Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

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archaic
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Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 pm

I know that this topic could go in the diet section, however because it primarily relates to sense desire, I posted it in General Discussion.

I've found it quite difficult to get a sense of what a skillful (and practical) spiritual diet would be for a layperson.

Diet seems to be a much simpler topic for monastics because firstly they rely on alms, but secondly Buddha's advice in regards to diet simplifies things (have one meal per day, or some split their one meal into 2 portions, both to be consumed before noon).

However, for a lay follower living in a Western country with a plethora of supermarkets, fast food, sweets, desserts, and other unwholesome foods, it is challenging for me to construct a diet that is both practical and would be considered "skillful means of providing nutriment to the body". I would like to assume it's "not a big deal" and just eat whatever I want to eat (vegetarian of course). However because sense desire and attachment is such a strong theme in the Buddha's teachings, I have found this topic coming to my mind frequently.

I am naturally inclined towards a strong love of food and sensual pleasures. I grew up in an Epicurean household, with an emphasis on fine dining, sampling the foodstuffs of the world, fine wines, and decadent desserts. I know my mind's tendency towards this issue, so I have much time in contemplation about this topic in attempts to find the right balance. I realize that love of food, besides being a hindrance in itself, and one of the fetters, also is an attachment to the form skandha, and additionally indicates an attachment to the taste sense door!! Wow.

I believe that most Buddhists would agree, we are strongly warned to use mindfulness as a gatekeeper to guard the doors to the senses.

Therefore, with this background in mind, I have a number of potential questions it would be wonderful to gain perspective on...

1) Supposing one is over weight, would this necessarily be symbolic of lack of control over sense desire? Or could one be spiritually advanced and still eat too much?

2) Any thoughts on the "Middle Way" between asceticism and overindulgence for lay practioners living in the Western World?

3) While celibacy is difficult for some, at least it's an "all or none" venture... Personally, I have found my relationship with food to be much more complex than my relationship with sexuality. We cannot just swear off food. Therefore, is it ideal to simply eat foods that are not pleasurable yet would constitute nutritional sustenance?

4) Does anyone have any examples of a diet that has worked for them, they might recommend?

5) Is it optimal for spiritual practice, to avoid attachment and distraction, to attempt one meal per day? Personally, I have found it somewhat difficult to find nutritional balance with just one meal per day (I either missing whole food groups, or don't feel I am eating in a well rounded manner for a vegetarian).

6) Is it best to stick to the same meals every day so as to avoid the tendency to crave, cling or grasp for the novelty of new and pleasurable food items?

If you wish, please feel free to provide responses not covered within the scope of these questions. I would strongly appreciate getting some discussion about these topics. Thanks in advance for any insight. :thanks:

Much Metta.

DooDoot
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by DooDoot » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:35 am

archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 pm
1) Supposing one is over weight, would this necessarily be symbolic of lack of control over sense desire? Or could one be spiritually advanced and still eat too much?
In my recent experience, I would say an obese monk (apart from those with a physical disorder) are lacking self-control. I basically ate the same for the last 25 years but, recently, due to adding weight, I reduced what I eat, thus losing weight, with no effect upon my energy. Often, as you get older, your body needs less food.
2) Any thoughts on the "Middle Way" between asceticism and overindulgence for lay practioners living in the Western World?
Many worldly people are conscientious about their physical appearance & eat very frugally therefore being a layperson should not effect the quantity of food you eat. For example, eating two normal meals per day like a Buddhist or eating three light meals per day is possible for any layperson.

