Have you ever considered the role food has played in various faith traditions? Humans have for centuries used food in sacred meals and in some cases asked for a blessing at everyday meals. There is sacred fasting and sacred feasting in many faith traditions. Take for instance the Passover Seder, the Muslim tradition including both fasting and feasting of Ramadan, the Buddhist practice of Mindful Meals, the Christian Eucharist, the Sikh Langar and the Native American Corn Harvest Ceremony.
Food is the core of these and so many more faith traditions both for nourishment and for the symbolism of the foods. It is simply heavenly to prepare and offer meals to those we love whether for special occasions or for the joy of “breaking bread” together at sunrise or sunset.
Breaking Bread with friends @ Michaum Point
I consider myself a spiritual person and so I love to read and research many things that involve our spirit, essence, soul or whatever term you’d like to attach to your deeper self. In fact, I have been invited to speak on this topic on Sunday October 6 at The Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield, MA. Since the invitation came I have thoroughly enjoyed researching various world religions and faith practices to learn more about how people celebrate their families, their lives and the beginning and end of the day. It is undeniable the power of food in our lives and it goes beyond nourishment.
I have also thought more about how I use food in my life as a means to speak to people and care for them. When my children were not feeling well my first impulse was to make them soup or tea so they would feel better. When a friend was sad I would invite them to come for a meal so we could spend time together and cooking something for someone who has touched my heart and I can’t find the right words to express what they have given me. The very practice of “breaking bread” is in my world sacred and loving. It is a time when we catch up with those we love and share our hearts.
So as I rise and move through my day I am just taking note of how I interact with food and notice what purpose it plays beyond nourishment in my interactions with self and others. I invite you to do the same and to keep in your minds and hearts all those who lack food and other types of nourishment in their lives. How do we offer what we enjoy to those who have or experience less?
Other places I will be this fall include:
The Pittsfield Farmers Market on 9/28 and again on 10/12 from 9am-1pm
Wild Oats Food Coop on 10/26 12:30-2:00pm “Cooking for Women’s Health”
Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday service “Food and Faith” 10/6 starting at 10am
Private cooking class at the Unitarian Universalist Church on 10/19 from 3-6:30 “Cool Kids Cooking Class”
Private cooking class at the Unitarian Universalist Church 3 Saturdays from 10/26 to 11/9 4pm-7:30pm “Healthy Holiday Cooking Class”
Wild Oats Food Coop on 11/16 1pm-3pm Healthy Holiday Cooking
for more information contact me at Leeyinger@yahoo.com