Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love -- But, Then, I Repeat Myself

Aquila ka Hecate explains, much better than I could, what I was trying to say in the post below about how our eating relates to our religion:
I'm not even stretching the truth to make a point when I say that the weed by the roadside, the crumb of granite rolling on the pavement, the motes of illuminated air dancing in the evening streetlights, the very quarks themselves - all partake of this consciousness which builds and destroys, eats and is eaten. I'm part of the process. My body is, and will be, food. It is food right now for milliard mites and bacteria. Any woman who has born a child (and most who have not) are in no doubt that they are food, too.

When I die, I expect to be food for insects and worms and single-celled organisms. I eat animals as well as plants because I do not distinguish between their levels of consciousness - indeed, I feel that distinguishing in such a way may be only what we humans tend to do.

I'll propose two very basic ways to change your own relationship with eating: (1) Stop criticizing others for how they eat/don't eat, what they eat/don't eat, how much they eat/don't eat, etc. When you find yourself about to give voice to judgment (even internally) on this point, take a breath, ground, center, see if you can just be present for a moment with that unnoticed part of yourself that makes you care what someone else puts in their mouth. (2) Begin to practice mindfullness concerning your own food. Simply stopping for a few seconds and sending gratitude to the plant or animal that you are about to consume -- and to the people who harvested, slaughtered, prepared it -- can become a very powerful spiritual practice.

And, of course, there are poems:
Oh my brothers of the wilderness,
My little brothers,
For my necessities
I am about to kill you!
May the Master of Life who made you
In the form of the quarry
That the children may be fed,
Speedily provide you
Another house,
So there may be peace
Between me and thy spirit.

~Mary Austin, in Earth Prayers from Around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems & Invocations for Honoring the Earth, edited by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon

Picture found here.

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