billzword My Natural Health Blog
Blog closed - see Zandtao The purpose of this blog was to discuss developments pertaining to the body - kaya. It was started because I needed to diet for health reasons - explained, developed into a consideration of how to be macrobiotic in Thailand, and then all other aspects to do with my physical health. Now health is incorporated in Zandtao.

Eating in Thailand If you want to contact me, click the quill.


Blog Closed


The Three Humours


Bill Clinton - vegan


Health at a Low




Healing Cancer


85kg Update




Cancer Zandtao et al


Fish Ecology - TED




Food Inc


Calcium Deficiency


Fasting - report back




Revision - new diet


Cancer & cancer-prevention diet


Statistical Experiment concerning macrobiotics and cancer


New Day revisited


Kidney and Liver Chi - Michael Rossoff


GERD on the mend


Meridian Yoga


Spirals of Everlasting Change




Health Platform




My walk




Exercise - Cold and Damp


Amoebic Dyzentery


Parasite Purge - More Changes


Diet Intuition - Role of Meditation




Making my food in Thailand


What is food?


My diet principles


Sorting Out and Perfectionism


GERD revisited


The Politics of Health and Education


The Spectrum of Mind, Energy and Body


Macrocosmic Orbit Meditation


Revising My Daily Eating


Acid-Alkaline Dilemma


Dilemma produces a change


Change vindicated


Cognitive Macrobiotic Development


Trying to understand the self in kaya


Kaya as self


Growing Veg - the beginning


More on the Vegetable Bed


Revisiting the Quack


Colonics et al


Impasse - Evaluating Macrobiotics


Macrobiotic Way of Life in Perspective


Transmutation - the human processor


Chi and Emotions


Using Chilel demises mb further




What is macrobiotic?


Too much yin


My Natural Health blog


Macrobiotic Philosophy


Mb Philosophy Addendum


Beginning of Macrobiotic Blog

inc. Health Background



Understanding Yin-Yang


Food Analysis 18 November


What a good morning for the body!


Even Better Day for Kaya

Beginning of Macrobiotic Blog
Whilst I hope to develop a bank of recipes and sauces, this blog will not be limited to that. I started macrobiotic with the book "The Macrobiotic Way" by Michio Kushi, and in the book is presented a holistic position of development of mind, body and spirit. This isn't where I stand. As a Buddhist it is through insight understanding that we develop. In line with this I have my Nature-Insight blog. This macrobiotic blog is an offshoot because through my understanding I went through a process that has led to my starting an mb diet. I described it as a blog for taking care of the body - kaya. That is because this will also include any developments physically through exercise - including dealing with the energetic body. Here is the link for that - exercise.

What initially made me think that a blog was appropriate was that I am trying to start a macrobiotic diet as a foreign resident in Thailand. Initially this thought horrified me when the doctor first told me I should go on a diet - see health background. I live in a small provincial capital of Thailand. The province has less than 400,000 people, is spread over a distance of 120km, and in English terms the capital would be called a town. This capital does not have a cinema, and two small department stores - no Tesco Lotus for those who know Thailand. I chose to retire at this place because it had a good balance between rural and developed; but that was before I knew I was macrobiotic. When I first arrived I struggled to buy the food I wanted and chose by …. pointing. Now I have to buy for a macrobiotic diet. I have now come to the conclusion that Thailand is a very good place to be macrobiotic and discuss this on my sourcing food page.

I hope to help others in Thailand through this blog with language as well as recipes and sauces, but please begin with the sourcing food page.

Finally I did start this blog with cybermacro but as it developed I decided to host it on my site along with my other blogs. This is the beginning of macrobiotic, part of my journey.

Check these links:-

This is the blog linking to other pages. Check with this blog first for updates.

Health Background

sourcing food.





I came to macrobiotic for health reasons and just after determining the exactness of Nature and Buddhism. For me it is clear that macrobiotic eating is the natural way, although that is a theoretical conclusion (for me) at the moment. Through this blog I hope to insight this theory, and make my understanding real.

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Understanding Yin-Yang
When the doctor put me on the diet he did not mention macrobiotic. When I mentioned to the senior doctor he said you don't have to bother with all the yin-yang stuff. The guy I liked smiled when I said macrobiotic - I guess there is some kind of power play. I have never once considered that I should stick to the old guy's way, and that is Nature telling me to understand yin-yang, what is what.

Here are the principles for understanding as presented George Ohsawa, the guy who formalised the current macrobiotic movement based on years of practice from the Greeks to now as well as obviously in China through the Tao and Confucianism:-

Seven Universal Principles of the Order of the Universe

1. Everything is a differentiation of One Infinity.

2. Everything changes.

3. All antagonisms are complementary.

4. There is nothing identical.

5. What has a front has a back.

6. The bigger the front, the bigger the back.

7. What has a beginning has an end.

Twelve Laws of Change of the Infinite Universe

1. One Infinity manifests itself into complementary and antagonistic tendencies, yin and yang, in its endless change.

2. Yin and yang are manifested continuously from the eternal movement of One Infinite Universe.

3. Yin represents centrifugality*. Yang represents centripetality*. Yin and yang together produce energy and all phenomena.

4. Yin attracts yang. Yang attracts yin.

5. Yin repels yin. Yang repels yang.

6. Yin and yang combined in varying proportions produce different phenomena. The attraction and repulsion among phenomena is proportional to the difference of the yin and yang forces.

7. All phenomena are ephemeral, constantly changing their constitution of yin and yang forces; yin changes into yang, yang changes into yin.

8. Nothing is solely yin or solely yang. Everything is composed of both tendencies in varying degrees.

9. There is nothing neutral. Either yin or yang is in excess in every occurrence.

10. Large yin attracts small yin. Large yang attracts small yang.

11. Extreme yin produces yang, and extreme yang produces yin.

12. All physical manifestations are yang at the centre, and yin at the surface.

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Food Analysis 18 November
Now my body knows that the diet is helping for the moment, but I suspect most of that is because there is no caffeine, no refined sugars nor products, no dairy products, and no msg and preservatives. Yin-yang analysis hasn't kicked in.

But now it starts for yesterday:-


Brown rice (with salt turmeric and miso) (All Yang), pumpkin (Yin), pak kom (Yin), prawn (Yang) (baked with salt (Yang) onion (Yin), garlic(Yin), green pepper (Yin), tomato (Yin) and ginger (Yin)). Although more of the ingredients are yin (just), overall the meal is more yang.

Evening meal

Wholewheat bread (Yang), cucumber (Yin), basil leaves (Yin), tomato (Yin), lettuce (Yin), paupau (Yin), beetroot (Yin), umeboshi dressing (Yin). Definitely a yin meal. For the day overall there is just about balance, maybe an imbalance towards yin, yet it is a hot country. However, I didn't sleep well. Night is yin, evening meal is yin-dominant, is there a connection? Because the day is yang, should the yin meal be during the day? However in truth there hasn't been a problem sleeping with this way of eating before.

It is this type of understanding I am seeking.

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What a good morning for the body!
Woke up at 3.00 am, and I wanted to arch my back. It kind of felt my rib cage had been lifted. In the end it seemed the liver had dropped - 10 points of alignment. Whatever it felt better. Underneath the nodule (?) of the breastplate there is still an awareness that things are not quite right, I associate this place in the body with the oesophagus tract of GORD (English GERD). However I think the reflux is connected with the swollen liver pressuring this valve, and already that is dropping. I am convinced that the diet and yoga will secure that in time - so am less worried about it.

I felt much happier getting down to the yoga this morning despite losing much sleep. There was still shortage of breath but that is because I am out of shape. Between the asanas and gasping for breath!, I thought back over my time since leaving England 15 years ago, and my exercise has been very sporadic except China with all that good cycling and massage. Heat does not encourage exercise - no heat in China, and as it was also in my 40s and with the stress in my 50s it was not a good time for exercise. I thought what I had been doing since retiring was helping but now I know it is not enough - and I must make it enough before it is too late. This morning yoga, Tai Chi warm ups, neck exercises and Chi Gong - over an hour. Must try for that every day.

Salt is a problem. I have always taken extra salt since Africa but it has become a habit. After yesterday's lunch I wanted something sweet. Whether it was psychosomatic or not, I reminded me of David's post that said salt would produce a sugar craving - and I felt like a coffee with sweet milk. Salt is therefore seasonal, and I thought of the other hot country indigenous thing - chillies, that I knew helped. Some salt now when I am not sweating. More salt when sweating and this can be balanced by the mild chillies I can cope with.

I will reduce tomatoes to salads only, and seaweed is now part of the salad. I will only cook with unrefined sesame oil as I can get it. And honey roasted sunflower kernels are an excellent nibble - Eden's.

is very confusing. I am not getting clear answers that I can use so I must just push ahead with my own understanding. How far learning about yinyang is learning what is what I don't know, but it is more than a month since I have been directly spiritual - if there is such a thing.

I would guess a proper understanding of diet can only be judged after a week so I am going to do it for a week and put it online. This is day 2.

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Even Better Day for Kaya
Better sleep, and woke up with no presence near the breast-plate. Did not raise the pillow so am hoping that the reflux has stopped - so long as I don't eat late.

Was still out of breath with the yoga but am holding the asanas longer. There is still stuff in the digestive system that affects the yoga.

Must not give up on the cartilege so Chi Gong.

And I had breakfast. I finished the exercises, was reading Macrobiotic Way and decided to make rice porridge. I wanted something in it and had been planning to make a local sweet called Tao Terng (Tao Tәәng). Decided to mix the two and have come up with my first recipe Khao Klככng Tao Tәәng. A loi, but has been described as baby food.

If I have this then I will have salad at lunch (lighter) and evening meal of rice and veg. Maybe this is better? Maybe not having breakfast was just a bad habit from work?

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Yes I had a warning. I had felt stress growing all day, not unlike stress building up at school - or in the evening after school. Then I dozed early in the evening, and as I lay down to sleep I felt uncomfortable - gave up and watched TV, when the migraine started to kick in. I knew it was telling me that stuff was wrong so I completely gave up, stayed up and watched England throw away the lifeline they were given.

So what does this warning mean? Things are going well, I know that, but don't overdo it - the usual bull at a gate. Food is better, that cannot change - but there will be reactions to it with buried toxins and illness. The exercise is right for everyday - eventually, but at the moment pushing it is part of the reaction.

What else has changed? Increase in email - took up too much time. Whilst it has always been helpful, have to slow it down. understanding is limited, and doesn't have to be known for now - take your time. Pick up bits and bobs. For example right or wrong this feels like to me. Breakfast - muesli or kktt (Yang), lunch - salad (Yin), evening meal - rice and veg (Yang), sleep (yin). That's OK for now. must be one of those things that harmonises over time, it has to be part of Nature but it is not a part of Nature I can know fully now. Learning what is what.

So that last sentence neatly brings me to my work - Buddhist Nature. That has slipped and has been taken over with this pre-occupation with kaya. Whilst Nature brought me to this place, it is now saying the balance is wrong - hence the stress and migraine. It has been over a month since proper Buddhist studies, over a month with limited insights, and whilst introducing mb had to be done it is not the focus of what I am doing. The food, , and all else to do with mb has to be harmonised within Nature.

What's good about this reaction is that today I feel good, none of the appalling residue that usually makes me want to curl up after a migraine. Interesting.

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What is macrobiotic?
The more I read about it the more I am convinced that Trat is a good place for being macrobiotic - but I haven't read much yet. I am also beginning to understand the terse reaction from the senior doctor. The reason revolves around the question, how much was the macrobiotic diet written to compensate for the over-commercialisation of food production?

Throughout the book is the theme that food has moved away from the natural healthy diet of our recent ancestors as a consequence of farming methods. The mass production emphasis of these methods leads to unhealthy food that needs to be compensated for by foods that are not contaminated by the production methods. Let's consider fruit discussed on p 91 The Macrobiotic Way [2004 - 3rd edition]. Locally grown fruits without pesticides are good. Many fruits are frowned upon, such as mango, but it is not clear whether the mango is frowned upon because it is not local. Much of the limitations on choice of fruit don't therefore apply here as the foods are locally grown.

The biggest issue with the standard macrobiotic diet here - geared towards the US particularly and West in general - is sourcing Japanese products or Japanese derivatives. These are umeboshi vinegar or plums, miso, amasake, rice syrup. There are plenty of sesames and oil but no tahini sold. However they do have dtao jeow - fermented soy beans - cheap and in bottles!! Must use this more than miso but have avoided it because I know miso and because it actually has soy beans in it.

So the big problem here is dealing with the Japanese products and then determining whether the local produce is pesticide-free. That means 7.30 at the fruit and veg market, and finding out who does not use pesticides. I have a Thai vegetarian cookbook and must try to use this more.

Sweetstuff - I am using too much honey. If there is fruit in the food, no honey. No honey at breakfast. Add more local fruit if not sweet enough.

Must learn more about the seasons of Thai fruit as kktt used dry fruit but that is not a good idea.

There is a reason I cannot get back to my studies. Now that I have started on a Nature Health diet, my mind and body are not letting go until I have sorted it satisfactorily at this stage. The keynote is local. I have balanced the food in terms of good nutrition (as opposed to ), but in that balance I am still too western. Broccoli is a hard green vegetable of temperate climates, why am I eating it when I can buy excellent local green leafy veg. Only occasionally. Big carrots are the same, especially as I can get nice organic baby carrots. I have not been buying the local gourds (marrow) - except pumpkin. That is the star veg and the long thin marrow Eden lady grew at home. That lettuce she gave me is nice called Dai Dtoo Giao. Why the celery? OK for soups but it is temperate and hard.

Therefore shopping is now :-

Greens - Gwaang Tung, dtua pluu, Ma Feung, long thin marrow thing, or pak kom (like Gwaang Tung)

Veg - baby carrots, raak bua (lotus root), fak tככng, sometimes baby corn.

Salad Greens - Hoo ra paa (basil leaves), Dai Dtoo Giao, cucumber

Tomatoes and beetroot

And seaweed!

Thai shopping list to follow.

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Too much yin
There is too much yin in and around me. I felt this after my lunch yesterday and woke up thinking this as well as being aware of this during meditation. So I am still fine-tuning the diet although I did begin some study yesterday.

Kktt has too much yin, increase the proportion of rice in it - muesli ok. Have fruit with lunch or early afternoon as well as the drinks, avoid fruit (drinks included) in the evening - bread as snack. Green tea - those bancha-type in the evening. Can increase the fruit when the weather warms up.

Have discovered the non-pesticide farm is 7km away so when I make contact I will ride to them for my food.

Weird dream - Frankensteinian. Body incisions. Making a new body, and someone else tried the same and couldn't show the face of the woman. Not a full recollection - not bothered.

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My Natural Health Blog
More and more I am understanding the Natural Health Centre's senior doctor's terseness at my being proud of buying the macrobiotic book, but the book has been an excellent foil to determine where I move with the food so it has been useful. As a consequence of that understanding I have changed the name of the blog to My Natural Health blog.

The Macrobiotic Way excellently describes what needs to be done with food to counter what is effectively profiteering. I have no reason to disbelieve this but Kushi asserts that man was not a hunter and that his means of survival was not a club to beat animals ten times his size. The food that was available was all around, and a wise survivor like man would choose that rather than facing a dinosaur. To eat naturally is to eat food that is around - locally-grown food. The food needs to be prepared in a natural way. This does not mean go out and gather wood for a fire but it does mean not using products that man has refined for profit and convenience.

Nature is seasonal, and foods change with the seasons. So should the diet. Not just occasionally eating fruit of the season but what we eat should be governed by what can be grown. In Thailand there are seasonal fruit and vegetables but for me it doesn't really matter as I must eat what I can buy.

But just going to the market is not enough. Profit has got into the market as well, and land-connected farmers regretfully are forced to use pesticide to get into the loop - the distribution networks of agribusiness. It is therefore necessary to get outside the loop, and source food that does not have pesticides - and I think I have found that - the old lady of pak suan krua, the teacher in Taphrik, and Eden's more commercial organic food. Maybe I will climb over the fence and cut the roots the Khmen cut?

But The Macrobiotic Way is written for the West - unless it is subversive Japanese colonialism. Because it is a diet started by a Japanese man, it will have his emphasis - it will contain foods and techniques he knows. And whilst these techniques are natural in Japan they are not necessarily natural in the UK. But what they are is natural in the sense of not using foods created for profit. But why go Japanese if the preparation and food that you eat is natural? In a sense being macrobiotic in Thailand is exporting a solution to western problems to Thailand where the problems don't exist in the same way. What is necessary is to understand how Thailand's profiteering affects food and deal with that.

That is not to say I am not macrobiotic, I would say that I am, but I am unable to use the recipes designed for a western macrobiotic market. Those recipes require Japanese produce that I cannot access but whose distribution is available in the west, but there is an obvious anomaly - why when eating locally-grown food are you using Japanese imported products?

is important. This I have partially covered by being seasonal but only partially. I have partially covered it by recognising a daily yy) cycle but again only partially, there is much more to do. But it is not urgent, it just fits in with my mind integrating the body. That has been predominantly done, and I have to move forward with the real learning of what is what.

Fish are local but I don't understand the health hazards with the farming methods, maybe trying to source naturally caught fish would be good. But what do I mean by naturally-caught fish? However now that I have moved into consideration of diet I don't want to eat meat or fish unless I have to; my diet should compensate especially the seaweed dealing with B12.

I have no desire to compete with the tastes that processed foods can produce, I cannot. My taste buds have to alter so that I am happy eating the foods I cook. Healthy eating does not compete with the taste of a chocolate cake.

To be done:- sourcing fruit saan pit and improving the recipes. But in truth I am not too worried about that. Pickling sounds good so finding out how to pickle local foods sounds interesting. I need to watch how I feel through the seasons and alter the diet accordingly. Adjusting salt and chilli is one thing I am aware of but perhaps there is more. I can examine the Thai vegetarian cookbook for more recipes, and use it to consider food combinations I like.

BUT this attachment to food has to finish. Whilst there is still much to learn it is not a priority, it is time to incorporate it into my lifestyle and move on to what is what.

My exercise is not balanced - why?

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Macrobiotic Philosophy
This is an exploration of macrobiotic philosophy as I had been concerned about practice. I turned to Buddhism as a religion for peace, and have no doubts at all that the practice of meditation is important for controlling the aggressive egotism of miseducated minds - being a clear source of that which is not peaceful. Therefore understanding mind in macrobiotic philosophy was essential for me.

Is there a need for mental discipline, a need for discipline that is common amongst the type of Christian whose theoretical morality is strong but whose practice is weak? This type of Christian discipline is characterised by a lack of integration between body and mind, and I now characterise that as being a lack of using any mechanism for creating that integration. And the most obvious tool for such integration is meditation, although Nature can give you that integration if you truly live close to Nature.

So premised on this observation that there is a lack of integration I sought an understanding of this, and that understanding became clearer when Phiya Kushi, son of Michio Kushi, quoted his father thus:-

"First there is a "pre-mind" that is like an image which forms into our "spiritual" or invisible body. That is like the blue-print of our chakras and acupuncture meridians. This spiritual body is our mind but it is without "thoughts", as we would normally describe "thoughts" to be. This spiritual body then manifests itself through food and then becomes the real body and the real physical mind and brain then has thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs and so on and makes each of us unique. Changing these relative thoughts and belief systems, without changing food and actions, cannot alter our destiny or make us healthier because these thoughts are themselves the result of the food we ate."

The spiritual body manifests itself through food. Whilst after birth the physical body develops through food is undoubtedly true, for me it is a big leap to then claim that thoughts, beliefs, desires follow from this. The physical body clearly functions within all these processes but to claim such a complete causal relationship is difficult for me.

Let me try to compare as macrobiotic philosophy and Eastern religions clearly have a similar root-base. But what is this pre-mind as related to the spiritual body? It is not too far away from Kamma. Kamma's blueprint is what keeps us in samsara, keeps us reincarnating. Within that Kammic blueprint is mind-body that reincarnates and improves depending on whether our intentions and then actions merit it. Is the intention to ingest particular foods such a powerful force that it is the same as this kamma? It appears too accidental, it could be but there is such a lack of intention that I have great doubt. Choosing to ingest certain foods could be a reflection of intention but it doesn't feel right.

There are clear counterpoints to this as there are so many examples in which mind controls matter. Consider the monks and the alms round. The monks carry their bowl, the people gratefully give food, gracefully received, and the monks consume. They are healthy often citing examples where through meditation they have overcome physical weakness, yet there is not conscious intention in their food, no diet that is followed. Whilst I am sure there are more examples that one is enough for me.

Whilst proper natural food can develop a healthy body, I cannot accept that the food then develops a healthy mind. This brings me to the mind-body continuum. This is essential to accept that food can direct - food precedes thought. But why is that precession only one-way? The thread on food and thought developed from a discussion on positive thinking, thought can impact on the body. There is so much evidence for this that it seems irrefutable that the process cannot be two-way.

"Changing our thoughts without changing food and action cannot alter our destiny or make us healthier because these thoughts are themselves the result of the food we ate." I think there is strong evidence that improving the way we eat improves the state of our body and our minds become healthier and respond with a greater freedom. But it is then a jump to claim that thought cannot change without changing food. In my own case my thoughts were changed through meditation, and meditation in the end led to my changing food. Isn't this too much of a leap of faith?

"My understanding of the interface between belief and habit is that when we shift our thinking so that we are flowing with life in minimal resistance and great allowing, we naturally attract more health-sustaining activities." I think this is more consistent with how I have described the mind-body continuum than the spiritual body manifesting through food.

