In last week’s blog we looked at some of Bhante’s philosophies and teachings; in this final installment, we will look at some of his life principles and practices.
Bhanté’s life principles and practices include…
Is this so
How confident are you, if it matters, that you are correct?
You may be right for the wrong reasons or wrong for the right reasons.
Be right for the right reasons.
- Is this action or thought healthy and participates in virtuous cycles?
This means it makes better both you and whatever or whomsoever is around you.
- Does this action contribute to beneficial virtuous cycles that become self-reinforcing for the better or the good of all.
Is the way this is conveyed to others kind, compassionate, and as gentle as possible while still being as clear as possible.
If you ask a Buddhist, such as Bhanté’s student HH the 14th Dalai Lama, what is his religion he will likely reply, ‘kindness and compassion’… what is yours? We are really in this situation together, interdependent.
- It is better to promise or vow when you are sure you can fulfill the commitment.
Better to do without vowing than to vow and not fulfill.
- Am I acting out of past experiences or doing what is best in the moment.
Past experiences can bias your experience by renewing the traumas or afflictions. Come to know yourself. Past experiences could be like shadows that have no impact on the moment yet inform you. They should not color nor influence nor shape your actions now even as you can witness them and learn from them. Carl Jung, David Bohm, Richard Feynman, and Albert Einstein reached the same conclusion.
- Am I witnessing and healing from the past or repeating the trauma.
Witnessing is encouraged and tends to be freeing.
Repeating the trauma is like picking at a wound.
Most psychotherapy today either re-experiences the trauma or buries it beneath one of more psychotropic chemicals.
Bhanté found people afflicted by the past or the future.
To help them witness and restore to them the life energy that had been devoted to defending against the trauma he suggested one or more of the following:
- Rogerian therapy, Maslow’s Positive Psychology, Stan Krippner’s Humanistic Psychology, Quacker re-evaluation counseling, TCM, Hikmet medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, wilderness awareness, Erik Peper’s therapeutic biofeedback, Joan Kellogg’s Manadala art therapy, Helen Boney’s music therapy, Anat Baniel’s Feldenkrais technique, Roger Tolle’s Trager technique and Nature Cure and similar.
- Bhanté spent three years in the forest. He was asked by his teacher to then take seven monks for seven years so his compassion would grow. This was completed just before he went to Lucknow, India. The monks remained a sangha for each other and returned to Cambodia.
- Am I acting out of emotion or under the influence of some substance?
Only take thoughts into actions when you are of clear mind, calm, compassionate and non-attached.
Otherwise, keep still or silent.
When you start drinking or smoking or doing anything recreational, stop speaking and doing.
- Slow down.
Allow yourself to be well or to be healed.
Then you can be helpful to others and yourself.
Too often people try to help others before this and end up harming themselves.
Necessary, healthy limits must be learned and set consistently at all levels. For example, the teacher can never be intimate with the student. The acolyte must be dissuaded from worshipping the teacher rather than a higher authority.
The therapist can never be intimate with the client, according to Bhanté, at least. Several times Bhanté prevented even the possibility of impropriety to show proper behavior.
Such limits can be learned. Such limits are necessary to learn if you want to live a fully aware life. Then, you can be helpful to others and yourself rather than leaving you or others worse for wear.
- Get outside your comfort zone little by little. You can become more helpful, more able to have flexible boundaries, depending on the context. As is said, practice the rules long and faithfully before you break or transcend them. Be enfolded by the Universe. Be a part of GAIA, mother earth. Be so in love with life that life flows through you into the surroundings.
Often we need to turn around, quiet down and witness whatever is from non-attachment. This makes it more likely you will choose wisely. Many times on my journey relearning and returning to the right path occurred. The insecure overachiever and scared child in me gradually came forward and resolved, leaving me freer and more alive.
My Rabbi, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, who performed our chasseneh (Commitment of relationship) inspired and instructed me with love and unbending intent for my best. He had Bhanté’s blessing to so do.
Let nature and nurture guide you.
Wholeness includes eating only whole foods and beverages. If you follow this, it greatly increases your intake of the nutritious, delicious, and essential while cutting down on the toxic and metabolically disruptive.
