Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
One of the five precepts of Buddhism is “Mindful Consuming” which involves a vow to be aware of what we put into our bodies, a vow to nurture the health of ourselves, our families and our worlds. Let me say, as a woman of size and a diet mountain dew loving, Little Debbie eating, lard gives it flavor honey – woman, this one doesn’t go down easily. This precept covers not consuming alcohol, drugs or other things that would cause intoxication or heedlessness. Since one of the main precepts is not causing harm to any living thing many Buddhist are vegetarian. For many of us give up all of these things, would be too much, but to be mindful of the things we put into our bodies is a good start and maybe divine? The Buddhist are not the only spiritual community that has caught on to the holiness of what is consumed.
“Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God” by Mary-DeTurris-Poust examines emotional – addictive eating habits. One of the things that left an impression on me was how the Catholic monks worship through creating meals. Again the idea of eating fresh and from the earth, creating a spirit of gratitude as they consume their meals, often in silence was a common theme. Taking the time to think about each element we are feeding our temple, eating sitting down at table, eating at times in silence to pay homage to those that are without, are some of the themes shared in this book. She advocates making simple delicious food and then taking the time to sit, pray, and savor each bite.
In the book “Living Buddha, Living Christ” again I am brought face to face with the idea of savoring food, consuming only what it good for the body and soul and what brings peace. Thich-Nhat-Hanh states that he holds his warm bowl of rice and meditates thinking of all those who are hungry in the world, reminding himself to be grateful for what he has, and not forgetting those without.
So I have began. Here are a few of the simple, nutritious and delicious meals I have tried:
I make a simple carrot soup (don’t say yuck until you try it!) onion, garlic, carrots, apples, ginger (fresh grated ginger!) and chicken broth. YUM!
For breakfast: Greek non-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit, organic honey, cinnamon, almond extract, soy milk & homemade granola. YUM!
Afternoon Snack: Baby Spinach, coconut milk, organic honey, kiwi, frozen pineapple, mango & a bit of mint. YUM!
I know this, as I prepare the food I am with God, as I eat the simple, filling, nourishing items I am filled with a good spirit. I believe it is good for me and good for my soul. Divine living very well may be in the simple things God has placed right before us. So I challenge you to sit down, slow down, see the beauty in the carrot or the apple, see God’s wonderful creation in each item as you enjoy God’s bounty.
Full disclosure: I had a bacon wrapped pizza before finishing this post…. Still need help! Remember you and I are only human, but we can get right back to working towards the divine.