Sacred Cow Diet

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The Sacred Cow Diet

The Sacred Cow Diet New Delhi, India
My progress is stalled until I recognize my sacred cow, and the crap that it fills my world with. Photo by Marc Shandro (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons” href=””>

Recently, I realized that, when I’m stuck in some kind of funk, miserable, frustrated, and ready to wake up and move back to ON, there’s always a little sacred cow that’s eating up my energy and has got to go. Reality challenges me to implement the Sacred Cow Diet, to recognize that I’m maintaining a nice-sounding fiction, a “sacred cow” that puts me at odds with reality, both inner and outer, which are actually one and the same. My progress is stalled until I recognize my sacred cow, and the crap that it fills my world with.

Over my life I’ve tended herds of very beautiful, but utterly fictitious “sacred cows.” They never did quite match reality. None of my sacred cows has any actual existence outside of my own insistent refusal of reality. Instead, they chain MY existence to the unreal:

My Sacred Cows are fictions I’ve chained my reality to, in refusal of every part of reality that doesn’t fit my fiction, i.e. the bullshit I tell myself while refusing what’s real and trying to make it fit everything I believe, that isn’t real.

Every sacred cow has me living like a slave, chained to protecting unreality from reality. Every sacred cow I quit feeding my energy to frees me to proceed in reality, sense-ably, and to be fed by the flesh, the song, the presence and the dance of all that knows itself, yet, as the Sacred Shaping and Nourishing of the untamed and delicious, undomesticated and undomesticatable Aliveness.

The Sacred Cow Diet, Delhi, India
You can spend your whole life herding precious little sacred cows. You can get all sorts of benefits, even appear very “spiritual,” very “devoted.” That’s why we have sacred cows. They become part of how we fool ourselves, and others. Giving all that up has a price, including looking back on a life lived in pretending and then facing reality. If this guy takes off his “Indian holy man” garb and gives up the “precious sacred cow,” he’s going to have to develop another skillset to make it on the streets of Delhi, in India. He’ll just be another schmuck, or he’ll discover the magnificence deep within him that doesn’t require a whole costume to maintain. It’s probably easier to keep up the pretense. He, too, is part of an ecology and his survival tactic probably works just fine in India. He might be far more lucid and dialed-in than anyone imagines, and perhaps he spends his life on vacation, exploiting the credulity of those who fill the bag that the cow carries off her hump with all kinds of goodies. HA! He can travel the whole of India, from North to South, in the assurance that his food bucket will always be full in a land where people worship sacred cows. We, ALSO, have sacred cows, but few of us know how to exploit them to live as well as he… except politicians, of course, and all those peddlers of sanctified bullshit like “equality, democracy, rights, global warming, climate change, justice, etc.”  That all keeps the peddlers of sanctified bullshit eating off of gold while we eat off of styrofoam. Now, I’m not suggesting that this guy slay his sacred cow because, unlike most of OUR “sacred cows,” his sacred cow actually EXISTS, and seems to serve him well, much better than most of ours. Besides, he looks like a very likable sort of “holy scoundrel,” the kind I’d probably end up having some very good laughs with… until, of course, we got to the topic of his “holy cow,” HAHAHAHA!

When I recognize my precious “sacred cows,” I’m challenged to acknowledge the feelings that come up when I realize that something I devoted my energy to is simply unreal. This is not unlike discovering that Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy, are unreal. Modern cultures program us deeply to sacrifice reality to unreality, and to block our own paths with bullshit, i.e. childish fantasy; the wish that the world were what it isn’t, and that it wasn’t what it is.

I have to feel the precious fantasies, hopes and convenient definitions and understandings my “sacred cows” offered me and how they chained me to a strange relationship to non-existence. I feel my attachment to my thousands of variations of:

Oh, I wish,”

Yeah, but….,”

But, what if…?”

Somebody is supposed to…”

If I’m paying attention, eventually I notice that reality isn’t confirming my fictions. This brings up the challenge of deeply integrating my emotions and grief that reality isn’t matching my belief. Every “sacred cow” protected me from something, usually what I feel in the face of a reality that isn’t as I wish it were.

As I embrace my capacity to feel and to know – in contrast to the emotionalizing, moralizing, suppression, repression, or expression that we are deeply trained to replace our sense-able feeling and knowing capacities with – I grow my Living Intelligence, my Connection, my Relatedness and my Vitality.

I walk in that space where living reality meets dying fiction and dependent or despondent childishness transforms into adult response-ability. Only I can feel, or deny, whatever is there for me to feel, and choose to navigate in what’s real.

A lot of my Sacred Cows come in the form of Somebody-Owes-Me-Something-Ism, or I-Owe-Somebody-Something-Ism. I recognize these as mental and emotional habits of slavishness. I ask myself: “What is it that I’m waiting for another person to do for me, and those who matter to me, that I refuse to do for myself?” Ezra Pound said:

A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.

Believing that somebody, other than myself, owes me something puts my life on hold. I quit waiting. I’ve spent plenty of my life in that mode.

When I recognize a relationship to life that isn’t real, some “grand, and often quite self-righteous, theory” that tries to make the wild, untamed, sumptuously catastrophic creativity of the Greater Aliveness fit into my Sacred Cow Corral, I free myself from that corral.

Life’s bigger and wilder than our imaginings, but it’s the perfect stimulus for our intelligence and sense-ability.

