My Mindful Cooking

It is not the right approach to describe a method of cooking mindfulness. It is not a physical ritual. If it becomes a physical ritual, the mind will find a way to automate that process too and mindfulness will be out of the picture. Processes are the way to develop mindfulness but they can also become a habit that can block the need for mindfulness. You can develop your own process that is meaningful to your consciousness. The best way to learn cooking mindfulness is to give a picture of cooking Mindfulness in practice. So I will describe my process of cooking mindfulness that has helped me a lot. As in other cases, the described process of cooking mindfulness is my personal experience so I would like to describe it in the form of a story.

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I decide what I have to cook. Then I take out the ingredients and place them together. I light the cooking gas with the gratitude that I have a cooking gas. I feel the warmth that is going to convert the ingredients into a wholesome meal. I understand that this meal is important to me and my family. It is going to bring health and fulfillment to my family.

I notice the smell of different herbs and spices
I hear the crackling sound of tempering
I notice the nice aroma rising food getting cooked

There are different things that can bring peace to the mind, like music, arts but it can be vice versa also. Peace can bring beauty to all things. The arts are meant to give us an experience of the peace and beauty that even a simple work like sweeping can bring us.

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Cooking is an essential art which every human being should know. Cooking is a process that connects us to the basics of our lives. And therefore, cooking is one ideal process for practicing mindfulness.

This is a process that developed unconsciously as a part of being mindful during cooking. It might help or indicate a direction in which you can find your cooking mindfulness.

Initially, mindfulness helped me get over my fear of cooking. Many people who actually love cooking are already in the state of mindfulness. This is the reason such people cook when they want to relax. For me, reading a book or writing gets me to a state of deep relaxation. I am aware of what I am doing.

However, this cannot be termed as absolute mindfulness because I forget what is happening around me in this case. For example, I used to read books while waiting for milk to get boiled and almost every time, it will get spilled. So it is merely a case of increased concentration instead of mindfulness. If you also feel that you can read a book or watch a short video while cooking or waiting in a queue, then you are just trying to fill the vacant space instead of being mindful about it.

It is natural for us to be able to concentrate on the things that we like. But on a flip-side it causes us to dislike other things with equal intensity. Mindfulness brings the patience to look at a seemingly uninteresting or dull space for a long time. A shooter or a hunter will appreciate the value of this patience – to keep staring at grassland or forest area till the prey arrives

I feel this is level one. In the next level, we are able to look at our deep-lying fears and strong emotions. And get over them.

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Cooking mindfulness is more than just being present. It must appear extremely dull to be just present. However, mindfulness is a state of Eureka or ultimate discovery every moment of our lives. The person who created the proverb “don’t cry over the spilled milk” was being mindful of the hidden treasure inside a simple incident. Newton had a moment of mindfulness when he saw the apple fall. Archimedes was mindfully aware of the water pushing his body upwards. and he ran naked, being excited by this discovery. It makes me wonder that we have so little awareness that even a moment of mindfulness can change our lives, as well as the lives of millions around us. All the major discoveries were actually not a product of laboratory experiments but of a few moments of mindful awareness. Therefore, mindfulness is far from being dull and boring. It is the gateway to the most exciting insights that can change our lives.

Cooking mindfulness

The ritual begins by offering gratitude towards the gifts of nature in the form of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. All our cooking ingredients are derived from mother nature’s bounty. This ritual just takes 2-3 sec to just feel the joy of abundance in your heart!

I prepare the ingredients (cutting, dicing, kneading etc.) with the awareness that these food items are going to be absorbed by our bodies and bring health and happiness to all the family members.

As I throw spices and other ingredients in the frying pan, I recite the words”Brahmaarpanam” (offered to the creator) or “Vishnuarpanam” (offered to the one who sustains). Fire is considered to be the messenger of the gods. I pray that all the ingredients are purified by this cooking process and made divine, to bring divine bliss to all the consumers of this food.

This is an ideal description. Sometimes, I still get lost in negative thoughts. However, now I am aware that I should not throw anything in the frying pan while thinking a negative thought, so I recite the above short verses and hope that food will be purified of my negative thoughts.

When you are too low, hearing positive music or even sermons might help. 

The most important fact is that this entire process is mental and there are no material rituals aligned with it. Everything is in the mind. From outside, you might never find it any different from any other cooking style.

The immediate results of this process can be seen on the cook. He/she will feel satisfied and at peace, happy to achieve something divine in the simple process of cooking.

And the result of mindful cooking –

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Minimalist Ayurvedic Life

It is so easy to pollute anything, even good things! Recently I prescribed yoga practice to a patient. However, she came back to me with weird queries like which yoga tracks and yoga mats are the best.

