my asian dietary teacher remarked that if you eat with fear, along with your food, what you are actually eating is fear. if you eat with love, likewise, what you take in is love.
this reminds me of my gym teacher’s quote, which changed my life in many ways and which i hold close to my heart, “the way you are on the mat is the way you are in life.”
everything we do, every activity we participate in, every person we speak with, we cannot escape the fact of us. if we live in fear, then we work with fear, we speak with fear, we eat with fear. If we live with peace, then we work with peace, we speak with peace, we eat with peace.
the Japanese traditional view of the hara (the stomach) is similar to the western view of the “mind” as being the seat of the soul, the source of life, the center of one’s identity and knowledge. You can see this very clearly in some common Japanese quotes:
• Hara Ga Tatsu (translates to “the abdomen stands up” = to get mad)
• Hara no ookii (translates to “the abdomen is big” = to be generous)
• Hara Gei (translates to Stomach Performance” = to exhibit extraordinary ability)
• Hito no hara wo yomu (translates to ” to read the inside of the abdomen” = to read someone’s mind )
• kare no kuchi to hara ga chigau (“someone’s mouth and abdomen are different” = to say one thing and mean another)
• Hara wo watte hanasu (“split one’s abdomen and talk” = to be frank with a person)
• Hara ga kuroi (“the abdomen is black” = to conceal one’s real intention)
diagnosis in Japanese acupuncture is therefore heavily reliant on hara palpation — you can learn a lot about a person’s overall state of health and the health of their organs by palpating their stomach.
which comes back to the asian dietary theory teacher’s statement on eating fear, a reminder that to respect the stomach is to nourish the heart and to clear the mind.