control the world’s food supply, promoting pseudo-health through agribusiness and genetic plant manipulation. Controlled ignorance and disempowering the poor are the obvious goals of the giant pharmaceutical and medical monsters plaguing America.

Many people have proven for themselves that returning to a basic, plant-based diet is the most powerful thing one can do to restore good health, weight loss, personal satisfaction and financial independence. One can have all the money in the world, but without health, it is valueless. The ever growing insanely popular strategy of replacing body parts with genetically-modified human-pig genes is no answer, because unless you have enough money to constantly pay to have your parts replaced, you’ll have to keep on working to stay alive. Suppose modern science figures out how to supplement and manipulate the human body successfully, keeping it running for 200 years or more…do you really want to continue working another 160 years to pay for it all?

            All of life on planet earth goes through the cycles of birth, growth, decay and death. The quality of one’s life is not dependent upon longevity, it’s dependent on good health (mental and physical) and being active and productive until the individual decides to shut down his or her body consciously. And eating a natural, predominately raw food diet, exercising and spending time in nature are the most important aspects in achieving this.

            So now you are probably asking, “what do I eat?” How can I use food to achieve simplicity and inner peace? Here are four suggestions for getting started.

            1.) Eliminate or reduce biocidic or life-destroying foods from your diet as soon as possible, but as mercifully as you can. What are biocidic foods? Any food that has been genetically modified, refined, preserved, chemicalized, sprayed, irradiated, heat-treated should be considered biocidic and unfit for human consumption. Examples are all boxed, heat-treated packaged, frozen or microwaved foods, refined sugar, inorganic salt, bottled juices, frozen-concentrated juices, pasteurized dairy products, canned meats (especially non-organic cooked meats), commercially grown eggs, milk from cows that have been injected with growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, etc., canned vegetables, canned fruit, etc., as well as fresh produce that is non-organic and sprayed heavily with pesticides. The twelve worst and dirtiest are: strawberries, apples, cherries, celery, peppers, spinach, peaches, Mexican cantaloupe, apricots, green beans, Chilean grapes and cucumbers. Instead, purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables whenever you can and eat them in their fresh, raw state, especially dark leafy green vegetables such as romaine lettuce, spinach, wheatgrass, sprouts, buckwheat lettuce, etc.

            2.) Start eating only one cooked whole food per meal. And eat this with fresh, raw organic (if possible) leafy greens or vegetables. A fresh, organically grown salad should be the main course. Some meal examples could be:

     Brown basmati rice with salad and sprouts.

     Sprouted wheat bread with grated carrots and orange-maple dressing.

     Potato and cauliflower soup with salad.

     Salad wrap with avocado and mustard on sprouted flat bread.

     Scrambled eggs (free-range, organically grown eggs) and buckwheat greens.

     Baked sweet potato and sprout salad.

     Fruit Muslei with sesame meal and cinnamon.

     Broiled fresh fish with salad

 

3.) Learn how to grow indoor greens, sprouts and start a small garden or at least grow a few pots of herbs and wheatgrass. Snip the wheatgrass over cooked foods to ensure that you are getting some fresh Biogenic (life-generating) enzymes to aid your body’s digestion. See recommended reading material at the end of this booklet for titles and information regarding this subject.

4.)    And most of all, Exercise at least 3 times a week. Either take up walking (20 minutes per day), bicycle riding, swimming, stair climbing, dancing, martial arts, aerobics, yoga, etc. Without regular exercise your work toward proper nutrition will be almost wasted. Exercise and sunshine on your body is essential to good health, detoxification, proper respiration and toning the heart and muscles.

 

Step Three: Practice some form of prayer or meditation for 10 minutes, twice a day.

            The third characteristic quality common among spiritual seekers is the ability to listen. Listening is a skill that must be practiced. And the easiest way to listen effectively is by regular prayer or meditation. There are many opinions regarding this subject, too many to address in this essay, therefore we will discuss what the ancient one’s have taught as the most powerful form of prayer and meditation – the power of active listening.

