Body & Mind Immunity: What I Learned from Eating Durian

New York, N.Y.  There is a fruit in Southeast Asia called durian. It’s like a giant avocado monster that smells terrible. Its outside is full of horns with drippy fruit inside. Most people cannot stand it as it is truly nasty and inaccessible. Every elegant hotel in the region post signs stating, “Durians prohibited.” The stench wafts down corridors to each floor as it rises through the elevator shaft.

However, this is a nutritious, precious and beloved fruit for the people of these countries. As I am curious by nature, during a stay in Thailand, I decided to go and find a durian in the Bangkok market. The first bite was vomit-inducing and seemingly impossible to swallow. I gagged, closed my eyes, pinched my nose – and endured the smell and texture. Then I forced myself to eat more.

After a few mouthfuls, I started to understand the taste. The feeling of my body being lifted with heat. I felt a rush of energy coursing through my whole body. Knowing that so many enjoy this fruit, I used my positive attitude to try it. And now I like it as well!

My point is that we can always look at things in another way; it is a matter of perception. In the West, we ask if the ‘cup is half full or half empty.’ It is how we approach a situation though our attitude that creates our own reality. We must find a positive way of looking at things.

You can find this example on YouTube if you search the title “I Ate a Giant Durian.”

$400 was Stolen and I Noticed an Enormous Change in My Mind.

Let me share with you another personal experience. While staying in a luxury hotel in India, $400 was stolen from me while we were meditating. I discovered the theft after we had finished, and yelled to the front manager, Many of my friends shouted, “Call the police!”

When I realized and shared my loss, anger escalated and the lobby was suddenly full of very negative energy. Just moments before, we were all calm and collected, focused on peace and compassionate minds. Everyone was in a good space. Instantly, this mood was ruined.

At that moment, it came to me: “I gave that money to a person who needed it badly.” I realized I losing $400 would not kill me, but it could provide life to him who was so much poorer. The Universe gave me the opportunity to use this money for a good cause. I grasped, it was meant to be.

As soon as I thought this way, my unhappy anger suddenly turned into happy joy; I immediately became very happy and calm. I told everyone, “I forgot I had given him the money!” Everyone was surprised, but immediately the negativity turned around and the evil atmosphere disappeared from the room.

It is true that this is unusual, maybe even selfish, but for me it was a real relief. My mind became calm and I avoided stress. Indeed, his theft was his business and there was nothing I could do to change it. In fact, to judge his action as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ only exists in our society and people’s mind. Yet to consider one side as well as the other is the way of the Universe, or God’s way. There is no judgement in this way.

At that time, the only thing I could do was change my heart. Thus, this thief became a wonderful teacher and remains in my heart. I am forever grateful that this incident taught me so much.

Everything has Two Sides (Double-sided)

Everything on earth has two sides. The sun and the moon are two sides – and both are beautiful. Indeed, the Japanese character (kanji) for ‘sun’ and ‘moon’ written together becomes “bright.”

So, too, does immunity of the mind and body become stronger when one practices turning over coins and seeing both sides on a daily basis, without looking at things from only one side. The key is in the mind of the individual alone and never found outside.

Thinking in this way, as in the famous prayer of St. Francis of Assisi of “Giving light to darkness,” allows us to turn all darkness into light. In my mind, brightening it. We face many hardships, often seemingly insurmountable. In reality, they are smaller than they seem. “Immunity of the mind” is our ability to abandon prejudice and foresight and see everything in a positive light. I believe with all my heart that this can lead us to world peace.

Six Roots that Make your Heart Immune

In my last article, published February 22, I wrote about Rokune Kiyoshi’s ‘Six Roots. These roots create the ‘immunity of heart’ from which our hearts grow bigger and bigger and flowers bloom. Whatever happens, no matter what the situation is, happiness will never collapse. As long as you live, you must empower yourself to live happily. To allow stressful to remain in the body or mind. Here, I believe, is where peace is born.

About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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