So, today, yoga has become a market. There is nothing wrong with this approach as it has helped yoga to become famous and accessible. However, it will be regrettable if the true spirit of yoga is lost amongst the marketing hustle bustle.

According to me, you need only a good Guru for learning yoga and nothing else. The essence of yoga is possessionlessness. This is the reason why yoga is excellent not only for physical health but also for mental health. It sets you free!

There are complications everywhere, anti-skid yoga mat, travel yoga mat, home yoga mat, and so on. You would be buying a pack of 5-6 yoga mats for each different situation. I will tell you one thing – you would genuinely excel in yogic balance if you do not have an anti-skid yoga mat, so please do not buy that at all!

Ayurvedic Minimalism will help you to live an organic life and prevent all kinds of disorders. It is critical to realize that we do not have to do different things to prevent different diseases. We just have to preserve the health of our body, and no disorders can find the weak link inside it.

If you are mentally and physically strong, you can Ace almost all kinds of diseases. At the same time, if you can maintain a tremendous digestive capacity in spite of your illness, your body will be able to burn away most of the disorders.

Minimalist Ayurvedic Life is all about how to live healthy with less. And when we are in deep contact with nature, we have everything that we need to live a healthy and fruitful life.

I will keep adding to this space!

Minimalist Ayurvedic Medicine

Medical treatment is a huge yet indispensable cost for all, even the minimalists. And it is a basic need that cannot be ignored. This need and helplessness of the sick feeds the monster of present pharmaceutical business.

Unfortunately, in recent times, Ayurvedic medicine has become a fad and a great market opportunity. I am surprised that I authentic Ayurvedic preparations and medicinal herbs have become so ridiculously expensive.

Therefore I turned to nature for all the disorders that I had to cure. And surprisingly; the best, the fastest, and permanent treatments like intermittent fasting, water therapy, sun gazing and many more are not cheap; it is free!

Minimalist Ayurvedic medicine is a series aimed to provide authentic preventive and curative Ayurvedic treatment that everyone can easily follow. It is cheap, simple and self-implementable.

99% diseases can be treated by the five elements that are present around each one of us just like the hand of mother nature – akash (space), vayu (air), agni (fire), jal (water), prithvi (earth). All these elements are free and abundantly available to all of us; we just need to discover how to use them for our benefit.

Ayurvedic minimalist medicine will help you to cure most of your current health problems naturally. According to Ayurveda, there are some fundamental factors which are common in all disorders, for example, body strength or digestion.

I will start with the preventive Ayurvedic lifestyle and gradually move to more serious disorders like hypertension, diabetes etc. However, I am confident that if you follow healthy food and lifestyle practices, 80% of your diseases can be self-cured.

hope everyone benefits from this series.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti |

Ayurveda Minimalism

Earlier, the market was a part of the community. Now, it appears that the community is a section of the market. Every day we are bombarded with a massive blast of advertising telling us how we should dress, eat, sleep, live, or breathe. It appears that our lives have no more essence than a factor that fuels the growing market.

We earn and spend and earn again, and it never seems to end. It feels like as a Whirlpool of requirements. And still, there is no spark of joy, no peace, and no contentment. The requirements are like fire. The more you fulfill them, the more they grow in size, and intensity.

A few years back, I had a very fortunate experience of extreme frustration. I wanted to get out of this endless cycle of earning and spending. I wanted to give up my MNC job because it made me feel sick. Life looked meaningless.

I felt that my company uses human beings as honey bees. We deceive them with a promise of happiness, safety, and peace and take away their hard earned money. This thought is especially true in the case of pharmaceutical companies.

The Trap

Trap 1

I wanted to get out of this system. But it is a great trap. My job had a great package, excellent salary, and other perks. What will everyone say? my relatives and acquaintances will think that I am a loser. But after few months, I felt that these people do not matter that much. Why should I live my life for them, and not for me?

Trap 2

I told myself that I would not be able to live a good lifestyle if I leave this job. But, after a few months, I felt that I would rather have a simpler lifestyle than stay stuck in a sickening job.

Trap 3

Then I told myself that I might not be able to maintain even a mediocre lifestyle. What if there is some accident or other kind of financial problems? I told myself that I might not be able to provide for my family and me, if some unforeseen calamity were to strike me, so probably I should continue the job for some more time. I was so scared that I thought about the possibility of eating raw herbs (which is a very healthy practice, according to Ayurveda).

After few months, I started exploring cheaper alternatives to everything. And to my great surprise. I found that cheaper things are essentials. And you can have a much simpler and meaningful life when you align yourself with the essentials.

