A Vegetarian Meditation Challenge

For most of us, eating non-vegetarian food could mean anything, from simply being a belief to being a way of pampering our taste buds. And, of course, we don’t find anything wrong in it either; after all, it’s hard to resist a non-vegetarian dish once we have tasted its succulent flavors.

Times are changing, and these days we are being flooded with news reports, research, and documentaries enumerating the various health benefits of turning vegetarian. From animal welfare and environment care to a healthier heart, there are reasons aplenty. Google itself has nearly 161,000,000 results on “why be a vegetarian”!

Now, you may be wondering if there’s anything new we are going to talk about. Well, to be honest, we too will be listing down in this article a few benefits of why it might be a better alternative to turn vegetarian, especially if you are a regular meditator.

The only difference is that we are going to let you experience all these benefits for yourself through a 31-day “vegetarian food meditation challenge”. We believe that personal experience speaks louder than words; so, after reading this article, we leave it to you to try this challenge and see for yourself how being on a vegetarian diet for just a month can have a great impact on your daily meditation.

Remember, this challenge might require a lot of courage, but you have a strong spirit so this will not be as hard as you think. And we will always be available to help you keep this challenge going.

Note: The difference in your experience before and after taking up this challenge might depend on how often you consume non-vegetarian food.

Before we introduce the challenge, we would like to go back and see why it might be a good idea to be a vegetarian meditator.

Deeper Meditation

Isn’t this journey very personal, creative, and precious? It is said that it is our attitude towards life and the food we consume that catalyzes our journey within.

Have you ever experienced deeper meditation when you give your 100% at work and consume foodstuff such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains? Such food is light for the stomach and high in prana/energy. (Prana is the energy that keeps you active, enthusiastic, and helps you maintain a positive atmosphere around yourself.)

Certainly, food has a high impact on our mental state and leaves deep impressions on our consciousness. Plants are said to have a subtler consciousness than animals. So, consuming fruits and vegetables help keep the body light, which in turn helps lead to deeper meditation.

So, when you meditate while being on a vegetarian diet, your mind is better in sync with your body. And you tend to rise higher faster and with ease.

Faster Benefits

Practicing meditation along with a vegetarian diet helps us experience its impact and benefits faster.

So, Ready To Take The Challenge?

The Challenge

1) As you are regular meditators, we assume you meditate at least once a day. You can continue with your meditation practice as you have been doing.

In case you are not a regular meditator, we suggest you schedule a comfortable time everyday for your practice.

2) Consume vegetarian food for the next 31 days. You can also read up on what kind of food might be good for you.

Now we know that since you are so used to eating non-vegetarian food, the transition to a vegetarian diet might not be so easy at first. So, let’s look at some of the obstacles you might face during this challenge. We will do our best to provide you with solutions to them.

I’m Badly Missing The Taste

Our suggestion:

#1: Use the same spices – You are probably very fond of the spices in your nonvegetarian dish, since that is what adds taste to the food. So, if you get to use the same spices (which are, fortunately, vegetarian) in your vegetarian dish, you might taste a similar flavor. Simply replace your non-vegetarian dish with a vegetarian one using the same spices. Easy?

As an alternative, you can choose to pick up a few packets of mock meat or mock chicken (made of soya) from the nearest supermarket and use the same spices.

This mock meat is completely vegetarian and gives you the feeling of eating nonvegetarian food.

#2: Open your taste buds to a more vegetarian variety – There is always a good alternative to everything in life. All you need to do is be creative and explore a whole new variety of vegetarian dishes.

31 Days Is Too Long A Time Period

Our suggestion:

Be patient – Turning vegetarian might not happen overnight, but know that over a period of time your cravings will subside. Remember that the reason you are turning vegetarian for these 31 days will help you when you are tempted to give in.

Also, keep short targets for yourself, such as “only for today I’m not going to eat non-vegetarian”, and the thought of doing it for only a day will not sound so hard.

Obviously, you might have to repeat this every morning, but it will be worth it in the end.

Just remind yourself, “Just a few more days to go, let’s see what happens. Who knows, some beautiful experiences might be waiting for me. I am making my tummy healthier. I am doing a good deed for the environment.”

If not for yourself, do it for the environment.

I’m Losing It; Need Some More Courage

Our suggestion:

#1: Make a promise to a loved one - Love is your tool here. Promise your loved one that you will continue this challenge for the next few days. Make sure you involve someone from whom you can really gain courage. We are sure you know exactly who that might be.

#2: Do not miss your meditation – Meditation and vegetarian food complement each other. Just as a vegetarian diet helps in deeper meditation, meditation gives you the inner strength to stand up to your decision of dropping non-vegetarian food.

#3: Be aware of the effect – As you keep meditating along with a vegetarian diet, you will experience deeper meditation. Being aware of the experiences will help you keep your commitment.

If you want, you can maintain a little experience diary. Write just five lines of your experience daily – Why was today’s meditation so different? Is it going easy or hard? What is the hardest part?

For any other challenges, you can write to us at webteam.meditation@artofliving.org and we will do our best to offer you a solution.

Take the challenge and experience the results for yourself. Don’t forget to share them with us! All the best.

Written by Divya Sachdev

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Mehr