Makeover your kitchen toward wholeness. Replace plastic with wood, bamboo, ceramic, glass, or metal. Replace boxes and packages with whole foods including organic or biodynamic spices, herbs, and salts. Store in glass, ceramic, or wood or whatever is most natural and allows the item to breathe.
Cook whole foods mostly slowly and in their own juices to increase the digestibility of the food. Use a Tagine and good cookware. Use bullion or broth, water, wine, sprouts or Apple Cider Organic Vinegar. Use a few good knives. Become friends with reusable chop sticks or sporks. Use an abundance of fresh, organic, or biodynamic herbs and spices.
No added sugar. You are sweet enough as you are.
No edible oils. Get quality fats from seeds, nuts, and quality fish oil supplements. Be wary of commercial products such as edible oils as they are often contaminated and contain unhelpful processing ingredients.
Start each meal with something wet and warm. For example, a squeeze of fresh lime juice in a glass of mineral water or a broth. Broths we recommend include vegetable and herb, line caught fish, and grass-fed meat. Do not use bone broth as it has too much bad and not enough good.
Eat until you are half full. Pause briefly to hydrate and appreciate. If you want more after this, please enjoy. The guidance as to what and when to eat includes when you are hungry rather than to use food to compensate for stressors. In addition, in stressful situations such as while traveling, do not eat and stay well hydrated.
Use Bhanté’s Nature’s pHarmacy and Nature’s Alkaline Way to guide you.
Eat what you can digest, assimilate, and eliminate without immune or toxin burdens. Bring only healthy foods into your environment.
Reduce exposure to the toxic. Increase intake of whole, health promoting organic, biodynamic, or locally grown food and drink.
Take health promoting actions and engage regular mindful practices.
Learn how to use colored water, colored oil, colored light, and colored meditation to help yourself and others. The system Bhanté taught derives from the time of Gautama. It was practiced for 500 years. It was lost for two millenia. Bhanté brought it back to life and taught it to the world.
Green is the middle of the light spectrum and brings harmony and balance including to the pineal and pituitary glands and through them to the body.
Look up green light therapy and Bhanté or my name if you want to dip into this modality.
Green light is safe and effective. Start with green dichro PAR 38, 150watt bulbs. The bulb should be comfortably warm when shining on your face for 20 minutes or more twice daily. The rest of the color healing system takes training to use properly.
You might also make ‘green water’ using a green glass bottle such as Pellegrino mineral water or Tanqueray gin. Fill it 90% with mineral water. Put a cork in the top. Put it in the sun for two days. You have solarized water. The water is still clear however its molecular character has changed. Taking a tablespoon before each meal helps overall digestion.
Take corrective action quickly when anything is wrong.
It is easier to correct when it is an irritant rather than when it afflicts.
For example, sitting, slouching or being sedentary is as harmful to health as smoking several packs of cigarettes daily. If you get up for at least five minutes each hour and walk around, stretch, and breathe deeply most of the harm is banished.
Yes, sit upright, stand, or lie down. Slouch not.
Today, in the 21st Century, fortify yourself.
Avoid harm. Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and environments.
Indoor air is worse than outdoor air quality, especially in super insulated energy conserving buildings. Use an air ionizer, charcoal filter and ULPA or HEPA filter to reduce indoor particles and harmful chemicals. Use plants that improve indoor air quality.
Increase helpful essential vitamins, minerals, cofactors in your diet and with high bioavailability full disclosure supplements in abundance. Stay hydrated which means to urinate about every two ours while awake. Stretch and renew regularly. Get restorative sleep. Be resilient enough to recover from any distress or toxin. Know your limits.
Keep in front of you reminders of what you want to do to promote well-being. Biometric and other reminders help keep us firmly on the path.
Take a breath before you act to allow a moment for the Universe or your spirit guides to affirm or correct your intention.
Abdominal breathing for five minutes two or more times daily improves your mood, lowers blood pressure, lowers stress hormones and allows you the function better in the moment.
Use Bhanté inspired four self-assessments and eight predictive biomarkers to determine where you are epigenetically and where you might be if you followed Bhanté’s guidance as articulated below.
The four self-assessments are digestive transit time, urine pH after rest, hydration and C Cleanse.