Trap 4

In the end, I even reflected on the possibility of even dying of starvation. However, after a few months, I thought that I would rather die of starvation then work here. And this reflection was a spring of Liberation for me.

Liberation

Once you are ready for the most dreaded; you can take up any task, make any change in your world. The initial frustration was like a gestation pain that helped me to be born in the world of minimalism.

So I left my job and frantically started exploring other earning options. This experience taught me one thing – when you are frantic, then nothing comes to you! And because nothing came to me, I looked inwards and focused on minimizing my expenditure instead of trying to earn more.

The light of wisdom dawns on you when you are ready. Or, from another perspective, you can see the dawn that has been there all along once you develop the vision for it.

I saw a documentary on minimalism, which actually changed my life. It helped me to see that what I am trying to do is not unreasonable or impractical. Lots of people around the world are already deep into what I am trying to achieve. And it made me very confident about my approach.

After that, I experimented with Ayurvedic minimalism and found that all our needs can be met without any expense at all. And I want to share my experience so that we together can stop the menace of industry giants trying to control our lives.

In this series, I am aiming to provide information on two fronts –

Minimalist Ayurvedic Lifestyle

Minimalist Ayurvedic Treatment

I will keep adding more information to make them a comprehensive user manual for everyone who wants to live a healthy and medicine-free minimalist life.

Mindfulness

This blog series about mindfulness is more about my personal experience about mindfulness and how I have tried to implement it in my life.

Right now, my daughter is playing some game on my mobile phone and I am typing these pages of this blog. And my mind is almost burning since I hate her to play with mobile or TV or any other gadget for a long time. I try my best to create games or other healthier diversions for her so that she watches less and less of the mobile or TV. But still, in spite of everything I do, there are times when I am angry over something and I spent a lot of time getting over it while my daughter plays mobile or watches TV. Later, I have a huge feeling of guilt that I am a bad mother. Earlier, as a new mom, I was so much into being present for my daughter that I starved myself of even my basic needs. And still, there is constant anguish over even small lapses that I make as a mother.

I am not trying to teach mindfulness as I am beginner myself. Past 18 years of meditation were all washed away with my daughter and with the stress that I faced as I gave up my job to be a stay at home mom. The most terrible thing happens when you try to be the perfect mom!

After birth of my daughter, I suffered from post partum depression. Normally, it is never diagnosed in India. I know it now after 6 years that I was under depression for some time.

Only meditation and mindfulness has pulled me away from deep depression and other health problems. Still, I get angry very fast and take a long time to regain my mental balance. But now, I know that there will be peace again in my mind and my life. This is the only thing that I have learned till now. Hope that you benefit much more from this series. And I know that with more people like you the world will be a better place for my daughter.

Here is a list of my first few articles on how I have tried to implement mindfulness in my own life. I will try to add more soon.

This blog series is available in the form of a book in kindle –
https://www.amazon.in/Instant-Mindfulness-Zero-time-consuming-everyone-ebook/dp/B07PXMPVMV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=instant+mindfulness&qid=1555831787&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Thanks for reading!

Satvavjay : Ayurvedic Psychotherapy

The word satva is used in many senses in Sanskrit. Satva means the mind, it also means virtue/rightousness or morale. Satva is one of the 3 guna (satva, raja and tama) that runs the world as the 3 dosha run the bodies of living organisms.

The 3 guna are basically 3 types of mental orientations. They are a set of assumptions that help us to understand ourselves. Gunas give us emotional and intellectual context for thinking and logic. Gunas are like modes in a video game, where you can choose to play the good guy, the bad guy or the side artist. These gunas form the learning program for all of us.

Satva : the good, signifies light

Raja : full of desires

Tama : signifies darkness

Now, why would a person choose tama or raja guna? Have you seen people who would kill for money? for them, a monk would be no more than a fool who should be punished for his idiocy. Besides, there are also people who would die for a cause even when there is no need to die! But they do die because they are trapped by sattva guna. They have an acute emotional need to show that they stand for good. Thus all gunas are said to be blindfolds, only their colors might be different. Tama might be black in color, raja red, and satva might be white, but still, blindfolds are blindfolds!

Thus the mind is limited by all the 3 guna , even the satva guna. Yes! ond these guna, we can realize the full potential of our mind.

Satvavjaya chikitsa is more about gaining control over the mind. According to Bhagavata Geeta, when mind desires something and fuses its existence with something, event or quality, it develops an imaginary world around it. This imaginary world traps the mind and prevents it from seeing reality. The desire is called “kama”. This can be called the first stage for any mental disorder. Kama is a driving force. It is a force that extinguishes the lamp of discretion and reason.

