Starting anew: Embracing Food Sadhanas and preparing your kitchen
Each month when the new moon appears in the sky I think to myself what in my life I can start fresh and what negative habits I can discard and do away with. This New Moon coincides with the Lunar New Year celebrated in much of Asia and China. The decorative red and gold colours remind me of the very essence of fire, Agni in Ayurveda which is not only external but in all of us as as power of digestion whether it being of food or ideas. So as usual I’m inspired to once again replenish my personal practices of food sadhanas in the kitchen. This is important to start with a clean slate and to prepare your environment. Your everyday act of preparing food does not need to be mundane and with a bit of preparation and focusing your intention it can be transfomred to a healing spiritual practice.
Here are some general tips for newbies to food sadhanas as well as seasoned practitioners who’d like to revitalize their practice:
- Simplify your kitchen: Get rid of all utensils that are not being used.
- Discard all old spices, frozen food, and canned and processed foods.
- Clean your kitchen thoroughly
- Keep your cooking space neat and uncluttered.
- Consider gradually eliminating most electrical appliances,starting with the ones you can do without immediately such as microwaves. Consider which ways you can increase your inventory of hand-operated utensils.
- Ensure you have the basics: spices, oils, grains, and beans. If possible, buy vegetables daily and be alert to their quality. Use as many fresh, seasonal and local organically grown vegetables and herbs as are available to you
- Be alert of your energies; take a few minutes to silence your mind by sitting in a comfortable place and taking a few deep breaths before you begin cooking. In the beginning, take the support of soothing music, soft lights, and “saging” the air (burning dried sage). Light a ghee lamp or natural wax candle before you cook and to cleanse the environment
And above all bring a feeling of gratitude for Mother Nature in bringing you the gift of nourishment.
By: Bahareh Hosseini
Tips based on the book “A Life Of Balance” by Maya Tiwari.