Friday, January 14, 2011

Eating With The Tai Chi Diagram Part 3

A Strong Foundation of Common Sense

 “Eating with the Tai Chi Diagram I” concentrated on your starting point, acceptance, contemplating the Tai Chi Diagram, and creating small changes. “Eating with the Tai Chi Diagram II” presented the problematic nature of the market solutions, and suggested adopting the Tai Chi Diagram as a lifetime study with you as the master teacher.

I will now discuss some of the thoughts and actions I find helpful.

We hear a lot about “good” and “bad” foods yet the diagram is made of Yin and Yang, White fish, and Golden (or Black) Fish. Make a shift in consciousness from good/bad to yin/yang.

In the world of good and bad you look for information mostly outside of you. In the world of yin and yang you look for information mostly inside of you.

In the beginning you may want to find a teacher that can guide and help you in this transition,

Follow the law of nature:

 Follow the law of nature. Follow common sense. For example, here are three simple, common sense ideas:

1) Eat when you are hungry

2) Eat till you’re 80% full

3) Pay close attention to how food affects you. If a certain food feels not right for your body or mind, don’t eat it for a while

In most cases if you follow these three guidelines your weight will go down, your health will improve, and you will be happier. For some it is that simple, but if you find following the guidelines hard to do you are not alone. For some of us staying sane, healthy and happy is hard work.

It’s all in the mind:

It is all in the mind and that is why the mind is a good place to start. Examine your views, attitudes and habits about and around food and eating. For example guideline 1 tells you to eat when you are hungry. Do you know when you are physically hungry? Have you ever been physically hungry? Can you tell the difference between physical hunger, and emotional hunger? Or habit hunger? Do you eat for recreation? Comfort?  Company? Instead of sleeping? To suppress sexuality? Because you’re angry, and lashing out is not an option? Because you’re sad, and crying is not aloud? The answer is simple: Eat only when your body needs food. Applying this principle to your daily life may take time and work. Contemplating it will lead to developing the awareness in your body, which will give you answers. Then you will need to go back to your mind where you will build acceptance, followed by creating and implementing small changes. The word “gong” (as in Qigong) means achieving/cultivating and it implies time accumulation. Take the time, do the work, don’t over do.

Of course the same line of thought follows for guidelines two and three: Can you sense how full you are while you are eating? Can you sense it after you’re done eating? How do you find 80% fullness in your stomach? What qualifies as discomfort? How do you know if that discomfort came from something you ate? And what was that something? Remember: Small changes! Rome was not built in a day; neither were your habits. Pick something that you can relate or connect to and slowly experiment with incorporating it into your life. Be creative, and be well.

~ Miriam Moran Shankman

Article Part 1
Article Part 2

Mir-Yam School of Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation, offers:
  • Weekly classes in Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation: practice, theory, and applications
  • Medical Qigong sessions
  • Guidance in “Eating with the Tai Chi Diagram”
  • Workshops and presentations

To contact Miriam,,

Also by Miriam:
Slow Down We Move Too Fast:  A Prelude to the Holiday Season

"Butterfly Summer" Photo Art Print is by artist Karen Casey Smith and available in her Etsy Shop.

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