I know little of , but find it easy to accept that these are forces at play in our lives, these are forces at play inside and outside of our mind-body continuum. Understanding in terms of diet and personally does not require that the pre-mind and spiritual body is manifested through food.

Macrobiotic philosophy is not good for the western mind, and understandably so when you consider that it is based in eastern religion. This in itself also presents a problem to me, what Eastern religion? Whilst I can fully accept that an Eastern religion would want to look after the body by eating naturally, to then extend that to the spiritual body being manifest through food does that have an origin in an established Eastern religion? I would be interested in a reference on this.

Why is it not good for the western mind? Because there is no inherent mental discipline, the mental discipline comes from eating healthy food. Now maybe the preparation, the detail, the understanding of , all lead to a naturally healthy approach to life - and as such it is a Natural way, but what happens when people fall short? What is there to bring them back in line? Guilt. It is the same moral issue as western religion. If it is only that people should behave like this, then people don't do it. Religion has an extra tool as there is usually punishment attached to it - heaven-hell, and maybe the punishment of an unhealthy body is the macrobiotic guiding line, but it is just too tenuous.

So what about meditation? Now clearly that can provide the mind-body integration and the Nature-mind-body connection but where does that fit into macrobiotic philosophy? There appears little emphasis on meditation as a practice although empty mind is a recognised state. (Clarified a bit in next blog entry.) Further meditation is better done on an empty stomach is something that I have certainly found - comparing morning and evening practice. Ascetics certainly believe that but I personally cannot draw a great correlation between empty stomach and mind.

It was asked "Could acupuncture, shiatsu, chakra work, etc. affect the blueprint upon which it is patterned?" Chakras and meridians form part of the spirit body that is activated by the pre-mind and then manifests through food. That is new and more than helpful because I can recognise where that part of the body in the mind-body continuum comes from.

"At the level of the "pre-mind" or spiritual body there is a sense that everything is "one"; that "we" are all connected to each other and are one with the universe because, in actuality, it is that way." ….

"Ultimately our destiny is to return to infinity or the oneness. This is true for all us. To return to our "pre-mind" spirit and back to the oneness of infinity."

I note the two-stage process here - to return to "pre-mind" and then to the oneness of infinity. This is not inconsistent with Kammic consciousness and it could be that at the end of life we return to our Kamma whose blueprint has been altered for next time round - I don't know about this - need to study Kamma.

What I have difficulty with are the leaps of faith about food and its preceding of thought, and the lack of meditation to integrate Nature-mind-body. But there is a description of what mind ([*]) does that I need to consider:-

"Basically our mind (and I don't mean "pre-mind" here) does only two things: it divides and it puts things together. Another way of saying this is that it distinguishes things and it associates things. When we open our eyes for the first time as a newborn we see light, but then we start distinguish light and darkness; then various shades of lightness and darkness, and then colors and movements and so on. At this point we don't have words for them but we do see and can distinguish the differences. Likewise with sounds and all of the other things that come to us through our senses. As this point everything is new and we are just having a wonderful time experiencing all these new distinctions. But then we start to notice patterns and in noticing patterns, all we are doing is making associations with the things we saw or experienced before to things we experience in the moment. Furthermore we notice groups of patterns and so on. This in essence, is all our mind does and nothing more."

So this is the crux of the matter - definition of mind. Accordoing to macrobiotic philosophy is all that mind does associate and distinguish? (No, see [*]) What about intention? Creativity? "we also chose to incarnate ourselves here and to enjoy the struggles of our life and living in our specific bodies on this earth and in that framework there are different levels of fates and destinies and free will. I have a certain amount of free will and can control my destiny up to a certain point. The earth and solar system has its own destiny and regardless of what I do whatever destiny it has is one that I must follow."

Here he discusses choice saying we have a limited amount of free will. It cannot be mind as mind is functioning through language - dividing and associating. It would imply that intention is part of the pre-mind, in my terms associated with Kamma consciousness.

That then just leaves intuition and insight. Phiya said that he didn't understand intuition but perhaps he wouldn't if it wasn't associated with meditation. He suggested innateness but wasn't confident.

This leaves a number of issues sorted:-

A macrobiotic diet is a natural diet, and can only be praised and encouraged. Such a natural diet is based on local organically-grown produce without any form of additive etc.

Macrobiotic philosophy describes human birth as having a pre-mind in a spirit body (of chakras and meridians) that through food develops mind with thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs etc. The philosophy claims one infinity, and that humans return to that infinity. I don't accept this emphasis on food.

Macrobiotic philosophy doesn't talk about meditation and sees the functioning of mind as a consequence of food intake. Again I cannot accept this because it allows for disordered mind - a lack of integration between mind and body (see [*]. On the same theme of meditation it does not incorporate insight understanding.

[*] A response is discussed in the next blog-entry

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Mb Philosophy Addendum
I was able to get a little more info that has helped with some of the stumbling blocks.

"The purpose to meditate is to re-center ourselves, or to reconnect with this "pre-mind " or state of oneness with everything and by doing so, helps one to stay fairly balanced, or at least able to identify when one has excess or has been excessive, thus able to rectify it.".

If this excess did not refer to food I would have complete agreement with this as an appropriate definition. There appears to be a source book:-

"There are many styles and techniques offered by a variety of eastern (and western) disciplines. Some meditation practices are available in Michio's book, "The Do-In Way" (Square One Publishers)."

I am not sure I would read the book as I am sure Buddhist meditation when combined with Buddhist psychology and philosophy is sufficient for me but it might be interesting for comparison. In addition Phiya discusses a food methodology:-

"However for purposes for accessing "pre-mind" I think that probably the best way to do this is to fast or eat minimally for a period, and spend time in nature sitting quietly in a meditative posture. "

Interestingly he says:-

"I think the distractions of an urban lifestyle make it extremely difficult to be able to sit quietly, reflectively and with an open/empty mind."

As for intention it appears to have an equivalent function:-

"Each choice we make determines the next set of choices available to us and is initially based on the choice to make a choice or to not. Regardless of what choices we make in life, it is based on the original image (or choice) of the "pre-mind" to incarnate here and to choose life, as we know it and experience it and we can't go back. It is like we chose to get on a bus heading in a certain direction and while we may be able to influence where the eventually bus goes, when it makes stops and even when we get off it, we can't stop it from moving forward, because it was a choice that we had already made as "pre-mind"."

This is an initial choice to incarnate through the pre-mind, what I called Kammic consciousness yesterday. Once the Kammic blueprint has chosen then we have life choices based on that blueprint, so that must be a function of mind - although this has not been specifically stated.

"Each choice we make is also fractal in nature."

How important is this fractal stuff?

"I am still uncertain what intuition really is and what you say sounds reasonable in that it is a re-connecting with this "pre-mind."

He accepts a reconnection with the pre-mind. With a bit of meditation he might consider it Insight Meditation where through meditation mind-body connects to the pre-mind connecting to the Tao or infinity or Nothingness or Nature.

Ultimately I have no incompatibilities with macrobiotic philosophy except for the emphasis on food manifesting mind. Whatever the Do-In way of meditation is, practicing Vipassana can't be inconsistent. Do means discipline means practice, maybe I could describe myself as following a macrobiotic way of life with an emphasis on Vipassana.

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Cognitive Macrobiotic Development
It is first necessary to model what is developing within the mind-body continuum. Before manifestation there is the pre-mind or Kammic consciousness, and associated with this consciousness is an unformed spirit body, based on chakras and meridians. The term spirit has so many confusing connotations, so to avoid a terminological issue I will call this the Qi body. At some stage mind develops, and below is Encarta's description of Piaget's 4 stages of mental; development:-

In the sensorimotor stage, occurring from birth to age 2, the child is concerned with gaining motor control and learning about physical objects. In the preoperational stage, from ages 2 to 7, the child is preoccupied with verbal skills. At this point the child can name objects and reason intuitively. In the concrete operational stage, from ages 7 to 12, the child begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships. Finally, in the formal operational stage, ages 12 to 15, the child begins to reason logically and systematically.

In this discussion I will discuss the mind-body continuum as consisting of 3 elements, the physical body, the Qi body and the mind.

Throughout childhood the individual, consisting of Kammic consciousness and the mind-body continuum, develops through food and parental care. At this stage I have no issues with food preceding thought, and it is equally important to understand that in childhood the mind has not formed and therefore it is up to the parents to ensure that the child eats well in order for food to develop the optimum individual. As the children do not understand it is up to the parents to ensure proper development, and this is yet another reason why the development practices in the West where children make decisions without developed minds is just so unnatural.

Equally in childhood the Qi body develops again through the proper ingestion of food and physical development - exercise. It would be interesting to consider how Japanese and Chinese education trains the Qi body in order to consider what would be good education practice in these terms.

As to mental development, discussed in Matriellez' blog and throughout in the ideology of Matriellez' ecosophy schools, minds are trained in schools but when they become adult functioning minds is difficult to decide - differs with individuals. It has to be recognised that minds are not fully developed in schools, and therefore it is necessary to be careful when to allow adult decision-making when clearly the physical and Qi bodies are in ascendancy.

At some stage the physical body is considered to be adult, and concomitant with this is a recognition of adulthood in the Qi body and mind, although why that is the case has no basis in reason. Given this however, we reach a stage where the 3 elements are considered adult, and we therefore need to consider what could crassly be called adult maintenance:-

Now the physical body needs good food - the Natural Macrobiotic Diet, and it needs exercise.

The Qi body needs energetic development and development of the chakras. In terms of energetic development and the body's exercise, this development can be fulfilled with Tai Chi or yoga, or other martial arts which fulfil the same purpose. Yoga helps the energetic body but perhaps specific energetic exercises such as Qi Gung should added to a yoga routine. Chakra development can be fulfilled through chakra meditation - see this page for a description of a chakra meditation.

The mind cannot function well unless it is clear. Is the mind cleared just through eating of good food? The mind needs meditation to maintain its natural clear state, rather than the confusing swirling state of most people's spinning minds.

Integrating the continuum. The 3 elements of the mind-body need to be integrated to function with the one purpose of returning to the oneness. This involves the two stage process of uniting with the Kammic consciousness and then with the Oneness of Nature. In the last blog entry I referred to the Do-In book that describes meditation the macrobiotic way. I don't know this meditation but am happy with the notion that Vipassana fits the bill.

In conclusion I can accept that food precedes thought in childhood, but once adulthood has been reached a different stage of development has been reached. At those stages it is perhaps better to introduce exercise that develops the physical and Qi body such as Tai Chi or Yoga with Qi Gung. Chakra meditation can develop the chakras, and then Vipassana for dealing with mind, integration and returning to the Oneness of Nature.

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Trying to understand the self in kaya

Basically I don't.

This blog started with consideration of a macrobiotic discussion. Why are some foods that are addictive - evidently bad for you, coming under a category "there are no good or bad foods, depends on a person's health, needs and attitude". I gave up trying to fathom this because I don't trust they are on the right path. It appeared to me that there was an element of the addicted self in this. It struck me that for many of my macrobiotic contacts the purpose of a macrobiotic diet is to improve their health and not unite with the infinite self. If unity is not the purpose then such people are stuck in self, however much food can change attitude.

So with my continued discussion of health how much am I stuck in self? At the back of my mind is that the monks don't worry about diet - although Ajaan Munindo did. At the moment I put that aside as a kind of super-meditation overcomes all, and I am not practising super-meditation with the small amount of time that I meditate. Yet at the same time I have questions about health as I recall health issues a number of times with stories from monks.

Now clearly my body has had minor health issues, the question is whether I am pre-occupied with those issues. In meditation I have recognised self in those areas of the body that are exhibiting sickness - my digestive system and my back. Next time I must check for self in the left knee and right arm and shoulder. Are these selves connected to my clinging?

How much should I be concerned with health? Am I clinging to a health that I cannot have because I am ageing? Or am I still trying to determine a healthy way of life, after years of poor lifestyle due to work, so that I can study effectively? The answer is that there is self present so somehow I am not clear. ..... Still not clear.

OK the body must be taken care of. That means eating properly, exercising the physical and energetic body - yoga and Tai Chi. Paying attention to the chakras is part of maintaining a healthy energetic body. The problem is paying attention to the body beyond the above requirements. The above requisite human practices need to be given their proper importance but that is not to be pre-occupied with them. How much time is being spent learning what is what? Beyond requirement how much is there thinking concerning the body? These are the questions, and the answer is simple - the balance is wrong - a definite indication of self. Recognise the time for the requirements, and then get back to the job - learning what is what. And at the moment learning what is what is on anatta. So self is being removed from the body as part of an understanding of anatta (good sign) - but wore work on letting go of self in the body needs doing as of course the need to understand anatta.

Theme - anatta, health
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Kaya as self [1]
Kaya had been improving with yoga and Tai Chi, and then I stopped because of the GORD. I had been concerned that whatever had caused the reflux initially was not being given a chance to heal with the stretches that yoga did. At that time I did not understand the self principle:-

Give self an inch and it will take a mile so long as self does not encroach on established Path.

I stopped all exercise, including the Tai Chi.

For the last few days I had been thinking of starting exercise again, and did so this morning. I discovered that the shoulder/arm problem was being helped by yoga and now I couldn't do the postures with the arm. Yet before I stopped yoga I had the shoulder/arm problem, and only had minor difficulties with the arm in postures.

Kaya has its own self and is adopting the same approach as the above principle. Kaya needs to be in tune, that is the Natural way. Whilst it might have been correct to ease the pressure on the liver-oesophagus interface that was yielding the reflux, awareness should have seen the danger that self would intercede and make matters worse by detuning the body. The body in tune is part of Nature and is therefore part of the Path - self don't encroach.

[1] This entry is also included in my Nature Insight blog. Recently I have discussed self greatly in this blog but I should try to explain a little here. Anatta, No-self, is a central concept in Buddhism. Self-realisation is a commonly accepted ideal but in Buddhism it means realising what the self is and letting it go. Self is formed through clinging to desire, and accumulation of selves leads to dukkha - suffering in the world and for ourselves. Getting in tune with Nature - the Natural Path - means removing these selves so that there is No-self and our life is in tune.

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Growing Veg - the beginning
Well I have taken the plunge and decided to grow some veg - a good retired thing to do. Initially I thought of doing the hydroponics like Tapik - where I buy lettuce and leaf veg. But then I noticed the Khmen grew veg in raised beds so I thought about that. So I mmmed and agghed about getting two of these one for root veg and one for veg above ground. In the end I decided to try one and went for the root veg.

My neighbour is a gardener and builds with wood so I drew up several plans and then eventually gave him one. And he came up with this veg bed:-

The veg bed (pix) is very strong, very sturdy, and is what I was looking for, however - and here's the rub .... it's the wrong size. I drew him the plan, and although I can't draw I am quite good with 3-D having taught it for years. I marked on the measurements - more than is necessary. The bed I drew was 2m x 1.5m x 30cm, what I have ended up with is 1.8m x 1m x 30cm!!! I agreed to drop from 2m to 1.8m but 1m? I couldn't complain. It was made, what would he do with it? And he's so helpful - and a neighbour!!

I had drawn up a plan of my veg plot, and that has to all change now - no big thing. But it doesn't matter.

Then we had a problem discussing the cover. I thought it was a clear plastic sheet, and I didn't know how it was fixed. Then my cleaner told me to use salaen, I hadn't heard of it and it wasn't in the dictionary. So the cleaner went home and brought me back a sample. It's a black mesh thing. I had no idea how to fix it and was wondering what to do, and I couldn't get myself understood. At the same time I offered the neighbour money, and was wondering why he hadn't taken it. Then I realised he hadn't finished. I must go and buy 10m of this salaen, and he will fix it up. He also told me to buy 20 packs of din (earth) and 5 packs of kii-waa - whatever that is. Confused, of course not.

Then I started talking with the guy about the plans themselves, I say talking as I don't understand more than half of what he says. He works as a gardener as well as doing oddjobs. So he tells me that my ideas were all wrong. I thought you planted tomato seeds and then transferred them into the bed. NO. Put the seeds in big pots, and let them grow!!! Same with cucumber. Well the first ones will be transferred as I had already put the seeds in trays. I had also put chilli seeds in a pot - maybe that will have top change. Lettuce and Gwang Tung - Thai cabbage go in long thin trays, so my veg bed is now just for carrots and pak choi. Maybe I will buy something else - they didn't have onion seeds.

So it's all change.

I had planned the layout of the veg when I would change seeds etc. All out the window. This is much fun eh? The bed is not the bed I wanted. In Thailand the veg are not grown the way I had thought, seeds transferred to beds. I am not going to grow the veg I thought in the bed that is the wrong size, and I will have to get pots instead. It looks like I have bought the bed to grow carrots!! Mind you it's only costing me £35!!

Grow my own veg indeed.

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More on the Vegetable Bed
We left it yesterday that I was to buy some mesh to cover over the bed today - when it cooled down in the late afternoon. 11.00am the guy comes. He tells me that the 5 ki-waa, he asked me to buy, were too small. He also wants to work on the covering at this time. So I get on the motor-bike and bomb off to the garden shop - everything has to be done now now here. I buy 5 large bags for this afternoon and buy the mesh.

I get back with the mesh, and he wanted 10m x 1m - I had 10m x 2m. He then tells me he only wanted two of the large bags of Ki-Waa - as the veg bed is already full with the 20 bags of earth I'm not surprised. So wasted money - not expensive.

It reminded me of working with these guys in schools. The local guys could never get things done in the schools. Mostly they were scared to put their head above the parapet so the white guy did it - he could be shot down. These local guys would try to push you this way and that, and I learnt to cope with it. I always had control there as it was my head above the parapet, I had a position, so they would push me but I was only pushed when I was ready.

Here it is different. I am controlling as I am employing them, but I don't know what they are doing. They are in control here, this is the problem. I don't know what it is that I am buying and what it is they are trying to do. They wouldn't make the mistakes if it was their money, and they would blame me if it goes wrong. I should have known, I should have understood.

Still none of this is malicious. There is no-one trying to climb on my back to make a buck. I pushed he guy into giving me an estimate, and he begrudgingly said about 2000 Baht. I then asked him to put on a cover costing him more wood, and then his time to fix up the mesh. I asked him how much, and he said 1800 - I gave him the 2000 Baht; less than two hours work when I was teaching. True they were messing me around but the job is getting done cheaply, and maybe they weren't messing me around by their terms - just planning and language. I remember when they made my porch. The guy said buy A, B and C. So I went with him to the shop and bought A, B and C. Then they wanted D and E, and held their hands out for more money. And again. Still the porch is fine and it was not expensive. But I have two solid bags of cement lying around the place.

I will put a photo up here:-

I think I would go spare if I was trying to build a house for my retirement dreams - as many are here. I think if I did ask someone to do it, I would find the best company of local repute not for Farangs. Tell them to do it, and go away for 6 months so that I wouldn't feel the stress - and pay for repairs when I come back. Or buy one ready-made.

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Revisiting the quack

I was up in Bangkok so I revisited the Doctor at the medical centre. To be honest I wasn't sure what would be the outcome but I wanted to discuss with him my progress. Firstly I was pleasantly surprised, I had lost 10kg in 5 months - get me on Oprah. I knew my shape had improved a bit but losing 10 kg is good news. It also meant I didn't have to convince him I had followed the diet.

I explained how I had started the ginger compress, that the GERD had gone away but that I felt I had liver problems - minor symptoms. He then told me his 5-point plan:-

10-day fasting The diet Colon irrigation Yoga/Qi gung Meditation When you put those last two in, how can I possibly dispute the value of his approach?

He wanted me to do two things. Fruit fasting once a week - only eat one fruit (papaya, watermelon and apple) followed the next morning by lemon water - 1.5l of water, juice of 4 lemons and 3 tsp of sea salt; drink within 15 mins and then go to the toilet before eating. This does not sound at al macrobiotic but I intend doing it as what the guy has said has worked for me.

(Caution:- I have not been too graphic in the following description but some might not approve.)

And the second was colon irrigation. I had often contemplated I needed colon irrigation, and I was happy to do the first under supervision - I thought. Then as the time grew nearer I went into a kind of unknown blankness. I am not good with the unknown, and here I was waiting for colon irrigation. They gave me 5 turmeric pills and a ginseng tablet to be taken beforehand. Then I was taken to this room. There was this bed with a toilet in the middle. Nurse Suai took me in, her English was minimal but there was a gown. So I got undressed, put on the gown, and sat awkwardly on the bed. She knocked and came in. She gave me a laminated paper with colon irrigation instructions that I read. Then she prepared the beaker with the rubber tubing attached filing it with 700 ml of lukewarm coffee. I lay down and she proceeded to insert the tube up my backside, occasionally pushing. For me the whole scene was embarrassing but the suai must have done many - the clinic advertised it. After a while the coffee must have entered, she removed the tubing and left.

I turned on my right side as required and tried to keep the coffee in. After 3 minutes a major stomach cramp and was forced to release a bit. I couldn't last 10 minutes and was forced to release the rest. Definitely not something to do whilst watching TV!! I then couldn't turn on the water-cleaner. There was a knob at the wall as well as the jet itself. I tried turning the knob at the wall but couldn't move it. I thought there must be something else - I was forced to call Nurse Suai. There I was sitting on a full toilet covered with a sheet having to call the nurse - so embarrassing. She apologised for not turning the knob on embarrassing me even more by turning it on easily, and left. I cleaned up the best I could and left, the poor thing had to go in afterwards and tidy up - what a job! Anyway she waied deeply when I left.

