In American culture, so much emphasis is placed on body image. There seems to be a common belief that if a person is thin, then they must be healthy. It is true that obesity is becoming an epidemic in the States, causing many debilitating health effects. For a long long time, I also held this belief. As a woman, I thought that if I was thin, my problems would disappear and all would be well. Being thin seemed the key to me. Recently, in my own self growth, in addition to interactions and observations of other people, I have been thinking more deeply about the concept of health. I agree that maintaining one’s physique is an important factor, but also, health seems to go much deeper than this. A person could have a gorgeous body, but not a healthy mind and/or spirit.

George Ohsawa outlined 7 conditions for health. I wonder how many of us are able to reach the 7th??

Physical conditions
1. Never tired, never catches cold. Always ready to work.
2. Good appetite, and happy with simplest foods.
3. Good deep sleep, and falls asleep within 3 minutes after going to bed, and wakes up after 4 to 5 hours. No dreams, no movement during sleep.

Psychological conditions
4. Good memory, never forgets, can memorize fifty thousand personal names.
5. Good humor. Freedom from anger. Always cheerful and pleasant under any circumstance. Without fear and suffering. Deep gratitude and thankfulness to others.
6. Good judgment. Smartness in thinking and doing. Correct thinking, judging, and doing with promptness and smartness.

Understanding of faith and justice
7. Absolute faith in justice, thinking and doing things with the following mentality:

-Never angry
-Never afraid
-Never says ‘I am tired’ or ‘I am lost’
-Appreciates any foods, even distasteful cooking
-Sleeps deeply, without dreams
-Never forgets, especially debts and kindness received
-Does not lie in order to protect himself/herself
-Accurate and punctual
-Likes everyone
-Never doubts what others say
-Lives to find the highest eternal value of life
-Happiest when finding the order of the universe in daily life and in unnoticeable small things
-Spends life only for what he/she really wants to do instead of just for earning money
-Spends whole life teaching the miracle of life – the order of the universe