Cooking your way into higher awareness

Cooking as a Contemplative Practice

Cooking your way into higher awareness

By now, you may or may not have figured out that spending more time trying to wrap your head around the best way to eat, places to eat, fats to avoid, calories to count and carbs to cancel, is probably not the best use of time. Spending top dollar may not save you either. It is probably the most technical, treadmill approach to cooking, eating and health. I’ve spent my share of time this way too. It may have its place, but it’s most likely not the best way to “produce nutrients that may help us metabolize our food” as Kesten, author of Secrets of Healing Foods has said. It could work if we simply reduce ourselves to physicality. But so far, it hasn’t… because we are SO much more.

Limiting our understanding of how food can help or hinder us to the realm of the physical has not served us well and the evidence is all around us. Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, digestive malfunctions, and other so-called food related illnesses are a testament to our dysfunctional relationship not only with food, but within OURSELVES. It may be time to rely less on an ever-changing food paradigm, consider more plant-based foods, and free food from the shackles of our limited thinking.

Food, solely, will not heal nor is it the single cause of dis-ease. Pigeonholing what we eat as the main culprit as far as dis-ease, dissatisfaction and pain is concerned is the easy way out.   This of course, does not mean that what we eat is not important, but that the physical, emotional and social fulfillment that food offers only scratches the surface. It’s nothing new.

Deepak Chopra set it straight when he said, “viewed through such a restricted field of vision, we see food solely from a singular biological perspective of isolated findings”. Our myopic view of food, has in some way devalued our understanding of it. Food has the potential to make us feel good or bad, look good or bad, connect or disconnect us from the larger whole. If we consider our mental and internal landscape, our view of food, and our interaction with it, we may very well be able to move ourselves beyond the labeled and pre-packaged boxes.

The unyielding truth is that “both the good in our lives and the dis-ease are results of mental thought patterns, which form our experience” as Louise Hay has said. Our thought forms have a greater impact on our health than anything we eat.  “When one is in a state of love the coherent bio-fields become stronger”(Rein, 1996). In this state we are cooking and eating from a different place. This may very well attribute to the healing quality of any particular food. So, why the overemphasis and preoccupation on what we eat?

Well for one, it’s an aspect of our daily life that we have more control over than we are willing to admit. The challenge may be balancing a little free will with a whole lot of choices. Yet, any time we give our full attention to the mind-body-spirit connection, most processes can become transformative. So why not focus some energy on how we cook?

How we cook (and eat) can help the body do what it naturally does, but even better. HOW you cook so does matters. It’s not so much about technique, culinary skill, or even the most expensive ingredients. It’s more about quality, which should not be measured by any of these things alone. Cooking with a level of awareness CAN be a transformative process, far beyond physical and emotional well-being.


When we cook we have the potential to feed ourselves and others on a deeper level. No doubt. Eating for physical and social nutrition also has  its place. It CAN be the gateway to nourishing the spiritual body. When we feed our chakras, for instance, we are honoring an aspect of our being that is less recognized in the field of nutrition science. When we eat to nourish our chakras, we are using our physical relationship with food to awaken and align the vortexes that connect us to the core of who we really are. When we prepare our food from the space of awareness, in relation to our food, we become our own healers. It is “the power of awareness” and not just the food that “facilitates both health and healing”(Kesten, 2001). It is a symbiotic relationship that can help us on the path of spiritual evolution.

There may not be any short-cuts for connecting with plants, cooking real food and drawing out the hidden quality that makes the process whole and healing. And surely, there are no substitutions for the flavor that presence and intention imparts upon our food.  It’s a state of BEING that can take no time at all. It’s just that simple. It’s just that real.


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