Nowadays, we are continuously bombarded with details about the physical aspects of what we eat and the effects that different ingredients may or may not have on us, and naturally this is important. But in this heap of information, we tend to overlook one crucial factor: the consciousness (state of mind) of the person cooking and the effect that this will have upon the food, and thus also on those who eat it. A cook not only prepares food in a physical place, but also in a spiritual or inner space. And just as the physical surroundings are best kept clean and in order, so should be the state of mind of those in the kitchen. A simple and familiar example of this concept at work can be seen in the way that home cooking, especially that of one’s mother, holds a special place in our hearts. The love and care with which it is prepared sometimes gives us more joy than perhaps food eaten in a restaurant setting where food may be prepared with greater cooking and technical skills but where negative emotions related like anxiety, arrogance, stress, and greed (in the business like restaurant environment) may affect the energy of the food cooked over there, on a subtle or vibrational (non-physical) level.
When the subtle, spiritual aspect of cooking is taken into consideration, the role of the cook extends from simply creating tasty, nourishing meals with fresh ingredients, to including a spiritual connection with those who will be eating that food. The aim will be to touch and fill the heart as well as the stomach. The love of the cook, and his or her motivation to offer sustenance, will nourish as much as the physical components of each dish. Food cooked by a person who is angry, depressed or full of arrogance or hatred will have a different effect from food cooked with feelings of love, peace and the pure desire to serve. In other words, we are what we eat but also the thoughts, feelings and attitudes that go into what we are eating. Even in today’s hectic lifestyle, when there sometimes seems to be hardly enough time to cook, let alone do so peacefully and caringly, it is therefore definitely beneficial to develop a positive attitude towards cooking. Before undertaking any food preparation, remind yourself that the task at hand can and should be an enjoyable and creative activity or experience, rather than an unpleasant, time-consuming activity. A good practice, then, is to meditate before cooking and then to let preparing the meal itself be a creative, meditative experience which yields a balanced, health-promoting diet for the body as a temple for the soul deity. Food always tastes better when it has been flavored or with love and happiness.