Consciousness - The Ultimate Digestive Aid PDF Print E-mail
Post by Vaishali   
Monday, 01 February 2010 13:21
Consciousness: The Ultimate Digestive Aid
By Vaishali

Deepak Chopra said it best when he stated that the body is constantly eavesdropping in on what we think about it, and what we are giving our attention to. This only makes sense, since our awareness existed long before we inherited this physical packaging from our parents, and it will exist long after we have outgrown a need for it. Our bodies are inherently neutral. The charge that our consciousness holds, that direction of intention and perspective, will ultimately determine how our bodies respond to every stimulus we encountered, both internally and externally.

All of the internal organs of the body are designed to digest the emotional food of our lives, in the same way that they digest the physical food of our lives. The liver is neutral to traffic, taxes, in-laws and cellulite; but our mind and our thought process, however, are not. Once we focus our awareness on the caustic and abrasive nature of what we label mildly irritating to downright uncontrollably offensive, the emotions of anger, frustration, and rage will move through the nervous system and through the digestive tract. Once this particular emotional food reaches the liver, the liver’s job is to break it down, pull from it what we need, and move the rest out for the identifiable waste that it is. This is accomplished much in the same way that the liver produces bile, stored in the gall bladder, for release in breaking down and digesting lipids and fats. How does the liver know we have swallowed a mouthful of anger? It knows, because like the rest of our body, it is listening to our consciousness. It is following the charge created in the mind.

There is no separation between consciousness and the emotional and physical processes of our lives. With this in mind, a science was developed to successfully balance the execution of our everyday lives. It is called Ayurveda, which literally translates to “the science of everyday life.” And this is why Ayurveda emphasizes establishing routine in our everyday life: to carry out healthy habits with a focus of attention that is most serving to us, without distraction from what keeps us balanced, happy and self-realizing. In the thousands of years the wisdom of Ayurveda has been on the planet, the distractions may have changed, but the message remains the same.

Training the focus of our awareness and flow of consciousness is the entire purpose behind meditation. However the support of this attention discipline should not be limited to our quiet time practice. The benefit of the Ayurvedic routine is that it transforms our everyday life flow into a training ground of refining the movement of consciousness and intention setting. Due to the pervasive nature of our thoughts, Ayurveda suggests a routine of focusing on how grateful we are for our food and how we give our bodies permission to be deeply nourished, strengthened and healed by what we consume. That mindset, the intention that the body is eavesdropping in on, is sustained in every step of that relationship: from the trip to the store where you first see and touch your food, through the preparation process of cleaning, chopping and cooking the food. According to Ayurveda the first step of digestion happens not in the mouth, but when you first see and touch your food, even if it is just looking at a picture of it in a menu or visualizing it. That is why Homer Simpson salivates the minute he thinks about donuts…ummm donuts. In our modern culinary world of freezer to microwave cuisine, we frequently skip this step of pre-programming the body to our highest intention. For most of us the thought of even remotely considering gratitude comes in a flash, just before we devour our food, and is usually distracted by our fixation on the food itself. No wonder we feel no emotional of physiological satisfaction from what we eat. We have not routinely trained the body to expect and to receive that “quality” of food.

Listening to music that inspires and lifts our Spirit while we prepare our meal is a nice routine helper. It supports us in maintaining awareness that whatever we give our attention to while organizing and eating our meal is what we will energetically be consuming with our meal. Avoid watching 24-hour news channels or other related programs that focus on fear-based messages and distract you from feeling safe and nurtured in the present moment.

Raising our digest fire before eating can be very important and essential in giving our body the boost it needs to extract what is most life sustaining from our food. Ayurveda suggests lighting a candle when you are preparing and enjoying your food. When our attention goes out to lighting and watching the fire on the candle, that action triggers the enhancement of our inner digestive fire or agni. Once again, what we are doing with our attention is the magic and power in our lives. Lighting a candle is a simple and lovely way to bring your focus back to the present moment and the action at hand. It is illuminating and warming. Fire is naturally hypnotic as well. That is why we easily find ourselves gazing into a fire whether it is on our stovetop or in the living room fireplace.

Consciousness is eternal. We bring it with us when we come to the Earth, and as a parting gift from Prime Source, we take to with us when we leave. The purpose of life in a body on the Earth is to practice and realize right relationship with consciousness. It is a practice that never goes out of style. It is a relationship that we never outgrow. And, there is no time like the present to make your mind your friend. Your physical and emotional bodies will thank you for it.

For Sidebar:

7 Simple Tips To Improving Digestion

Our digestive system is the cornerstone of all the body’s healthy and strength - emotional, mental, as well as physical. These are simple Ayurvedic tips to optimize your digestive system.

1. Do not eat if you do no feel hungry. Feeling hungry is your body’s way of letting you know that the digestive system is primed and ready to work. Eating when you are not hungry, out of boredom or habit, stresses the digestive system to start working before it is ready to do so.

2. Your digestive fire is similar to any kind of fire. Kindling and stoking it brings the flame higher. The higher the flame the more efficient the process. Have a glass of wine with your meal. Alcohol is extremely fire proving, it is like pouring gas on the fire. Another way is to cut raw ginger root into thin slices, squeeze some lime juice and dust lightly with sea salt. Eat this 10 to 15 minutes before the meal.

3. Cup your two hands together. That unit of measure correlates to the size of your stomach, and how much you should be ingesting at any meal. Optimally we should be filling the stomach as follows: one third is food, one third is liquid and the other third is space. This gives the stomach room for mixing and churning.

4. Wait two and half hours between meals and snacking. Your digestive tract needs about two and half hours to complete a digestive cycle after eating. Consuming foods faster than that stresses the digestive system to begin another cycle before it is ready.

5. Poor food combining causes toxins to build up in the digestive tract. For example, fruits are mostly water and should not be mixed with diary, grains, meat or vegetables. Fruits like strawberries and melons are “eat it alone or leave it alone” fruits. There are more rules for healthy food combining too numerous to list here.

6. Do not consume cold food or beverages. Your stomach is like a pot on the stove. You want it to be hot so it can cook and properly break down the food. Consuming something cold stresses the digestive system to energetically bring up the heat.

7. The digestive system loves soups and stews. When you mix foods and cook them together on your stovetop, that allows the foods to work out their chi or energy differences. It is better to work out that energy battle on your stovetop than in your body.

© Vaishali 2008 Excerpt from “Wisdom Rising” (Purple Haze Press 2008)

About Vaishali:

As on Oprah & Friends XM, Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising (Purple Haze Press 2008) and You Are What You Love (Purple Haze Press 2006). She is also national health & wellness speaker, radio host on KTLK 1150am 11-noon Sundays (greater Los Angeles) and KEST (San Francisco). Vaishali is a certified practitioner of Chinese Medicine and East Indian Ayurveda medicine. Vai-shali is a faculty member of The Omega institute and The Kripalu Center. Her articles have been published in over a hundred publications worldwide. Visit www.purplev.com or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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