Eating and Food Issues - a Spiritual Odyssey by Dr. Roland Trujillo

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Eating Issues - A spiritual odyssey in search of health,wholeness, fulfillment and love

"This much I know," said Augustine, "I should take my food as my medicine."

 “I am a better person when I have less on my plate.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert,  Eat, Pray, Love

 This book was originally written a few years ago when I found out that a good friend was diagnosed with cancer. Since that time I have continued my spiritual journey and continue to ponder and make discoveries about our fallen human condition. What I write is the result of my own searching. I present it with gratitude, and I offer it in the hope that it will be of help to you. 

   I recently read a fact sheet from the American Obesity Association which revealed that one third of Americans are obese. Another fact sheet discussed the correlation between obesity and diabetes, kidney problems, and certain types of cancer.

  This morning I was paging through a popular magazine at the supermarket checkout counter, and I saw many pictures and several stories about well known Hollywood stars suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, weight and dieting issues, compulsive eating, alcohol or substance abuse. 

 A person can have no weight issues, no substance issues, and eat the very best organic food available, and yet be perfectly miserable. That person will be surprised to discover the very subtle involvement of food and food substances in their unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. 

 Though we must eat to live, we must learn to eat so that our food does feed what is wrong with us. Because the effect is by its nature unconscious, it takes a good detective and a very aware observer to detect its subtle impact on our well being. 

For example, the perennial question "why do good people do bad things?" can be answered in part by the fact that people often do bad things when they are in a trance. People do wrong or foolish things when under the spell of emotions or the influence of drugs. But believe it or not, the mere act of eating has an effect on our consciousness. 

 Eating introduces a mild trance state. When we eat, we are suddenly less aware, less disciplined, and more suggestible. It is no coincidence that office affairs often begin with an invitation to a cup of coffee or a lunch. 

 People exert their will through food. It often begins at home—where when you accepted mother's food, you also accepted her will. Is it any wonder that we develop a love hate/relationship with food? Food represents comfort. Food fills the emptiness. But food also represents someone's will, and we end up struggling with food through transference, when what we are really struggling with is the spirit of the one who imposed her will on us. 

 A few years ago, Dr. Margo Maine coined the phrase "father hunger," and in her book Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and Food, she discusses the importance of father in a child's life. 

  I have been saying the same thing for 25 years. Love is what we need to fill the emptiness. Father represents God in the eyes of the child, and when father is distant, it is to the child as if God is distant. It is resentment toward our failing father that separates us from our inner ground of good and leads to and sustains a host of emotional, eating and body image issues. 

 It is fortunate that resolution and recovery can take place despite an absent or distant father. Through understanding, we can learn to forgive our failing father and unloved mother, and through forgiveness find the love of the Father Spirit within. 

 We all like sheep have gone astray. We sense something missing in our lives. We sought the love of the world or the love of food, but when worldly love and food betray us, we are stuck with seeking more of the love that does not fulfill, like drinking sea water, or seeking stronger ways of numbing the pain and filling the emptiness.

 Nowhere does the mysterious effect of food become more evident than when we are faced with a serious health issue. We may suspect that somehow food was involved in its inception and development, and we also sense that something about food might be a key to recovery. 

Food is subtly involved in the tragedies of our lives. It also reinforces what we have become and prevents our finding our true self we might have been. Even the eating of cultural food somehow contributes to keeping us divided rather than experiencing unconditional love for and solidarity with our fellow humans from other traditions.

 Though a person does not have an obvious food issue, he or she is still under the spell of cultural food, as well as misdirections, and errors associated with a fallen culture and its food. We must understand food if we are to resolve our issues and find love for one another.  

 If food has played a role in our cultural divides, and in our emotional, spiritual and health issues, we may discover the resolution of our struggle with issues through understanding them in light of the food connection. Perhaps with understanding, our food might become our partner in recovery, and we might find the love we have been searching for all our lives. 

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The Anger - Stress Connection

Do you suffer from stress? If you do, please read this message.  It could save your life. Excessive stress is harmful, especially when it is from being angry and upset.  Most of us are still reacting emotionally to pressure. It’s not the pressure that hurts us, but our emotional reaction to it.

   Let’s look at anger, for example. Anger is one of our biggest faults. Anger means that we have judged another. Anger means that we have reacted--bypassing understanding, and permitting our body to get ready for fight or flight. 

   Getting angry may have an occasional useful purpose in the animal kingdom, but with us humans it is clearly dysfunctional. First of all, anger results in domestic violence, road rage, and  misery. Anger never helps anything. It only makes things worse, breaking down relationships and sometimes ruining them forever.

