When I was living as a Buddhist monk in the backwater jungles of Thailand, I learned many important lessons that have made my life much easier. One of them was how to handle food. The rules of a Theravada monk include eating only once a day, and that is in the morning. Typically, we would walk to the surrounding villages at sun up and proffer our bowls to the farmers, who would fill them with the same foods that they ate – mostly sticky rice, bananas, vegetables, and an occasional smattering of protein, perhaps chicken, grasshoppers, or dried fish. And once in a while a treat of some fruit juice or mangoes to accompany the gallons of water that I drank in the sweltering climate.

We would then return and sit in the meditation hall and silently eat our meal, meditating on how we are eating, not for pleasure, not for health, not for strength, but just for fuel so that we can continue our efforts toward enlightenment. The first couple of weeks were rough, but I got used to it, and the surprising thing was that my meditation improved dramatically from what it was stateside when I would eat all day, and anything in sight!

I went in at about 220 pounds and in no time was down to 180, about right for my six-foot two frame. I never felt better. As a matter of fact, the experience has stuck with me all these years, and at 65, I now weigh about 185. This is such a simple thing. No money or programs involved, only meditation, which improves health dramatically, especially the immune system and the mind, especially reducing fear and worry. And meditation does something else, it curbs desires, all desires, so that you can live a more sane, peaceful life of few harmful indulgences, and less karma.

And it’s easy to begin, just start every evening sitting quietly for 15 minutes. Complete meditation instructions (posture and mental processes), are on our website: www.SouthWestFloridaInsightCenter.com. And as a former Buddhist monk, I don’t charge for any advice. The Truth should always be free; if isn’t . . . it might not be Truth!

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, http://www.SouthwestFloridaInsightCenter.com His twenty-eight years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit http://www.AYearToEnlightenment.com