I think eating for health is an expression of compassion. Compassion alone should be sufficient to give up tasty yet unhealthy or expensive foods.
3) While celibacy is difficult for some, at least it's an "all or none" venture... Personally, I have found my relationship with food to be much more complex than my relationship with sexuality. We cannot just swear off food. Therefore, is it ideal to simply eat foods that are not pleasurable yet would constitute nutritional sustenance?
Lots of healthy food can be pleasurable. If you are hungry when you eat, it will be tasty, even though it may be simple.
4) Does anyone have any examples of a diet that has worked for them, they might recommend?
I eat brown rice, lots of vegetables, a protein, spiced up with fresh garlic, chili, ginger, tumeric, pepper, sea salt & whatever fresh herbs, like basil, shallots, I have around. I never use sugar or ordinary salt or drink coffee. Even simple steamed vegetables with a little simple home made spice condiment is pleasurable, particularly when you are hungry. For example, if you only eat two main meals per day, you will be hungry in the morning; so whatever healthy food you eat tastes pleasurable.
5) Is it optimal for spiritual practice, to avoid attachment and distraction, to attempt one meal per day? Personally, I have found it somewhat difficult to find nutritional balance with just one meal per day (I either missing whole food groups, or don't feel I am eating in a well rounded manner for a vegetarian).
One meal per day is generally for full-time meditators; who have developed samadhi (calmness; energy). Without samadhi, eating one meal can be difficult. If you a lay person, with a job, & are physically or mentally active, eating one meal per day can be difficult due to fatigue. However, food is not really necessary in the evening (unless you are very physically active). In the evening, a walk, light swim or meditation can help the mind wind down & de-stress after a day's work & busyness (rather than de-stress with food &/or alcohol).
6) Is it best to stick to the same meals every day so as to avoid the tendency to crave, cling or grasp for the novelty of new and pleasurable food items?
I think focus on compassion is best. Think about what is healthy & non-harming for your life. Also, think about how many hungry & starving people there are on Earth & how unnecessarily wasteful it is when people spend large amounts of money on expensive luxury food.

Much Metta.

chownah
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by chownah » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:39 am

archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 pm
I am naturally inclined towards a strong love of food and sensual pleasures. I grew up in an Epicurean household, with an emphasis on fine dining, sampling the foodstuffs of the world, fine wines, and decadent desserts. I know my mind's tendency towards this issue,....
.....
....
It is good that you see that you have been trained (it seems) to enter into a certain frame of mind with regard to food. Because you see this you are taking steps to study this aspect of your life. That's great.

If you want to overthrow that well established frame of mind with respect to food I think a good strategy might be to develop another frame of mind with respect to food.

I'm an organic gardner/farmer. I associate food with all the activities in my farming practices. I directly experience the interconnections among a multide of living entities. I understand that life exists as it does through a process of continual recycling of the body of living things. I see that my farming practices favor some living things and discourages others. The nematodes which I discourage use plant roots as their food....I use the leaf or seed or fruit of the plant....but we are both existing through recycling the body of a living entity. Life as we know it exists because we use pre-existing life as our food. The cow recycles the plant....the bacteria in the cows gut recycles the waste products of the dead cells from the cows body....the result is manure and in my garden the bacteria in the soil eat the manure and the plants take up the waste products.....continual recycling.....

You might try growing a little garden.....and using it as a kasina for your meditation.....it would probably give you a different frame of mind concerning food. Your health might improve.

You might think of some other frame of mind to develop.....like....your body in its entirety from birth until death is made up of what you eat.....or like.....every scrap of energy that you exert in your entire life from birth until death comes from the sun via plants.....etc. I'm sure that there are lot of different frames of mind that could be developed with respect to food. I think you would benefit if you found a new one which resonates for you.

chownah

paul
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by paul » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:19 pm

Using food skilfully as a tool for awakening. Mindfulness includes memory and you might eat two meals per day, one small one in the morning and a larger one at midday and nothing in the evening. You might feel quite full at the midday meal, but over time be losing weight. Also you know from experience that you need that meal for your daily energy expenditure without feeling faint. So mindfulness means taking into account the long term factors, using your body as a guide as to when going too far towards the polarity of asceticism.

"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding."---SN 56:11


The other long term factor is nutrition, and for the vegetarian it is necessary to get the nine amino acids which the body can't make otherwise health problems will arise. It is hard to get these on a vegan diet without a lot of attention to food combinations and much simpler to include animal products which don't involve killing and from which 'complete protein' is readily available. The need for protein becomes greater with age.
Last edited by paul on Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.

binocular
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by binocular » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:29 pm

archaic wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 pm
However, for a lay follower living in a Western country with a plethora of supermarkets, fast food, sweets, desserts, and other unwholesome foods, it is challenging for me to construct a diet that is both practical and would be considered "skillful means of providing nutriment to the body".
You could commit to cooking (at least some of) your meals from the basic ingredients, as opposed to eating out or buying ready-made food at the store.

