Spirituality and the Path- Daud Scott, CHNP
All living beings eventually seek to understand their reason and purpose. Whether someone considers themselves devoutly religious or a humanist at heart, the concept of Spirituality is central to both. And while this overall piece is about the essence of Nutrition and wellbeing, from the truly Holistic Point of view, just being healthy in itself is not the ultimate goal. The goal is total awareness of self to reach one’s true purpose of living- to become self-actualized.
If there is one thing that I’ve seen for certain, it’s that when people really begin to work on their diets and eat better, many changes happen. Sometimes some hard truths appear that individuals have to face. Whether wanting to or not, many people often find themselves seeking meditation, dhikr, or mantra chanting. People seek a sense of connectedness to all things present, and also feel urgency to make an impact within the world, someway, somehow. Why do these things happen? That’s a large question to answer, but we can look and try to understand how diet and the Path towards Spiritual Enlightenment are connected.
Nutrition and what the aspirant eats is one of the first stages of the Path, next to being aware of the breath. It is no mystery that a great number of healing and spiritual traditions start with the adepts to either fast, change major aspects of their eating for the better or perform a combination of both. The Masters and mystics knew and understood that a significant awakening could not occur when the physical life force of the body is stagnant and unprepared. A body in crisis needs to be a body in healing to reach higher states of awareness and consciousness. When we look at it this way, we can see how eating healthy just for the sake of what others think, or because it seems to be the latest trend can seem superficial against this bigger picture. This aspect of awakening in relation to diet and health is often overlooked, primarily as a consequence of the age that we are living in. We have to remember that for thousands of years, food and the art of eating were considered sacred. Whatever was consumed was done so with a purpose and with a set intention. This set intention and an open heart is what led to the codification of how nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs and minerals acted within the body. This is something that we should all strive to get back to: eating as a sacred art.
A SUFI PERSPECTIVE
Once people begin to become aware of themselves, what they put into their bodies, and what they believe they are to do in this world, the Path becomes a real and tangible idea and they find it laid out before them. The Naqshbandi Sufis term this station (level): Safar Dar Watan, meaning: The Journey Homeward. Why link this point here? Because food is only the fuel to our greater reality, the journey to our true home, beyond this material one that we know of now. The more vital and clean our foods are, the more we are able to access our subtle spaces within the brain and the personality to become our authentic selves. This is a major focal point within Sufism in general. Intermittent fasting, eating little, eating vital, and having gratitude are all parts of the process of Liberation.
KNOWLEDGE OF SELF
If Spiritualty is the platform, then Awareness must be the launch pad. If you have recently adopted a heathier lifestyle when it comes to eating, there is a big possibility that you may notice that you ‘feel’ different. This feeling is the vision of veils becoming stripped and the fog beginning to dissipate. Your Third Eye is coming to the surface. Yet if the opportunities to put our lives to better use for the world are not acted on, then what’s the use of the change in diet? Many spiritual traditions state that one must become aware and have knowledge of self in order to achieve one’s purpose of being. Often, this reality hits many of us hard and some are truly shocked at the transformation they experience. Ride the energy and let it carry you to a place where no words can describe. You were born for it.
With love, gratitude and service to you and your families,
Daud Scott is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and is presently pursuing his licensure as a Certified Doctor of Traditional Naturopathy (N.D.) and is completing a separate PhD. in Alternative Medicine. Daud is the owner of Nature’s First Path, a Holistic Nutrition practice. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and son. To learn more about Daud’s approach to health and wellness you can visit him at: www.naturesfirstpath.com