Macrobiotic Philisophy

Japanese peace activist George Ohsawa started macrobiotics as a philosophy supported by an awareness of foods. The foods focussed on a range of natural, whole foods, essential straight from nature. His book Zen Macrobiotics was published in English in 1960.
The macrobiotic philosophy is made up of a range of ideas that have come from Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Wabi Sabi and European Philosophers.

The macrobiotic philosophy includes;
When we become attached to a belief do we potentially limit our thinking? As we find it difficult to have contradictory beliefs, does one belief rule out almost an infinite number of other possibilities, if our universe is infinite? To be open to new possibilities, can it help to play with ideas and try them out, without feeling we need to be stuck with them? Can we study subjects like yin and yang in depth and develop our understanding of how we relate to the world we inhabit and keep that process of discovery alive by avoiding fixed beliefs?

Questions encourage us to explore, and out of this we make our own discoveries, gain insights and experience revelations. When we think we have the answer does the process of exploration stop? If we want to keep exploring ourselves and the world we inhabit, it is the questions that will help us most? Will the alleged answers get in the way?

As children we often had so many questions. With our education and age we think we have answers. We move from exploration and discovery to application. Do answers define how we live and if we become attached to those answers, does the way we live becomes limited? How much time do we spend defending our chosen answers and trying to persuade others that our answers are better than theirs? Can curiosity help us back into a freer life with potentially greater opportunity for change and self-evolution?

It is easy to go though life on autopilot. Do we sometimes operate on automatic, day dreaming through life, whilst real life passes us by? The more we are used to an event the easier it is to disconnect from it. When we are doing something for the first time is it easier to be more engaged? If every time we listened to our favourite music, ate our favourite meal or saw someone who is close to us, we were able to do so as though it was for the first time, how much easier would it be to fully engage? With our beginners mind is it easier to be curious, question and think for ourselves?

To what extent do we need someone else to tell us what to think and how much can we think for ourselves? How much do we impose our thoughts on someone else, when we could encourage him or her to think for him or herself? Is it better to have a head full of other people’s ideas or to exercise our minds by trying to think for ourselves, even if we develop different ideas?

To what extent are we trapped inside dogma, rigid thinking, doctrines, ideologies and patterns of thought? Is our behaviour partly defined by ingrained thoughts, leading to repeated reactions? How far can we go in one lifetime to deconstruct the thoughts that imprison us in unhappy or unhelpful places? What would life be like beyond the thoughts we have become attached to? How many of those thoughts our really ours? Have we adopted our parent’s, culture’s, teacher’s and peer’s thoughts and now living out of them? We think our problems are ours, but how much of them have been created by adopting other people’s ways of thinking?

We have the choice to perceive challenges as being interesting, difficult, exciting, frightening, testing, worrying, helpful….. In our lives how much have we evolved through challenges? To what extent would we continue to evolve and grow if our lives were very easy?

Do we inhabit a changing universe, in which we are changing and our relationships to our universe are changing? Does life become more interesting if we experience change? Do we only experience life through change? If the temperature, colours, textures, light, sounds and smells around us remain consistent, do we experience them? Does life become richer through change and if so is accepting change the secret to living a fuller life?

Is our cup half empty or full? Are we happier living a life out of appreciation and if so how much can we appreciate? Is it simply a question of training ourselves to be more appreciative? Can we develop ourselves to see the wonder, amazement, beauty, magic and mystery in more? Does the macrobiotic philosophy help in this pursuit?

How big is our appetite for life? To what extent do we feel enthused, excited, energised by life? Are we as engaged in living as we could be? Has living out of the same old answers and beliefs dulled our lives? Is it time to start exploring again?

To what extent do we want to take responsibility for our own lives? Is it easier to blame other people and circumstances, giving away responsibility? Do we want to take responsibility for our health, emotions and thinking? How would life be different if we reclaimed some of the lost responsibility, would we feel freer, more in control of our own destiny and self empowered?

Part of thinking for ourselves, taking responsibility for our health and living through awareness is to have our feedback system turned on. It helps to know how we are from one day to the next to be aware of whether our food and lifestyle are taking us in the direction we want. George Ohsawa encouraged students to be aware of their energy, sleep, appetite (digestion and cravings), emotions and mental state to be sensitive to their daily condition.

This has been written with a great appreciation for George Ohsawa, through whose writing and teaching I have become aware of these potentially life


Simon is the author of many best-selling books on macrobiotics, feng shui and aspects of wellbeing. Click on the image to buy Simon’s books on Amazon.

The ancient art of feng shui has long been used to maximise the energy of homes and living spaces. Now expert author Simon Brown shows you how to use the same principles to heal and transform your inner space, just as it works on the rooms in which you live and work. 

“The Healer” presents a life changing philosophy that incorporates Zen Buddhism within a romantic story. It is a new age novel that openly explores the disappointments, excesses and arrogance that can befall a guru as well as the heart warming, healing interactions and profound, positive thoughts that are found within new age movements. This is a thought-provoking story about a young man’s transformation from a mundane life to that of a healer and ultimately his starting a new religion. Yet, at the pinnacle of his success, his life is shattered through arrogance and personal tragedy precipitating the painful rebuilding of his new life and new self.
This comprehensive guide to natural living is perfection. Simon Brown gives readers a great place to begin their transformation, with understanding and clear, gentle examination of the theories that are the foundation of macrobiotics. He has left the dogma behind and placed his focus on the beautiful wisdom that makes macrobiotics one of the most powerful life journeys you can imagine. This book is for anyone and everyone with an interest in creating their best life.
As you eat different foods you take in their energies and these in turn interact with your own internal energies. The resulting new energy may make you feel different emotionally; it may help you to think differently; or it may help lift your spirits. The longer you eat foods with similar energy the deeper and onger lasting this influence will be. Eating macrobiotic foods – primarily whole, living, unprocessed foods, all naturally low on the glycaemic index – can make improvements to health and state of mind. This book presents how to take advantage of this diet, with a range of eating programmes that target specific needs from a one day tone up, to a 4 month healing plan.
When I read Practical Wabi Sabi by Simon G. Brown out of a budding interest in the subject, I KNEW that I had found a major key to help deal with the constant buzz in our heads, eyes and and ears in this electronic, microwaves, satallite-connected world. Simon offers a way to handle the insanity of modern life in a way other than stuffing ourselves with high corn fructose foods, or other drugs of choice, including ‘retail therapy’, in a desperate attempt to handle the mounting stresses in our lives. I LOVE this book which truly is practical, enjoyable and even gives a sense of spirituality no matter what your religious background.

You can contact Simon or find out more on his websites
Simon G. Brown
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1 Comment on Macrobiotic Philisophy

  1. I just love Simon’s writing and strongly recommend that you pick up a book of his. Hios latest work on Macrbiotics is enlightening, informative and rewarding. A great summary of the philosophy Simon, thanks.

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