Entering the kitchen can be a practice in mindfulness. What stresses you’ve been carrying can melt away as you set about to nourish you and your loved ones. Breathing, and being aware of how you physically occupy your kitchen, how you move about it, what kinds of noises you make, and what your intentions are for this meal, all can set the stage for true nourishment.
I don’t cook with measurements, but rather with awareness. Through experimentation and observation, I like to learn about timing, quantities, and the interplay of ingredients. Pay attention. Keep focused. Feed yourself and your loved ones with gentle mindfulness.
Choose your ingredients carefully. The world around us features a host of unhealthy options. See through them. Find your local co-ops and natural food stores. Take the time to read labels and focus on unprocessed foods.
Organize your kitchen to help your cooking process. Like goes with like, and each tool should be stored near where you use it. Keep your counters as clear as possible to keep mentally clear, as you enter your kitchen, ready to cook.
Approach each ingredient with appreciation. Many people were involved in getting this food to you. Farmers, truck drivers, stockers, all had a role to play. The rain and sun and soil all worked together to bring us these gifts to keep us fueled and vital.
Use a good chef’s knife, and use it with care. Each slice can be loud and hurried, or it can be a thoughtful dissection of this bounty. Try different ways of cutting your carrots, onions, and peppers. Play.
Clean up as you go, hum while you work, listen to some jazz, and dance a happy dance when you taste your creation. Getting to serve yourself and your guests is a tender joy. You are providing life force, and you can do this in a compassionate way.
Thank you for your interest in compassionate eating!