May the universe never abuse food.
Breath is food. The body eats food.
The body rests on breath.
Breath rests on the body.
Food is resting on food.
The one who knows this
becomes rich in food and great in fame.
Taittiriya Upanishad (11.7)
Each and every physical thing in the universe is composed of the same 5 elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. We humans are formed from the same ingredients as a tree or a squirrel, a grain of sand or a drop of rain. The elements in our foods nurture the elements in our bodies.
The elements that nourish us are the same elements that are within us!
When we recognize this internal connection – that we are sustained by 5 elements of nature – we understand that each bite of food is a blessing from Mother Nature as well. This realisation is the beginning of SADHANA, the foundation from which we start to build a spiritual life.
Each season brings forth the foods that best serve our needs during that particular time of the year. Together, the seasons produce 6 tastes of natural foods necessary for human survival. When you eat the earth’s food in harmony with her seasons and your metabolic type (dosha), you fortify and strengthen your physical and spiritual bodies.
Each dosha is primarily nourished by 3 tastes – the 3 that are not of its own nature.
Kapha: pungent, bitter, astringent
Pitta: sweet, bitter, astringent
Vata: sweet, salty, sour
Obs! It doesnt mean kaphas can not eat grains and fruits, which are mostly sweet, but they must be mindful of the quality and especially quantity of sweet tastes.
All food, in general, consists of ALL 6 tastes, just as each of us is composed of all 5 elements and all 3 doshas. The science of Ayurvedic medicine, which is based on the study of the doshas, teaches that 6 tastes should be enjoyed proportionally.
As a general rule:
- sweet taste should be the most dominant taste in our MAIN meal of the day;
- pungent, salty and sour tastes should be used moderately as secondary tastes, depending on the season;
- bitter and astringent tastes are always used as minor or accent tastes.
When we do not balance the tastes in our diet, we disturb the body’s tissue memory. This disruption causes the cells to become distorted so they transmute themselves into what we call disease.
Don’t overcrowd your refrigerator with leftovers. These should be used by the next day at the latest. Refrigerated stale foods are considered by Ayurvedic medicine to be “tamasic”- they cause us to become lethargic and sluggish and in some people, they induce nightmares.
As we put the food sadhanas into practice, we recover a mindfulness of our world.
The essence of all things here is the Earth.
The essence of Earth is water.
The essence of water is plants.
The essence of plants is a PERSON.
Let’s take this text one step further and ask ourselves: What is the essence of a person?
/based on the book of Bri. Maya Tiwari/
Next post – Essay “How all of us can achieve extraordinary things”, based on the book “PEAK” Anders Ericsson/Robert Pool