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The Future Of Macrobiotics

May 7, 2021

The following is a response to a question asked of me on Facebook on March 11, 2020.

Phiya, what are your thoughts on the future of macrobiotics? And why do you think our movement is not growing at this time?

Thanks for asking this question and your patience for a reply. A proper answer to your question requires a full review and analysis of the history of Macrobiotics from the time of Ohsawa up to the present. A large part of that history includes the efforts of my parents and the many who helped them as they have had the greatest impact on the world.

This response is actually my fourth attempt to write a reply short enough for a Facebook comment. I failed each time prior because, in order to provide the necessary context, I found myself having to write several paragraphs on Ohsawa’s earlier work even before getting into the work my parents did from the late 1960s onward. It was a great personal exercise for me as I took a deep dive down memory lane. I will hopefully continue this process to flush out my full thoughts. The result is that such a response is much too large to post here and even for a blog article. So, instead, I will try to summarize my thoughts as best as I can.

The successes of Macrobiotics in the past have mainly to do with my parents being the right persons at the right time to introduce it to the world. These successes include creating the awareness of food and the impact it has on health and sickness, the creation and spread of the natural and organic foods industry, the rise of alternative medicines as a legitimate resource, the successful exportation and integration of Far Eastern culture into the West for the prevention of future wars and a vision of world peace, the introduction of a comprehensive philosophy and practical approach toward inner peace and spiritual development.

Most of the successes achieved by my parents can’t be replicated. They can only be done once. For example, once a person becomes aware of how food impacts one’s health then it can’t be undone and then re-done. It can only be explored further with greater insight and detail. So the challenge for those coming after my parents lies not in trying replicate their efforts but instead to build upon what they have created and many have taken various approaches to do this.

Among these, there are those exploring and expanding upon specific ideas and areas introduced to them by my parents. They are all having varying degrees of growing success and include those who work in the natural and organic foods industry, alternative/integrative medicine and environmental sustainability. Then there are those who try to fill in the gaps of what they perceive was missing in my parents teachings only to find a niche market that dwindles overtime, as their success is/was dependent on the continued successes of my parents which have ended. Then there are those who continue and try to emulate or replicate my parents efforts but are met with little or no success at all because it is work that has already been done and is no longer relevant. These last individuals are the ones who continue to identify themselves as “the macrobiotic movement”.

As you can see, depending on how you define macrobiotics and the movement there are different answers to the question of its present state and future. If we try to continue and replicate the success of my parents then we will fail. If we try to provide what we think was missing in their efforts then we will have limited success that will eventually become irrelevant. If we continue to explore and expand upon what they introduced then we will find varying degrees of success depending on the area of focus, though it will probably not be called, “macrobiotics”, but is a subset of it. All of this is happening now and has been happening for quite some time.

There is one element of both Ohsawa’s and my parent’s efforts that was key to their successes that anyone can replicate yet none have taken up, to my knowledge, which is to always be consistently relevant to the changing times. The way to do this is to continuously be curious and humble and pay attention to all that is going on in the world. It means to explore and study why things are the way they are and why things happen the way they do. It means to always ask and never be afraid of any question even and especially when it may require changing one’s entire approach to life. It means to appreciate our ignorance and always remain flexible and hungry to learn. This is why Ohsawa used to call his macrobiotic centers, “Centre Ignoramus”. However, most Macrobiotic promoters today ignore this key and instead strive to become experts in their fields thereby guaranteeing their future irrelevance. They have placed themselves in positions where they cannot afford to question everything especially if it means to question their own identity, livelihood and relevance.

There is obviously much more to explore here including topics that I have not mentioned such as why Macrobiotics can’t seem to shake its cult-like image, how the doctor-patient business model of macrobiotic counseling no longer serves the movement and why many children of macrobiotic parents reject their ways. However, I hope that I have given you some insight into my thoughts on your question.

One last thing I would like to suggest is that if you are asking, “What is the future of Macrobiotics?”, then you have already failed. The question to ask at all times is, “What is the future of humanity?”. With that question you will never fail.

Thanks for asking

Macrobiotics and The 2020 Pandemic

April 22, 2021

The following is a response to a question about the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 posted on Facebook on April 15, 2021.

Q: In your estimation, what is the underlying cause/ effect of this Covid ‘viral pandemic’, and are these vaccines along with masks and distancing appropriate, enough and/ or what is the optimal way forward?

Thank you for your question and patience for a reply.

I think it should be clear that the damage this viral pandemic has done and the deaths it has caused have been made exponentially greater by the chronic consumption of highly processed foods, especially concentrated and refined sugars, and other excessive dietary choices. So any way forward in dealing with future pandemics should necessarily address diet and lifestyle choices as doing so will drastically reduce future morbidity rates. But this probably won’t happen until the majority of the world finally understands this and actually stops eating and producing such foods. Still, this does not take away the influence of viruses and the question of why they arise and how to best deal with them as your question is asking.

I appreciate your question as it is broadly about this pandemic and, by association, all pandemics and viruses and how we should go about addressing them and what we can do better in the future when this happens again. Previous questions to me on this subject were mostly concerned about the taking of COVID vaccines, which are important to consider on a personal level of choice, but are much better understood in the context of broader questions such as the one you asked.

I did write an unpublished paper on this subject a year ago that explores these larger points. However, until it is released, which is uncertain if it ever will, I will share with you some thoughts here.

First of all, I would like address some “macrobiotic myths” about viruses:

Myth #1: Viruses don’t cause diseases

Technically, refined sugar doesn’t cause diseases either. But once it gets into your body things do happen.

We generally accept the fact that there are, for example, poisonous mushrooms that, if eaten can be lethal. Why, then, do some deny the entire world of bacteria and viruses, which are greatly more diverse and abundant on earth and naturally must include entities that may be lethal to us but are fine to accept the existence of, say, deadly mushrooms and other potentially harmful substances that we are careful to avoid all the time. That makes no sense to me.

Myth #2: Terrain Theory is true (and “macrobiotic”) while Germ Theory is not

This myth maybe the cause of why some think that viruses, germs and parasites don’t cause diseases. While Terrain Theory was encouraged by Ohsawa there is nothing to show why both theories aren’t true at the same time. Certainly, depending on the host environment, like in the case of COVID-19, viruses can be much more much lethal or not but, as mentioned above, that fact does not take away the role that the viruses do play.

I believe the problem happens when two competing theories are viewed as a choice between one versus another when both can be true at the same time. If you only accept one theory and deny the other then you are missing half the picture. Mistakes made about viruses in the medical community stem from the denial of Terrain Theory while mistakes made in the macrobiotic community stem from the denial of Germ Theory.

I think Ohsawa’s emphasis on the importance of Terrain Theory was due to the fact that it was dismissed by those who denied it and exclusively believed in Germ Theory (like Schweitzer). It did not help that Ohsawa was very dramatic in his expressions and characterizations like branding Pasteur as a dangerous person. However, those who believe in Germ Theory today are accepting of the impact of environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle and other environmental influences on the world of bacteria and viruses. This is similar to those who only used to believe in genetics but are now discovering epigenetics and the even greater impact it has on us.

Myth #3: Vaccines are more harmful than the viruses themselves

This is obviously not true. Vaccines, given their widespread application, may certainly cause adverse reactions, even death, in rare cases and situations but this is true for anything and everything we do. If someone is willing to expose themselves to harmful viruses then there is no logical reason to avoid exposing one’s self to something that is designed to cause a similar reaction but in a milder and more manageable form. Opponents to vaccines will point to a list of harmful and questionable substances included in the vaccines which is important to note and improve yet seem to forget that we are constantly exposed to many toxic and questionable substances, often by choice, in far greater amounts on a daily basis and yet have no serious problem in discharging these from our systems.

Myth #4: There are alternative and “natural” ways to prevent exposure to viruses

No, there aren’t. There may be less invasive ways to suppress our bodies reaction to viruses, in other words, to better treat and prevent the diseases caused by them but there is no natural way to avoid exposure to them which is why masks and social distancing are an effective preventive measure for airborne viruses. The most natural way to approach new viruses is to be exposed to them, but preferably in amounts that are not lethal where the body can learn how to easily discharge them, which is the rationale behind vaccines. One can also eat better and strengthen one’s self to better handle viral infections and reduce their impact but that won’t prevent exposure to them.

