Firstly, I have to thank everyone who sent me kind wishes in response to my blog last week. I feel truly blessed by the love and support I have received.
Secondly, I want to tell you about an exciting retreat I am leading in Scarborough, Londesborough Lodge, YO11 2PW next summer. It is a compassion retreat called ‘So you want to be vegan?’ If you are a regular reader, you will know that I am a vegan, but hopefully you will also agree that I don’t bleat on about it too much!
Many people I come into contact with because of teaching mindfulness are interested in the idea of being vegan. I often hear the phrase ‘I would really love to be vegan but…..’
I have put together this retreat for them.
One big obstacle tends to be cheese, or as I call it ‘curdled baby cow growth juice’. Another tends to be concerns about knock on effects for close family members, who are resistant or who are young children.
The retreat will explore meditation practices of rejoicing and compassion in a balanced way and how eating a whole food plant based diet is an act of compassion for ourselves, our animal friends and our planet.
In terms of self compassion a whole food plant based diet can halt or reverse 14 of the 15 top causes of death in the western world (the other one is accidents). Myself I have felt very well since changing to a vegan diet nearly four years ago. My complexion has never been so glowing. And as a women of a certain age, several annoying peri menopausal symptoms vanished or significantly diminished.
My prime motivation for being a vegetarian since the age of 18 was animal welfare. I was a big fan of The Smiths and subscribe to the belief that ‘Meat is Murder’. As the lyric goes ‘It’s death for no reason and death for no reason is murder.’
Then one day driving through the countryside I noticed a field of very sad looking cows. On getting home I bought a book about why be a vegan and what I discovered about the egg and dairy industry horrified me. I ate organic and thought that would mean the animals would be OK. I was wrong!
I struggled being a vegan to begin with. Lapsing regularly due to the temptation of cheese. Then I heard someone say ‘It’s difficult to be a vegan if you think of yourself, but it’s easy if you think of the animals.’ That was the turning point for me.
It is clear now that becoming a vegan is the biggest contribution we can make as individuals towards averting the pending climate crisis. We often work hard to switch to environmentally friendly bulbs and to use less water. The impact of these changes on the environment are tiny compared to switching to a vegan diet.
So I hope you will join me, if you are already a vegan, if you are an aspiring vegan or if you are just curious. We will practice and reflect together and we will explore the facts (nothing too graphic), share tips, have fun and hopefully become a more compassionate force in the world.
And you get to spend a week in the summer by the seaside with some like minded mindfulness pals! And if you teach mindfulness, this retreat will meet the U.K. Network (now BAMBA) annual retreat requirements.
For more details of the retreat, click here. If you book before Christmas you can pay in 5 monthly instalments of £50. Places are limited to 24.
So, enough of the hard sell and I promise not to bring up this subject, at least until Veganuary 2020!
You can also practice mindfulness with Heather by joining her on the following courses:
Teacher Training Level 1 at Samye Ling – 29-31st May, 2020 (date subject to change)
Heather also teaches on the MSc Studies in Mindfulness.