As we explore in more depth the annamayakosha, we begin to recognize the sensation of hunger and thirst striking more meaning in this dense, tissue-ridden body of experiences. The annamaya contains way more than just food and water, tissues and blood and organs. It contains an entire system of the way the body processes that edible information. What are you telling your body as you choose to down that cheesecake? What does your body say back to you as it translates the cheesecake's message? How does the body disseminate that information? It sounds funny when it is said in this manner, but when it really starts to count, is how the message plays out over time.
Here are a few ways to think more deeply about the annamayakosha and how food informs us of our current state. How many times in the past month have you thought of meditating on that sandwich and bag of potato chips you ate, that you felt "badly" about for the past month?
- sthula (Physical) — In which taste and weight of food is realized.
- sukshma (Subtle) — In which properties and impact of food are felt.
- kaaran (Causal) — In which samskaras of food are preserved. Roots of many physical deformities lie in annamaya kosha.
Sthula is the physical sensation of eating the food: the smell, the taste, the mouth feel, the sensual experience of eating the food. How empty you are before, and how satisfied you are after, is the sthula.
Sukshma (subtle) How filling is it? Was it what my heart desired? Was it everything I hoped it would be? Did it do the job? Did it satisfy all of the emotional lacking that I was going through? Did it ring true to what life has taught me about eating this? How is my pocketbook affected? how is my internal environment affected? How is my external environment affected? What will my friends think about what I just ate? How did it impact my family and friends' and society's view of me? How did eating this affect the society at large? Is it GMO? Organic? Free range? Right for my body and blood type or diet regimen? Did it make me fatter or skinnier? Who's watching? Did I eat the right thing for them so that they will either be proud of me or learn from me? Did their decisions on who I am impact my plate?
Kaaran (causal) Am I really making this choice to eat this or is this the choice of my friends/family/environment/generation/genetics? How am I traumatized or triggered by my food choices? What damage has my food already played a part in creating for me? What part can I play in destroying all the reasons why the food is or is not part of my waking reality?
More on this later. Please send me your thoughts and impressions when you are ready to digest this material, pun intended, and we can dialogue about how this relates to your innermost needs and how food can play a role in creating more stagnation or more freedom.