In the wonderful book, Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel, Tita, a beautiful woman with a great talent for cooking, cooks her heart out while life goes on around her. Because of tradition, as the youngest daughter she must stay home and care for her mother. When her sister marries the man Tita loves, she bakes the wedding cake. She cries into the batter. She weeps and grieves at her loss during the preparation. When the guests eat the cake at the wedding celebration, everyone begins to cry. They have all picked up on the grief that was in the food.
While this may sound like not much more than a fantasy to many people, Vedic practices for eons have taught that foods can take on the subtle properties of the one who prepares it. This is why many Indian monks and spiritual aspirants prepared their own food or carried food with them when they traveled. There’s a story of a cook in a monastery who slipped away for an afternoon leaving a man in the village to cook. Some of the monks were affected with nightmares and another stole his brother’s bowl. When the head master inquired about the problem, he discovered the temporary cook, who had also been a thief.
Even if you find it hard to imagine the subtle vibrations that can be transmitted through emotions and thoughts to food, try to discern if you would like to eat the foods being prepared by the people around you. Imagine what you, yourself would cook into foods for your guests.
A fun practice is to prepare a truly divine meal by chanting a mantra like the Gayatri, a prayer, or holding uplifting and loving thoughts of the people you are preparing it for. There is a reason that mom’s food feels so much more nourishing than eating out in a restaurant. Her food is cooked with love.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.