daverupa wrote:One of the benefits I experience from sleeping on the floor is a readiness to wake up in the morning and stretch - filling the space left by a disinclination to remain absorbed in drowsiness.
This is a really good point. Thanks for pointing this out. When you wake up on an overly comfortable bed, you are inclined to indulge in it's pleasure (basically like having sex with it) like "ahhhhhhh" and roll around in it, stuffing your face in the pillow, or comforter, and rubbing your face on the soft sheets; and like you said inclined to oversleep.
I think many people are missing the point of the ascetic practice:
Indulgence in sensual pleasure makes a person weak and more prone to aggravation, anger and discontent.
Dhammapada - Yamakavagga (Dhp 1:7,8):
"He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mâra (the tempter) will certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree.
He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him Mâra will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a rocky mountain."
This is clear to me from observation.
Some other benefits I can think of from eating once a day:
- According to the Buddha, pleasure, and the delight of this world is supposedly what keeps bringing us back to this existence, thus having to experience grief, decay and death over and over again. Eating is indeed one of the great pleasures and delights of this world. So by eating just what is necessary, one is detaching himself from this world.
- One's mind is not constantly preoccupied, thinking "what will I eat?", taking the time to purchase, prepare and eat it (which actually occupies much time and takes much effort), leaving time and energy to pursue other objectives.
A story: I was once out in the mountains backpacking. I was out for a few days and I began to run out of food. Toward the end of the trip, I was enjoying myself so much that I decided to stay a few more days by eating less food. During the last two days, I only had a little oatmeal for the morning. While I felt hunger at certain times, it was not too uncomfortable. What I noticed is that I didn't need to poop so often, and that it was greatly reduced. So what was happening is that my body was completely assimilating all of the food. Considering now, how much the common man poops, it goes to show how much we eat in excess. Also on the last day, I found a blueberry bush. I was astounded to experience how just a handful of blueberries nourished me. It felt like I ate a full meal. So I think when your body is in that state, it is very efficient at processing/utilizing food.