Depending on your current practices and resources, this might require a massive adjustment to your schedule, shopping habits etc.
I am naturally inclined towards a strong love of food and sensual pleasures. I grew up in an Epicurean household, with an emphasis on fine dining, sampling the foodstuffs of the world, fine wines, and decadent desserts. I know my mind's tendency towards this issue, so I have much time in contemplation about this topic in attempts to find the right balance. I realize that love of food, besides being a hindrance in itself, and one of the fetters, also is an attachment to the form skandha, and additionally indicates an attachment to the taste sense door!! Wow.
I don't know what that is like. You have my sympathy! I'm quite the opposite: I have no idea what people see in "fine dining."
1) Supposing one is over weight, would this necessarily be symbolic of lack of control over sense desire?
Unless one is in the few % who actually have some serious hormonal problem because of which their body produces more fat tissue than average, being overweight could indicate lack of control over sense desire, but it could also indicate that one is living an overly sedentary lifestyle, or that one is yo-yo dieting, ...
Or could one be spiritually advanced and still eat too much?
Well, if one has a tapeworm or some other disease, one could technically eat too much ...
2) Any thoughts on the "Middle Way" between asceticism and overindulgence for lay practioners living in the Western World?
My suggestion is to cook all of one's food oneself, from basic ingredients (including preparing at home the lunch to eat at work).
Therefore, is it ideal to simply eat foods that are not pleasurable yet would constitute nutritional sustenance?
I think that would be too burdensome for someone who is not yet an advanced meditator.
4) Does anyone have any examples of a diet that has worked for them, they might recommend?
Yes, cooking all my food myself, from basic ingredients.
5) Is it optimal for spiritual practice, to avoid attachment and distraction, to attempt one meal per day?
If you're overweight, eating too little could lead to serious problems, like yo-yo dieting where one eventually gains weight and messes up one's immune system.
6) Is it best to stick to the same meals every day so as to avoid the tendency to crave, cling or grasp for the novelty of new and pleasurable food items?
If you cook all the food yourself, you can use what fruits and vegetables are seasonally available; this will put a lot of order in your eating and eliminate a number of questions.

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:00 am

Thank you everyone for your replies, I appreciate them all.

@DooDoot: I had never thought of viewing sustenance through the lens of compassion... Both for my own organism and towards others. I will reflect on this perspective. Also, I agree with you 2 meals per day is a good strategy.

@Chownah: I like the garden idea, however neither space nor climate are permissive at this time... One day I look forward to doing this however. I also agree with attempting different frames of mind to view sustenance.

@Paul: You and DooDoot are right, 2 meals a day is a good compromise for me... Especially not eating in the evening is a good anchor for keeping my discipline. Thank you for the quote, its a good one to contemplate on for this issue.

@binocular: Yes, I agree have been focusing on simple foods and cooking more for myself. I am not overweight but my stomach wants me to be: always crying for more... This is an internal monologue that has been difficult to silence. I have more self-control than I used to but it's been a very slow process.

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by Crazy cloud » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:50 am

Hi,
by coincidence and by doing general practice I discovered that if one manages to stop listening to the mind for what is the right diet, and solely listen to what the body says, - then the diet will be balanced according to the activities one picks up. I been practicing a few months with fasting on and off, and has learned a lot just by letting go of so called "controlled diet" - the body is far more trustworthy than my self when it comes to bodily needs. And practices has opened up to some interesting new developments here.

So like in regular meditation, diet becomes very easy when one manages to let go of the controller ..

Best regards! :)
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

binocular
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:35 pm

archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:00 am
@binocular: Yes, I agree have been focusing on simple foods and cooking more for myself. I am not overweight but my stomach wants me to be: always crying for more... This is an internal monologue that has been difficult to silence. I have more self-control than I used to but it's been a very slow process.
Old habits die hard.
:heart:

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm

Crazy cloud wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:50 am
Hi,
by coincidence and by doing general practice I discovered that if one manages to stop listening to the mind for what is the right diet, and solely listen to what the body says, - then the diet will be balanced according to the activities one picks up. I been practicing a few months with fasting on and off, and has learned a lot just by letting go of so called "controlled diet" - the body is far more trustworthy than my self when it comes to bodily needs. And practices has opened up to some interesting new developments here.

So like in regular meditation, diet becomes very easy when one manages to let go of the controller ..

Best regards! :)
This is a good concept. Perhaps you can elaborate on how you do this. Is it specifically watching for hunger as the cue which permits you to eat?

Hunger has always been difficult for me to follow. I have a slow metabolism and I virtually never get a typical feeling of 'hungry'. If I were to not eat for a couple days, or have very low calories for a while, my body feels weak, I will get lazy, I will fall asleep frequently, become withdrawn from lack of energy, but I still don't get a clear feeling of hunger. I also don't get a clear signal of 'full' from the stomach, and this permits me to easily overeat; I can always eat more.