            Active listening is often used by counselors and psychologists as a tool for building rapport with their clients, a way to step back from judgement so they can offer a safe space, allowing another person to express freely. Too often in our modern culture many people have a quick-fix attitude; we possess a habitual desire to “correct” others out of our own limited view of reality, unable to see a bigger picture. Active listening requires humility and is similar to step one in that it requires that we make a conscious choice to let go, surrender without trying to control events, but rather to give space in order to create an atmosphere of cooperation, gentleness and love. The reciprocal effect in offering this to others is that we are able to detach from being overly involved emotionally and are thus capable of maintaining a calm atmosphere and stable perspective from which intuition and spiritual guidance can flow effortlessly.

            Often times it is wise to do as little as possible when someone is upset, just listen, give the other person space to freely express without condemnation, agreement, praise or blame. Just be like an empty mirror, reflect a listening countenance. A wonderful book that teaches us how to develop the skill of active listening was written in the 1960’s by Dr. Thomas Gordon and is entitled, P.E.T., Parent Effectiveness Training.

            When we seek to sit down to meditate or pray, it is helpful that we approach it with the same kind of skill as if we were listening to someone speak to us. Instead of "talking to God”, spirit guidance or nature, we could get still and quiet in order to listen better. The best way to do that is by first listening to the ordinary noises around us. After a few minutes turn that listening inward, observing our own heartbeat and breath. Let us listen to our body’s rhythm with the same kind of detached focus as we would another person speaking to us. This kind of quiet stillness, such as following the breath, watching a candle flame, repeating a mantra or the name of God can help anchor our mind’s habitual wandering, opening attention up to a more exalted and expanded perception of the nature of reality.

            There are many techniques available. Many books and resource material regarding prayer and meditation. We encourage you to develop a method that is right for you and which offers good results. As an example only, we offer the following excerpt from our book, Primal Conscious Living. It is a basic meditation practice using breathing and active listening as a way to calm the body and focus the mind. Though simple to learn and develop, it is a powerful technique, preparing us for the final step along the Four-Fold Path to health, simplicity and inner peace.

 

Practicing the Belly Breath  (from Part 5 of Primal Conscious Living)

 

            The belly breath is a valuable practice for those who would like to have a meditation practice, yet find it difficult to adhere to one.  In my experience, the two reasons people fail at the practice of meditation is because:

 

1.)      There is a misunderstanding about the true goal of meditation practice, which is to neutralize the effects of social consciousness, producing a soothing state of mind and body unification in order to reconnect with the life force. And…

 

2.)      People try to meditate too long.  Sitting beyond the natural stopping point that the body needs is not only a waste of energy; it actually makes the meditation experience seem unpleasant.  This prevents one from consistently sticking with it.

 

I’ve met some serious, devoted meditation practitioners whose lives are a total mess, following teachers and methods that may not be right for them. It’s not uncommon to get sucked into the personality of a teacher or guru only to walk away embittered, disappointed and feeling “had”.  Meditation is a personal journey into the discovery of one’s own mind and body.  If there is any fundamental rule to follow it is to keep your mind where your body is.

              For those who are interested in cultivating the divine primal consciousness within themselves, we offer this simple, effective exercise to be used either alone or along with another form of contemplative practice.  The point is to unify the mind and body in such a way that the present moment of experience becomes quite clear.  And this requires a certain release of body tension, especially in the abdominal or gut region of the body.

              Westerners tend to dwell “high up” in the body, mostly around the neck and head area, resulting from too much emphasis on rational thinking, planning and logic.  The ego-mind is the seat of social consciousness.  Primal consciousness, on the other hand, resides in the gut level of the body, an axis point between the higher and lower levels of mind and body. The belly is the body’s breathing center.  Most people are very shallow breathers and consequently hold tremendous tension in their bellies, which is also the reason why many suffer from back injuries and sciatic nerve pain.  The body requires a daily dose of tension release through abdominal breathing and calm mental focus.  That is all one really needs to benefit from meditative practice because it relaxes the body and releases the grasping mind.

Those who are interested in achieving an “out of this world” transcendent experience are free to do so, but we suspect that would not be tempting given consistent mind/body unification such as in the practice of belly breathing.

              Neurologically, the body is deeply soothed and re-energized when the abdominal muscles are expanded and relaxed.  This creates a physiological effect on the entire organism, thereby altering the vibration of the person, much like fine tuning a radio.  The tuning we are adjusting to is primal consciousness, the unity of all things, the Law of One of which the planet emits through plant, animal and mineral life.

