Meditative Cooking: A New Perspective on A Daily Habit
It seems like recently, many of us have been doing more cooking at home, what with everything going on in the world. There are certainly some plus sides to this though, and having to get a little more creative with isolation rules in effect and more social options being limited can take a fun turn if you look at it in a different way!
Have you ever considered that cooking can be more than just something you have to do 3 times a day?
Cooking can help us save money as well as allow us to improve our health. The one thing about cooking that many people not have realized is that it is a naturally meditative experience. If you start looking at cooking as an opportunity to get more zen, you’ll find yourself meditating at least three times a day, and that doesn’t count snacks and desserts.
Interestingly, yogis and monks promote the idea that all day should be a moving meditation. There are all different ways to meditate besides sitting still. Walking and running can be considered meditative - so can you meditate by cooking?
Most of the time when we prepare food, we are not diligently reading recipes and following exact ingredient measurements. We have our usual dishes we like to prepare and we can relax as we chop, wash, mix, and stir. Because we are doing something with our hands, it gives the mind something to do - which actually makes cooking meditation a great way to relax!
How Meditative Cooking Can Help You
The reason cooking is meditation is because we become present and fully focused on what we are doing. The worries of the future and anger over the past dissolve when we become absorbed in making sure all the dirt is off of our carrots or testing the noodles to see if they are cooked.
It brings us into our body, alerts our sense of smell, taste, and touch, and allows us to shut off the loud mind that feels like it constantly has to be problem-solving. In this light, the act of cooking becomes a much more valuable experience.
When the mind stops, our nervous system relaxes, the stress hormones stop firing, we start to feel more optimistic, and creative ideas begin to flow without effort. We may even begin to feel stress caused tension start to melt away when we are able to shut off the loud mind and just be in our body, in space.
You probably have never asked yourself, what are the meditative benefits of cooking, but we welcome you to consider that this daily ritual could very well bring much more health and well being into your life if you decide to do it in a meditative way.
Simple Ways To Make Cooking a Meditation
The next step to consider is how you can use cooking to meditate. It all starts with being thoughtful about what your body wants to eat to feel the best energy. You can check in with how your energy is, how full or hungry you are, and if you feel you need something hot or cold, savory, salty, spicy, or sweet. Instead of making an impulse decision when opening the refrigerator, think about how you can make cooking a sacred energetic healing experience. It is an act of self-love to cook for yourself and an act of love to cook for others.
Once you’ve decided what to make, it’s time to set the intention for your cooking. Instead of trying not to think about anything which can prove to be very difficult, you can give your energy an outlet by directing it.
For example, you can decide, 'my intention is to slow down and check-in with what I want.' Or you could say, 'I want to fill this food with positive energy.' There’s no wrong answer when we want to know how to meditate while cooking. You can find a way to make it relaxing that works for you. Playing music that inspires you can help, especially if it’s peaceful.
1. Make an Effort to Slow Down
Breathe deeply, moving slowly and intently paying attention to what you’re doing. This will help you feel calm. When there is no rush, you can spend some time with yourself to think through your day and problem solve in the kitchen without the rest of the world getting in. This state of mind can be just like a meditative session if we try.
Read This Article: Unintentional Meditation: 6 Meditations for the Multitasker
2. Focus on Your Accuracy and Skill
Instead of just going through the motions, notice the details as you make your food, and make it a work of art that inspires you instead of just a pile of food. Try to make the end result look like something you’d find on Pinterest by spending that extra time to add garnish or sides. This little bit of extra love can make your soul full as well as your stomach.
3. Think of Food As Energy
When we cook, we are in creation mode. We can infuse the food with love and healing energy. When we eat it, we will take in the energy from the earth. Get excited that you are preparing something that will fuel your body, and use this new outlook on food to plan healthier meals to feed your mind, body, and soul.
4. Express Gratitude
We can take this time to express silent gratitude for the simple things in life. We can be grateful to have a variety of foods and for the many people who made it possible for you to have access to them.
Allow your gratitude to fill you with joy as you cook!
5. Clean up to Clear Old Energy
Cleaning can be its own form of cleansing meditation. As you wash the dishes, wipe the counter, and throw away food scraps, think of this as a meditation to get rid of your negative energy to start fresh. Each time we clean up, we are clearing the energy of our space as well. You can throw in some cleaning mantras into here too that will help your mind focus on the cleaning action and manifest it into your everyday life.
An example: 'I wash my space clean of negative energy. I look for clean and healthy spaces for my soul to flourish.'
Cooking can nourish our mind, body, and soul when we make it a meditation. Any action we do with intention can create more of the energy we desire in our lives. If you want more love in your life, infuse your cooking with love, and make it a meditation on love.
When you serve your friends and family food that has been made with love, it will send ripples out into the Universe, and help bring more love to you. If you want to help yourself or someone else heal physically from food, think of each cell of the food filled with healing energy as you make it and use your intention infuse it with healing energy.
If you want to cook to help balance your chakras, look to plants that match the color of each chakra. You can start to really get into cooking and make it something fun and playful that helps you connect with people in positive ways. The food we share can bring us closer to others and can help us become healthier, more energetically alive, and vibrant creative people.
Food is energy and how we meet that energy and work with it, is up to us. Have fun, relax, try something new, and embrace the opportunity to cook more as you also allow cooking to help you practice being focused.
Need a recipe to get started? Why not try this Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe.