Meditation is the underlying key to what is embodied by Eastern Philosophy. And the key to meditation is a pure body.
Our bodies are physical mechanisms – however the mind and the body are thoroughly interconnected. You cannot distinguish between the mind and the body. You cannot say that this is where the body ends and the mind begins. Hence whatever affects the body will also affect the mind – for better or for worse.
With the body being a physical mechanism, it is affected by the food that we eat. As such, we should take care as to what food we ingest as it will affect the body as well as the mind.
Osho Rajneesh talks about 3 guidelines as regards food:
1) One is that we should not overeat, as that will make us feel lethargic. When we overeat then all the energy of the body is directed to digesting the food and there is little energy left for other activities.
2) A second point that he makes is that the food should not be intoxicating. Intake of large amounts of alcohol will result in putting the cells of the body to sleep and this will also have an effect on the mind.
3) A third point that he makes is that the food should not be over stimulating. This is a particularly difficult step for me to take as I am used to drinking large amounts of coffee every day. However it would be best for me as well as for you to limit the amount of caffeinated drinks.
This is as regards food. However we should also take a moderate amount of exercise everyday.
Osho says that each cell in the body expands as we take exercise and makes us fell alive. There is no need to overdo it. We should not take an excess of rest or an excess of exercise. But a moderate amount of daily exercise will clear the blockages in the body and help us meditate better.
For people who are old or invalid, Osho suggests that we turn this into a meditation. Lie down on the bed and imagine that you are taking exercise such as jogging or climbing a mountain. If you imagination is strong you will find that your cells get a workout even though you are lying flat on your back. It is the same as having a frightening dream. When you dream, our heart beat changes and we may begin to be short of breath as we get caught up in the frightening dream. So also when we imagine that we are taking exercise our cells of the body expand and are invigorated.
Osho Rajneesh says that the purification of the body is the first step to meditation. Other steps are purification of the mind and purification of the emotions or feelings. This will allow us to move to the center and we will then be able to tackle the other issues related to gaining samadhi.