Friday, September 17, 2010

Food as Sadhana

Mmmmm, study group today and I cooked lunch for everybody. Mattar Paneer seems to make Physics a little easier!

Eating with my classmates I remembered this quote from a translation of Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Life itself is sadhana, if we limit it to a class on a sticky mat all we get is flexibility. What helped me to transform eating into sadhana is mindfulness; creating a ritual before I eat, as I consume food, and after. Ritual can be a simple as you like. Wash your hands and face, take a few deep breaths when you sit down, say a prayer of thanks to the Divine, consume appropriate proportions; it's whatever you make it.

Shiva is the inner consciousness, the atma. Everything the yogi eats should be considered as prasad or an offering from the supreme being. This is very important for eradicating the sense of ego: "I" want and "I" eat. Food is not taken for gratification but to sustain the vehicle of the indweller, the atma. Therefore, eating should be considered as part of one's sadhana. Life itself is a sadhana.

-Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswati

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