Day Thirteen: Absorption

Last night, I went to  Kroger for groceries, and for the first time ever, didn’t buy any meat products or anything frozen or boxed. 

Back in November, when I originally conceived the idea for this blog, I read some articles about the dietary choices associated with Taoists. My grocery list was primarily created using this Livestrong article and the book, The Basic Ch’ang Ming Cookbook, which I was able to read for free with Kindle Unlimited. 

Purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and Brussels sprouts (all organic) off to bake in the oven.

The Taoism diet consists of 50 to 70 percent whole grains, 20 to 30 percent vegetables and 5 to 10 percent animal or bean products, according to Grand Master Mantak Chia, founder of Universal Healing Tao.

My grocery list was created with these guidelines:

  • Locally grown, and in season, whenever possible.
  • Avoid acidic foods, food additives, and heavily processed foods. 
  • Emphasis on whole grains, fruits (but no “tropical fruits” except papaya), vegetables, seeds, nuts, and soy.
  • Warm, cooked foods instead of raw foods, with the exception of salads. 
  • Avoid red meat, refined foods, tropical fruit, dairy, sugar, and strong spices. 
  • Eat only when hungry and not just out of habit. 
  • Eat only natural foods. 
  • Eat more grains and vegetables.
  • Chew all your food really well.
  • Don’t overeat at any time.
  • Keep your liquid intake down to the barest minimum. 
  • Take deep breaths whenever you get the opportunity.

The Tao of Long Life, by Chee Soo

To get started, I needed to buy an electric knife sharpener (for my dull kitchen knives) and a 12″ wok. This cost about $30 total at Kroger. 

I needed safflower oil and sunflower oil, which the recipes in the book called for. 

I bought a bottle of low sodium soy sauce and a bottle of Tamari in the small, Asian section at Kroger. I was unable to find miso, unfortunately. 

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. Wikipedia

I bought the dried spices I needed and didn’t already have: marjoram, basil, and oregano. I was unable to find chervil. 

I bought two bags of brown rice, several bags of different kinds of dried beans and lentils, whole wheat flour, slivered almonds, and toasted sesame seeds. A can of organic oats. 

The rest was mostly organic produce, a lot of which were root vegetables such as purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, onions, and rutabaga. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts. 

All meals should be eaten with orange or grapefruit “to aid digestion” so I bought a bag of each. I also bought bananas (not sure if that fit the Taoist bill but it would go well with the oatmeal), mushrooms, tofu, celery, and almond milk to have with my remaining Cheerios. (A cold food, I know, but I don’t want to waste food.)

When I got home, I made my own vegetable stock as instructed in the  book. I also made the mushroom soup, which was very easy, done in a half hour, and suitable for lunch today. 

Today, I will blanch and freeze the veggies I need to make upcoming meals. One of the reasons I don’t eat enough vegetables is that they quickly rot in the fridge before I can eat them. So I will prep and freeze the produce for stir fry and baked dinners. 

Most dinners will consist of brown rice and veggies, and soups. I will also cook all remaining meats in my freezer, mostly fish. 

Deng Ming-Dao on Absorption:

“In the meantime, all of nature continues its constant flow. We need to let ourselves go, enter freely into the process of nature, and become absorbed in it. If we integrate ourselves with that process, we will find success. Then the sequence of things will be as evident as the coming of the sun and the moon, and everything will be as it should be.”
-Deng Ming-Dao

Deng Ming-Dao says “true absorption is a total involvement in the evolution of life without hesitation or contradiction. In nature there is no alienation. Everything belongs.” 

I think what he is saying is like the old expression “go with the flow”. Everything happens in cycles and we create our own alienation when we try to be in control of the process. 

We are distant from the process of nature when we: 

  • Question everything. 
  • Assert ourselves at the wrong time. 
  • Let hatred and pride cloud our perceptions. 

      The Daily Stoic: Circle of Control

      Today, Ryan Holiday says:

      According to the Stoics, the circle of control contains just one thing: YOUR MIND. 

      Your will and your choices come from your mind. Everything else is outside your circle of control, like:

      • The fact that I am sick right now. 
      • Kroger in Bardstown doesn’t carry miso in the Asian food section of the store. 
      • It is raining this week in Kentucky.

        Quit Smoking Date: February 1st!!

        Off to freeze vegetables. 

        B.G..

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