There may be other myths that need addressing but these are the ones I can think at the moment.

So what are viruses?

Viruses are bits of genetic material surrounded by proteins. They are vital to the continued evolution and development of all life and we rely on them just as we rely on bacteria and archaea.

Viruses are not alive and can only reproduce themselves inside a living host. Viruses mainly come from diseased and/or dying cells of all types from bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes, like us. The more different the origin of the cell of the virus to us, the less likely they are to be harmful to us and, in most cases, are beneficial to us. Indeed among the trillions of viruses that exist there are very few that are actually harmful to us. For example, all plant viruses do not harm us at all and are even helpful to us in accessing the nutrients stored in plants. Viruses that are more of a threat to us are those that come from mammals as opposed to those that come from less evolved species. However, viruses that come from our own cells are no threat to us either as our own body knows how to recognize and get rid of them. So, in order for a virus to do harm to us it has to be different yet similar enough for our body to absorb without being discharged from us.

What is the immune system?

Our body essentially has two functions: to consume and absorb what it needs and to discharge what it doesn’t need in order to grow and live. What it discharges includes all the dead and dying cell material as well as all the things we take in and process every day. The immune system is simply an integral part of this discharge process. If we over-consume in general or consume any one thing in excess then we compromise our ability to discharge effectively. One particular food item that greatly compromises our immune system is the over consumption of concentrated and refined sweets and sugars, specifically, monosaccharides.

In addition, we rely on a variety of bacteria, archaea and fungi to assist us in the process of digestion and elimination otherwise known as the microbiome which, in turn, are assisted by the tremendous amount of viruses in us, known as the virome, which is even greater than the microbiome. If the microbiome is impacted in any way we can also compromise the immune system.

What are pandemics?

Bacteria and viruses are geographic and climate dependent. Since viruses come from life forms then they are subjected to geographic and climatic differences. Every distinct geographic area has its own unique bacterial and viral makeup just as, for example, kangaroos and koalas are only found in Australia, penguins in Antarctica, and polar bears in the arctic and so on, not to mention all the diverse plant material and microbes in the ground, air and water.

Thus pandemics in humans arise when humans, bacteria and viruses from different areas come together for the first time. In other words, they are the natural result of the globalization of the human world. On an individual level it is common for persons first visiting, for example, Alaska from the lower 48 States to become ill during the first few days of their visit. This generally happens whenever one travels for the first time to any new and vastly different environment that their body is not used to. It is the body (and microbiome) naturally adjusting itself to a new environment teeming with different bacteria and viruses. But this adjustment only happens once. The next time they visit the same place it does not happen again because the body has already made the adjustment. This adjustment phase can also happen, to a lesser extent, when seasons and climates change. But these changes aren’t necessarily the result of exposure to new bacterial environments but rather the body and the microbiome simply reacting to changes in the season and weather, which is why many experience seasonal colds and flus. This can also happen when a person newly encounters the microbiome of a different person or animal and any other similar situation.

What do viruses do?

There are many kinds of viruses and they can be classified by the type of genetic material they carry, otherwise known as their “Baltimore Classification”. They can also be organized by how they infect their host (e.g. blood borne, airborne, etc.) as well their shape, origin and other factors. Depending on all these varying attributes different viruses infect different areas in the body. But what they all generally do is exploit the weaknesses and excesses of their host and cause their host to try and discharge those excesses. The amount of excesses in our system will determine the severity and duration of the infection. In addition to over eating, these excesses can come in the form of excess animal and dairy food consumption, excess oil, excess sugars and sweets, refined flour products and so on.

In the case of COVID-19 the body goes into overdrive and seeks to discharge these excesses as fast as possible. If there is plenty of excess to discharge then the resulting cytokine storm can become lethal by overwhelming the host. In any event, with COVID-19, the body goes through an accelerated process of discharge which is why people temporarily lose their sense of taste and smell and why some may get tinnitus and other issues related to discharge. These symptoms will generally go away when the body eventually recovers its normal intake and discharge processes.

SARS-CoV2 Characteristics

What is clear about the corona virus (SARS-CoV2) is that it did originate in bats. Whether it was modified in a lab from the first SARS virus and then was released by error or came in the way of wet markets is still unclear. Personally, I think the accidental lab outbreak is a more plausible scenario as the people most interested in bat viruses are researchers of the previous SARS virus which actually did come from bats.

That it came from bats is significant from a yinyang perspective and why doing things in the opposite of what bats do seem to have beneficial effects against the impact of virus. For example, being out in the sun more as bats are nocturnal, hence why people with increased amounts of vitamin D seem to do better with COVID-19.

Bats also consume plenty of fruits. The best way to prevent severe COVID-19 effects is to cut out the consumption of all concentrated and refined sugar and fruit, or mono- and disaccharides. They not only cause inflammation and weaken us the ACE2 receptor, which is the entry point for the coronavirus, is coated with these. Cutting these out from one’s diet will naturally reduce infection and inflammation.

Vaccines

Theoretically, vaccines should work very well in creating herd immunity. If we are talking about a confined and limited population being vaccinated quickly and completely then that is the ideal scenario. However, the idea to vaccinate the world is unwieldy and, for all intents and purposes, practically impossible. This is due to several reasons. First, we don’t live in isolated communities but in a global economic world of high speed transportation. It’s one thing to vaccinate a small village of people who do not travel much as opposed to trying to vaccinate an entire bustling city like New York where people and things are constantly coming and going from around the world. So naturally, a small island country like New Zealand with a population of only 5 million can better control the virus far more effectively than the USA or Japan. Another reason is that it is a logistical nightmare and the potential for errors and problems increase exponentially both in the making of an effective and safe vaccine on such a large scale and having an efficient and timely delivery system. Timely delivery is crucial because of the third and, perhaps most important factor and that is that the virus mutates overtime as it is passed on between hosts rendering a specific vaccine ineffective for these new mutations. Fortunately though, mutations occurring among humans generally evolve toward safer and less harmful viruses and serve to strengthen our ability to deal with future similar viruses.

Masks and Social Distancing

As temporary measures to slow a viral spread, masks and social distancing can be very effective. Masks work extremely well in the operating rooms of hospitals so there is no reason to believe that they won’t be effective in other enclosed environments.

Indeed, proof that these measures work is in the considerable worldwide drop in the occurrence of all other more common viral diseases once these measures were put into place. You can read an article about this here:

A sharp drop in flu cases during COVID-19 pandemic

Diet and Lifestyle

It should be noted that the aim of all these measures including vaccines is not to stop the spread of the virus but to delay its spread to a more manageable (less lethal) state and to ultimately move toward achieving herd immunity with the least number of casualties. However, what is missing in this scenario is the understanding of how diet and lifestyle can also reduce the mortality rates of viral infections.

It should be obvious to anyone familiar with macrobiotics that preventive dietary measures can help reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and, therefore, mortality rates. For maximum efficacy against pandemics, people should ideally implement these changes before they occur. Regardless, making dietary changes are beneficial at any time. There might be some rare instances where COVID patients may be better served with gentler dietary changes. These changes include simply eating less and reducing consumption of meat, dairy, all refined concentrated sugar products while also increasing fermented foods and fresh vegetables.

Returning Back To “Normal”

Of course, many feel and felt constrained and even oppressed by the shutdowns and social distancing measures and look forward to returning to life pre-COVID-19. Many lost their livelihoods on top of the health risks brought on by the virus. Efforts are being made by governments and organizations to correct these issues as well as looking at what systems need to be in place in order to prevent whatever economic and social damage may arise from future pandemics such as in the Great Reset

However, what’s missing here from a macrobiotic perspective is a deeper reflection about ourselves that is normally done when we encounter an illness on a personal level. That deeper reflection involves looking at who we are, what have we been doing and that we probably need to change our entire orientation in life. In other words, the pandemic should give all of us pause to reflect on the entire direction of humanity.

