This week in class we are considering nourishment, Pratyahara and Dharana.
The control of the palate is a valuable aid for the control of the mind.
- Mahatma Gandhi
I first became interested in improving my diet under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, who used to include articles on diet and health in his weekly newspaper along with all the latest political news. I had been brought up on traditional South Indian cuisine. I had enjoyed it all thoroughly, but I had never asked what the purpose of food is. At Gandhi's prompting, I started asking this kind of question and concluded to my great surprise that food is meant to nourish the body.
I started changing. I began to eat foods that wouldn't have appealed to me in earlier days. Now asparagus tastes better than chocolate torte.
The palate is the ideal starting point for getting some mastery over your senses. You have three, four, maybe more opportunities a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any number of between-meal snacks. No need to talk of fasting or strange diets. Just resolve to move away from foods that don't benefit your health and begin choosing foods that do.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to cultivate the practice of Pratyahara - the refinement or the withdrawal of the senses and combine this practice with Dharana - one pointed concentration to help guide us in directing our attention in meaningful ways in relation to our nourishment choices. See if your nourishment patterns can be refined through challenging your automatic ways of consuming. Consider making meal time more of a sacred event.
Rushing Water Yoga
Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and
since 2003 Vancouver Washington