I have to do this weekly for 3 months, and if OK then every two weeks. I hope after a while that the spasms will disappear.

In truth despite the embarrassment it is something I am so glad I have done, and would recommend anyone doing. If there are any knock-on effects I will come back and amend this. So natural health rolls on - I feel good. I already feel that the colon has been unblocked a bit, and yet with the diet it had been functioning well.

Theme - Colonics
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Colonics et al
I have come to a resolution on this and the fasting and woke up feeling much better. I have decided that overall the process has been beneficial, and I am glad I did it; unfortunately I now have no doctor.

For a long time the thought of a colonic was with me; I have known that there has been digestive stuff to deal with. For a number of years towards the end of teaching it felt as if I had virus-in-residence that kept coming up whenever I felt stressed. After the first colonic I got the flu, not debilitating as at work where the body's stress wanted me to be bed-ridden, but the first since I retired. The colonic got that out - hence the pain and violence. For a few days I was also passing a lot of clear water, and visibly lost volume - part of my tyre, and that is good. The second one felt good at the time, but left me listless. My lack of listlessness this morning is a confirmation that the decision is right.

So I have learnt that a colonic is a dangerous but useful tool for me. It is useful because if there is something that is blocking down there. But it is dangerous because it is so unnatural and drains energy from my body. It also deregulates my bowels, and that is not a good sign. In no way is that a weekly process. I was happy not to change my diet but would have changed if I believed in it. Now I don't.

First Gee mentioned the bacteria, and then Elle said

"This is tricky stuff. Both the small intestine and the colon contain bacteria, but of different types and in different concentrations: Small intestine contains less than 10,000 bacteria/ml of fluid (lactics, enterics, enterococci, bifidobacteria). More than 1,000,000 bacteria/ml in the colon - bacteroides, lactics, enterics, enterococci, clostridia, methanogens. Different types, different concentrations. The small intestine does a series of jobs. The colon does "other stuff." The small intestine and the colon and their inhabitants are not interchangeable. But what you "do" to one will affect the other.

What do the bacteria in the colon do? Why are there so many? What happens when you "cleanse" your colon?"

I cannot possibly answer these questions, and don't want to know how to answer them - take too much study. But I do need a position. Quite clearly for me it is dangerous to empty the stuff out. Whilst it gets rid of bad it gets rid of good and leaves me listless. Nature has its balance, let Her do her work.

It reminds me of the propensity of unnaturalness amongst the educated oriental - man over Nature. Dr Wang burnt that huge amount of wood because he could, creating fire for fire's sake, control over Nature, despite my limited protestations. The doctor is emptying out the system on a weekly basis, colonic and fasting, and replacing it with good food. Where is Nature in this? Where is the acceptance that Nature has already provided mechanisms to deal with this? And of course colonics will keep the suais thin!

As a final thought what about the correction of symptoms? My liver is still out of sync, surprise? And I still think that there is stuff in the colon. But the diet is only 5 months. Give it a year and re-evaluate. Top-down correction is interesting here, and maybe the planned trip to that Thai traditional doctor after the year is still on the cards.

There are amendments to the diet. Look more into pickling. Have tried to make lotus root pickles, and maybe sauerkraut if I can find a way of making it.

Theme - Colonics
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Impasse - Evaluating Macrobiotics
This is a Nature Health blog. It started because the doctor told me I must start a diet, and my nearest understanding of this diet was macrobiotics. There are certain principles in the macrobiotic diet which I now understand as being similar to the doctor diet. These are local, natural foods with no additives and stimulants. I have been following this and my health and physique has improved greatly but still a way to go.

Macrobiotics is more than a diet it is a way of life, and here is where I have major differences. I have tried through the forums to resolve those differences, and today I understood I cannot. As a lifestyle macrobiotics cannot be for me. When it comes down to it the analysis shows minimal difference, but this apparent minimal difference means that following a macrobiotic lifestyle will hinder my journey. However the macrobiotic diet and my term "natural health diet" are synonymous.

Firstly I have to say that the people in the forums have been extremely helpful, and they have an awful lot more to offer me, but what is clear is that if I continue to try to attempt to fit into a macrobiotic lifestyle I will be restricting. We all have mindsets and there is a macrobiotic lifestyle mindset. The problem with the mindset is best understood as a problem with a theoretical position, and that problem especially in the West is how close is the theoretical position with the practice, and how much attempt is being made to identify practice with theory. This of course is a mind problem in this context. Natural health is part of Nature, and what stops us from acting according to nature but imperfections of the mind. Whilst there are the occasional "Natural" people who live according to Nature without any form of mind training, for most people the negative conditions of mind, through education and life as a whole, intentionally move us away from living according to Nature. Therefore for most of us there is a need to recognise how the mind works intentionally to divert us from the Path of Nature. There is therefore a need to meditate to clear away the confusion of these negative conditions so that our practice can align with the Path of Nature.

The philosophy of mind is excellent - non-credo. Whilst non-credo does not go as far as Buddhist psychology and philosophy there is nothing to argue with it. But it is only a theory, and therefore the most important understanding of non-credo is how to practice it. How do we attempt to remove the blocks to this position? The best answer I got was ongoing self-reflection. Now in some ways this could be seen as meditation except that the whole process came across as haphazard, a bit like my own early dalliances with meditation. When does this self-reflection occur? How much is it a part of the programme for newbies for whom the greatest problems are likely to occur? And this is where I was unable to elicit a commitment, and it causes me a sadness.

Why is it a sadness? Because throughout meetings, in person and on net, with macrobiotic people there are examples of where the selves are in action, where the desires have been attached to, where certain aspects of integrity has been limited, and where failings have not been addressed. All are examples of mind not being in control, and all are indicators that there is a weakness in the overall approach.

And the sadness is greater because within macrobiotics there are checks and balances that make it difficult to break through this approach. Whilst the food is natural the intellect tends to be in control of the mind. How much is there insight? There is one important point in the theory that provides protection from insight making inroads into the intellect. That is that all stems from food. A good mind stems from good food, the corrective position is the good food itself.

There are flaws in this theoretical position, and that is there is always an excuse for the mind not to be under control. How many people can eat perfect food? From birth? Can we guarantee that all foods bought in health shops are perfect? I sourced organic veg only to be told that pesticides have been added, I still don't know whether that is true. People can grow their own, but they can't grow everything. Grow miso? So with all these imperfections in food intake there is always an excuse for errors in mind.

But the truth is that there is an error in perception, a natural mind has no flaws except for Kamma, but all minds are conditioned in life. For most people there needs to be a process of understanding, of gaining insight into the failings of conditioned mind to help deal with exhibited problems.

One major mental delusion in macrobiotics is eating wide for the "healthy". Basically if food is healthy (natural), it matters not whether the body that is eating it is healthy or not, the directing principle is that of Nature - eat healthy natural food.

This is further compounded by the delusion that there are no bad foods, but that we eat in balance. The balance I presume is the yin-yang balance. Healthy foods are balanced yin-yang and close to the centre (maybe insert diagram). Yin-yang principle means that if we eat extreme yin we balance by extreme yang, and vice versa. Strong animal diets are countered by sweet cravings etc. Just because a healthy body is not going to have adverse reactions doesn't make the food acceptable, just tolerated - coped with without apparent ill effects.

But there are things that are bad for you - processed foods, additives, coffee, drugs etc. These are absolutely bad, and do harm to both body and mind. The healthy body does not perceive that harm necessarily as it does not adversely affect the health.

Because the intellect is protected and because the macrobiotic establishment (as far as I can establish) is firmly entrenched in the food precedes mind mindset, there is little chance of insight breaking through the barrier. It is time to stop the attempt, it is wasting time. Furthermore recognising the intellectual control, walk away from the mind issues and concentrate on learning what I don't know.

Sadness indeed.

And maybe in the end diet doesn't matter if the power of the mind is stronger. After all the Buddha did insist that monks eat healthily, only that they eat from donation thus suggesting that goodwill is stronger than the quality of food. After all the Sangha were his vanguard, he would not sacrifice them. Yet at the same time my own food intake needs to be healthy as my meditation is so weak.

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Macrobiotic Way of Life in Perspective
My last blog discussed the lack of primary importance given to meditation in macrobiotics. I want to expand on that today, but at the same time remind myself of a lesson that I forgot "when talking to others you are talking to yourself". I too allowed myself to be sucked into the wrong emphasis that is macrobiotic world.

The first thing to remember is that the Path is of primary importance, not food, Qi, meditation or mind, but the Path. For a Buddhist the Path and meditation become almost synonymous but they are not. Meditation helps us to recognise the Path and stick to it.

In attempts to align macrobiotics with my own understanding I looked into macrobiotic philosophy, and somewhere I discussed this in terms of unity and meditation leading to this unity. But in truth this is only a philosophy, as with much that is western philosophy, a theoretical construct that is limited because of its lack of desire to be practical. After pushing and pushing to find out, it has become clear that it is only a philosophy, and that macrobiotics is a food-oriented approach - even to the extent that food creates mind. Whilst this last cannot be logically refuted, it is nothing more than an intellectual construct, no amount of insight could ever conclude that.

And then of course there is anicca, how can the body or food be permanent? So unless macrobiotics is to focus on the permanence that is the unity described in the philosophy, then it is only what it is - a Natural diet but not a way of life.

But I got sucked into the way of life thing, not completely but enough. This meant that I strayed from my own Path by focussing on the impermanent body. Maybe this was necessary because being aware of food and eating food properly was a lifestyle change, and required much attention whilst I determined my personal needs and determined my own approach to macrobiotic food principles, but none of this attention was for the Path - it was for eating. In the back of my mind it was always eating for the Path, but the intellect took over and it became eating as a lifestyle. I have done this throughout my life. Teaching was teaching to enable spirituality (as politics was to enable spirituality), but it became teaching for exams, a necessary compromise to earn money. But now there is no need for compromise. Self sucked me into the desire for compromise. Easily done - natural food could be seen as the Way of Nature.

The macrobiotic diet is a natural health diet I want to follow, and such a diet will need constant modification and improvement, but the Path is the priority.

Dottie pointed me to Tom Monte ( My immediate reaction was that yet again it fell short of meditation. Now of course that doesn't matter as I have refocused on the Path, and will not be attempting any form of rationalising - rationalising being a term for compromise with the intellect - and usually means self.

He discussed the wall, a recognition that at some point diet and exercise will not yield improvement. Quite clearly this will happen if you are not on the Path, as self is still in charge, so the logical conclusion is to follow the Path. Sadly not in the macrobiotic world. The macrobiotic world meets the East in Qi and Chakras, but does not meet it in terms of spiritual priority.

How does he advise progressing through the wall? "Cooking and eating whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, and low-fat animal products lead you inevitably to your heart." But he stops short of a real understanding of the heart. "They awaken you to your old and painful memories, and the long-denied patterns of behavior that keep you stuck in your current view of life. After a few years of eating simply, your spirit stirs and tells you that you're ready for deeper wisdom. You're stronger now, your inner voice tells you. Your mind is clearer. Your heart wants to open and learn to love even more of who you are. It's time to know yourself at deeper and more mysterious levels. It's time to confront the barriers to your ability to love. It's time to really heal."

All excellent stuff but where does he take this wisdom?

"you must confront the feelings that have surfaced since you hit the wall".

Of course you must do this, but where are the deeper mysterious levels in feelings?

Here are his remedies:-

"Memories of past trauma are held not only in your brain, but within your tissues - in your liver, for example, and spleen, intestines, reproductive organs, shoulders, and low back, just to name a few of the common areas we put our tension and wounds of the past. We need people who are trained in various healing modalities, such as therapeutic massage, shiatsu, acupressure, acupuncture, macrobiotics, Jin Shin Jyutsu - just to name a handful -- to bring those memories forth."

And there you have a typical limit as far as macrobiotic meeting the East.

But in truth we need only see the roots of the macrobiotic movement to understand these limitations. Did George Ohsawa transplant his religious practice into the West? No. he left behind the spirit, the spirit that is the real mystery. You could argue that this was a necessary compromise in dealing with a western audience, and, whilst I understand that this is true if the approach is to be popular and commercial, it is not true as a complete way of life.

In truth there seems little desire amongst the limited number of macrobiotic practitioners I have come in contact with to move beyond this shortfall. For them there is no Path except good health, and some variant of longer or deeper quality in life. Good luck to them but the joy they gain will be limited.

Kaare Bursell,, has moved macrobiotics into anthroposophy. Whilst I believe Steiner has approaches that are more Eastern, does he follow a Path - can't remember? Certainly his Waldorf schools were good education, but far enough?

Maybe I will look into this.

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Transmutation - the human processor
This is a way of perceiving humans. They are nodes of processing, nodes of functionality, processing machines who have a function in life, in Nature. Mathematically they can be seen as machines within input-output processors. Humans take an input and change to produce an output, this is their role in Nature - as it might be for all life forms. Humans transmute.

What is the purpose of these functions? The purpose need not concern except in a functional way, our purpose is to do what Nature intended for us. This is important for what it doesn't say. It doesn't say our purpose is to be president, although someone has to. It doesn't define our roles in terms of society, but in terms of Nature. It doesn't say we are here to live a long time. We are simply here to do what Nature intended.

This is significant in terms of understanding how we process. Since our purpose is to do what Nature intended, then our processing has to fundamentally attune us to that purpose so that we can fulfil our role. In terms of understanding what we do, how we process, this is very significant. It is not necessary for us to define our role as educator, elder , president or other social title, these roles are social conventions, what is necessary is for our processing to enable us to attune to Nature so that we can fulfil our roles.

What are our basic processors? These are the chakras. Our fundamental essence at birth is these chakras, and during life these chakras process input leading to the output of the way we live. I was going to give a picture but there are so many variations. It is therefore up to us to develop an understanding of how these chakras function within ourselves. Many healers address the question of chakras but we are our own best healers, and within certain levels of guidance we must determine our own healing. I am not capable of guiding anyone else on this, and make no attempt to do so. Here is something I have determined for myself. The theosopher's layer cake:-




Lower Manas




is connected to each of the seven chakras. I have used a chakra meditation formalised by Gary Zukav in The Seat of the Soul which deals in part with breathing on the colours of the chakras. These colours differ so mine is only one version but they are:-


Light Blue

Royal Blue





These correspond to the following points on the body in the system I use, I cannot find an exact diagram of where these points are, and although they correspond approximately to any chakra system described they are personal to me. Seek your own. However in this chakra meditation it is necessary to have some sort of location as the meditation requires breathing in at the chakras. Here are names I have picked up with a vague description of the location:-

Crown chakra - about two inches forward over from the top of my head

Head chakra - centre of the forehead inside directly below the crown chakra

Throat chakra - centre of the neck inside directly below the crown chakra

Heart chakra - half way down the breastplate inside directly below the crown chakra

Solar Plexus Chakra - midway between the bottom of my breastplate two inches above my belly button inside directly below the crown chakra

Navel Chakra - TanTien - 4 inches diagonally inside about 2 inches diagonally upwards from the root chakra inside directly below the crown chakra

Root Chakra - vertically up the anal passage about 3 inches above the bottom of the backbone

Determine the best places for yourselves. There are two meditations that I use, I am sure there are many others.

1) Breathe in the colours to each of the chakras in turn. Breathe in red to the root chakra, hold, breathe out, hold. Then breathe in amber to the navel chakra etc.

2) (Zukav) Breathe in love and peace to each chakra in turn, hold, breathe out hate and anger, and hold.

Method 2) clearly determines a meditation process, and helps attune our whole bodies to Nature.

I have gone into detail to show that this is a process of input and output, input the breath and use the mind to provide an output. But the mind has a different role in terms of understanding the role of Nature, and that is Insight. The Lord Buddha describes a meditational approach, Insight meditation, in which we focus on the breath, watching it come in and out, and as we do so our mind clears, reaches a stillness and develops insights through calm. These insights are an outward demonstration (output) of the (processed) connection between the human and Nature, when the mind is still it is attuned to Nature and this process helps the human to fulfil their role in Nature.

In order to be able to fulfil our roles our bodies must be healthy. To gain that health we breathe in and our bodies process the Qi to make us healthy. Also to gain health we eat good food, our body processes that food into what we need to be healthy. If our foods are not good food, then that processing is hindered, and we develop illness whether internally or externally as illness in terms of chronically bad eating. If our bodies are healthy, both in terms of good food input and good Qi processing, then we can fulfil the roles that Nature wants of us.

Atma - that part of Nature that we are

Buddhi - Wisdom found from pure mind

Manas - pure mind attuned to Nature

Lower Manas - functions of mind necessary in daily life

Prana - Qi that drives and heals the body

Feeling - desires and emotions in daily life

Body - machine that carries this node of processing

Douglas Baker and others talk of rays, and even that Jesus or Maitreya is one of these rays. I don't understand this, but I can see that in breathing into the chakras our chakras take from the breath the healing that corresponds to each chakra - 7 rays. Whilst I believe this is true, it is a bit speculative as I haven't studied these things properly.

Human processing, transmutation, is the key. Input - perceptions,food and breath, and output attuned to Nature - hopeful

Theme - Meditation
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Chi and Emotions
Haven't written a blog in a long time, and am only completing this for the record. Buddhism-spirituality effectively stopped because there was only one choice at the time self or no-self. That meant more meditation, and that hasn't really happened. The choice is still self or no-self but the decision seems to have moved aside.

A few weeks ago I started Chi Gung using Daniel Reid's book, and then I got the Chilel video and am doing Chi Gung almost daily. This has radically affected my mornings as each morning I seem to be waking up with one or other past emotional issue to deal with. I say past but it is still in me, although maybe it is in the present as I am trying to come to terms with it. This emotional release is time-consuming of a morning, and has become almost habitual (that is worrying), as I use various techniques - mainly a combination of Zukav and dozing - to get rid of the emotion.

This leads to all kinds of questions about stored emotions. Did the emotion cause the excess weight? What happens to emotion if you keep fit and don't allow it to hide in excess? Does emotion have volume? How does it store itself in the body?

Then there are questions connecting Chi to emotions? Chi is energy, emotion is energy; does the chi just energise the incumbent emotion and move it on out? Must be stuff to read in this, maybe in Daniel Reid's book. That Tom Monti thing talks about this, Eckhart Tolle talked of pain body, and Zukav's whole book is an emotional journey. I am going to reread Heart of the Soul and depending how personal the answers of the manual will be blogged - has to be personal, new blog? Whether it is open or not, each question will be answered.

Theme - Emotion
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Using Chilel demises macrobiotics further
Well the macrobiotic involvement is diminishing almost to zero. Recent posts have only been political after the "where it's at" with Klara. I have no wish to discuss the détente with Klara because it contributes so little to understanding, however I will always be grateful for Klara and people like her who facilitate involvement in good things - whatever way they then decide to stop short on the journey.

Macrobiotics is clearly a very good thing but in truth focusing on food in life's journey is really missing the boat. Surely it is common sense to determine what is life's purpose for you, and follow that. In that process it is also only common sense to eat properly, and eating properly in this day and age recognises that big business has hijacked our health. Food is there for us to live healthily, it is not a pleasure per se although eating good food is pleasurable - just not the purpose. How has it been hijacked? Poisons have been put in the food so that it can last longer. Foods have been sweetened unnaturally ensuring an addiction to sweet stuffs, an addiction to the foods that big business produces. Macrobiotics clearly points out these lessons and points you towards dealing with these corporate crimes.

But that is not a purpose; it does not deal with who we are, how we are as life on this earth. However there is one important aspect of macrobiotics that does begin to open the door to this purpose and that is an insistence on yoga or Chi Gung. Not practising yoga I cannot say for that, but having a relationship with Chi opens us up to life's purpose. Chi is the energy of the earth, of the planet, and we are part of the life on this earth - not separate beings but part of that life. Having a relationship helps us begin to see the unity of all this.

Primarily Chi is energetic. As it is energetic it has an energy component that helps heal the body. It also provides the energy that mobilises individuals, clumsy but it is difficult to express. How do we walk? Is that a purely physical act or does it require energy? Doesn't walking require the body to perform the physical action and that there is an energy that is used in walking? Where does this energy come from? Everywhere, it is the energy of the planet, our energy for we are the planet. The Chilel technique demonstrates this admirably. In the form we are asked to expand the body and mind to infinity, and then draw in the Chi to the body. This is a recognition that the breath, Chi, is the energy of the planet, and we are one with the planet.

But this also then opens up the mind to the mind of the planet, and we can then begin to be aware that we are one with the mind of the planet. What does that then mean? We must start to ask why, if we are one with Nature, many don't behave that way. Also we ask why we don't know this, leading to a recognition that there is something in us that separates us from our True Self - from Nature. Questions like this lead us to the understanding that we need to get back to this Nature, and that our purpose is related to our understanding that we are part of Nature. How we find our roots in Nature is a difficult question but one approach to achieve this is meditation. Perhaps this is the easiest but some claim there is a route to the appreciation of Nature "naturally".

Discussing this is not my point here as I am avowedly a supporter of the meditation route, but what does this say of mb? Now mb deals with food well, encourages Chi Gung in the lifestyle, although do all mb people do it? Do all mb people even know? It is not discussed in the forums, recipes, BigFood and get-togethers are. The philosophy is not inconsistent with the above, but the philosophy is even less included in daily practice than Chi Gung. Apart from individuals mb does not include the energy and mind aspects as daily practice.