With that in mind then there are some things to consider about the occurrence of viral pandemics and what we consider as a “normal” life. If you notice, all pandemics of the past are associated with catastrophic war and aggressive conquest and subjugation of others – the Spanish Flu arose out of World War I, the Bubonic Plague out of the wars between Europe and the Middle East, the devastation of Native Americans out of their exploitation and subjugation by European conquerors.

Since the industrial revolution, humanity has been on a war footing that has only accelerated since both World Wars and the Cold War. What we call our “normal” pre-COVID way of life is an extremely accelerated way of life designed to fund global wars and aggressive economic competitiveness against each other. To me, this way of life is actually not normal at all. Indeed, the pandemic shutdown of our war-inspired economy, is a step toward a reduced economy of self-reliance, cooperation and peace which also happens to, not coincidently, benefit the natural environment as well. In other words, there is no one to blame for this virus, the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns but ourselves and our xenophobic, competitive attitudes as we race against each other to deplete the earth of every last remaining natural resource. The more reckless we are to beat each other at this game of global economic dominance the more we risk creating new pandemics to interfere in exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. There is nothing “normal” about our modern way of life and we can be grateful to this pandemic for giving us a glimpse into this insight.

The other way to look at it is that if we wish to consider our global accelerated way of life as “normal” then we should also expect global catastrophes (pandemics, climate change, economic and political struggles) as “normal” as well. One goes along with the other. It’s really a matter of what we wish and choose to do for ourselves and our planet.

So what is the way forward?

Since you are asking me, I personally think we should be striving for herd immunity against certainty, arrogance, blame and the unquestioned acceptance of our values including what we consider as normal. Hopefully then, in our new found wisdom, we will be able to easily solve these problems before they arise.

There is obviously a lot more to discuss here but I think the above gives you a broad understanding of my thoughts on this subject.

Thanks for asking

7 Requirements to Change Sickness Into Health

March 11, 2021

Note: this was previously published as part of an earlier blog post.

1.  Cultivate your will and desire to live

Having the will and desire to live is primary and essential to avoiding premature death, be it by accident, sickness or any other method.  The desired life that I am talking about here is not the normal day to day living that most people do.  I am talking about living an extraordinary life full of passion such that you look forward to and are happy to wake up to every single morning.

Many are unhappy with their lives yet instead of doing something about it they settle for a life of stagnant resignation. As a result, they get what they settle for and create their own demise one way or another.  Those whom I have seen reverse their sickness cultivated their will to live and became hungry for life.  Their illness was a wake-up call and they believe it was one of the best things that could have ever happened to them.  They accepted and took full responsibility for their situations, and from that moment on they became alive.  They became greedy and egocentric in a positive sense.  They became hungry and famished for life and because of this they were able to transform their situation and avoid premature death by illness.  If you want to become healthy, you must first and foremost cultivate the will and desire to live life in a way that you have never done so before.  It will not always be easy.  It will not always be comfortable and it will not always look the way you imagined.  But that is the nature of life itself.

In the future you might eventually satisfy this hunger for life and become full again.  At that time you may again become sick and you may die. That will be up to you.

2.  Be flexible and willing to change anything and everything in your life, if necessary

Many would rather die then change their life and that is exactly what happens to them.  But those who avoid an early death and live longer are those who are willing to change anything in their life including the food they eat, where they live, the relationships they are in, and the beliefs that they hold.

Life and aliveness can be defined in many ways and one them is the ability to respond and adapt to the environment, in other words, be flexible.  If you lose that flexibility then you are doomed.

3.  Develop your sensitivity and respect for the environment. Be aware how you respond to it.

The natural environment creates your food and you.  Pay attention to it, accept it fully, take care of it and nurture it.  If you don’t, it will destroy you. What you eat, drink and otherwise take into your body is how you interact with the environment.  What happens to you when you eat one type of food versus another?  What if you changed the water you drink? What if you changed where you live? How does your body respond?  Only you can know this for certain, not your doctor or other professional.  Not even those close to you. By becoming aware and begin paying attention to this you will know when to make the necessary changes in your life that lead you to either sickness or health.

On a larger scale, because of humanity’s insensitivity and lack of concern for the environment, our agriculture and our food, we have made the Earth toxic and many plant and animal species are becoming extinct and we have made countless others, including ourselves, sick.  If we continue in this way and do not develop our sensitivity and respond, adapt and take care of our environment then we will naturally perish.

4.  Be willing to eat anything and be willing to prepare your own food

Sickness is not an enemy but is only the bodies natural attempt to discharge excess and regain a dynamic harmony with the environment.  In other words, if you didn’t get sick you would already be dead.  Our food, everything we ingest,(and expel) is how we interact and create harmony with the environment. The principal way most people get sick is by over exercising their freedom; abusing their bodies through eating, drinking and doing other things excessively. Some may be able to get rid of symptoms through medical treatments but unless the source is addressed, which is what they have been eating, drinking and doing, then they will never get rid of their problems. In general, most people in developed nations eat too much animal food and therefore feel better when they switch to a plant based diet.  But there are no specific rules.  Some, who may have avoided eating meat their whole life, may need to eat some to feel better, while those who ate meat everyday may need to stop it completely for the rest of their lives.  It depends on the individual, which is why you, who are sick and wish to get well, must be willing to eat anything.

You also must be willing to prepare and be responsible for your own food.  Ultimately, only you know what you need most. No one will be able to figure that out for you.  If they did then you would owe them your life.  The wealthy, who rely solely on the best chefs and best restaurants in the world, become slaves of their own doing and will never find true health and freedom.  Likewise, the poor who subsist solely on processed precooked  foods, like junk foods and soda, and inexpensive take-out meals also become slaves to the food industry and prisoners of their own doing.  Essentially, what must be done is to establish or re-establish a direct connection to your food and to minimize your reliance upon others for this. Study food, learn as much as you can and experiment until you master it. Become a master of your own food and you will become a master of your own destiny. Until then, you will remain a slave to those who control your food.

5.  Be honest with yourself and everyone else, all the time.  Constantly review and monitor your own situation.

If you ignore your bodies warning signals and pretend they don’t exist, then you will not get better. If you aren’t honest with yourself and don’t confront and deal with your own issues, then there is no hope. If you don’t listen to your loved ones and address their concerns then there is no purpose to your life.  If you aren’t honest with and don’t serve humanity then your life has no value.  Being truthful, no matter how painful, with ourselves, our world and reality, allows us to know ourselves and monitor our progress through life.  Knowing who we are, where we are and what progress we have made is critical to exercising our freedom to transform our health.  A useful way to gauge one’s level of honesty is to look at how large our sense of humor is and if we are able laugh at our own folly.

6.  Be grateful to all, especially your difficulties

Without sickness we would not know health.  Without the possibility of a premature death we could not appreciate life.  Without our health we could not abuse it and become sick and so on.  Whether we feel sick or feel healthy the experience of life is a gift to be cherished and be grateful for.  This gratitude is not mandatory but is a choice for each of us to make.  We can choose to be grateful and to appreciate every moment in life, or we can choose to be ungrateful, feel victimized and blame everyone and everything for our problems.  Choosing gratitude makes us responsible which, in turn, give us the freedom to change our destiny.  You can be grateful, or you can be ungrateful. It is your choice.  If you choose not to be grateful then you are also choosing to give up your freedom.  So choose wisely.

7.  Choose and actively pursue a goal and dream that benefits everyone

What is your life about? What do you dream of being and doing? What do you wish to accomplish in this life? What do you wish to do this year,  tomorrow, or even in the next moment?  Regardless of the state of our bodies and our health, life is about dreams and having the passion to make them come true.  The most important aspect of becoming and staying healthy is to know why you are doing so.  What you dream and wish to accomplish is the “why”.  You can choose to do anything you want. If you wish to be a mean and hateful person and make people unhappy then you will be miserable and your life will be cut short, if not by yourself then by others.  If you choose to serve others and make them happy then you will be happy regardless of the state your body.  Everyone who recovered from a terminal illness with macrobiotics, had a dream and vision for what they wanted to do with their lives.  They all lived long enough to achieve those dreams.  The greater your dream is then the more your body becomes only a vehicle to achieve that dream.  If your dream is great then it will continue long after your body has died.  That is true health.

