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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

A Zen Mind Helps Maintain a Healthy Gut

by Makiko Oka-Castro

In his book, Zen in the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel describes that when he visited Japan, he was astonished by his Japanese colleague that practices Zen Buddhism. During an earthquake, his colleague sat down calmly, not moving, with eyes closed, while everyone else ran around irrationally. This reminded me of my grandmother, who was able to save her two daughters in the chaos of the Tokyo air raids during World War II. Back then in Japan, Zen practice was a part of everyone’s daily life and culture.

In the current chaotic public crisis of the coronavirus, we can still pursue our Zen well-being, which is not just the avoidance of illness; rather more importantly, it is the basic human behavior of pursuing what is good for us to achieve our human balance. Under good circumstances, we behave well. However, under unusual or difficult conditions, we need to pay attention on how our behavior changes.

Our primary focus needs to be on our health and how to act for our well-being. Body equals mind equals soul, with posture balance to maintain our calm, patience and resilience. Toward this objective, proper food selection is most important, such as eggs (ideally pasture-raised), bone broth-based soup, more-than-24 hours fermented yogurt (ideally from raw milk), and lacto-fermented vegetables. And naturally, high-quality supplements are key, starting with probiotics, cod liver oil and vitamin C.

Our well-being behavior is the action of the Zen mind, which is cultivated in our healthy gut—the center of our physical being—where our minds need to be grounded. In doing so, we will overcome hardships and build a better place to be.

Makiko Oka-Castro is the founder of Natural Healing Artists, Inc., located at 32 Union Square E., Ste. 912, in New York City. For more information, email [email protected] or visit and their online supplement store at GutForLife.US.

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