I don't really have a strong intuitive sense of when I've had enough but not too much. I have been working on being more mindful and watching for subtle signs, but it would be easier to have a formula or just a certain portion of food I always get for each meal, to take any guesswork or passion/impulsiveness out of the decision-making. I don't want food to be an opportunity for indulgence, I just want it to be my source of sustenance.

My mindset seems to use food as an emotional medication, which I can avoid for periods of time when I am especially mindful and keep my life orderly and predictable.

However, its so easy for decisions like this to happen:
"Oh I was so busy yesterday so I missed one of my meals, so today its ok if I have some more," which degenerates into more than I really need.
or
"Oh I finished so much work today, I was so dedicated and I haven't eaten any delicious foods for a long time" which degenerates into eating luxurious foods.
or
"Oh I am so bored of eating steel-cut oats for breakfast, and I don't have much time," so I skip breakfast, don't have lunch, then when I get home late in the evening to have dinner I am physically and mentally tired, and really don't feel like preparing a meal for an hour so I go ahead and eat something processed and refined, and later regret my decision.

I think these issues are very common for many Westerners, which is why many are very overweight.

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:42 pm

This is frustrating to me because I am *certain* that my sensual cravings for food form a major, if not *the major impediment to my continued spiritual progress.

Yet all it takes is a few moments of mindlessness and I forget myself and become impulsive, at which point I feed the cycle of dukkha. I can even often see it happening, but the relationship with food is so complex, I find a way to justify my action or will read a book about Satipatthana to attempt to understand these cycles while I eat the pizza that I ignorantly ordered.

It's ridiculous I know, and shameful. I have an addictive personality towards food, women, music, and other sensual cravings. My body doesn't like moderation with these things. Fortunately I have managed to distance myself from most of these...

I have been blessed with an ability for very strong meditative concentration and deep jhana. I look forward to my daily meditation. Also to me, insight comes very naturally as a mental disposition in many things, so I do feel very strongly blessed in these areas.

I have managed to create most aspects of my life as very serene, calm, reflective and meditative. Food has been the most bothersome and unpredictable exception.

binocular
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:54 pm

archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm
Hunger has always been difficult for me to follow. I have a slow metabolism and I virtually never get a typical feeling of 'hungry'. If I were to not eat for a couple days, or have very low calories for a while, my body feels weak, I will get lazy, I will fall asleep frequently, become withdrawn from lack of energy, but I still don't get a clear feeling of hunger. I also don't get a clear signal of 'full' from the stomach, and this permits me to easily overeat; I can always eat more.
This happens to me when I'm not particularly physically active. When I work a lot and move around a lot, my feelings of hunger and satiation are usually quite clearcut.
I can always eat more.
It is my experience that this can also depend on the particular kind of food. It's especially with processed foods that I have no feeling of satiation; and also with some other foods, such as pizza (even if it's homemade -- there's something about the combination of the ingredients that makes it so problematic). Pizza is also the kind of food where the more I eat, the hungrier I get (same with chocolate and soda drinks). (Which is why I personally classify junkfood under intoxicants.)
My mindset seems to use food as an emotional medication,
It's normal to want to feel good. It would just be helpful to find (develop) other ways of feeling good, besides eating.
However, its so easy for decisions like this to happen:
"Oh I was so busy yesterday so I missed one of my meals, so today its ok if I have some more," which degenerates into more than I really need.
or
"Oh I finished so much work today, I was so dedicated and I haven't eaten any delicious foods for a long time" which degenerates into eating luxurious foods.
or
"Oh I am so bored of eating steel-cut oats for breakfast, and I don't have much time," so I skip breakfast, don't have lunch, then when I get home late in the evening to have dinner I am physically and mentally tired, and really don't feel like preparing a meal for an hour so I go ahead and eat something processed and refined, and later regret my decision.
Which is why changing one's eating habits probably requires some massive changes in one's lifestyle in general. Such massive changes require a lot of time and effort, which is why change tends to be slow and difficult.

Some people prepare their whole week's food on Sunday, to avoid the sort of problems you describe above: https://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/ ... afternoon/

Although this isn't the healthiest choice, it's still better than impulsive eating or junkfood, and can serve as a stepping stone to healthier eating.

binocular
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:58 pm

archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:42 pm
This is frustrating to me because I am *certain* that my sensual cravings for food form a major, if not *the major impediment to my continued spiritual progress.
Instead of looking at this food problem of yours as an impediment, you could also reframe it as simply the task at hand for spiritual progress.

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by Crazy cloud » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:47 pm

archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm
Crazy cloud wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:50 am
Hi,
by coincidence and by doing general practice I discovered that if one manages to stop listening to the mind for what is the right diet, and solely listen to what the body says, - then the diet will be balanced according to the activities one picks up. I been practicing a few months with fasting on and off, and has learned a lot just by letting go of so called "controlled diet" - the body is far more trustworthy than my self when it comes to bodily needs. And practices has opened up to some interesting new developments here.

So like in regular meditation, diet becomes very easy when one manages to let go of the controller ..

Best regards! :)
This is a good concept. Perhaps you can elaborate on how you do this. Is it specifically watching for hunger as the cue which permits you to eat?
Hi, that`s a tough call for me, but i try my best:

Over the last 10 years I`ve developed a style of training that is based on continuous intuitiv awareness 24/7, and let the heart guide me in whatever is needed for moving forward in the process of total purification of the citta. The heart picks up aspects like this one, and then I trust and rely on it and just relax into changes of practice, and it becomes effortless and enjoyable all the way.

what to eat is not my business, but I experience that the body itself dosen`t like the same food as I would prefer. It only picks all the "boring stuff", but the effect on the overall quality of moment to moment mindfulness is obvious. This practice is to me so sweet that braking it sometimes feels like a bigger obstacle than just going on and on.
So like mentioned above, it follows the same pattern as other hindrances do when experienced: As long as I, me and mine are gone, then meditation goes on by itself ...

Hope this can make some sense, and many apologies if not :anjali:
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by Crazy cloud » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:48 pm

:oops:
many apologies for making a dbl post!
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

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altar
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by altar » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:49 pm

I have similar issues. I'm trying to relax my mind as much as possible so I just don't think of food.

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:39 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:58 pm
archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:42 pm
This is frustrating to me because I am *certain* that my sensual cravings for food form a major, if not *the major impediment to my continued spiritual progress.
Instead of looking at this food problem of yours as an impediment, you could also reframe it as simply the task at hand for spiritual progress.
Yes you are quite right. It is definitely an opportunity for continued insight.
I don't let it phase me too much but it is still a continued source of perturbation.

You are also correct about lifestyle; unless my mealtimes and meal choices become very predictable, it will likely be difficult to find an adequate resolution.

As for exercise, I have learned after much trial and error that heavy exercise makes me very prone to overeating... So I usually stick to light exercise such as yoga, walking, and biking. Weight training especially makes me sore and fatigued and prone to eating a lot, which is not ideal since I don't need to gain muscle at this point in my life.

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:51 am

Crazy cloud wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:47 pm
archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm
Crazy cloud wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:50 am
Hi,
by coincidence and by doing general practice I discovered that if one manages to stop listening to the mind for what is the right diet, and solely listen to what the body says, - then the diet will be balanced according to the activities one picks up. I been practicing a few months with fasting on and off, and has learned a lot just by letting go of so called "controlled diet" - the body is far more trustworthy than my self when it comes to bodily needs. And practices has opened up to some interesting new developments here.

So like in regular meditation, diet becomes very easy when one manages to let go of the controller ..

Best regards! :)
This is a good concept. Perhaps you can elaborate on how you do this. Is it specifically watching for hunger as the cue which permits you to eat?
Hi, that`s a tough call for me, but i try my best:

Over the last 10 years I`ve developed a style of training that is based on continuous intuitiv awareness 24/7, and let the heart guide me in whatever is needed for moving forward in the process of total purification of the citta. The heart picks up aspects like this one, and then I trust and rely on it and just relax into changes of practice, and it becomes effortless and enjoyable all the way.

what to eat is not my business, but I experience that the body itself dosen`t like the same food as I would prefer. It only picks all the "boring stuff", but the effect on the overall quality of moment to moment mindfulness is obvious. This practice is to me so sweet that braking it sometimes feels like a bigger obstacle than just going on and on.
So like mentioned above, it follows the same pattern as other hindrances do when experienced: As long as I, me and mine are gone, then meditation goes on by itself ...

Hope this can make some sense, and many apologies if not :anjali:
As I am understanding you, It sounds like you have been cultivating a constant samatha and it has been very beneficial to you.... That is excellent, your practice obviously has been very beneficial for you.

I am not yet at that stage! But thankfully I do get very deep and prolonged undistracted meditations.