Rise Of The New Human Race – a lecture by Michio Kushi from 1984

November 23, 2017


“Rise Of The New Human Race” is a 1984 lecture by Michio Kushi, presented in its original with added English subtitles for clarity.  (Click on the CC icon at the bottom right of the video to enable the subtitles).  The lecture was presented at the Mid-Atlantic Macrobiotic Summer Camp sponsored by the East West Foundation of Philadelphia.  A full transcript edited for clarity will soon be provided below.  Thank you and enjoy!

If you can’t say, “No” then “Yes” means nothing.

October 23, 2017

if you cant say no -bill johnson

“If you can’t say, ‘No’ then ‘Yes’ means nothing.” – Bill Johnson

I first heard these wise words from the late Bill Johnson, one of the founders of the Ionia Macrobiotic Community in Alaska.  The words are simple yet profound and efficiently exemplify a dialectical understanding of life. There are variations to these words and others have expressed and made them popular such as singer-songwriter, Meshell Ndgeocello but who said it first is uncertain.  It could have first been spoken by someone proposing marriage to another and who would not accept their “yes” if they could not authentically say, “no”.  What is certain, at least for me, is that it is a profound and simple truth that is essential for creating harmonious human relations.

The opposite of this wisdom is when one person can not or will not accept “no’ as answer.  In a goal oriented world where “failure is not an option” we praise those who “won’t take ‘no’ for an answer” and while this attitude seeks to build up our self-confidence, without the temperance of mindful presence and respectful listening it can turn into a nightmare of domination and abuse. Instead of a healthy competitive spirit it can unleash an underlying fear of failure where we threaten all who refuse to get out of our way as expressed by the iconic, “make him an offer he can’t refuse” from the “Godfather” film.

In a world that idolizes material wealth and fame and the “self-made” hero, we have also come to idolize our refusal to accept “no” and to normalize the abusive treatment of those who do say it.   “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, “Gunboat diplomacy” and “Nuclear Deterrence” are all ways of threatening anyone who dares to say, “no”.  Strength and power is viewed as those who get what they want and instill fear in those who might say “no”.  Is it really any wonder that in today’s world we have created many who adore Trump as well as persons like Harvey Weinstein and so many others who threaten others who say, “no”?

When a person can not freely say, “no” and walk away without fear, without any threat of harm to themselves or others; when a person can not say, “no”, and be fully respected and appreciated for speaking their mind and making their own free choice then any “yes” (or silence that is taken as a “yes”) is the result of abuse. If we can’t speak freely and be respected for doing so; if we can’t protest freely and be heard and appreciated; if, in response to our “no” our jobs, livelihood, reputations and lives are threatened then we are being abused.  Abuse is done by those who wish to silence the objection of others and seek revenge and control of others.  Abuse is accepting “yes” from those who can’t say “no”. If you can’t say, “no”, then “yes” means nothing. Thank you, Bill Johnson, for sharing these wise words.

I Created A Patreon Page…

October 6, 2017

Capture Patreon Page

Dear Friends,

I have created a Patreon webpage to make it easier for you to support my efforts to preserve, promote and advance the work and legacy of my parents, Michio and Aveline Kushi toward the dream of creating One Peaceful World.  Please support and follow me at:

https://www.patreon.com/phiya

Thank you!

Phiya Kushi

The History Of Macrobiotics (1715-2017)

September 23, 2017

History of MB Promotion

I am happy to announce that a new book, “The History Of Macrobiotics (1715-2017)”, by renowned authors, William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi, is now available for FREE DOWNLOAD at their website here:

www.soyinfocenter.com/pdf/203/Macr.pdf

Message from Wiliam Shurtleff:

This PDF book is free – share it with anyone you wish, anywhere.

The title is: History of Macrobiotics (1715-2017)

Contains 345 photographs and illustrations; takes a long time to load! Any comments or errors you notice would be warmly welcomed. This is not a typical book that you read.
It is a reference book. The KEYS to using this book are to SEARCH IT using the powerful Adobe Acrobat and to read the Preface and Introduction.

For more free online PDF books, please visit our website:

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Freedom From Delusions – a lecture by Michio Kushi from 1984

September 1, 2017

“Freedom From Delusions” is a lecture by Michio Kushi filmed on June 16, 1984 at the Mid-Atlantic Macrobiotic Summer Camp in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.  It is one of a series of lecture he gave during that week.  The lecture is approximately one hour and ten minutes long and is presented in its original format with added subtitles.  Below is a full transcript that has been edited for clarity. 

We are, at the present time, facing a great crisis. That crisis is the degeneration of humanity through the sickness and mental illness as well as the threat of nuclear war. All these confrontations that threaten our world are due to our present way of thinking – the orientation and direction of modern civilization, itself.

Suppose, in order to find out our origin – asking ourselves: “What is man?”.  When we close our eyes and deeply reflect on this in the following way:

We were yesterday here. Ten years ago, also, we were here on this planet. Twenty years ago also we were here. Before that, we were in mother’s womb, although we forgot completely! And then, before mother’s womb, where were we? We did not begin from mother’s womb. Yes, conception began. Yes, beginning of human being – human form began at that time But before that we were mother’s egg, father’s sperm. And before that we were mother’s blood, father’s blood. Before that we were what mother ate and what father ate because what they ate became their blood. So, someone might have been a cabbage.  Someone might have been a hot-dog. And before that, if father ate beef, cows eat grass.  Grass changes into cow’s meat.

So, we came from. the Vegetable Kingdom  or Plant Kingdom. We transformed and transmuted our life through various formations from the Vegetable Kingdom. So, our origin was, before we became a human, we existed as part of the Plant Kingdom. But the Plant Kingdom was not appearing alone. [It did not create itself] That was [It was created by the] transformation of soil, air. water – so called, “Nature” or you may say the “Elements”, like hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and their combinations. [The] World of Elements. Nature or World of Elements, that is, [the origin of the Plant Kingdom] That covers this entire earth, this entire atmosphere as well as the planets and the whole solar system, as well as millions and trillions of stars. This Nature or Elements – World of Elements –  is a huge world.

However, it didn’t begin itself. [It did not all of a sudden appear] The Elements, as modern science knows, are composed of and came from Pre-Atomic Particles, such as electrons, protons, neutrons, and so forth.  So,the  origin of nature or  the origin of Elements were Pre-Atomic Particles which has Plus/Minus –  which has Yin charge/Yang charge in electricity. They [Pre-Atomic Particles], however, did not come itself.  [They did not arise by themselves].  They were nothing but the center of massive energy spirallic motion. That center – massive condensed energies. That [energy] appears as particles. So vibrations [or] energy is the origin of the Pre-Atomic World. But this Vibration/Energy, how [does it] arise – which is [this] entire Universe – [comprised of] vibrations/energies?
How that is arising? How does that move? How does that change? Because, there are two polarities, two different tendencies:

High and low, right and left, and high pressure, low pressure, high temperature, low temperature, Centrifugality and centripetality, Expansion and contraction,

Those two – plus/minus or Yin and Yang, Alpha and Omega –  these two big different tendencies, opposite tendencies, yet complementary – their [interactions], that is making motions..

When Romeo and Juliet…Romeo get up midnight and go to Juliet’s house and under…outside of Juliet’s house…under the window he sings the song.  I don’t know if he was singing Rock’N’Roll or so forth.  Juliet came out from the bed and waving – open the windows.

These motions – because of polarity;  Yin and Yang, male and female polarity – motion goes. These motions, however… polarities…like right hand/left hand, right brain/left brain, right eye/left eye, right lung/left lung or breathing out/breathing in or eating, taking in and then discharging out or activity and then resting, standing high, straight or lower, laying down.

