Cooking is a great meditative practise. Once we focus on a task it can transform the mundane into a joyful and meaningful experience.
What could be more meaningful than nourishing and nurturing your family and friends. Loving intent opens up even more positive energy towards the food and to those you are serving, including yourself. A feeling of connection can be emanated around a table, whilst eating and through your food.
Begin by bringing awareness into the moment and feel at a subtle level, first of all your breathe in and out, the knife in your hand, the aroma and texture of the food, the temperature, the sounds of the food cooking and the environment you are in. Enlightenment may be found just as easily in the kitchen cooking and washing up aswell as watching a beautiful sunset or hugging a tree.
The secret ingredient of loving kindness enriches both your experience and those you are cooking for. Infuse your food with beautiful energy. Even typically unhealthy foods can nourish the soul with love (think Grandmas Apple Pie or Sticky Toffee Pudding) If nutritious raw foods were prepared and served with resentment and anger the energy of these foods would undoubtedly be altered at an atomic level.
A true test of mindful cooking with loving kindness is when serving food to unlikeable people, in unpleasant situations and surroundings. If this situation is met with compassion and forgiveness loving energy smoothly replaces destructive energy. Of course it is only natural as human beings that our mind may offer a negative internal dialogue in these situations. Gently acknowledge its presence and return to the moment with peace, one breath at a time.
Passion for cooking shares loving intent as well as food with others. Each dish we prepare is unique in colour, shape, texture and form. We can recreate, reinvent and exercise our creativity in the kitchen.
By Tonia Hall