’T’ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it…’ so goes the old jazz song, and when it comes to the preparation and cooking of food, never were truer words spoken, or in this case, sung!
How many of us actually consider this when we throw a meal together? Have you ever thought about what food really means to you? What comes to mind when you think of food? Is it just fuel, or nourishment or something to be heated up quickly and eaten just as fast? If you were asked to remember the most delicious meal you have ever eaten would it be the menu, the ambiance, the company or the taste that you would recall? What food habits have you acquired? Do you have a family,that knows that if it’s pasta, it must be Tuesday? Or do you own cookbook after cookbook and leaf through each one for something new and delectable to create; or are you one of the legions of those who buy cookbook after cookbook and flick through them when new, and yet have never opened them since, because the ingredients sound too exotic or are hard to find?
There is, in fact, an ingredient that is so precious and so important in any dish, that is also very easy to find yet is used by so few people. The secret ingredient,that makes a loving mother’s meals so hard to forget and so nourishing and hear warming. That magic ingredient is ‘thought’. As so much research now shows what impact thoughts have on the mind, body and environment, the connection between what we are thinking of when we cook and how those thoughts affect the food, is becoming more and more important to understand. Quantum science now supports the wisdom of the ancients; ‘As is the food, so the mind, and as is the mind so is the Food!!!
The thoughts we have and the mood we are in when we prepare and cook food, have such a huge impact on our body and mind, and of course, on the mind and body of those who eat it. In fact, one might go as far as to say that the thoughts we have when we are cooking are possibly more important than the actual food itself! Even with the admirable growing concern about the sources of the produce we have available, and with plant based diets showing the fastest uptake, what we are thinking when we are cooking, could be the single most important element of a meal.
Thoughts are energy. Everything has a ‘vibration’ depending on its molecular structure.
Food is extremely sensitive to energy whilst changing from its raw state to its cooked state. It absorbs this energy and as we digest the food, we absorb the same energy. So, if someone prepares food for us in an angry, anxious or stressed frame of mind, that energy will affect the way we feel and even think, for some time after eating the food. Conversely, if we are in an angry or anxious mood, and sit down to eat a meal made by someone who took care in the preparation and in the thoughts they had while cooking, our mood will be influenced in a positive way and not just because we physically needed the food. Food prepared with a great deal of love, is nourishing, and revitalising .
The highest form of thoughts are the pure and powerful thoughts that are emanated when the mind is in a meditative state. There are many forms of meditation, and all of them transform the thinking from the normal, mundane and possibly negative plane, to a higher sphere. Food prepared by someone in this state of mind is truly life giving. In fact many people who practise meditation, take this so seriously that they will only eat food prepared in this way, as they realise how much food cooked in any other way, may well affect their state of being.
Whatever the kind of food you enjoy, wherever you source it from, take time to choose your ingredients, keep things simple and clean and put yourself in the right mood. Which brings us back to jazz again. Glenn Miller knew how to put a tune together; he knew which musical notes affect the mind and heart, and his ‘In the Mood’ was one of the alltime greats. So, put on some music you enjoy, think lovingly about the ones you are preparing food for, bring peace to your mind and stir in loving, peaceful thoughts. You’ll be pleased you did – and so will those who sit down to enjoy your creation. Bon appetit!
Written on behalf of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (UK), who teach Raja Yoga Meditation as a means of experiencing peace of mind and a positive approach to life.