A spiritual connection to the food we eat ?

Does food respond to our emotions ?

Science will one day tell us why ‘mothers cooking’ is better for you. Till then we all just believe it anyway. Not only because of it’s nutritional quality measurable in vitamins, minerals and enzymes, but because it is cooked with the most vital ingredient of all.

Love. As an undefined energy. That extra but most important ingredient that I call ‘life force’ and in Yoga they call ‘Prana’.

Our bodies react to the ‘life force’ that can be created or destroyed, increased or diminished in food depending on how it is grown, prepared,cooked and served. And the final arbiter is us, as we add or diminish ‘life force’ to our food by the attitude with which we consume it. Like the very idea of Prasadum. Food offered in love and humility and accepted in love and humility. Does a prayer then, actually change the essential nature of the food we eat, and how it is assimilated in our body ?

I wish there were diet books on how our changing life styles and loss of humility generally are leading to attitudes of food consumption that are proving to be cruel to our bodies. There has been so much written about the benefits of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ with analysis of the benefit of Olive Oil etc, but no one seems to point to the family system and attitudes to eating and cooking that could be positively effecting the health of people that still follow traditional relationship between family and food in those parts of the world.

I am often aghast at the amount of manufactured food we waste. And I use the word ‘manufacture’ deliberately because I notice a much higher degree of propensity to waste in packaged foods.

Ask a Modern urban child how they emotionally connect to their food and you will find a very probable first connection to something out of a packet, and then to he fridge (if they are lucky), or the farthest back in the chain would be the supermarket/grocery shop. Very few have had an emotional connection to the process of growing something from the soil, or really connect to soil as anything but mud dust or dirt over which concrete roads or apartments need to be built. Nor is there any sense of nurture associated with the growing of crops or plants. People who live off the land or forests develop harmonious relationships that lead to respect and commitment to environment and nature. Bread grown off wheat ground and baked at home not only tastes different, but is more respected, not wasted. Vegetables bought at the local ‘farmer’s market’ and washed and cut at home tend not to be wasted. How often have I been to homes where people speak with pride of the fact that the food being served is organic, or bought personally at the local farmers market. Its creates an attitude of respect and reverence to the food as it is served. While urban dustbins are full of half eaten Pizza’s and other packaged foods bought at supermarkets.

So while in a world headed to massive food shortages there is a great argument towards large scale corporate farming, packaging and distribution systems over long distances of ‘manufactured’ foods, and while there is a completely different argument at moments of famine or serious shortages caused by large scale movements of displaced people, I wonder if these systems are long term solutions at all. Whether the further we distance ourselves from the source, the less we respect and therefore continue to waste and destroy our environment.

30 Responses to “A spiritual connection to the food we eat ?”

  1. kedar says:

    Article very close to my heart! because i am a die hard foodie…not a gourmand! I eat ANYTHING that is eatable!…i love food!…

    Yes food comes with energy of life…not only proteins, vitamins, carbos etc…but love energy too! Certainly yes!…

    have a lot to say about it…but short of time…i was about to sit to write but doing time pass…its always tough to START writing…hahaha…

    whatever…thoughts are not organized right now…loved the article…

    see ya later…

    cheers…

    PS: have stopped eating Oily food…bakery food is next…tremendous cut down in PACKED food!…its more dangerous than smoking or boozing… ( boiled peanuts, salad with drinks is the best option)…more later…………………………..arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  2. TWINS says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Very true , no matter how old we become, we always love food cooked by our mother.

  3. Appu says:

    Sanjha Chulha – another fine example

  4. Pirkash Ganglani says:

    thank you, i truly enjoyed reading this article………definitely in my list of favorites…..

  5. Neeta Bali says:

    I have a blog on healthy wholesome food and cooking, so this article really resonated for me. Love is truly the key ingredient in the food we eat and sadly it is missing from most of the food people eat nowadays. Processed, packaged refined food is the norm these days, empty calories with zero nutrition.
    One sustainable solution for the future would be to grow your own food for sure…..very empowering too, and it can be done in small spaces, even a balcony…..
    Brilliant article, thank you very much. You continue to inspire with your authentic and integral reflections on all levels, all aspects of life…..

  6. AJ says:

    Wishing you and all a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    We appreciate and look forward to continued success in 2011 for everyone

    Bay Area Indo American
    http://www.bayareaindoamerican.com/

  7. Rahul says:

    Very true Shekharsir…nice article….sir.

