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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.

Food as a Mirror for Personal Growth

Learn to let your intuition—gut instinct—tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you (and conversely, when what you’re doing is just right).
~Oprah Winfrey

But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.
~Carrie on Sex and the City

Who is your significant other? The answer may surprise you. Your relationships include your relationship with nature, people, pets, career, money, food, and anything else with which you form an attachment. How you experience these relationships is a reflection of the greatest relationship in your life–your relationship with yourself. Because eating is an everyday ritual, your relationship with food is an important reflection or mirror of your relationship with yourself.

Your life experiences are based on your perception of these events. It all begins with your view of yourself. Are you living authentically or are you living by other people’s beliefs? You can find the answer to this question by looking at your relationships. Are your relationships supportive? Do they have healthy boundaries? Or do your relationships bring up inner fears? By deconstructing your stories or limiting beliefs behind your fears, you can find out more about yourself and how to listen to your inner voice instead of following other people’s stories.

Your relationship with food can also reveal limiting beliefs about yourself. If you choose foods that distort thinking, such as alcohol, this may suggest that you want to avoid facing your fears. Mindful eating without distractions allows you to focus on the present moment and nourish your inner voice. Then you honor and respect not only the food you are eating but also yourself.

Healthy Relationship Tip

To connect with your partner and yourself on a more profound level, follow this exercise:

3 Appreciations

  1. Sit crossed legged in front of your partner. Say three things you appreciate about your partner.
  2. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about you.
  3. You say three things you appreciate about yourself.
  4. Your partner says three things he or she appreciates about himself or herself.

This exercise allows your partner to hear how you value him or her. You also hear how your partner values you, and you both hear how you value yourselves.

Sensing Your Food

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
~Ashley Smith

Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Do you remember as a child how fun it was to play in the grass and smell the flowers? That fun doesn’t have to end. Your awareness of the world is dependent on your senses, which are part of your body. Through your senses, you can experience the natural state of interconnectedness between you and everything around you, even your food. Cultivating mindfulness can enhance your relationship with food and help in the healing process.

Focusing on your senses helps you become mindfully awake and perceive the vividness of each moment. Rather than separating you from your food, every sense organ can become a doorway that provides the experience of natural connection between all beings in nature. Does this make sense?

When you experience yourself as being part of the whole family of life, you become open to universal healing energy. Everything you see is a communion of you and nature, no separation, joined through your senses. Use smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound to connect with your food.

Let’s focus on your sense of smell. To develop a conscious relationship with food, smell your food when you are:

  • Standing at the produce counter in the grocery store
  • Buying grains and sea vegetables in bulk
  • Cutting vegetables for a recipe
  • Washing rice before soaking
  • Cooking a meal
  • Adding herbs and spices to a dish
  • Walking through a garden
  • Sitting in a restaurant

Now practice using your senses of sight, touch, taste, and sound. As you use your senses, you can develop an intimate relationship and profound respect for your food. Can you see how this deep respect and reverence helps to strengthen your connection with nature and allows the healing process to unfold?

Walking Meditation

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
~Navaho Prayer

Mindfulness is a state of being in the present moment. It is common in your day-to-day existence to “walk” through life unaware of your present experience. You may hold on to thoughts about the past or the future. Practicing mindfulness through walking meditation allows you “be in the present moment.”

Connecting with your body, emotions, and thoughts can help to bring you back to the present moment. To become more mindful, use this process as you begin walking meditation:

  1. The first avenue of mindfulness is body awareness. Your body has a sacred language which can communicate when something is out of balance. Begin the walking meditation by “grounding” yourself in your body. Notice any physical sensations as your feet touch the ground.
  2. In Buddhism, the word “citta” refers to both mind and heart. As you do walking meditation, become aware of your emotions and state of mind. Follow your emotions on your journey, and watch how they change as often as your state of mind changes. You may start off feeling curious and interested about the practice, but by the end, you may feel joyful and relaxed.
  3. Notice that your thoughts also change throughout the exercise. They may be busy and distracted at the beginning and become more focused and calm when you connect with the meditation practice itself.

Being aware of your emotional and mental states during walking meditation helps you practice being in the present moment. As you fill your mind and heart with beautiful experience of walking, you focus less on distractions and illusions. Rather, you are deeply aware of your present experience as you become more centered.

