Freedom in Discipline

I've written before about the need to slow down, to breathe, to be there, where you are, just open to this moment. Amazing things can happen on ordinary days when you leave yourself open to that possibility.

Pictured here is my "Four Pepper Stuffed Pepper;" a meal I created for my new vegan path [with Jicama and homemade Salsa Verde on a slice of Mom-grown Cherokee Purple tomato]. I got started watching a fascinating movie called “Forks Over Knives.”  Then, at the end of July, through the Center for Good Health(CfGH), I started working with a Wellness Coach, also the presenter at the seminar where I saw the movie. The coach helped me immensely just by the simple human trick of listening while I committed to this new path, and helping me keep track, in subsequent sessions, if I was actually doing what I set out to do. Alas, for any of you, Coach is soon to be moving on to a new gig. She will be missed. However, I understand she will still do consulting and coaching on the side.

This morning, I had my last coaching meeting of these first three. As we spoke about my progress and how I was going to maintain this new regimen, I offered that it seemed easy. It was just enough discipline to make some choices easier, and other choices just not necessary. At work, I often travel the floors of the hospital. There is the excellent cafeteria, the vending machines and the ubiquitous carry-ins. There is never want for snacky stuff, rich food, pizza, burgers, chips, etc. These temptations don't get to me like they once did. I don't feel tempted to cheat or bend my rules. Whether it's chips and salsa, rice crispy treats, donuts, cake, or whatever, I can walk by without a flinch and think: “Meh, not on my list.” I don't feel deprived, I am just not interested. This little bit of extra discipline has actually made my life easier rather than harder.

I expressed that though veganism is not a religious necessity of my Buddhist practice, it is religiously comfortable. It seems like a more compassionate choice, even a more sharing choice, though I don't proselytize in this way. Coach Sara proposed that this "freedom in discipline" about food choices was rather like Buddhism in general - freedom within the discipline of a practice. BAM! What a surprising, and unexpected, teaching! A rich understanding out of the blue. Right there, 8:30 am, I was blessed with a nutritional supplement for my Buddhism. Talk about food for the . . . um . . . buddha-nature.

If we aren't open to being taught, especially in an unexpected way, or at an unexpected venue, we can never learn.
Image: mine
Salsa Verde: Mom-made from her own-grown tomatillos and own-grown peppers.
Cherokee Purple: from Mom's burgeoning Little Shop of Horrors super garden. 

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