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Old 09-01-2008, 10:25 AM   #1
Abasan
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Misogi - The diet part

Hello everyone.

Its been awhile since I've posted here but I hope everyone can still share their thoughts on this matter.

I've read somewhere that Osensei conducted misogi exercise periodically. If I remember correctly there was something like 12 different exercises. But the one that interests me is the fact that he changed his diet during this time. And that diet change is crucial to the cleansing.

It is said the diet turns his food intake into alkaline base. I am thought in chikung practice that most food are acid based. Alkaline base is good because its like anti cancer.

Unfortunately the article fails to mention the type of food osensei ate during his misogi training.

I was hoping if anyone here can enlighten me.

Thanks.

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

While I cannot speak to the specifics of O'Sensei's nutritional guidelines, the internet is full of list of foods that alkaline the acidity.

Trying it myself right now. It make sense as a healthy way to eat.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #3
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Thanks anyhow. I do have some idea on alkaline foods out there now but I just wanted to know what Osensei ate... partly because I wanted to see if he replaced rice with something else. Cause I eat a lot of rice which is acidic. and fish too... uh and eggs.

Again thanks for replying.

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Out of curiosity: since the contents of the stomach are highly acidic, so the food that goes in gets broken down by enzymes (and I would think brought to pretty much a uniform ph) how does is matter what the ph is of the food you eat, unless you are eating nothing but super low ph foods?

A scan of ph of common foods shows that most are below 7.
The ph of the stomach is generally under 3.

As I recall, OSensei's diet included liberal amounts of salt water, NOT to be recommended.

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

The human body is a homeostatic system, you cannot significantly change your body's (which part, anyway?) PH through diet without overwhelming your kidneys and putting yourself in SERIOUS physical danger:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_homeostasis
If you want to adjust your diet with respect to improving human physical performance, that science is well defined. I suggest looking into the prescription followed by the world's best athletes:
http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/start-diet.html

Last edited by bkedelen : 09-01-2008 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:53 PM   #6
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Nah, the salt water thing was a stupid macho competition he got into with a Japanese yoga fellow at the Omotokyo headquarters. This allegedly damaged his health.
My understanding is that the Misogi-kai from Kenzo Futaki and then Abe Seiseki emphasized a specialized diet, including brown rice. Ueshiba, I recall reading, would eat such a diet when staying with Abe, but did not otherwise subscribe to it.
Best

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Old 09-02-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Thanks, Ellis.

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Old 09-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Nah, the salt water thing was a stupid macho competition he got into with a Japanese yoga fellow at the Omotokyo headquarters. This allegedly damaged his health.
My understanding is that the Misogi-kai from Kenzo Futaki and then Abe Seiseki emphasized a specialized diet, including brown rice. Ueshiba, I recall reading, would eat such a diet when staying with Abe, but did not otherwise subscribe to it.
Best
On Lou Perriello's website, I saw a photo of Masatake Sekiya Sensei. The photo was clearly taken after I knew both gentlemen. Lou had separated from the New England Aikikai and Sekiya Sensei had aged somewhat, since I trained under him in the UK around 1978. Sekiya Sensei came to live in the UK for a year at the request of his son-in-law, K Chiba, in order to ease the pain for the British Aikikai of Chiba's withdrawal from the UK and his handover to Minoru Kanetsuka.

The point of this post is that the Sekiyas were macrobiotic and that Mrs Sekiya had cooked for O Sensei in the very last years of his life. Nothing about misogi: everything about 'balance'.

Actually, this was a very interesting experience for some members of the British Aikikai. Kanetsuka Sensei and his wife Susan were in the middle of very serious research into 'food suitable for aikido' and aikido was being very actively promoted for health at that time. So there was very much brown rice and miso soup in the Kanetsuka household (which was actually very good indeed). Sekiya Sensei accepted this, but gently argued that it was all a matter of balance of yin and yang. Genmai might be OK healthwise, but, really, what was lost on the yin roundabouts had to be regained on the yang swings at some point.

So there was no misogi diet for O Sensei, only 'balance'. I have mentioned the brown rice and miso regime in the Kanetsuka household and the closest thing I have ever been to a misogi diet was a small group of us surviving for two whole weeks exclusively on brown rice (the best California long-grain variety available in London) and green tea. I lost several kilos, became quite 'spaced out' on occasion, and remember that yonkyo somehow became much easier to accept--and do.

