This anonymous lady in the ricefield opened a world for me…
When I was young we used to live in a rural area surrounded by a lot of farmers. We even had some baby pigs in our house who couldn’t stay with their mother. But until now I never realized all the effort mad to put my food on the table.
As kid I never understood why people prayed before eating. “But mom, you bought it in the supermarket and not God”. Still I don’t believe in the classical God, but I become more and more aware of the Universal Energy.
Now I’m here I South East Asia and see a lot of people working very hard for our food under difficult circumstances. The rice I see in the supermarket once has been yielded on a beautiful green rice field far away by people working their ass off literally in the mud.
In that bowl of rice can be found so much energy. Of the sun and nature which made it grow. Of the rain who brought water. Of the earth with all her nutrients. The farmer, the worker, the transporter. Of the food technologist who thought about how to process and pack it. The people in the supermarket. The chef in the kitchen, the smiling waitress…. and hey, even the bowl didn’t appear in my life without any effort.
Ahimsa means no violence. Last year I stopped with eating meat and fish. Why would I eat something that I can’t kill myself? Something that also has been given life, and is part of the universal energy (this awareness came later). Also the circumstances and production methods play a role, as well as the environmental impact.
I am absolutely not the one to tell the others how to live or eat. Not at all. But it’s beautiful to see that the people around me adapt their self and eat less meat (at least in my presence). Be the change you want to see in the world. Who knows what to follows.
The seed has been planted
During my yoga teacher training my teacher Trupta planted the seed by mentioning this and now the awareness has grown more and more.
I’m not like, and won’t never be like the buddhist monks from my silent retreat who say that food doesn’t have to look well (bye bye #instafood) or even has to taste well. For them it has only the role of nourishing. (See their contemplation below). Many steps too far away.
But it’s good to realize that it’s not naturally that we can eat every day healthy and nourishing food. So many people in the world can’t. And yes, I have to admit that also I look at my phone during eating (as solo traveller and eater), but I intend that I will eat at least my first bite of the meal with grace and mindfull from now on.
And I’ll try to avoid spoilage of the food as much as possible. Because in every grain of rice is the energy of the anonymous lady in the ricefield….
Contemplation as seen in Warung 9, Ubud
I bless my meals with silent prayer and spoken grace
I send healing energy into all that I eat and drink
and I am nourished by spirit
The Five Contemplations
- This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, numerous living beings and much hard, loving work.
- May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.
- May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.
- May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.
- We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.
And this is the contemplation of the buddhists monks of the silent retreat in Chiang Mai