Macrobiotic 7 Stages of Consciousness

Modern macrobiotic founder George Ohsawa defined the macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness. These are loosely based on human development. The aim is to help us reflect on our lives and see where we can put more energy into creating a complete person. These work with the 7 Conditions of Health.

  1. Mechanical / Physical – Breathing, eating, movement, walking, sports, dance,
  2. Sensorial – listening, seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling. Enjoyment of simple pleasures.
  3. Emotional – Compassion, empathy, bonding, expression, relationships.
  4. Intellectual – Study, learning, thinking for ourselves, reasoning.
  5. Social – Developing a sense of social justice, ethics and environmental consciousness.
  6. Ideological – Having values, principles and a philosophy of life. Dialectic thinking.
  7. Universal Love – Living in a way that is loving through acceptance, open mindedness and being all-embracing. Realising our true self.
Macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness art
Macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness art

Macrobiotic 7 Stages of Consciousness for Self Reflection

We can use the macrobiotic 7 stage of consciousness to reflect on how we are developing ourselves. To make this easier try scoring yourself 1 to 5 for each stage. To what extent have you completed yourself. This can help identify areas in life to devote more attention to try to fully complete ourselves in this lifetime.

Keep coming back to your scores and update them so you can track your progress. It can be helpful to ask your friends and family to also score themselves so you can observe how different people develop differently and how the ways in which they see themselves.

Developing an Action Plan Using the Macrobiotic 7 Stages of Consciousness

To help create an action plan consider different ways you might activate each area of yourself. The following are some examples.

  1. Physical – Try leaning new physical skills. For example yoga, tai chi, dance moves, sports, gymnastics, swimming strokes and be conscious how these develop your physique.
  2. Sensorial – This can include meditation, mindfulness, tea ceremony, observation, experiential activities, sex, intimacy, massage, bathing, saunas, sun bathing and walking barefoot.
  3. Emotional – Be aware of your emotions and try describing them. Reflect on your relationships and the quality of your interactions. Seek to express emotions through talking , writing, art, music or poetry.
  4. Intellectual – Explore ways to develop your mind through ongoing study. Sometimes it helps to develop a more complete mind by learning subjects that are underdeveloped, whether maths, science, logic, history, literature, languages, philosophy, psychology, medicine or economics.
  5. Social – Consider getting involved in social projects, working in groups on worthwhile causes, volunteering your services, and being in service to humanity. Be aware of how your decisions and how you spend your money effects other people.
  6. Ideological – Engage in subjects like philosophy that help take the biggest view of life. Write out your own philosophy of life and keep updating it as you evolve. Be clear on your own ideals in life.
  7. Universal Love – Try to live as a more descriptive being and let go of the need to judge, making people good or bad, right or wrong. Test your abilities to accept people as they are. Focus on what you most appreciate and love about yourself, people in your life and life in general. See if over time you can accept and appreciate your biggest challenges.
Macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness The Biggest View
Macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness The Biggest View


Overtime you might outgrow this model or find there are more aspects of life you want to include. The aim is to provide a simple, easy to use, starting point to help develop greater consciousness and  study how humans evolve through life. Ultimately this is a tool to try to complete ourselves and go as far on our journey as we can in this life.

Potential Influences

Gurdjieff (1872 – 1949) spoke about seven stages in the evolution of man.

  1. Physical or instinctive
  2. Emotional
  3. Mind
  4. Integration and balance
  5. Heart, self-awareness and awakening
  6. Transient knowing and higher intellect
  7. Permanent complete knowledge, free will and consciousness

The Indian Chakras also have similarities.

7. Crown – Spirituality and consciousness

6. Third eye – Intuition

5. Throat – Communication

4. Heart – Emotions

3. Stomach – Energy and power

2. Sacral – Sex and reproduction

1. Root – Survival, fight and flight


Macrobiotic 7 Conditions for Health

Macrobiotic 7 Conditions for Health

The macrobiotic 7 conditions for health was developed by George Ohsawa from 1940 over a 20 year period. They form a useful check list in macrobiotic health coaching and help us ensure we have a holistic approach to our health.

  1. Energy – Have vitality and the ability to engage in exercise, movement and activities.
  2. Appetite – Enjoy simple, whole, natural, healthy plant based foods.
  3. Sleep – Benefit from a full nights, deep sleep and feel refreshed when waking.
  4. Memory – Ability to remember names, thoughts, ideas, events and be able to discuss these without requiring notes or a mobile phone.
  5. Good humour – Live with deep appreciation and free from anger or stress.
  6. Thinking – Apply common sense, be alert, able to respond quickly with deep thinking and create order around us.
  7. Appreciation – Ohsawa described this as living with the visible and invisible worlds, combining spirituality with materialism. He gave examples; Living in harmony with nature, with a sense of freedom, in pursuit of personal dreams, with the highest values in life, honestly and never meeting someone he or she does not like.

I ask clients to rate themselves, from 1 to 5, for each condition. This helps highlight aspects of life that need the most attention. Next we can use this to create an action plan.

Macrobiotic 7 conditions for health. Being social and walking in nature.
Macrobiotic 7 conditions for health. Being social and walking in nature.