Sometimes, we know that something is wrong but still we devise reasons and logic to justify it. Kama creates illusions and false assumptions to justify itself. It hides in the subconscious; behind an umbrella of illusion. A person is driven by a desire sometimes does not even know the real cause of his actions. He comes under the influence of “moha” or self-deception.

This is the sunset for wisdom and advent of the night of destiny, where the mind is completely engaged in a dream-world.

An insecure person becomes naturally greedy. Greed creates a lust for more. More accumulation of wealth, power, or even information helps to fortify and secure the dream world of the person. Deep down we all know that the truth is indestructible. Thus we want to make sure that our dream world is the lasting one. Instead of trying to discover the real world, we try to thrust over the dream world over the real one. Greed or “Lobh” is a tool that helps to achieve his end.

Most interesting is the greed for knowledge, good deeds or acceptance. People make big sacrifices, devote their lives in service, or unconsciously choose a miserable life, just to prove a point or to become valued.

In the next stage, the individual tries to protect his imaginary world by creating false assumptions, asking and expecting other people to endorse his world-view. He feels threatened when anyone questions his beliefs. This is the dawn of anger. The person is out to protect his dream world. He might be ready to kill or die for it. ” krodha” or anger is the second level of mental disturbance.

Thus all the mental disorders seem to emerge from the influence of desires. When a person fuses with his desires, prejudices, anger or misery, he becomes an automaton, a robot!

Satvavjaya Chikitsa is mainly about freeing people from their own mental traps and helping them to accept the truth as it is. And this can happen when you tame the mind – the most powerful resource we have.

Satvavjay: Time for Revival

Unfortunately, most of the ancient texts are lost.

But, I observed that essential Satvavjay chikitsa was never completely lost. It was always present deeply ingrained in all ancient cultures, in the form of religious practices. And we can find bits of Satvavjay chikitsa in every culture and civilization.

Today, there is more need of Satvavjay chikitsa than before. I very sincerely believe that all wisdom dwells in the cosmos and we can receive it if we align ourselves with the supreme energy (brahma). So, let us meditate on this science and revive it with the power of a million hearts put together!

Satvavjay Series

In this blog series, let’s explore together different dimensions of Satvavjay and how we can effectively implement it in our lives.

Interestingly, Satvavjay chikitsa includes a number of treatment methods. I don’t know about details because very less is mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic text available today. Most of the Ayurvedic text in BAMS focuses on yuktivyapashraya or body based treatment through medicines etc. However, there are small excerpts mentioning the importance and role of Satvavjay.

So, in 2018 I opted for a PG Diploma in Modern Psychotherapy to understand and find some links to this ancient healing wisdom. And it was a great decision because my course started with Freud and ended with mindfulness meditation.

Since then, I have practiced mindfulness in almost all my patients and have always seen a great result. My Ayurveda practice in the past few years have completely convinced that there can be no physical diseases without something wrong with the mind.

However, mindfulness is only one of many types of treatments. Here is a list of the treatment types that I found in Charak samhita and other classical texts. I will elaborate on all of these in future blogs, according to my understanding-

  1. Ashwasana (Counseling)
  2. Kala (Arts Therapy – Music, Painting etc.)
  3. Atma Vigyana (Mindfulness)
  4. Mano nigraha (Stability of mind through meditation)

All the essentials of manonigraha are amply covered in the great spiritual texts of Ashtang yoga.

Is it possible to live without food, water and even air?

How Energy Affects Different Layers of Existence

In the above video, Daaji, my meditation teacher, talks about different layers of existence. According to ancient yogic science, we have five layers of existence. And energy feeds all of these layers differently. We all know about hybrid cars. Hybrid cars can run on liquid fuel and electricity. Also, there can be multiple options of energy – coal, solar energy, wind energy etc.

Here is an interesting thing – any liquid fuel (petrol or diesel) produces energy through combustion. Combustion releases some power, but more amount of heat and worse – poisonous gases. This is similar to the way our bodies process the food.

Annamaya Kosha

The first layer is called annamaya kosha. This layer absorbs the energy from food and passes it to other layers. Most of us live on the basis of gross energy absorbed by annamaya kosha. And therefore, people dependent solely on food for survival, live out their lives stuck in this kosha. This kosha is like a diesel or petrol car. It takes in material fuel and gives out smoke. Compared to other kosha, this is the most basic and most primitive mode of survival. However, dependency on this kosha is only the first step towards a subtler life.

