Carolyn Chaffey

As I recently wrote about, I have embarked on a spiritual-fast. A period of seven days of eating only from sunrise to sunset. This is not a "diet" of any kind but rather an exercise in spiritual development. During this time I will engage in silence, yoga, meditative walking, cooking and eating. Today I did my first meditative cooking which involves simply having silence and being mindful of the food you prepare. I would like to describe the process below.

I decided that I would make a healthy soup out of whole vegetables. Something to support me nutritionally and make the fasting hours easier to take. I noticed a can of kidney beans however and instead of the white bean vegetable soup I had originally started to make I decided upon a vegetarian chili. The following is a description of the process of cooking, mindfully.

I felt the texture of the mushrooms under the cold water as I washed them, I brush them with the brush I use for this. I notice the smoothness of them, round and firm, a spongelike texture and notice there is little difference between the brown and white. Mushrooms have an odour that is hard to describe. It's an empty odour, not robust like garlic or onion, rather plain and dour, yet there. I likewise rinse the red and yellow peppers noticing how slippery their skins are. The tomatoes feel dusty from sitting in the fruit bowl and I scrub them gently, leaving all the vegetables to dry on a green plaid tea towel. They look fresh and apetizing and I start to enjoy the process.

It is completely silent as I rinse the beans and I think of how fortunate I am for such beautiful food to prepare. I give a silent gratitude to the universe for allowing me this food.

I pull some basil and oregano out of my little indoor herb garlic and notice the fresh pungent smell. I chop them together, the odour of basil and oregano together is one of my favourite food smells, alone they each are wonderful, together they smell like life.

As I throw everything slowly, meditatively into my snow white ceramic crock pot I notice how the colours blend to a rich natural raw looking earthy tone, some brown red, green and yellow blend to become a meal of optimum nutrition. It feels good knowing I've made something from the earth. As I add chili powder, sea salt and pepper I note how yet again the colours change, the appearance of the food is evolving from individual foods to a conglomerate of fantastic colours, textures and smells. I understand why people become chefs if they feel this way about cooking regularly!

As the pot cooks the smell permeates the house. After returning from picking up my youngest daughter from her one hour visit to kindergarten, i walk into the pleasure of that delicious smell. The beauty of the crock pot is that you are tempted by the flavour of the meal the entire day until it is finished cooking. I feel good knowing no creatures of the earth were harmed during my meal preparation and that feeds my soul as much as the food I prepare will nourish my body. I take a small bite and sample the food and turn the pot to low. It is fantastic, delicious and will get better as it slow-cooks. I will eat it with a multi grain wholesome bread and cold ice water.

Many of us only pay surface attention to what we do but when we practice being mindful of the texture of our lives suddenly we become enveloped in a bright light of knowledge and awareness. Taking the time to be mindful as probably been the single greatest accent to my life. I can use the practice at any time to enhance my life and my creativity. As I go through these seven days of exploration I will utilixe this practice more and more in doing simple basic life work, like cooking, walking and eating.

Affirmation: I will take time to enjoy food preparation and be grateful that I have wholesome fresh food available to me.


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4 Responses
  1. That looks so YUM!!! What you've written kinda reminded me of a Japanese tea ceremony. Very cool!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I imagine this will be good for the mind. I'm not sure I could fast myself and not speaking might not work in this house! However, good luck with your achievement.

    CJ xx

  3. Breeze Says:

    Crystal...I will have silent times but it will not be silent all the time. I meditate in silence. I should have been more clear!

    My husband would like complete silence I'm


  4. Silver Says:

    i think it's great what you're doing. Requires lots of determination and self disipline, does it not? But the reward is great, right?