In certain moments an internal dialogue starts up when faced with food that is, for lack of a better word, bad for your diet and eating plan. Last night, I made nachos for my daughters and made them as clean as possible: not a lot of cheese, chips that were baked, not fried, and fresh salsa. Nevertheless, for me, the saturated fat in the nachos was not the best option and while I was tempted to partake, I did not. What was the thing that kept me from ingesting this tasty treat? What was present, in my mind, to replace the temptation?
Each time I am tempted to eat something that is not on my eating plan, the thing I bring to mind is my hospital visit. I think about laying in that bed, unsure of what my situation was, wondering at what doctors might find. That unsure feeling of what was happening to my body and what I could do to correct, adjust, or alter my path. Those moments of foggy perception I keep with me when I am faced with a food choice. It’s, simply put, this idea: I never want to be unsure again…at least in this way…in terms of my health. That’s why I stay vigilant on the path of eating what I now know is good for my body and my particular situation.
In a similar way, I stay focused on my practice using the same basic approach; if I veer off of the path of enlightenment for all sentient beings I am actually letting down many people who rely on those of us who seek to make things better. I often think that if we all just cared for one person other than ourselves we would heal the entire world…if we were focused on the needs of just one person over our own needs we would find a transformed community.
Now I’m not here to lambast anyone at all; we all make choices and I have as well. The simple fact is that it’s clear we face many choices that take us in one direction or other that doesn’t really help those around us or ourselves.