« Tonya Cooked, Tonya Raw | Main | Raw Agave Nectar »

Nature Love, My Raw Food Mentor

NatureloverawfoodmentorMr. Nature Love, born Darrell Lamont Hubbard, was my original raw food mentor. I was thinking about Nature today while doing an interview for rawguru.com

Check out this excerpt from an interview that Jain Spirit did with Nature Love earlier this year on how he become vegetarian:

Q: One of the pivotal points of your life was when you became vegetarian. Could you tell us more about how that happened? Is it true that in your early teens you started having dreams about being a vegetarian?

A: Yes. When I was thirteen years old I started having dreams about just eating fruits and vegetables. They would just happen over and over again. It was really weird for me because I had never even heard of the word vegetarian. I didn’t even know anyone that didn’t eat meat. After my dreams I would wake up in the middle of the night and go look in the mirror and just look at myself for a few minutes. Looking back on it, what I feel my soul was doing was contemplating its identity and saying that this is what I want to be. I eventually went to a dictionary and looked up what a vegetarian was and it said it was someone who didn’t eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs. So I said, “Yeah, this is what I want to be.” I pretty much ate any vegetables and fruits I could get my hands on. My mom would just by an extra bag of carrots or apples and I would eat that for an entire meal.

Q: How did your friends and family feel about you becoming a vegetarian at such a young age?

A: Early on my parents didn’t approve at all, but only because they didn’t think it was healthy. They even took me to a doctor, Dr. Kadoka, and they wanted him to tell me to eat some type of meat. He told me that it was good and all right to eat chicken and fish, but looking back on it now, because he was Indian, he was probably a vegetarian himself. That always made me laugh.

As for my friends in school, I use to get teased and laughed at. Sometimes in the cafeteria I would bring out an entire plate of vegetables and everyone would just look at me and burst out laughing. After that happening a few times, and the continuous questioning, I stopped eating in front of people. I trained myself to eat only when I got home. After a while people got use to the fact that I was just different, but they got over it when I did. As my inner journey began at a young age, I became comfortable with myself and others did to.

Full Interview taken from Jain Spirit Magazine @ www.jainspirit.com

Nature Love's progression as a soul in this universe has been nothing short of one large synchronistic event.  From his dreams of being a vegetarian as a child to his newfound family role as a modern Shaman, Nature has always experienced gravitation towards the highest vibrating energy epicenters.  His childhood story is one filled with observations of tremendous suffering outside the home (murders, fights, drugs), and tremendous experiences of love inside the home. His early adult self-discovery journey takes him through experiences of "To be or not be," and social ostracizing, leading him to search for new communities to share his experiences with and values to.  Though these travels and experiences took him through many paths and bumpy roads, ultimately he is back to square one, enlightening his family, the African American community and the Jains he once use to read about in text books.

Q: Your life is filled with so many interesting juxtapositions. The merger of violence and compassion is one that comes to mind. Could you give us some examples of how violence showed up in your earlier years?

A: On my father’s side, my family, specifically my cousins, had a history of being bank robbers in the Delaware area. They identified themselves as Black Panthers, but their violence was not consistent with the Back Panther mentality. It was popular all around the United States for young black people to challenge the “system”. Along with that challenge though, a lot of violence was brought into the picture…murders and drugs and just events that would really make me question humanity at a young age.

Q: Would it be fair to say that your extended family members were using violent methods to protest social injustice? If so, how did you come full circle to using ahimsa to promote daily peace and understanding?

A: Yes, totally. Back then the logo for their movement was a sawed off shotgun and a black fist. Unfortunately that’s all they knew. Everyone, including our own community members, was afraid of these individuals. My parents, however, never participated in any violent actions or associated themselves with what was going on. They were very clear about keeping me away from any of that energy. In fact they stood up as positive examples, heroes for the community. I can remember being occasionally woken up at 2:00 am or 3:00 am in the morning by my parents because they heard that someone needed help in a domestic violence situation or that their kids were not being treated properly. My parents were very loving that way. They would do these things because they saw it as their duty being community citizens.

