Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food

Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Sadhana Program
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Road map for the facilitator
• As a facilitator, please be familiar with the COD section in the newsletter
and this powerpoint. Additional reading, resources and activities is not only
welcome, but highly encouraged.
We ask that you cover at least one topic for each category. For example, the
YA debate has 3 scenarios. Choose based on what will work for your group.
Suggested duration: 70-90 minutes.
Materials needed- Newsletter section on COD
Study circle pdf-copies for your youth or go green by projecting relevant
Stop watch
Supplies for the fridge magnet activity
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
• 3 Oms
• Silent meditation (1 minute)
• Lead the group out of silent meditation with this prayer
O Lord, take my love and let it flow in fullness of devotion to thee
O Lord, take my hands and let them work incessantly for thee
O Lord, take my soul and let them be merged in thee
O Lord, take my mind and thoughts and let them be in tune with thee
O Lord, take my everything and let me be an instrument for thee!
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
You have the inside information!
Congratulations! You have now accessed the inside information for a healthy and spiritually
wealthy life! In the process of preparing for this study circle, we were amazed by how much
our dear Swami has spoken on food and food habits, especially to students and youth.
God is indeed a magnificent creator. Swami, himself has said that our body is a receptacle for
higher being. How remarkably it functions, balancing energy and resources. How do we then
take care of this body, which allows us this incredible experience as humans? Why is Swami
asking us to put a ceiling on desires? Are we supposed to give it all up? Food can also include
information from the senses. What do we do about that?
Come, let us find out together. This study circle has been designed on the principle of DIETDiscussion-with fellow youth, family/friends, Introspection-personal introspection on current
lifestyle, Encouragement-encourage one other to make minor changes to a healthier lifestyle
and Transformation-bliss of experiencing an inner connection with Swami as a result of this
Please share with your local youth coordinators, your experiences with this study circle
material. Best Wishes! One of all, all for Sai!
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
-If you could be a vegetable or a fruit for a day,
which one would you choose and why?
-What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream and
-Are you a salty or a sweety? Elaborate. (do you
prefer salty or sweet breakfast)
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
The Connection
There is indeed an intimate connection between “food,
head, and God.” -Summer showers 1979, chapter 17
1) How is food, head and God connected?
2) Why is it important to lead a disciplined life?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
“Food”: Intake Through All Senses
"As is the food, so is the mind; As is the mind, so are the thoughts; As
are the thoughts, so is the conduct; As is the conduct, so is the health.”
-Sathya Sai Newsletter. 18:4; Summer, 1994, p. 4.
1) Food relates to all that we take in through our five senses. Give
examples of types of “food” that we intake through all of our
2) Discuss any experiences of positive/negative “food” that has caused
you to behave in a certain way during the day/night. How can we
avoid negative intake at all times?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Moderation of Intake
“An intake of too much food is harmful. Simply because tasty food is
available and is being offered, one is tempted to overeat. We have air
all around us but we do not breathe in more than we need. The lake is
full but we only drink as much as the thirst craves for. The stomach
cries out, ‘Enough,’ but the tongue insists on more, and man becomes
the helpless target of disease…Moderate food is the best medicine to
avoid bodily ills...” -Divine Discourse, 21 September 1979
1) What are methods we can use to not overeat /waste food?
2) Swami has said that human birth is a rare gift and tool to realize
divinity. How can moderation/ceiling on desires on food or the lack
thereof, facilitate or prevent us from having this experience?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Moderation of Intake
"Desires for human necessities must take the place that salt and pepper
take on the dinner table. Salt and pepper must be subsidiary to your
food. You cannot take more salt than food or even as much. Likewise,
your efforts to achieve health and comfort must be just enough to
sustain your sadhana [spiritual practices], no more, no less ." - Sathya
Sai Speaks, Vol. V. 1984, pp. 76-77.
How do you determine your necessities when it comes to food?
How do you differentiate between wants and needs?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Food is Charged with Vibrations
Swami has said that “the quality of the food is determined by the vibrations
that it is charged with, through the thought processes of the persons who
handle it, prepare it and serve it.”
1) We can’t guarantee that restaurants and fast food outlets are preparing
their food with love and positive vibrations. What are things that we
can do to make sure we are always “consuming” positive vibrations?
2) How does this in turn affects our state of mind and health?
