Author Archives: Julie S. Ong

Eating Meditation

Give up everything [in the way of food and drink] that is not absolutely necessary to your life for at least a week or two. You will catch a glimpse of freedom, happiness, and justice. You may soon understand why Macrobiotic persons are completely immunized from disease. The decision is yours.
~ George Ohsawa, Zen Macrobiotics

Would you like to boost your immune system without pills or tonics? A long life, free of disease, and filled with peace and happiness, is available to you right now. You can discover the natural ability of the body to heal itself through simple meditation and the art of eating.

What is meditation?

There are two kinds of meditation: concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation.

  1. Concentration meditation

    Concentration meditation is like a laser beam, which illuminates any object of focus. This kind of meditation produces a calm, unruffled mind, that is detached from emotional and interpersonal attachment. Any object of awareness can be the focus of concentration, whether internal or external, including words (mantra), an image (flame), a spot on the body (abdomen), or a kinesthetic feeling (breath). When the mind wanders, the mind returns to the object of concentration.

  2. Mindfulness meditation

    Mindfulness meditation is like a searchlight that shines over a wide range of objects as they arise in awareness, one at a time. You notice whatever predominates in awareness from moment to moment. Relaxed, choiceless awareness develops in the mind, which directs conscious attention instantly and naturally toward the changing elements of experience. Meditation begins with focus on the breath. Then you direct your awareness to include other experiences, including the senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. When the mind wanders, the mind returns to the breath.

Unlike concentration meditation, which focuses on internal and external objects, mindfulness focuses on experiences and broad awareness. However, both meditations return to the focus object or experience when the mind wanders. This combination of detached emotions and an absence of interpersonal involvement in the development of awareness is central to both meditations.

Eating Meditation

Eating meditation is an example of mindfulness. Follow these steps when you are sitting down to a meal to become aware of the present moment, and help boost your natural immunity:

  1. Take a bite of food and put your chopsticks or fork down.
  2. Chew between 50–100 times for each bite. Proper chewing is important to stimulate digestive enzymes and alkalinize your food.
  3. Swallow your saliva. (Saliva and the water in your body are reflections of the oceans on earth.)
  4. As you chew, breathe in and out five times. (The breath inside and outside your body contains life force energy, called prana in India.)
  5. Repeat this process until all the food is gone.

What did you experience? If you experienced peace and a heightened awareness of being in the present moment, this is what mindfulness meditation is: the process of slowing down, with directed, moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental attention. When you practice eating meditation, you open your heart to the present moment, the universal source of natural healing. Your appreciation and gratitude for the food and all who contributed to providing it for your nourishment are the keys to long-lasting health, peace, and happiness.

Want an everlasting love?

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf

Ready to embrace a “whole health” approach to your relationships? When you eat high quality foods and develop inner wisdom for optimal health and wholeness, your authentic self naturally shines through. As a result, your relationships become deeper and more intimate.

Incorporating whole foods into your diet can help to naturally boost energy, increase pleasure, and strengthen loving relationships. Here are three ways whole foods can impact your long-term relationships:

1. Whole foods nourish whole people.

Whole foods contain the all vital energy of the plant, which nourishes all levels of mind, body, and spirit. Eating organic, seasonal, locally grown vegetables and whole grains brings our bodies back into harmony with nature and its rhythms. For the best spectrum of vitamins and minerals, include a variety of vegetables in your meal plan and remember to eat the whole vegetable, including the ends and tips. This allows the energy of the entire plant to nourish your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

2. You’re increasing energy flow to your organs.

When you eat seasonal, locally grown whole foods, you nourish and open up energy pathways in the body, which brings all organs, including your heart, back into harmony with the rhythms of nature. When your heart becomes open in a more loving way, your relationships become deeper and more intimate as well.

3. You’re building up strengthening energy in your reproductive organs.

Consider this – the more you increase energy flow to your kidneys and reproductive organs, the more strengthening energy accumulates in these organs. Now, when your reproductive organs are stronger, your overall energy and sexual vitality increases. When you’re feeling more energy and vitality, you are able to contribute to and experience the intimacy you really want.

Whole foods contain the vitality of life that contributes to health on all levels– body, mind, spirit, emotions, and relationships. A whole health regime can help reignite the spark of joy in your relationships through the natural energies of whole foods, creating deeper, more intimate relationships.

Chewing Meditation

I found out was, by the rhythm of my chewing, how I chewed fast, slow or what have you, I could tell the audience what my character was thinking and feeling.
~Rod Steiger

You already know that eating seasonal, locally grown organic foods is good for your health, but did you know that how you eat is as important for your overall well-being as choosing the right foods? One way to promote healing is to raise your awareness around your chewing process to strengthen your relationship with your food.