During daily activities when not meditating (and in dreams) my mind wanders frequently to things like food, family, and mundane concerns. When I notice this I go back to focus on the breath, body-scans, or awareness of thoughts and feelings. I try to avoid situations which lessen the calm state. As I progress I would like to work towards developing a constant relaxed awareness, similar to yours.

archaic
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:52 am

altar wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:49 pm
I have similar issues. I'm trying to relax my mind as much as possible so I just don't think of food.
Haha the path of no-path... :woohoo:

I should strive not to think about it too much as well.

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by Crazy cloud » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:58 am

archaic wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:51 am
Crazy cloud wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:47 pm
archaic wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:29 pm


This is a good concept. Perhaps you can elaborate on how you do this. Is it specifically watching for hunger as the cue which permits you to eat?

So like mentioned above, it follows the same pattern as other hindrances do when experienced: As long as I, me and mine are gone, then meditation goes on by itself ...

Hope this can make some sense, and many apologies if not :anjali:
As I am understanding you, It sounds like you have been cultivating a constant samatha and it has been very beneficial to you....
Glad to say that you understood me right. The result one gets is based on long and for some "very long and boring practice". And to pinpoint exactly what happened before results shows up is quite complicated, because when one starts trying to recall the whole process it always sounds more difficult than it actually was experienced to be when it actually happened. The best one can say is that the teaching is true, and that it constitutes of eight different aspekts, and all of them has to be active and in place for keeping necessary mental balance
I am not yet at that stage! But thankfully I do get very deep and prolonged undistracted meditations.
That is nice to hear :smile: I have a few of them myself, but have learned that when it comes to keeping my type of person happy enough to practice 24/7, I have to both challenge myself in real life and alternate between different ways of meditating. Maybe my type likes to have it proven several times before it lets go .. When I do fasting i usually do it during work periods (3 - 4 days and nights in a row). And then I get colleagues working with to help me by giving me feedback if they notice some negative results occurring from this particular training metode.
Actually when I think about it now, I cant say what has been most useful; sometimes a long formal meditation is what does the trick and other times is those sudden drop downs into stillness (maybe just for a minute or so ..) during a normal day is enough.
During daily activities when not meditating (and in dreams) my mind wanders frequently to things like food, family, and mundane concerns. When I notice this I go back to focus on the breath, body-scans, or awareness of thoughts and feelings. I try to avoid situations which lessen the calm state. As I progress I would like to work towards developing a constant relaxed awareness, similar to yours.
If you see your mind wanders frequently during daily activities, I would say that you are mindful enough and actually at least in a meditative kind of mode. I am doing the same thing, and often there are also enough time to become still and look more closely at particular experiences. I also use the four foundations for calming down, but has also included "sound of silence" (Ajahn Sumedho) into the daily toolkit. An important detail when it comes to being relaxed and happy enough is that I m quite done with the world, so I hardly miss anything at all from the same place. And when normal people find me both odd and weird in my alternativ thinking, then it doesn't bother me at all and I dont even care to argue against their arguments and whatever ...
When it comes to avoiding stuff, i do think that sometimes it is best to take them head on ... When i do fasting I also sign up for being the chef during work period, and that is because I like to see how the mind reacts in different situations so that the result isn't solely based on making special conditions.

Like to say a bit more about how I use intuitiv awareness and listening to the heart: Whenever i notice that something resonates deep inside (, I try to find ut what it is, and then follow that lead. And many many times I have to say that I would never have done it if I was controlling all of this I call wandering the path - I just close off for the controller and trust that which resonates and keep wandering on till it gets there ...

:smile:

Edit nov 21: Hi again - forgot to mention that this practice has also resulted in an instant change of diet from "normal" to vegetarian
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

archaic
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:42 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

Re: Asking for Help re: nutriment and sensual desire

Post by archaic » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:44 pm

@Crazy Cloud: You have some very interesting experiences. Its good to hear your different perspectives...

Yes my mind has been watching itself more and more, contributing to a kind of meditative mode of thinking. It's useful, I find I almost never get the feeling of being bored or restless like I used to. I can just sit in traffic or stand waiting in a line at the store with total patience, entirely uncaring whether the line moves quickly or not. It's definitely freeing, it also makes the emotion of frustration much more uncommon in my life.

I watched/listened to the Sound of Silence YouTube, it is great. Many times I have noticed this Sound of Silence, but never used it as the object of meditation before.

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