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Natural Awakenings Tucson

The Tree of Life: Ageless Bodies, Joyous Souls

Aug 31, 2015 11:35PM ● By Suzie Agrillo

The Tree of Life is a rejuvenation center in Patagonia, Arizona, which offers guests programs that inspire a holistic lifestyle. It is also a spiritual sanctuary that supports all in discovering the indescribable truth of who they are.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, the spiritual teacher who founded the center in 1995, comes from a medical background, having graduated from Columbia Medical School. Addi-tionally, he has a spiritual background with three major components: He is a rabbi, a yogi acknowledged by his two enlightened spiritual teachers and a Native American Sun Dancer in the Lakota tradition.

His retreat, The Tree of Life, offers a wrap-around experience of health, including gourmet organic vegan cuisine, hiking, yoga, gardening and meditation. He cautions that one should be wary of the pesticides and environmental toxins in food, and recommends that one eat only organic, living food. “Organic farming protects you from GMO manure and diseases like MRSA,” he warns.

Utilizing this “veganic” diet of living food—an organic and vegan diet combined—the Tree of Life has a Diabetes Recovery program that sees dramatic results. Cousens’ study of 120 people strongly suggests that there is a cure for diabetes. Tree of Life has a clinical treatment program that has cured 61 percent of non-insulin dependent diabetics and 24 percent of insulin dependent diabetics in three weeks.

In treating diabetics, Cousens notes that, “The key dietary principle I discovered is vegan, live food, with no grains and no fruits. The diet consists of vegetables, nuts and seeds. After the initial treatment period, when the client has become diabetes-free for three months, the patient can add low-glycemic fruits and a small amount of grains and beans.” While this diet seems like a daunting proposition, Cousens provides instruction to clients on how to prepare moderate to low glycemic live-food vegan meals at home, in order to sustain results.

The 21-Day Transformation Program, led by Cousens and his wife, Shanti Gold Cousens, is a journey of healing in itself and is open to all those who are inspired to take part in this life-transforming experience.

The first week consists of a seven-day juice fast, which allows the body to eliminate toxicity, acidity and other contaminants. During this fast, participants attend yoga, meditation and spiritual discussions to enhance the journey of self-discovery and to expand consciousness. “[The detox fast] accelerates psycho-spiritual healing, and we also see dramatic drops in inflammation levels,” says Cousens. The fast is followed by two weeks of live food meals.

The second week is the Zero Point workshop, a psycho-spiritual experience to release thoughts, belief systems and behavioral patterns that prevent us from being fully at peace and connected with love and joy, and helps heal their resistance and fear of healing.

The Conscious Eating program, which takes place in the third week, is an acclaimed course which offers an exploration of the intricacies of a plant-based lifestyle. The course is designed to train participants in meal preparation, utilizing lectures from Cousens and food preparation demonstrations from the Tree of Life chefs. The ultimate goal is optimal health, longevity and a new relationship with food for the participant. The instruction teaches how to make delicious meals out of high quality ingredients.

Juxtaposed with the treatment programs are wellness vacation experiences. Wellness vacations are holistic retreats that allow vacationers to begin or continue a journey of transformation. Attendees experience a vacation setting that supplies optimal organic, veganic, spiritual and educational experiences, leaving time for spa treatments, yoga and meditation—supporting the mind, body and spirit.

“A stay at The Tree of Life contemplates a wrap-around experience of a holistic lifestyle. It’s a total living experience, including being in nature, meditation, yoga, breathing, supplements, massage, spirituality and vegetable juices,” says Cousens. “The plant-based meals are designed to leave visitors feeling recharged and energized. Guests will eat 100 percent organic, vegan food, which we guarantee. We have one of only five organic, veganic farms in the country.”

Cousens explains that an improper diet of junk food and lack of exercise can lead to becoming brittle and weak in older age. “With a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise, a veganic diet and meditation, you can get stronger and more flexible with age. A good sleep—about eight hours a night—is also very important to maintain health,” he notes.

It is never too late to start a wellness program, explains Cousens. “According to research studies, we can make the transition back to a younger, stronger and happier self at any age, as this live-food, veganic lifestyle upgrades the epigenetic program to sustainable health at any age.”

“Put your soul at the center of your life and reverberate joy to all around you,” enthuses Cousens. “A lot of people are alienated from their souls and feel depressed, anxious and uncomfortable because of this. The path to upgrading your life is about connecting to your soul. Then go from there, according to who you are.”

The Tree of Life Center is located at 686 Harshaw Road, in Patagonia. For more information, call 866-394-2520 or visit See ad, page 28.

Suzie Agrillo is a freelance writer in Tucson and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. She focuses her writing on the arts, inspirational people and the human connection.

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