MACROBIOTIC TEACHERS MEETING STATEMENTS – LISBON 2009
The following set of statements were created at the 2009 Macrobiotic Teachers Meeting in Lisbon. They represent the expression of various aspects of macrobiotics that the group felt they could agree upon after free ranging discussions. These statements are work in progress and reflect the views agreed at the time. As the process of creating them was one of finding agreement, the statements themselves describe the common baseline of views over individual ones. The organizing committee has edited the original statements for clarity, as agreed at the 2009 meeting.
MACROBIOTICS AND SOCIAL VALUES
Macrobiotic philosophy is rooted in the idea that whilst we are all responsible for our own well-being, our choices often influence other peoples lives and those choices can be made with greater social awareness. Macrobiotic practitioners seek to experience a holistic quality of life that combines social, ecological, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being, and explore the inter- connectedness of these aspects of life.
In terms of our food choices, awareness extends to considering whether our food is local, regional, seasonal, organic, primarily from plant sources as well as farmed, distributed and sold ethically.
This ecological lifestyle could have wide-ranging impact on many of societies most pressing problems including rising health costs, food costs, re-distribution of food and resources, and global warming. The macrobiotic way of life is earth- friendly and aims to contribute toward creating a society that lives in harmony with the cycles of nature.
MACROBIOTICS AND SPIRITUALITY
Macrobiotics seeks to produce the optimal biological conditions that can support higher states of consciousness achieved through certain spiritual or transformative practices. In that regard, macrobiotics is the quiet handmaiden that encourages sustainable transformation. For without the appropriate biological resonance with the living world around us, spiritual achievements can lack grounding and be mere products of psychological, spiritual techniques or processes. It is vital to recognize the mutually supporting relationship between spiritual and transformative processes, and biological wellness. This will enable macrobiotics to move beyond ideological categories such as healing diet or food extremism. One purpose of macrobiotic thought and practice is the development of consciousness. This vision is fundamental in appreciating the teachers that have gone before us and who have dedicated their life work to this principle.
MACROBIOTIC GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The study and practice of macrobiotics supports us in developing personal responsibility in life. Besides a general appreciation for natural health practices, macrobiotic living puts emphasis on the principles that describe an awareness of the cycles of nature.
Macrobiotic principles have many different cultural expressions and include among others: the study of cause and effect, the notion of complimentary opposites, non-credo, the unfolding pattern of evolution, yin and yang, the five elements and other models of perceiving the universe. The aim is to enjoy life, rather than seek perfection, as well as to create the possibility of achieving unconditional love and compassion.
The expression of macrobiotic guiding principles changes with each generation; it is an ongoing process.
THE MACROBIOTIC DIETARY APPROACH
The macrobiotic way of eating influences our biological, social and spiritual development. Its application provides a flexible system that has evolved through the observation of the cycles of nature. It is flexible because it takes account of the differences in climate, culture, age, gender, activities and other considerations.
Food selection and preparation is carried out with skill and care and encourages home cooking using fresh, regional, and if possible organic ingredients. Although primarily a plant-based diet, animal food is used as appropriate.
There are two approaches within the macrobiotic way of eating, one for everyday life and the other for therapeutic needs. The daily macrobiotic way of eating offers great variety, whereas the therapeutic way of eating may be more focused on the use of specific foods for a limited period of time and adjusted for specific ailments.
Macrobiotic living includes the deeper study and use of many traditional and natural methods of food selection and preparation. The use of conventional medicine for diagnostic or healing purposes is often helpful and even necessary in some acute or chronic situations.
We recognize that we are all free to choose whatever we eat and learn from the effects of our choices. In macrobiotic practice boundaries are necessary to enhance our self-discipline, so that with experience, we are able to choose more wisely what we eat, when and why, with joy and awareness. This daily practice further matures our intuition and biological integrity.
There is a consensus that growing children have different nutritional needs, requiring plenty of variety and food that is appealing, attractive and colourful.
One function of parents is to create good physical health, a sense of freedom, and to empower and support children in their life. Good eating particularly with home cooking that is delicious and nutritious contributes to developing biological integrity. Parents are encouraged to be flexible with school lunches.
Parents inspire children toward natural lifestyles. Macrobiotic parenting does not exclude conventional medicine and in fact it may be the appropriate option in certain situations. Also, it is advisable to have check-ups from time to time with a medical doctor. Regarding making the decision to inoculate, parents are advised to research the subject of vaccination carefully.
Encourage children to have an active social life and enjoy eating with their friends, knowing they are growing up within a healthy home-cooking environment.
We encourage parents to support each other in raising healthy children by sharing tips on nutrition and child rearing.
Macrobiotics offers a different paradigm than conventional medicine, inspiring self-reliance in maintaining health.
A macrobiotic consultation is appropriate in certain situations and can be an insightful and powerful method to assist healing. With the guidance of an experienced macrobiotic counsellor and application of macrobiotic practises, health problems can improve.
Holistic diagnosis includes a variety of diagnostic methods such as interviewing, face-reading, voice diagnosis, abdominal palpitation, smell, tongue, posture, ear, pulse, emotional and intuitive diagnosis.
We recommend that a counsellor confirm his or her diagnosis by using at least three of these different methods. Any information that contributes toward understanding the client?s condition is helpful, including a medical diagnosis. We can use holistic diagnosis to help the client better understand his or her own condition from several perspectives including physical, mental and emotional.
Key qualities for counsellors giving macrobiotic consultations:
-The counsellor offers encouragement and support during and after each session.
-The counsellor comes from a place of empathy and non-judgement.
-It is preferable that counselling is done in conjunction with further education.
-Respect the clients wish to employ other modalities if necessary.
-Always provide follow-up care after the consultation according to the client?s wishes.
-Maintain comprehensive written records for each client. It is also helpful to take a picture of the client and keep it with their records.
-Ask the client to keep a personal diary including what they eat for a period of one week prior to the consultation and any follow-up session.
These statements were created by thirty macrobiotic teachers with many years of experience. We recognise the profound contribution of all our teachers, especially those who have passed. We held a small ceremony at the meeting to express our gratitude and honour and thank them.
Book an online or in person macrobiotic consultation or macrobiotic course with Simon to enjoy the foods, lifestyle and practices that lead to health, happiness and greater contentment.