“We have to balance the need in society for a strong functioning ego with the tendency for it to become selfish and narrow. The basic practice of uncorrected mind in zazen sitting meditation does not mean we do not have responsibility to tame the ego. We need ways to remind ourselves that short-range, immediate desires and gratifications are not, in the long run, in our real self-interest—practically, materially, psychologically, or spiritually. We need some strictness with ourselves, otherwise we’ll eat too may cookies or something worse!”

—Richard Baker in For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Wonderful Precepts, p. 155

“We have to bal…


“Sugar is like a bad guest that comes to your home and does a giddy little jig in the living room for fifteen minutes, creating a great euphoria in the whole family. Suddenly the dance ends, she picks up an ax, and proceeds to smash and slash all the furniture in the house. The family, so sleepy at this point, cannot stop her. Just before she finally leaves, you say ‘Wait,’ run to the bedroom, grab your diamond necklace, shove it in her hands, saying ‘Here, this is for you,’ and wave her of with a weary, sad smile. You then do your best to pick up the pieces of the trashed living room and move on. The craziest part is that within a day, you can’t wait to have that ‘little sweetie’ over again, so you call her up for a repeat performance.”

—From The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter, page 128.

“Sugar is like a bad gue…