Friday, October 23, 2020

Illness & Macrobiotic Lifestyle


I’d like to tell you a story.

Murray Snyder has been involved with macrobiotics for close to thirty years as a student, practitioner, teacher, counselor, writer, lecturer, running a center, summer camps and through all this, walking the walk. He has counseled over 30,000 people, helping many. Over the last couple of years he has had to deal with his own personal crisis. Cancer showed up in his throat and progressed in what he calls a twist of fate. There have also been a number of similar circumstances involving long time macrobiotic practitioners and human nature would like answers.

What people chose to do and how they chose to express themselves is totally up to each individual and should not be judged one way or the other. We all know that knowledge is a powerful tool to understanding and by hearing what others are experiencing, we can help ourselves to better grasp what being here now is and means.

Murray, at present, has physically undergone surgery, radiation, several rounds of chemotherapy, a lot of pain, and employing whatever natural healing he has felt was beneficial. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually he, in his own words, has made some great, most rewarding strides through the human conscience and stages of fear, resignation, and love. The support he has received blows him away.

Part of his healing is sharing his story. Last year at the Kushi Institute Summer Conference he gave hint of his experiences, of his constant learning up to that point.

The following is (lightly edited for flow) Murray’s response to the “If they’’re macrobiotic how come they are getting serious diseases and dying?” question. Or, “Why isn’’t there some kind of guarantee? There must be one somewhere. And the quicker, the better.”

When somebody says I am eating macrobiotically, we can not presume that they are eating correctly. I know we’d like to. We don’t know what they’re doing. Everybody has got to deal with the dietary issue.

My personal opinion is that all of us have a predisposition to certain illnesses. Constitutionally. Whether that happens or not depends on what we do in our life. Biologically, emotionally, and vibrationally.

For me it wasn’t so much that I was eating something wrong. For example, I hadn’’t eaten meat, eggs, chicken, cheese, and dairy for 28 years. Whenever I would digress it would never be into those things. I just didn’’t do it. Didn’’t want to. But in other areas I had suppressed or held back certain feelings and emotions and not dealt with them in an appropriate way. When I was trying to live up to certain ideals and concepts and would fail, I would resent myself for that failure. I was always my harshest critic. You could criticize me, but I would criticize myself worse.

That energy is and creates a negative action in the body, and after so many years can localize and precipitate some type of physicalization of it, in this case a tumor. There are also dietary factors that might speed that up and then manifest in that way so there’s no real single issue.

For me, the way in which I really looked at my situation was that the Universe was trying to tell me something that I wanted. This had come to me because I really wanted through this experience to gain an understanding about myself and the life and the minute I let go and surrendered the concepts and ideals that I thought that were great (I’m not saying that they weren’’t great), that’s when I started to get filled with what I call healing. That’s when I started to get an insight into the process

When I let go of eating well and just ate the food I never enjoyed the food more in my life.

I have no attachment to the food now. I know the difference. I can distinguish between the quality of this food and that food and what it can produce. I never looked at one as being better or worse, right or wrong or is it yin or yang because that’s an energetic, not a value judgment. I never looked at it as yin being good or bad or yang as being good or bad. That’s the same old dualistic judgmental.

Once I let go of that for myself, then I could select the merits of whether surgery, radiation, this food, this diet, this herb, or this technique was of value to me and judge it on the merits, rather than on my perceptions of whether it was the right thing to do. For me that was a tremendous, positive releasing experience and totally changed the way I’’ve looked at life. So, in that context, I can actually say that this experience has been the most powerful, positive experience I’’ve ever had.

When you’re trying to survive you will do anything, even if it’s the wrong thing. You will make decisions that your heart and your mind tell you aren’’t right but your fear tells you you better do this or you’re going to die. That’s the survivor mentality. You have to deal with the death issue. I’m telling you this even if you’re not sick.

When you’’re 22 years old you don’t want to deal with the death issue because you can’t see death in your life. As you get older, you know it’s going to happen. It’s a question of how do I feel about that. How do I embrace death.

All societies traditionally saw death as part of the life experience. It was not feared. It was respected and it was a preparatory process. Our society has grown up with the abject fear of dying and we will do anything to save you, including kill you.

Bernie Siegel, a surgeon who wrote the book “Love, Medicine, and Miracles,” tells a very funny quick story. He has a friend that eats macrobiotic, runs ten miles every day, meditates because he wants to live to be 120 and doesn’’t want to die. So one day a 12 year old kid says to him, “Why do you do this?” And he tells him because he doesn’’t want to die, he wants to live to be 120, and the kid looks at him and says, “But you’re going to die someday.” And it startled the guy to such an extent that he went, “You know you’re right, why am I doing this?”

You see, that’s what most people do, even with good things. People will do even what we call holistic and macrobiotic because they want to survive, so the experience they get out of that doing, in my opinion, is limited.

Most often they miss the joy of being a creator. They aren’’t creating their life destiny, they’re trying to survive it. In my opinion, those people are sick, even if they have no problems.

Then I’’ve met other people who are seriously ill, but there’s a spirit in them, an appreciation in them, an understanding in them that transcends their physical limitation. If they survive the crisis and move on, this experience for them is going to be a catalyst to even more creation. And if they don’t survive it, it’s totally OK, either way, because they let go of the result.

Stop trying to maintain the result, because when you do that you’re saying the good result is “I live and I’m healthy” and the bad result is “I die”.

You’re entitled to that opinion, but in my experience that is a very inhibiting experience. It’s so much more freer and so much more empowering to not decide what the result should be and put your faith in the process and then live your experience.

The word is love…

May Ling
Macrobiotics & natural health practitioner of Chinese decent. May Ling provides a Yin-Yang perspective to holistic health and natural healing. Contact:


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