A Meditators Diet... from the eyes of a Zen Master
Posted Oct 05 2010 11:11am
Man is the only species whose diet is not predictable. The diet of all other animals is certain. Their basic physical needs and their nature decides what they should eat and what they should not; how much they should eat, how much they should not; when they should eat and when they should stop. But man is absolutely unpredictable, he is absolutely uncertain. Neither his nature tells him what he should eat, nor his awareness tells him how much he should eat, nor his understanding decides when he should stop eating.
As none of these qualities of man are predictable the life of man has gone in some very uncertain directions. But if there is even a little understanding — if man starts living with even a little intelligence, with even a little thoughtfulness, opening his eyes even a little — then it is not at all difficult to change to a right diet. It is very easy; there can be nothing more easy. To understand right diet we can divide it into two parts.
The first thing: what should a man eat and what should he not eat?
Man’s body is made of chemical elements. The whole process of the body is very chemical. If alcohol is put into a man, then his body will be affected by the chemical — it will become intoxicated, unconscious. Howsoever healthy, howsoever peaceful the man may be, the chemistry of the intoxication will affect his body. Howsoever saintly a man may be, if he is given poison then he will die.
Any food which takes man into any kind of unconsciousness, any kind of excitement, any kind of extremity, any kind of disturbance, is harmful. And the deepest, ultimate harm is when these things start reaching the navel.
Our wrong attitudes towards food are becoming dangerous for us. They are proving to be very costly. They have taken us to a point where we are somehow just alive. Our food does not seem to create health in us, it seems to create sickness. It is a surprising situation when food starts making us sick. It is as if the sun rising in the morning creates darkness. This would be an equally surprising and strange thing to happen. But all the physicians in the world are of the opinion that most of the diseases of man are because of his wrong diet.
So the first thing is that every person should be very aware and conscious about his eating. And I am saying this especially for the meditator. It is necessary for a meditator to remain aware what he eats, how much he eats, and what its effects are on his body. If a man experiments for a few months with awareness, he will certainly find out which is the right food for him, which food gives him tranquility, peace and health. There are no real difficulties but because we do not pay any attention to food, we are never able to discover the right food.