There is an interesting relationship between food and life. Basically you need food to continue your journey on planet Earth. This journey can take many directions with varying degrees of pain and satisfaction in the material, emotional and spiritual realms. I have been playing with this concept based on my meditations and have come to recognize five different ways of interacting with food, knowing full well that there may be more.
- I TAKE – I break down food for sustenance
- Saying Grace – I perfunctory say “Thank you for this food.”
- Gratitude – I am actually GRATEFUL for the food
- Running energy – I pass energy through food to “charge it”
- I INVITE – I ask food to join me
The first level is where we simply view food and the Earth as something that is here for us to take and that has no consciousness whatsoever. It is simply inert matter with different ratios of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals that are here for the taking. The soil is dirt and lifeless and animals do not have any other role than to supply protein and fat. Eating is done by putting stuff in your mouth that has to be broken down with violent action. Awareness of food rests merely on “this is good for you” or “this is bad (or fattening) for you.”
At some point most of us have seen or been instructed to “say Grace.” It is funny that in a lot of movies you see the kids (and adults) wanting to eat right away and are reprimanded by the adults who admonish them to engage in this verbal display before satisfying their hunger. They say “Thank you for this food” in the most perfunctory and “get this nonsense out of the way manner” so they can get to eating their food. For some, this perfunctory act blesses the meal and it creates the perception that this food was “given” to you and therefore you should be thankful.
The third stage is when you can actually move from perfunctory to actual feelings of GRATITUDE for the food you are eating. In other words, the ritual of blessing the food actually has its desired effect. It is no longer a ritual, it is an integral part of the act of eating and requires NO ritual, as every morsel you eat is greeted with gratitude. This feeling of gratitude DOES help in digestion and moves you from considering food a simple inert matter, you actually start to understand at a deep inner level that food is alive and contains (or used to contain) vibrant life energy.
While on a trip to Peru I met a guy who had just returned from a Shamanic ritual in Macchu Picchu and told me that the best way to interact with food was to put your hands over the food you were going to eat and run a blue light of energy from your right hand, across the food, and back into your left hand. Keep repeating this until you complete a couple of orbits around your body and the food and then eat. I started playing with this and noticed that there was an energetic relationship to food along with the material one of building your body.
After a couple of months of doing this practice something interesting happened. Before breakfast I do my FULL mobility routine and then follow up with Qigong and/or meditation. I love the feeling of charging my food after my whole body is tingling and charged from the Qigong practice. As I was interacting with the food and charging it I felt as if the food almost mockingly says “Look at this guy just pumping energy into us!” Of course I was floored as it seems as if we were having a conversation. At that point I realized how ARROGANT I had been regarding food for my whole life! Whether it was my subconscious, my imagination, or an actual thought exchange we will explore at another time.
At that point I felt that if this food actually had a voice in the matter then what would it be? I changed my approach and from then on I humbly ask food to join me and become a part of my body. I will look at the food and say with utmost sincerity something like “I am speaking to the energy and information in this food, I invite you to become a part of my body and participate in this grand adventure.” Of course you have to really ENGAGE the food, as merely doing things perfunctory will have the same effect as a level 2 saying of “Grace.”
It is my impression that it is the food’s pleasure to join you, specially if it allows them to be part of a higher life form. I entice the food with making this an exciting journey because it is going to be an adventure. Now the act of chewing is completely different. I provide the saliva and the chewing as a mechanism for the food to willingly give of itself and voluntarily become a part of me.
Now here is the interesting part, be prepared for what your food might say to you! In the mornings I always eat a shake made up of organic fruits and vegetables, usually one day green and the other day red. At dinner I was engaging in this activity and I had meat. As I was inviting the meat and slowly chewing it in my mouth, engaging in a voluntary partnership, it became clear to me that while animals might not object as much as we think to becoming a part of us as food, there is something that is lacking in the whole process today. What is lacking is HONOR. For some reason images of a slaughterhouse passed through my mind and how the animal lived without HONOR its whole life and was killed without HONOR for it to become food.
WOW! I did not expect that. Then an image from the movie Avatar flashed into my mind where upon killing an animal in the wild a prayer was made over it. Animals want HONOR and DIGNITY as much as we do it seems. There is something about an animal living a free life and then having a chance to survive the HUNT in the wild as opposed to being confined to something we would consider concentration camps if applied to humans and without the chance to survive in a systematic, uncaring, and mechanistic system that provides meat at the supermarket.
While I still eat meat, I am having some issues as to where the food comes from and the manner in which it is acquired. Granted, we all do not have the time to hunt and perform sacred rituals over the animals that will become our food as I now feel would be the optimal way to do this. However, in the future that may be how I feed myself. What I will start doing is looking for meat that has two requirements: 1) was raised with love and was allowed to roam free, and 2) was turned into food in the best way possible under the circumstances. In the near future I will perhaps also eat a lot less meat than I do now.
Two things that led to this awareness were my constant practice of joint mobility and Qigong in the morning prior to engaging in this conversation with food. If you want the joint mobility regimen that I followed to obtain this realization along with the steps mentioned in this article then click here: