Today we ask that you be conscious about what you ingest.

Ingestion is not limited to the food you eat.  Everything you choose to take in, via your physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch — these are all things you “ingest.”

So it can be useful to look at everything you do or take in in terms of “Is this nourishing for me, or not?”

Certainly, this is easy to do with food.  You all have some sense of food as a source of nourishment, as opposed to “empty calories.”  It is okay to indulge in sweets from time to time, but even among sweet foods, some are more nourishing than others.  Raw chocolate, for example, is more nourishing for you than processed candy.  Most of you are conscious of such things, at this point.  

But really, this goes for everything you do.  Some activities are nourishing.  Others, less so.  

Meditation is nourishing for the mind, and body.

Physical exercise is nourishing, so long as it is done in a spirit of increasing health and good feeling — not in a self-punitive way.

Music, art, literature, film and television can be very nourishing — but here, one must exercise caution, as one does with food.  There are “empty calories” here, too.  And while it is okay in small amounts, it is good to stay very conscious about what you are ingesting when you see and hear things.

The main question to ask, always, is: is this nourishing.  Does ingesting this material make me feel good in my body and mind?  Does it help me grow as a person?  Does it help me to relax and be at ease?  Does it make me laugh and feel joy?  Does it make me feel more connected with other people?  Does it expand my awareness?  Does it help me to release my emotions and feel more alive and present?

Of course, what you take in need not do all of these things at once.  All foods are different.  Some foods are simple, some are complex.  All sensory experiences have a unique feeling tone, and stimulate different parts of you.  

Generally speaking, you all  have some sense of what feels like it is nourishing for you, and what feels more like “empty calories” — whether it is food, or television.  Be particularly watchful when something is addictive.  This can be a warning sign of something that is not good for you.

Social interactions can also be nourishing, or not.  Most of you have a sense of when you feel nourished in the presence of other people.  Some people are nourishing.  You feel good around them.  Others are draining.  Draining people tend to be very negative.  They are always gossiping, complaining, and judging.  They are not supportive.

As a rule, it is good to ingest that which is nourishing — whether it is food, movies, or social interactions.  There is no need to be puritanical about this, of course.  It is okay to indulge in “empty calories” once in a while.  However, if you are suffering from any form of physical or mental illness, it is especially important to be very careful and conscious about what you ingest.