If whole plant foods are as spectacular for promoting good health as people say, why then would anyone not put 100% of their attention squarely on this message?
Despite all that we know about the magnificence of whole plant foods, including our own health miracles (they certainly felt miraculous to us), we also know that this unilateral approach to health, albeit an extensive and multifaceted unilateral approach, falls short in addressing human complexity. The medical mindset of one illness, one treatment is restrictive and unhelpful in the context of natural health and wellbeing. It’s no surprise that lifestyle medicine is slowly, but surely gaining ground in the conventional medical world. Human health, wellbeing and happiness are not isolated experiences requiring isolated approaches. Far better, but much less measurable (and therein lies one of the challenges: the almost obsessive need to measure at every turn), is to recognise human physiology and mental and spiritual well being as intimately linked parts of the whole person.
This is why we choose to teach meditation, a kind of mindfulness meditation but with perhaps a little more emphasis on the spiritual aspects of ourselves that many of us readily recognise, without needing to venture into realms that some of us, with our highly developed logical minds, are resistant to. I am an accredited CALM coach, that is Conscious Awareness Life Meditation, trained in person by Sandy Newbigging whose passion to make meditation accessible following his own extensive experience led to his Mind Calm and Body Calm programs and books. I love teaching these programs, or better still, combining them as we now do into one course that we call Calm InSight.
I have always loved teaching, not only because of the classroom interactions, but also thanks to the knowledge that in a sense, I'm making available a gift that the student can choose to use or not. I used to teach A Level* German and Spanish and to this day, witnessing those former students who carried on their studies at university and who, in some cases, developed their gift so much that they took their lives abroad, is a source of joy to me. Teaching meditation is no different. This gift is tremendous, and not infrequently it transforms lives in the most wonderful ways.
Most people are drawn to learning meditation to address a health or wellbeing concern: poor sleep, anxiety and stress-related conditions so many of which express themselves through our bodies and contribute to, or even cause, health conditions that a conventional doctor may only respond to with pharmaceutical medications, never uncovering the root cause. It’s hardly surprising, to me at least, that those who choose meditation often feel unusually grateful to their illness for being the catalyst that propelled them towards an infinitely richer experience of life.
As my understanding has grown, I’ve come to realise that the food I eat isn’t simply a more natural form of medicine, it is my most intimate relationship with nature, the natural world with a life force that nourishes me in ways industrialised foods never could. Graham and I love teaching about whole plant foods and we love that, thanks in no small part to our meditative realisations, we know we’re making available a gift that may not only improve health, but for some may prove to be absolutely transformative, just as it has been for us.
~ Annette Henry
*University entrance qualifications in the UK
Coming up this month we have a free Calm InSight taster class, followed by the first of class of the 10 week program:
Monday January 10th:
Calm InSight Taster Class.
The booking link is here:
Starting Wednesday January 26th: the 10 week Calm InSight course for anyone who wants to make meditation part of their day-to-day life.
The full price of the course is €100, or is freely accessible to Premium Members at no additional charge.