In the Tibetan literature they say, “Embrace your ten thousand horrible demons and your ten thousand beautiful demons.”
…Sattvic foods turn out to be primarily – various books describe them differently and list different ones – primarily limiting oneself to fruits, honey, nuts, dairy products. As you go on into this work deeper and deeper, you sensitize your body through various asans, opening certain nerves through meditation, through pranayama, and your diet keeps changing. You get into lighter and lighter diets until finally you start to move toward giving up the grains and the wheats and moving toward fruits and nuts and milk and things like that. And pretty soon you get into primarily fruits, and so on.
…..this is where it gets very science fiction again because in India the people I live with often – their actual living experiences – make a total shambles of our Western models of health. I studied with a man whose total input of food for fifteen years ……was two glasses of milk a day. He had more energy than I had, and certainly more than most of the people I had ever met. He slept roughly two hours a night and we’d go up to a mountain – he’d be running up and I’d be trying to kind of pull myself along. He weighed ninety pounds. Totally exquisite in his movements. Two glasses of milk a day. You know what the World Health Organization would sayd about that? I mean, even if its good, rich buffalo milk….
…..you put all your attention at the bottom of your spine, and you have sufficient discipline to put it there and keep it there, and what incredible thing happens is that when you can take your attention away from the holding of the breath, you go into this state where you are not breathing, and you are not holding your breath. Usually the awareness of that brings you back. You say, “My God, I’m not breathing!” And that brings you down. But after a while, when you stop getting hysterical about what’s happening, you can go into this state and just sit. You’re not doing any breathing. You’re just sitting with your mind totally focused on your spine, and you’ve flipped into this place where you’re perfectly calm but there is no breath, and at that point you feel this energy pouring up your spine and up into your head. It’s very incredible, powerful, and very delicate and must be done very, very delicately, with much guidance – but its an extraordinary process.
Meditation, or bringing the mind to one point, dislodges it a little more, because for moments you are free of it.
Now, there are various strategies for how to work with a desire. One is not to do the thing that the desire is connected with.
But I think the reason a human birth is considered precious is because of the degree of self-consciousness – awareness of one’s predicament.