We all like to be healthy. So we look for a lot of information on how much we should eat, what type of supplement we should take, to gain the result. One fact we neglect is that good function of the organs is the basis for health. If the digestive system doesn’t work well, then no matter how much food we eat, and/or how many supplements we take, we cannot get the benefits.
The simple way to improve absorption of nutrients is to eat mindfully, take one’s time when eating. Chew food well before swallowing it and enjoy the act of eating. Choose food that we know where it comes from. Try to eat more naturally grown and local food and cook at home. Avoid eating a lot of processed food.
There are five tastes that are related to the internal organs. They are: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. Different internal organs relate to different flavours. For the sake of long-term health sometimes we have to give up some enjoyment. If we follow our taste to decide what to eat, this might not be good for the health. For example, if I have diabetes, then I’d better give up eating sweets even if it is my favourite taste.
Internal organ Taste
Behind the stomach is a large gland the pancreas. It plays an essential role in converting food to energy and is a critical controller of blood sugar levels. The pancreas is related to the 3rd Chakra – the Navel Chakra which corresponds to the digestive system and solar plexus.
The Sanskrit name for the Navel Chakra is Maṇipūra which means city of jewels. The world is full of temptation. Protect our Self from temptation with conscience. In the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Ali Baba enjoys the treasure from the 40 thieves’ secret cave. But, his elder brother Cassim died because of greed. A tiny act will affect the quality of life. Things happen not just because of one or two day’s effect. It will show the result after long-term accumulation. To attain health is the same, balance the diet by eating rainbow coloured foods, and also eat different flavoured foods.
Yoga Sūtras (III.2) tells us “A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyāna).”
Zen is the Japanese way of saying the Chinese character 禅 (Chan). This in turn is the Chinese version of the Sanskrit word Dhyāna, which refers to meditative absorption. The same concept can be present in a different word as knowledge is passed down. Don’t be confused by labels. Learn to look at the essence!
Spiritual practice is the understanding of living and dying. One form of spiritual practice is meditation. The attainment of health starts by strengthening the body. A strong sharp mind can help us reach the goal and meditation helps to attain such a mind.
The mind, like a horse tends to wander here and there. It is very hard to yoke. Yoga is the art of yoking. Meditation practice is a very important form of traditional Yoga practice. Let the mind observe and perceive information from the body, as to awaken the connection between body and mind.
Most of us don’t like to practice meditation. We might see a lot of stuff in the mind and we are pulled in different directions. When we see our mind wandering around, that’s actually a good sign for meditation. This means we begin to be aware of what’s going on in the mind rather than neglecting it. When this awareness begins, then it’s possible to do the next step. Through the exercise of meditation, we learn how to guide our senses instead of letting them be in charge and gradually we are able to concentrate on the goal we choose even in a critical situation.
Meditation is a way to sharpen the mind and strengthen the 6th Chakra – the Brow Chakra. When this Chakra is firmly established, the brain will have a bigger capacity to receive more information and we will have better memory. It also helps us broaden our perspective and enable us to identify signs from the body, so we know what we can work on.
· Sit in a comfortable position. (Sitting on a folded blanket helps to keep the pelvis in neutral position.)
· Start at 5 minutes and gradually extend to 10 minutes. Keep face and neck relaxed.
· Repeat “May I be free from anger and anxiety” in the mind a few times to settle down.
· Observer the breath; let the mind follow the breath.
Listen and practice
For more information about mindful breathing please see Thich Nhat Hanh, The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditation Exercises for Healing and Transforming.