After reading this article, I was inspired to buy the book The Zen of Eating by Ronna Kabatznik. I am really liking it a lot. I’ve been very attracted to Buddhism for a long time and this book just calmed me down and made me feel hopeful. I think that this is going to be very useful for me. A few passages from the book have already made me a little tearful, they resonate so much.
The Buddha defined suffering as a ravenous appetite to find peace and security in places where it can’t be found.
The nourishment that comes from being kind to yourself and to others is the kind of food that stays with you.
Some suffering is inevitable, and some is optional. This is an important distinction. A certain amount of sadness, loss and frustration are built into the framework of being alive. This is inevitable suffering. Optional suffering is within your control: it comes from your reaction to situations, inevitable or otherwise. Optional suffering is what you add on to whatever happens.
It’s good food for thought. (no pun intended) I also just decided to sign up for a beginning meditation class nearby, starting in April. I can’t help but believe that it will help me in this journey.
March 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Wish you well. With this mindset you will find what you have set out to seek in the meditation class.
March 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm
That book sounds really great! Love those quotes!
March 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm
I did meditation for 4 months last year…then life got crazy and I couldn’t make it, but I’m signed up to start again in a couple of weeks. It made such a huge difference for me in so many areas! (physically, it alone dropped my bp by 30 pts! and psychically i just felt so much more centered and tranquil.)
Thanks for blogging about the book…am considering ordering it, too.
March 17, 2009 at 9:34 am
Thanks for the review…I think I’ll pick it up, too!
Here’s my favorite quote from Buddha:
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. ”
March 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm
I have heard these ideas expressed as “stuffing the god-sized hole” with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, material things, vice, vice, vice. It’s a good metaphor I think for understanding how I interact with certain things. Meditation has been helpful for that, but I find I just don’t seem to do it as I should. The motivation part is tough for me. However, I do practice chanting positive mantras while I swim, so I suppose that’s something.
Keep us posted on the class.
March 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm
I like that book too… I found it a good framework to think about my eating/food issues.
And the optional suffering/”you make it what it is” approach was comforting and upsetting at the same time.
March 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm
I like this book a lot.
My one pause: The whole 30-60 minutes a day of sitting meditation being necessary full stop…
Not sure what to do with that. I’ve surprised myself finding time to exercise 300 minutes/week and go to a once/week support group but on top of that to make 210+ minutes for meditation… Only if Grandma moved in to do full time childcare!