Some years ago I sat a Vipassana course with some Buddhist monks. I noticed that they would line up before the food server at mealtime and never take anything of their own accord. Finally the server would place leftovers in their alms bowl. The rules of the Vinaya Pitaka, the code of conduct for Buddhist monks and nuns, lay down that they shall not ask for food…they will accept whatever is offered. And then, lest they get attached to the food they pour a glass of water in their alms bowl, over the food, and, eat it … to ensure not getting attached to a taste sensation…
In this rule of the Vinaya, we recognize how attached to food we are … In fact food rates very high among the sensory attachments, in some cases even higher than sex. It will take most of us aeons to become aware of how binding the attachment to food is. Till then, let us just maintain the awareness of the attachment and eat with mindfulness.
When I used to serve Vipassana courses, I was allowed to help in cooking meals for the meditators. The Vipassana centres have terrific vegetarian recipes, and, the recipe for spinach salad that follows is based on one of their recipes. Once you have made it, eat it with mindfulness, fully aware of the nourishment and taste it brings to you, and, of the attachment to food that is so much part of us ..
1 bunch spinach greens
2 apples or pears
Fistful or more of almonds, depending on your taste
Fistful or more of sunflower seeds depending on your taste
1. Wash spinach thoroughly. Spin dry spinach in a salad spinner to remove water.
2. Wash and cube apples. Add lemon juice(my mother’s trick to keep apples fresh).
3. Dry roast almonds and lightly chop them in a dry grinder.
4. Dry roast sunflower seeds.
5. Toss spinach, chopped apples, ground almonds, sunflower seeds together.
6. Splutter mustard seeds in coconut oil. Add urad dal, sauté till dal is golden brown.
7. Drizzle seasoning of mustard seeds and coconut oil into tossed salad.
8. Serve with either a vinaigrette or crumbled goat cheese.
I love this salad that Raja brought to my housewarming party. Don’t you just love it when men take a turn in the kitchen- I know I do. Even if its something as simple as making a cup of tea, it makes the woman feel valued and lets her rest every now and then. I hope to have lots of posts by other men friends who are fantastic cooks.
The chakra or energy center that governs digestion is the nabhi chakra –on a metaphysical level it gives us self-confidence, on a physical level it governs our solar plexus or digestion. In balance it makes us satisfied with our basic needs. And when in balance we’re able to share what we have with others. I hope you enjoyed these mindful recipes and in turn are able to generously share with others.