Food & Meditation
Good health is more than just following an ancient or modern theory of what we should eat. Preparing and eating food while in a state of peace nourishes not only the soul but also the body by allowing the digestive organs to function efficiently as they assimilate and distribute nutrients to the cells.
In addition to helping the digestive system, pure thoughts infuse the food with positive energy. This energy enters our cells like a peaceful tune, inspiring them to dance harmoniously. Though this may have been a far-out concept years ago, recent research in quantum physics, as well Dr. Emoto's research on the effects of consciousness on matter, support this concept. All matter responds to the energy of our thoughts. Why not make our food, which is deposited in the body three times a day, sing with high spiritual energy?
Tips for preparing food while in a peaceful frame of mind
Take a shower to cleanse and energize yourself.
Meditate for 5-10 minutes before you prepare your food. In your meditation, nurture a simple thought: "I, the soul, am light and peaceful." As you meditate on this thought, Visualize it ... Feel it ... Experience it.
Then enter your kitchen while holding that experience and thought. Set the intention to make your mealtime preparation a quiet, meditative process. Stay present and enjoy the silence as you gather your ingredients, clean and chop. Handle all ingredients with care and gentleness.
Invite the Divine into the kitchen with you. As you cook, see the Divine above you filling your mind, heart, and the food with pure, loving light. Hold this vision as you prepare your meal.
Tips for eating while in a peaceful frame of mind
Set the intention to eat while being present, peaceful, and focused.
Resist the urge to check your cell phone, browse the web, or engage is wasteful or negative conversation. This is a form of respect for the self, the body, and the gift given by mother earth.
Before you eat, take a moment and become aware that you are a peaceful soul and that the body is an instrument that allows you, the soul, to travel through the physical world and experience the sights, sounds and scenes of life.
As you eat, maintain the awareness: "I am a peaceful soul." If your mind wanders, simply come back to that one thought and see if you can hold that for the duration of your meal.
To intensify aroma, roast coriander seeds before you grind them.
Add whole or ground seeds to stews, marinades, casseroles and vinaigrettes.
Sprinkle coriander on sautéed mushrooms.
Add fresh coriander leaves to salad dressings or Vegenaise.
Coarsely grind coriander and rub it into tofu or seitan before cooking.
Mix coriander seeds with peppercorns in the peppermill you use at the stove.
Create a Moroccan rub for your meat substitute: mix asafoetida, butter, paprika and coriander, and rub it on before cooking.
Pairs well with:
allspice, cardamom, clove, coconut, cumin, fennel seeds, ginger, sun-dried tomato, turmeric.
The Yogi Diet
What we put into our body affects our mind. The emotions, feelings, and intentions behind how food is acquired, prepared, served, and eaten also impacts our entire well-being and that of others. When we recognize our true self as a soul, a point of conscious energy, we realize that the synergy of life is about harmony. The harmony of the soul, the body, and the natural world. A meditation practitioner aims to create that spiritual harmony by living a lifestyle with integrity, care and wisdom.
Though tasty food is a treat, eating is more than pleasure. It is the utmost care and respect for the body, the instrument, the natural world and the delicate balance of all living beings. Below are a few principles:
‘Ahimsa' or non-violence
The yogi understands that pure and virtuous actions create freedom and peace within. Love is the highest intention behind any action. As we raise our vibration spiritually, our conscience won't allow us to harm any living thing on a subtle or gross level. We become mindful of where our food has come from and whether it was cultivated with care and respect.
A life of ‘ahimsa' or non-violence sweetens the mind and calms the soul. It can be a challenging leap for those new to the spiritual path but one worth at least trying. Through experimentation, we can see for ourselves the calming effect a kind diet has on the mind.
There are countless theories about the ideal, healthy diet. How do we know which one to listen to? The good news is we need only turn within. As we deepen the power of stillness, our intuition raises its volume. With each meal, we can observe the effects of certain foods on our mood and energy. As we listen, we hear what the body truly needs. It then becomes an act of care to respond and nourish the body and soul with those foods that uplift the spirit, sing into the cells and restore the life force. Each of us is unique, and the map to our highest destination of health, wealth and happiness lies within.
Close to nature, close to home
The deepest truths of life are often the simplest. As we return to our real nature, it makes sense to return to real food. The universe, the elements of nature and our bodies are infinitely intelligent. Fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts in their natural form align us with that intelligence and nourish us with its benefits.
Local foods are seasonal and often taste better. But eating locally is mostly a gift to our environment and community. By buying foods grown and raised close to where we live, we help maintain farmland and green space in our areas. We also help to build our local economies and support small businesses rather than large corporations. Knowing where our food comes from, connects us to the people who raise and grow it. And where there is connection, the chances for accountability, care and integrity increase.