To put the world right in order we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.

–Confucius

When the heart is right, “for” and “against” are forgotten

–Thomas Merton

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photo editing courtesy of Skattur

Today marks 194 days since I decided to confuse and amuse family, friends, and myself by declaring that I was officially taking “the plunge into Sainthood.”  Compelled by the things I had been reading and a chain of coincidental environmental and personal events that revealed a discrepancy between my beliefs and my behavior, I decided to take Proverbs 23:20 to heart and to “be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh.”  With the conviction to quit consuming alcohol, meat, seafood, and eggs, I went skipping and tripping down the yellow brick road of righteousness, with a strange cast of characters guiding my way: King Solomon, Yogi Hari, and The Supreme Master Ching Hai. (Oh my!)

When I first set out on this mission I had no idea it was going to be such a drastic paradigm shift in my thinking – and not just about food. It took nearly six months to reach 39 consecutive days of vegetarianism.   On the 40th day I overlooked “egg” on the list of ingredients and wound up eating a pasta salad that had egg in the dressing, so it was back to “Day 1” for me.  Today I realized that I’ve surpassed my last stretch. This time around I’ve logged 43 days without meat, eggs, or seafood. 

 I still suffer from the occasional bout of bloodlust – and I have imbibed the occasional alcoholic beverage, but the changes are becoming more of a habit than a struggle.  This is progress.

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