   If the above weren’t bad enough, anger also destroys health. After all, in nature, anger is directed at some tangible enemy animal to prepare to fight.  But how can you fight a traffic jam or a bill? But that is exactly what we do—we get mad at situations and inanimate objects that are impossible to fight. So what happens? A build up of adrenalin and other bodily changes cause wear and tear on the body. We literally self-destruct through our indulgence of anger. And when we don’t suppress it into high blood pressure or ulcers, then we express it by dumping on the nearest available victim. We get mad at traffic and then scream at our kids. This is a terrible injustice.

  Once you get angry, it’s difficult to reestablish control and undo the damage--the water is already over the dam. You either have to repress, suppress or dump on an innocent person. None of these is good.

   The answer is not to get angry in the first place. Impossible, you say? I say it is not only possible but easily accomplished, with just a little attitude adjustment and the help of the meditation we offer.
   Each soul has access to the Inner Light of Truth, which is from God. We call it intuition, a wordless hunch, or conscience. It is what we know in our heart. And intuition is there when we are not lost in thinking and emotion.

   Here are some examples of intuition in action. 

   A man was going to get in a car with some friends, but something wordlessly held him back. He didn’t go. He later heard that the car crashed. He was saved by a wordless warning from his intuition, which, if we are attuned to it and heed it, protects us from danger and evil.  

   After we fail to heed our intuition and do something wrong, it is still there to make us right again. Here’s a little true story to serve as an example to illustrate what I mean. One time a man was angry at a lady for cutting in front of him in traffic. He yelled out the window at the lady. Suddenly he saw the face of her little girl, who was sitting in the car next to her mother. The little girl burst into tears. When the man saw this he was shocked into awakening to see his own error (anger). He was awakened to know in his heart that he was wrong. He stopped yelling, pulled to the side of the road and quietly wept.  His conscience (intuition) made him aware that his anger was wrong. This time, instead of denying conscience, he acknowledged it and yielded to it. He became a better man for it. 

   Here’s another example. A lady’s friend got sick and went to the hospital. The lady had been so busy rushing around in a huffy way. When her friend became ill, the lady woke up to realize what is truly important in life. Her friend got well; and the lady remembered the lesson she learned. She realized that she had been rushing around but not attending to the important things in life.  

  Most of us have wake up calls along the way. But wouldn’t it be better if we were awake all the time? Living life properly on a moment to moment basis? That is precisely what proper meditation will do. It puts you in touch with your God given intuition. Then, going out into the world, already delicately connected to love and understanding that flow through the intuition, you are prepared (pre-armed with patience and understanding) for whatever vicissitudes you might meet in life. 

   Learn how to be calm in the moment of stress, and you will keep your dignity and have a chance to recover from being upset.

Stress - Why Do I feel Drained? Advanced Concepts in the Meditative Life

An excerpt from Dr. Roland Trujillo's new  book on Integrative Recovery Strategies for Stress

Most of us are in the habit of reacting to things. And thus, any change that occurs we react to, and then are forced to adapt to. 

   Our reaction uses up energy and makes us feel drained. A person who does not react, but who takes things in stride, with equanimity and poise, will find it much easier to deal with the changes in the new job.
   It is our reactions that make us tense, upset, tired, and drained. When we are young, and our energy level is higher and our recuperative powers greater, we can get away with over-reacting to things. But when we are older, we cannot. That is why some people withdraw from life--they cannot cope with things to which they know they  will over-react.

   While we are on the subject, most of us find ourselves tired, drained, upset, and tense when we come home from our present job. In this case, there is no change, although the job may have excessive demands. But if it is a decent, manageable job, why is it that we are tense and upset by  work?

   The answer is because we are over-reacting to things. And you will recall that a reaction is evidence of a fall. 

   If a person is at a higher plane—a calm nonresponsive observer—s/he is not subject to temptation. It is the present or past temptation to which we have responded that causes the devolutionary changes in us and renders us sensitive to the demands at that lower level.

   So you see, there is natural stress and unnatural stress. The natural stress involves the natural conditions that we must deal with: changes in temperature, work to be done, and so on. In our present fallen condition, which we inherit, we are subject to natural stresses. These natural stresses do use up our adaptive energy, and when it is all used up, we die. We cannot help this condition (though I believe that even today, not everyone has to die). We inherit the life that leads to death. Unless we find salvation, it is all we have. But we are more likely to remain healthy and not die before our time if we don't over-react to life's vicissitudes. 

   Now let us discuss the unnatural stresses which most of us bring upon ourselves. These unnatural stresses are the result of reacting pridefully or resentfully, excitedly or angrily, fearfully and faithlessly to external conditions. 