  8. AJ says:

    You are what you eat

  9. Chakra says:

    Our public discourse appears to have lost the complexity of thought that is so crucial to a democracy. The polarisations have shrunk the middle ground where the truth usually resides.

  10. this seems you believe in the connection of spirituality and personality if it is so you must take participation in my discussion. here http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=53475&discussionID=38073332&sik=&trk=mywl_artile&goback=.mwg_*2_1

  11. Vishaka Hegde says:

    Loved to read the connection of food and love …its so true …..waiting for the days wen this manufactured food shall start diminishing than growing …….

  12. Great article Sir, very true.

    “You are what you eat.” There is no doubt in that. Genetically modified foods, processed foods, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Ajinomoto, Dalda (Crisco), Transfats…this is what is in our food today. Please visit my blog and my You Tube channel for more heathful and flavorful meals.

    Radha Rayasam.

  13. Renu says:

    In the process of moving fast we have already forgotten to enjoy food. Those were the days when families used to make a big deal about the meal. Kids used to lay the table whilst mom made hot chappatis from the tav a and dad sat on the main chair whilst everyone relished the cooking. With the fast food concept it’s each to his own and looking down upon eating a well cooked meal to gether.

  14. Rudra says:

    Shekhar,

    What ‘you’ call Life Force is definitely not what ‘they’ call Prana. By the way , many many people before you from many generations ago, right from Indologists of the 19th Century have used ‘ Life Force’ as a translation of the Sanskrit word ‘ Prana’.

    Prana is not what you think it is. But thats a different topic altogether.

    Food , Water both are effected by the people and the environment in which they are made. Whether it is Love or any other energy , Water and Food can resonate to those Frequencies.

    That is why , in the Vedic Path , there is so much emphasis on empowering water and food , offering them to the Deity before partaking it. The concept of ‘Arghya’ or ‘Prasadam’ is to de-program and re-program a dulled Material mind back into a divine vibe.

    The same was ‘discovered’ by some Swiss scientists and called it ‘Cymatics’.

    This is Vedic science – however , the dull headed Anglophiles who pose as the ‘educated’ lot in India these days cannot and will not acknowledge it. After 90 years of Slavery in the British Empire , one doesn’t expect much from Brown Coconuts.

  15. Janita says:

    I think you are right.When i remember children whose parents go to work(full time)and dont have the time to cook or eat together.. a lot feel lonely and some dont feel the love of their parents, rent the risk to eat and get ill(diabetes,overweight).
    What you called Mediterranean Dietfor me is the life of 2, 3 generations in one big house for the whole family, where la nonna or la mamma are cooking, talking, laughing,discussing and living the emotions during eating, sharing time and digest.In Sicily everyone i know has got a garden (camagna) or a balcony where tomatoes,herbs, flowers and love are growing.Maybe it s not only the oil, but the work you a doing to raise it(to water the plant, to watch it growing, to cut the branches,to pick the fruit and to carry it to squeeze(stonepress?) and make oil,to do this you need the love for the plant, the time to do it and the will to share it.The evolution is going forth but humanity is going to reduce.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Happy new year Shekhar

  16. shekhar says:

    Dear Sir,

    I liked your post about the connection between food, emotions and spirituality. Thank you.

    I have a small garden where I have planted some vegetables and herbs. My brother and myself talk to them for a few minutes daily, from our hearts.Sometimes I touch them while doing so, and sometimes I dont. I can feel their loving energy envelope me when I do that, and when I have to cut the vegetables for cooking, I thank them for providing us with nourishing life force and energy. I know for sure that this contributes a great deal in the purity of the healing energies that flows when I channel energy in the healing sessions.

    I would also like to mention another thing that I have noticed and recorded in my sessions with children with autism , attention defecit hyperactive disorder(ADHD) and learning disabilities- the children invariably say that they can feel the energy flow into their stomach area during the session. And, once the energetic balance there is restored, many of them say they feel it flowing inside their head.

    Medically speaking too, these children invariably come with a written note from the paediatrician mentioning they are addicted to junk food , and there is also a leaky gut theory that scientists are talking about in autism.

    Channeling energy or Prana into the food and water that one consumes surely makes a difference to the way one feels.

    The flow of prana/energy is maximum when the heart is open and filled with unconditional love.