Setting an intention to cook with a loving mindset enhances the healing energy in your food. When the meal is ready to eat, set another intention to chew mindfully and nourish your relationship with your food for better health. Chewing has numerous benefits along with a macrobiotic diet, including:

  • Alkalinizing the blood
  • Promoting digestion
  • Relaxing the lower stomach muscle
  • Enhancing an overall state of rhythm and relaxation
  • Nourishing your connection with your food

Include the following chewing meditation exercises when you are sitting down to a meal. Before you begin chewing, answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have any food cravings?
  2. Do you have any areas of tension in your body?

During the chewing process, focus on the following contrasting activities:

  1. Take a bite of food and chew at normal speed.
  2. Next, chew faster than normal speed.
  3. Then chew slower than normal speed.
  4. Resume chewing at normal speed.
  5. In your journal, record your body’s experiences.

After doing the exercises, answer the following questions:

  1. What changes in your body did you notice while doing the meditation?
  2. How did changing the speed of chewing affect the way you felt about the food?
  3. How did your body’s wisdom guide you during chewing?

Compare your results and notice any guidance that arises that can take you to a deeper, richer relationship with food.

Can sea veggies boost sexual vitality?

Want to increase intimacy in your relationship? Look no further than the food on your plate. The secret to boosting sexual vitality can be found in the healing powers of sea vegetables.

Mineral-rich sea vegetables are used in macrobiotics to strengthen the main conduit in the body, the spine. This allows universal energy to flow through the main energy centers, or “chakras,” that run up the center of the body – a simple, nutritional way to harmonize the reproductive organs and strengthen sexual vitality.

Sea vegetables have unique compounds that bind to toxins and remove them from the body, boosting overall health as well as sexual vitality. Wakame, for example, is good for the uterus and helps cleanse dairy congestion from the reproductive organs. Sea vegetables also keep blood vessels flexible and strengthen the cardiovascular system. This allows more love to flow in your relationship.

So, increase intimacy and sexual vitality by adding nutrition-packed sea veggies to soups, stews, and sautés. Use them in gravies, pickles, and beans. And use roasted sea veggies, like dulse for bacon flavor, and roasted nori for sushi. Here’s a simple recipe, using a mild tasting sea vegetable called arame:

Arame with Carrots and Red Onion

Arame nourishes the spleen, stomach, and pancreas and is especially good for female reproductive organs. Because it contains mannitol (a non-caloric sugar), this sea vegetable helps keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels balanced. For variety, include other vegetables, like green beans, corn, and beets.

Ingredients
Serves 4

1 medium red onion, half moons
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup arame, rinsed
1/2 cup carrots, matchsticks
1/4 cup spring water
1 tablespoon shoyu, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon mirin (rice wine), or to taste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  1. In a frying pan, sauté onion in oil until translucent. Add arame on top of onions and carrots on top of arame. Add water and cover. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes. (If needed, add more water to prevent the pan from drying out.)
  2. Season with shoyu, stir, and continue to cook 2 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Season to taste with mirin. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

All you need is love, love, love . . .

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
~ Rumi

Want a vibrant, loving relationship that lasts forever? If you desire a romantic relationship, the key may be to unlock the door to the natural flow of Love. Any barriers you create against it are out of alignment with the natural order of the Universe.

Here are three ways to reconnect with your partner and allow Love to flow:

1. Restore balance with meditation and prayer.

While blockages in your relationships can be created by eating extreme or unbalanced foods, they can also be created by merely thinking negative thoughts. In such cases, you can restore balance in your relationships by re-focusing your thoughts on Love through meditation and prayer, to realign yourself with the order of the universe.

2. Focus on the positive.

Negative thoughts, just as extreme foods, can block universal energy from flowing through meridians or energy pathways in the body. However, by focusing on positive thoughts, you can come back to center.

3. Trust your intuition.

Trusting your intuition allows you to access your higher self which will guide you toward Love. All relationships can be healed when you follow your intuition in your daily macrobiotic practice.

Removing blockages to Love’s flow is the key reconnecting not only with your partner, but also with universal energy for a healthier, balanced life.

Cooking According to the Seasons: A Tantric Perspective

If you cannot face directly your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality. ~White Tigress Manual

Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness.
~Osho

The root word “tantra” means “to stretch or continue without break,” or to create a sacred union with universal energy. By cooking according to the seasons, you revitalize your sex life by attaining that subtle balance of nutrients and energies that nourish you, body and spirit, and connect you with the natural world.