   Early in our lives, these over-reactions are to be expected in that we are born as naive egos, and the only way we know how to grow is through compensation. We have to react to develop as egos.
   We respond to little challenges—when we play and discover. That's how we develop our ego, our mind and our bodies too. 

   Kids are emotional and react with surprise, glee, excitement, and they relate emotionally to family and friends. Some kids like to ride on a roller coaster and enjoy screaming on the ride, and kids will go to a scary movie in order to shriek at monsters on the screen.  Such things are natural.
   It is also natural that we react angrily or excitedly to things, and respond to these sorts of ego challenges too.

   But as we mature, we should outgrow our childish reactions. We should mature and become calmer and more reasonable. We should become more settled in our ways and less prone to resentfully compensate for some perceived loss. 

   But perhaps you can see that even the "natural" is unnatural. Humans were not meant to react and compensate, growing like animals. 

   Were it possible to refind our inner environment close to God, we might become responsive to the inner world of good and nonresponsive to the external. Ascending to higher levels of awareness, we might be able to upgrade the body to not be sensitive to even natural stresses.

   But let’s talk about the unnatural stresses to which we react. We have already mentioned the fact that certain conditions provide natural stress, but if we over-react then it becomes unnatural. Going to work is a natural and healthy stress. But overreacting with anger, judgment, or upset to things at the workplace renders them to be unnatural. The spiritual fall (from the resentment, judgment and hostility) render the body sensitive and actually cause the body to devolve below the level of that stress.
  In other words, our reaction renders us subject to the condition, and then it has the power to control us and take our energy. 

   Moreover, it is one thing to react emotionally, and another thing to add resentment to it. You can't help but be startled if someone sneaks up and says "boo" behind you, but you do have control over whether you resent being startled.  It is one thing to run from a fight, but it is another to resent and hate the person you ran from. It is one thing to trip over a chair and cry when your knee hurts; but it is another to also get angry and resentful toward the chair.   

   In the Garden of Eden, it was Adam’s response to the temptation that degraded him and caused a devolution in his lifetime. Originally he had the highest place in creation. But he became subject to his wife, to temptation, to lies, to the spoken word, and to food.

   To this very day, we are sensitive to lies and to words. Everywhere men are sensitive to women. And we all have obvious or very subtle food problems. 

   We are subject and sensitive. And our struggle with our subjectivity or sensitivity only increases its hold over us--as you have undoubtedly found out.

   We are born subject, and in our life we go on to add our own personal sins that render us sensitive and subject to many things. Hence our attractions and aversions, our allergies, our upsets, our compulsions, and our loves and hates.

   When you react to temptation you become subject to it. And when we are already subject, by inheritance, to something (such as words, for example), our own reactions only add to our sensitivity and subjectivity.

   When we discover that we are subject, we then resent whatever it is that has enslaved or upset us. But resentment is just another reaction that adds to our plight. 

   It is by this same mechanism that we become enslaved to the flesh. Our spiritual fall in the face of temptation causes us to become sensitive to and subject to whatever is in the scene of the fall. Not only do we become subject to the external, but we also become subject to our reaction.
   And so, it comes to pass that we become completely enslaved. Our efforts to struggle with any of the above only give it more power over us and weaken us. 

   We are left with enslavement and dependency and excuses, and looking for symptom removal for our symptoms. 

   Now, when we react to external temptation, we take in not only the scene but the message, overt or hidden. That's why we become so suggestible, and mostly for the worse. 
   We also become sensitive to informational packages emanating from living matter in the scene. This is particularly true in the case of other people. Our fall in their presence renders us sensitive to the mysterious hold that they, as environment, have on us.

   The environment has a mysterious hold on the organism. Mysterious emanations from the environment sustain the organism, control it, maintain its identity, and comfort it. This called animal magnetism. When we fall into the flesh, our flesh becomes not only sensitive to others (who were the occasion of our fall), but also subject to their animal magnetism.
   Here are a couple examples. If you resent someone, you will find yourself sensitive to their mere presence, not only their smell or appearance, but even physical energies and psychical emanations from them. 

   Likewise, when you have been tempted to like someone, you will find that they have a hold on you.
   Most of us become subject to whatever group we are in. Soon we go along with the group and it becomes our leader. 

   Our inability to say no to others, especially when they pressure us, has to do with having fallen in the presence of people. It is people, after all, that mostly cause us to fall. 

   Perhaps now you can see why men are so sensitive to women. It has to do with an original fall, as well as their own personal fall--beginning with the willfulness, seductions and cruelties of their own mother.
   Boys who were teased in a locker room (and fell through resentment) may find themselves sensitive to the presence of boys or find themselves drawn to locker rooms. 
   The drawing power of sin has to do with its becoming our environment. Animals are drawn to their natural environment. We are drawn to the physical environments in which we were tempted and fell.   Whenever we fall spiritually, we also fall physically. And what we fell to—spiritually and physically—becomes our environment. 