Macrobiotic Action Plan

We can express the macrobiotic 7 conditions for health as an action plan. For example;

  1. Engage in daily exercise and movement. This can include stretching, aerobic / cardio, resistance / weights, and in some case anaerobic / intense exercise. Try yoga, tai chi, dancing, sports, walking and going to the gym.
  2. Make practical steps to eating a more healthy diet. This might include more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, teas, water and naturally fermented foods. At the same time reducing processed foods and drinks.
  3. Ensuring we benefit from 7 to 8 hours high quality sleep with 2 complete sleep cycles. To achieve this we may want to reduce caffein later in the day, meditate during the evening, exercise and be physically active during the day, eat earlier in the evening, create a relaxing bedroom, keep phones and radio alarms away from our beds, reduce exposure to blue screens and bright lights in the evening.
  4. Practice memory exercises, learn to remember people’s names, engage in conversations and discussions that rely on our memory, engage in ongoing study.
  5. Be aware of our emotions and experiment with meditation, mindfulness, acceptance, changing perspectives, exercise, deep breathing, being social, sharing issues, helping others and positive thinking to enjoy emotional wellbeing.
  6. Like all parts of our body our mind needs exercising to keep it healthy. This can be achieved through ongoing study, thinking for ourselves, research, positive thinking practices, discussion groups, being constructive and solution orientated.
  7. Developing practices that help us embrace the biggest view of life and through that enjoy bigger perspectives of life. This is the macro in macrobiotics. Although how we achieve this is highly personal, suggestions include meditation, creativity, philosophy, prayer, star gazing, connecting with nature, embracing different cultures, meeting people from a variety of backgrounds and exploring various forms of spirituality.

The aim is to use to the macrobiotic 7 conditions for health to help focus on the areas in the action plan that would most improve our lives.

Next read about the macrobiotic 7 stages of consciousness

Possible Origins

Ohsawa may have adapted The Six Non Naturals of Galen of Pergamon 130 – 210AD.

  1. Air and breathing

  2. Movement and rest

  3. Sleep and waking

  4. Things taken in, such as food and drink

  5. Things excreted

  6. Passions and emotions.

Basic remedies were clean air, sunshine, pure water and healthy food.

Macrobiotics Online

Macrobiotics Online

Macrobiotics online is dedicated to help you learn macrobiotics to improve your life, with Simon Brown. The online relationship used in the macrobiotics online process is direct one to one contact via Skype or similar. Through this arrangement it is easy for Simon to share his screen and work with you to master the various aspects of macrobiotics.

Macrobiotics Online Coaching

Macrobiotics online health coaching is based on the health coaching principles where you;

  1. Decide the goal you want to achieve
  2. Setting up an action plan to include changes you can realistically apply to your life to achieve your main goal
  3. How long you are prepared to commit to your life changes to achieve your goal
  4. What would be measurable and tangible targets to help keep on track to achieve the bigger goal
  5. Setting up a helpful and manageable ongoing support process

Simon will help you though the whole macrobiotic health coaching process with online Skype sessions. Typically the process starts with an hour long macrobiotic health coaching session to set up goals, create an action plan and agree an ongoing support programme. Follow up sessions can be 30 minutes or 15 minutes as required.

For more information on macrobiotic health coaching

Macrobiotics Online Natural Healthy Meal
Macrobiotics Online Natural Healthy Meal

Macrobiotics Online Course

Macrobiotics online offers the opportunity for people all over the world to learn macrobiotics at the pace they wish. It is as simple as arrange a first macrobiotic class and then adding further macrobiotic classes as you wish. You can just take one macrobiotic class or keep going and learn how to become a macrobiotic health coach or cook.

When appropriate Simon will use screen sharing to explain diagrams, pictures, charts and text, set up cooking projects, provide supervised self study options, email a summary of the class and provide video clips.

For more information on macrobiotics online courses

Macrobiotics Online 5 Transformations
Macrobiotics Online 5 Transformations

Simon Brown

Simon has more than 37 years experience helping people enjoy success through macrobiotics. He is the author of Modern Day Macrobiotics and Macrobiotics For Life. Simon was the director of London’s Community Health Foundation for 7 years, director of Luscious Organic for 5 years and is currently the chair of the Macrobiotic Association. Simon has worked for 2 years with Diabetacare helping train nurses to be Diabetes Health Coaches in India. As part of this he created healing protocols with doctors and project managed the creation of a health coaching app.

Macrobiotic Definition for websites and social media


At the International Macrobiotic Conference in Berlin 2017 45 macrobiotic teachers agreed on a clear macrobiotic definition. The aim is to have a unified definition that can be used on everyone’s websites and in social media to help provide consistency, clarity, unity and coherence. We are now in the process of writing up macrobiotic tenets and principles for discussion and approval at the next International Macrobiotic Conference in Lisbon 2018.

Dictionary Style Version Macrobiotic Definition

Macrobiotics, noun, (used with a singular verb)

1. a way of life that guides one’s choices in nutrition, activity, and lifestyle.

2. a system of principles and practices of harmony to benefit the body, mind, and planet.

– macrobiotic, adj., such as macrobiotic philosophy or macrobiotic diet. Origin: from Ancient Greek: Macro (large or long) and Bios (life or way of living).

Definition agreed upon by the International Macrobiotic Conference 2017 in Berlin, with 45 macrobiotic teachers, along with GOMF, Macrobiotic Association, IMP, IME, Chi Energy, IMS, SHI and other schools, institutes and organisations.

Text Style Version Macrobiotic Definition

Macrobiotics is a way of life that guides one’s choices in nutrition, activity, and lifestyle. A system of principles and practices of harmony to benefit the body, mind, and planet. Origin: from Ancient Greek: Macro (large or long) and Bios (life or way of living).

Definition agreed upon by the International Macrobiotic Conference 2017 in Berlin, with 45 macrobiotic teachers, along with GOMF, Macrobiotic Association, IMP, IME, Chi Energy, IMS, SHI and other schools, institutes and organisations.

Please feel free to use either version of the macrobiotic definition on your website, blogs or social media.

Simon Brown is a founder member of the International Macrobiotic Conference organising committee and has helped put on Macrobiotic Conferences for macrobiotic teachers since 2007. These conferences are an annual meeting for anyone actively involved in macrobiotic education. We use these meeting to discuss and agree ways we evolved and update our expression of macrobiotics.