It was all the more interesting, therefore, to see that a certain Hombu deshi named Katsuki, sent to gain 'international experience' in the UK, cared nothing at all for brown rice or macrobiotics. After zazen and training on Saturday mornings at Ryushinkan, he always looked forward to a huge 'English' breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding, with bread fried in the fat, served in a nearby cafe close to the dojo. Occasionally he joked that this breakfast kept him going for the rest of the week. This opened our eyes to the 'reality' of the life of the Hombu-- always believed to be a Shangri-la of serious training, serious eating and--always--glowing health .

Best wishes to all,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-02-2008 at 12:05 PM.

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #9
Abasan
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

"So there was no misogi diet for O Sensei, only 'balance'. I have mentioned the brown rice and miso regime in the Kanetsuka household and the closest thing I have ever been to a misogi diet was a small group of us surviving for two whole weeks exclusively on brown rice (the best California long-grain variety available in London) and green tea. I lost several kilos, became quite 'spaced out' on occasion, and remember that yonkyo somehow became much easier to accept--and do."

LoL... that's kinda funny.

Anyway, I seriously don't know how the diet is going to change my body. All that I'm doing is trying to find healthier food to ensure my continued well being. I just recovered from cancer last year which was the reason I missed aikido for 2.5 years. And during the course of my treatment (including complementary medicine), a lot came out about the types of food that we should take...

It was striking that they generally were slanting towards alkaline promoting foods... typically I get those using supplements like EM water, barley greens, spirulina etc etc. And then somewhere along the line I read about Osensei's misogi diet thingey... so that got me interested.

I asked one of my sensei and he told me he practice a Balanced diet. He eats enough but not a lot and he eats what is available or what he wants. I read about seasonal foods as well... and the cold and hot food diets. It all makes a lot of sense to me, so what I wanted to do was draw up a list of similar foods from different diet types. Hoping that by statistical 'mod' analysis I can identify the most effective food or food type.

The only diet that sort of turned me off was the blood group diet. Err might as well not eat anything.

Thanks for the reply.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:17 AM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Congratulations on coming as far as you have and doing the work/research to keep getting better!

My favorite short idea is Michael Pollan's "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." His article is here.

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:32 AM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Hello Ahmad Abbas,

With respect to the kind of food O Sensei ate when he was doing misogi exercises, perhaps you consult someone like Shaun Ravens, who was a student of Abe Seiseki Sensei, who taught O Sensei calligraphy in the later years of his life.

In addition, though I spoke with tongue in cheek about the diet in the Kanetsuka household during the 1970s, it is also important to note that Kanetsuka Sensei was diagnosed with cancer around 1986. He has recovered and still leads a very active life training and teaching. Apart from his immense self-discipline, I am sure that his recovery was also due to his careful diet. His long-time students, such as Alex Megann, sometimes post here on Aikiweb.

I see you live in Malaysia. During a visit to Malaysia last year, I also visited Brunei and had some treatment for a knee injury. The very kind and efficient couple who treated me said that I ate far too much protein.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 09-05-2008, 04:00 AM   #12
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Congratulations on coming as far as you have and doing the work/research to keep getting better!

My favorite short idea is Michael Pollan's "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." His article is here.
Thanks a lot - that is a great article!
N
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

That's a real interesting article. Thanks! This is when I wish I was Jamie Oliver.

Mr Goldsbury, that Bruneian couple were traditional specialists? Their names?

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Old 09-06-2008, 05:48 PM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
That's a real interesting article. Thanks! This is when I wish I was Jamie Oliver.

Mr Goldsbury, that Bruneian couple were traditional specialists? Their names?
I think it was the Jag Therapy of K R I Jagadish. I was taken to a house in the suburbs of Banda Seri Bagawan. I think that the President of the Aikido Federation of Brunei Darussalam will know.