3) Give an example where you have had such a positive (ex: eating mom’s
home cooked meal) and/or negative experience with food on the state of
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
‘We love to feed you!’- Case Scenario 1
You are a family event, where the food is plenty! You are starting to get
really full, but you have a lot of food still left on your plate. Your Aunt
who has cooked the food is watching you closely. You have some options
including eating the food and possibly feeling really uncomfortable after,
or throwing the food away.
1) What would you do in this situation? Are there other options you
could consider here?
2) What can be done ahead of time to prevent being in these type of
3) How do you balance between your Aunt’s joy of feeding you and
Swami’s dictum to not waste food?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Hungry shopper - Case Scenario 2
You are going grocery shopping and as you start to shop, you realize you are
famished and everything looks appealing, especially the sweet and savory
foods you see. As you walk out of the stores you realize that while you came
to get milk, bread, fruit, and some frozen vegetables, your bags now also
contain chips, soda, cookies, muffins, frozen pizza, and ice cream, things you
didn’t even need. Plus, you paid 3 times as much as you would have!
1) What could have been done differently to avoid this common grocery
store problem?
2) What are ways you can avoid these pitfalls in the grocery store, when you
do find yourself craving foods you know are not the best for you?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Healthy vs “Convenient” food! - Case Scenario 3
You come home after a long and tiring day. You open the fridge to decide on
dinner. You have fresh vegetables and ingredients to cook a healthy meal lined
up right next to ready-to-go microwavable meals/ frozen food! The latter seems
tempting and easier to obtain/consume at the moment.
1) How can we resist the temptation to eat the relatively unhealthy food? How
can we consciously make an effort to freshly cook our meals as much as
2) How can we plan ahead to avoid being in this situation and choosing an
unhealthy option?
3) Depending on what you end up eating, do you feel a certain way after,
physically and mentally? Share some experiences.
4) Share a ‘fast and healthy’ (takes less than 10 minutes!) recipe with the young
adults around you 
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Guilt-free transformation program! - Case Scenario 4
You have actively started the COD program related to food. You began by
understanding the need of the program and realized it has more benefits
than costs. Few days of practices made you realize how much happier you
feel naturally and how your will power has increased. You now have more
control over your mind and emotions. It’s amazing how such a simple task
propels your spiritual growth. One week later you go to a birthday
celebration and overeat. You start to feel bad about your transgression and
begin to belittle yourself.
• Have you felt this way before? Perhaps, you started working on a New
year resolution, had a relapse and then gave up the program?
• What is the best course of action and mental attitude to develop and
move forward?
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Whose line is it anyway?- YA debate
Instructions for YA groups: Divide the group into 2 teams. Designate one person to moderate the debate.
The teams will be given various topics related to Ceiling on Desires - Food. Assign one team to argue “for”
and one team to argue “against” the topic in question. Teams will be given 5 minutes to research and
prepare their arguments and will have 3 minutes to state their arguments. For each scenario, flip a coin to
see which team goes first.
Scenario 1: Amy is thinking about becoming a vegetarian and asks her friend, Jessica to join her. Jessica eats
non-vegetarian food and is strongly against becoming a vegetarian. She is concerned they won’t get enough
protein in their diet and she doesn’t want to eat salads every day. Advise Jessica on what should be done.
One team will argue for her to convert to a vegan. The other team will argue against converting to a
Scenario 2: Krishna and Mike decide to go see a movie at the theater. They see a poster for the new
Batman movie-’Dark Knight, re-rises’. The movie is rated PG-13 but has violent scenes. Mike really wants
to see this new Batman movie but Mike, being on a spiritual path does not like watching violent films. John
tells him the movie has good values. Nonetheless, Mike is not sure whether he should go see the movie. One
team will argue for watching the movie. The other team will argue against watching the movie.
Scenario 3: You are at one of your regular Sai young adult meetings. After the meeting, you go for a meal
with your friends. One of your friends in particular orders extra portions of his favorite vegetarian dishes
for himself. He normally does this, overeating and overspending. He is now becoming overweight and is
very sensitive. One team will support bringing up the topic with the friend about changing his excessive
eating and spending. The other team will argue against it.
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Practice Makes Perfect- Take Home Messages
• Come up with 3-5 changes you/your youth group will
commit to make in terms of food types and eating habits.
• Create a fun and challenging competition to sustain
inspiration and motivation. Assign a food champion to
monitor the group activities.
• Create a reminder for your fridge with the practical tips
listed in the newsletter; use as a daily reminder for you
and your family!
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food
Closing Prayers
Zone 1 Sai Young Adults- Ceiling on Desires: Food

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