Fire Within:The Amazing Alchemy of Digestion
Health Is a Gently Blazing Fire"
Western culture, reverence for food and eating has faded,
or been lost entirely. Grace may still be said at the
dinner table, but for the most part, food is eaten with
very little thought of where it came from and an absence
of sensitivity to the condition of the digestive fire.
ancient science of Ayurveda describes digestion as a sacred
fire. Personified in the Indian
tradition as the god Agni, the digestive fire in the belly
consumes our food and transmutes it into the elements
of the body, mind and spirit.
we feel hunger, this is a sign
that the digestive fire is blazing. When our hunger flags,
and the fire weakens, then our digestion suffers, food
is not assimilated and toxins accumulate in the body.
According to Ayurveda, the condition of the digestive
fire determines the health of our entire being.
do we make sure that Agni, this sacred fire, stays strong
and healthy? First, we supply just the right amount
of fuel. If we overload our stomach by overeating, or
if we drown it by drinking too much at meals, then the
digestive fire goes out and it takes a long time to recover.
in mind that hunger is the sign of a healthy digestive
fire, rather than constantly snacking, we can wait to
eat until the level of hunger is high, but not too high.
We can wait until mealtimes, and only then make our offering
to the flames.
India, as in many traditional cultures, meals are a time
of sacred offering. Prior to eating, the food is offered
to the divine power with humility, reverence and gratitude.
The food itself is considered sacred and is prepared,
handled and served as a precious gift. Many traditional
cultures attach rituals to the act of eating to acknowledge
its divine nature. This religious practice nourishes the
soul as well as the body.
many parts of the Western culture, however, this reverence
for food and eating has faded, or been lost entirely.
Grace may still be said at the dinner table, but for the
most part, food is eaten with very little thought of where
it came from and an absence of sensitivity to the condition
of the digestive fire. Who among us takes a moment of
reverential silence before biting into food when we are
dashboard dining? And, with oversized portions being the
norm, how often do we force ourselves to finish every
bite, regardless of feeling unwell afterwards?
consequences of eating in this unconscious fashion, year
after year, are devastating, and explain, in part,
why Western people suffer so much from obesity, heart
disease, high blood pressure and other life-threatening
conditions. These are all diet-related
problems and the solution, the way to prevent them, is
also related to the diet-what
we eat and how we eat it.
stated, when our digestive fire is strong, we thrive.
When it is weak, we suffer.