The Heart Is More Than Just A Symbol of Love
by David Briscoe
There’s a reason the heart is a symbol for love. It’s not just a Valentine’s Day graphic for commercial purposes. The heart is in fact the physiological base of love. Cardiology studies for years have shown that those who are most natural in their expression and reception of love have the healthiest hearts. And we use many phrases such as “warm heart, ” “open heart, ” “expansive heart, ” and “deep heart,” for a reason. They are not just figures of speech.
The physical heart is the organ that circulates blood and warmth to all cells, tissue and organs of the body. To be a “warm-hearted” person actually requires that the physical heart and circulation be unobstructed and free-flowing. When we say someone is “cold-hearted” we are expressing an observation of his or her behavior, but if we were to examine such a person, we would most likely also find that they are actually colder on the surface of their body, natural warm circulation to the surface having been blocked by long-standing internal muscular contractions that prevent blood from fully reaching the skin. These contractions are the result of life experience that has required the person to withdraw away from the external life and go inward. This causes a concurrent withdrawal of energy and feeling from the surface of the body toward his or her core, as a means of self-protection. The Latin word for heart is “cor.” To withdraw feeling from the surface of the body back toward the core, requires a physiological withdrawal of energy, including blood circulation.
Many people today experience heart problems, not only because of unhealthy diet, but also because life has brought them trauma, abuse, betrayal, alienation, and isolation. If you would like to read more about the role of the heart in happy living please read, Love, Sex and Your Heart by Alexander Lowen, MD.
On a daily basis there are many ways to open the heart. For example, finding ways to give to others in our local community can be a good place to start. One such way of giving would be to sign up to be a reading or math tutor at your local library. Or give some time to a local school or a local food pantry. Your giving doesn’t have to wait for a global catastrophe far away, there are people who need you right where you live. The world right where you are is waiting for your heart to open to it. Join me in finding ways to let our hearts flow openly to the world around us, and find our heart becoming far healthier than good food alone can make it. This is my wish for us all on this Valentine’s Day weekend 2016.
Macrobiotics Beyond Food by David Briscoe
If we set aside for a moment the food aspect of macrobiotics, what is there to call macrobiotics? Anything? What is macrobiotics beyond its food and physical health benefits? Does it have anything else to offer an individual and society? When I first was introduced to macrobiotics in 1972 by a cookbook a friend had left at my apartment door, I didn’t have any interest in food, and I made no association between food and my health or any of the physical and mental challenges I was facing at the time. But reading that book changed my life. It wasn’t the recipes and the food ingredients printed there. I didn’t even know what those ingredients were, and I rarely cooked for myself. But something else in the book appealed to me. There was mention of “freedom,” self-responsibility,” “creative thinking,” “wholeness,” and other such concepts. I was surprised to find mention of these in a cookbook. Still to this day, these concepts are what fuel my on-going macrobiotic adventure. But I find this spirit of macrobiotics fading from macrobiotic teachings and consciousness today as the predominant view being promoted is that of macrobiotics as glam cooking for movie stars, gourmet recipes, and “vegan cuisine.” I understand that this is partly an attempt to make macrobiotics more appealing and to reach out to the masses who might be scared by the word “macrobiotics,” but it seems to me that promoting macrobiotics as another vegan or natural diet only, stripped of its spirit and creative principles, is missing the deeper opportunity to really help humanity and the planet.
In my opinion, the real beauty and true depth of macrobiotics is not in its food and health aspects, though some of us have experienced dramatic healing from this alone, but in the “spirit of macrobiotic living” from which the dietary aspect of macrobiotics has emerged. What is macrobiotic living between meals? How do macrobiotic principles and view of life express themselves outside of the kitchen? In our daily lives, how do we live and behave as a result of having looked at life through the macrobiotic view?
And what IS the “macrobiotic view?” I am curious to know how macrobiotics
touches your life besides the ways in which you eat. Please share this with me.
Comments or questions are welcome.