PAG

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Old 09-07-2008, 10:43 PM   #15
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Jamie Oliver loves booze and butter! I wish I was him right now, too.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:34 AM   #16
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Ahmed,
I think I know the paper you refer to. I have looked into it and done some research myself. These are a couple of anecdotal statements I came across in the process (I do not attempt to provide proof here):

- Elite athletes reportedly have slightly more alkaline blood.
- Viruses don't survive so well in alkaline environments, (notably elite athletes in training don't catch colds all that often)
- Tendons and connective tissue becomes stiff with an acid based diet.
- Western diets, red meats, processed foods tend to make the body more acid
- Eating alkaline foods doesn't make you alkaline, the end effect is what is key

Another way to look at this is in the contest of yin/yang expansion/contraction. Some foods are more strongly yang - contracting , for instance red meat, salt. Stress is also a contracting force. Other foods are strongly expanding fruit - sugars.

The bodies natural pH balance is slightly alkaline, bodily functions are better and beneficial bacteria more likely to flourish. (the body ecology diet, Donna Gates. According to Gates (no relation to me!) Acid Yang contractive states are not in natural balance and have derogatory effects on the ecological balance of the human body.

Interesting Macrobiotics (http://www.macrobiotics.co.uk/yin.htm) uses the same principles. As a further aside it is worthwhile noting that the Torifune Undo exercise description from the same document that you referenced in the OP, is working on the balancing the same expansive/contractive, yin/yang, male/female forces. The same principles I might add that the pivotal in the Kototama Principle.

Where I work out in the Australian bush there had been no rain for a couple of years, except the odd, odd thunder storm. Recently it rained very heavily, within a few weeks the flowers and grasses were amazing. Seeds contain the total life potential of the plant, if the correct conditions are not present they can, like in the bush, survive for thousands(?) of years, still maintaining life. For this reason they are considered to contain the strongest most enduring concentrating energy for the human body to consume. Whole grains. (PM me for citation if interested in further reading)

Keith

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:09 PM   #17
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
On Lou Perriello's website, I saw a photo of Masatake Sekiya Sensei. The photo was clearly taken after I knew both gentlemen. Lou had separated from the New England Aikikai and Sekiya Sensei had aged somewhat, since I trained under him in the UK around 1978. Sekiya Sensei came to live in the UK for a year at the request of his son-in-law, K Chiba, in order to ease the pain for the British Aikikai of Chiba's withdrawal from the UK and his handover to Minoru Kanetsuka.

The point of this post is that the Sekiyas were macrobiotic and that Mrs Sekiya had cooked for O Sensei in the very last years of his life. Nothing about misogi: everything about 'balance'.

Actually, this was a very interesting experience for some members of the British Aikikai. Kanetsuka Sensei and his wife Susan were in the middle of very serious research into 'food suitable for aikido' and aikido was being very actively promoted for health at that time. So there was very much brown rice and miso soup in the Kanetsuka household (which was actually very good indeed). Sekiya Sensei accepted this, but gently argued that it was all a matter of balance of yin and yang. Genmai might be OK healthwise, but, really, what was lost on the yin roundabouts had to be regained on the yang swings at some point.

So there was no misogi diet for O Sensei, only 'balance'. I have mentioned the brown rice and miso regime in the Kanetsuka household and the closest thing I have ever been to a misogi diet was a small group of us surviving for two whole weeks exclusively on brown rice (the best California long-grain variety available in London) and green tea. I lost several kilos, became quite 'spaced out' on occasion, and remember that yonkyo somehow became much easier to accept--and do.

It was all the more interesting, therefore, to see that a certain Hombu deshi named Katsuki, sent to gain 'international experience' in the UK, cared nothing at all for brown rice or macrobiotics. After zazen and training on Saturday mornings at Ryushinkan, he always looked forward to a huge 'English' breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding, with bread fried in the fat, served in a nearby cafe close to the dojo. Occasionally he joked that this breakfast kept him going for the rest of the week. This opened our eyes to the 'reality' of the life of the Hombu-- always believed to be a Shangri-la of serious training, serious eating and--always--glowing health .