   Can you see that there is both inherited sensitivity and acquired sensitivity. Men are born sensitive to women, and women are born sensitive to failing men. But in our lifetimes we go on to add and complicate the inherited sensitivity through our own personal falls. 

   Our problems grow as we become resentful and begin to fall in various environments. Before long we are sensitive to work, home, people, school, and just about everything in our environment.   

   This sensitivity can be pleasurably distracting. And as we become adapted, it becomes comforting. It becomes our environment to which we are drawn and which has power over us. But it can also be painful, when our reactions (as in the case of allergies) are unpleasant, draining, or even life threatening. It is also painful when we realize that we are enslaved.

   In order to recover, you must find the Eternal Unchangeable Source within. This is the proper atmosphere and environment for your soul. When through a pure yearning for truth and a willingness to change, you find that you can meditate for objectivity, then your soul will be drawn near to the inner Light. 

   From this calm, neutral vantage point, you will be able to observe reactions instead of being caught up in them. In fact, the soul will begin to respond more and more to the invisible truth within, and less and less to external appeals and demands.

  As the soul learns to be faithful to inner direction, it is able to be patient. And when the soul has a proper Authority, the body will learn to be respectful towards and obedient to the soul.
  The inner Heavenly order will impress itself upon every cell and every atom of your being. Just as previously, external chaos and error impressed themselves upon the body.
   The soul is perfected in patience and faithfulness. And the body is perfected as the Light shines upon errors and ailments that came to afflict the body. As time goes by, repressed illness that had been in hiding will be brought forth in the Light for healing. Also old ailments that you thought were healed, but had not been healed properly (and were merely repressed or transferred) will re-emerge. This is so that proper healing can take place. 

   As the body becomes disciplined and nonreactive, there will be more natural energy for healing and recovery. And there will not be new emotional upsets and bouts of worrying that used to interfere with getting better. 

   The most recent reactions and errors, and resulting sensitivity and subjectivity, will be dealt with first; then the next further back and so on. Eventually the original sin and error will be seen, so as to be dealt with by the Light.

Emotional Release - Techniques for Spiritual Recovery from Emotional Traumaealing and

Ultimately there is only one first step toward true healing, and that is a change of attitude.

   When we become willing to see and admit our wrongs, even willing to see something wrong with our attitude, the process of repentance can begin.  Repentance is a process of seeing our wrong, being sorry, mourning, realizing forgiveness, letting go of baggage, and being grateful for being forgiven. 

   When a person is willing to forgive, often because they have been willing to see their own wrong, then their attitude changes. With a humble polarity, the soul is no longer compatible with or in need of angry bitter memories to hang onto. These memories that came about in moments of resentment and judgment now no longer serve any purpose. 

   By our willingness to forgive others, our Heavenly Father is also willing to forgive us. And when he does, we find it easier to turn around and forgive others. 

   Most of us have never known forgiveness. All we have experienced is blame. Most of us have never experienced love. All we’ve known is consoling comfort and distraction or the sympathy of other lost sheep. 

   But once we respond to God’s (at first chastising) love with repentance and joy, we then become aware of His forgiveness. Once we know that love exists and we experience it first hand, it is easier for us to stop hating and judging others. 

   In God’s Light of Truth, we see the wrong of hating others, judging them and holding a grudge against them. From that point on, whenever we see a memory where we resented someone or judged them, we realize the error and let go of the sustaining resentment. Soon the memory is also gone.

   It is in this way that after the seed change of attitude, we see our errors one by one and they melt away.

    I doubt if anyone can truly see their wrong attitude unless the Light of Truth shines in their soul and they are open to its admonishments. Otherwise, the prideful person goes from cradle to the grave, ever looking for self justification.

   Death is inevitable result of pride and sin. And so are the preconditions to death that are set up by our pridefulness. 

   It is better to eat healthy food than unhealthy food. It is better to live a moral lifestyle than an immoral one. It is better to be calmer than to be upset. It is better to be amicable than hostile. It is better to live within the bounds of propriety, modesty and moderation than to engage in risky practices. But ultimately, something more is needed.

   Good food cannot save you. Healthy common sense living may help you to live longer, but living longer is only of value if it gives you time to repent, find the purpose of your existence and search for the secret of life. Nothing can save you other than a return to the faith of the innocent—a reliance and trust in God that begins with a willingness to be chastised and humbled.

an excerpt from Dr. Roland Trujillo's new book on complementary integrated recovery strategies for emotional trauma