Monday, 29 September 2014

Responsibility

The Ho’oponopono prayer, which you can see cycling continually at the foot of this blog, is an encapsulation of Christian attitude: “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.”

It’s a traditional Hawaiian mantra that Dr Hew Len has taught people about. He describes its use as being for “cleaning”. He says any circumstance into which you introduce it as an intention is de-toxed by it. If you make it your mantra – your mind’s focus – it de-toxes your life. That makes sense, because it is in a nutshell the way Jesus taught us to think and behave. Every single thing we say or do should be able to be categorized under one of its four headings – I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you.

It intrigues me that “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me” are two separate clauses in it, not one. I’d have said they were the same, but when I think about it I can see they’re not.

Dr Hew Len recommends we pick up the practice of “cleaning” any person, place or event that comes our way by bringing the light of this mantra to shine upon it. He makes the interesting observation that we are responsible for everyone and everything that comes our way.

By that, he doesn’t mean “everything that happens to you is your fault”. People make this error of thinking about the whole idea of karma – they think it’s a kind of blame system: “You got yourself into this, right then; you get yourself out of it” or “You made your bed, now you’ve got to lie on it. Ha ha.”

But that isn’t it. Karma is what Dr Hew Len says – you are responsible for whatever comes into your life. That is to say, you respond to anything you notice or encounter, and the correct way to respond is your choice of “I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you” – or a bumper pack of all four. This is good medicine, good karma, because it ensures that you will get the best out of everyone and everything you come across. Furthermore the aura or radiance of your thoughts, your attitude, will affect whatever/whoever you meet; and if what it meets in you is the Ho’oponopono prayer incarnate, you wil bring healing and peace wherever you go, and life will lighten up around you. That’s what he means by cleaning it. 

One of the areas of life where this responsibility sometimes feels very serious to me, is in choosing where to buy my food. I’m sure you must know that humanity has been very careless, corrupt and cruel in its agricultural practices. We have pushed indigenous peoples off their land, degraded the health of the earth, spoilt the fields and the oceans, wiped out the forests, almost killed off the pollinating insects and imprisoned livestock animals in environments that make concentration camps look like holiday parks. That’s not  ‘I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, or thank you”, is it?

So, though I often get it wrong and take my eye of the ball and just act in total selfishness, I do try to put some work into exercising my responsibility and making loving choices when it comes to sourcing my food.

I have tried being vegan, and that really didn’t work out for me. For one and another reason, I’ve come to accept that we are inescapably part of the cycle of birth and death in our interactions, and what matters is not whether something lives of dies (including me) but the quality of attitude with which it is welcomed and loved in its earth-time.

So, when I source eggs or meat or fish, I do my best to search out food that has not been blitzed with organo-phosphates or anti-biotics, that I can eat without jeopardizing my health, and that has enjoyed a reasonable degree of happiness, freedom and natural life while it was running around on earth as an animal. I was going to say “as a living being”, but I think the meat or egg is still a living being – it’s just transitioning; the living being it’s about to become is me. I will reap what I sow. It matters.

With this in mind, I discovered with great joy a source of meat and eggs in the UK to be really proud of – Eversfield Farm. Take your time to poke around that website and check out what they’re doing. That the lambs are allowed to stay with their mothers and wean naturally onto grass. That the animals are not only organically reared and grass-fed, but are pasture-fed; which means that flowers and herbs have gone into their bodies as well as grass. That the pigs (rescued from slaughter at the closure of a nearby farm) are a flock, the boar with his sows, free-ranging and with shelter from the sun. That the hens are organically fed and range free in the pastures. That they sell chicken as well as eggs – which presumably means the male birds get a chance to live, to become chicken to eat, rather than being selected on a conveyor belt and chucked down a chute into a gas chamber on Day 1 of their lives because they aren’t female and therefore won’t lay eggs. And that the meat animals are taken to a nearby local abattoir for slaughter, reducing to a minimum the stress on the animal when its time comes to die.

Eversfield Farm has worked under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to re-establish miles of hedgerows – sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds. The old, basic rye-grass fields have been ploughed up and re-seeded with herb-rich pasture.

I tell you, that place is Good News – it’s a Ho’oponopono place, and I thank God for it. They sell meat all round the UK by mail order, which is a precious support in helping me live my life responsibly. Hooray for Eversfield Farm! Thank you, Eversfield; I love you – yes, I do.



14 comments:

gail said...

Sounds wonderful. Love the mantra as well, although that might be one I need to work on. I'm not always that gracious.
Blessings Gail.
p.s. Looking forward to your new book.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Gail

:0)

I think the mantra just works its way into your imagination - you don't have to make an effort to feel what it suggests; you say it over and over, and gradually it makes you more peaceful in your outlook. An aspiration - you don't have to have already got there. xx

Michelle said...

I've been coming along to read your blog every few days--you are very missed in my Facebook world Pen; I do hope you'll consider returning at some point but I'm very pleased to know I can still find you and your gentle wisdom here; thank you.
~ Michelle

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello my friend - how lovely to hear from you! May you be blessed today xx

LANA said...

I agree. Here in the U.S.A. I only buy organic grass-fed meat and chicken, organic vegetables and fruit. I am protesting with many many others the use of GMO's. If we all shop and eat responsibly, it will make a difference, and the big corporations will have to change their ways. I will be saying your mantra to myself from now on.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Hey, sister! We are holding hands. xx

Katrina Green said...

Very wise advice. Being a visual sort of person, I need some sort of reminder. You've given me the idea to make a bracelet or something woven out of red for “I love you"; blue for "I’m sorry"; green for "please forgive me"; and - what colour? I don't know. Gold?- for "thank you”.

Pen Wilcock said...

What a lovely idea! xx

Alice Y. said...

How lovely, thanks for posting this. Great to get the link to Eversfield, who sound like they are doing things the right way. I hope to place an order with them. I was not able to stay healthy as a vegan and also re-introduced high welfare animal foods into my diet.

Pen Wilcock said...

They certainly are something to celebrate! x

margaret said...

Thank you! The monastic I live with has been told by his doctor not to try to be totally vegetarian and I will be so happy to order meat from this farm.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello Margaret :0)

I can wholeheartedly recommend them. The box delivery is careful, trackable and well-planned, the meat is lean, well, packaged and delicious. The box is lined with insulating stuff and icepacks are included to keep it thoroughly cold. The bags the meat is in mean it can go straight in the freezer.
And they do veggie boxes too!

tonia said...

The mantra reminds me of the Orthodox concept of "Do not resent, do not react, keep inner stillness." I have repeated that to myself many, many times over the years. :) Thank you for your insights on eating. I am finding a kind of peace with eating meat - sourced as you outline. I appreciate you talking about it here.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Tonia - what a beautiful meditation! xx