Here are three ways cooking nourishes your connection with Nature:

1.  Cooking connects you with the present moment.

Ancient Tantric practitioners reached the highest union through sex by embracing the present moment through their senses. You also learn to cultivate your connection with the present moment by cooking according to the seasons.

2. Cooking awakens your intuition.

Cooking according to the seasons helps you strengthen your connection with nature and universal forces. These universal forces are also known as intuition or inner guidance. Through cooking, you connect with your senses, which are a profound resource for awakening your intuition to heal from the inside out.

3. Food preparation is a sacred ritual.

You use your loving intention (guided by intuition) to improve the quality of food. This healing food removes blockages in the energy flow through the body. Benefits include:

  • Improved sexual health
  • Greater emotional stability
  • Radiant complexion
  • Higher levels of immunity
  • Fewer doctor trips
  • More abundant joy!

Want to get the glow?

A bit of lusting after someone does wonders for the skin.
~Elizabeth Hurley

Want to revitalize your sex life and get that “glow?” You may already know that eating a healthy diet and using natural products have an important impact on the quality of your skin and overall health. What you may not know is that an exfoliating body scrub boosts sexual vitality as well.

Besides removing dead skin cells and stagnated oils in pores, a full body scrub has many health benefits, including:

  • Increasing blood, lymph, and energy circulation
  • Helping the body discharge fat and toxins under the skin
  • Allowing environmental energy to flow through body
  • Relieving stress and relaxing the body
  • Helping break down fatty deposits beneath the skin
  • And improving sexual and overall vitality!

The body scrub is most effective as a cleansing aid when it’s done twice each day, in the morning and evening: Morning energy moves outward and upward. Doing a body scrub first thing in the morning activates energy flow and sexual vitality in your body. Evening energy, however, moves downward and inward, producing the tendency for rest and relaxation. So, an evening body scrub calms and relaxes you, melting and dissolving away tension and stress.

How to Get the “Glow”

To get started, all you need is a clean organic cotton wash cloth and a basin of hot water. It’s easy to take a few minutes every day to add a body scrub to your regular cleansing routine:

  1. Fill a basin with hot water. Wet an organic cotton washcloth and wring it out.
  2. Scrub your extremities in a back-and-forth direction toward the heart.
  3. Wet the washcloth again, wring it out, and move on to scrub another part of the body. Rub the cloth in a back and forth motion over the skin until it is pink.
  4. Remember to scrub your face, hands, each finger, and both feet.

A body scrub puts us in touch with universal energy and the rhythms of nature: the waxing and waning, and the upward and downward flow of the environment. When this universal energy flows through your body, not only will you get the “glow,” you will revitalize your sex life as well!

Healthy Relationship Tip

Lifestyle adjustments in addition to your body scrub routine can make a world of difference in the quality of your love life. Including some of these can help remove toxins from your body and enhance your sexual vitality:

  • Exercise helps promote perspiration and improve circulation
  • A macrobiotic diet helps discharge toxins and strengthen your overall metabolism
  • Walking a half hour in nature also removes toxins and allows your skin and lungs to breathe fresh, clean air

Ready to put the sizzle back in your love life?

The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.
~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ready to put the sizzle back in your love life? Want to re-ignite the spark in the bedroom? A spicy, hot romance is closer than you think. Today, I’ll talk about three simple ways you can heal your love life naturally.

Problems arise in the body when universal energy is prevented from flowing through meridians (energy channels). Reproductive health may become compromised and this has an adverse affect on your intimate relationship. Follow these three simple “R’s” to re-kindle the romance naturally:

1. Restore balance with whole foods

A common cause of problems in the body is over consumption of extreme foods. Extreme foods, like sugar, create a roller coaster ride of a “high” which then leads to a  “crash.” Long-term chaotic spikes of highs and lows eventually deplete the body. Careful selection of whole foods, such as brown rice and vegetables, restores natural, healthy energy flow in the body. When balance is restored, all areas of your life become transformed, including your love life. Through this natural way, you can re-connect with your partner on a deeper, more profound level.

2. Rejuvenate with tea

Hydration is essential, especially in the hotter months when the heat outside and the air conditioning inside can lead to dehydration. Macrobiotic teas not only promote relaxation in mind, body, and spirit, they also help dissolve fat and cleanse mucous congestion in the body. When these blockages are removed, universal energy can flow to reproductive organs and sexual function is restored. Great macrobiotic teas include twig tea, roasted brown rice tea, roasted barley tea, and corn silk tea.

3. Revive your mojo with miso

One bowl of miso soup daily helps dissolve fat and mucous in the reproductive organs, restores energy, and improves sex drive. Barley or brown rice miso neutralizes toxins, alkalinizes the blood, and provides beneficial bacteria for the intestines. Prepare the soup with various vegetables like wakame seaweed, chopped carrots, onion, daikon, or shiitake mushrooms. Green leafy vegetables may be added when the soup is almost ready to serve. Prepare the soup in its simplest form by adding 1 teaspoon of barley miso to 1 cup of liquid.

Summer Solstice Pancakes

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
~Albert Camus

As the seasons unfold through the year, your energy shifts to mirror the natural rhythms around you. Spring freshness inspires the birth of creativity and the germination of seeds of ideas. Summer radiance turns these ideas and inspirations into action. In Fall, you are in a safe, productive state of mind, enjoying the harvest of your labors. Winter is a time for hibernation, a chance to let go of things that are wearing you down.

Including seasonal foods in your meal plan can help you live in harmony with this natural order. To celebrate the solstice, cornmeal pancakes is a perfect dish for an outdoor summer breakfast with loved ones. Upward, expansive energy of corn and other summer foods can help you develop more nurturing, loving relationships. Corn contains fire energy, which fuels the flame of passion in the heart, expanding its capacity to experience joy and love. Corn’s energy also balances the heart’s ability to regulate mental activities and relieve stress. This allows you to open your heart to give and receive love.

Summer Solstice Pancakes

Makes about 5 pancakes.

3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon kuzu root starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 5 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Combine spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cornmeal in a large bowl.
  2. Combine rice milk, kuzu, vanilla, brown rice syrup, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl.
  3. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just mixed.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  5. Pour three tablespoons batter onto hot skillet and cook until brown on bottom. Flip pancake over and brown other side. Remove pancake to plate.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter. Oil pan between pancakes to prevent sticking.

What makes really great sex, really great?

Sex is more than an act of pleasure, it’s the ability to be able to feel so close to a person, so connected, so comfortable that it’s almost breathtaking to the point you feel you can’t take it. And at this moment you’re a part of them.
~Author Unknown

What makes really great sex, really great? Really great sex happens when there is a real energetic connection between a couple. This intimate spark is based on the energy each person brings to the relationship. Today, I’ll talk about three ways to amp up this energy for a more nurturing, loving relationship (and really great sex!).

A macrobiotic lifestyle is about living in harmony with nature by balancing life force energy within you and the environment. (This life force energy is called “chi” in Chinese.) By eating and cooking according to the seasons, you can connect with nature to strengthen your whole body, including the reproductive organs, from the inside out.

Eating a macrobiotic meal plan maximizes energy flow through the body, which translates to great sex. Follow these three tips to re-kindle the romance in the bedroom:

1. Avoid mucous-causing foods.

Food is intimately connected with your body’s health. Healing, balanced foods nourish physical health and energize the body, while mucous-causing foods, like sugar and white flour products, create stagnation and deplete the body’s natural state of wellness.

For example, a stream that flows without obstruction nourishes the plants downstream. However, if branches or rocks block the stream’s flow, the plants wither and die. Likewise, when the body is clean, energy can flow and sex is amazing. But when the body is clogged, the reproductive organs become stagnated and numb. When this happens, sexual vitality becomes diminished and relationships become compromised.

2. Eat heart healthy foods.

When your body is clogged from eating heavy, dense foods, like dairy products, meat, and greasy food, loving energy cannot flow; it becomes difficult for your heart to give and receive love. However, foods that support cardiac function enable your heart to open up to love and joy in your relationship. Heart healthy foods, like leafy green vegetables, have upward, expansive energy and nourish the upper part of the body. Then, love can flow outward, and sex becomes more than an act of pleasure; it becomes a richer experience of union and closeness.

3. Eat whole foods.

Whole foods are full of vital life force energy and have not been processed in any way. These foods contain grounding, stabilizing energy, which strengthens the reproductive organs as well as the body overall. For example, fresh, seasonal, locally grown vegetables picked fresh from the farm are bursting with vitality. This is the life force energy you need to cleanse your body and revitalize your reproductive organs.

A healthy meal you can eat to spice up your sex life is pressured cooked whole grains, like brown rice, with steamed vegetables and leafy greens. You can even include a bean dish as a protein source. Something so simple really strengthens your reproductive organs and brings you back to center, so you can enjoy a more satisfying, loving relationship with your partner.

The ancient Tantra traditions viewed sex as a blending of feminine and masculine energies (yin and yang), engaging universal flow of energy in a symbolic prayer or blessing. When you are in tune with natural forces and your energy flows inside and out, you are living in harmony with nature. Your relationships not only become more loving and intimate, the sex becomes really, really great.

You Luv

You are Love.

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