Today, many people who find their inner balance disturbed by the hectic pace of their lives turn to yoga, Zen, Transcendental Meditation or various relaxation techniques in the hope of regaining their balance and getting back on an even keel. Now, I am not saying that these methods are not good, but I offer a far simpler and more effective exercise, and that is to learn to eat correctly.
In the future, nutrition, eating, will be recognized as one of the best forms of yoga, even though it has never been mentioned before. All the other yogas: Raja yoga, Karma yoga, Hatha yoga, Jnana yoga, Kriya yoga, Agni yoga, they are all magnificent methods, but it takes years of practice to obtain even very meagre results. Whereas with Hrani yoga (that is what I call the yoga of nutrition), results are extremely rapid; it is the easiest and most readily accessible of all yogas, and although it may still be on an unconscious level, every creature under the sun practises it. All the secrets of alchemy and magic are contained in this, the least known and the least understood of yogas.
Nobody has time to pray, read or meditate. All right. But you all have to take a few minutes every day for your meals. Then why not make the most of those few minutes and use them to work at your own perfection, to tune in to the Lord and send him a thought of gratitude and love?
It involves making the effort to eat in silence (not only not to talk but to avoid the slightest noise with your utensils), chewing every mouthful a long time and taking a few deep breaths from time to time. And above all, I ask you to concentrate on the food you are eating and to be grateful to the Lord for all these riches. These seemingly insignificant exercises are actually some of the very best ways of acquiring true self-control. If you can master these lesser things you will be able to master greater things.
So, do you want to develop your intellect? If so, the opportunity is ready and waiting every time you need to handle the objects that are on the table. Try to pick them up and put them down gently, without touching anything else: this is an excellent exercise for the development of attention and foresight. When I see how people knock their knives and forks together or drop them on the floor I can see exactly what their intellectual shortcomings are.
When someone is clumsy in their gestures at table it is a sign that they will blunder seriously in other areas of life as well. It shows that they are lacking in a certain inner quality of attention, and one can see, on a very small scale, how they will behave in the important events of their life. People like this speak and act without thinking, they inconvenience and offend others, and then they have to suffer the consequences for years before they can put things right.
When you are eating, remember to love your food: only then will it open up and give you all its treasures. If you do not love it, it will give you practically nothing: it will lock up its treasures. But if you love it, if you eat with love, then it will open, pour forth its perfumes and give you all its etheric particles. You are used to eating mechanically, without love, simply in order to fill a void. But try to eat with love and you will see what a wonderful state of mind it produces in you.
To be continued…
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov