Food and Breath
I have recently come to realise that food is my religion, (sometimes the most obvious things are the most obscure to our own-selves I guess!) there are depths and diversity to food that is unfathomable, every culture, people and time-period has it’s own food rituals. There are a million ways to prepare a potato, thousands of cultures to ferment milk with and every chef I’ve met has his/her own best way to cook pasta. They are all right, they have found what works best for them, and this is how spirituality and religion should work as well. I spent a fair amount of my life in the regimented, institutionalised, hospitality industry and food can also be dogma, like religion. Or it can be deeply personal, flexible, connecting and delicious :). The point here that diversity is delightful, necessary and inspiring–every good food lover knows this intimately.
I particularly appreciate the following Upanishad as it brings together my two most sturdy and dependable roots, food and cranialsacral therapy. In cranialsacral therapy the underlying breath of life of each person’s system is what is tapped into in this gentle, healing bodywork. Over the past two years I have had to deepen and listen to my body, in particular I have listened to my gut tube and to all the tiny micro-organisms that live in my digestive tract. I have listened to my vagus nerve relax and calm in my gut as it remembered how to be non-reactive, and hyper-stimulated any more. That cranialsacral session marked an increased absorption of nutrients from my food.
Everything is intertwined, food and breath, breath and body. Even the lowest levels of electromagnetic frequencies can disrupt cell communication and cell membranes. A butterfly flaps it’s wings and everything changes. In this way, giving thanks and appreciation for your food before eating also helps prepare your body to receive it.
May the Universe never abuse food,
Breath is food,
The body eats food,
The body rests on breath.
Breath rests on the body.
Food is resting on food
The one who knows this
Becomes rich in food and great in fame
-Taitliriya Upanishad 11.7