Best wishes to all,
DearPeter,
Yes the diet you mention was the result of Mr/Mrs Sekiya coming to the U.K. Mr K. and his wife Susan also tried the Macrobiotic diet.Had a go myself but the fish and chips, Iron Brew got the better of me.As I am a little bit chubbier than my early days
I should really go back and do the Miso soup, brown rice stuff again.Better than a gastriic band or a hidden corset.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:23 PM   #18
Abasan
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Keith, nice. If you bear no relation to that gates, do you by any chance have any with THE gates?

anyway, that does help clarify certain things i've been looking into. However going to whole grains raises a whole lot of other issues to think about. I'm referring to paleo diet and why wheat might be bad for you. This certainly jives with what my nutritionist have to say about it,

Right now, I can only think the world of this regime.
Fruits before anything. Less carbs, more white meat and veg. Snack with seeds and nuts. And the all encompassing rule of minimize sugar and salt. Avoid processed foods.

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Old 09-25-2011, 11:35 PM   #19
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
anyway, that does help clarify certain things i've been looking into. However going to whole grains raises a whole lot of other issues to think about. I'm referring to paleo diet and why wheat might be bad for you. This certainly jives with what my nutritionist have to say about it,
Right now, I can only think the world of this regime.
Fruits before anything. Less carbs, more white meat and veg. Snack with seeds and nuts. And the all encompassing rule of minimize sugar and salt. Avoid processed foods.
I think it's a mistake to think any one way of eating (other than avoiding processed crap that poses as food) is best for everyone. I suspect part of why research to date is contradictory is because it doesn't and at this point probably can't account for individual differences, genetic or not, in enzymes, metabolism, etc.
Anecdotally I know people who swear by a Paleo diet and seem to do well on it. I'm one of those who does really well on vegan, low fat, all the veg, fruit and whole grains you want way of living.

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:03 AM   #20
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
If you want to adjust your diet with respect to improving human physical performance, that science is well defined. I suggest looking into the prescription followed by the world's best athletes:
http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/start-diet.html
I think there's a great deal of controversy over whether this diet is, in fact, followed by the "world's best athletes," or even the world's best Crossfitters. In particular, many athletes need rather more carbohydrates than that prescription in order to support their training loads.

Katherine
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:02 AM   #21
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

The body knows what it needs, just as the termites can intuit the coldest winter and build extra thick walls to their houses well ahead of time. The problem is that humans hold onto ideas and form complex habits as individuals and society wide.
Old Mac Donald had a farm, then the rain forest got it the way, so he chopped it down. Most peoples bodies senses are so clogged that they no longer know what they need.
If you train of course you are going to be more hungry, if you have lost the instinct to eat then you are really in trouble.

Last edited by gates : 09-26-2011 at 01:04 AM.

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Old 09-26-2011, 01:56 AM   #22
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
The body knows what it needs, just as the termites can intuit the coldest winter and build extra thick walls to their houses well ahead of time. The problem is that humans hold onto ideas and form complex habits as individuals and society wide.
Old Mac Donald had a farm, then the rain forest got it the way, so he chopped it down. Most peoples bodies senses are so clogged that they no longer know what they need.
If you train of course you are going to be more hungry, if you have lost the instinct to eat then you are really in trouble.
Animals often breed to over population - that ends up being corrected by a die-off, not instinct.

Of course, since humans have been more successful than any other species, it's clear what the winning strategy has turned out to be so far.

Not to say that there are no problems, or that nothing can be done better.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:06 AM   #23
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Chris,
Think you have taken this on a tangent but I will flow with it.
In the context of what you are talking about how do you measure success? Population numbers? Biomass?

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:06 AM   #24
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Just switching to brown rice from white rice is probably a big step up, health wise, since it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes according to the scientific research I have read. Also, anecdotally, I see a lot of type 2 diabetes developing in middle aged people among ethnic groups that heavily eat white rice.

I personally avoid the stuff whenever possible.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:17 AM   #25
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Re: Misogi - The diet part

Quote:
Keith Gates wrote: View Post
Chris,
Think you have taken this on a tangent but I will flow with it.
In the context of what you are talking about how do you measure success? Population numbers? Biomass?
Sort of a pointless argument, isn't it? I'm sure you can think up any number of measures by which humans are not the most successful species.

In any case, my original point was, I think, relevant. Just because it's "natural" doesn't make it the best. Millions of species have died off "naturally" in spite of their unclogged instincts.

For that matter - why is a human action (such as holding onto ideas and complex habits) any less "natural" than one performed by, say, a rabbit?

Best,

Chris

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