Thursday, February 12, 2009

Live Foods Crash Course - 1 Hearth (LFCC)

The kitchen is a Sacred Place! Running a Kitchen with presence and joy leads to greater awareness of foods and tastes as well as our bodies and our needs; By engaging this space we can learn quicker, simpler preparations and increase our creativity both in the kitchen as well as other areas of our lives. Every action can be an expression of Love or Yoga if you like. The similarity in both spelling and meaning of the words "Heart" and "Hearth" in itself is worth reflecting as well as the radiant quality of both. When we give ourselves to the hearth it gives back the energy we need to care for it, ourselves and our world.

Cooking can be a frugal art and works from a kind of precision and desire to use what we have available to create something delicious and nourishing... we need not waste nor want, but learn to recognize abundance and perfection while at the same time loving all that we are given as if it were everything. In the hearth we show this love in many ways, one of which is by learning to make beauty of whatever we have. By giving this kind of care to the ingredients as well as what we prepare, the foods, the kitchen, the cook and the diners all share in a kind of sacred eternal blessing that comes only from the heart and from endowing our acts with love and presence.

One of the first ways we can begin to endow the hearth with our Presence is quite pragmatic as many deep spiritual practices generally are. Walk into the kitchen and consider the arrangement. Is it set in a way that lends itself to your being there and creating within the space? Are there mail and bills on the counter? Are there a lot of dirty dishes in the sink? Are the counters clean? Is the lighting good? Is the garbage piled up? A space with these characteristics doesn't invite most people to embrace the joy of creating sacramental meals, or even snacks. No great crime in the big picture, but often an obstacle within our search for quality of life experience and in finding the motivation to be creative. An unpleasant environment can make it difficult to feel the blessing when creating the meal and leads many to order out or eat from a box even if they have good food waiting. A hearth that is about food, spirit, family and creation energizes and invites us even when we are tired or ill and gives back to us what it is that we require.

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