A UNIVERSAL APPROACH TO NUTRITION

In regards to wellbeing,

Try not to overthink it dear one.

Eat moderately well, most of the time

Exercise some, daily. 

Get your feet onto the earth or better yet, your hands.

Drink water and get enough sleep.

Be in your body as if it were the sacred temple of your soul.

For indeed it is!

Nutrition is an interesting science, there is none other that can irrefutably conclude that one way of eating is ‘better’ over and above another and yet it is clear that in terms of what we eat, when and how; what is supportive for one may be unhelpful for another!

For many, nutrition can fast become a form of ideology exclaiming one dietary approach superior over all others. The extreme, pressing to limit entire food groups in the name of health and whole body harmony.

But how can one exist in harmony when there is an incessant need to adhere to strictly one way of being ? Our lives are cyclical, we are made to change. Evolution is a demand, encoded into our DNA strands and the very premise of sticking to an ‘ideal’ in regards to cellular nourishment, is a binding limitation that keeps us resistant to change. The only certainty in life is change.

STORY MEDICINE.

Once upon a time in a land far far away, the maiden sat silently eating her (lovingly prepared) porridge, curds and whey. Snuggled into her gore-tex coat, she watched as the heavy morning dew settled upon the landscape and listened as the crows called one another to wake.

In a series of moments she’d return to the Meditation hall to sit in stillness for 2 hours more, which would make a total thus far or 4. And yet the day was still only so young..

Hungry for more than her belly could take, she gobbled up all that was on that plate and returned to her cushion upon the cold slate.

Oh how her mind could not placate, unsettled by the heavy sensation of 'too much, misery reigned and the craving to move, to run to be freed of the burden of discomfort ate. But she could not leave.

The commitment was made that come what may, she’d gratefully eat what was given for morning power (only) and sit for 11 hours a day to meditate. But how could she sustain a whole day from such a small morning plate ? Spoiled from a constant livelihood of abundance, her mind only knew the regular intervals of food and in this moment, not what to do !

Belly ached as she sat there that day, unable to move in the dark hall, perceptively still yet struggling to budge the bars from behind closed eyes. The bell chimed, it was time to unwind her legs and take that cloudy mind outside under the blue sky shrine. 

The answer arrived !

“Yes" she thought, “I’ll ask the teacher to recommend the kitchen to adjust the morning offering to a gluten and dairy free option, it will be lighter on my tummy !” 

Elated by the empowerment, our maiden approached the teacher in the quiet hall during the allocated midday meeting time and privately made her sincere request.

The correspondence went a little like this;

The teacher seated quietly upon the podium, asked, “Is your body allergic ?”

“Oh no” the maiden replied, “My body is fine, but I do think that a lighter morning fare will support my digestion and make my meditation easier.”

Teacher says, “Try to observe the sensation.”

Of course, the maiden was me and the setting was my very first silent 10 day Vipassanā Meditation retreat. Kindly, the kitchen staff did offer brown rice to the dharma service the next day yet, I’d been humbled in realisation.

Via direct experience that powerful interaction had taught me this - the body is innocent and the mind is not ! I learned that all sensation passes; aversion causes misery and likewise craving for new sensations, the same.

Indeed this is the core of Gautama the Buddha's teachings of which there was never any ideology about; the one constant in life is impermanence - Anicca - and so to attach oneself to the pleasure or pain of any moment, invites suffering. Be fully present to what is and realise your true nature as free in an through it all. Deepen your spiritual reservoir and the eternal understanding for life - this too shall pass.

IN SUMMARY

Give your mind some time. Time to enjoy what is given and the time to retreat into simplicity, time be in the body to see how magnificently it works to keep you healthy. To see is the foundation to understand. To understand is to provide the possibility of embracing change; a potent teaching for relationship in general !

The beauty of the body-mind relationship, is that for the entirety of life, we have only the one. One to evolve with over time, to deepen as a love affair or not. It is never too late. Often it is better to take a little less onto the plate - both in relation to food and life experience, for in most first world modern day situations there is much to digest and overwhelm breeds toxicity, on every level.

Know that by the simple process of accepting what is and making better choices with the awareness that ‘this too shall pass’; the body naturally detoxes, as does the mind. This is the power of personal retreat and the underlying teaching of Ayurveda - remove all obstacles to the innate power of life-force and healing will naturally arise.

Footnote

Every word written here is from my own direct experience and I deeply honour the embodied, kind, mutually respectful, accessible, authentic and enlivened teachers that have given me guidance along the way - to live fully and centred within expanded capacity.

I offer these writings to you from my heart. There is no dogma, no religious connotations, no suggesting that you ‘should’ be any other way that you already blessedly are - You are perfect exactly how you are and that’s the point ! - Rather a language is given, one that eludes to a pathway that you might enjoy walking for the miracle of You. 

Upon the Yoga mat, we practice to bring strength and flexibility to not only the body, also to witness the nature of the mind. It's enjoyable and it's beautiful. Similarly within the Embody Happy coaching program and the propagation of plant medicine for all. If I can be of service in anyway, please reach out.

Namaste love,

Amber

Tom Derrington