              Man is the only species on this planet that is out of sync with the Law of One.  Why?  The answer is because mankind has collectively chosen to follow the path of expansion through the development of external technology, rather than relying on the power manifest within.  From the moment we began to harness fire, preserve food, create tools, forge metals and develop micro-processors, we began building the conditions of social conscious-programming.  From then on we were no longer interested in caring for the earth, but desired to conquer it.  This expansion will continue exponentially until we reach the point where we have become so dependent and reliant on technology that we lose our individual choice and free will. 

It will be at that point where mankind will have no other recourse but to pull the plug on his miscreations and begin to go the other way…back toward the internal, sacred Law of One. The belly breath meditation is a way to individually begin the process of reversing this expansion.

                Before starting the technique for the first time, spend a whole day paying attention to how you feel.  Carry around a small note pad and pen and once an hour, stop and access what you are experiencing in that moment.  Write down a simple word or phrase or a few thoughts like, “I am feeling irritated and worried about paying my Visa bill”, or “I am feeling nothing.”  Just notice what you can and make a list.  Then before you go to bed that night, read over the list and see what feelings you would like to have more or less of. This helps give you a clear picture of what kind of thoughts your are harboring throughout the day, allowing you an opportunity to see the effects of social conscious programming. 

After reading over your list, sit upright in a chair or on a cushion, or in bed.  Get your back as straight as you can without rigidity or strain.  Turn your palms upward in your lap, or you could clasp your hands around the blades of wheat grass (seven to fourteen days old) growing in a small 4” pot. (For detailed information on Biogenic Meditation, see The Tender Touch, by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely; another wonderful book available from the International Biogenic Society).  If you don’t have a pot of wheat grass, you can still practice the belly breath as follows but it’s not nearly as powerful.

                Close your eyes, separate your teeth, relax your jaw and sit still for a few seconds. Don’t move…do nothing, except breathe naturally. Proper meditative attitude is expressed through posture, so sit like a person who is totally enlightened, perfectly at peace.

                Begin by simply listening to the sounds around you. Don’t resist any noise. Do not force or resist thinking. Just allow the mind to be. Allow everything to be what it is. Let the mind think whatever it wants. Allow the inner chatter to go on while you gently direct your attention to your belly. Slowly draw in a breath through your nose (not too deep, not too shallow) and let your diaphragm muscle pop the belly out. Let your belly fill up like a balloon as you inhale. Do not try to overfill, just stay natural and soft. Hold the air in your lungs for 4 to 6 seconds and then let it fall out through your mouth. Contract your abdominal muscles as you exhale, slowly blowing the breath out. Notice how your belly collapses. Gently squeeze out the air with your diaphragm.

Keep your focus on this process, without forcing or controlling your breathing. Breathe in again and repeat the process. After each normal round of inhalation and exhalation, allow yourself to relax even more, maintaining your posture. Breathe naturally from the belly.

Sit and breathe this way for 5 to 10 minutes and stop when it no longer feels comfortable. The trick is to keep your attention on the whole breathing process and not to let the mind carry you away. When this does happen, notice the minds’ wandering and return your attention again to the belly, continuing to watch the entire process unfold.

In the beginning, practicing this exercise once a day is adequate. Eventually you can practice whenever you have a few moments, such as in the car, waiting in the doctor’s office, standing in the checkout line, etc. Practicing will eventually become easier and more soothing and delightful. It is the ability to relax the belly that seems to produce a physiological effect on the body, which in turn affects the mind. Long sessions of intense sitting meditation are unnecessary. In our experience, it is better and more beneficial to spend time in nature. But when you can’t, the belly breath meditation serves to create a similar vibration, conducive to mind/body unification.

In taking up this simple practice, devoting effort and time to it daily, we have realized tremendous confidence and insight about what it means to be primal humans, here in service to the evolution of this beautiful planet.

 

Step Four: Practice the power of gratefulness.

