Twelve Practices for Harmonious Living
"In fact, for all things there is a time for going ahead and a time for following behind; A time for slow-breathing and a time for fast-breathing; A time to grow in strength and a time for decay; A time to be up and a time to be down." Tao Te Ching
According to the Macrobiotic lifestyle, which is simply the art of balancing the universal forces of yin and yang, these practices, if applied to your daily life, will help you in maintaining good health of mind, body and spirit.
1) Let us enjoy a physically, mentally, and socially active life without being preoccupied by our condition or personal circumstances.
2) Let us be grateful for everything - this wonderful universe, nature, food, difficulties, and all people - and let us offer a short prayer of gratitude before and after each meal.
3) If possible, try to go to bed before midnight and get up early every morning.
4) Try to avoid any synthetic or woolen clothing worn directly on the skin. Use natural, vegetable quality materials such as cotton for daily clothing as much as possible, especially for undergarments socks and sheets.
5) Try to avoid wearing excessive metallic or synthetic accessories on your fingers, wrists and neck, keeping such ornaments as simple and elegant as possible.
6) Go outdoors often in simple clothing regardless of season. If the weather permits, try to walk barefoot on the grass, soil, or beach for at least an hour every day.
7) Try to keep your home and surrounding environment orderly, clean, quiet and as natural as possible. Try to avoid the use of synthetic rugs and furniture, television, electric blankets and fluorescent lighting. If possible, keep one or several green plants in every room of the house, and, whenever possible, open your windows to allow fresh air to circulate. Please make your home temperature as natural as possible without depending on air conditioning or excessive heating.
8) Initiate and maintain active correspondence, extending your greeting, friendship, and warmest wishes to your family, relatives, friends, teachers, and associates.
9) Avoid taking long, hot baths and showers, as they drain minerals from the body, unless you have been taking too much salt or animal food. Pools should be generally avoided since they are often heavily chemicalized. Swimming in fresh water lakes, ponds, or streams, or in the ocean is preferable.
10) Please rub and massage your whole body with either a hot, damp towel or dry one every morning and evening to stimulate circulation and relieve energy stagnation or blockage. If time does not permit, at least do the hands, fingers, feet and toes.
11) Please avoid using chemically perfumed or dyed toilet tissues, cosmetics and toiletries. For care of the teeth use sea salt or a natural toothpaste to brush in the morning and evening.
12) If possible, try to do active physical exercise such as scrubbing floors, cleaning windows, washing clothes, etc. If suitable space is available, begin a small vegetable garden and spend time whenever you can in the planting, harvesting and care of your vegetables. Systematic exercise such as yoga, sports and martial arts can also be helpful. If possible learn the art of shiatsu massage and regularly give massages to your family and friends.