I’ve just spent the past week volunteering at a Hare Krishna Eco Yoga Park. Working in the organic garden, eating amazing vegan food and practicing yoga in the afternoons in between naps and reading Game of Thrones (so good).
I only really came here to stay so I could recharge my batteries and stay in one place for longer than a few days but I’ve ended up learning so much whilst staying here.
I was going to start this post with ‘I’m not a religious person’ but then I realised I didn’t really know what the exact definition of religion actually is.
It turns out Religion is….’ the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods’.
When I think about this it makes me realise that except for the worship part, I am actually religious. Although I believe in the Big Bang theory and evolution I also wonder where all the gases came from in the first place to set the Big Bang off. Nothing just appears from nothing. There must be something that created these gases in the first place. What or who that was I have no idea but it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time now.
Although I don’t follow any of the different forms of religions I do respect them. When I was ill many people prayed for me which I was so grateful for. On my 21st birthday the vicar from the town I’m from in Scotland wrote to me to say that they had prayed for this day back when I was ill as a child. I was really overwhelmed by this. If anything I like religion because it helps give people hope and purpose.
When I left on this trip my mum gave me a holding cross so I could hold it so I could think about her and dad whenever I got sad or ill. For me the cross symbolises the love of my parents but for my mum maybe it’s a little something to let her know that god is watching over me. Either way I love it because my mum gave me it.
I knew nothing of Hare Krishna before I got here but now that I’ve learnt a little bit I really like their way of life. There are too many things to mention in one post but what I really like is their diet and the beliefs that shape it.
They live a vegan lifestyle which means they don’t eat meat, fish or dairy products. They do this because they want to live in harmony with the environment. The buildings are made out of natural resources which don’t damage the environment and they get their food from the gardens in the park.
One of the many reasons they don’t eat meat and the one I found most fascinating is because we are not actually born with the tools to kill animals. A lion or a tiger is born with big claws and sharp teeth, designed to kill other animals. Our hands are small with opposable thumbs and perfect for picking things like fruits and berries. If we were try and kill a cow with our bare hands and with no weapon it would be pretty difficult. Our intestinal tract is 12 times our body length (like other herbivore animals) which means meat can take up to 7 days to digest. A lions (or any other carnivore) intestinal tract is only three times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly. This means that so much energy is spent trying to digest meat. Ever wondered why you feel lethargic after a big roast dinner?!
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be a full on veggie or vegan but this experience has definitely got me thinking about how I’d like to live my life.
I have this image that when we die we go to a big lecture theatre where someone explains everything about the universe, what exactly happened, is there a god and that little question of ‘why are we here?’
Happy Easter gang