Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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consumers that this serves? Those who gain the most from pre-packaging and storage are the food processors and distributors who have simply invented ways to make their businesses flow more easily. For example, they set up their machines to make one kind of biscuit for a week and then change over to different kind. They put a 3 month use-by date on each different variety and - hey presto - 1 set of machines makes 13 different products per annum, each batch (supposedly) lasting 3 months from manufacture. The consumers have lost out in every way. Freshness, cost, nutrition. The foods we may eat in July, could well have been picked or processed in December the previous year, meaning that many things will be out of season at the time of digestion. Canned foods, frozen foods and cold storage foods create seasonal confusion for the body. According to commonsense, it is not desirable for the body to be out-of-sync with nature's cycles.
   Nature made us in tune with the plants and the seasons, and so to keep "naturally healthy", in-season food is best.
   Perishable, fresh foods do not keep well in a fridge which is continually being opened and closed many times during the day and exposed to the many smells of the world. Everybody can attest to the difference between freshly picked products and stale old food that's been hanging around in the bottom of the fridge for a week or two. Stale food will completely spoil that experience of pleasure when eating, as well as diminish the nutrition that we need from our meals. The closer one can eat foods to their harvesting time the better. This may mean being a bit more clever in your purchasing and storing habits, but more about that later.

At Home - Preparing, Cooking and Eating
   The next stage in the old food chain, the preparation of that food ready for eating (called cooking) is probably most important part of the whole process. If a meal is not cooked well, it may give you indigestion and then the whole act of eating has been a disappointment. If that happens, then every stage previous to that has been of no benefit. It is in the preparation and cooking, that you can have the greatest control over what you eat. But, these days, many people relegate this job to restaurants, pre-packed microwave dinners or take-away food outlets. Once again, another large area of the food chain has been diminished in quality by the ever growing "quick-cook" food mentality. The old

primitive 3 stage food chain is gradually being reduced even more to a 2 stage one - buy then eat! Home cooking is becoming a lost art and
skill. On the subtle level, the TLC (tender loving care) going into a meal has been reduced. The people who cook take away food or prepare frozen TV dinners are doing so purely for the wages. When that care and love of cooking is missing, the meal will always feel incomplete, and one's mind and body will soon reflect the deficiencies in these important ingredients.
   Cooking gives a personal stamp to your food. Actually getting your hands on it is the most potent nutrient in that meal. Your senses and your mind will always appreciate that you have made it yourself. It is just you, giving to yourself and your other diners.
   Normally, when we think of eating, we think of foods we like which will go into our mouth, taste nice and satisfy us until the next meal. This act of eating the food and enjoying it naturally seems the most important part. This is because it is for me, I, myself. At this stage, after it has come all the way from the farm, the shop, the pantry and has now left the cooking pot, it arrives on my plate. It is now my food, going into my body. It is a totally, personal, selfish and pleasurable act. This is, understandably, the main reason one would want to eat - to enjoy and to sustain life. At this point it has nothing to do with anyone else, and it seems like the end of all the previous work. The final moment of the food chain has come to our lips. The culmination of a meal for most people is a "clean plate" and wiping their lips with a table napkin. Once having eaten, well .... there's always another meal to look forward to and the kitchen waste, the cleaning up and the body wastes ….. well …. they're someone else's problems aren't they? Who cares what happens now, so long as I feel good inside until the next feed.
   However, after eating, that food continues to be owned by you even until excreted. All the resulting effects (both good and bad) are yours to possess as well. Do you appreciate that sometime after a meal, those feelings of low energy-high energy, inspiration-dullness, depression-excitement, health-sickness, could actually be a part of the dietary cycle of cause and effect? Do you happily admit to owning these by-products of your eating? And some years later, do you consider that years of food ignorance and bad eating could possibly be the cause of some particular chronic illness?
   Your meals of last year are not finished yet! Their effects, both good and bad are still building up in your body.

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Please Note:
The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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