Now mb diet is a local diet so everywhere in the world the principles are the same although the foods are different, apart from the obvious problem of the apparent ubiquitousness of Japanese produce. In Thailand the nearest approximation to this is the diet - Cheewajit. I am not sure how yinyang Cheewajit is, but it eschews all the unnatural BigFood poisons. It insists on Chi exercise or yoga, and it calls for meditation, so the Cheewajit lifestyle is definitely applied to the whole person and not just the part as in mb.

Phiya Kushi argued in mb that eating right had a knock-on effect on the mind. I tend to accept this a little as mind-energy-body are aspects of the spectrum of a human being cf theosophy's layer cake. Is the boundary between body and energy distinct? Clearly the physical shell is distinct, but when you start to consider motion then it is hard to know where energy starts, where will is. But the logic presented was not a little, eat well and the mind will improve was the logical assertion. Further it was not expected as necessary for approaches to be used that improved the mind although meditation was also encouraged - a little.

Personally I still have much to learn about how to improve my mb diet, or perhaps better my Cheewajit diet; that will be ongoing. But after 9 months of the diet I am not going to focus on the physical side. I have done too much of that and the mental side has suffered. With natural food eating a daily practice, it is necessary to return to the mind-energy side. Chilel has opened the mind to the universe, and it is time to consolidate that.

Theme - Chilel, meditation
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The Spectrum of Mind, Energy and Body
They talk about vibration, they talk about light, they talk about resonance, I don't know about these things. They also talk about subtle bodies - again I don't know this. But what is clear is that the material which makes up our incarnation is a spectrum rather than separate entities. Consider the theosophical layer cake, then there are 7 factors or levels in this layer cake. To view the individual as constituting 7 separate distinct entities or characteristics is an error. It is a spectrum of subtlety, going from the more gross to the more subtle. I cannot remember but I don't believe the layer cake is meant to be taken as distinct layers.

However it is much easier to see the mind and body as separate entities or factors, the mind appears insubstantive and the body appears to be grossly substantive. They could be resonances of the chakras at different levels - this came to me but I don't know it, but it seems reasonable. Although again vibrating 7 chakras leads to 7 separate entities caused by the vibration. Again I don't know this but perhaps it is better to consider it as one vibration modulated through 7 centres (chakras). One vibration, one spectrum - see below.

But here I am looking at the spectrum in terms of mind body and energy, and in terms of the functionality concept of the human as processor. Instead of seeing 7 chakras as centres, think of only three, the centres for mind, energy and body.


From the one source comes the living human. Through meditation (or unconscious breathing) the mind processes and contributes to the living human, through chi methods (or unconscious breathing) the energy is processed and contributes to the living human, and through food the body processes and contributes to the living human. But the processing of meditation, chi and food is not exclusively within the processing areas of mind, energy and body. Imagine the processors as centres of influence and as you get further from the centre the influence is less and less. Meditation can influence the body as good food can influence the mind, and both can influence the energy, but these influences wane the further from the processing centre they are. Mb's view of food influencing the mind is therefore accepted but that influence is minimal as compared with meditation especially, and even chi. To influence the mental processing meditation is the primary source (of mental food).

As to the breathing. Through breathing we access the chi, and through breathing our mind processor creates the mind; this is the natural way unconsciously, and explains why this processing occurs in people who do not consciously attempt to improve the processing in these areas. But by consciously attempting to improve the processing through meditation practice and working the chi (literal translation of Chi Gung), we can develop the mind and energy bodies.

The spectrum insight is important in understanding that the mind, energy and body are not separate spheres of activity but are part of a spectrum of processing. It is advised to consciously feed all three processors in optimum fashion. Give the body bad food and it becomes unhealthy, not consciously using nature's breath might lead to weakness and mental limitation. But by consciously ingesting good food, working the chi, and meditation the processors will be optimised. As an individual you will feel happier, you will be able to fit in with Nature helping people more, and you will be part of the One Mind, One Nature.

This is not meant as a replacement layer cake, just a schema to help understanding. But comparisons to the layer cake and monastic practice lead to the question of the influence of meditation on the body. The alms bowl does not necessarily provide good food unless the giving of the food alters its quality. And then Taptim Siam Luang Por's assertion that meditation cured his knee, is there a hierarchy of influence as you move down the layer cake?

Personally I don't place equal emphasis on mind, energy and body, clearly for me the mind is the most important but how important is each of energy and body? The schema throws up many questions.

Theme -
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Macrocosmic Orbit Meditation
This has been very helpful to me so as part of the purpose of my blog I am recoding it here. I would note out of correctness that I have not followed formal advice in the practice of this meditation, and that ill-conceived practice of Chi Gung can have negative effects. If in doubt see a good teacher.

This practice developed from the increasing recognition from Chilel that Gaia's energy and mind are ne with us all - one Nature, one Mind, one Vitality. Chilel deals with Vitality but in so doing it opened up my practice to a greater recognition of One Mind leading to the development of this healing meditation. In Daniel Reid's book, which I need to study a lot more, the macrocosmic orbit moves in down the central line through 6 chakras then to the 7th chakra at the base of the spine up with the spine circulating round the head and then round the head and down the front of the body to the tantien and up the central line again. The head and the tantien are focal points of storage. For the meditation I draw on the One Mind, and bring it down to the head centre where I focus on Pure Mind, then I go down the central line cleaning the chakras as I go. This cleaning needs developing but sometimes it, just means relaxing, other times it means taking the attention and attempting to release any blocks or attempting to release any dark areas that have built up, just some sort of approach that is not forcing and helps remove obstructions. I might add the colour practice at each centre. Once I have moved to the 7th chakra I draw up the One Mind and move up the spine reaching the head I draw in the One Mind again focusing on Pure Mind. I move the Pure Mind around the front of the body to the tantien where I draw up the One Mind. This is not energetic but it is using the energy channel, the Macrocosmic Orbit, to circulate the mind and clean the body - better word is body system of blocks. Whatever the origin of these obstructions, physical, energetic, emotional or mental - what is a mental block?, this meditation has helped me to clear the body.

Theme - Chi Gung, Meditation
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Revising My Daily Eating
I received a mailing from a "Dhamma Group" that made me think about eating an evening meal. I have always known that in a monastery they don't eat after Midday but I am not in a monastery. The Buddha discusses this not eating after Midday in the Kitagiri sutta, and is the Dhamm Group mailing. Here are quotes from the mailing:-

"I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on a tour of Kasi with a large community of monks. There he addressed the monks: "I abstain from the night-time meal. As I am abstaining from the night-time meal, I sense next-to-no illness, next-to-no affliction, lightness, strength, & a comfortable abiding. Come now. You too abstain from the night-time meal. As you are abstaining from the night-time meal, you, too, will sense next-to-no illness, next-to-no affliction, lightness, strength, & a comfortable abiding."

For better health, greater physical ease and comfort as well as better management of physical weight, it is best to eat a good breakfast and lunch and skip dinner altogether if this is possible. If this is not possible then something light can be consumed instead, e.g. soup, a light sandwich, a healthy food drink, fruit juice, or yoghurt/curd (good for the stomach). This is the secret to losing/maintaining physical weight without exercise! Even though the norm is to eat a light or no breakfast, a medium lunch and a heavy dinner; this is yet another instance of where conventional society has got it wrong en masse! The proof of the unskilfulness of this kind of approach is widely reported with statistics of health related issues such as obesity, heart conditions, pressure, diabetes and other such conditions on the rise."

So how does this work for me? Late breakfast, afternoon meal before teaching, and another meal in the evening. Now evening time is definitely not journey time. It is TV wasting time and eating with snacking, the only thing is that the eating with snacking is healthy snacking. Whilst staying at the monastery there were no problems with the eating after Midday - except the first day, but the Midday meal was a bit of a binge.


Afternoon food - must have beans and add sticky rice if hungry.

Evening food - a much smaller meal.

A) Bread and special vegetables.

Special vegetables are health vegetables eg pumpkin at the moment for the throat and greens and seaweed. No other snacking.

B) small pasta with greens and seaweed to follow.

Snacking is allowed up to the end of the evening small meal eg fruit before evening silent time, but the evening meal is too big and I don't stop.

This evening meal is more than an exercise in renunciation according to the Buddha in Kitagiri Sutta but for now renunciation is good enough for me. It might even get rid of those last 4 kilos.

At present the evening is not part of my journey, it is relaxation. This is not an issue at present, and I am not going to force it. However evening eating is excessive and unnecessary when a little application of discipline would help. The evening is definitely a time self has the upper hand so gently tuning out self is a good thing. The TV is selective but still too much, but in truth I don't feel like not watching it so at the moment I am not going to force that.

Finally on meditation. It is definitely true for me that meditating on an empty stomach is good and much easier. Silent time before eating has started, this is beneficial but after the day meditating is not easy. The mind is not under control but it is not racing or swirling - minor agitation that I associate as tired. The snacking is part of this, once I start eating it doesn't stop, and the self indulges until I go to sleep. Perhaps without the eating meditation before I sleep can start. Or at least silent time with no TV. It might be necessary to reduce the number of progs I watch, being nice, Gary, does not mean it is worth watching. Funny is good and worth watching.

We'll see how this develops but it is a good change and follows from the new healing meditation and the coincidence of the referenced mailing.


Just a quick note after a week. Firstly I have decided that only drinks after the afternoon food. Secondly I went out for food last night - social requirement. I avoided eating during the day, so was hungry. I felt heavy and uncomfortable in the morning. I don't think it was the unhealthy food but the fact that I was eating late. I don't just mean late as in 9.00pm, but late as in after 5.00pm.Definitely a good move to eat like this - good monastic development.

Theme - n(meals)
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Acid-Alkaline Dilemma
The acid/alkaline question has not been lain to rest. Before I investigate it I want to discuss my health. The macrob diet, or rather Cheewajit as I am in Thailand, has greatly improved my health, and with the Chilel improving my vitality, physically I feel good. However the weight stopped falling. I had been working on stored emotion a la Tom Monte but my weight was not going down. I then significantly reduced my food intake, and am waiting to see - again I feel better for only eating late breakfast with an early cup of miso and afternoon big lunch - no later than 4.30pm, only drinks after that. The one time I ate at an evening social thing I felt heavy and uncomfortable the next day.

However my year is up at the end of October and therefore a year's macrob should have cleaned out the system. At the moment it hasn't as I still feel overweight in the digestive region. Whilst my stools are regular, the type of stool is not as I see this as part of the diet rectifying process. I also have wind, and again I see this as rectifying. But these minor problems need to be seen in a context of general well-being.

I had raised the question of acid/alkaline with the macrob groups before, and felt that I had reached a satisfactory conclusion summarised in this email:-

Klara's URL of David Briscoe's Cybermacro chat gave some helpful reading on acid/alkaline:-

Body must contain "a constant pH of the blood" (BZ thinks parallels with gardening). "Kidney lungs and blood buffer system" keeps the body alkaline, a difficult job "as the body produces so much acid, naturally. No matter how you eat or live, you produce lots of acid."

Interestingly "the foundation of the immune system is alkaline blood"

The macrochat directly answered my rice questions:-

"brown rice has protein, the protein …. is acid-forming. And the brown rice also has minerals.. which help to neutralize the acidity. …. The macrobiotic diet is so great for supporting alkaline blood because... It is rich in plant foods that are full of minerals. And minerals are the body's source of alkalinity"

"refined grains are acid-forming eg white rice" There is acidity from eating brown rice but it is counterbalanced by the "brown" minerals and the healthy foods eaten with the brown rice. It appears that the body must produce acid, and it necessary to provide an alkaline balance."

However have my questions been answered? On further investigation of acid/alkaline balance sites recommend 80% alkaline and 20% acid. I don't feel that I follow that.

Here is a table of pie-chart of food contents taken from Macrobiotic Way p14 in my edition:-

Whole Cereal Grains 50%
Soups 5-10%
Vegetables 20-30%
Beans and Sea Veg 5-10%

I had also picked up, and maybe this is a mistake that I should have beans with every meal. I do this, and maybe this explains the excess wind? Should I have beans with every meal?

Now compare this with the 80% alkaline, and there is a big discrepancy. Whole cereal grains and beans are recommended to be between 50-55%. If you look at this table:-

Brown rice and wheat - mid-acidic, my grains are brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta. I surmise as these figures do not lead to mathematical exactness that 50-55% of mid-acidic is more than 20% acidic in my diet.

This table:-

does not offer levels of acidity but sees beans rice and wheat as acidic.

And also sees grains, rice and wheat as acidic.

Therefore there appears to be an inconsistency between following a macrob diet and having a good pH balance. Yet David Briscoe amongst others sees a consistency between the macrobiotic diet and pH balance.

As a matter of interest these sites quote a reason for the diet as acidity producing cancer.

Theme -
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Dilemma produces a change
Well the dilemma has now changed and worsened. It seems clear to me that acid-alkaline should be included in a macrobiotic diet, and there are far fewer references online to a macrobiotic acid-alkaline diet. This is typical of the type of information I need:-

From Bruce's link to Linda Wemhoff, there is this table:-

Yin Acid Yin Alkaline
most chemicals and drugs
sugar wine
nuts and nut butters spices
beer coffee
cooking oils tropical fruits
beans temperate fruits
pasta leafy vegetables
round vegetables
Yang Acid Yang Alkaline
grains kuzu
fish millet/quinoa/teff
meat root vegetables
eggs sea vegetables

And there are these details I copied from one of the sites (forgotten where):-

Extremely Alkaline

Lemons, watermelon.

Alkaline Forming

Cantaloupe, cayenne celery, dates, figs, kelp, limes, mango, melons, papaya, parsley, seaweeds, seedless grapes (sweet), watercress.

Asparagus, fruit juices, grapes (sweet), kiwifruit, passionfruit, pears (sweet), pineapple, raisins, umeboshi plums, and vegetable juices. Moderately Alkaline

Apples (sweet), alfalfa sprouts, apricots, avocados, bananas (ripe), currants, dates, figs (fresh), garlic, grapefruit, grapes (less sweet), guavas, herbs (leafy green), lettuce (leafy green), nectarine, peaches (sweet), pears (less sweet), peas (fresh, sweet), pumpkin (sweet), sea salt (vegetable).

Apples (sour), beans (fresh, green), beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carob, cauliflower, ginger (fresh), grapes (sour), lettuce (pale green), oranges, peaches (less sweet), peas (less sweet), potatoes (with skin), pumpkin (less sweet), raspberries, strawberries, squash, sweet Corn (fresh), turnip, vinegar (apple cider).

Slightly Alkaline

Almonds, artichokes (jerusalem), brussel sprouts, cherries, coconut (fresh), cucumbers, eggplant, honey (raw), leeks, mushrooms, okra, olives (ripe), onions, pickles (homemade), radishes, sea salt, spices, tomatoes (sweet), vinegar (sweet brown rice).

Chestnuts (dry, roasted), egg yolks (soft cooked), essene bread, goat's milk and whey (raw), mayonnaise (homemade), olive oil, sesame seeds (whole), soy beans (dry), soy cheese, soy milk, sprouted grains, tofu, tomatoes (less sweet), and yeast (nutritional flakes).


Butter (fresh, unsalted), cream (fresh, raw), cow's milk and whey (raw), margine, oils (except olive), and yogurt (plain). Moderately Acidic

Bananas (green), barley (rye), blueberries, bran, butter, cereals (unrefined), cheeses, crackers (unrefined rye, rice and wheat), cranberries, dried beans (mung, adzuki, pinto, kidney, garbanzo), dry coconut, egg whites, eggs whole (cooked hard), fructose, goat's milk (homogenized), honey (pasteurized), ketchup, maple syrup (unprocessed), milk (homogenized).

Molasses (unsulferd and organic), most nuts, mustard, oats (rye, organic), olives (pickled), pasta (whole grain), pastry (whole grain and honey), plums, popcorn (with salt and/or butter), potatoes, prunes, rice (basmati and brown), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), soy sauce, and wheat bread (sprouted organic).

Extremely Acidic

Artificial sweeteners, beef, beer, breads, brown sugar, carbonated soft drinks, cereals (refined), chocolate, cigarettes and tobacco, coffee, cream of wheat (unrefined), custard (with white sugar), deer, drugs, fish, flour (white, wheat), fruit juices with sugar, jams, jellies, lamb.

Liquor, maple syrup (processed), molasses (sulphured), pasta (white), pastries and cakes from white flour, pickles (commercial), pork, poultry, seafood, sugar (white), table salt (refined and iodized), tea (black), white bread, white vinegar (processed), whole wheat foods, wine, and yogurt (sweetened).

It seems the most suitable book is Herman Aihara's Book "Acid and Alkaline", but I can't get it sent; although Linda Hemhoff has a DVD. It is a shame that there are no more comprehensive tables like Linda's available online so it is a DIY job. Most of the macrob textbooks don't provide me with enough as I cannot source the ingredients here in Thailand so it would have to be a DIY job for that reason alone. It is the principles that matter, and the principles in this table are too acidic:-

Whole Cereal Grains 50%
Soups 5-10%
Vegetables 20-30%
Beans and Sea Veg 5-10%

Interestingly for me in Thailand is cheewajit too acidic? Probably will never know.

I am not knowledgeable enough to judge but I am going to act in my eating as if the acidic foods do produce disease. Yinyang is a good Nature principle so I should try to follow that but the pH balance could well be the health-giving principle. However pH balance is clearly a Nature principle as in veg growing, why not in humans as well? In my own case I reached a barrier. That barrier could be exercise - don't think so with Chilel, it could be emotional blocks a la Tom Monte - don't think so as I was working on that with meditation, it could be amount of food and it could be the acidicdiet. I am not going to know as I am reducing the amount of food and the acidity of the food at almost the same time. I feel these changes are connected with Chilel and the change in meditation.

Compared with "normal eating" the macrob diet is much better. It cuts out the processed poisons. As a result my weight reduced drastically but reached this barrier. I do not, and never will, understand the medical principles but there does seem some clear conviction on these sites that acidity in the system somehow acts as a milieu for cancerous cells. That conviction is enough for me.

And of course my original problem was GERD, and although the reflux has gone there is still some residue.

To the details on my diet:-

Reduce the beans, wherever I got that from forget it. Beans occasionally. Keep it to the mung beans dessert.

Reduce the grains. More root veg and green veg, higher proportion root veg as yang.

Main meal - not a problem. Just a slice of bread or small portion of rice or small portion of noodles or pasta. Veg and salad. No beans except as sweet maybe(not everyday). Buy more veg esp root veg.

Make vegetable and seaweed hotpots for the freezer, vegetable Panang/Green curries.

No more dtao jiao in the rice.

Typical main meal - bread/pasta/rice. 3 separate root veg. Some hotpot. Salad.

Breakfast - end of easy breakfast.

No more of these bean concoctions. Can have some of the rice things. Coarse rice. No more brown rice cereal. No more Mixed Cereal. No more rice with seaweed. Mushroom seaweed flavour packs - one. Raisins. Carrot juice. Pumpkin, potato, daikon, papaya and carrot mash - warm it up. Add fruit - bananas, watermelon, Thai fruits. Can make lan yai heng with root veg. Have to play the taste by ear (or mouth?).

Pickles sometime during the day - breakfast buy taste.

Hard work revamping but body seems happy. Maybe these beans were weighing it down - hence wind. Big disadvantage - more non-organic veg. Maybe I have to be more serious about growing my own root veg.

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Change vindicated
I woke up with a feeling in my GERD. In case I will have forgotten, the reflux was sourced from a point just below the centre of the breast bones between the left and right plates of the rib cage. This morning I felt a sense of relief there. The GERD had not been giving me physical symptoms but the problem had not gone away but I was assuming with time it would. Perhaps it might not as my diet was too acidic.

On the forums I have had one difficult emotional reaction whose content was useful in that it pointed out that chewing alkalises the food, but no others, thus suggesting that changing the proportions is not damaging, so go ahead. Well I would have anyway with the GERD feeling.

Further justification. An email with a pH approach says this:-

"Since your blood MUST maintain a very narrow pH range of 7.365 To 7.40, your body will do all sorts of things in order to deal with excess acidity.

It will flush excess acids into fat cells (which is why you can't seem to lose those extra pounds)."

My recent lack of weight loss could be explained by this. With the new reduction in eating plus the alkalising of the diet I should get much nearer the target weight - 79kg.

It does lead to questions concerning macrobiotics and that can be covered by the concept of evolution. A number of the counsellors that were recommended as having amended macrob to include pH balance were names that I had already heard - names accepted in the movement. I am absolutely certain that their diets cannot be 50% grains. How important is that 50%? Now clearly it was very important to me because of the way I have Thai-ised macrob - using those percentages as my main diet guidelines, but is it important elsewhere? Perhaps they saw it as confrontational to get the Kushi Institute to change - I have felt a force of reaction here already - but only a feeling. Macrob is a lifestyle with cruises, courses, meetings and the such, based mainly in the US - or at least the lists are, the Israeli lists revolve around US macrob stuff when they are not being socially Israeli. There is the Simon Brown - modern day macrobiotics list - that is UK based, and that might be European as influence. But they are lifestyles, social clubs, supporting etc. In all that process this evolution gets picked up in talks, training and meetings. Working from an old text book means that I have had no leading authority to show me the evolution. I suspect that good counsellors have already amended the proportions but not focusing on them directly as that would be conflict.

As for my other advisor he considers himself macrob and yet says that the Kushi Institute diet is too yang. As he is laconic that yangness could quite simply be the 50% grains. Ah well.

