Cooking for Meditation
The common idea we come across when thinking about meditation, is the image of a peaceful cross-legged seated Buddha or yogi with perfect posture and a zen relaxed face.
Reality is meditation can be practiced – and in my opinion, should be practiced – in any daily chore as part of your life practice, to become more mindful and in tune with ourselves.
Meditation can be as simple as a brain-training technique to bring yourself to the present moment and appreciate the Now away from stress of work, deadlines, bills to pay, family issues, projection into a desired future, or regretting past actions or events.
This being said there’s an infinity of possibilities and occasions to practice this art as an easy tool in your daily reality.
A few of these moments which can be turned into meditation include, but are definitely not limited to: walking mindfully paying attention to each step; watching a sunset on a lake or by the sea; observing nature from close, butterflies dancing between flowers; chanting mantras while driving or doing dishes; floating in water watching the sky above; taking a two-minute break in front of the computer to watch your breath…
Personally, one of my very favorite is cooking. And it’s a natural one for me to practice daily.
There’s something special about creating dishes from scratch, with fresh and colorful vegetables and fragrant spices. The experience of watching, touching and smelling the ingredients as you cut, chop, season, and stir the different food ingredients, is relaxing, centering, calming and doesn’t leave room for your brain to escape places. You need to be fully present not to cut or burn your fingers!
As the various smells mix in, my creative inspiration gets stimulated and what started with a few raw vegetables on my countertop, becomes a full dish nutritious and satisfying to share with my loved one(s) or just to be savored and enjoyed by myself.
All my senses are fully open to receive the experience, as I soak myself into it and I progress into pure creation.
Cooking doesn’t need to be complicated, you don’t need to be a chef, it doesn’t require complex tools or ingredients. It can be as simple as fixing a summer salad: one cucumber, a few lettuce leaves, a couple of small tomatoes, some dry or fresh oregano, a few basil leaves seasoned with an easy dressing made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Or in the winter, you may enjoy a warm rice salad. The more colors you add, the brighter the experience is! – And the more nutritious it is too;)
Cooking might not be for you, but you can most probably find one or several activities in your day that could become your own meditation practice. Start training your brain and thought process to become more peaceful, calm and centered… so your creativity, imagination and manifestation of dreams can expand and blossom!