Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Empty Bowl Meditation

I apologize if this sounds New-Agey, but it is plain old gratitude. I am pretty sure it didn’t happen before but these days, every time I sit down at the table before a meal I feel that I should be expressing gratitude.

This might be because when I was working I felt that I had somehow ‘earned’ my daily food. These days, in stark contrast, after having been very self-indulgent – reading & browsing -- I still get my food. Meanwhile, there are a billion people who are toiling hard and still going hungry.

Perhaps that’s why when I came across this simple ‘mealtime meditation’ practice by Thich Nhat Hanh, it resonated. (I found this when I was browsing the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine at my local library.)

My bowl, empty now, will soon be filled with precious food. Beings all over the Earth are struggling to live. How fortunate I am to have enough to eat.

Aside: In the same magazine, I found the following quote by Mandela.
“It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

1 comment:

Sriram said...

I find it satisfying if I remember to be thankful during each meal. This sloka used to be drilled into me by my father:
“Annapoorne sada poorne,
Shankara praana vallabhe,
Jnana vairagya sidhyartam,
Bikshaam dehi cha Parvati”

"O Annapurna, Who art ever full, the beloved life-force of Lord Sankara (Shiva), O’ Parvathi – grant me alms that I be firmly established in Knowledge and Renunciation".

I rarely repeat this, but it does sound nice(and quite high thinking too).