Overall this process has been critical. I felt frustrated that after fitting in with my conception of macrob I had to make what initially appeared such a drastic change. It has not been that drastic - only mentally. Macrob has to be broader - more of a feeling, and as such is open to misuse by the wide boys. It has to become a personal feeling as to diet and health - being in touch with Nature through food. Being new this is difficult, but maybe that is a good working definition of macrob - being in touch with Nature through food.

Working through this dilemma the last few days is part of my journey, yet it has disrupted the journey - I can now get back to it.

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Making my food in Thailand
"As I was cooking dinner tonight, I wondered what the native people, who are living long, healthy lives, eat in Thailand? Surely, they are not mail-ordering macrobiotic food? Perhaps, you could incorporate some of the native foods into your diet? John Robbins' book "Healthy at 100" talks of several native populations that are miles apart, but live healthy lives, because they understand living by nature. (I think that you might have told me about the native diet last year, but perhaps, by this year, your experience might be better.)"

I received this from Dottie, and sadly I cannot answer most of it, but decided to update my view on how I make my food in Thailand as some sort of answer.

I would say that the nearest group of healthy people living long lives would be those following the Cheewajit diet. I have mentioned in recent posts that I consider that Cheewajit is Thai-local macrobiotics, and that the organic food store I go to here has Cheewajit written on its hoarding. But as to what those people eat on a daily meal-by-meal basis I have no idea. I wrote and asked for recipes but got no answer. This doesn't surprise me here in Thailand, there is a kind of "you should know" mentality; much that is conveyed is by word of mouth, people-to-people rather than national organised approaches.

Cheewajit has 4/5 platforms:-

1) The crash diet at the beginning

2) Diet of brown rice, beans, veg and fruit akin to macrobiotics

3) Colonics (this was my clinic, I think Cheewajit as well)

4) Chi or yoga work

5) Meditation

Many people know of Cheewajit but don't practice it, "I do it a bit" could mean anything from eating greens with a meal and occasionally not eating MSG to a proper diet. I would like to know more about Cheewajit but as it is all in Thai…. My new Thai teacher claims to do Cheewajit, and we talk about it in lessons, and she seems to think I follow it. In truth I don't have a definitive answer.

Thai people like to eat out, not surprising as the food is delicious and cheap. Or they go to the market and buy ready-made from stalls. This is not a good way for a diet.

What a Thai person eats throughout the day I don't know as I live alone. It is my understanding that they have inherited the Chinese practice of trying to yin-yang balance all the meals. There are therefore some foods which are a balance of beans and sugar for example. If I were to guess I would say the diet is something like this:-

Breakfast - reconstituted rice dish

Lunch - Noodles

Tea - Rice and a fish/meat dish

Various snacking in between.

Standard meat and fish dishes would be Tom Yam gung, a boiled soup dish with prawn coconut, veg and spices with white rice, or a curry - green, red or panang. I read somewhere that the spice balance is very healthy.

I think their food in general is too spicy and has too much sugar - even with all the fruits.

For fruit look at this

and vegetables this

There is such a tremendous variety. This is why I was able to make a pleasant macrobiotic diet from the great choice. Unfortunately I used proportions that many counsellors have updated.

Organic is a big problem. The health shop provides some organic veg but not the diversity. I did find a hydroponics farm that professed to sell organic veg but a spy told me they add stuff. Organic brown rice is easily available, and some of the fruits are just allowed to grow. I have also been told that many farmers deplore the pesticides, but get tied into pesticide use by the distributors. They have two veg plots, one for the family and one for sale to distributors. I think there is a good health consciousness in a rural place like Trat, but it is difficult to put into practice. But in truth I am not sure because of language and script difficulties.

Thai people tend to be proud of all things Thai, from the love of their king down to daily life including the food they eat. As a generalisation they would not eat macrobiotic food because it does not taste Thai - "does not taste" in their terms.

I have become conscious recently of Thai deaths by cancer. A friend's family is bereft with it. My last teacher's father has been on chemo, and a friend's 45-year-old sister has just died of it. It is possible that it is the cancer that is leading to a level of diet-consciousness, but in truth the majority could not afford healthy food - let alone macrob ordering.

In my own way I do incorporate native foods in my diet. I try to choose local veg, indigenous veg, although western veg now grows here. But the dishes I make are not Thai dishes. I think they are quite close but locals don't. Earlier I added some spice to my foods depending on the heat of the day but now I add a packet of spices - panang curry, green curry to my veg when I cook a batch, because of their health value, but my food is nowhere near the level of spiciness that locals eat.

I make my own versions of Thai sweets containing local components, including fruit and black sticky rice. These would not in general be acceptable to Thais as it is not close enough to the way they do it.

What is a natural local diet? I don't know. The diet is based so much on the way they eat, buying from stalls, MSG and additives, white rice - I only know of 2 places in Bangkok that sell brown rice - none here in Trat. When I eat out I take my own rice. I think what is natural has been greatly forgotten except by Cheewajit.

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What is food?
Food is the means of providing the body with health, that is not a lifestyle. Why does the body need health? So that we can learn as we are here to learn, that is the lifestyle. So we need to eat the best way that we can learn.

But in the process of learning the ego, the self that wants addiction gets in the way. So it does with food. It wants to eat food that is addictive, food that tastes good in the short term, but in the long term prevents learning - by causing ill-health. In other words food can be a drug in the same way as addictive drugs such as cocaine. Take for example coca-cola who originally used some form of cocaine-derivative to addict to the drink. This was the ego through greed wanting profit, but the same principle applies to chocolate, sweet foods and candies. Here these foods are developed solely for the purpose of attracting the taste buds, because attracting the taste buds produces profits.

But the principle of tasting good is not a principle that we can judge food by. If we do this then it follow logically that we would ingest all foods and drugs that would provide us with good taste. The principle of eating food has to be that the food provides us with health first and then we make it taste as good as it can. There is a fortunate mechanism in this, in that as the body starts to eat quality food it then prefers that food. But the body has to develop into that. Offering a person whose body has not developed the choice of addictive foods and health-giving foods s/he will choose addiction. It is therefore necessary to recognise that the body needs training up both in childhood - and in adulthood if that training has not been received. Who trains? The disciplined mind. So it is necessary to teach the mind this discipline, and meditation has to have a place in a proper macrobiotic perspective.

It seems that in some way macrobiotics presents the perception that macrobiotic food can be just as tasty as ordinary foods. To me health doesn't work that way. The demons of cocaine etc. have a short-term buzz that is far more attractive than the dukkha of daily life. To understand that the spiritual high of happiness is better is difficult for those who have not attempted a spiritual life. On the way to that high we usually get offered experiences that attract us to that path. Are we all shown spiritual highs at some stage? Maybe, I don't know - it would seem likely so that we can choose the path. To prevent any diet as being the most tasty is playing to the ego, food needs to be considered what it is - a means of keeping the body healthy in order for the body to learn. You "keep the temple of the householder" clean through healthy food consumption.

There are great dangers in not incorporating this approach into a proper diet lifestyle. Tastiness appeals to the ego, and ultimately the ego does not want to be healthy, the healthier the body the more likely the person is to be open to thinking that will destroy the ego. The ego wants to survive, so it will take every opportunity to knock you off a healthy diet. Perhaps what is happening with macrobiotic people is that they use their spiritual discipline to create the discipline for food, and sadly then don't gain the real pleasures of learning - the purpose of life. Tis could lead to spiritual restriction.

Incorporating health-giving food into your daily life is a spiritual process. My own diet has improved as I move along the spiritual path. Lin Lee described Taoist practices where the Immortals would alter their diet during their development. Are there diets appropriate to different levels of spiritual development? I am sure there are sects in India who have developed that, but I am equally sure that my body will alter the diet as and when appropriate. At present the diet isn't yet solely health-producing as I have just found out with the acid-alkaline balance, and the change I have made is not right as my bowels are not moving well. But that will sort itself out, and I will find the right balance of bowel-moving grain.

The difficulty with this food angle is how important is food spiritually? Food should be health-giving so that we can learn. But what about the monks? Their diet is alms and as such is at the discretion of the alms-giver, yet the alms-giver is not necessarily sufficiently knowledgeable or spiritually-aware to know what foods to give. Inadvertently alms-givers provide the monks with unhealthy food, and it is incumbent on the monks to accept this. The monks have joined a meditative life, are they necessarily aware of this? And here is another crunch, does it actually matter? Luang P?? at Taptim Siam said that his leg problems healed up through meditation. Good meditation can heal the body, the higher mind can heal the lower mind, the use of energy and the body.

But that is monks, and that is for monks to decide. For lay people there are the precepts, and this is the fifth:-

"To abstain from intoxicants causing heedlessness"

Intoxicants are normally considered as drugs, drugs that create heedlessness. Typically alcohol and cocaine. But what about the foods that create addiction? These are foods that feed the ego, gives the ego control. Is this action heedless? As a lay principle eating health-giving foods should be encouraged.

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My diet principles
My principles of eating are changing although that doesn't mean my diet is. To begin a diet it is important to understand that our natural food has been damaged by BigFood, by the practices they use in the production of our food. This occurs broadly in two areas:-

1. Pesticides

2. Processing

3. Addictive foods

1) The avowed use of pesticides is to destroy creatures that eat the foods when they are growing. How is this done? By poisoning the animals. How can that poison not damage the food and the land the food is grown on? Accept a lower yield with some damaged crops and eat organic. Whilst this will not completely resolve the problem as our environment is damaged by pesticide pollution as well as other forms of industrial pollution, it should give the natural protections in our bodies (the liver) a chance to work, a chance to remove the toxins.

2) The chemicals that are added to our foods to preserve them are damaging to pour health, I don't know why but they are. Any foods that have been chemically preserved with E numbers should be avoided. The chemicals that are added as colourings and flavourings are not natural, why add them? Commercialisation. I place this in the coca-cola category where coca-cola originally contained cocaine in order to addict consumers to the product. This eschews canned and packaged goods leaving only natural foods.

Refined foods such as white bread and rice come into this category. These foods are damaging as nature's production line with its improved balance for digestion has been damaged. White foods require more of our body's energy and resources to process, and cause internal stresses.

3) Cakes and sweets with refined sugar are all damaging to our health. Fruit has natural sweetness, and can provide sugar energy. Why is there a need for refined sugar? Commercialisation. BigFood packages the refined sugar, and often chocolate in tempting forms, but the health consequences are dire. Why is it necessary to have such foods in our diet when we have fruit? Such I also believe there is a mental side.

Other addictive foods such as tea and coffee I also don't take as well as any of the products normally associated with addiction eg drugs and alcohol. I see tea and coffee having content which impairs mental functioning - the 5th lay Buddhist principle.

That leaves grey areas in which I take a personal position. The first of these is meat. I don't eat meat, I very rarely have - only when it is difficult not to. Meat production has the same problem as any food-processing, the production itself is damaged when you consider many farming methods. Free range farming which might be considered "organic by nature" would produce better quality meat but I choose not to eat it. I believe the eating of meat make us more susceptible to animal urges, and I don't personally consider the killing of animals ass necessary for me to be a part of - Buddhist lay principle.

As for dairy produce I have stopped eating those when I started my diet but in truth I don't know why. It is however true that I am healthier for not eating them. Dairy production methods are more horrendous than animal production methods, it is the abattoirs that are horrendous. I have no confidence that dairy products are healthy in that sense. But my reason for not eating dairy is that I feel better for it.

I eat brown rice and wheat, beans, local vegetables and fruit (as much organic as possible), occasional sauces from good sources, and a small amount of prawns and fish for B12.

Now to the diets. Macrobiotic was the diet I started on but have become disillusioned with. I was encouraged by the help in the forums but macrobiotic is a movement rather than a diet, and it's label is a badge rather than a description of what is eaten. The above principles fit into macrobiotic but the more I know of macrobiotic the more confusing it is to find a pattern. Its exponents appear to choose how they eat, and then call it macrobiotic.

In a sense that is what I did. By taking the principles and applying them to Thailand by consuming locally I have also made macrobiotic bespoke. Macrobiotic is clearly a business, and the experts are counsellors who are trained and then charge. The advice I receive is from knowledgeable amateurs. Perhaps the counsellors have more to offer but it appears to me that the counsellors are individual rather than offering the same message. Yet at the same time most counsellors subscribe to the principles I listed above.

Except for "wide". Those with healthy bodies claim it is OK to eat poisoned foods such as cakes so long as it is balanced. I don't accept that, poison is poison.

Macrobiotics has certain principles as well. Apart from generally accepting the minimalist principles I listed above, Macrob has other principles, the main one being yin-yang. Now I believe in yin-yang balance but have not been able to get a good grip on it as yin-yang appears far too individual.

The next principle I subscribe to in my die and that is acid-alkaline. This can be measured and the pH balance of the body should be slightly alkaline. By eating 20% grains and 80% fruit and veg I should be getting that balance but I need to measure it. I eat some raw veg - mainly salad, and vegetable juices within that 80%. At the moment I have no position on a purely raw food diet.

I don't follow the acid-alkaline diet because it includes dairy produce and supplements. Until my position is clearer I wouldn't advocate dairy as it has proven beneficial to avoid it. I believe that Nature provides the body with nutrition through food and Chi and meditation, man-made supplements of dubious value I don't want to use although in this polluted world I might be forced to. I also believe that meditation and chi can balance any lack in my diet.

I think all of the above fits in almost completely with Cheewajit but I just don't know.

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Sorting Out and Perfectionism
This is a sorting out blog as I am under information overload. It started yesterday and insight awoke in me the next although in truth the thinking has been going on since I discovered acid-alkaline.

The acid-alkaline thing seems to make sense and appears to have much support, both established medicine in the sense of antacid and alternative in a broader food context. What appears to be causing me the most problem now is water. I am supposed to be drinking more water, and as a result peeing more. This is affecting my salt, and at the same time I have reduced salt by not having much dtao jiao. I binged on gomachio last night and added salt to drinks earlier on. With the heavy grains misconception I had no salt problems.

And then this morning came the "cancer is fungus" claim. Now I have always had skin and fungal problems, colonics threw them out, so I need to do something about fungus. Now the cancer suggestion was just to take sodium bicarbonate, and there doesn't appear to be any problems with taking it. It was suggested to add sodbicarb to water to alkaline it. As for the fungus maybe that calls for gano again, although this is now supplements - but temporarily?

I would like an acid-alkaline book but they are so supplement dependent. Whilst not being practical for me that is not natural, and indicates possible moneymaking.

I'm tired of this for the moment.

Later yesterday I wrote this in an effort to resolve:-

Dear Macrobiotic Knowledgeable,

How are you?

I am going through a confusing period concerning my diet. I had not been losing weight and was still overweight. I do not accept any gospel and attempt to understand through insight and analysis what works for me. Hence I have regular confusion concerning the mixed messages of diet.

I came across this acid-alkaline thing and then yesterday saw this guy's claim for cancer being a fungus adding to my confusion. I don't like this confusion as my real focus is on my journey as a whole and meditation rather than just the foods I eat.

I initially thought there was a clear contradiction between Michio's position and that of the cancer-fungus Italian doctor (see video):-

Whilst I feel his claims are far-fetched, I could concede that all observable cancers are white and fungal - as this can be readily seen. Your second email retrieved the contradiction by a recognition that some cancers are not visible to the medical eye assuming that the contracted cancers are not observable ie not having a white colour, not being fungal.

Whilst I can accept disease as being yin or yang excessive, I find yin-yang itself extremely difficult because of what appears to me to be contradictory positions. In my recent concerns over acid-alkaline I found that adherence to food percentages in The Macrobiotic Way had led me to keeping an acidic diet. You described my diet as too yang, and by reducing the yang components of my diet it became more acid-alkaline balanced.

So this brings me to the question of subjectivity which I have found prevalent in macrobiotics further confusing me. Once I raised the issue of acid-alkaline with the forums I was pointed to a number of practitioners who had incorporated acid-alkaline into their diets, Herman Aihara for one as you pointed out. It made me feel it was also necessary to incorporate it especially as the explanation made sense to me. So in mb some practice and others don't. I can concede that a balanced yin-yang diet could also be pH-balanced as with the formalised approach of Linda Wemhoff and possibly intuitively with others, but that general mb ambivalence is difficult to internalise for me. You also make statements that many mb practitioners' diets are too yang, and whilst I have no reason to disbelieve you - especially in my own case before, it makes for confusion. With all the different positions taken by people concerning diets it is not surprising that BigFood maintains control and that people in general are suffering.

Yinyang is particularly confusing as it is so subjective, I believe if I asked ten mb practitioners to explain a marginal situation I would get ten different answers.

It appears to me that within the scope of yinyang balance there is room to consider taking on other principles. Linda Wemhoff's practical approach of giving a different yinyang table with acid and alkaline balance as well does not appear contradictory. Michio's criticism of non-individual medical treatments per se is appropriate:-

Across-the-board recommendations to take vitamin X, drug Y or food Z to prevent or relieve cancer do not take into account the two opposite forms that illness may take. Nor do they always make room for differing human constitutions and conditions and varying geographical, social and personal factors. Modern science is justified in rejecting alternative cancer remedies that ignore these variables.

And he encourages holistic medicine:-

On the other hand, holistic medicine is correct in questioning modern science for focusing on quantity rather than quality. Eating whole foods containing vitamin C, such as broccoli, produces a different effect on the body than taking vitamin C pills, even though the actual amount of the nutrient may be the same.

But with the inexactness and subjectivity of yinyang it leaves me confused - and many others I suspect. Further when acid-alkaline approaches are evidentially shown to be helpful it would seem that a diet should evolve to include this. Especially as incorporating the approach does not contradict yinyang principles.

However there is then another difference in approach, and that is the consumption of water. Mb is one of the few diets that does not advocate consumption of water as far as I understand it. Yet it seems that consumption of water removes acidity from the body, and this is helpful. I have noticed in my weight reduction that it left the body through excess water - usually urine. I have always believed in water consumption so mb reduced consumption also confuses me.

I suppose food is what you come to, what you decide to eat, but it is very difficult with such apparent contradictions. Sad really that there cannot be some kind of unity as so many people are suffering with BigFood diets, and this confusion only helps accumulate their profits.

Hi Bill

YIN & YANG cancers

Cancer cells, compared with normal, healthy cells, are more expanded, since cancer is a condition where the cells grow (expand) in an uncontrolled manner.

But among cancers, there are some that grow and spread quickly, and also appear on the outer parts of the body, eg breast cancer, or tumours on the surface of the brain. Such tumours tend to be soft. These cancers are more expanded types.

There are also cancerous tumours that grow very slowly and they form deep inside the body, eg pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and tumours deep inside the brain. These tumours tend to be hard, These are viewed in macrobiotics are contracted cancers.

Dixit Michio: "In treating illness with dietary methods, it is important that the sickness be properly classified as predominantly yin or yang, or sometimes as a combination of both extremes. This is especially true with a life-threatening disease such as cancer. Yin, or outward centrifugal movement, results in expansion, while yang, or inward centripetal movement, produces contraction. We can see these universal tendencies in the human body as the alternating expansion and contraction of the heart and lungs, for example, or in the stomach and intestines during the natural process of digestion. Once the yin or yang determination is made, dietary recommendations can be more specifically aimed at alleviating the particular condition of excess. Location of the tumor in the body generally determines whether a cancer is more yin or yang. However, in some cases, cancer in a specific organ can take either a yin or yang form.

A failure to understand the distinction between the general tendencies of yin and yang illnesses explains why some people experience serious side effects from certain medications and others do not. It also explains why so many nutritional therapies and popular health diets produce mixed results or fail entirely. Vitamin C, for instance, is a yin substance that can benefit people with a cold caused by overconsumption of contractive yang foods. However, vitamin C taken in supplement form rather than in daily whole foods can further weaken persons with a cold caused by intake of excessive yin because it contributes further expansive energy to their system.

Across-the-board recommendations to take vitamin X, drug Y or food Z to prevent or relieve cancer do not take into account the two opposite forms that illness may take. Nor do they always make room for differing human constitutions and conditions and varying geographical, social and personal factors. Modern science is justified in rejecting alternative cancer remedies that ignore these variables.

On the other hand, holistic medicine is correct in questioning modern science for focusing on quantity rather than quality. Eating whole foods containing vitamin C, such as broccoli, produces a different effect on the body than taking vitamin C pills, even though the actual amount of the nutrient may be the same.

On the whole, dietary suggestions should be directed primarily toward restoring the individual's excessively yin or yang condition to one that is less extreme. Signs of an overly yin condition include passivity, negativity and shyness, while signs of an overly yang condition include hyperactivity, aggression and loudness. Once a more natural, balanced condition has been established and stabilized, the person's body will no longer need to accumulate toxic excess in the form of cancer. If we keep this holistic view in mind, we can avoid being caught up in an endless maze of symptoms. If there is any uncertainty about whether the cause of a cancer is more yin or yang, we can safely recommend the Central Diet outlined in our book The Cancer Prevention Diet, which minimizes both tendencies.

Since cancer is a disease of excess, someone with cancer should be careful not to overeat. To prevent this, two important practices are advised. The first is to chew very well, at least 50 and preferably 100 times per mouthful, until the food becomes liquefied. A person may eat as much food as he or she wants, provided it is well chewed and thoroughly mixed with saliva. Proper chewing releases an important enzyme in the mouth, which is essential for digestion. The second point of caution is not to eat for a least three hours before going to bed. Food eaten during that time often becomes surplus and will serve to accelerate indigestion, gas, mucous and fat formation, and enhance the development of cancer. Regarding liquid intake, the individual should drink moderately and only when thirsty."

