I wasn't specifically trying to work out my defilements relating to idulging in food/not doing enough exercise during my retreat. My usual lifestyle is that at home I cook and I probably don't get as much exercise as I should.christopher::: wrote:Yeah, its the nitty gritty specifics I was wondering about. Like you said you lost 20kg while on retreat. I assume that you enjoyed (or overenjoyed) food prior to this. Do you have greater insight into why you ate more before, able to see the process of craving there, and do what is needed to interrupt it more successfully now?
In my case I overeat, frequently, and could stand to lose at least 10 kg... I also smoke cigarettes on ocassion, not in large amounts but one or two cigarettes a day, sometimes. Then going months without it. It seems like these specific cravings such as Individual has described can provide a good opportunity to understand better how to liberate our minds.
Part of the instructions for the long-course is to 'know your measure' with regards to food and only take what you need. Having (at least) a partially empty stomach is ideal for meditation as a full stomach can induce sloth and torpor. I know from my own experience that reducing the amount of food during a retreat has a very beneficial effect on my meditation and course experience, and so that's why I drastically reduced (but not stopped) the amount I eat.
I also remember the contemplation on the foulness of nutriment from the Vissudhimagga (search for it and you might uncover the transcript I posted months ago), and so it was pretty easy. As I mentioned elsewhere, what I consumed (inc breakfast and lunch) was the equivalent of less than one meal a day at home. But because on a course one is burning fewer calories than normal, I could really reduce my food intake and I only noticed hunger twice. The other thing, I wasn't consuming energy dense foods like animal protein. diary and chocolate. Fasting is strictly forbidden during a retreat within our tradition and so the amount of food I was taking was noted by kitchen staff and I was asked by the teacher only once whether I could 'eat Myanmar food?'
No specific insight that relates to over-indulging in consumption of food. But certainly, there is greater clarity of seeing vedanas as vedanas and sankharas as sankharas. When one merely observes vedanas for eighteen days following ten days of samatha, one gets a little better at interupting the process of vedanas conditioning craving. In the words of my teacher, vedanas are just impersonal phenomena, arising and passing away. When you have constant clear comprehension of vedanas arising and passing away, you are less beholden to the old habit pattern of reacting with craving and aversion.