Carol J. Adams


From the "Introduction" to Meditations:


BACK TO THE INNER ART OF VEGETARIANISM


The Inner Art of Vegetarianism celebrates my discovery that vegetarianism had deepened my spirituality. I wanted to express this joy and invite others into the process. The nature of an inner art, I suggested, is that it simultaneously has the feeling of being both necessity and spontaneity. When we develop what I call "the habit of vegetarianism" we discover this nature–a vegetarianism in which what has been willed becomes so necessary to who we are that it has the fresh feeling of both necessity and spontaneity. An inner art is a living, glowing aspect of ourselves, constantly transforming us as we extend its presence in our lives.

In this book of Meditations, I offer daily reflections that try to keep the dynamic of necessity and spontaneity alive. If these Meditations were seen as answering a question, that question might be "how do we bring something new into our lives or deepen that which is already a part of us to discover the spirituality in our lives and in our being a vegetarian?" The inner art occurs when we find ways to bring the energy that wants to change into our day. We learn the art of enlisting the part of us that doesn't want to change into the process of changing.

The same process is at work in vegetarianism as in other spiritual practices. Meditation is the practice of the art of nonattachment; the inner art of vegetarianism enlists meditation to bring centeredness and consciousness to an eating practice. Journaling is the practice of valuing the self-examined life; the inner art of vegetarianism enlists journaling to enable us to develop the skills for self-examined meals. Prayer is a conversation with God or the divine: the inner art of vegetarianism brings animals and plants into this conversation. We pray with our hands as we prepare, serve, and eat healthy vegetarian meals. Dreamwork engages with an aspect of ourselves that is not readily accessible to our conscious self; the inner art of vegetarianism assumes dreams can guide us in changing. Activism is the practice of actively working against injustice; the inner art of vegetarianism recognizes the value of individual efforts at boycotting products derived from the suffering of others.

We can each discover–or unfold-- the inner art. The purpose of this Meditation book is to provide reflections and prompts that aid us in doing so–that is, assist us in aligning consciousness and action.