Food prepared lovingly, mindfully and with positive energy, has the optimal ability to nourish us both spiritually and physically. This is my new mantra . Whereas I used to begin the day with sitting in a meditative state for a prolonged period, I now practice by mindfully preparing nourishment, carefully preparing the chopping board and contemplating each slice of my blade as it finds its way through the vegetables and fruits and ends at the wood with a practiced *thunk! I think about each tiny square or rectangle that I make,each semicircle or circle, each random shape. I think about the colors and textures of the food. I focus on its transformation as I cook it and feel thankful as I slowly enjoy every morsel, while I give thanks.
This practice is changing me in ways that I cannot describe. It not only empowers me and fuels my body and mind. It makes me calm and teaches me lessons each time I cook.
Today’s breakfast was chopped cyklon peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, Tuscan kale, tofu, sweet Hawaiian onion, crimini mushrooms and garlic cooked with a spicy, fragrant black bean sauce with slices of sweet, crispy Asian pear slices on the side. I ate every bite very slowly and appreciated the honor of having food at all. I appreciated the complexities of the flavors and noticed every crunch and smooth texture of the bountiful feast.
As I ate, I thought about how fortunate I am on so many levels and for so many things…my family, my friends, and in particular, my best friend. I thought of an ailing family member who is getting better each day, and how events have unfolded around her to reveal the truth to other members of my family.I thought of my husband’s voice over the phone, and of my best friend’s infectious grin. I thought of the way my grandchild squeezes my hand when we walk and of how my little puppy loves to snuggle with me when she naps. I thought of my other granddaughter, now far away working her first real job. I thought of my tiny grandson who is observing the world every day through innocent eyes, and I thought of the ripe figs on the two trees outside my window.
This type of meditation is the best way to begin the day. It centers me and orders my brain to prepare it for the arduous tasks at hand, the ones that mount daily as I progress through school with my eye on the prize. It gives me strength and energy and helps me understand the world much better as I sort through the different events that are transpiring in my life at the moment with, perhaps, more confidence than I have ever had before.
I am at peace.