As you practice, you develop greater awareness of your emotions and state of mind. With this awareness, you can be more receptive to universal energy as well as inner guidance. As your mind becomes more centered, you are more open to the beauty of the world both inside and out.

Awakening to Your True Self

You can live the life of your dreams. All it takes is shifting from the limiting thought paradigm you’ve been living up until now, to the thoughts and beliefs of the ideal role you want to play. Remember that this is your authentic self. By living your passion, the things that you desire and the opportunities to create your ideal life will appear at divine right timing. You become one with the Divine, and you will be amazed at what you can create.

First, you must shift from a place where you feel safe, which is your comfort zone, to a place where you live from your authentic self, unafraid to take risks and leading with your energy.

Recipe for Success: Awakening to Your True Self Meditation

Traditional cultures used meditation as a way to connect to the Divine within. The word “meditate” means “to reflect on or contemplate.” There is no one way to meditate. You may want to focus on your breath, an inner light, or a sacred mantra. Choose whatever feels comfortable for you. Peace is your ultimate sanctuary.

Just follow the simple steps below to meditate. Don’t forget to mark your mental experiences in your journal so that you can track your success and see your progress!

  1. Find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed.
  2. Sit in a way that is comfortable for you. You may choose to sit cross-legged on a cushion, or you may choose to sit in a comfortable chair.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Initially, you may wish to focus on your breath, an inner light, or a sacred mantra.
  5. You may notice that you have many thoughts which come and go. After a while, your thoughts will become quiet.
  6. Notice the peace which lies within. The more you practice, the easier it will become to find this peace. This is your sanctuary.
  7. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

Your journey will not end overnight, so it is important for you to see how far you have come. Remind yourself that you can and will meet all of your dreams that you may not even realize yet. Just stick with your journal, your meditations, and all of your dreams. Before you know it, all of your dreams will become your reality, because you are ultimately the choreographer of your own life.

Transforming Thoughts

A man should learn to watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament, of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more abiding lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our own spontaneous impression with good-natured inflexibility when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you identify with your past and all its events, you can become like a robot, performing roles that are created by society. You may identify with the tribal stories that have been told to you from childhood. You may limit your growth, weighing every choice you make against the beliefs you perceive are true. You may be afraid to venture out into the wild blue yonder, creating imaginary boundaries about how you are not good enough, not old enough, etc. Behind these stories and limiting thoughts is the foundational thought that represents who you think you are, the underlying thought of love or fear. This thought creates corollary thoughts, such as “I can’t afford that,” “I am not worthy,” or “there isn’t enough”. However, when you connect with your higher self and receive the true foundational thought that represents You, you know that Love, Peace, Joy, and Freedom are the truth of who you are. As you become more aware of the limiting thoughts you have been carrying around, you can choose to release them and create new ones that reflect your true self.

How you see the world and what opportunities appear to you depend largely on the way you are thinking. When you see the world as a hard place, you will tend to see your life as half-empty. But if you see problems as opportunities, you will tend to see your life as half-full. Depending on your point of view, you can choose to be open to receiving the gifts from the universe or limit yourself by seeing only hardship and suffering. Your potential is unlimited. However, if you perceive yourself as small, you will remain unaware of your power and your connection in an expanded universe.

Perhaps this can be described best by Vilayat Khan, an Indian/British Sufi Master and writer who once said, “Those issues that you face are not fixed in time and space; they are relative to your particular viewpoint and subject to constant change. In fact, much of the pain caused by our problems stems in part from our own unchanging biases in terms of how we interpret our personal difficulties to ourselves.”

Philosophically, the cause of illness is the disconnection from your source, and as the ego’s thought system separates you from others, you tend to make judgments and conjure up stories that you believe are true. When your ego defends itself and you think you are your stories, your body becomes sick trying to maintain this illusion.

It is well known that prayer and laughter have been shown to reverse illness and diseases without resorting to conventional treatments that are relied on in Western medicine. Though there is not a concrete scientific explanation to describe this phenomenon, the fact still remains that prayer and laughter do wonders for the soul. So if you are feeling sick or sad or even helpless, remember that doctors do not hold the cure for everything. In fact, sometimes the best medical cures lie within yourself.