Pranamaya kosha

The second layer is called Pranamaya kosha. This is the subtle energy of the body governed by prana vayu or the air. This is also called Chi in Chinese spiritual tradition. In primitive stages of spiritual development, this kosha receives its energy from the lower kosha – annamaya kosha. However, in a more developed state, pranamaya kosha can sustain life without food and even water! This state is like an electric car, that is directly connected to the pure source of energy.

In the Daoist  tradition as mentioned earlier, bigu is the art of surviving only on air and yes, it is possible! This concept is called Breatherianism and many people are actively following, it across the world. In the Vedic tradition, it is mentioned as the stage of pranayama. This is a stage when a person can survive only on the air. So, in the stage of pranayama we are supposed to master the art of living on the air and establish our existence in our energy body.  

Thesis on Bigu

Here is another person has survived on air for 60 years – Prahlad Jani

Still another way to charge up your body without eating anything is sun gazing. And no wonder, all of the ancient civilizations worshipped the sun. Probably, it was more of a subtle scientific mode of feeding than anything religious. For more information on sun gazing, please watch the following video. Besides, there is a lot more information available on –

https://www.lightdocumentary.com/breatharian-meals.html

Manomaya Kosha

The third is the manomaya kosha. This is the mental layer that governs the functioning of the mind, the sensory organs and the dreams. This layer is the basis of the our interconnectedness. The miracles of telepathy, prophetic visions and super-natural sensory powers emerge from this layer.

This layer is more powerful than both annamaya and pranamaya kosha. Vedic literature mentions sages who stopped breathing as a part of their penance. It is believed that Guru Nanak stayed under water for 3 days and came out of the river – alive! I hope that some day we are able to experiment on this concept. If this is true, leave apart food, and water, you might not even need air to survive.

However, powers of manomaya kosha can turn against us if not managed properly! In an under-developed state, this layer can get affected by the negative vibrations. According to Ayurveda, there are two fields of diseases – mana (mind) and sharir (body). And the mana or the mind is the primary factor for getting sick. And therefore, it is important to preserve manomaya kosha against wrong or negative thoughts.

The disease might start in the body and reach to the mind (psoriasis leading to depression) or start with the mind and reach the mind(skin allergy triggered by stress). If you have a weak body but a strong mind, you will not fall sick. But if you have a weak mind, then even a strong body, good nutrition and loads of health supplements will not be able to help you.

According to my understanding, when the mind is affected, its negativity spirals down to reflect in the form of a metabolic loophole. This metabolic loophole invites and incubates various disease causing factors. And that is why a depressed, tensed, angry or anxious person has all the doors open for diseases. This helps me to understand why those happy and content little slum children don’t fall sick!

So basically, annamaya, pranamaya and manomaya kosha are subject to imbalance. But they can be healed by the higher absolute sources.

Vigyanamaya Kosha

The fourth kosha vigyanamaya kosha or the wisdom body is the seat of intellect or Buddhi. This is the kosha responsible for personal entity, and therefore ego. It is beyond mana or the emotional mind. It is beyond beliefs, thoughts, emotions, prejudices and all the mental fog created by them.  Vigyanamaya kosha is the layer of discretion, where imagination dissolves and we come face to face with reality.

As far as I understand, this is the seat of pure energy. So, if you are stable in this kosha, you are beyond a car, you are electricity itself!

All the supernatural healing powers descend from this kosha.

Rice experiment 

Water has memory II – Prof. Bernd Kroeplin Water research Germany

WATER, Thank you, I hate you, Your stupid, and Ignore

Anandamaya Kosha

Writing anything about this kosha will be dishonest as only an experienced person should elaborate on this topic. I hope to know more about it. As of now, I have this information that this is the seat of complete bliss.

I am writing all this not because I have any spiritual experiences. However, I am floating these thoughts so that someone who really knows might get back to me :). May we all grow together through sharing!

Ekadashi Fasting: Amazing Effects in Dental Problems

Recently, one of my relatives who has extremely bad teeth, tried Ekadashi fasting. He had a terrible toothache for past few days and there was no dentist to treat his condition because of corona lock-down. Every night, his tooth would pain terribly.

So, he decided to give a break to eating and went for Ekadashi zero food, zero water fasting this month on 18th (18th May 2020).

Very surprising, the toothache stopped. And he did not take any pain killer or any other medicines. He also did not make any other kind of dietary or lifestyle change. We can attribute it to not eating anything the whole day. And so there was no food stuck in his cavities that might cause pain. However, the tooth did not ache even the next day when he started eating food, and for few days after that. It started aching again on 23rd May 2020.

And this got me to think about our dental problems in a different way. probably, our digestive system is the source of all our disorders, even the dental ones.

