Simply taking care of each moment leading to the table, giving your attention to your experience, and taking action according to the circumstances not only will help your well being but will also help you learn to deal better with difficult situations and emotions.
Are there moments you see cooking as a chore or waste of time and moments you don’t even want to go to the kitchen? But have you thought that cooking is not just cooking! Cooking is a sensual experience and can be also a self-discovery journey. You can see cooking as an opportunity to develop new skills, to nourish and feed yourself, your family, and your friends. You can start your activity in the kitchen and over time it will probably flourish!
Cooking with curiosity
You can begin cultivating your cooking skills by starting with something simple: just find out how you can make a nice boiled egg! And after that maybe you can try to cook a poached egg or maybe an omelet. Try new recipes and style of cooking. You will get to know something new about yourself.
Cooking is also a meeting with the ingredients. The ingredients of the recipe, the different kind of foods, but also the ingredients of psyche:
a. the sense impressions: what we feel, see, touch, hear, smell
b. volition, our inner motivators, our inner desire,
c. consciousness, throughout our life, in every part of it in every action we take, in every moment we live, in every bite we taste.
Connecting through our senses
Relating with things by touching them, tending to them, you connect with them. Thus, things transformed into ingredients. Into something deeper that has a special value for us because the ingredient offers life, joy, heath, vitality, warmth, healing. The more we connect to things the more meaningful they become for us. Usually, the mind ignores what the heart is offering. So, learn to trust your felt sense. Touch with your hands: imagine that your hands have an eye in the middle of the palm that can see and connect with the object of touch. See with your eyes, smell with your nose, taste with your tongue and let your senses come and abide in your heart.Coming to your senses makes eating a whole journey and the food on the table is an open invitation for it.
Eating with joy and gratitude
You can eat slowly and allow yourself to experience joy and ease. You can eat intimately and allow yourself to cultivate gratitude. To enjoy something, we need to experience it closely, to give attention to what we are eating. Food enjoyment is both nourishing and satisfying and gives you the choice to stop, when joy is no longer present. Joy creates lasting feelings of happiness and well being, where greed does the opposite. And food do tastes better when the cook is joyful.
So, where would you like to put your attention? your effort? Your heart? Your hands? What make things in life precious? What is that you really want deep in your heart?
Konstantinos Zervos, Greece
Brown, E. E. (2018). No recipe: Cooking as spiritual practice. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.
Hạnh, N., & Cheung, L. W. (2011). Savor: Mindful eating, mindful life. New York: HarperOne.