Have you ever stopped to wonder why mum’s food always tastes good, better than even a five star restaurant? That’s ‘cos mum cooks with love, from the core of her heart. Nowadays home cooking may not be what it used to be, (think take-aways, processed food, microwave ovens and not enough time!) but nevertheless it is known that cooking and eating with the right consciousness will improve the health of your mind, body and spirit. As Buddha once said: ‘To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.’
‘Cooking with consciousness’ is an interesting concept and well worth experimenting with. Especially if you are a meditator, you will notice a difference in your thoughts and awareness if you practice the mindful preparation and eating of food.
It begins in fact from the moment you go to buy your food. As you make your way to the supermarket, maintain a clear and focused mind – so as to select only the right ingredients, which will nourish and enrich your mind and body. Try to buy and use food items that are as close to nature as possible. Do not be pulled into the chocolate aisle or the pastry section! Continue to exercise self-talk that; I will only pick and choose the healthiest of ingredients!
As you walk up to the cashier, count your blessings that you have the funds to be able to pay for your food. Bless your food as you see it being packed into bags. And happily part with your money.
Once you bring home the goods, and begin to put them away, fill your spirit with joy as you simultaneously fill up your pantry. Feelings of abundance in the kitchen, as in every other area of your life, create prosperity in the bank account, believe it or not.
And once you have the appetite, begin to cook. When food is prepared in a clean, tidy and peaceful environment, then it can become a meditation in itself. Play some soft music in the background, and create similar thoughts to these below…
I the peaceful being of light… begin to spread light and love into my eyes and my fingers… therefore everything I see and touch, is being filled with light and love…
My spirit is filled with the abundance of God’s Divine Love… and I infuse God’s Love into the molecules of these precious pieces of food… that will nurture and nourish me… with every powerful thought I create, I turn this simple matter into holy food…
I cook with a sense of detachment… I cook not for me or for anyone in particular, but simply for the joy of cooking… I cook because the act of cooking is sacred and reverent – since food will create the structure of my blood, muscles, and raise energy levels in the body… I pour love and peace into the food I am preparing… and that is being felt by all of those who eat it….
Once the food is prepared, cooked and served, it is a good idea to sit in silence with it for a few minutes and offer thanks to God, the Provider, Nourisher and Sustainer, before beginning to eat… thereby infusing it with even more positive energy!
And when we eat, we can also do so with the awareness that each mouthful is nourishing and energizing our body. Our positive thoughts have a beneficial effect even on the molecular structure of the food we eat. Religions and mystics have known this for millennia, and now even the scientists are beginning to agree!
It is now common knowledge that our thoughts or intentions can affect matter; see experiments conducted by the Japanese Professor Masaru Emoto on how he transforms water crystals. Likewise our thoughts in the form of vibrations, will affect the food we eat. Or, look at it from another standpoint; if we eat food that’s been prepared by an angry person... we may just wonder why we have indigestion at the end of the meal! Yet another good reason to return to good ol’ home cooking!
There is also something to be said about an old adage, ‘the family that eats together stays together’. In world, where we have become too selfish, it is important to remind ourselves that mealtimes were a time for sharing and caring - not only families would eat together every day, but also communities. It was a time for creating bonding and harmony between brothers and tribes! Today however, it may be a quick ‘bite on the go’, or the temptation to eat quickly while watching TV! Food eaten without awareness or a sense of gratitude or appreciation will not nourish the body or the mind in the same way.
With the advent of the fast food industry, many of us have moved so far away from the touch and feel of preparing real food from scratch that we have also forgotten the taste of real food. We have become disconnected from nature, having forgotten that our bodies themselves are also part of nature. Processed food that is overloaded with additives, preservatives and artificial flavour enhancers, dulls our palates and deadens our senses – in every sense, physically and mentally!
Eating good, healthy and well-cooked food is a sign of self-regard. Eating ‘rubbish’ also speaks volumes about our levels of self-respect. Have we perhaps moved so far into our busy lives that we don’t even care to look at what we eat any more – its straight from the packet into the mouth? When we value our body, not in an arrogant way, but as a trustee of an important instrument given to us on loan, then we value ourselves. Not only that, but we will get a great deal more mileage out of this vehicle that I, the soul, use to get around in!
It’s time… to realize the power and effect thoughts have on matter. Cook with a happy and elated consciousness not because you have to or are simply in a rush to get it over with. The few extra moments you will take to put the love, care and attention to your meals will go a long way in helping you create a powerful state of mind. Your body too will thank you with good health. This gives a whole new meaning to the statement: ‘Wat’s cooking!’ Not only on the stove, but also in the pot of your mind!