Food has a personal, social, political and environment significance.
Yes, we consider what nourishes ourselves and our family.
We can explore further than that to include a range of expressions of what nourishes people, animals and the environment.
Inquiry into a fulfilled way of life explores the social, corporate and political impacts of nourishment for ourselves and others.
The Buddha referred to Four Kinds of Nourishment.
- Food nourishes us (all organic 2600 years ago).
- Contact nourishes us, via the senses, supportive memory, depth of friendship and more
- Intention/Aspiration nourishes us.
- Consciousness (mindfulness, awareness, meditation, clarity, creativity…) nourishes us.
We eat mindfully a nutritious diet with ease.
Mindfulness always refers to external and internal, the world and ourselves. Oneself does not come before the world or vice-versa.
External includes what we eat, what we drink and how it was grown, and its source – plant, dairy, fish, bird or animal.
We eat to live wisely, contentedly and with empathy for our environment.
We live to act, to change the world.
Internal includes mindfulness, amount we eat and manner of eating.
Food/drink goes into our mouth and words come out of our mouth.
The mouth constitute major features of ongoing practice, so we can enjoy and appreciate both directions.
A plant based diet provides us with all the nutriments/protein and all the vitamins that we need. Such a diet releases energy, clarity and supports emotional. mental and physical health.
The dairy/meat industry constantly seeks to undermine the benefits of a vegan diet. Vegans threaten the empire of the food industry and factory farms.
If undernourished through the four other senses, we will probably eat and drink more to compensate.
Food indulgence acts as a poor compensation for lack of development of the other senses.
Development of all five senses contributes to our well-being and fulfilment. The application of mindfulness and meditation to seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching enriches our daily life.
Mindfulness and meditation requires commitment.
2. The Senses
We remember a kind of ‘food’ also comes to us, via our eyes, ears, nose and touch. Beautiful objects for the eyes, sounds for the ears, fragrances for the nose and loving contact and connections for the body nourish our being.
We experience nourishment through memories that offer insights, a depth of learning and understanding to enhance the quality of our life. The experience of the outdoors provides immense nourishment through our receptivity. It might mean, due to pandemic or health issues, we can only look through a window. Sky above and earth below matter.
Happiness, love, gratitude and more nourish our whole being. This nourishment fills the gaps in our feelings/emotions.
We need to be mindful to avoid confusing nourishment with pursuit of comfort, reactive desires and dependency on pleasure.
“Spoil yourself” serves as a marketing strategy to get you to buy something you don’t need.
Intentions and aspirations serve as an important component in our emotional/psychological makeup.
Application of wise intentions/aspirations develop our humanity and intimacy of connection with life on Earth.
The recognition of ethical and healthy intentions forms the first step to action.
It requires trust and diligence to apply these intentions even if the consequence seems hard to bear. For example, men and women engage in service to other at risk to themselves. Intentions arise as a major influence on what think, say, write and do. Wise intentions and aspirations contribute to happiness and peace of mind.
Wise intentions/aspirations, alongside action, nourish others and ourselves.
Consciousness includes a range of meanings. Application in these areas nourish our whole being.
a. to be conscious of,
b. to be mindful of
c. to meditate upon
d to inquire
e. to create
f. to develop
Wise application of the four areas of nourishment for oneself and others confirm an authentic waking up.