In reality, you are not your body, and so you cannot die. There is nothing you can do that can hurt your body. Attack comes from within, and when you attack another, you attack yourself. Through judgments on others and yourself, you have created the opportunity for attack. These judgments and stories give you the illusion of power, but real empowerment comes from within when you realize that you are not separate, that you are one with your absolute source.

Your thoughts create your reality, so that what you experience is how you perceive the situation. If you believe that you can die, you will perceive the world as attacking you, and your body reacts to your beliefs by growing old and becoming sick. It is your stressful thoughts along with unhealthy diet that cause your body to become weak and vulnerable to attack from pathogens. Furthermore, universal forces are attracted to like frequencies, and if your thoughts are vibrating at a frequency of death and despair, the universe will provide the forces that support death and despair. However, if you think thoughts of peace and well being, the universe will provide situations in which you are at peace.

Often, self-limiting thoughts or judgments create blockages in the flow of universal energy in the body, which lead to stagnation and illness. Holding on to the past and playing a role of who you think you should be leads to live a life that is disconnected from your truth. Self-love, forgiveness, and speaking your truth are the keys to opening up and releasing blockages to healing.

Recipe for Success: Changing Limiting Thought Patterns and Beliefs

This is a very important exercise that will leave you with a much deeper understanding of what holds you back and what you can do to move forward. Remember to write down your answers in your journal.

  1. What limiting thoughts and stories do you have?
  2. What feelings do you have associated with these thoughts?
  3. Examining each limiting thought, what choices have you made based on that belief or thought?
  4. What new thoughts or mantras do you want to hold that reflect your true self?
  5. What choices do you desire to make to live the life you create?
  6. What inspired actions do you have to amp up the energy and carry you forward?

Throughout the day, notice your thought patterns and write them down. What is your foundational thought? Notice your feelings and how your feelings change when you change your thoughts. Praise yourself each time you create a new more positive thought pattern. Keep a journal and note how often you give yourself permission to love yourself. After a while, you will notice positive changes in how you perceive yourself and others. Your transformed thoughts will reflect your authentic self. Welcome to the new YOU!

Setting Intention

An intention is your determination to act a certain way that transmutes the energy of a situation. Setting an intention involves connecting with your spirit guides before any creative expression. Saying a prayer or blessing, lighting a candle, or bringing flowers into a room transforms the energy of the task from work into play, which allows creativity to enter and unfold before your eyes.

Recipe for Success: Setting Intentions

To transmute the spiritual energy of a situation or event, connect with your inner guides for support in setting an intention. Open yourself to receiving divine inspiration and record this guidance in your journal.

  1. What spiritual essences (Love, Peace, Joy, Freedom) do you want to activate on the inside? What is your inner intention?
  2. How can you connect with Spirit on the outside? An example is, “My intention on the outside is to have fun and serve you in the highest way possible.” What is your outer intention?

Begin cooking from a place of peace and treat the kitchen as a sacred space. The intention of connecting with divine guidance activates spiritual alchemy during cooking. This transformation of energy in food allows the body to harmonize with universal forces. Healing occurs.

Energy Awareness Game

This is a fun little game that will really get your macrobiotic juices flowing.

Watch this video to play the Energy Awareness Game.


Just follow these easy steps and don’t stray too far from your journal!

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Rub your hands together until you feel heat coming from them.
  • Separate your hands and hold them two inches apart.
  • Rotate one hand, while keeping the other hand still.
  • Now switch hands and rotate the opposite hand, while keeping the second hand still.
  • Slowly widen your hands and then bring them closer together.
  • Finally, open your eyes and write about your experience.

Now this is where your journal will really come handy again, because, believe it or not, that little exercise will reveal a whole lot about you and your awareness.

  1. What did you feel after you rubbed your hands together?
  2. Did you notice any changes in temperature?
  3. What did you notice when you rotated your hands?
  4. What differences did you feel before and after the exercise?

Although your physical body appears to be a separate entity, your energetic body shows you that there is no distinct boundary where one layer ends and the other begins. The energy of your aura interacts with other auras, flowing in and out, affecting the wider energetic field. In this way, you are actually part of a universal energetic field that you can manipulate, creating a web of interconnected energies. So, what you do to others affects everyone in return; the good you do to the universe comes back to you.

By changing your thoughts and perspectives, you can create a world of peace. By living your joy, you vibrate on the highest frequency of love. By showing love and respect for yourself and others, you show the true way to see yourself and how to nurture your own spiritual growth.

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