Reasons Why I Bless My Food
Before I eat, I bless my food. It started in India at my first Buddhist retreat almost 3 years ago. After living in NYC and modeling for many years, I had a destructive relationship with food; a walk and eat a slice of pizza, a model's go to coffee and laxative, kind of diet. You can imagine the thoughts that would roll through my mind when I had cravings or had a "normal" meal.
At the retreat, we eat in silence and take the time to be mindful with our food, very different than my old days. One day during the retreat it finally clicked, and it became clear to me what I was putting into my body was a reflection of how I felt and how I interacted with myself and those around me.
I finally understood; the power of food, what and how I feed my body is how I will show up for myself and my community. It is the energy that is imperative for my growth and evolution.
Food connects us greatly, perhaps in ways we may take for granted.
It connects us to our senses; to our body through physical acts, like preparing the food, chopping things, opening our mouth, chewing, swallowing, then totally trusting our body to digest the food and absorb the nutrients, all without us consciously being a part of it.
Food connects us to our mind, to our thoughts, memories, opinions and choices. To our feelings, which can range from anticipation, to pleasure or non pleasure, regret and even fear. It connects us to our past, through traditions from where and how we were raised, favorite foods from places we've visited and traveled and comfort, the moments that make us feel safe and held.
Our ability to express gratitude starts with our awareness. Taking a moment before we start eating is yet another moment of waking up, of gratitude, not only for the food but for the moment, to appreciate that we are still here, present and alive.
As I receive my food I place my hands beside the plate, I look at the plate, taking in each ingredient (well as much as possible), I then close my eyes and my prayer goes a little bit like this:
I thank you Mother Nature for this meal, for each of these ingredients. Thank you mom, dad, brothers and sisters and all beings who came together to make this meal possible for me, from the farm to the markets. I thank myself for creating the conditions for this meal to be right here in front of me. This food is nourishing, it is healing, it is grounding and it is enough. I eat this food as energy to lead a conscious, positive life, to be of benefit to myself and all beings. As I eat this delicious, nourishing meal, I offer it to all beings in all corners, who may or may not have food today. I thank my teachers. May all beings be free of mental and physical pain.
Somedays the prayer goes a little longer others shorter. Its really all about the intention we are setting before eating, while preparing. How present are we in each moment? Taking the time to set the tone, as everything is energy, and we get to ignite that fire with every new intention.
Steps to blessing your food:
1- Take a moment to notice all ingredients in your bowl and visualize them as pure nourishment and energy.
2- Express gratitude to all the people who were involved in bringing this meal to you today.
3- Set an intention for your meal, with each bite this food heals and grounds my whole being.
4- Close your eyes and be with the taste of each ingredient, chewing it slowing aiding digestion and becoming present with each bite.
5- Offer your food; as an intention that all beings everywhere may have something to eat today.
6- Make this a true relationship between you and what you are intaking; being so present and in receiving of the moment and its nourishment.
7- Eating this food with no attachment.
You will start to notice that you are more aware of different tastes and spices, you may even change the habitual foods you normally eat. With time you will become an intuitive eater, you will be so in touch with your body that you will be able to walk into a store and know exactly what your body needs that day, whether it be more vegetables or rice or some yummy dark chocolate.
Start slow and enjoy in the process. This is a discovery and its meant to be fun!
Bless all the lights.
Moun is the Cofounder Of Wild Woman. She is a ancient Yin yoga, breathwork and meditation teacher from many lifetimes. Follow her below.