Home » Excerpts » Eat Clean With Your Whole Heart

Consume mindfully
with compassion and wisdom
or consume mindlessly
with greed and delusion.

– Shilashanti

Do not neglect your meals:
Make your meals about the eating

When you eat, are you focused on the act of eating? Breakfast is something you race through as you head out the door. Lunch is taken with office mates as you talk about work. And dinner is eaten while watching television. The act of eating is all too often neglected, isn’t it? In Zen Buddhism we have a saying: ‘Eat and drink with your whole heart.’ It means that when you drink a cup of tea, focus only on drinking the tea. When you eat a meal, focus only on eating that meal.

As you enjoy a dish, think about the people who cooked it. Visualize the field where the vegetables were grown. Feel a sense of gratitude for the bounty of nature. All our food passes through the hands of a hundred people before it reaches us. By adopting this mindset as you take your meals, perhaps you will become aware of how fortunate you are. Why do we take pleasure in delicious things? Because the life in us savours that which has been cultivated by the life in another.

Discover the benefits of a vegetable-centric diet:
A veg[etari]an fast is a ‘quick cleanse’ for your mind and body

There is a direct link between mind and body. When you hone your mind, your renewed vitality naturally shows in your body as well. Food typically does not serve merely the body. It also has a significant effect on the mind. Food is what creates both your body and mind.

When you adopt a vegetable-centric diet, your mind becomes peaceful, untroubled by minor irritations. It shows in the clarity of the skin. In contrast, eating nothing but meat inspires a combative spirit. Before you know it, your skin starts to discolour. I realize that is may be too much to completely eliminate meat and fish from your diet. My recommendation: try eating only vegetables one day [or more days] a week.

Zen: The Art Of Simple Living
Shunmyo Masuno

Related Articles:

The Five Contemplations To Remember At Mealtimes
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2017/04/the-five-contemplations-to-remember-at-mealtimes

上求佛道者应当如何饮食?(大乘净素)
How Should All Aspiring For Buddhahood Eat And Drink?
(Mahāyāna Veganism, or Maha-Veganism in short)
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/10/how-should-all-aspiring-for-buddhahood-eat-and-drink

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