These antagonistic, complementary activities are nothing but one body that manifests itself into two different ways. In the same way, this happens throughout the Universe. Antagonistic/complementary phenomena are all manifested as One Infinite Universe.  One Infinity manifests into two antagonistic/complementary tendencies and between them energy arises, vibration goes and then creates Pre-Atomic particles. This then creates the world of physical matter, like planets and celestial bodies.  Then this creates Nature or plants  and then that transforms into animal and eventually man, as far as this earth is concerned. That means, we have come from the infinite Universe, itself and came to this world transforming, transmuting through thousands of different forms, lives and finally choosing this solar system, this planet and choosing our parents via the plants world which changes into their blood, which  changes into their reproductive cells and finally came out as human beings.

This long, long, long journey – billions of years journey – everyone has passed through.  Therefore, everyone has the memory that, once upon a time, everyone was One. So everyone knows deep inside, subconsciously, deeply in their sub-memories that everyone is brother and sister.  Everyone was differentiated. Everyone was manifested in their own different way, but our origin is same.  Regardless of how we change our laws, our origin remains the same.  Regardless of how our principles of life may change, our origin is the same, because we are a manifestation of One Universe, and that One Universe is always governed by the law of Yin and Yang.

The Pre-Atomic World to the World of Nature we call, the”World of Matter”.  Plant World and Man’s World (or Animal World) we call, “The World of Biological Life” or you may say, “Organic World”. This, the Pre-Atomic and Elemental World is the “Inorganic World”.  Regarding this Vibration or Energy World, we can only detect a part of it like cosmic rays, electro-magnetics, or colors, lights, smells, etc. [here Michio incorrectly reference “smells” and “hearing” as part of the Vibrational World which actually is part of the Elemental World] hearing, so forth. But a huge part of this Vibration/Energy World which covers the entire universe, itself, actually we can’t detect.  Only small infinitesimal point we are detecting now through our senses – limited capacity of our senses and through our various kinds of equipment.  Of course, behind that is Yin and Yang, we can not see unless we use our insight.  Of course, One Infinity, which is endless and beginningless we can not see because there is no manifestation in form – no phenomena –  this is the Non-Phenomenal World.

The Vibration/Energy World is the  World Of Spirit.  Spirit change into Matter,Matter change into Life, Life change into Matter, Life into Spirit, and all phenomena is born from the Non-Phenomenal World. The  Non-Phenomenal World – One Non-Phenomenal World – creates billions, trillions of infinitely different phenomena. This Phenomenal World we call, the “Relative World”.  The Non-Phenomenal World we call, “Absolute World” or you may call, “God” because it is omnipresence, omniscience  and omnipotent. This, the Phenomenal World, you may call, “Relative World” because it is governed by opposite relative forces.  Time and Space exist in this Phenomenal World but not in the Absolute World.  End and Beginning – Beginning and End exists in the Relative World but not in the Absolute World.  Whatever appears here in the Relative World of Phenomena eventually all disappears into the ocean of One Infinity. Then it comes back again reappears – appear and disappear, appear and disappear –  something like the white foam you see on the ocean, in lakes and in streams which appear and disappear, appear and disappear.

Modern science, especially atomic science, when seeking the answer to the question: “What is Matter?” they looked at Elements and further analyzed them and discovered the atom which they further analyzed and then discovered Pre-Atomic Particles like electrons, protons, neutrons, this and that. They then looked at these electrons  and asked, “What is the most fundamental unit? In the end, they discovered that they can’t analyze and discover any unit! No unit! Matter suddenly disappeared! No more matter! There, they discovered is only energy!

So the present day, most advanced definition of Matter is:  Matter is something like a ghost which appears and disappears in space.  It is not solid, not hanging down, not a fixed thing at all. Here, in our body, we have trillions of cells,  Each cell contains trillions of atoms.  Each atom is made of millions of pre-atomic particles and vibration and energy.  What is this – our body? This appears as a body but this is no body.  It is a ghost or spirit. So, non-matter equals matter and matter equals non-matter.  Nothingness equals things and things equal nothingness.

Three thousand years ago there was a Greek philosopher named, “Democritus”.  When he wanted to know the truth about life; the truth of the Universe he divided this Universe into two: Space and Matter.  Then he asked, “What is matter?” and began the search of for what is matter.  Three thousand years later we discovered that matter is something like a ghost. Non-matter is something like spirit or a mist.  Similarly, thought and thinking is nothing but vibration.  So our body is vibration and energy’s spirit and so our thinking is the same thing.  When we see our bodies, our world, this house this is because of our sensory capacity. We are feeling this.  Suppose if we had different senses, we may not feel this, because this is nothing but mist vibration – a unit of massive vibration and energy.

So, there are many, many people through various kind of illusions, sensory illusions; they are seeing world which is not true world.  Several days ago I received telephone call, a long distance, urgent call from Europe. Some man called, “Michio Kushi you can save the world! One week later World War happens!” Illusion, delusions and the problem is: Why does he see that delusion? Here we must know our quality of our – this machine [our body]. Let’s think this over furthermore, ok?

Here is the Earth. There is the Sun. Usually you think that the earth is revolving around the Sun [in a circular orbit].  But this is not a true picture, because this does not include time.  Every minute and every second time  passing.  Together with time this, the Sun and the Earth, are moving through space.  This picture of Earth revolving around the Sun is not moving. So now, let’s put time and see it this way:  Sun moves, Earth rotates, revolves around the Sun. How does it revolve? Go like this way. (Michio draws a wave pattern on the blackboard). Earth – That means the Earth is making a wave pattern as the Sun moves through space. Waves…

While this happening then what is man upon the earth? Here is Man and his figure.  When we see this, we were a spiral. We are spiral growing. We have a spiral on our head, also.  If you don’t have head spiral, please sit in a museum.  Many millions of people will come to see you.  Then, our spiral, the spiral of our body – this spiral is nothing but one unit of a spiral that is constantly moving, constantly getting energy, constantly discharging in the form of food, in the form of hearing, in the form of radiation, whatever…ok?  Then we discharge it in the form of body energy, heat, calories or thinking, etc.  That spiral, that complex spiral of body is attached to this Earth to this Earth.  This earth rotates. That means this body is, together with the East, moving like this – rotating. So the body itself is moving like that.  That means: What is man? What is he when he moves like that? Man is a wave! We are waves, and that wave is, each moment, taking in various energies and then dispersing energies. Every moment this is going on. When we disperse energy we disperse it in various ways through physical energy as well as thought or thinking.

[Michio proceeds to perform a demonstration of thought and thinking as spirallic energy that we discharge as we think]. Some friends…please come…let’s see…any young friends… Second friend. Would you bring a chair? Sit down. This handsome gentleman…Look this way, straight, Ok? Straight…Spiritual channel straight…ok? Good… Close your eyes…try no thinking…Don’t think…Don’t think…No thinking…Now start to think about your girlfriend or your wife.  She is very pretty.  She is very charming. She is very sexy.  She is very naughty. But I like her very much… Stop your thinking about her. Return…no thinking… Now start to think about war.  World war began! 26:52 Everywhere missiles are flying. Big cities were destroyed. Everywhere fire. Millions people were disappearing instantaneously. Everywhere fire. Everywhere dead bodies. Whole world is now being end. Change your image into very peaceful country scenery…forest…green grass…blue sky… white cloud…crystal clear water…flowers…birds are singing…flying…Stop thinking…Return…no thinking…Good! Thank you! Right?  Thank you!

So you can understand: thought…thought, image is vibration…vibration.  That vibration  – we are always dispatching. We are always creating.  Some are peaceful ones, some are vigorous ones,  small ones, big ones and discharging out.  So, his supposed war image is now somewhere in the air….going on.  And his girlfriend image is also somewhere now floating. And these images which are making like spirallic energetic motion as a one unit, here and there goes. When you think, here and there you are discharging, dispatching images as if, in the blue sky you are creating clouds – white clouds, or long streaming clouds or cloudy clouds or a dark cloud that covers the entire blue skies. You are creating these yourself.  When you are not creating images, when you enter into deep meditation you are connected with the blue sky.  You are connected with the non-relative One World or you may say, “God”.  But when you start to think many clouds start to come and then you lose connection.  But at the same time you are creating a very interesting world. With that – self- created images quite often you think that such images are true forgetting that you are actually creating them!