In regards to the Black Panthers, while I don’t condone the violence that my extended family participated in, what I did respect was the desire for things to change. When I combined that mentality for respect with the teachings of non-violence from my family, I started to see how I enjoyed standing up for the underdog and teaching individuals.

Q: One of the pivotal points of your life was when you became vegetarian. Could you tell us more about how that happened? Is it true that in your early teens you started having dreams about being a vegetarian?

A: Yes. When I was thirteen years old I started having dreams about just eating fruits and vegetables. They would just happen over and over again. It was really weird for me because I had never even heard of the word vegetarian. I didn’t even know anyone that didn’t eat meat. After my dreams I would wake up in the middle of the night and go look in the mirror and just look at myself for a few minutes. Looking back on it, what I feel my soul was doing was contemplating its identity and saying that this is what I want to be. I eventually went to a dictionary and looked up what a vegetarian was and it said it was someone who didn’t eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs. So I said, “Yeah, this is what I want to be.” I pretty much ate any vegetables and fruits I could get my hands on. My mom would just by an extra bag of carrots or apples and I would eat that for an entire meal.

Q: How did your friends and family feel about you becoming a vegetarian at such a young age?

A: Early on my parents didn’t approve at all, but only because they didn’t think it was healthy. They even took me to a doctor, Dr. Kadoka, and they wanted him to tell me to eat some type of meat. He told me that it was good and all right to eat chicken and fish, but looking back on it now, because he was Indian, he was probably a vegetarian himself. That always made me laugh.

As for my friends in school, I use to get teased and laughed at.  Sometimes in the cafeteria I would bring out an entire plate of vegetables and everyone would just look at me and burst out laughing. After that happening a few times, and the continuous questioning, I stopped eating in front of people. I trained myself to eat only when I got home. After a while people got use to the fact that I was just different, but they got over it when I did. As my inner journey began at a young age, I became comfortable with myself and others did to.

Q: What internal thoughts and ideas made you feel you wanted to change your name? 

A: I was born Darrell Lamont Hubbard and from a young age it was instilled in me that the last name Hubbard was some slave owners last name from many generations ago. A few of my family members had changed their names as a way to signal their intent of moving away from societal constraints and shackles. I chose to change my name because it was an energy that I didn’t feel represented me adequately.

The reason I chose Nature as a first name was because I felt anything in the universe could be called Nature; from the tiniest particle to our entire planetary system. I was signaling that the energy in me was the nature of the universe. I chose Love as the second part of my name because I wanted to represent unbiased compassion. Now I have my days and get upset at times, but that was the embodiment of what I wanted to become. My name will always serve as a reminder not so much to my identity, but the larger energy force that is inside us all.

Q: How did you first encounter the teachings of Jain Dharma?

A: In 1994 I bought an encyclopedia on religion and when I got to the different religions in India I just remember Jain Dharma as one of the practices that really amazed me. It sounded so consistent in regards to how someone could go about their way of life. It was just very fascinating that there could be an entire community that lived that way.

After I met local Jain youth and became friends with them, I started working with them to share what knowledge and experiences I had. I feel appreciative for their ancestor’s teachings and I see this as a way of me being able to give back for what I have received.

Q: You’ve been in the army, traveled, worked in jobs of all sort and now you are back home full circle living, working and adding value in the community where you grew up. Where are you now in your life and where do you see yourself going?

A:  I strive to live in the present moment. I try not to hold on to time. I forget what year I was born in and that I’m almost 40 years old and it is a good feeling because it has no relevancy. I try to just think about now and the feelings I’m having and experiencing now are being there as a figurehead for my family, a Shaman. I really want to help them experience similar transformations that I’ve experienced. I also want to continue to help my community grow by adding value at my workplace, a natural foods co-op and spread the message about healthy living.

Comments