Digestive system is the source of all the body fluids, including the saliva. And saliva is the fluid that creates the oral environment. Now, we know that all body fluids share some basic features. For example, if the digested juice is acidic in nature , everything right from blood to urine will turn more acidic. No wonder, what goes inside, makes the body.

And wrong food can turn all the body fluids slightly more acidic than normal. And we can imagine what can happen if our saliva is slightly more acidic than normal on a regular basis.

Normally, the food stuck in teeth gets softened and slips out after some time, along with saliva. Tongue also helps to clean the teeth. However, what if the environment around teeth is not healthy?

Acidic environment in the oral cavity can weaken the gums, cause mouth ulcers, help the germs to thrive and thus trigger rapid tooth decay. And probably that’s why we see that some people rapidly develop tooth problems, whereas many others do well even without a strict dental hygiene.

A few decades back, a lot of Indian had bright white teeth,without use of any tooth brush or tooth paste. However, they used to fast regularly, used neem twig as brush(and this twig provided both natural bristles and a bitter tooth cleaning solution). Besides, the overall quantity of sugar in the food was very low.

Sugar in our food does not affect our teeth that much by getting stuck on them. I personally believe that what sugar does to the overall body fluids is more important. It creates a rapid sugar surge that takes some effort on body’s part to control. Very frequent sugar surges tire out the pancreas and promote rapid decay across the body, including the teeth. Probably, that’s why dental problems are far more severe in case of diabetics!

If all of the above logic is correct teeth health is directly related to gut health. Probably, it is impossible to have healthy teeth , if your gut is not healthy. And therefore a dentist should also prescribe a healthy diet and lifestyle to keep the digestion healthy, because that’s the root of all dental problems.

Most of the women experience rapid tooth decay during pregnancy. Probably, it is because they eat all kinds of things, that too in a huge amount. This abnormal diet puts an extra pressure on the digestive system. And it gets derailed. The toxins thus produced due to under-digested food alter the composition of saliva and thus accelerate tooth decay.

So, now I believe that dry fasting for 24 hours can actually bring back not only your digestion, but also all body fluids to a completely balanced state. It definitely helps to remove excess sugar from all the body fluids, but also deep cleanse the body tissues and rejuvenate them! And if we do not spoil its effects by random eating afterwards, monthly Ekadashi dry fasting can extrapolate and multiply the health benefits exponentially.

The above explanation looks logical. However, I have no experimental proof for the above hypotheses. Anyways, I look forward to conduct some experiments on this concept in future. If you already have similar experiences or are doing some kind of related research I will be more than happy to know about it, please share!

May all of us achieve the ultimate aim of human life through shared wisdom!

How much do you need to eat?

Various factors decide how much food you need, two of them are the most important – Quality of food, and quality of digestive system. And it is not about calories. You see, a sea shell contains an incredible amount of calcium, but I cannot eat it, except for Ayurvedic kapardaka bhasma. Likewise, calories are the amount of energy that a food substance can release. It does not promise the amount that can be actually digested and absorbed. It differs from person to person. So, a food that contains 100 calories might release 90 or 50 or even 2 calories after digestion.

Ayurveda also considers the energy required to digest and absorb the food. Therefore, if your food releases 90 calories after digestion, but consumes 70 calories for the entire process, then it brings little profit to the body. And what if it releases 2 calories after the whole process. It is a massive loss for the body.

And you will find many people who eat a lot of food but always feel short of energy. They feel weak and lethargic. However, a poor person eating half the amount might have more vitality. 

So, the first thing, food is not about calories, neither about the amount of nutrition it might contain. Nutrition is about how much you can absorb from it. Rest is waste.

Quality of food

This is an important factor. Let us take the example of a hybrid car that can run on petrol and electricity. Electricity is a more efficient fuel, it produces no unnecessary heat or combustion , therefore wear and tear is much less when the car runs on electricity. On the other hand, petrol produces energy through combustion and heat and the rate of deterioration in petrol mode will be much higher.

For a perfect metabolic balance, we need to eat food that produces more energy with less effort. Food that contributes to health and not to diseases.

Step 1- Increase the Prana

According to Ayurveda, every food that you eat has prana or the life force. And this prana is absorbed via food. So basically food is like a fuel for the body. According to Ayurveda, hunger, thirst and sleep are three natural diseases that can be cured and  probably we don’t even need to eat, however that another topic.

We should eat food that has prana or the life force. And accordingly, your food can be full of prana or completely devoid of it. How you earn and the way you procure your food also makes a difference.

In short, your food should be procured with benevolence, hard work and through non- violent means.