Today I woke up - enough is enough, I am trying to be too perfectionist and it is getting me down. This food stuff cannot be exact, and so Michio's quoted position is sound. But of course that is useless to me in a sense. My rant at the macrobiotic knowledgeable (mbk) led to a useful email on urine flow and content, and nothing about the rant - significant. There can be nothing because I personally can never know - and in truth don't want to know. Perfecting my yinyang knowledge and perfecting knowledge of my food intake might produce an improved weight and health situation, but this is life it cannot be perfect. In my rant and mbk's response I may have mb nailed in a sense, it is a broad church of yinyang balance. But that yinyang balance requires a lifetime of study and perfecting - for that I need a doctor. Is food as important as chi and meditation? Of course not. My mind has been fixating on food since the acid-alkaline (AA) discovery, and as usual has taken it too far. AA must be included in the diet, of course, it is logical - as you know about AA include it. But find a modus operandi and then forget it, as with my previous mb position. Get the pH meter, use sodium bicarbonate for a while, and then when necessitated. Increase consumption of Bliverz Blitz, and forget it.

Otherwise I will become food-fixated. The journey is the most important thing, and this fixation led to my waking up early yesterday, knowing that I am not meditating seriously enough and then spending the day thinking about diet. This body is old and cannot be perfect.

My year's target is ambitious. Yes, have the check-up as surely with all that I have done to it over the years the liver and the rest must have something - yet I think not. Maybe I am just so lucky, and now with retirement I still have sensible years for the journey now that I have internalised proper eating.

I do need to understand fungus, try to find out about it; take gano because it is local. Not imported, not goji, not ginseng but Thai. And move on within the broad yinyang. Not tweaking. Not miniscule detail but pragmatic broadness. As you learn of AA and stuff, internalise, incorporate and move on. Journey! Journey! Journey!

Theme - AA, fixation
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GERD revisited
I have not focused on GERD since the reflux stopped, but I have not accounted for it in my diet - I have not taken account of a pre-existing condition in my diet. Isn't that what took me to Balavi clinic in the first place?

GERD is an acid condition and I need to take account of that acid condition. Now that the removal of the obvious big problems has led to a plateau and dietary rethink ie AA, I also need to think of that condition.

Last night I took the sodium bicarb and salt water. This gave me a bit of a headache but I woke up and felt that the sodium was doing me good.

According to pH-ion GERD is a consequence of acidity - everything is in his book (not unreasonable). Here you can read ph-ion on diet and recipes, and here he specifically discusses GERD.

I was given this by a helpful contributor on the acid-alkaline forum - thank you.

pH-ion sees GERD as acidity creating an imbalance between the stomach and the aesophagus. This acidity has created a mineral imbalance. Sodium chloride balances because it creates needed HCl in the stomach and it provides needed sodium bicarbonate in the bloodstream to destroy acid. In mb I was discouraged from eating salt but salt is something my condition needs, if I didn't have GERD I would agree with less salt. So I need to temporarily bespoke my diet to fit my condition.

At pH-ion, see downloaded pdf, he discusses a protocol that looks for increased salt and increased potassium to balance that salt. In order to add the salt I have to eat more grapefruit juice, tomatoes, mushrooms, dried bananas, papaya, potato to raise the potassium. Also an increase in nuts and seeds. This is temporary as it doesn't feel overall balanced. But I remember I instinctively ate more salt, and used to binge on tomatoes and salt when stressed - sodium and potassium. I stopped this salt and tomatoes because I ate them late at night and got reflux, but that was late at night - not the binge. Until I have better advice this is what I am going to do.

Look for grapefruit juice, snack on dried bananas and nuts. Because of incompatible digestion issues, there is too much being crammed in my Buddhist eating time, I will have a snack in the evening, no later than 8.00pm, and the snack is nuts, grapefruit juice, tomato and salt and dried bananas. See how this works. Add more salt to normal eating. No salt and water but stick with sodium bicarbonate. This cannot be permanent but my body wants the salt - it enjoyed the sodium fix.

I don't want to do this long term - I think it is dangerous, but I think it is necessary. Review weekly - put in calendar.

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The Politics of Health and Education
This is such a big issue, and there needs to be clarity in presentation. Unfortunately instead of clarity of presentation we have alternative marketing, not gross marketing of the McDonald's variety, but marketing of cures that require supplements, courses, counsellors etc. For most people this requires a degree of trust in these people or processes that ordinary people are unlikely to invest, so they continue to go to the home of BigFoods - the supermarket.

But does this need to be the case?

Take the bunk out of the alternative health. Eating healthily means not eating processed. Start with that.

Of course the problem with health is that people turn to alternative health when BigFood and BigPharma health have failed them. By that time people will usually have a degenerative disease requiring drastic measures, thus possibly meriting all the supplements. But the real issue that needs to be accessed in the mainstream is the issue of proper food, the food hat Nature provides.

This brings us again to the home. The home has been lost as a unit. The house functions as a place to sleep, and with the lack of emphasis on child-evolution other important platforms of the home don't apply. One is that of the cook determining the health of the family. This was of course broken down by the feminist movement's reaction to male oppression, but because feminists were a product of our miseducation system they never saw some of the values that women had gained through the centuries in the home.

Women determined the health of the family through the foods they cooked, the meals they prepared. These preparations were passed down through the ages by matriarchal lineage, grandmother to mother to daughter. Old wives' tales - OK, this is a derogatory expression, but there is wisdom in the tales. This was an undocumented process. It had no glamour. It had no social standing. It did not have earth-shattering impact on global dynamics. It was a small family-based necessity that the West is now losing. It has already gone in most of the cities, and with urbanisation the villages are losing it as well.

This cooking did not involve supplements, exotic herbs for health, exotic products as staples. It was local veg, fruits, grains and beans that they cooked up to feed their families. I am not advocating a return to poverty, but whilst these people were poorer their health was relatively better bcause they used healthy food - rather than poisoned processed BigFood supermarket convenience. This is the clear message for health - home-cooked. local fruit, grains, beans and veg. All the supplements and alternative practices might improve on this home-start for those who are ill but they are not necessary for a typically family diet. Return to local, return to home.

Politically the two most important professions have been undervalued socially, health and education, as demonstrated by salaries, unless there is clear profit - especially in medicine. State medicine which has been politically undermined, underfunded and appropriated by the business classes through hospital administrations has never had the money it has needed to fund national health care. State education used to be that way. Teachers were never paid. Standards dropped as student behaviour worsened. Now teachers are effectively paid danger money and stress money, probably to compensate for their lack of retirement years if actuarial statistics are to be believed.

But with the breakdown in home health and evolution the state machineries cannot cope. People's health is worse as they are not on the traditional healthy diets. Education is worse as the students lack the solidity of a proper home, and without such strength scholastic education cannot add to the education already received at home.

This process started on false grounds. The arrogant miseducated felt they could do better than parents so gradually they undermined the parents' authority by accumulating that responsibility to the state. This started to undermine the home. Seeing the financial benefits in state responsibility business moved in from 1979 onwards, and started to privatise what the state was doing. So now the home is not the source of health and education but fundamentally business is, our health and education is run in the hands of those whose underlying morality is "how much profit can be made?"

It is time for the home to take back that responsibility. Women, or women-substitutes, rightfully take up the central figure in life, the runner of the home, the organiser of health and education. Society must facilitate this role ensuring that the home is the central locus of western society, that the office and workplace become what it should be, necessary stops to provide goods for the home and governance for the home and when the home fails.

Health must return to the food tradition, knowledge passing through the female lineage of generations, not focused on the cheapest bargain at the supermarket, but focused on the way to provide natural healthy food for families, for our next generation of children.

This focus needs to recognise that women need time to prepare this healthy food, instead of the current western substitute where supermarkets apply poisons in order to make the food convenient - take-home. Processed cannot create health in our children. As for restaurants they are governed by consumerism. A restaurant has difficulty turning round and saying "eat this it is healthy never mind the taste". Restaurants have to provide food that appeal to the taste buds, which have been damaged by sugar pollution and by poisons that have been applied in the needs of profits and in the demands of preservation and fast food necessary to have two production units in the family. Eschewing women from being home-makers, from evolving our children, was a master stroke of capitalism, and it was carried out by women themselves through a movement that saw itself as anti-capitalist. Women and men need to stand up and say it is the family that counts. It is the family government policy should enable rather than the profits of business. It is men and women who need to turn round and say the home is the priority, and hopefully the tradition that our women bore has not been forgotten.

Return to local, return to home.

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I have now understood why the acid-alkaline thing has become such a fixation this week. The issue is that the GERD is still a problem. Once the reflux went I lost focus on GERD except that it was an easy way to describe why I started the diet. However I was being very systemic in my view of medicine in that I was unwittingly adopting the approach that the symptoms have gone therefore the problem had gone.

Well this was not completely true as I did recognise there was something there, a feeling in the GERD area and pains during massage. The fixation has led to dealing with it now. This of course is natural in macrobiotic terms. Go through the process of the diet and you will reach a plateau where the next problem has to be dealt with. I had reached an acid-alkaline solution intellectually with the percentages but hadn't internalised that I was also supposed to deal with the GERD; that was why the body forced the fixation.

Yesterday I actually felt the acid in the GERD area. I know this because I took bicarb, it immediately dispersed and emerged at the wrong end in diarrhoea - a form of diarrhoea I had seen before when I had the altitude issue at Dhunshe. Hopefully altitude will not now be a problem, and I will be fit enough to go up - as the old guy intimated. Today's bicarb was not comfortable but so far has not led to diarrhoea.

I am still concerned that evening snacking to allow for increased salt is a risk so have to monitor that carefully, I did need increased salt following the change from 50% mb diet, but at the moment I am adding more than mb wants. I don't want to continue long with the evening snacks.

I lost a day to feeling weak and a day to Lost Series 4. Today a bit weak too, hopefully that will go soon.

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Diet Intuition - Role of Meditation
Struggling with the diet has helped me with a number of things. After receiving this email,I started to reply with these confused ramblings. They got nowhere except that after writing I meditated and wrote this:-

I'm trying to solve the wrong problem. Focus on the meditation and the insight will follow. I cannot know all the facts with regards to my physical condition and attempting to solve the problem analytically is impossible. I have recently been sucked into that analytical solution. Stick to the insight, and decide through insight.

Well it is not recent, I have always had an inclination to be sucked into analysis - what maths teacher wouldn't? So the key to understanding the situation is meditation, I know this anyway. How can I analyse what is happening in the body? I need to spend years studying to understand what's going on, and then more years unlearning what I had just learnt before I would have proper medical understanding. Meditation foregoes all this, allow the heart to direct. Leave insight to control. Because my meditation had been slipping I was seeking analytical solutions. Catch 22 - meditation slips, seek analytical solutions, meditation slips further.

Following adjustment in meditation I understood the confusion. The confusion was necessary so that insight could produce the intuition that will enable me to deal with what I could not possibly analytically understand. This is the first interesting understanding. Intuition follows from insight. Insight (clarity) comes from meditation, and then from insight intuition develops. D talks about yinyang intuition. Whilst I am a long way from having that, I can have intuition about what is doing me good and such intuitions come from developing insight in the first place.

Physically intuition has told me that what I had changed was doing me good but it was time to stop. Yesterday my Thai teacher commented that I looked tired. I woke up at 3.00am knowing that my changes were disrupting. So it is time to stop forcing up the level of sodium ie stop the suppers. No tomato-salt cocktails with potassium drinks to wash it down. Sodium bicarb has been a find. I know that it has helped with the GERD I have. I can feel this GERD presence in my digestive system - it is not reflux but it is there. When that happens I can hit the sodium bicarb, and it will help - perhaps a bit of trouble but it will help. So AA is part of my diet, a marginal increase in salt will help, and a recognition that GERD has not gone and can be helped when the system tells me it needs help.

But I also learnt about confusion. Confusion is like conflict, the birth of understanding. My first journey onto the Path came when I hit bottom with the booze trying to wipe away all the ego that education had created. Other conflicts have produced understanding, and mental turmoil before sleeping often produced an insight whilst waking in the middle of the night. Confusion has the same role. Confuse the intellectual mind - the analytical mind, and whilst it is confused then insight can push its way through. Good meditation will of course have prevented the confusing thoughts from rising in the first place. Confusion is a good step to go through, and the analytical mind needs to have confusion forced on it before it will give over territory it had claimed - in this case analytical control of the diet. Whilst my diet will still have some direction from analysis, analysing what is good for me and eating it, I must begin to get a feel of what is good. Especially focus on that feeling when diet is changed - "I'm still going thru "layers" & discovering areas that need more healing. It's a process, and I'm sure that you've heard the analogy about untangling a ball of string, as one knot is loosened, sometimes, another one is tightened."

Meditation has the answers, if I am confused it is probably because the meditation has slipped. Confused Circles

Intuition - I had reached an impasse. I was eating too much - intuition. I decided to reduce food intake - coinciding with a Buddhist email about eating less. I was not losing weight - observation. I became aware of acid-alkaline and it made sense - scientific/nutritional? I amended my diet. It should have ended there but I kept thinking about it - intuition - body telling me I was not addressing a problem. Eventually intuition broke through and told me that the conditions that created my GERD had not been dealt with although the symptoms had quickly disappeared. Coincidence (global intuition?) - received email with AA GERD solution. Took extra sodium got a headache and felt better the next morning - intuition.

Overall conclusion - I needed to deal with the conditions causing GERD and had not.

Confusion - cannot buy pH paper so bought a meter that came yesterday. My urine is alkaline (7.5), and this morning when it should be acidic it is only marginally acidic 6.9.

The trouble with intuition is distinguishing thought from intuition, your own example of yang thinking interfering is a typical one. How often have I ignored those little voices, and at the same time heard those voices, told myself I will regret it if I don't act, and wasted my time?

1) Chewing well BZ Not so good

2) Not eating flour (we are doing a bit more now) BZ Not much here, have found a brownish loaf 3) Eating fish just 1 - 2x a week BZ have prawns occasionally

4) Eating smaller meals (both of us are still working on this!) BZ - mine are too big

5) Eating lots of leafy greens, fermented foods (tempeh, miso, pressed salads, pickles, etc) BZ greens not enough, miso everyday, pressed salad everyday, pickles most days - sometimes forget, no tempeh here

6) I soak all of our grains, at least 8 hours! And don't forget the gomashio condiment. BZ Don't soak, use too much gomashio 7) I soak beans & discard the water. I cook them with kombu (alkaline), over a low flame for a long time. BZ Do this but no kombu. Veggies (alkaline) are added 3/4 of the way thru cooking. Salt is added 10 mins from end of cooking. Eating poorly cooked beans will still create problems for Don. BZ Haven't been adding salt

8) Some of his salt is obtained thru umeboshi plums, which are very alkaline. BZ Cannot get them except in Bangkok (every 6 months)

9) Eating too late at night will sometimes still cause him problems. BZ Not now

10) Job stress contributes to his problem BZ Minimal stress now, big contribution though.

11) Do you drink bancha tea (it's extremely alkalinizing)? BZ Cannot get this

12) Kudzu sauces help alkalize other foods. BZ Cannot get this

Excess sodium, how do I know if I have this?

Mathematics has always taken me to be over-analytical blocking off the insights that source the intuition, yet insight is much more the guide now -with the meditation.

I'm taking a break, this is going round in circles.



Sorry to hear that the GERD is presenting a few problems. Correcting a lifetime of poor lifestyle practices can take a while....Although I'm feeling much better than I did 5 years ago, I'm still going thru "layers" & discovering areas that need more healing. It's a process, and I'm sure that you've heard the analogy about untangling a ball of string, as one knot is loosened, sometimes, another one is tightened.

I'm always a bit hesitant about giving advice, as there's still so much that I need to learn. However, as I heal more deeply, my intuition is improving (it's the nicest feeling to "know" in advance how a counsellor will reply to a person's question.)

I've mentioned before that my background is pure science. And D's current title is "Hydrologist", so, I don't easily discount eating from a nutritional point of view. And I'm not even sure how I switched over to more intuition about food. I suppose that macro just seemed so natural to me, that I followed my counsellor's guidelines, and after a while, the balanced food changed how I think.....I know, it sounds unbelievable!

Since, you don't have any counsellor to follow "blindly", until your own intuition kicks in, it might take a bit longer to develop. But on the positive side, once you understand how your body reacts to food, you'll know more than most people in this world!

So, on to yin/yang: Personally, I think that everyone balances yin & yang all the time. The question is do we balance easily or not? A common example is the hard-working, meat-eater who balances his yang choices with alcohol or recreational drugs. When I was younger, I loved hot-fudge Sundaes, and would balance them by eating either salted pretzels or peanuts. Even though ice cream is balanced with the salt, it didn't promote health. Perhaps, this is where the acid-alkalinity comes into play, as that particular diet was very acidic for me.

I wonder if part of your problem with obtaining information is that few people have a good, overall understanding of both yin/yang & acid/alkalinity? Therefore, many of the internet sources are only seeing part of the picture of disease, instead of understanding the wholeness of healing. Perhaps, that is why some of the advice seems to work, especially in the short term. A silly example is the tapeworm diet that was popular years ago. Some guy (can't remember his name) made a mint selling pills that guaranteed weight loss. He was so sure of his product's success, that he would give a free second dosage, if the 1st didn't work. He made many people extremely lean & happy, that is until their doctor's diagnosis of tapeworms.....

So, I'm thinking that the sodium advice sounds like a very logical remedy for GERD, from a acidic/alkalinity point. However, it might fail the "do no long term harm" test..... At least it would for me, as I'd not do well with that much sodium, even for a short length of time. Many men can tolerate more salt, and of course, tomatoes are the extreme way to balance the salt. Sometimes, such drastic methods might be needed to "jump start" a very deep-seated problem. When a macro counselor recommends an extreme remedy, they keep a sharp eye on the client, so that the remedy can either be discontinued or modified, if the person becomes too imbalanced. The problem with you being by yourself, is that there won't be an un-biased observer to warn you about your condition becoming too yang from the GERD "medicine". And this is one area, where intuition can mis-lead a person. The more yang a person becomes, the more that they think that they aren't!!!! And they'll become quite angry when others suggest that they are a bit "tight"......

So, if you try the sodium, take good notes & perhaps you'll be able to catch yourself if you're becoming too yang. (when's your blog getting back?)

For myself, if it all possible, I would try to find a different solution for helping the GERD. Of course, if the GERD progresses to where it's causing greater harm, than the sodium would, the situation would have to be re-assessed.

A couple of things that helped D with his GERD - BZ see list in confused thoughts. (Some of these we've discussed before) 1) Chewing well 2) Not eating flour (we are doing a bit more now) 3) Eating fish just 1 - 2x a week 4) Eating smaller meals (both of us are still working on this!) 5) Eating lots of leafy greens, fermented foods (tempeh, miso, pressed salads, pickles, etc) 6) I soak all of our grains, at least 8 hours! And don't forget the gomashio condiment. 7) I soak beans & discard the water. I cook them with kombu (alkaline), over a low flame for a long time. Veggies (alkaline) are added 3/4 of the way thru cooking. Salt is added 10 mins from end of cooking. Eating poorly cooked beans will still create problems for Don. 8) Some of his salt is obtained thru umeboshi plums, which are very alkaline. 9) Eating too late at night will sometimes still cause him problems. 10) Job stress contributes to his problem 11) Do you drink bancha tea (it's extremely alkalinizing)? 12) Kudzu sauces help alkalize other foods.

Probably one of the biggest things that I've learned through my healing is how very small changes, over a period of time, can lead to drastic changes. It's rather ironic, that I first heard this same concept about keeping one's house clean. lol Their slogan was "Never underestimate the inevibilty of gradualness". Once again, the wholeness of everything (house = body, both which shelters us) Unfortunately, some illnesses are too serious to wait for the slower changes of a "moderate therapy".

I don't suppose that you were able to find a copy of Herman Aihara's "Acid & Alkaline"? I don't believe in copying books (I'd rather just buy an extra copy of a book and give it to a person, rather than cheat the author out of his payment for what I'm using - just a personal belief.) However, Herman is now dead, and if you can't get his book in Thailand, I'd be glad to scan some of his book & email them to you.

As I said before, sometimes, being able to see the whole picture is best, and many feel that Herman was able to do that. (of course, if he were alive today, he might say that he didn't know everything when he wrote the book :-)

Well, after this discussion, I want to go back & re-study his book!

Bill, I truly wish that everyone was as devoted as you are to ferreting out answers! Good luck as you continue your search.


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Parasite Purge - More Changes
My recent change was AA - acid-alkali because I still had the GERD pre-conditions. But I have not addressed the massage pains in my digestive system - nor whatever it is in there that caused the violent colonic reaction. I have always felt that I have kept inside a number of things - the various dysenteries I picked up in Botswana and the "viruses" that gave me such similar flu symptoms over the years. With the improved health the damage that misuse of voice during teaching gave to my throat and chest is improving although not complete so I can parasite purge and remove whatever is jarboured in my throat and chest.

I was fortunate to find Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, and the first thing that got my attention was his Parasite Purge programme. As usual with anything western I cannot apply most of the remedies he discusses because I cannot get the western herbs. But it is a bible of cures, and I feel it could be a complete guide to healing for me, mind you with 700 pages it has to be inclusive. If I therefore wish to make use of all he has I have to learn more about the Thai herbs, and somehow began to link the herbs available with traditional Thai medicine with the herbal cures presented by Pitchford.

Studying the Parasite Purge programme has led to the following changes:-

Permanent Changes:-

1. Wash raw foods in ACV solution - 1 tbsp to gallon of water.

2. 1 tsp ACV before each meal

3. Sauerkraut - leave 3 tungs of salad longer 5-7 days - kimchi if can find it.

4. Always put roasted pumpkin seeds in gomachio.

The programme is one week on and 5 days off and one week on again.

1. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of raw brown rice - chew until liquid and eat nothing for three hours.

2. Papaya digests accumulated mucus in the colon - once a day. Lunch - water melon Afternoon papaya Evening Grapefruit

3. 1 clove of garlic before each meal, can roast.

4. Drink aloe vera juice - ask Aden aloe vera.

How many more changes have I got to make? At least there was no annoying confusion this time.

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Amoebic Dyzentery
Do I still have this? It happened in Botswana, starting at the Thapama [*]. It happened as perpetual diarrhoea for a number of days. I remember one time going to the clinic and taking a stool. They were then analysing it but after a week or more the dysentery would stop. However it would be characterised by a specific pain on the left side 4 inches to the left and one inch down. This was a "gotta run" pain because once I had it the diarrhoea would follow.

On reflection this was never treated. I had diarrhoea, I took electrolyte solution and I waited until it went. But did it go? I don't know whether it can go, according to Wiki there is a treatment but I never underwent such - possibly because the stool was never analysed. If it was never treated then why would it not still be present in some form in the body. I call it dysentery with a z because I don't recall blood or mucus in the stool however I do have a mucus problem.

Since I left Botswana I have never had the warning pains - the gotta runs, but there are four indicators that suggest there is something still present:-

1) About four years after I left Botswana I took Dennis the Chemist's super plant build-up immune system extract, and had severe diarrhoea - again with the gotta runs. This lasted 4 days.

2) When up in Dhunshe Nepal I had altitude problem up at only 2000m. This involved debilitating diarrhoea, coming down to Kathmandu and watching downloads in the hotel for a week before going to Pokhara.

3) I do not like colonic irrigation but on both occasions the reaction was violent. Someone on the list suggested that there might be an issue, and this might be it.

4) The current parasite purge programme indicates a presence. This purge has not been pleasant and has dominated my life since I started it two weeks ago. On the brown rice part first time round, I was weak - increasing morning sleep. Then when I stopped I had the major headache and the cold and dampness for 4 days - wearing fleece in Thailand? and wearing vests to soak the sweat. Now I am on the second brown rice cycle. I am afraid that after ending the second brown rice week I will have another headache and days of weakness, coldness and damp.

I can accept that the immune system controlled the parasite, but with all the flus I have felt a constancy - a set of constant underlying conditions. Those underlying conditions were present during the off-brown-rice period of the purge programme. I always considered I had too many flus but doctors never accepted this; of course I was in a flu-dangerous profession and the flu and stress conditions were inseparable.

All of this leads me to a consideration of the inexactness of medicine and diagnosis. Firstly how can a doctor know what is in your body. Secondly a set of symptoms come along, and through experience the doctor recognises these sets of symptoms and prescribes a medicine which has previously been found to have worked. As I wrote this it sounded exactly like acupuncture. You describe a set of symptoms, the acupuncture doctor recognises those symptoms and sticks the needles in. The process of diagnosis is the same, and so logically the same is true for naturopathy. Further consideration then leads one to the conclusion that healing has two facets, the experience of the practitioner and trust in the practitioner.

Let's consider these two facets with regards to the family doctor. In the West we go to the doctor as a matter of culture, there is an accepted cultural trust in this doctor - combined with innumerable gripes. The trust is in the system of medicine, and the culture accepts or rejects the doctor -describing them as either good or bad. Few describe the problem as being the system of medicine, and examine what that system of medicine is.

Understanding that system of medicine is important in coming to terms with alternative therapies. That system of medicine is in the control of Big Pharma. This is a political statement that turns off so many people - it is supposed to as part of the cultural design of accepting the status quo. Big Pharma creates and tests the drugs, no neutrality there the drugs are created by the companies, tested by the companies with the sole purpose of making a profit. The government has certain regulations but the governments are not powerful or principled enough to control these companies so inappropriate drugs exist.

Doctors go to medical schools, learn the established practice and then start to practice. How much questioning goes on inside such academic establishments I do not know, But I do know teaching and I have no reason to believe that that questioning has an impact other than on some individuals. Established practice already accepts drugs from Big Pharma, and rejects natural remedies such as food and acupuncture. New drugs enter the doctor's frame of reference via sales reps and journals. Without a UN testing setup that is completely independent of Big Pharma this process will continue. Of course as westerners we are already immersed in a culture that accepts that business runs our lives, and we choose not to see the fact that so much of our lives is controlled by profits - poisoned foods, dangerous drugs etc. And our countries pass these same benefits onto the world, the Kamma of western people is horrendous.

So systems and diagnosis are part of a trust scenario rather than any necessary intrinsic superiority. Of course when it come to superiority western arrogance cannot be beaten, but unfortunately there is some validity to any acceptance of western academic superiority due to the natural attraction of the academic to the potential in the west that is funded by the profitmakers. Whilst these systems can produce some results their popularity is not based on achievement but on human peer pressure. But such peer pressure from media government and the like is hard to fight - as it is hard to fight teenage peer pressure however much such fighting is needed.

This brings me back to my self-diagnosis, how accurate is it?

And of course it could be living in Thailand and having stray cats.

Addendum 10/10/08

This is two days after the second brown rice on period. All day yesterday I feared the onset of a headache and weakness, but think my body was reacting to a residue, and today I awoke feeling vital again - my new old self. This tends to make me agree with the above diagnosis, and has made me realise that I have a cold and damp condition. This si consistent with the flu and mucus that have been common in my life, this I associated with stress but sadly I associated it with stress alone as I could have done more to help the body. Anyway now that I have felt the cold and damp I can alter the diet accordingly, thus zapping the salads and warming fruit and vegetable juices. Inceased the ginger as well. I have toi accpet that diet is an ever-changing thing and will work on it accordingly. need to be careful not to spend too much time in the body.

* I mention the Thapama as it is a reasonably quality hotel. People talk about the issue of sanitation as the means of passing on the parasites, but the Thapama appears clean. And I am sure they had reasonable hygiene standards given it was Botswana. But the people working there were poor, their home conditions were poor, so no matter what hygiene standards the Thapama applied they cannot overcome that poverty. Practices in the workplace might be good, but they cannot govern what happens at home - in the community. And of course the work ethic demanded attendance even when ill. For most of Africa, and places elsewhere, sanitation is a cultural issue. Contracting dyzentery in the Thapama is an indication of my lack of natural immunity rather than a criticism of Thapama. For Thapama I could have used any hotel name, hygiene might be better but the people are still poor. (Back)

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Exercise - Cold and Damp
My upper body has been feeling cold. This started with the parasite reaction in the purge, and has continued since. So the parasite had masked a cold and damp condition. This makes sense as I was often down with flu symptoms, of course as a teacher I was exposed to such regularly but that covers up the fact that I had a condition that made me susceptible to them.

Exercise is key to cold-and-dampness so I have been reflecting on the aerobic state of my body. I have known for a long time that Tai Chi does not provide aerobic exercise, but in general I have done some form of aerobic exercise until retirement. And the prior years has not been so good, Bahrain none - although the holidays swimming, China - good cycling, back in the UK - nothing, and Nigeria - only holidays. But in all those years I was teaching and so on my feet a bit. In retirement I have done various levels of Chi and yoga, but no aerobic, and so now I am cold and damp - especially as it is the rainy season.

My chest feels cold to the touch, and there has always been the sweating. I had put the sweating down to the heat, and sweating is good for you, but I had chosen not to recognise it as a condition. I am now most of the day wearing a shirt - feels strange taht I need it. Now I have to organise some form of exercise for half an hour everyday, and have been doing so this week. I have done a couple of nice walks but the one by Khao Rakam the dog didn't like so that might be the end of that. But in truth exercise does not come easy in this climate. Maybe the need for exercise will take me to the hills?

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A friend, an experienced mb person, wrote and told me to try Rejuvelac. He referred me to p613 of Pitchford. I tried it and I have to say I don't like the taste, but it is definitely doing something good to my digestion, sadly increasing flatulence.

As usual there was a Thai issue as Pitchford uses wheat berries and wheat cereal is difficult to obtain here. However searching revealed a brown rice version:-

"I would make a brown rice rejuvelac by washing one cup of brown rice, then soaking it for 3 days with 3 cups of water. The water should then be slightly sour and fizzy on the tip of the tongue. You strain this water which is now rejuvelac. You can reuse the rice for another batch of rejuvelac up to 5 more times."

I complained to the mb friend about the taste and he said reduce the fermentation. I decided not to but reading Pitchford it suggests Rejuvelac brews quicker in hotter climates. Even though it is cold for Thailand (naao), it is probably a hotter climate for a western book. So less time.

I am sure I have a yeast issue so this will hopefully deal with it. I remember my visit to the homeopath when 35. He said I have a yeast issue, and I have had yeast itch for a long time at various levels of aggression. So I am hoping this will go. As it is affecting my digestive system I hope I will lose that extra bit of weight. Must be nearing 79kg now as the trousers are loose.

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My walk
As part of my exercise regime I have started taking a daily walk by the lake:-

View online slideshow of walk through the woods and by the lake, or go online to see album

Starting this walk has brought walking back into my life but the further I walk in the woods the more they are protected by dogs. Maybe I will have to travel to walk.

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I have previously discussed the three platforms of developing mind, energy and body. I have put this together in a personal development system:-

Zandtao core approach

Apart from suggesting that development occurs through these three platforms Zandtao suggests nothing new, it is more about integration.

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Health Platform
Previously all health discussion was done through my blog. Now I intend to make it easier to access different areas of the health discussion through a new frontpage I have called Health Platform:-

Health Platform

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I have just realised that breathing is an important part of the energy system, but I don't understand how as yet. Dan Reid describes "The Art and Science of Breathing" including the four steps of breathing - inhalation compression exhalation and intermission, and I have begun this [p124-135]. Because I am concerned about alignment and balance at the moment, I have also begun alternate nostril breathing. He mentions that the nasal passages are lined with chi receptors [p127], that's the theory but at the moment where is the insight on breathing?

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Spirals of Everlasting Change
Michio Kushi's experience in a simple Shinto shrine in Akita, Japan at the age of sixteen set the direction of his life. He saw everything in the universe as a manifestation of light, of unity; the problem immediately became one of how to communicate this experience, for if all are one, and if all could only realize they are, then conflict, war and cruelty would vanish. As he says in this inspirational recording, "Some listened, some laughed , some ignored."

His search for an appropriate and convincing mode of expression continued. Finally, from an unexpected quarter, he encountered his true teacher, Nyoichi Sakurazawa, known to the West as George Ohsawa, whose thoughts and practices perfectly suited his developing dream of world peace. By this time Michio had suffered with other Japanese the bitter conclusion of World War II, and his studies in political science and international law at Tokyo University were leading him ineveitably toward utopian concepts of world government. At this crucial time in his life, Sakurazawa asked him a dazzling question: "Have you ever thought of the dialectic application of diet for world peace?"

He never had, of course. But the force of Sakurazawa's personality and the simple, universal application of his message altered young Kushi's direction. The story of their meeting, movingly told in an extraordinary reminiscence, evokes memories in anyone who has ever benefitted from the guidance of a loving teacher.

With Sakurazawa's blessing, Michio eventually arrived in the United States. His teaching and influence have grown and spread widely over the past quarter century as thousands upon thousands have travelled to his home for simple food and practical instruction. He is the founder of Erewhon, long recognized as the leader in America's natural foods movement; restaurants in the Boston area serve as education centers and bridges between the worlds of processed, destructive food and the natural way; publications, including the East West Journal, respond to the growing need for practical solutions in an age of increasing stress; study houses and educational activities, some in universities, naturally flow from this distringuished philosopher and spiritual leader. His message, an ancient one as true today as it ever was, is multiplied and broadcast through his students who have begun to teach in many countries around the globe.

Astonishingly simple, easily applicable for everyone, Michio Kushi's prescription for world peace and harmony is the essence of this outstanding album. It has never been truer than now that the regeneration of society and government depends upon the regeneration of individual human beings. Health, happiness and the experience of infinite order are within the grasp of everyone.

- John J. Bellichi (from the back cover of the original album released in November 1975)

Here is Kushi's teaching on Spirals of Everlasting Change:-

1) Rule of Heaven

2) The Laws of Change

3) Life's Natural Order

4) The Search for Health and Happiness

5) Yin and Yang

6) Reminiscences

7) Dedication for One Peaceful World - not available

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Meridian Yoga
Here are three clips of meridian yoga, yoga exercises that stimulate the flow of chi along the meridians - the channels for the chi in the body:-

1) Wood element

2) Metal element

3) Water element

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GERD on the mend
Recently I have had some health problems, nothing serious but not good for super-healthy-fit-diet-person. It involved mild migraine attacks. Such a description is an exaggeration, intentionally so, because I wanted to discuss the source of the problem - the lifestyle that led to GERD. Now the diet stopped the symptoms of GERD very quickly but I have realised that what was underlying the symptoms had not been cured.

And for me this has now been confirmed. I went to Hua Chiew for fang kem, acupuncture. I explained that I had wind and associated mild headaches with general cold and damp associated with the stomach region. When I explained that I had had Gerd and had stopped it with cheewajit, he knew the holes to stick in me. The first night I had a healthy but uncomfortable couple of hours on the toilet, and future treatments gave me discomfort but nothing so strenuous. He had hit the spot but unfortunately did not explain to me what the problem was even though I asked.

I came back to Trat and last night and had a mild attack - hardly noticeable but there. And this morning awoke lethargic with a mild headache. The problem was still there, and I hit Pitchford to deal with it. I stumbled on the gall bladder flush - 2 spoons of olive oil and 2 spoons of lemon juice on a empty stomach for 6 days. And then sweet and sour liver pep-up - a spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and a spoon of honey in water. Immediately I tried these the lethargy and the head disappeared. I will still do the turmeric as well, but feel as if I am getting at the problem, a problem I need to get at because I had put on 2 kg (lost 1 kg the first evening!!) - a sure indication something was wrong.

I have also realised that my daily clock is fighting my body clock, and it is time to put a stop to the ego and its desire for entertainment altering the daily routine so unnaturally. I am aiming for:-

6.00 am Up

6.30 am Meditation - Insight

7.30 am Study

10.30 am Meditation - Buddha nature

11.30am Food

12.00 Computer stuff

4.30 Exercise

6.00 Teaching

7.30 Food - this is too late.

10.00 Bed

Postscript:- Didn't happen for two nights because of the Champions' League. Meditation is not as good as this, but is better.

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Kidney and Liver Chi - Michael Rossoff
Michael Rossoff gives a very interesting talk from a macrobiotic perspective on kidney and liver chi. It is very clear, and culminates with a correlation between liver, the past and anger and kidney, the future and fear. Good talk - one hour 2mins.

Go to this page on my health platform to download the talk.

Whilst I have experienced this I have not seen it explicitly explained that the liver holds past memories the understanding and learning from which has a healing effect on the liver. Equally releasing fear improves the functioning of the kidneys but I don't have as many fear issues - or at least ones I am aware of.

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New Day revisited
6.00 am Up

6.30 am Meditation - Insight

7.30 am Study

10.30 am Meditation - Buddha nature

11.30am Food

12.00 Computer stuff

4.30 Exercise

6.00 Teaching

7.30 Food - this is too late.

10.00 Bed

After the football prevarication I have made a change and live this new day. I have no doubts at all that the body prefers the it. Today I woke up feeling good and resolved a health issue. Here is yesterday's day - good one for meditation so I am using it as an example, today the meditation is not so good and the daynot being finished is a good excuse:-

5.30 am Up

7.00 am Meditation - Insight

7.50 am Study

12.00 am Meditation - Buddha nature

12.50pm Food

14.00 Massage

16.30 Exercise

18.00 Teaching cancelled

19.30 Food - this is too late.

23.00 Bed

I have got up earlier because that is nearer when Nature starts the day. I don't need 8 hours but I do feel tired of the evening after food.

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Statistical Experiment concerning macrobiotics and cancer
I became involved in a scientific discussion concerning macrobiotics and cancer, and I claimed that I could make a statement such as:-

"90% of those with cancer following a macrobiotic diet showed improvement."

For a number of good personal reasons the person concerned did not want a valid scientific ratification, and said what was the control group. This did not make sense but my stats was too rusty. I believe I did suggest the issue was the null hypothesis.

On reflection I thought of a design for the experiment:-

H0: Macrobiotic diet and lifestyle has not effect on cancer.

H1: Macrobiotic diet and lifestyle has a positive effect on cancer.

It is then necessary to determine two experimental approaches:-

A) An appropriate scientific definition of positive effect on cancer. This would be a medical definition and way beyond my understanding. However doctors talk of remission, and do clearly believe they have a way of measuring cancer. Whatever medical measurement they use for chemo would be fine.

B) An appropriate definition of people who have cancer and then started to follow a macrobiotic diet. Initially care would have to be taken that all people who have cancer and then follow the diet are recorded, including those who are not successful. Each person would have to be a detailed case study to ensure that there are not other factors that would destroy the value of the experiment. By this I mean people trying several cures including macrobiotics could not be included.

The more I think about it the more I think it would benefit macrobiotics to carry out such experimentation, and it could very easily be carried out. Once a cancer patient visits a macrobiotic counsellor they could ask the patient for permission to record their progress. The Kushi Institute could, for example, agree to pay the counsellor's fees for participation (although there is potential statistical bias in this), and the experimenter would need patient and counsellor permission. The non-macrobiotic experimenter would interview the case study to determine what is defined as the macrobiotic lifestyle monitoring the home to determine that the only factor which is changing is the macrobiotics. Such consideration of the case studies would be a lifetime project because benefits of macrobiotics show at different times for different case studies. I have no doubts at all that the experiment would yield positive results. In fact I don't know why such experimentation has not already been done.

At the same time a parallel experiment could be run with the following null hypothesis:-

H0: Chemotherapy has no effect on cancer patients.

H1: Chemotherapy has an effect on cancer patients.

A) Care would have to be taken to ensure that the same measurements are taken for both experiments.

B) It is more likely that these cancer patients would only be following chemo as so many are convinced by their doctors. Private monitoring needs to be carried out in the same way for statistical rigour.

C) The alternative hypothesis has to be two-sided, I would say to include the possibility that there is positive benefit to chemo. Flippancy aside it must be considered a two-sided alternative hypothesis for both experiments.

Data on chemotherapy ought to be more readily available.

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Cancer & cancer-prevention diet
I was impressed with the openness with which macrobiotics as the cancer-prevention diet was criticised by mb practitioners at this thread from the macrobiotic guide:-

It will make me more careful what I say. People are not aware of the derivation of cancer. Some cancers might grow in acidic conditions, and other simplistic approaches. This brings me back to the simplistic approach to cancer I had 35 years ago after reading The Romeo Error - cancer is a holistic illness. The degeneration into cancer is a recognition by the body, a recognition turned into cancer that the lifestyle cannot be controlled by its natural healing mechanisms any more.

I consider Zandtao a holistic lifestyle - core approach of Zandtao, such a lifestyle would contain three elements of mind, energy and body in this holistic approach. This reminds me of the recent discussion in which the spectrum of mind, energy and body were compared to the Ayurvedic elements of air, fire, water and earth, air being compared to the mind becoming less subtle into the body. My mind brought me into holistic because I was thinking of the holistic properties of whole foods. A whole food is not a summative of its nutritional breakdown. What more there is I cannot say but a whole food functions as a whole food and it is therefore holistic per se. Holistic lifestyles require whole foods, that is Nature's way.

The sentence "Cancer is a holistic illness" can be examined for more meaning. The process of cancer is integrated into the process of living, it is not separate. As we live we might stray further and further from the Path. This can show by attachment to cravings, lack of vitality, and a degenerating body caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. You can remove the conditions that cause the cancer by integrating your life into its Path through meditation, energy work, exercise and a natural diet. But you cannot remove the cancer by cutting because you have not removed the conditions that created the cancer in the first place. For successes in chemotherapy and so on, what you might be able to do is to remove the outward appearance of cancer but the cancer is deeper than that - because the cancer is the conditions. And you, in manifestation, are also conditions. How do you separate these conditions? The conditions that is you as manifestation also contain your cancer so how can you cut it away? Apparent success cuts away the cancer as a nail is cut off but the conditions that created the cancer causes the cancer to grow again - as with the nail.

So "curing cancer" is not the removal of a pathogen as cancer is integrated into our manifestation, researching such is science trying to create profits for Big Pharma. How can a drug ensure us that we are on the Path?

As cancer manifests physically the first place to start would be a whole food diet, diet as Nature provides. Exercise to provide the trimness that is the natural shape of the body. But these might well not be enough. What about your energy? If this is depleted maybe it will show in cancer. If your jing is used up unnecessarily then maybe cancers will ensue. And even if you are following an energetic regime such as Chi Gung, your mind might still play tricks on you. Your mind might still attach you to practices that are not on the Path, and such practices might be so at odds with your Path that cancer might be the result. The power of mind can control the less subtle forms.

But in saying that who has the capability with their mind for such control? I certainly don't and therefore a Path such as Zandtao caring for mind, energy and body is one I try to follow.

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Revision - new diet
In Bkk with a usual visit to the acupuncturist. I am suffering an agitation night and cannot sleep, and have decided to do a detox diet again, it is a revision of the diet I first started - see first diet. I cannot lose all my weight. I went down to 84.5 just over a year ago, then measured 86 at massage. I was consistent at 86 until plai.

Plai - last time I was in Bkk I met Yogi Tevijjo. He told me that plai was good for stomach and I got some from my veg lady. She doesn't display it every day but she brings it in. As a result of plai I decided that I was eating too much each meal, so have reduced lunch a little, and have reduced the evening meal a lot. I occasionally have a little tea. Result - I went down to 85, not enough.

I also had a bad reaction on the bus coming up. I hadn't slept well because of stuff, dozed a bit on the bus, then had bad digestion pains during the Planet WoW meditation. This turned later into a small headache, and this lasted until the next morning. In a sense good because it convinced me to go to acupuncture. And that has led to this diet:-

10 day diet:-

1) Eat dragon fruit only.

2) Watermelon - drink water

3) Papaya - look for papaya drinks

4) Day 4 - 10 - no grains so evening meal twice a day, any of my normal drinks.

After that I should do a fruit cleanout every week. My second visit to the Natural Health clinic doctor was not a success because of my bad reaction to colonics. I made the decision not to accept his advice on colonics, and as a result I missed this bit:-

Fruit fasting once a week - only eat one fruit (papaya, watermelon and apple) followed the next morning by lemon water - 1.5l of water, juice of 4 lemons and 3 tsp of sea salt; drink within 15 mins and then go to the toilet before eating.

I am going to try this and see what happens. Maybe this will clean out my digestive system. Maybe it will help with the backlog of dairy mucus without having to deal with effects of the ginger compress. Or maybe I still need the ginger compress.

And another slight worry. The acupuncturist said that if my headaches persist then I should see a western doctor as there might be a sinus problem. My first reaction was to say that I don't have a sinus issues, but maybe they have been hidden with all the migraines and stuff that I had pre-diet. Wait and see!!

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After my last Bkk trip in which I had the first kidney treatment my knee locked for the first time in ages. It improved gradually with massage and exercise, but it was only the last few days where meditation did not produce any knee pain - even though I hobbled for a while.

PP then worried me as he says cartilages give issues in old age - of course they do - arthritis. And my mother was arthritic.

I started a discussion concerning Glucosamine, a nutrient present in the knee, and chrondroitin (cow cartilage). I started with glucosamine as I could not get chrondroitin in Trat. Despite the heavy price warning I found them in Bkk, and bought two bottles of the combined. Should last two months. However I don't like supplements. I read in wiki that glucosamine sulphate is found from shells so that means I must eat hoi more than fish. Let's see what happens.

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Fasting - report back
Did most of the fast as I had planned:- two days of fruit and five days of veg and fruit.

On day 1 I released a lot of water, and on day two had a GERD reaction with quite a severe headache. Over the next 5 days my bowel movement was not regular, and I was bringing up mucus. By the end of the fast I wanted grain, and felt much better for it when I started again. This is my second day since the fast finished, and I woke up feeling good.

What does this mean? I still have a GERD problem, I think in the oesophageal tract between the stomach and the breast bone. Perhaps this is permanent, whatever, any slipping of the diet will bring it back. As I thought there is still a mucus problem but I prefer fasting to the ginger compress as a means of releasing it. Ginger compress means I have no control of when the problem will affect, at least I know that with fasting that 7 days is not good. Previously with fasts towards the end of the fast I began to feel better. In this fast I felt OK on the first day, the second day not so good, and the following 5 days just OK. But I had no vitality, as soon as I started with the grain I started exercise again - the grain stimulated will.

The fast was not good spiritually. The second morning after the fast I felt good spiritually, the fast definitely had an effect. I dreamt that it was important to fight for peace, and I associate that with the grain. I can see how one could be misled into seeing a causal relationship between food and spirit with the food being the starter. However spirit would find a way if the causal relationship was not there.

I will be continuing with weekly fruit purge and see how that affects the mucus block. Fasting is something to be done every so often - I have not fasted for two years - since I started mb. Maybe I need to choose a different fast to avoid the spiritual reaction, or maybe accept the spiritual reaction. Fasting should be part of my eating, and it needs to be considered.

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CALCIUM DEFICIENCY Paul Pitchford refers to arthritis as a degenerative condition. Through a sports injury my knee is susceptible to such a degenerative condition, and if you add in the genetic factor it is more than likely. Not only is this worsened by old age but it has also been worsened by failure to compensate the change in diet.

Prior to starting mb my diet was vegetarian with far too much dependence on cheese. Starting mb I realised that I had a cold damp condition with excessive mucus brought on by the excessive dairy. I cut this out, but in cutting out I did not compensate for the comparative lack of calcium. I now realise that there is a need to focus on increasing the calcium.

Let me examine a little more Paul Pitchford's notion of degenerative disease. I interpret it as his seeing it as all being connected to diet. Good diet regenerates. At the same time the joint system is calcium-orientated. For me this negates the prior understanding that bones was one thing and cartilage another. In other words calcium can regenerate the whole joint system including the cartilage. Starting mb has allowed the degeneration to become slightly, emphasise slightly, worse because of my own comparative lack of calcium in the diet.

In the cybermacro thread on osteoporosis - thread's gone, people have compensated for the lack of calcium in the mb diet in different ways - including what might generally be called off "not-mb ways". Obviously all people are different, and I am too ignorant to say properly but I do believe flexibility is required. In my own case I assess, rightly or wrongly, that I need calcium comparatively speaking because I took in more calcium before starting mb because of the way I ate. At the same time I have a genetic tendency towards osteoarthritic problems so increased calcium for bone sytems is needed.

So how do I compensate?

According to PP, sticking to my version of mb diet avoid:-

Excess salt

Restrict rhubarb, cranberry, plum, chard, beet greens, spinach


Include perhaps:-

Goat's milk

Chlorophyll-rich foods


Barley and wheat-grass


Avoid damp stagnation - mucus. Soy milk is a possibility but produces mucus. Maybe a glass a day. Soy is promoted for bones because oestrogen is supposed to help calcium intake; but soy milk?

Nurture the kidneys.

Calcium intake is perhaps sufficient but need to do more for absorption so increase magnesium. To do this:-



Nuts and seeds - inc sesame


To increase magnesium and nurture the kidneys make something with seaweed, mung beans and sesame seeds TOMORROW. Have some with each non-breakfast meal.

Also look for high chlorophyll - chlorophyll is a must - maybe Saai's Mum (in Thai chloropheen). Micro-algae contain the most chlorophyll. In Thai saa raai - algae. Maybe order the wheat-grass stuff if Saai's Mum and Aden no good. Already use spirulina in drink.

Make a drink of soy milk and roasted sesame seeds - maybe ground. At most one glass a day.

Conclusion In MY case, cannot say for others with knee problems, am going to nurture kidneys and increase magnesium in diet. To do this:- Increase flax seed

Make something with seaweed, mung beans and sesame seeds, and eat with salads and vegetable meals.

Have ONE drink of soy milk, roasted sesame seeds, and maybe honey.

Find chlorophyll and add to diet in some way.

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Food Inc
Devestating movie - needs to be watched. Go here to download.
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Three weeks ago my massage guy told me I was fat. He then took me to the scales, and I was 92kg on his scales - I couldn't believe it. I bought some scales, I have thought about this often but now I need to monitor my weight. I was 90kg - bad enough.

So I started a 10-day diet like I did nearly three years ago. Day 1 Veg. Day 2,3,4 fruit. Day 5-10 Veg. My weight hovered around 87-88 kg, still 8 kg overweight. But this 10-day diet had minimum impact on my health toxin-wise; on Day 2 I had a headache, that's all. Throughout the 10 days I was passing a lot of water, and this explains the fall in weight. But that's it for the toxins.

I was shocked about the weight because physically I felt good. Down at the beach I have been swimming three times a week and doing Chi Gung twice a week; I estimate 300m swimming. I felt fit. Previously the massage guy had commented I was overweight when I wore slim-fit, and I said muscles - from swimming. My weight before the swimming had hovered between 84-86 - 4-6 kg overweight; now with the swimming it is 7-8kg overweight.

For the time being I accept this excess weight because I feel good, but I have to be careful of it sneaking up on me again. So I must do the 10-day diet every 6 months - in Outlook, and have a weekly fruit day; today is a fruit day.

Where is the weight coming from? I eat two meals a day - both too big, especially in the evening. I should do 80% for the stomach but I am probably nearer 100-105%. I must reduce the amount of fish I eat with coconut sauce but it is all good food. So basically I am accepting the increase in weight as muscle with the dietary considerations in the last paragraph. The only bad stuff I definitely have is the sugar in Oishi, so only one a day at the beach.

Not worried now!

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Fish Ecology - TED
Excellent TED talk on fish ecology by Dan Barber.

Watch or download.

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Cancer, Zandtao et al
This is not an authoritative blogentry. I am no expert on cancer, and have been fortunate to have minimal contact in my life. What concerns me most is the hell that cancer sufferers go through - see this Farrah Fawcett video - a self-filmed journey of her death through cancer and chemotherapy.

Click each part and you will be taken to mediafire. Wait for the link to say "Click here to start download", and click the link. You can download more than one file at once. Use hjsplit to join - if you don't know what I mean go to this page for details.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I have no evidence for the following either but believe that (amongst other ways?) cancerous growths occur in the body as a cumulative result of poor diet and lifestyle, and that if such poor diet and lifestyle did not occur, nether would many cancers. This diet and lifestyle will produce imbalances, particularly acid-alkaline imbalance, and I have read that cancers are particularly attracted to acidic areas of the body. Why wouldn't that make sense? I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to be definitive but how can a good diet harm you? If cancer come salong why wouldn't it be the first thing to do?

Now I follow a macrobiotic diet and this diet is often heralded as the cancer-prevention diet. Whilst there is not hard scientific evidence to support macrobiotics preventing cancer, I do believe strongly that a healthy diet can help you - as I said it certainly cannot harm you. Unfortunately there will never be hard evidence to support the claims of macrobiotics as who would fund the research?

So if it does make sense why isn't the first step to cure cancers to change diet? At the same time there appears to be a rush to chemotherapy which makes life hell. One macrobiotic practitioner has worked on cancer and combined his macrobiotic counselling with acupuncture and spiritual enlightening, checkout these clips:-


2) Danielle Lee

3)Linda Sabat

4) Valerie Mason

Personally I would promote a lifestyle that not only encompassed healthy food (as in macrobiotics) and good positive energy (as in acupuncture), but also a stress-free life - one in which meditation was practised daily. One core approach to this would be Zandtao, and whilst there is no medical evidence to support a Zandtao approach how could it possibly hurt?

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Apart from when I went up to 90kg for a couple of months I have remained static on 85kg for two years now. Since my target weight is 80kg I consider this as 5kg of potential disease. And I think I see where the pointers indicate the disease.

To begin with I had a migraine the other day. Now I should not call it a migraine in line with that Thai piece about one-sided headaches, and it made me think of the way my headaches developed. I would often (not always as I get headaches for everything) get pain in the centre above my eyes, and this would spread to the left and to the right, and sometimes to the back. All of this pain I called migraines. However with this last headache the pain did not spread from the eyes to the sides, and it made me realise that I had been having a different source in the centre of my head for a long time - sinus; one acupuncturist had pointed to that.

But then my GERD started playing up - reverberating. There was no reflux, no pain in the GERD region, but I could feel it bubbling. As I had always associated my migraines with my stomach it suggests that the anatomy of the majority of my migraines was GERD leading to sinus leading two one-sided headaches, and then everywhere.

As my eating is healthy I need to treat the GERD another way, so I will now be applying my plai cream more regularly so that the stomach and oesophagus can settle down. Then I read my bible, and Paul Pitchford said that too much mixing of foods can lead a desire for more foods, and can be reason why weight loss doesn't continue. Now I have always crammed too much into my meals, and always eaten too much. Although the food is excellent, the stomach was obviously having digestive issues - hence the sinus headache. So I have changed my diet to having fewer different veg. At the same time I eat too late. Now my day is not good and I should try to do something about it - along with exercise, but now I am having my first meal second, and have altered it in line with a PP chart on p 267.

Here it is:-

Sunday garlic broccoli corn carrots and daikon
Monday hoi and mushrooms and maa raa
Thursday celery, green beans

W Rice natto garlic pickles gomachio Radish Broccoli Black Rice, Rice drink, job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
TH Rice natto garlic pickles gomachio Maa raa Mushrooms (hoi & buai) Wheat beans, wheatgerm job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
Fri Carrots natto garlic pickles gomachio Green beans celery Brown Rice, rice drink,job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
Sat Rice natto garlic pickles gomachio Radish green beans Black Rice rice drink, job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
Sun Rice natto garlic pickles gomachio Maa raa Mushrooms Wheat, wheat drink job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
Mon Carrots natto garlic pickles gomachio Corn broccoli Brown Rice rice drink, job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice
Tues Quinoa or pasta, natto garlic pickles gomachio Mushrooms(hoi & buai) celery Black Rice, rice drink, job's tears, sesame, flax, currants, pineapple, veg juice

Buy more celery - pak gee frang.

I haven't followed all of PP's p267 chart but it is better and maybe with the plai 85 can become 80 and headaches will finally go - don't believe that headaches are my kamma.

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85kg Update
I forgot to mention that I have just been able to source psyllium husks. I have always been conscious of mucus so hopefully this will also help.

What is Psyllium Husk?

Psyllium Husk is basically fibre - it's made up of complex carbohydrates. It's extracted from Psyllium, a plant - it's the coating around the seed of the Psyllium plant, so it's completely natural.

Psyllium seeds are used for other ailments. Psyllium husks are taken and inserted inside capsules, so that they can taken as supplements. Or they can be converted into powder.

What are the benefits of psyllium husk?

- Since it contains carbohydrates, it can help constipation.

- It can help ease the pain of hemorrhoids and cystitis.

- Psyllium Husks have anti-inflammatory properties,

- aid in weight loss control

- maintains healthy cholesterol levels

- maintains healthy blood pressure levels

- treat IBS, and hemorrhoids.

- treat yeast infections.

- it pushes out mucoid plaque.

It's main benefit, however is in preventing constipation and promoting colon health. The natural fiber in Psyllium increases the weight of our bowels, and acts as a safe laxative.

Why is Psyllium Husk effective for bowel problems?

The husk swells when it comes in contact with water. It can absorb anything that is 8-16 times its weight. It's bulky fibre qualities makes it an effective laxative. Psyllium Husk forms a gelatin-like mass in the colon, which keeps the bowels nice and soft. This mass also helps absorbs toxins located in our bowels.

The bulky substance formed by Psyllium Husks stimulates peristalsis, which aids constipation.

Guidelines when Consuming Psyllium Husk

1. Make sure you consume it with liquid. Do not eat it alone as it can cause digestive problems. You can mix Psyllium Husk with practically anything: fruit/veggie juice, stew, soups, ice cream shakes, water, milk, etc.

2. Make sure you consume plenty of liquid before and afterwards. Psyllium Husk can cause dehydration since it makes the moisture content of our bowels higher. It would be good to keep an extra glass of water when consuming Psyllium Husk for the first time, because it can be hard to swallow.

3. Psyllium Husk is not recommended for those who are pregnant.

4. Consume Psyllium Husk in between meals, never immediately after or before one. It can dilute enzymes and therefore interfere with digestion.

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Healing Cancer
I am not a doctor, and according to this movie that is why I am able to say this. Go to this page to download and watch the movie called "Healing cancer from the Inside Out":-

movie download

Even if only half the stuff the movie talks about is true, it is shattering what the cancer industry puts over on us. Think about it for yourself. And ....

If a loved one is diagnosed with cancer at least think about diet - a healthy diet cannot possibly hurt you.

Checkout my other info on cancer at this blog and this blog

If there is any way of dealing with cancer without having to sufferthe way Farrah Fawcett did surely it is worth the effort.

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And it's not just cancer, listen to this lady talking about her osteoporosis:-

or download .

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Health at a low
New diet and acupuncture has hit me on a low, but there is one good thing - it is getting rid of stuff!!!

My first move to correcting the problem started with the change in diet noted in the 85kg blog. I started slowly on the new diet, still having outstanding food to finish. Then last Wednesday stuff started to happen. As part of my change in health I am attending an acupuncturist in Chanthaburi every fortnight. This was primarily to strengthen my knees - to put off the onset of osteoporosis or whatever consequence of the football injury I will get. At the same time I had some treatment on my digestive system - clearing up the vestiges of GERD I thought. I decided to stay in Ao Yang - about 25 km from hospital, got on the bike, and drove into a storm. I rode through the storm and by the time I reached the hotel I had dried off.

I had brought my own food, and in Chanthaburi had managed to buy some quality healthy bread and tucked in - delicious. I sat down to catch up on some clips and TED talks, and slowly a headache hit me. Although this was not as intense as some it was the longest I have ever experienced. About 11.00 pm it started between the eyes, and then moved up the right temple and stayed. I could not sleep so was pacing around the room trying to get tired - pacing usually works, but to no avail. To top all that the aircon went off in the middle of the night. I might have dosed for an hour at 6.00am but there was no let-up. I was debating trying to sleep all day and stay another night when about 9.30 am the aircon went off again, and I decided to go home through the headache. And that journey was more miserable. I must have gone through 4 separate storms on the way back from Chan, and then arriving in Trat there was no rain - a first for Trat. And then the worst storm of the day trapped me at the market.

I got home and cancelled my day, turned on some old Cold Cases and tried to rest. By early evening the headache was beginning to disappear. Friday I was almost back to normal, and then Saturday more changes began to take place.

I had decided that the headache was because of candida. I had visited a homeopathic practitioner in my early 30's and he had told me that my migraines were brought on by candida. I started a candida diet, and it helped me for a while. But I hadn't kicked the booze, and didn't want to spend my time cooking as school made me too tired so soon lost the benefits. But I have never felt that I have completely removed the effects of the booze, and candida could explain that. Reading up on candida made me think of more vegetables, so decided to make vegetable juice. Leafy greens.

Psyllium husks didn't seem to have had much impact if anything they had made me more constipated as I wasn't as regular. But not significant. So during Saturday I was drinking veg juice and downed two bottles of bua bok as thirst grabbed me at 4.00pm. Over the next two hours I had diarrhoea five or six times, the dangerous sort where your control is at risk. Suddenly they stopped - thankfully. Reminded me of the time with Dennis the Chemist. I had been visiting my mother, and she said this guy was good. At the time I had been concerned about my immune system, and this guy suggested buying plant extract capsules. I tried one and had problems with the bowels. Thinking it was detox, I took more only to be laid low. It lasted a disastrous three days, I did not take the capsules again. Just to see what sort of guy he was, I emailed this Dennis the Chemist, more interested in knowing why I had had the allergic reaction so I could do something about it. No reply!! There have been other times when I have had such bad reactions. Once I had not pealed a paupau properly and ate too much of the green skin. Here in Trat I bought some green stems with flowers on them, got to quite like them until they produced the same allergic reaction. I have never understood why greens should produce such allergic reactions - especially in a vegetarian.

I am tired and am not doing anything, candida could explain this. My diet is improved so I will stick with it and hopefully this low will higher.

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Bill Clinton - vegan
Didn't see this coming:-

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The three humours
I have been reading a book on Tibetan medicine, and although based on Ayurveda it talks of the three humours - wind, phlegm and bile. These humours correspond to three unwholesome roots, desire, ignorance and aversion. Our health depends on the balance of these three humours. According to a quote in this book (Tibetan Buddhist medicine and Psychiatry - The Diamond Healing by Terry Clifford) the three humours function as [p91]:-

The humour air is the vital force. It is understood to be concentrated in the nucleus; it controls metabolism. [BZ Wind]

The humour bile is the vital energy. It is understood as the energy released during catabolic activity by enzymatic reactions. (Wordweb - Catabolism - Breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy)

The humour phlegm is understood as the anabolic force which synthesises new protoplasm. (Wordweb - Anabolism - The synthesis in living organisms of more complex substances (e.g., living tissue) from simpler ones together with the storage of energy)

Air controls both catabolism and anabolism.

. This has a clear message for Zandtao as energy is clearly fundamental to health. For me personally I feel my chi is weak, yet when I was young I consider it was strong. Weakness in chi initially produced GERD - bile problems, of course I was very angry!! Once the GERD stopped its worst symptoms I began to have mucus problems, and at present they are quite serious - hence my interest in this medical epistemology. With both exhibiting problems there is clearly an energy weakness, and I know this because my chi is low due to so little Chi Gung. At the same time my current biggest Path problem is controlling desire - a wind issue.

I liked the general purpose of the Tibetan system as the medical practice is part of a holistic system of spiritual awareness. The book referred to descriptive and suffers from the usual Tibetan excess but the tantric position is very clear. One significant healing process is the chakras. Apparently the Tibetan approach is to visualise the Medicine Buddha sitting on top of your head. Through the visualisation the Medicine Buddha issues forth healing white light down through the chakras. I am not comfortable with Tibetan visualisations although I am easy with chakra healing. Use of chakras needs to be part of Zandtao's energy. Sadly Tibtean chakras are different in number and colour from the Hindu chakra system I use. It is especially interesting that the colours are different, what does that mean for the visualising of colours?

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