Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Savor" - The foundation of my process


That's the number one question people ask me when they see or hear that I have lost 45 pounds.

"Mindfulness" comes my one word answer.

Even when I tell them the more full length version as detailed in my previous post "The Plan!" it still sounds too easy.  Everyone either expects more, or thinks I'm oversimplifying it. Eat mindfully, exercise mindfully.  That's it.

Mindfulness, when you get right down to it, is all I am doing.  Sure I am initiating several other efforts using a variety of tools, but each of them is being used and performed mindfully.  The reason I stress this, is that I have done all of these things and COUNTLESS others in the past and none of those were successful individually.  I truly believe that what has happened for me with "Savor" and it's mindfulness message, is that I have found the glue that holds all those other efforts together.  The glue I was lacking in all my previous attempts.

I had a go at mindfulness once before.  It was a fad diet book, that actually had a great message (Eat what you want, when you want, when your full - stop.  And pay attention only to what you are eating.), and I still utilize it's core idea as part of my visualization process today.  But, ultimately, that other book focused on only one area of a persons life.  And that's where "Savor" excels.  It focuses on THE area of your life!

From the first days of my mindfulness efforts, I found things like the "Apple Meditation" to be amazingly effective!  Later in the book, I found the walking meditation to be a great practice as well.  But in the end, it's a very common sense, logical approach to help you focus on what matters, listen to your body and be happy all the while.  The end result?  Whatever you want it to be!

Co-Authored by Nutritionist, Dr. Lilian Cheung, and Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, the book gives a very good balance between the Buddhist point of view on mindfulness and the medical science of nutrition.

Thich Nhat Hanh, or Thay as he is referred to by his students, is a Buddhist Monk whom most agree is second only to the Dalai Lama himself in terms of influence.  His life is a mind-boggling journey spanning decades of helping people who couldn't help themselves, yet those achievements - when reviewed on paper - seem so expansive as to have seemingly occupied three times his life span!  It's simply astonishing how involved in bringing peace to the world he has been.  From becoming a monastic at age 16, to helping to pioneer the idea of "Engaged Buddhism", to war relief, to youth services, hospitals, homeless, agricultural and many other areas Thich Nhat Hanh has tirelessly and ceaselessly helped spread love and mindfulness throughout the world, while helping people directly, and still has found time to author several dozen works as broad ranging in topic as his relief work is in scope.  Oh, and he founded the Plum Village meditation community in France.  Look up any of his talks on YouTube, and his sweet affable nature will endear you to him immediately.

Dr. Lilian W. Y. Cheung, D. Sc., R.D. is a nutritionist on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health's Dept. of Nutrition.  She's been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh for years and knows more than a thing or two about the obesity crisis facing our country.  She's been involved in numerous books, lectures, websites and mass media programs to help confront this problem, and hopefully - one day - put an end to it.  She's an amazing thought leader, with her finger on the pulse of one of the nations most serious concerns.  As a student (and teacher) of both nutrition AND Buddhism, she is uniquely qualified to bring this message of mindfulness to us from a perspective both spiritual and scientific.

I believe that the message of this book, and it's authors, has everything you need to help you make a change in your life that will be entirely positive and beneficial.  Ultimately, you have to be ready and willing to make that change, or it's just so much good information.  If you are, as I was, then this book could be the right message at the right time, for you to begin your own journey to a healthier, happier and more mindful life!

What I can not stress to you often enough, or clearly enough, is how utterly SIMPLE this weight loss effort has been for me.  It's taken very little of my time, I have not craved things I have cut out, I have become a virtual vegetarian (Megitarian as my friend Alicia put it), have not been hungry - NONE of the usual things that come with diets and workouts.  Utterly, amazingly, simple.  It's as though, by simply making the decision to be this person, I am.  And that's exactly what it is.

Best of luck to you, I literally wish this for you in my moving meditations!


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