Increase Bioavailability

There are many ways to do it. But the best always through the nature. Organivally grown and naturally ripened fruits are the best because they have the best digestibility in the body. Besides, fruits have minimum fire element or agni tatva, because they are not cooked. They are more stable and bring their stability to the body also.

Other means is cooking. In terms of cooking, food should ideally be cooked slowly. I always prefer solar cooked food. Its aroma and taste is incredible too.

Larger surface area

This is a very important factor in Ayurved. That’s why most of the medicines are ground to a very fine powder or paste. Larger surface area provides bigger opportunity for enzymes to act.

Therefore, my grandma used to tell me to chew the almonds for a long time. I guess the persistent action of saliva makes the nutrients more bio-available.
Besides, traditionally in India, almonds are soaked in water overnight for better absorption. Also, soaked almonds are made into a very fine paste to ensure more surface area for absorption. And that’s the key to the amount of food that we need. I know a master who can survive on one meal(lunch) in 24 hours, and he never stuffs himself! I assume that his body can absorb more than 90% of the food he eats.

Typically, if we have low absorption capacity, we won’t absorb much from the food we eat, no matter how nutritious it is. Sometimes, nothing at all. The modern treatment approach focuses on multiplying nutrition, for example, we have fortified milk, butter, bread, in fact, everything. But does it solves the problem?

There is a child who is just not interested in studying. How will it help if you fortify his resources by adding graduation textbooks? And what we do to the body by fortifying food is worse than this.

Ayurveda says that intake of heavy food or difficult to digest food is akin to pouring massive logs of wood on a small fire. And guess what happens! When we expose more fortified food to a weakened digestive system, we tax it to digest something heavier than average food. And gradually, the fire gives up. This may lead to a host of digestive problems – chronic indigestion, constipation, burping, bloating, and so on.

If you have lousy digestion or absorption, then the solution is not in giving more fortified food. Now if a child is not interested in studies, the answer is not in getting him more books, but to inspire him to learn. When someone is willing to learn, he can create his own resources. So, the solution is in making the body hungry and ready for food, instead of supplying heavy doses of indigestible food.

Precaution for anorexia
Here, the recommendation to eat only when hungry does not apply to people with anorexia. Instead, they can try eating Ayurvedic digestives that can help to remove the toxins from the system and bring back healthy hunger.

How to kindle real hunger?
Hunger varies according to the climatic conditions, age, physical activity, and state of mind.
If you stay in a cold climate, your body will require more heat-producing activity. And the most prominent heat-producing event is digestion. Therefore all people living in cold weather usually have good digestion, unless they stretch their physiology with wrong food and lifestyle. 

And if you can, you can shift to a colder location for some time to improve your overall metabolism.

Hunger typically diminishes with age. It is a natural phenomenon. We can assist the body by reducing the load of digestion. Therefore, we must modify our food according to our age, and this is esp very important after 35 or 40 years of age. Ideally, a person beyond 60 years should stop eating oily, heavy, and spicy food.

Ideally, such a person should try to consume mostly fruits and vegetables. Vegetables can be roasted, baked, or boiled. Elderly people should refrain from grain consumption after the sunset. However, due to rapid degradation in community health, we should follow these rules right after we turn 40. In fact, I have practically started living solely on fruits and vegetables, and it does make you feel more alive, try it!!!

One of the surprising facts is that you do not gain weight if you are physically inactive, and also you do not lose weight by exercise. These are just market making concepts, they help in selling weight loss products and gym memberships. The only thing that can make you fat is eating more than required food, nothing else. If you are sensitive towards your body, it will tell you when it is enough or when food is not needed. However, unfortunately, these recommendations are overruled in favor of taste sensations.

State of mind seriously affects hunger. Sadness, anxiety, stress, anger, hatred, etc. can kill the natural appetite. You can have the best hunger and effortless digestion when you are neither too happy or too sad, but at peace with yourself.

In fact, a peaceful mind is the most fundamental requirement for healthy digestion. A tranquil state of mind does not interfere with the regular hormonal system. Peace in mind stimulates the parasympathetic system and ensures the best digestion.

That’s why Ayurveda recommends that if you are not peaceful, skip the meal but do not eat. The food consumed with an imbalanced state of mind is no less than toxin for the body.

So, the essential requirement of healthy digestion is –
peaceful mind

Fruits (fruits grow on trees and do not require any human effort except planting, sometimes not even that)

Eating less

If you don’t have fruits, eat very less amount of whatever you have. The great sage and Ayurveda pioneer Vagbhatt said: “eat healthy, eat less and eat according to the season.”
And that’s the reason why poor are the blessed ones. They are in the hands of God, and God does not allow them to ruin their health by eating useless fancy food.
Let us be in God’s hands and have a great, healthy, and fulfilling life!

