is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical
effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence
the lot of mankind." — Albert Einstein
very important step towards physical and environmental health begins
with the proper diet. We often don't realize that what we put in
our mouths directly effects the planet. Because we are consuming
food about three times a day for every day that we are alive, we
have a chance to make great strides in wellness and sustainability
by our food choices alone. From improving water quality, soil, and
air quality, to decreasing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and
so on--all are effected by what we eat. The vegetarian diet is a
great way to use our power as consumers to promote sustainable agriculture,
non-violence, physical health, and the healing of our relationship
to the natural world of which we are a part.
At SMC we have
embraced a vegan (veegun) diet as the most
comprehensive way to maximize personal and environmental health.
The Vegan way of eating is exclusively plant based. It is defined
as a varied diet rich in crisp, colorful vegetables, juicy sweet
fruits, a whole gamut of grains and proteins from legumes, breads
and pastas, and aromatic herbs and spices. All animal products are
avoided including eggs, dairy products, meat products, fish and
poultry. Our "soft" approach to veganism recognizes that
dietary compromises are sometimes necessary, especially when interacting
extensively in a meat-based society. Our "soft" approach
also recognizes fanaticism as creating its own kind of stress and
By using organic
locally grown foods as much as possible SMC supports sustainable
agriculture and farms that are free of pesticides, herbicides, artificial
fertilizers and genetically modified organisms. With five years
of experimental high altitude gardening under our belts (a must
for the microclimates of Montana!) we are preparing our organic
garden site which will have a year-around strawbale greenhouse,
drip irrigation, rain water collection, and a cold storage room.
In our modern
society we are constantly bombarded with noise, activity, pollution,
and consumption to such a degree that we lose our sensitive attunement
to ourselves. Fasting is an ancient way to clean the body and still
the mind. For many, fasting provides a challenging and empowering
opportunity to get in touch with the source of ones being.
The two basic
forms of fasting that will be used at SMC are the simple water fast
and the juice fast. Both approaches can have similar results. Since
fasting should never be undertaken with the desire to lose weight,
a properly designed fasting program will be available and tailored
to individual needs.
Yoga is a practice
of stretching, breathing, increasing circulation, and concentration.
Hatha Yoga, the form used at SMC, consists of a series of postures
or asanas which exercise every part of the body, stretching
and toning the muscles and joints, the spine and the entire skeletal
system. The asanas work not only on the body's frame but
on the internal organs, glands and nerves as well, keeping all systems
in radiant health. By releasing physical, mental, and emotional
tension, they also liberate vast reserves of energy. Such releases
are likened to untying a knot; once untied a sense of peace and
wellbeing is experienced.
In the practice
of Yoga one cannot but help become acutely aware and sensitive of
how the body and mind interact. Developing a deeper awareness of
our bodies, how we move, breathe, become tight and loose, and how
we react to the weather patterns of the mind are reflected in seemingly
simple body posters. A single class can allow one to see and care
for oneself in a new and more comprehensive way.
of Yoga is encouraged as a means to develop physical and mental
awareness and health.