    On a parallel note, I had came across this link a couple of months back. I felt like sharing it with you . I found it interesting in parts . Pls take a look if you feel like it. There is a transcript too, if you simply want to read through it without having to look at the video clipping.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/heribert_watzke_the_brain_in_your_gut.html

    thank you,

    Rajalakshmi

  17. shekhar says:

    I am also adding another thing that I have noticed and recorded in my sessions with children with autism , attention defecit hyperactive disorder(ADHD) and learning disabilities- the children invariably say that they can feel the energy flow into their “stomach” area during the session. And, once the energetic balance there is restored, many of them say they feel it “flowing” inside their head.

    “Medically ” speaking too, these children invariably come with a written note from the paediatrician that they are addicted to junk food , and there is also a “leaky gut” theory that scientists are talking about in autism.

    Fascinating!

    Rajalakshmi

  18. NIMI KHANNA says:

    JAISA KHAYE AN
    WAISE HO MAN
    JAISA PIYE PAANI
    WAISE HO BAANI

  19. brahmastra says:

    This is a simple fact that Hindus have believed for ages. The superimposition of glamourous lies promoted through greedy corporations and brand-ambassadors who sell their souls for a few bucks, and this whole pseudo culture that shadow the environment-friendly Hindutva beliefs needs to wiped out through good sense in the younger generations.

    Else, India is heading for certain hell where synthetic pharmaceuticals will be the only cure for the mental and physical illnesses that will accompany such disastrous diet and lifestyle.

  20. ‘I exist because you imagine I do”. No. You think you exist because you imagine that I imagine that you exist! Can you isolate the ‘I’ in your existence and confine it a physical time-space co-ordinate,probably somewhere in the anatomical brain?
    We are billions of rays emerging from a common source. We are extensions of the universal consciousness interconnected at the genetic root.
    WE EXIST BECAUSE WE ARE COLLECTIVELY A STEP IN THE ACTUALIZATION PROCESS OF THE UNIVERSE.

  21. salu says:

    Dear Sk.
    It’s a refined post.. on refined food……
    we live in a hard time where keeping refinity is challenging and the post is a good remineder and eyeopener on virtues…

    rgrds
    salu

  22. ruchi says:

    This article reminded me how my grandfather prayed before eating, chew each bite like he was eating peace of heaven.
    Be mindful of what you put inside your body and nurishment you get.

  23. Mr. India says:

    Sirji ,
    Tussi time waste kar rahe ho blog shlog karne mein . Koi badhiya si movie direct karo Bihari context par. After Dabanng and Rajniti we want to see more of Bihari movies now . Also I have seen you travel to so many other parts of country why not Bihar ?
    Regards
    Mr. India!

  24. kavitha says:

    In the ancient wisdom traditions, spirituality pervades every aspect of life the way we live and work… eat, pray and love. The traditions are rooted in concepts of entwined harmony between life and life-giving forces - with nature, the environment, the earth, the sun, the air, the water. Guiding and defining the art of living, and the acts of everyday life that reveres these elemental forces of our very existence.

    Industrialization and corporatization of goods and services that serve basic human needs, such as food, has divorced the umbilical cord between everyday life and reverence for these elementsdegenerating our lives to one that engages and/or supports a self-serving ecosystem that is invisibly, intrinsically self-destructive.

    For instance, did you ever think twice about where you picked up your packet of sugar from or how it was made? If you thought white symbolized purity, think again before you sweeten your cup of coffee or tea every morning, for there are acidic truths behind the white! http://goo.gl/Xu9Qm

    If everybody in this world that consumes white sugar understood this truth, and gave up consuming white sugar the commodities market feeding the pockets of sugar barons would crash overnight!

    If you think you are in utter control of what you put on your platter and feed your body and mind with, think again. A small group of multinationals control the food supply chain from seed to supermarketto better understand the nexus between corporates and governments that systematically overthrow the practitioners of organic food cultivation and production, & responsible for the well-packaged and marketed toxins that feed your body, do watch the documentary Food Inc. (Part 1/7 at http://goo.gl/aCvWN ) - it may be very US-centric in its content, but the supermarket/genetically modified food/fast-food culture has invaded other economies and the realities of the politics at play are country-agnostic, Id think.

    A question to reflect on as we sail into the New Year, (triggered by a fine piece, although pre-dated, that captures the idea of a hole in the soul of business today http://goo.gl/b9QxS ) —

    Why do you believe the language of beauty, love, justice and service is so notably absent in the corporate and governance realm? And what would YOU do to remedy that fact?

