Friday, June 18, 2010

Name Your Hunger

In the entry below, I’ve copied an old Bantu tale called “The Name of the Tree” from Anita Johnston’s book, Eating in the Light of the Moon. She describes it a metaphor for naming your spiritual hunger or inner famine. Although Johnston writes about disordered eating, I feel it can pertain to anytime we lose our sense of self — who we are—starving ourselves for a relationship with our inner spirit. Johnston writes : “To learn the name of … hunger, [one] must journey back into the past from where [one] came, cross the great empty plains of … life, travel deep into the jungle of [the] mind, find the place near [the] river of feelings where [one’s] inner authority rules, and ask ‘What is the name of my hunger?’”

Naming your hunger is a powerful tool of healing. It asks us to name what we really need to sustain our life. Is it power, money and success or is it love, family, and trust in life’s process? When we are sick, is it that we suffering from a disease or a dis-ease of spirit? When we feel lonely, is it because we are alone or is it because we have deserted ourselves? I will talk more of this next week, especially how it relates to codependence but till then, let me know what you feel when you read this magical tale…


  1. Loved the tortoise. Too young, too slow, no problem...he just did it! He knew how to remember. Not sure about the old lion though!

  2. Yeah, I hear what you say about the lion. If we stay with Johnston's metaphor that the lion represents inner authority (Self), one would hope that Self would not be so wishy washy with its boundaries. But then again, from the little research I've done on this tale, there are plenty of variations and perhaps there is another one with a lion we can respect...