Zen Eating & Dieting

Habits good and bad are formed in the subconscious mind, and once established, all habits are extremely powerful and difficult to get rid of. So a person who has a strong habit of over-eating has got into a bad habit and the difficulty getting out of the habit is because it has become subconsciously ingrained.


Hypnosis. 

With hypnosis the idea is to introduce a new, good habit into the subconscious mind that will "over-rule" the bad habit, but if the new habit attempts to get the person to starve (a very unwise way to use hypnosis), the instinct of self-preservation will be triggered and apart from the metabolism slowing down in an attempt to store food, a person may well end up over-eating more than they were before as what happens with many strict diets, which tend t be a form of hypnosis in itself as most other life-learning..

The Way of Zen

zen health and dieting
So being a Zen practitioner and hypnotherapist, I supported my clients with an entirely different approach – the daily practice zazen (a form of sitting Zen meditation), to gain a higher state of awareness using this Zen method not to hypnotise, but to awaken them into a higher state of body and feeling awareness.

First of all it was important to ask if they were willing to commit to the discipline of daily zazen and if so how long. Three months at first would be suggested, but most would continue practising zazen as a daily discipline as a more permanent way of life.

At first it would be somewhat challenging, but then as they grew more adept at sitting zazen, after a period of time, they would extend into the practice ‘eating zazen’ or mindfulness whilst eating and to focus on eating around 80% of what they know they could easily eat – of course ensuring they got enough nutrition from the foods they ate. Then, if still feeling hungry after a meal, to be mindful of that hunger, allowing it be there, fully acknowledged the ‘messages’ the mind was relaying. Not ignoring it or trying to satisfy it with more food, but to observe the feeling until it disappeared as the mind ceased being concerned about food and eating.

In may Zen circles this is a daily way of eating – never eating to full satisfaction but up to around 80% satisfaction.  This is Zen and the way of eating.  Not under-eating as many strict diets would promote, and not overeating.   Not reaching for a goal-weight.

You may notice that Zen in may ways is about negation –  no-thing, no-mind, no-separation, no words, no-self, no hunger, no desire..

This Zen method that I used with my clients were successfully used to encourage healthy eating. Not over-eating or under-eating and having the idea of watching the scales disappear from our day-to-day diet.

Please note: 
With regard to diet it is strongly recommended that you should take the advice of a doctor or specialist (such as that of a qualified dietitian) before embarking on a new diet, especially if you are not of good health. This article is given as general information about the way of Zen and it is not intended as any form of medical advice.  

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