  25. sajeev kumar says:

    I agree that the food we eat greatly influences our emotions, behaviour and way of life. Generally, ‘satvik’, vegetarian food that is light on the stomach makes you feel comfortable. But today with the proliferation of junk food and cola, our diet habits are changing for the worse and people just dont care what they eat. A good point to reflect on!

  26. Janita says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I read your post from 28th Dec. and watched the video http://www.ted.com/talks/heribert_watzke_the_brain_in_your_gut.html.
    First of all must be a humorous man ( can laugh about his self) ,the points regarding the intelligence of the gut made me think :1.The gut the stomach, small intestine, colon has two layers of muscle with lots of nervous tissue between them, which penetrate muscle layers. These nerves also penetrate the mucosa, the layer actually touching the food. -Correct
    2.20 different neuron types that sense food. Based on sensing it, it instigates chemical and mechanical processes to digest it. This “second brain” controls mechanical actions like our gag reflext and the secretion of chemicals to digest the food. – ok
    3.balance between hunger and fullnes- is what humans need.
    4.We see an experiment with the digestion of a bubble of oil in the intestine is it possible that we can change structures so that they trigger different reactions and send different signals to the brain? Watzke is sure of it, I’m not.
    5.I cook therefore I am. is his conclusion.
    My would be a nother.
    Mr Watzke has took his current position as assistant vice president (assistant vice president of corporate technology expert networks and training at Nestec Ltd.) for corporate technology. The argumentation makes sense, the point I ‘m sceptical towards is ever the same “he who pays the piper calls the tune”-“Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing”(Walther von der Vogelweide). When business and science are too close, you never know if the information you get is the truth.Truth has more faces.

    What does “Rajalakshmi” mean? Is it a name?
    Janita

  27. Janita says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    you wrote:
    I would also like to mention another thing that I have noticed and recorded in my sessions with children with autism , attention defecit hyperactive disorder(ADHD) and learning disabilities- the children invariably say that they can feel the energy flow into their stomach area during the session. And, once the energetic balance there is restored, many of them say they feel it flowing inside their head.

    Medically speaking too, these children invariably come with a written note from the paediatrician mentioning they are addicted to junk food , and there is also a leaky gut theory that scientists are talking about in autism.

    -Our generation has lost the balance and canal to our inner-selves ,for some heath is like a new religion, every possibility to find it or to save it is the highest aim(medicine, wellness.even operation..)
    Other react with apathy and self carelessness, because they don’t even know what’s going wrong.

    Children are very open,curios, and laugh a few hundred times a day ,they have something very special they love -unconditional love. They trust, they have faith and they tell you the trust.

    The time changed, people changed a lot.Time is passing by, people are in a rush/hurry to go to work, to be present, to be up to date via Internet, TV,handy or to read newspapers, other are in a hurry to earn money to pay for there living.
    People eat while running to the underground, are talking on the phone while there write an essay for work, they try to think during they sleep.Perfect stress and chaos.
    Children are affected by this change.Stressed parents are also humans with needs.
    Some are like superheroes of everyday life, they have power, are strong to do the work, to be there for the family, to be nice, and are good humorous, strong nerves and can enjoy life.
    Others have got a leak of energy, lose track, lose themselves or the sence of work, maybe lose the partner. For this people it? hard to motivate to cook something , to play with there children or to talk honesty about the situation or problems/themselves .
    If children don’t get food they starve, if there is no wather they die of thirst. But if there is no time, no love, no respect for them they suffer, the soul suffer. In this cases the solution is searched in medicine, or in better school education, harder training or nicer presents, shower of gifts to calm the feeling of “I do something wrong”.
    -I think they cause the modern illnesses like efecit hyperactive disorder(ADHD) and learning disabilitie.
    How could you heal them?
    Not with chemistry, nutrition and neuroscience, in pursuit of ever better chemistry of food( Heribert Watzke).
    -I think with time, love and respect for each other and cooked food(yes).
    Sure it needs more time, nerves and a stronger will but in the end it’s worth doing the right thing .
    Autism is different because it begins with birth, there are parallels(stomach, behaviour) but you can’ t heal it ,only try to soften it or relieve the pain.
    Some believed the soul, with centre of the stomach caused trouble (biochemistry), other (Russian) believed of saints
    now they mean to know that it? because of damaged gene and DNA .
    For one thing I’m very glad:
    Science has find many word for it to discribe it- but is not able to analyse it,or to say what it is.: love

    Janita

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  29. I have always wanted to say these things and you have been my voice and have said it for me. In fact, I think that you have said it even louder!

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