Let me share some background. I have been a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a teacher of Yoga for many years, and a very interested student of Ayurveda. I was vegetarian at 17. That is where my profound interest in food began. What does food do to us, what is it to eat another creature? These were the first questions. It was a natural step in the direction of a calling I've always heard, sometimes louder than other times, to understand what is beneath the surface, and to start to awaken to the symbolic nature of this life, which shows me glimpses of spirit from time to time when my heart really seeks the truth. I have wavered in and out of this dietary choice several times, for several reasons. I'm not currently vegetarian and haven't been for some time. I don't want to make any claims about your personal decisions about what you eat. I am just giving you the story of the blossoming of my interest in all that becomes me.
I am most interested in what the process does for you, and I hope to help you find transformation and growth from a re-orientation of the way you nourish yourself. How you find food, share food, prepare food, remember food, look forward to food. The journey of this kind of eating is a meditation (a joyous and delicious one), more than it is a culinary art, as much as I love the culinary arts, and will share recipes and photographs to express the beauty in a practice of true nourishment. Look into your food, trace it's steps backward to its roots, find compassion on that journey in realizing the community of energies it took to bring you this nourishment. Let your part in the cycle be one of love. Everyone has got to eat, its one of our common links. The spiritually crippled state of how we nourish ourselves on this planet, must be healed. Both for the health of our planet and human kind, and especially for the health of our spirits. I'm taking this journal deeper, and to more deliciously satisfying places...
Food is tied with desire. Our eyes begin eating food, long before our mouths have opened for that first bite. This week the meditation I would love for you to ponder is this:
When you look at your food, what emotion do you feel? Ask yourself when you are eating an organic peach, or when you are eating some KFC (if you eat that kind of thing :D ). Deepen your insight past the first few words that come to mind. Ask yourself, "Why do I feel this?". Do you have an associated memory? Or guilt? Straight up joy? You are eating those emotions. They are immediately changing how your body works. Think of the swell that comes from sexual desire. It's the most basic way to illustrate, this true principle in the body that matter follows thought. The emotions are literally as nourishing or depleting as the nutrients in the food. You can be angry and eating a peach (not sure I could stay angry for long, whilst eating a peach but you get the idea) and you will eat that anger. Vice versa, you can be eating KFC with your new lover, and you will stomach that effervescent mood as you swallow that chicken, mixed with whatever associations and thoughts, memories and experiences you have hooked up with that chicken. These emotions become part of the process, either building a strong mind and body, or debilitating it. Food for thought.
When I look at my food, ideally I hope to experience gratitude and safety. These are the days when I know I am present and took the time to feed myself right. There is just so much more to food than the basic nutrients. There is a process to eating and nourishing ourselves. Let's discover yours, heal it, and make it come alive!