            The final step along the spiritual path is gratitude and surrender. But what does surrender mean; is it the same as giving up, accepting fate or hopeless defeat? To our personal, individualized, ego identity it might feel as such, but from a higher perspective, surrender is actually a huge sense of relief and a feeling of appreciation for this moment of existence. This is the most important secret the ancient masters have taught – a simple, virtuous life, working towards the basic necessities of life, good friends, fulfilling art, wholesome food, quiet shelter and natural surroundings, all lead to happiness. And happiness is the one thing all beings seek in whatever form makes sense to them.

Based on each or our past experiences, childhood influences, genetics, diet, culture, social and religious upbringing and environmental influences, we are all doing exactly the things that make sense from our perspective of the way-things-are. Though our actions may appear totally insane to another (violent, loving or indifferent), the fact is, we do what we do because the whole karmic force of life, has led us to that point - to that moment - no matter what the circumstances.

            Therefore, the highest conclusion one can make is to choose to relinquish personal will in favor of a higher, more natural, universal Will. It is the choice to serve others. To help heal the world, to be truly effective in bringing real changes the ancient masters concluded that we have to generate feelings of love - a vibration or atmosphere of loving acceptance toward all people and the planet. That is why they sought solitude in nature. They felt that love was the most important thing to accomplish in life. And they discovered that it is easier when we feel good; that is why good nutrition, health and simple living are so valuably important. Feeling good and living a stress-free life is how we all contribute to a peaceful world.

We are free to choose peace or war. Everything we need to find health and happiness has been provided in nature. There are healing herbs, seeding flowers, trees, rain, rivers, minerals, animals, mountains, seasons, tides, everything we need to experience abundance and satisfaction. Yet, civilized man has foolishly turned away from the wonders of the earth and sought to insulate himself through factories, technology, cities and nuclear weapons, and now he is to the point where his technological and biological advances are creating irreversible havoc on the environment and the planet. Genetic manipulation of seeds, terminator hybrids, acid rain, polluted ground water, pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions are completely out of control. While in the meantime, chemical agribusiness, renegade private armies, dictator mad-men and greedy corporate bankers continue to take advantage of poor nations, allowing the continuation of child slavery, sexual abuse, corrupt religious leaders, hate groups, on and on - all of this contributes to an atmosphere of insecurity and fear. But each one of us can break this downward trend by earnestly seeking to take back our own authority though simple living, natural nutrition, mindful spiritual discipline and most of all love.

            When we choose love, it is because love makes sense to us in that situation and in that moment. The same is true for violence or any other action for that matter. That doesn't excuse the behavior or make it moral or ethical, but it does explain why people do the things they do. All of our actions are based upon our past and present conclusions and the influences acting upon us moment to moment. The only sensible approach to breaking our negative tendencies is by relinquishing our personal will and consciously choosing something higher and better, a path of spiritual surrender, seeking to serve that which is greater than our own self interests. Personal self-interests are the culprits that have caused so much chaos, disease and suffering in the world today. What do human beings really need beyond wholesome, natural food, contentment, fulfilling art, communion with nature, comfortable clothes and shoes, satisfying work, a clean eco-system, good friends and simple shelter from heat, cold and rain? The answer is no-thing! What we need is a sense of the living presence in our lives; we need to embrace the beloved in one another.

            When we really begin to understand this there is no longer justification for blame or condemnation. Instead, we must take responsibility and accept that we have all had a part to play in the creation of chaos and disharmony in the world. The negative aspects of modern society are not being orchestrated by some unseen, mysterious force outside of us, but is born out of ignorance and spiritual immaturity. The choices we have made, the way we think, what we believe, our reactions to others, the way we choose to live our lives, the resources we consume, the words we speak, the food we eat – all of these ordinary elements influence the reality we are living right now. We cannot isolate one small aspect, such as our “thoughts”, then try to change them and hope to experience something higher and better; instead, we have to overhaul everything. We have to evaluate everything in our lives and get clear about what we really value if we are to achieve spiritual freedom. Of course we cannot be perfect, but we can tip the scale in favor of those higher aspects of humanity – such qualities as goodness, compassion, generosity, trust, charity, natural food, quietness, mercy, cooperation, and most of all, surrender and gratefulness.