The Greater Aliveness says to me, “Feeling stuck? Oh! So you thought I was your Sacred Cow, eh? You’re still stuck in one of those beliefs, those “magical word worlds” that empire loves to fill your head with so that you never cross the lie between your sanctified imperial bullshit and sense-able reality and the wild and extravagant gift of response-abilities you can grow and discover. ”

And then it laughs a piercing laugh that shakes the bushes with a gust of wind. Crow flies by and caws.

Aliveness teaches me, pointing: “Map out all of the things you believe about your “world” woven of words, then map out those beliefs to what actually exists, in sense-able reality. Discover where your “sacred cow” leads you, and where it prevents you from going, even acknowledging; its prescriptions and prohibitions. Go beyond the sacred corrals that empire’s hypnotic language has placed in your mind and rejoin the Untameable and very Real Aliveness that surrounds and inhabits you, the Aliveness that buries as much as it births.”

“Take all of the catchy slogans you’ve repeated, the ones you wrote on your cardboard signs at your last protest, take even the presumption of your relationship to reality from the place of “protest” and see what terrain lies beyond your habituated attitudes and explore it. DARE!”

“Be the hunter, the singer, the dancer, the celebrant, the tracker, the reader of REALITIES. Look to; look at; look through; look beyond all the sanctimonious bullshit you, and everybody else around you, repeat like hypnotized zombies in a crowd.”

“Dare to SEE and TASTE and CELEBRATE the Fullness of the Aliveness I invite you to, and equip you for; ALL of it. Dare to live like a human BEING and not like some human cow, standing in a herd waiting to be slaughtered, braying in protest, because you thought the herd was “sacred,” no matter how stupefied, how zombified.”

“You live on borrowed bones, woven of Living Stones. Live magnificently and emerge from the herd. Sing, hunt, dance, know, SEE, HEAR, MOVE! You are not livestock, waiting to feed empire with the meat of your stupefied complacency and rote repetition of everything you’ve heard enough times to believe and “like.” BUT YOU CAN do just that, if you think that’s all I invited to and can’t even be bothered to look beyond your Sacred Cow Corral.”

“The hunter’s art is to read the tracks of ALL that moves within the sacred place of your response-ability. It is also to SING, yes, to SING, and to sing to every single shape and to every single response-ability of EVERYTHING that shares BEING with you. It is to sing the entirety of the Shapes of the Emergent Fabric of Aliveness, to know how it moves, how it changes shapes, to know what it feeds and feeds upon. The hunter’s art is to dance every shape of his beloved country, to know them intimately in their rhythms, their timings, their hunt, their dances, their songs, their relatedness, their responsibilities, and their existence as predator, prey, parasite, and nourishment.”

Get to know even, and most especially, the things you don’t like and you’ll graduate from a childish view of reality. But don’t just stay stuck on looking at what you don’t like. Get to know their reality. Then get to know them some more and you’ll start to get their place in my Total Unfolding. Dare to look beyond like and dislike and SEE, patiently, curiously.”

“You can feed ALL of Life right now; with your daring, with your patience, with your attention, with your dance, with your song, with your care and with your courage TO BE and to BE FULLY. You can infuse the bones I gave to you, on loan, with the Brilliant Deliciousness and the Delicious Brilliance that I gifted you with each morsel of Being that I have woven into you. I have fed you my flesh, my Shapes and my Shaping of Aliveness, my Being, my Shapes of Earth, and Sun and Wind and Sky.”

“Every day I nourish you with My Sacred Shapes. What do you learn from them? What do you make of them? What do you Offer and Celebrate of them? What do they become in, and as, you? What do you invite these Shapes of Aliveness to, as you bring them into your experience of, momentarily, being in Human Shape?”

“Do you just stuff your face with the corpses of the dead or do you actually savor and invite the Wisdom of their Living, woven into the flesh of the onion, the carrot, the cow, the butter, the air, the water and all that feeds you – not only with its flesh – but with its Being, which is becoming your Being? Become a True, Full, Living, Celebrant Shape of Aliveness, a full-on participant in the Shaping, and the Dancing, and the Celebrating, and the Singing and the Seeding of Aliveness.”

“You have your part in the Ceremony of Aliveness. You are not just cowed and cowardly human resources, always looking for an exit hatch from Reality, BUT YOU CAN BE THAT, if that’s all you care to LIVE of my Invitation to LIVING.”

“You are BEING in the Human Shaping; in the Shaping of attention, in the Shaping of Skill-fullness, in the Shaping of Care-Full-ness, in the surrender of your Sacred Cows to the Magnificence of Being ever-more-fully Human, participant, celebrant, nourishing, grateful, skillful and aware.”

“The road to awakening is a good road. Devour your sacred cows instead of herding them. Take them straight to the slaughterhouse. Be fed by what you have fooled yourself with and been fooled by. Desanctify bullshit and cowardice. Live and learn. Pay attention. Offer up your Fictitious Sacred Cows to the LIVING and the REAL and you will have lost your illusions and gained what’s real. Become Delicious instead of simply cowed.”

It’s a Good Day to Become more Fully Human. It’s a Good Day to become Un-Cowed, to Build the Fire and Feast upon the Fictions of our Sacred Cows, to release ourselves from the Corral of Sanctimonious Stupefaction! Try the Sacred Cow Diet and Become Deliciously and Brilliantly Human!”


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