DIET [Excerpt from WELL, getting real with mental and physical health]


Let’s look now at diet and health. 

We were talking in a small group recently about binge eating. One of the participants told us their eating pattern was totally out of sync with what they want it to be. They were eating junk food every evening and then were full of self blame which then led to more feelings of hopelessness and more binge eating. 

What to do about that? 

It can look like the way to make the self stable or stop the neediness is through more control of what we’re eating. It can look like the way out is more will power, more discipline, more self. Which is why, when we are sitting there in front of the tv eating the stuff we have promised ourselves we wouldn’t, we can feel so hopeless and full of self hatred. The constant play of the mind ‘Eat it. Eat it. Eat it’ flipping to ‘Why did you eat it? You shouldn’t have eaten it’. 

But equally, we can see how control can easily flip to the other side, for example, the hyper-vigilance that an anorexic person exerts over their diet in an attempt to bring about a sense of stability.

But no-control and control are both only coming from the same conditioned thinking that created this whole confusion in the first place. 

All behaviour - even that which seems very damaging to health is absolutely logical given what is being believed. In fact it is futile to try to change the behaviours because they are the perfect behaviours given what is being understood. 

Peace won’t be found in food or in control.  

Instead, what we can see is that the focus on behaviour and wrong and right, the actions and then the judgement all create an intense busyness of mind. An intensity of ‘selfing’ as Paul Hedderman, a teacher in this understanding, might describe it.  

As anyone who has tried and failed to manage their behaviour will know, this ’selfing’ is a vicious circle. It is impossible to separate out mind, body and self - it is one system.  A vicious circle increasingly out of sync with reality and its natural space of flourishing. Which in turn leads to more self insecurity and to more and more extreme behaviours to try to fix that discomfort. There is no solution here. 

The only portal out of this confusion is the deep enquiry into who or what we are. 

That enquiry will lead to the realisation that there is no possibility of securing this idea of self. It cannot be secured. It is made of thought. 

So all attempt to secure it through diet is absolutely futile. And that starts to shift the understanding of reality. It becomes clear that what is real is this. Just this. What is happening now. Everything else is just imagination. There is increasing response to now. And that is the space in which the body can flourish. It is the space in which the mind can settle because it is not chasing off trying to solve problems of imagination. It is meeting what is real. 

Behaviours such as eating are no longer seen as a solution to the insecure self or as evidence of a good or a bad self or as reward or punishment, distraction or numbing. And instead become just the natural response to the reality of the body. 

There is more integration, more alignment. 

The body is allowed to exist in and respond to reality. 

That is the design of us. That is the sanity of health that is our birth-right. 


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