nature's table for blogIf you are what you eat, you should definitely avoid chopped liver, waffles and all forms of nuts. Yet we are….what we eat, just as we are what we think. We eat our choices, we live our intentions, and we create our futures with each thought, word and meal.

Wendell Berry wrote, “I eat my history day by day. Bird, butterfly, and flower pass through the seasons of my flesh.” This is true for all of us. When you eat with love, what’s grown with love, prepared with love and served with love, you feel more nourished, revitalized, satisfied, balanced and loved. Meals are an awesome time for gratitude, to remember the goodness of the earth and all our many connections. We consume earth’s food to give us strength to serve the earth and everything in it.

In our home, Meg devised an amazing gratitude practice before our meals, and it works well for the kids too. We keep a Tibetan gong in the center of the table. Before eating, we hold hands, sound the gong, and take three deep breaths together. Then as we begin eating we each share a gratitude moment for the day.

Like all practices, sometimes we don’t want to do it. We’re hungry and just want to dive in. But a little discipline around healthy practices is a good thing and it’s amazing how breath and silence brings you back to presence and gratitude.

Last year I spent a week in Thich Nhat Hanh’s spiritual community in France. They share some beautiful practices before, during and after eating. I loved the gongs that bring you back to presence. I loved eating part of my meal in silence. I loved noticing what I was eating, and when I was full and being aware of the people I was eating with.

Thich Nhat Hanh describes an amazing eating meditation:

Serving Food

In this food I see clearly the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence.

Looking at the Empty Plate

All living beings are struggling for life and sustenance. May they all have enough food to eat today.

Just Before Eating

The plate is now filled with food. I am aware that each morsel is the fruit of much hard work by those who produced it.

Beginning to Eat

With the first taste, I promise to practice loving kindness. With the second, I promise to relieve the suffering of others. With the third, I promise to see others’ joy as my own. With the fourth, I promise to learn the way of non-attachment and equanimity.

Finishing the Meal

The plate is empty again. My hunger is satisfied. I vow to live for the benefit of all beings.

mindful eating

Happy eating! Many blessings on your meals, your friends, your family, the earth, the hungry and all living beings. May peace and compassion fill the earth and may it begin with each one of us living and eating in gratitude.

Speaking of food, I’m excited to announce that I’m a featured expert in the 2nd Annual Online Eating Psychology Conference with Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. This is an awesome opportunity, a one-of-a-kind virtual conference to gain insights and information that will advance your understanding of eating psychology and personal transformation!

Sign up for the 2nd Annual Online Eating Psychology Conference for FREE here:

It’s time for a whole new understanding of our relationship with food. This conference honors all of who we are as eaters – body, mind, heart and soul. Speakers include Dr Mark Hyman, Dr David Perlmutter, Dr Hyla Cass, Dr Frank Lipman, John Robbins, JJ Virgin, Dr Tom O’Bryan, Jon Gabriel, Dr Susan Albers, Dr Alan Christianson, Jessica Ortner, Daniel Vitalis, and many more!

Dates: July 21 – 26, 2014
Price: FREE
Where: Sign up online: Click here to sign up for free

I highly recommend this conference! I loved being part of it, and know you will get so much from participating.

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  1. marina says:

    Thank you for that. But now I am really confused. With the first, with which I promise to practice  loving kindness I had instantly the picture of poor hungry children right before my eyes, small and crying children, with empty plates and no hope to get them filled. These children I see have black skin and are cute as all the children on earth and I see now white-skinned children too and every skin-color of this planet.Do I not deserve beeing fed? Do I not deserve to get also a meal? Or is this a  message to care for the children of this world, who are hungry not only for food, but for love and compassion? Or want they to tell me something? And now I listen: Yes they are saying something, they answer my question: Yes you deserve your meal. Yes you deserve everything what is good for you. You are loved. And so are we.” And suddenly in my picture there is hope, fun, food, sun, happines, laughter….. Adults are playing with those kids and they are not hungry anymore. Adults are laughing with the kids, hugging them and caring. And joy fills my heart and I know I am worth eating, worth having a full plate everyday. And worth doing this work I have chosen to do.So, thank you again, for this article, that brought me on this beautiful journey of mind. And now I can feel so much gratefulness and joy. And everything is so clear right now. Thank you for bringing me on the track to do what is mine. Thank you for every article you write and post here. Thank you.I hope my english can be understood – I am from Austria.

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