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Eat Healthy, Eat Less!

We all have a notion that eating three times a day is essential. But it is not so. I am not saying that we should eat once a day. But the best approach is to be aware of your body and your hunger. Most of us have a basic rule of three times meal, and we follow it blindly. I have seen many people following the same diet habits that they developed when they were children or youth. You must realize that your body is no longer in the growing mode. And we are not trees! So, according to Ayurveda, the food requirements of the body change over time. They are different for kids, youth, and older adults. Here, I will discuss the basics ideal dietary habit applicable for all. And surprisingly, the perfect diet is minimalistic in nature. It is precise and does not overburden the body with unnecessary digestion.

Digestion – Seat of Agni

Let’s understand that digestion is like the general maintenance of a house. It provides essential nutrition, grows and maintains body tissues, etc. Now imagine if you have to spend all your time and resources to maintaining the house. You will have no time for anything else. Some people have a huge house, big cars, properties, etc. and their whole time and money are sucked in maintaining THINGS. They might realize in the end that they gained nothing at all.

The human body is a tool for enlightenment. However, we spend all our energy on earning and eating food. Worse, we have junk food that adds an extra expense of medicines in later life. How is it any better than animals who live in a forest? Probably they are better off as they don’t have to pay EMI or mortgage.

Besides, even the blast furnace is cooled off for some time after burning. It helps in repair and maintenance. However, today, our digestive system has no respite. We keep pouring food in it day in and day out. Most of the people are not even hungry when they eat.

What happens when you eat without hunger?

Now, let me tell you what happens when you eat without hunger. When Your blood sugar drops, the brain senses the low availability of sugar and trigger hunger. It sends signals to the stomach to secrete digestive enzymes. And these digestive enzymes irritate the stomach lining. That’s how we feel hungry. In the same time, all other organs like liver, pancreas, salivary glands all prepare themselves for best digestion and absorption.

But imagine what will happen if you are eating without hunger. Your blood sugar is already normal. The blood does not need any more sugar. There is no signal from the brain to secrete digestive enzymes. So your stomach is also not ready for digestion. But still, you pour unrequired food in your system.

Under-digested food rots inside us!

Have you ever tried frying something without heating the oil properly? If you do, you will realize that the food put in low-temperature oil absorbs more oil than required and yet does not gets adequately cooked. A similar phenomenon happens to the food that enters the digestive tract without hunger invitation.

Not properly digested food is not a big problem. The bigger question is what happens after that. A proper amount of digestive juices prevent rapid food decay in the warm internal environment. However, because of no hunger, food does not get an adequate amount of these juices. It starts to rot inside the alimentary canal. According to Ayurveda, such food produces toxins by rotting in the body. Worse are the effects if you have chronic constipation. Imagine the number of toxins released in the system because of undigested food.

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The sugar tsunami

And still a bigger problem is the unnecessary sugar release. Now, this food is reluctantly absorbed by the intestines, and the sugar consumed is released into the blood. Blood sugar is already at a normal level. But the extra intake causes a sugar tsunami in the blood. An overworked pancreas tries to control the blood sugar. But how many times can it control such sudden surges? All secretory organs, including pancreas, need some time to prepare good quality digestive juices as well as insulin.

And this problem further snowballs when we snack frequently, and the worst products to consume are sweets, chocolates, etc. With frequent sugar surges in the body, the tissues get acclimatized to high sugar levels. A dissatisfied Pancreas resigns to the status-quo and insulin secretions steadily declines.

Hypertension Trigger

The high sugar levels are also related to hypertension. According to Ayurveda, madhura or sweet rasa vitiates kapha dosha. Kapha dosha is the causal factor for blockages. According to recent researches, low glycemic load (GL) naturally results in low BP as well. Therefore we can link abnormal high or frequent food intake with hypertension.

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Feeding Cancer Cells

Worse is still to come! High sugar levels are associated with cancer formation. Cancer cells feed on the high sugar content, where the healthy cells lose their vitality. So, if you are not happy with diabetes, hypertension, etc., you might get cancer. Cancer cells are present in all creatures, but the internal body environment is not conducive for them to thrive. However, with abnormal eating habits, we make an inviting environment for all kinds of diseases.
Consider a corrupt society. As society corrodes in its moral values, all kinds of evil find it easy to thrive. The educational institutes, healthcare, judiciary everything will get corrupted. And good people will find it hard to survive. However, the decision lies in our hands, we need to decide what we want to invite inside consciously.

So, it comes out that if you eat less, eat only when you are correctly hungry, you will need less food, fewer medicines. You will have a more productive and satisfying life.

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