The eight predictive biomarkers cover all of epigenetics and are hemoglobin A1c (Hgb A1c), high sensitivity C Reactive Protein (hsCRP), Plasma homocysteine, LRA, Vitamin D level, Omega 3 index, 8 oxo guanine and urine pH after rest, all interpreted to best outcome goal values through our smart algorithms. These tests are available online from our portals.
My health promotion program is a tribute to Bhanté and includes measuring these tests every six months. Mostly, they confirmed that I am healthy and sometimes they alert me to corrective actions needed. Most problems of ‘aging’ are avoidable deficits in the good and progressively too much of the bad.
Material things are important and so are spiritual matters.
Live a balanced full life.
Take time to amble or ramble preferably in a woods or park. Walking is an excellent exercise. On healthy soil, walk bare foot.
My home is in a mature wood. We have a 12-year-old permaculture biodynamic food forest in the front yard. Mushroom guilds abound in the backyard. Picking herbs or flowers, vegetables, or fruit for dinner from our garden adds to the delight of the moment and maybe to the nourishment of those who partake. Fresh from the garden is different from fresh from the market.
We have a flood plain that nurtures nature and prevents further development. It raps around the hill where we live in harmony with what surrounds us.
We have on our property and in honor of what Bhanté inspired… a hot tub and Finnish Sauna to help promote health through sweat. a wood fired bread oven that also makes good pizza. an Ojibwa Medicine wheel for storytelling. Lily, tulip, and iris guilds across from the kitchen and herb garden for fragrance and beauty. Galera grapes and Arctic Kiwi’s have taken over the garden arbor. a succession of flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and berries abound that we share with the flora and fauna on our land and eat from in season. We do have a simple wire fence to keep out the deer. There is plenty for them to eat outside our garden.
My kitchen and dining area are open. This invites people to participate in making, serving, enjoying, and eating together.
Bird feeders bring hundreds of birds each day that we can watch from the deck. Fox and raccoons patrol the property.
A guest studio allows people to come for a few days to experience how Bhanté brings good vibes to this place and, if they want, to study his work.
Walking up and down the hillside provides a cardio workout.
Ambling on the trails provides time to just be or to reflect or to plan. An Ype deck, outdoor chess set and Zen-garden to delight our guests and ourselves.
We stretch, hydrate, and breathe deeply often. We welcome you to do the same.
My bedroom is dark, cool and useful to gain restorative sleep.
Helping me transition from daytime to nighttime are the following that can be combined into about 20 minutes. Practice abdominal breathing for five minutes followed by 15 minutes of mindfulness practice. Use the Green dichro light while in an Epsom salt and baking soda bath. You might use a personal sweat cabinet or steam shower.
Multitasking things that bring harmony is a wise use of multi-tasking.
This is also one of the places from where we broadcast these messages widely on social media and other information platforms while still enjoying the flow of this place.
This is one of the places where Bhanté played with and blessed my children; where he received emissaries and gave counsel; from where he taught his color healing system.
- Life may be full of distress.
Turn distress into eustress by being resilient, humble, trusting of the universe and knowing that doing the best you can is good enough.
Accept what you have as what you need for the moment, to learn from, and perhaps to transcend or appreciate.
Love what you do and do what you love.
Be fully present both to serve and to be such a shining example of good health that people want to do what you do.
Be the change you aspire to have in the world.
So… if you have come this far, a journey has started whose result you determine.
Set in motion small practices now. Reap inner and outer rewards.
When you do something good or virtuous, take a moment to appreciate yourself.
When you are acknowledged for having done something helpful, accept that honor with humility and appreciation for all others who participated.
If you can witness each moment more fully… opportunities that were previously obscure become clear.
With time and practice, you become more of who you are meant to be. You engage virtuous cycles and behaviors that become self-reinforcing. You leave behind the self and engagements that are afflictive or that lead to vicious cycles.
Now, more than ever, we need the good fortune and benefits that flow from practicing Bhanté’s path. It has been my privilege to follow his ways for now half a century and still gaining from his insights.
May all be well and happy.
Resources and connections:
A practical guide to Color Healing by Joseph Davis (published by the J G Bennett Foundation)