I do not claim to know a lot of the philosophy behind Raja Yoga, except to say that I am a serious student of it, at this juncture in my life.
I have been associated with the North American Indians ever since I completed my postgraduate studies in Endocrinologist and currently serve as a Consultant Endocrinologist to some tribes.
I am sitting at the home of my sister. Lunch is being served.
Cesar Salad. I chose Asian Sesame Salad Dressing
Home made Hummus with Olive oil
Home made Mexican salsa
She had offered me several salad dressings. I rejected them one by one
NOT because of their caloric content
NOT because of the FAT content, but
BECAUSE some contained High Fructose Corn Syrup, and I wanted to try a new taste.
No one can say the above lunch was not nutritional, but that is not the only reason that I am eating it.
I like the taste.
I like the memory of its taste; a new taste or sensation is now becoming a memory.
Why do we eat MINDLESSLY?
What is MiNDLESS?
When the taste is no longer the reason for eating, but memory of a pleasant experience overrides TASTE or NECESSITY.
When you think about it, isn’t MEMORY more important in making that decision to eat what we eat?
Our minds keep on gathering from the time of birth and very soon the sensations become memories. You can see that with infants and children. Taste sensations for which they have memory, they eagerly gulp them down. A taste sensation for which they have no memory, they will reject it a few times and then, when that taste becomes a memory, they will begin to accept that taste.
So the mind retains SENSATONS, and then THOUGHTS and IDEAS, as we grow older and processes them into MEMORIES (IMPRESSIONS). Then the MEMORIES will short circuit the taste/sensation/thoughts/ideas and immediately create an action.
I am in Miami, there is no Roti Canai here to be had; there are hardly any Tamoul people here to warrant the food of Tamoul origin which is very popular in Malaysia.
When I think of Roti Canai, the sensation that comes up is a whole vision rather than a photo of Roti Canai.
Let me do it. I would think of Roti Canai and what does come to my mind?
The food court at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) where very thin Tamoul girls make Roti Canai.
I had been there many times to search for Roti Canai in KL.
My best friend in KL makes sure that I eat Roti Canai at least once during my stay in KL, preferably at the Maulana Food Market presided over by a Moslem from Tanjore by the name of Soleiman.
It also brings up the taste of Teh Tahrek, the sweet India Tea, which is made bubbly by long pulling movements of the tea from two containers one in each hand.
So far, the taste of Roti Canai has not risen in my mind.
It is as if there is no intervention of the conscious mind, something automatic is taking place, because of the very many pleasant experiences now stored as memories that I associate with Roti Canai.
So much so, that when my best friend meets my flight arriving from Cochin or Paris or Miami (via a few stops), the first stop is always the food court at KLIA.
I used the same logic with my Indian patients when I saw them the next time.
If Pepperoni Pizza makes your Blood Pressure or Blood Sugar to go up (you can substitute Dunkin Donut, McDonald hamburgers or any international names Krispy Kreme or All you can Eat, Famous Dave’s)
Can you not try to suppress the memory of Pepperoni Pizza, concentrate on that memory and eradicate that memory?
Serving Size 1 large slice (90.0 g)
Amount Per Serving 203 Calories of which 81 calories are from FAT (9 grams), mostly Saturated Fat which is not good for any one, a whopping 680 mg of Sodium, one quarter of your daily need, with 25 gram (100 calories) from Starch/Carb with negligible other ingredients or fiber.
How can I do that, doctor?
I imagined a cultural metaphor, which the Indian would understand easily.
I am Jewish and am prohibited form eating Bacon. However you extoll the virtues and taste of Bacon to me, you will not get me to eat Bacon, for more than health reasons. I have no memory of Bacon in my brain. I can easily create one, like you have created one for Pepperoni Pizza, but I don't wish to create that memory. In the same way, if I have to sacrifice some taste I have acquired, if you give me a good reason, I will suppress the memory quite easily, as my conscious mind is stronger than the automated action that makes me associate a vision about food rather than the taste or its caloric content or nutritional value.
In another blog, Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes,
I describe the determination I saw in a friend of mine, who has controlled his Blood Sugar to such excellent levels, Hemoglobin A1C is 5.9, by eradicating the memories of bad foods from his brain.
And then create memories for food that are beneficial for your Diabetes. And don’t make excuses like, oh. Just one time, just this one time and no more. Say NO MORE to memories of that taste if you wish to eradicate these memories. You can. Then food being presented would pose no dilemma to you, you don't have to decide to eat or not to eat, and automatically you would choose something else. It would be a joy for you to say NO.
It is time to go out for a nice cup of Cuban Coffee, made by a Cuban, very warm, strong, with steamed milk, Cortadito, like they serve in La Habana, while I can listen to the cadences of the Spanish speech of Havana or Cuba.
So you can see that the attachment to FOOD is much more than just Taste or Discretion.