While sleeping at night someone may see Frankenstein or someone sees Count Dracula.  Someone else sees that he is being chased. Someone is running after you with a big knife coming to you to kill you.  But when you wake up the image disappears. But while you are dreaming that was reality for you. You are acting, you are sweating, you’re struggling – it was reality. When you eat meat, eggs, etc.- often you see those nightmares.  When you eat fruits, especially tree fruits then while you are sleeping sometimes your hearts beats faster or skips a beat.  Then you see, as if the fruit is falling down from the tree from high above.  That moment was reality for you! Image is making reality and you are reacting to that.

Same way, in daytime you are creating so many images which are not really existing.  For example, suppose – you know about “ownership”, idea of ownership – suppose, you have and you think, “I own that house and that property.”  But in reality you are not really owning that. When you die you have to leave it behind.  If that is truly yours then you can bring to the next world too! You are not owning. Just you created an illusion as if you actually own it!  Just you are using it. Not owning it. With money, it’s the same thing.  You may think – “I am owning this coin.” No. If you are really owning it then it will stay with you! But this so quickly leaves you.  And, you didn’t actually make this!  The Government made this.  But the government didn’t actually make it, either.  What is this material?  This material is in the mountain.  Who made it? Nature made it. Energy made it.  The Universe made it. Even government doesn’t own this.  The government is just using this as we are also just using this. Right?  We are not owning this. Similarly…we say: He’s millionaire or I am poor. If he has a million dollars then he’s millionaire.  But actually he doesn’t own that!  He is the same as us – a person. When he owns something or when he has it, soon he will disperse it because energy gather, then energy goes out.

Sickness – many people think that  sickness comes from outside of ourselves – by accidents or by someone’s curse or by some enemies.  They create the image of an enemy. The Enemy is everywhere.  Virus is the enemy.  Hereditary factor – DNA is the enemy. That means parents are the enemy! Bacteria is the enemy.

So to defend from the enemy for ourselves, which we are convinced that we are a very “good” guy – to defend from the invasion of virus, bacteria or any kind of threat we invent weapons.  Weapons to strengthen us – armors,  vaccinations, injections, medications, this and that.  In the case when virus already began invade then we take chemotherapy, drugs, this and that – to destroy them.  We also use radiation – bombardment with the atomic bomb.  This – our body – becomes a battlefield.  And in order to defend ourselves on the outside we apply various kind of chemical, sprays and sanitation. Furthermore, we test these chemicals using millions of animals every year, every year – killing them. Battles! Bloody battles! War is going on constantly. Within our body, outside our body and among our animal kingdom well as vegetable kingdom because we think there are enemies everywhere. So, everywhere battles are going on!  That exact same thinking goes, when we think: Soviets may attack! America may attack! This or that may attack! Let’s have the weapons! Let’s build a shelter! Let’s destroy them! … etc…etc…goes…ok?…Battles!

In this planet, on this planet, in this solar system, in this Milky Way galaxy, in this Universe, is there really an enemy? Is there really an enemy here?  Yes, one enemy is there.  That enemy is the “self”, self-delusion,  self-abuse of eating, thinking and lifestyle.  That is the only one enemy! All others are not enemies! They are the friends! They came out from Universe.  They came out through the Order Of The Universe.  They came out from Nature and Plant Kingdom, etc. They are also Spirit, vibration, spirit, energy, etc.. They are not the enemy!

If we are weak we become their food, so they invade. If we are strong as human beings then they never attack us. Test this! Eat very well. Next summer, together with non-macrobiotic people, go out and picnic in the forest. Bugs come. Flies come.  They circle around you then go to the friend who is fat, who eats ice cream, who takes orange,  juice, who drink milk.  They don’t come to you.  They avoid you!  Because they know your blood is very thick and strong.  They know your tissue is tight. So mosquitoes, when they try to push,  their tube [into your skin].  It’s difficult for them to insert it and after they succeed then while sucking out your blood coagulation already begins and that tube becomes stuck. They have to die! They know it! While flying they think, “Oh! This is a dangerous one!” So, instead they go to a very sweet, soft blood, very liquid and full of Vitamin C.  And so, at that time is the mosquito an enemy? No!  You made yourself a wonderful attractive paradise for mosquito and so mosquito came to you.  The mosquito is very innocent! The cause is yourself! You made yourself very inviting to the mosquito. While you are eating ice cream, potato, etc. you become very attractive to the mosquito, and when mosquito comes, because they thought you are inviting them, then you try to kill them! For a mosquito that is shocking!  They think they were betrayed!

The problem is the same with viruses, bacteria, etc..  If we are good, virus may come in but don’t develop and may cease away.  Bacteria is the same!  But we think, “I am always good guy! I never make mistake! I am good boy! Good school boy. Good conduct and I go every Sunday to Church and give 25 cents.  I am good guy! But why I get cancer?” So, we wonder whether God was sleeping on the white cloud. Didn’t care or if God is wonderful person, then maybe the Devil is there.  The Devil is probably making trouble for us –  sickness, suffering, unhappiness.  So, we create fiction and make another illusion – “Devil somewhere is there! Evil somewhere is there! Because I am always good guy yet, become trouble! That means somewhere Devil is there!” That thinking we call, “Egocentric thinking!”  Ego-centric thinking:  This tiny man think, “I am the good one! Universe number one good guy! No fault!”…Egocentric thinking – we call this, “Arrogance”…arrogance. He is deluded thinking, “This tiny one is the Perfect One!” Illusions…he superstitiously believes it! So he creates enemies all around him. So, he is involved in a constant battle – everyday, everyday, everyday –  in a battlefield.  This kind of world we call, “Hell”. Practically everyone, or almost everyone – all modern people are living in Hell. They are not living in Paradise.  Paradise, or the Kingdom of Heaven, is nothing but this world, this solar system, this galaxy, this entire universe, itself. There is nowhere else. But we, by our own illusions, make our world like Hell.  Enemy is there! Devil is there! And, we act as if they were actually existing trying try to kill us, right?

This type of thinking is in medicine, in social problems, in international relations, in various enterprises, in families.  So, they are creating all sorts of superstitious world. Let’s take the example of a nation: the United States of America. Where does that exists? Yes, this is the State of Pennsylvania. We are paying tax.  We are the Citizen of America. Where the American flag flies then we salute it. We sing the National Anthem.  We are the America and it’s great! But, where does America exist?  Yes, we carry the passport, we carry a visa and when get out of the country, we carry them.  When you go to France and when you go to Germany we show our passport – I am American Citizen.  It appears America exists.  But where does it exist? Yes, when see a map America is sometimes a pink color or sometimes a green color or sometimes black color.  Yes, its seems America exists.  North of America is Canada and south of America is Mexico.  United States of America – many States there.  Yes, it definitely exists on the map. But, who made the map? Someone made the map. Who made the National Anthem? Someone made the National Anthem. Who made the United States Constitution? Someone made the United States Constitution. Who made States? Someone made the States. But…in reality, the United States does not exist.  So, birds fly without carrying passport, visa. Animals cross the borderline without visa.  Look down on the land from a jet airplane and see! There is no borderline – just mountains, green forests, rivers, etc.. Where exists United States of America?  Here! [Michio points to his head].  We think that exists, that’s why we act as if that exists.  So, same thing, we divided more than 100 sections – this entire earth [into nations].  Some is big, some is small.  We think that exists! It does not exist in reality! Only here! [in our mind].And after divided we think that actually exists. And we carry passport, we carry visa. we say, “I am America Citizen”, “I am French Citizen”, this, that, etc…acting as if it’s real.  It’s an illusion! Illusion! An image! An image we created! It’s doesn’t actually exist!  So, whoever does not think that way therefore has no nations.  Squirrels have no nations. Birds have no nation.  Therefore they need not to pay the tax.

The problem is – how many delusions we have different from the reality – actual reality. Your husband, you thought, “He’s very handsome. He’s wonderful.” and honeymoon time, it’s so great.  Two months later you start to wonder. Two years later you start to scratch your head.  Five years later you file for divorce.  Because you deluded yourself! You created an illusion, a superstition on you!  Husband is husband from the beginning.  He is he from the beginning.  He goes to the toilet. He eats. When he sleeps he snores. But we imagined him to be something like Prince of the World.  An illusion!

Suppose, almost every mother thinks that her child is the best in the world! It’s wonderful! I like that very much. But, that is an illusion. Same thing: Jewish people think, “We are the chosen race.” Chinese people think, “We are the central race of the world.” French people think,  “We are the most refined, chic people.” United States people – American people think, “We are the most liberal protector of the freedom, liberty of mankind.”  Japanese people think, “We are the descendants of the Sun!” Everywhere, everyone thinks, “I am the…great!”, ok?  Illusion! Delusion! These kinds of delusion and illusion – for so many thousands of years – have governed people!

Many people think that after they graduate grammar school they must go to high school, then college, then University.  They think, “What kind of job? How much salary I should get?”, etc.. And they plan – they think,  “I am working for that company and at 65 years old will retire, and so forth.  Who made that orientation of life? That is a delusion system! Is he really choosing what he wants to do on this earth? He came from the  infinite, changing into thousands  and thousands of different forms/lives then choosing this planet as human beings – this wonderful, beautiful earth.  Did he come from the Universe, from one invisible world, spiritual world to this world to become the company employee, getting $200 per week?  Or to sell his life: How much for this one hour? How much for this one week? How much for this one year?  How much for 50 years, 55 years?  When 65 years comes then no one can or will buy your life. Then you call it “retirement” and go to Florida. For that purpose, did you come from this world? From this infinite universe – taking billions, billions of years life journey. We have to think, “Something is greatly wrong here!”  As in yesterday’s lecture we said: Billions of dollars were spent over 30-50 years – billions, billions, billions dollars spent – and there is no solution for degenerative disease, cancer, mental illness, this and that. There is something greatly wrong!

Same thing, in this world you are living, you are working, you think you are doing wonderful things and you are a good boy, good girl yet, getting sick, getting unhappiness, getting depressed, getting this and that. Something is wrong here. Something is wrong with our image of life, image of the world, image of occupation, image of day to day life – something is wrong. So,  90% – 99% of modern people are governed by some strange delusion about life and because of that they are working as slaves; selling time, selling their life into money and when something comes, we think that is the Devil or that is enemy and we try to kill and try to destroy it.  It’s all wrong.

This earth, this Universe is, itself, is Paradise. It is, itself, the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no Hell. There are no enemies. There is no suffering in this world. If you/I suffer, if you/I get sick, if you/I have trouble(s) then that is because I, me, myself, did not see this world as paradise and I did behave badly. I did it! I, myself, did it and I saw things that way, as illusions.  So I acted that way [as if such illusions were real]. I thought sugar is wonderful with high calories. I thought cheese is a high protein source. I thought these were great and ate, ate, ate…then breast cancer comes. The Devil did it! No! I did. So, only enemy in the world is myself. Myself is the only real enemy. My own abuse, my excessive pleasure seeking, my egocentric thinking – my illusion, “I am good guy!”

So, first, we have to wake up! We have to wake up from the nightmare of this battlefield – this modern world nightmare and we must wash our faces with cold water and see, how this world is wonderful and how I am grateful for this life. I came here. My parents made me possible to come here. How parents are great! How ancestor were great! How plants – I came from that plant world…that plant are brothers and sisters, my origin – so beautiful, so great! This air, this water, this land, is so great, so beautiful. That is our source of life. We came from there. We were – our previous life was there. And everyone is spirit manifesting God, manifesting the Universe.  So, everyone is so pretty, so wonderful. Everyone is seeking health, freedom, happiness because everyone came from here, so everyone has one same dream. So, thank you very much, parents. Thank you very much for ancestors. Thank you very much for flowers, for the plants. Thank you very much for the cloud, for the sky, for the stars. Thank you very much for the God invisible. Thank you very much for food. Thank you very much for all brothers and sisters of all societies. Gratefulness and appreciation from the heart, from the soul – that is the beginning of your happiness. That is the beginning of your awakening as a real happy, free human being – a manifestation of God in this Kingdom of Heaven on this planet. Appreciation, gratefulness – thank you, thank you very much. That is the beginning as a child – children of this wonderful paradise, free from sickness, free from all suffering. Then, that wonderful, great, appreciation of things – how can I share my joy and happiness with friends, with people, with animals, with plants? How can I share this wonderful happiness? So when you see a suffering person automatically you want to help him or her. When you see those who are sick then automatically you want to help them! When you see AIDS patients – and many people are calling AIDS untouchable – then automatically you want to help them; grab them; want to help them and eat together with them, right? And, that love, brotherhood, sisterhood automatically comes when you have a deep appreciation, automatically! And you want to shake their bodies and say, “Look! See! This Universe so wonderful! This world so wonderful! Why you are so worrying about? Why are you so full of fear? Why are you seeing so much confusion depression and anxiety! Look! And…eat this! Eat! Then you will become…your eyes open. Your brain start to become clear. Eat this…and see this world is so wonderful!”  And that is macrobiotic food; to make everyone a wonderful happy person who can see this earth, this universe as paradise, as it is.  Open eyes, clear the brain, open our ears, open our sense of smell, open our sensitivities and there – a spiritual person is new born.

Modern people are suffering unnecessarily because of their delusions and because of their delusions they were imprisoning themselves into a delusion cage of Hell. Hell. Let’s take out that cage! Who can do – a person who can – take that cage out – is only he, himself. But in order to make him get this cage of delusions out ,he must eat well. If he eats meat then he sees a delusion cage of the horrible horrors – battles, war, murderers.  He thinks that is the world. When he eats milk and dairy food, sugars then he thinks of very sentimental love, very lazy or a very tearing story of sadness that is depression, that is the world.  He is confined [in his own cage].

So, in order to open his eyes we must eat these plants that grow towards heaven with grain that grows on the top of the plants – heaven and earth – that make themselves open toward heaven.  Not fruits, which drop down toward the earth. We call these cereal grains: Brown rice, wheat, corn, barley, etc.. Eating these everyday, everyday that, together with others plants then we start to open towards the Universe; towards this wonderful Universe.  A full sense of appreciation begin automatically from within you.  Delusions – all delusions caused by sugar, delusions caused by cheese, delusions caused by chickens, these all disappear. Unless we eat human grains, human beans, human vegetables we cannot think human way, right? While you are taking ice cream, while you are taking cheese, while you are taking this and that you can not think human way! You create delusions, as if an enemy is there and this or that etc..

The reason there are not so many people among so-called experts, specialists, who understand macrobiotics is because they were eating beefsteak, hamburgers, this and that – so they see delusions; so they cannot understand this very simple fact. So, in order to really understand macrobiotics – this wonderful paradise of the Universe -they have to eat, for awhile, six month, one year, two years -this human food; food for humanity; food for the spirit called “humanity”. There, he becomes reborn as a human being and when he has this, the spirit of appreciation, gratitude naturally comes out and he sheds tears automatically for suffering people – who are suffering by delusions. Then, at that time, he becomes an “Angel”  – an angel to help, angel to save the world, angel to save other families. Every man can be a Devil or can be an Angel, by himself. I hope everyone of our friends becomes a wonderful angel. From them, from you – wonderful words – the gospel of happiness, health can go out throughout the world. I really hope so and let’s really go together for that.

Thank you very much!

There are over 200 video lectures by Michio Kushi on VHS tapes currently archived in the Smithsonian Institution. Needless to say, to digitally convert and make them available to the general public for free is a daunting and expensive task.  If you are interested in helping to make this happen please contact me at: phiyak@gmail.com. Thank you.

