Osho talks about how to nourish the body and how to nourish the soul – two essentials aspects of health.

The Middle WayThe Body as a temple

Health has two aspects to it. One is the physical, the other is the spiritual. The body is your temple; don’t neglect it. Your foolish, stupid ascetics have been telling you to neglect it – not only to neglect but to destroy your body. If your body is neglected, you will not be able to find the inner harmony – because if the body is harmonious it helps to attain to inner harmony. Take every care of your health, of your body. Love it, respect it. It is a great gift. It is a miracle, a mystery.

What food is for the body relaxation is in exactly the same way for the soul: food nourishes the body and relaxation nourishes the soul. The materialist forgets about repose; that’s why in the West there is so much restlessness – they have forgotten repose, they don’t know how to relax. They don’t know how to be in a state of unoccupiedness; they don’t know how to sit silently doing nothing. The materialist is bound to forget. He goes on eating too much, and he has forgotten that only his body goes on becoming fatter and fatter, and his soul goes on becoming thinner and thinner.

Relaxation is far more essential even than food. If sometimes you go on a small fast it is good, but repose should never be forgotten – because basically the body is only a temple: the deity is within. The body has to be loved only because it is a temple of the deity. The body is only a means; the end is inside.

Repose is food, meditation is food, for the soul. Repose means silence, rest, relaxation, calmness, coolness, collectedness, meditativeness. A state of unoccupied mind, empty, silent, with no idea of any doing, not going anywhere, not rushing anywhere – just being herenow. That is repose. And to be herenow is tremendously nourishing, because then you are deeply in tune with godliness; then music showers on you.
The past is no more, it is dead; the future is not yet, it is unborn. Only the present is. Only the present is alive. When you are herenow, life flows in you. When you are herenow, you are in godliness. And that is nourishment. That is real food.

When people come to me with the problem of too much obsession with food, my only suggestion is: become more meditative. Don’t be worried about food. Become more loving, become more meditative, and the problem will disappear. When you are full of love and meditativeness, you need not stuff yourself with food. The food is only a substitute – because you are missing the inner food, you are trying to substitute it by outer food.

The man of repose always remains very very alert, aware, of what he is eating, how much he is eating. He cannot eat more than is needed, and he will not eat less than is needed. He is always in the middle, he is a balance.

All extremes have to be avoided. Never be an ascetic and never become indulgent. Don’t eat too much food and don’t go on long fasts. Don’t become too obsessed with luxury, and don’t become too much anti-luxury, anti-comfort.

(Osho Philosophia Perennis)

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