Former US Congressman and Presidential Candidate, Dennis Kucinich, interrupted his busy schedule and flew to Boston for just a few hours to offer his condolences and appreciation for Michio Kushi at Michio’s Memorial Service on January 31, 2015. Below is the full text of his speech which he posted on his Facebook page here.
I first met Michio Kushi thirty years ago when he and Aveline made an extraordinary presentation about diet and nutrition at a church in the Cleveland area. Their insight about the relationship between physiognomy and health and dietary habits regaled the audience with the consequences of literally becoming what you eat, if you ate a lot of chicken, meat, pork and other animal products.
You could see people in the audience squirming in the nakedness of the anthropomorphic implications of appetites , speculating about the diet of the stranger sitting next to them, imagining human beings presenting subtly as barnyard animals . It was a moment of high humor worthy of James Thurber’s A Thurber Carnival, where animals acquired human traits.
Michio and Aveline had made their point: You are what you eat, so take care.
Michio Kushi, perhaps better than anyone in the last century, understood the transformational and the redemptive power of food, its relationship to personal health, environmental integrity and world peace. His East-West apostolate was a commitment to the transcendent power immanent in every moment, the communion of spirit and matter, yin and yang, which made of the partaking of food a holy sacrament of divine nourishment of the temple of self.
Michio Kushi understood the condition of inner harmony of mind, body and spirit arrived at through a macrobiotic diet came from a quickening of vibration and light as the substance of food united with the person consuming it. Knowing that what is innermost becomes outermost, Michio Kushi took the theory of the unity of matter to a higher spiritual expression, that of human unity, that we are all one, interdependent, interconnected across an infinity of time and space.
The potential for human unity came from each individual taking responsibility for his or her own health, pursuing the diet of a compassionate, non-violent harvest, respecting, preserving all which inhabit the natural world from harm and so achieving the reconciliation with the natural world which the philosopher Thomas Berry said is the great work of our lives.
The great work of Michio Kushi’s life was to raise the consciousness of the world about the power of food, the essentiality of dietary choices, the path toward health which strengthens the body and liberates the spirit.
At this moment in human history where the biosphere is threatened by short-sighted agricultural policies which selfishly waste precious water resources, poison the land, befoul the air, pollute gene pools, it is the gentle spirit of Michio Kushi, which can lead us back towards a Garden Eden filled with fruits, vegetables and grains from the cornucopia of life, where all are fed and all live in harmony, and thus we can turn the myth of the Fall of Man into an At-One-Ment, a celebration of return to Grace, the achievement of Enlightenment – – One Peaceful World.
This was the vision of Michio Kushi, now it is his legacy, to be resurrected to help save the planet from destruction with regenerative agriculture, agro-ecological principles, plant-based diets and the abolition of war..
We who were privileged to share a day or blessed to share a lifetime with Michio knew his genius rested upon simplicity of thinking, of personal habit, of living, of eating. His gift for clarity enabled breakthrough thinking which accelerated evolutionary thought in human health, ushering in new insights into medicine and healing.
Michio Kushi’s philosophy and writings helped to make what was once called Alternative Medicine, mainstream. His partnership with Alex Jack produced world-acclaimed texts on disease prevention and the achievement of total health, principles which are now a bedrock of integrative medicine.
Michio’s message was not simply about the wholeness of food, it was about the wholeness of life: You do not have to suffer, you can live, enjoy a long life, and be happy. For some this may seem cliché, but for Michio Kushi, the attainment of health, happiness and inner peace was in fact the goal of life, as was love, the love of his family, especially his beloved life partner and wife, Aveline.
When Aveline passed, Michio faced a great crisis because his love was no longer with him on his journey. His health suffered. His vital energy waned. Then he met Midori. He was revitalized, summoned back to life. Through Midori he reclaimed his own spark of light and love, which he carried forth to his final days.
In 1999, I had the honor of welcoming Michio and Aveline Kushi to Washington, DC, at the celebration of the acquisition of their collection by the Smithsonian. A few days later, I introduced Michio Kushi to a major committee of the House of Representatives where he testified how a macrobiotic diet could be a powerful therapy for women suffering from certain types of cancer.
He added, joyfully, disease prevention or recovery could be enhanced by singing a happy song, every day, like “You are My Sunshine.”
Let us take his wisdom, and at this moment call forth the expressive power of his joy. Please join me, if you wish, in singing a few lines from Michio’s happy song, “You are My Sunshine.”
“You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine,
You make me happy,
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know dear,
How much I love you,
Please don’t take
My sunshine away.”
Our lives will forever be warmed by the mere thought of you, dear Michio.
We abide in your light and your light abides in us.
Thank you. Dennis Kucinich
We invite you to attend Michio Kushi’s Memorial Service to celebrate his life and influence. The Memorial Service will be held at:
2:00 PM, Saturday, January 31st
Arlington Street Church
Corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets
A reception will follow at:
Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel
110 Huntington Avenue
The Marriott Hotel is located about five blocks from Arlington Street Church.