 

Letter To The Varatojo Family

July 12, 2017

To The Family Varatojo,

For the nearly 40 years that I have known Chico, he was always a steady and shining beacon of inspiration for me and, I can say for certain, for my parents as well. Michio and Aveline loved Chico dearly and entrusted him fully with their dreams and visions. Without a doubt, Chico took many of Michio’s ideas one step further. With his pragmatism, dauntless spirit, and positive outlook, Chico was not shy to pursue many of Michio’s biggest dreams. Some worth mentioning that I am aware of included teaching macrobiotics to prisoners, working with governments on healthcare reform and, of course, inspiring so many to find themselves and their own purpose in life. His joyful and steadfast spirit allowed for his own active macrobiotic center to become the most successful in the world. There are so many accomplishments but his greatest, in my humble opinion, is his amazing and wonderful family.

It goes without saying that Chico’s death was a shock to us all and I can not imagine how devastated you, his immediate family, must feel about it. Unlike the slow progress of disease and old age where death noticeably takes its time and allows one to prepare for the eventuallity with grace and dignity, the sudden loss of a healthy, vibrant individual is nothing less than a traumatic event that impacts us forever. There is little I can offer in solace and comfort for such a great loss.

For myself, my own personal life has gone through its many ups and downs, and while I have remained committed to the macrobiotic dream, I found great relief in the steadfast consistency that Chico expressed in his life. Whereas I often faltered and allowed my own self-doubts to get the best of me, Chico remained true to himself, his family, his work and to the larger macrobiotic dream that had, a generation before, engulfed the lives of my own parents.

Each time I visited Chico and Geninha in Lisbon, their very presence and welcoming embrace reminded me that such a beautiful life as a family was not only possible but exists in their living example. I am sure the Varatojo children will continue to exemplify Chico’s spirit and positive outlook, yet I can not help but feel selfishly sorry for such a great loss to me personally. In my times of self-doubt and in visiting Lisbon in the future, Chico will no longer physically be there. That promise of an ideal couple and family living a macrobiotic life long into old age has now ended and is just dream. Yet in his memory and honor, it is a dream that I will always be inspired to follow and promote. For this, I remain forever grateful to Chico and to you, the Varatojo family.

With Love,

Phiya Kushi

July 11, 2017

Gratitude As The Measure Of A Successful Life

May 16, 2017

Here is a simple notion for you to entertain:

What if Gratitude were your measure of a successful life? What if you measured your own personal success by how much gratitude you express to others (with them fully receiving your gratitude in the way that you intended)?

We usually measure success in ourselves and in others by our achievements and to that end there is, more or less and for better or worse, a predefined life path for success which may include one or several of the following steps:

  1.  Getting a good education
  2.  Working hard toward financial independence and success
  3.  Raising a happy family
  4.  Retiring comfortably
  5.  Making a positive difference in the world
  6.  Leaving behind a beloved legacy

For some, success may mean wealth, fame, intelligence or power.  It may mean accruing the most life experiences possible. It may mean being a successful parent.  It may mean having a meaningful career. It may mean living a life of service.

But whatever way you define success for yourself and others I want you to suspend that definition for a moment and consider your own unique expression of gratitude as the only valid measure that you will ever need in order to lead a successful life.

I want you to imagine, for a moment, that there is something that we all share in common with each other (and all living things on the planet) and it is the simple fact that we are alive – and for that life we are innately and profoundly grateful whether we express or even experience this feeling of gratitude or not.  Life is a gift and whatever we do is an expression of our gratitude to be alive and experience all that life offers from the most terrible tragedies to the most beautiful moments.  Consider, for a moment, that we are born grateful and our journey, from its very beginnings, is simply to figure out how we can best express this gratitude to all in ways unique to the life we are given.

Though we may be told by our family, friends, teachers and society as a whole how we should live our lives and what is expected of us, the essence of all this eventually boils down to finding our own individual and unique way to express our gratitude to all for this life we have been given.

Thus, the most successful among us is not one who has the greatest wealth, the most fame, the most intelligence nor is the most powerful.  Rather, it is the one who has learned how to best uniquely express his or her gratitude to the world in a way that is accepted by all of humanity and life.  If you look at all persons and see that what they do as merely an expression of gratitude for life then you may be able to see that the fundamental motivation for all human actions, from the most self-serving acts to the most selfless, are all unique individual attempts at being heard and recognized for our innate and profound expressions of gratitude that is within us from the very start of life.

When you are young and asked, “What do you want to do with your life?”, then consider the answer as simply to figure out how to express your gratitude for life in your own unique way.  To achieve that you must discover who you are, how others see you and learn how to express and uniquely convey your gratitude, thanks and appreciation to and for all.  It could be as a doctor, a lawyer, an artist or businessperson.  It could be as parent, a friend or a lover.   It could be as a world leader or as a homeless beggar.  it could be as the most celebrated hero or the most vile criminal.  Whatever path you choose to uniquely express yourself, it is all eventually and ultimately an expression of appreciation and thanks for the life you have been given and you are successful when you find that expression of gratitude that comes most natural to you and is uniquely yours.

When you think to yourself, “What should I do with my life?” think not about a career or skill or talent that you can apply to make a living.  Instead think about how you can express your gratitude and appreciation for life in a way that is unique to you.  Think about writing a simple note of thanks to someone whom you are grateful to.  Think about how you can uniquely help someone – a family member or friend or neighbor – by simply smiling and acknowledging them or spending time with them.

Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting that you “should” express gratitude and that you are a failure if you don’t express gratitude. What I am suggesting is you cannot help but express gratitude.  I am suggesting that just by the fact that you are alive, your life is an expression of gratitude.  Breathing, eating, sleeping are all expressions of life and that you can and do these things is a gratitude for life in and of itself. I am suggesting that expressing gratitude is living life itself.  It is who you are and you can not help but express it.  You express it when you are happy and when you are sad.  You express it when you are angry and in pain.  You express it when you are joyful and ecstatic.  You express it with life and by simply existing. It is something that you will never be a failure at as long as you are alive. What can be considered is how to expand your expressions of gratitude.

I am suggesting that instead of measuring your life in terms of accomplishments and goals successfully achieved or failed or any other conventional measures of success that we hold each other to in society as parents, family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and global citizens that, instead, you adopt the notion that your life is a success and always was and will be and that the only thing left to do is express it by simply living your life. There is nothing more to do.  If anything, the only thing left for you to do is to figure out how to better express your gratitude by learning who you are and by developing your own unique self-expression of the gratitude that is your life.

That’s all for now.  Thank you for taking a moment to consider this notion,

With Gratitude…

Notes:

My quest to discover how to measure success began many years ago and became an obsession in my work promoting macrobiotics.  As Director of the Kushi Institute and a macrobiotic counselor and teacher, I was deeply concerned at how we measure our success professionally.  Do we measure success based on how many terminal recovery cases we produce?  Do we measure success based on how many lives we saved?  Or do we measure our success by how many people change their diets and start eating organic whole grains?  Do we measure our success by how well we are able to teach people how to care for themselves and avoid sickness through macrobiotic knowledge?  Or do we measure our success, in more conventional ways, like how much money we make?

After many years of struggling with this question and concluding that while having specific measures for success are temporarily useful for growing a business, the true aim of promoting macrobiotics is not to eliminate sickness nor is it to get people to change their diets nor even save the planet.  Instead, the best measure for being a successful macrobiotic promoter is imparting this notion of living a life of gratitude.  In other words, I am a successful macrobiotic educator if my students develop a profound sense of gratitude to everything life has to offer including all difficulties and challenges such as diseases, tragedies and other misfortunes.  My goal as a macrobiotic promoter is to inspire and instill this profound sense of gratitude and appreciation for all of life including any and all challenges and misfortunes they be facing now and in the future.  My goal is not to save people or the planet and it is most certainly not to make people afraid of sickness and bad diets.  It is even not to make a positive difference, because that implies there is a wrong way of doing things.  No, it is to simply remind and inspire people of the gift of what they already have within themselves and that is a profound sense of eternal gratitude that is expressed by simply living and appreciating all.  A successful life is a life of gratitude.  That is macrobiotics, in my humble opinion.