What is Macrobiotics?
Both an art and a science, macrobiotics defies a simple definition. Our Rice House of Macrobiotics Study devoted a month of research in considering the question, "Who/What is Macrobiotic/s?" Stimulating conversation and research resulted in our own working definitions:
"Macrobiotics is a way of life that seeks to unite complementary opposites in a non-dualistic point of view. This holistic level of judgment is both the cause and effect of balanced eating and life habits. It results in well being, happiness, freedom and independence."
- Michio Kushi and Ginat
"A person is macrobiotic who applies a conscious application of yin-yang principles in making lifestyle (including diet) choices."
The most concise definition of macrobiotics comes from the Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 : Macrobiotics \Mac`ro*bi*ot"ics\, n. 1. (Physiol.) The art of prolonging life. [1913 Webster].
The Kushi Institute, world-recognized center of macrobiotic study, defines macrobiotics as:
"The art and science of health and longevity through the study and understanding of the relation and interactions between ourselves, the foods we eat, the lifestyles we choose to lead, and the environments in which we live."
Therefore macrobiotic practices include:
Whole Grains, Beans and Fresh Vegetables:
"Eating more whole grains, beans and fresh vegetables, increasing variety in food selections and traditional cooking methods, eating regularly and less in quantity, chewing more and maintaining an active and positive life and mental outlook."
Internet sources describe macrobiotics as:
"A Japanese philosophy known in the West by its dietary principles and...awareness of our own individual part that we play in this physical world [to] achieve a broader, fuller sense of Self in relation to the Whole."
"A philosophy and way of eating based in the Eastern tradition of balancing the two forces of the Universe: yin and yang. Macrobiotics emphasizes simple, whole foods to promote a balanced condition in the body."
"Comes from two words, macro, meaning great, and bios, meaning life. A practice of achieving healing and continual wellness through lifestyle, attitude and diet."
"A lifestyle involving an awareness that we are connected to nature, and therefore what is best for our physical bodies are those things from the earth. …The lifestyle stresses the importance of fresh air, breathing, moderate exercise, balance in life, use of natural products in the home and on the skin, and orderliness and organization."
"The theory of promoting health and longevity by means of diet (especially whole beans and grains)"
With all that, this interesting discussion misses the spiritual essence of macrobiotics, simply because that part cannot be put into words. Macrobiotics is embracing the highest level of consciousness which unifies all duality and can barely be described. In a word, everything is macrobiotic. Someone who aspires to this wisdom embodies true macrobiotics.
We support the stated mission of The Kushi Institute:
"To teach, guide and inspire individuals towards greater personal freedom, health, happiness and peace by using the principles of macrobiotics."
Macrobiotics has been our life goal and passion from the time we each discovered this way of life.