Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Food for the Soul

I find that eating alone offers a great opportunity to reflect. The Bhagavad-gita proclaims it to be an extremely sacred activity when conducted with due care, attention and spiritual consciousness. While I relished a nicely cooked meal recently a wonderful analogy came to mind. It depicts the path of the Bhagavad-gita as more than a simple gamble of faith, but rather a highly practical spiritual science. The analogy offered a means to reflect on my own spiritual progress. How do I know I am moving forward? What are the measures? What should we be experiencing?

When we sit down to eat at the end of a hard day’s work, we can observe certain experiences which may be personal but nevertheless extremely real.

•    The initial feeling is one of pleasure. A well cooked meal gives an immediate sense of enjoyment to the palate.
•    Secondly, we feel nourishment and revitalization of the body with each bite.
•    Finally, our hunger completely subsides, and a disinterest and detachment from whatever food preparations may be on offer becomes highly apparent

In the same way the hungry spiritualist should feel three main things as he applies himself to the spiritual process with determination, enthusiasm and patience:

•    Firstly, there should be an immediate sense of pleasure, quite different to anything experienced in the mundane realm. The spiritualist feels a sudden relief from anxiety and worry.
•    Secondly, there should be nourishment of the soul which comes in the form of a direct experience of God. One sees amazing opportunity and meaning everywhere, and his life becomes infused with hope, seeing divine arrangements behind everything.
•    Finally, one will experience a growing disinterest and detachment from the temporary material goals that people sacrifice and strive for. Although material desires may flow into their mind they remain unaffected, convinced that there is something beyond that.

Bon app├ętit!

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