Tasting the sweetness of life

While undergoing abyanga, the warm oil, deep massage that is part of the panchakarma regimen I recently underwent, I heard this idea: We crave sweet things to eat when we aren’t allowing ourselves enough sweet experiences in life.

Sweet experiences. What does that even mean? I’ve been keeping track of some that I’ve noticed since then:

  • Walking into my warm home from the bracingly cold outdoors.
  • Looking out from my second story office window into the black night, glittering with lights.
  • A mom walking through the airport parking lot with her two little kids, the sun beaming through the Colorado winter blue sky.
  • Looking deeply into my beloved’s eyes. Stroking her soft cheek.
  • The hush of the security line at the airport, where we’re all walking through peacefully, sharing the mission of safety.

In fact, with the right pacing, the right breath, the opportunities for sweet-tasting experience come in an endless stream. Like savoring the varied tastes in a glass of wine, sweet experiences seem to mostly be about tuning into that flavor of whatever is actually occurring.

Ayurveda believes there are 6 tastes: Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. It’s interesting to look at experiences that way. Sour is pretty easy to find: Just turn on the radio and find a cynical talk-show host. You might get a good dose of bitter while you’re there. Perhaps we get enough “salty” from our sadness, our tears–or maybe it really is using the language of sailors, the Old Salts. Pungent might happen in a great and passionate connection, while astringent, that lip-pursing that happens when we suck lemons–maybe that’s the sharp intake of surprise of any sort.

Where are you with getting enough sweet experiences? Would you be willing to swap your Hershey’s bar for more sweet times from life?

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