If you plan on attending the Memorial Service and/or reception, please RSVP on the http://www.michiokushi.org website. This will provide a way for us to track attendees for space and catering purposes.
To help defray the costs of the Memorial and reception, we are gratefully accepting donations sent via PayPal to “MichioKushiMemorial@gmail.com”. If you prefer not to use PayPal, please contact MichioKushiMemorial@gmail.com and we will contact you with further information.
THE KUSHI FAMILY
As part of the January 31st Memorial Service for Michio Kushi in Boston we invite anyone interested to create a short video recording and message and upload it to Youtube. Please use the keyword “MichioKushiMemorial” in the video description and add a link to it in the comment section below. We will then compile these videos and try to show them at the Memorial Service in Boston on January 31.
If you are unable to attend the Memorial Services then recording a video message may allow your message to be included. Even if you do plan on attending a recording will help preserve your message for the future.
Thank you in advance
Michio Kushi’s Memorial Service will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, January 31st, 2015 at Arlington Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts. The Arlington Street Church has special meaning and was chosen because it was one of the first venues where Michio regularly gave free lectures in the 1960s.
Time of service, details about the reception and information on how to contribute to a memorial fund will be posted at the MichioKushi.org website as soon as possible.
If you plan on attending the Memorial Service and/or reception, please take a moment and RSVP online using this form: Michio Kushi Memorial Registration Form. This will help us to better plan for the event.
On December 28, 2014, our father, Michio Kushi, passed away peacefully in a hospital in Boston. On his last day his wife, Midori, and all of his sons, Norio, Haruo, myself and Hisao, were present and were able to speak with him for the last time. Later and after the holidays, on January 5th, 2015, our father’s remains were cremated in a private, family only service. A Memorial Service for the public is being planned for Saturday, January 31st, 2015 in Boston. Details and more information for the Public Memorial Service will be posted here: http://www.michiokushi.org . The following are impressions of our father’s last day by Norio Kushi, my older brother. – Phiya
There are three words that come to mind when it comes to my father’s passing. I intentionally use the word “passing” instead of death, because the death of my father felt much more like a transition instead of finality associated with the word death.
The first word is “magical.” In the same way, during the presence of my children’s birth, there is a magical feeling, this same feeling was present during the dying of my father. Any differences that may have been there between myself and other family members, whether it be with my father or his wife, as soon as I walked into my father’s room, was gone. It all simply dissolved and felt as though it had never been there.
The second word is “beautiful.” As I walked into my father’s room, he was awake, fully conscious and completely aware of what was happening. My father got to say all that he wanted to say and all that he needed to say. In the end, the only thing that mattered to my father, was that there be peace and harmony between all family members, including, of course, his wife Midori. At the moment of my father’s passing, Midori was massaging his feet, he was fully awake, peaceful and happy.
The third word is “gratitude.” Also present in the room was this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am grateful for my father and mother selflessly providing for me throughout my life. I am grateful for JoAnne and our children for their unconditional love and support. I am grateful for our family, my brothers, sister for their unconditional love and support. I am grateful for all our friends, who are all as intimate as family and live throughout our green planet. Thank you all for sharing in this gift of life.
One more insight that I want to share is the timelessness of birth and death and that the source of life happening, is not just in the manifest, time based reality, but simultaneously at a much deeper level beyond the intellect. In the presence of my father, I saw the limitations in assigning the time based reality of cause and effect to death. The witnessing of the passing, is a glimpse into the timeless, a reality void of cause and effect.
Thank you to all.
With great sadness we announce that our beloved husband, father and brother, Michio Kushi, 88, passed away peacefully the morning of December 28, 2014 in Boston, due to complications related to metastatic pancreatic cancer. On his last day, he was fully conscious and surrounded by his wife and sons. He is survived by his wife, Midori, brother, four sons, fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Information about memorial services will be forthcoming and will be posted at the michiokushi.org website..
THE KUSHI FAMILY
KUSHI INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL 会長である久司道夫が、2014年12月28日 未明（ボストン時間）、享年89歳にて逝去いたしました。 ここに生前のご厚誼を深く感謝するとともに、謹んでお知らせいたします。 なお、日本における「お別れの会」につきましては、決定次第、ご連絡申し上げます。
KUSHI INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL東京連絡先
I will be hosting a discussion for change on the morning of Friday, August 15 at 11am at the annual Kushi Institute Summer Conference (August 3-17, 2014) at Becket, Massachusetts. Below is the topic and description of the discussion and, if successful, may be extended to the internet on Facebook. For more information about the conference please go to: http://www.kushiinstitute.org/summer-conference/ .
Who are you? Why are you here? What do you want for your life? And…What are we going to do about it, if anything?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead