Monday, May 30, 2011

MINDFUL EATING, published first at
 and included here, as a compendium of the food/ health/ weight loss/ yoga / tai chi postings

The tongue has the biggest representation in our brains compared to its size in our body.

And, guess what? If you are in the mood to “wake up” in the enlightenment sense, and are on the pathway to being present and aware at every moment, you might or might not have noticed that these two times are times when we often go back to “sleep.”

So here is today’s game, so simple and so deep and so off the normal track as to appear almost impossible.

And in the words of Moshe Feldenrkais, the goal of an amazing life is to “make the impossible, possible; to make the possible easy; to make the easy elegant or pleasurable, or both.”
The end is a bit of a paraphrase.
Oh, well.


Look at your food as your prepare it. Find your feet on the ground, and your eyes bringing in light and images, your fingers touching the food, your breath coming in and out.

Notice your arms and legs and spine.


Prepare your food so that it looks and smells good to you.

Sit somewhere that is conducive to feeding yoru body, and your heart and your spirit.

Sit up somewhat straight.

Take three breaths before you take a bite. If you live with other people, hold hands with your eyes close for many breathes, and then look around at each person before letting go. Maybe say something meaningful to you. Listen to what anyone else has to say.

Before the first bite, follow three breaths.

After the bit, put down the eating tool, or the bowl or the cup. Down, hands free.

Chew and savor and taste.

Take a breath when the food is “gone.”

Then pick up the eating tool, cup or bowl, and resume, one more bit, again setting this down while you chew and savor.

If others are there are you going to talk?

I don’t know.

Find out, and if you do, see if you can put attention all on eating and then all on listening and/ or talking, but make them separate.

Make the attempt.

Slowness and awareness will feed something deep in you.

Try it and feel, see, experience;


The book can be purchased over the internet as
a pdf that I'll email you.

You pay pay pal, they email me,
I email you your pdf.
You can print it up,
or read it off the computer.

This unique collection
of 108 games/ actions/ learning practices
fifty cents a game.
Do one activity a day for ten days
and the book will have paid for itself.

108 Paths to Awakening: $54
Move, Feel, Think, "soul"

This book is about changing your life
do this
and see if it changes your life.
Meanwhile, here's the honor roll book.
Pay $27 now
and after the 108 games you feel so transformed
you feel like buying it again, go right ahead.
For now: get involved.
Do 1 a day,
or even better four: moving, emotional learning, thinking and "soul"
Change makes for change.
Have fun.
Wake up.
Meanwhile, I'll send you the pdf.

$27 Honor Roll Low Cost Book

Here's the struggling and wanting to transform option:

108 Wakings for $13

And here's the full fair fare,
go for it,
you are this valuable,
signal your value to both you and me:

108 Wakings for $108

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tai Chi for learning, amazement and deepened meditation
improving your brain
sense of humor

If you know tai chi,
and want to radically improve the awareness/ mindfulness
try this:

start the form as you usually do
with extra attention on whether your weight is on
your left foot
or your right foot

gradually expand your awareness
so that each time you weight is on your left foot,
you add on as well
attention to your right hand,
and vice versa

do this as fully as possible:
all fingers, all toes,
the meat of the hand, the fullness of the foot
the wrist, the ankle

and in the foot
attention to where your weight is being placed

keep doing this and then add on:
selecting one digit of the "lit up" hand ( which is the
hand opposite the foot pushing down into the Earth)
select one finger of the "lit up" hand
and put attention on that finger and the equivalent toe
of the opposite/ weight bearing foot

And switch in the next posture
as your weight shifts to the opposite foot

Like this:
left foot on ground, right hand lit up: chose the thumb and the big toe
right foot bearing weight, left hand lit up: choose the little finger and the little toe

toward the middle of the foot,
those toes are "harder"
but that is the fun of it
in a way

and you'll forget to keep this
awareness game going,
and just come on back
and "light up" your brain
as you do tai chi

Monday, May 16, 2011

Going Beneath and Beyond Feeling Bad

How to lose weight, by realizing that your unhappiness doesn't have to run and or ruin your life.

I'm going to start posting almost weekly in this blog, too.  To the right you can find a list of my other blogs and the days on which they are published.

This blog is going to return to it's original aim: Tai Chi:: Yoga::Health:: Weight Loss

And I'm starting my return here by talking to the core of overeating:
Using food as a way to cover "feeling bad."

In later essays, we can talk about eating mindfully, and shifting radically the "kinds" of foods that you eat.

But if you can't begin to shift out of slavery to "getting rid" of unhappiness, the freedom that can come from real health and healthy eating will always be just "beyond the beyond."

So here's the essay, a chapter in my new book on Real Health:

The Importance of Feeling Bad
Sometimes, and with awareness
Sometimes we feel bad. Or, we could say, sometimes we feel like shit, or poorly, or unhappy. Mad, angry, depressed, worried, stressed, overwhelmed, sad. Bad.
We don’t feel good.
Now, this book is about waking up to real health by being present to whatever is going on.
If we feel bad, the “normal” way of reacting is:
Oh no, help. I feel bad. Get me out of here.
So we call a friend to rescue us from our loneliness, or going to a bar or a movie to distract ourselves, or even do something “good for us,” like jog, or write in our journal.
Some of these modes will move our life forward. Some will leave us stuck. And this book is about creating a life of ongoing happiness, health and learning. Of creating conditions where we can be helpful to ourselves, and to others and to the planet.
So, how can we “use” a moment, or a day, or a period of unhappiness to create a life of ongoing happiness, to create conditions where we can be useful to ourselves and to others and to the Earth.
Good old Earth. What does that have to do with being unhappy?
A lot, it turns out, since we can look around and see how much destruction is being melted out to our planet by the ravages of people rushing out to buy all sorts of stuff they don’t need, to coat and cover and “bad feelings” that might be creeping up.
That “shop until you drop” is considered sheik and cute rather than the ethical ecological equivalent of obscenity is testimony to how “normal” the habit of consumption is. And consuming stuff, consuming the Earth, here does the “stuff” come from?
Okay, okay, eco preaching yeah, yeah, but what does that have to do with unhappiness?
When unhappy: A. Don’t shop. B. Don’t get in a car and go somewhere. C. Don’t shop online.
When unhappy, don’t speed up.
Slow down. Slow down to the present.
Don’t avoid.
Feel, in the sensory sense, whatever sensations come up with “feeling bad.”
In your chest, breathing, jaw, neck, ribs. Wherever you constrict and contort yourself when you feel mad, afraid, weird, angry, sad, bad, notice as pure sensations.
There is almost always a bunch of words accompanying “feeling bad,” and try this: shift your attention to the present.
If you feel something in your stomach feel it. If you are sitting on a chair, sense that. If you are sitting upright, or walking, or lying down, sense your five lines (two arms, two legs, one spine) in whatever position you find yourself. Unhappy, let that be the background noise to this job, this job that pays a huge dividends, the job of being present.
Sense your five lines, and let the sensations of your unhappiness add to that.
And listen to the world. If the world outside you is saying, “You poor thing, Mary Lou should have been nicer to you,” then listen. But if those words, and any other ones that carry and justify and fuel your unhappiness are coming from inside your brain, pay them as little attention as you can.
For now.
Later in this book, and always to be recommended is to write down what the “should” and “shouldn’t” statements that are throbbing underneath your unhappiness and “doing the Work” on them. The Work is the work of Byron Katie, and that can be found online at, and she, Byron Katie’s her “stage” name, has books out with titles like “Loving What Is,” and “I Need Your Love, Is that True,” and “A Thousand Names for Joy.”
Also, in my previous book, available online, “Happiness in 4 Modes: 108 Ways of Moving, Feeling, Thinking and ‘Soul-ing’ to transform your Life,” I have a number of sections giving step by step pathways to take advantage of the Byron Katie work.
And for now, we are practicing giving so called “unhappiness” a bigger container by coming to the now.
And a specific set of ways of coming to the Now.
1)            Sense the “feel bad” sensations that go along with your unhappiness, without the words, just as sensations
2)            Sense your five lines
3)            Pay attention to real sound in the “real” world outside of you
4)            Pay attention to real light coming into your eyes from the world outside your body
5)            Follow your breathing
6)            Feel the totality of your experience in the present
7)            Find the happiness that is always there when we “wake up” to ourselves in the present.

So, this is subverting “unhappiness” by going Big and going now. Sure you are suffering, but is your big toe suffering? Is your breathing? Is your right elbow? How is the sound coming in your ears? The light coming in your eyes?
Your unhappiness can stick around, if it wants to, but your Life is bigger than that. Can you remember that the next time you are unhappy?
And guess what? Except for “sensing the feel bad” sensations in the list above, all the other avenues toward the Big and Present and Real you can be jumped into and enjoyed, right now.
And will that be good for the Earth?
And will that be good for others around you?
And will that be good for you?
Start practicing now, either six or seven of the above list, and find out.

All you have to lose is your slavery to
1) Feeling Bad
2) Fear of Feeling Bad
3) Having to "get rid" instantly of Feeling Bad