            The way to surrender is to practice gratefulness. Gratefulness is surrender! We do not have to surrender to oppression or darkness, but rather, we simply opt for peace. People all over the world feel separate from one another and this is the fundamental social problem in the world today. It is not the plan of the planet that we experience paranoia, fear or anxiety. These are simply manipulations of mind, programming by mass media and modern entertainment technology. True reality is love and appreciation for the ordinary things in life – the smell of fresh fruit, the scent of a woman, the morning song of doves, rain, the laughter of a child, a cup of hot tea! These are the kinds of emotions that bring real satisfaction and peace. But to experience this atmosphere of lightness, we have to surrender to the present moment. We have to align ourselves with the plan of the planet; which is in its' plants (nature). The way of nature, a simple life, growing trees, flowers and food, taking care of insects, birds and other wildlife is the only formula for genuine satisfaction in this world. When we human beings begin to appreciate the natural things such as wind, sun, rain, food and friends, then we will touch the heart of fulfillment and peace in this life. Everything else, every other strategy to securing happiness is inefficient, counter-productive and antagonistic toward biological life.

            The aim of technology, ever since the mastery of fire and the development of language, is to separate and insulate ourselves from nature, in effect, it is a form of separation from God. And separation is what human beings suffer from most, both emotionally and physically. Infants are separated from their mothers soon after birth in most hospitals – vaccinated with poisons, poked, prodded, weighed, handled by strangers – children are sent to school, to be force-fed dogmatic techno-junk, while brain-dominate data is shoved into them – husbands are separated from their families, sent out to war or to earn money amid the wage-slave marketplace, just to keep the family going week to week. And worse of all, our elderly are shut away in clinical institutions, dehumanized, unvalued, despised, to be kept sedated and held together so their social security payments can be milked from them for as long as possible. Old people are no longer respected by our society. They are often reduced to mindless; drug addicted droids, burdens to society because they can no longer “produce” for the technological monster. What happened? Where did we go wrong?

            This sense of separation is a frightening problem in the world today. And we have all contributed to it. But we can start today to disentangle its’ bony grasp by choosing to live our lives in accordance with natural, biological law. In other words, we can break the bondage, undo the ignorance and separation by valuing love above all else. Let us surrender to love. Whenever we feel a moment of gratitude toward the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother, whenever we appreciate the gifts of nature, we are experiencing the emotion of the original moment of Creation - true reality. But as we continue to live lives that are cut off from nature, shut up indoors, mesmerized by television, we are choosing to maintain the tyranny of techno-ignorance. Technology should serve man…man should never allow himself to serve technology.

            Through the practice of giving, developing a natural lifestyle, practicing regular prayer or meditation, and cultivating a sense of gratitude and trust in the natural order of things, we can begin to reconnect with the forces of nature, rekindling the vital link to our own magnificent and collective human spirit.

  For more information about the authors:

www.geocities.com/~newliberty/earthstar.htm

Recommended Reading

 Natural Diet:
 

Diet for a New America, by John Robbins (an absolute must…filled with facts about how our food choices affect the world.)

 The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book 1, translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, (order from the International Biogenic Society, P.O. Box 849, Nelson, B.C., Canada V1L 6A5)

Search for the Ageless, Volume Three – The Chemistry of Youth, by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely

Be Your Own Doctor by Ann Wigmore

The Sprouting Book, by Ann Wigmore

The Raw Gourmet by Nomi Shannon (can be ordered from The Raw Gourmet, P.O. Box 4133, Carlsbad, CA 92018-4133 or on the web at www.rawgourmet.com)

Recipes for Life from God’s Garden by Rhonda Malkmus (can be ordered from Hallelujah Acres Publishing, P.O. Box 2388 Shelby, NC 28151)

You Don’t Have to be Sick, by George H. Malkmus (can be ordered from Hallelujuh Acres, P.O. Box 2388, Shelby, NC 28151)

 

Organic Gardening and Simple Living:

  How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back, by Ruth Stout

  Organic Gardening by Robert Rodale

  Square Food Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew

  The Humanure Handbook by J.C. Jenkins. (Can be ordered from Jenkins Publishing, P.O. Box 607, Grove City, PA 16127.)

  Choosing Simplicity – Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World, by Linda Breen Pierce. The book can be ordered from her web site: http://www.gallagherpress.com/pierce/index.htm

  The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

  Embracing the Beloved by Stephen and Ondrea Levine

  Tao te Ching, by Lao Tzu (classic Chinese text concerning the natural order of things)