All life was created in an explosion of a supernova star. When allowing ourselves to connect from this expanded point of view, we can evoke a deep sense of mystery and wonder of the sacred act of eating. If we want to shift our vision from perceiving our intake of food as a mechanical, ordinary, or mundane activity, we need to use our imagination and deeper vision to see our food and the act of eating in a new dimension. We must lift the veil of our ordinary vision of food and see its truly extraordinary nature.

All living matter, every cell, each DNA strand has energy. Each time we ingest a meal, we consume the energy contained in each grain, vegetable, or animal. Everything we eat sacrifices its life to feed our human energy. Through our profound relationship with food, we experience the unbounded connection with the whole universe.

This exercise will show you how you can begin the practice of offering gratitude for your meals. When you cook your next meal, make sure it is cooked with love. Schedule enough time to enjoy every step of the process: cooking, eating, and cleanup. When the food is on your plate, sit comfortably in front of it, close your eyes, and take in three deep breaths. Feel all your senses: the chair touching your back, the sounds around you, the smells from the preparation of your meal. Feel connected to your reality as well as the food in front of you.

Now, allow your hands to hug your bowl, and in your mind’s eye, see the food on your plate. Imagine the journey your food took from grain to plate and visualize this journey in vivid detail. Feel the love that Mother Nature put into every morsel of this food, feel the love that your farmers put into their labor, feel the love of the sales clerk who sold you the food, and finally, embrace your own love that you infused in this food while cooking.

Put your hands on your heart and get in touch with the love and gratitude you have for the miracle of this meal and the sacred act of eating. Feel your heart opening toward the nourishment you are about to ingest—the sense of love and gratitude overflow when imagining your food willingly, happily giving itself to you to allow you to live in joy and harmony.

Once you feel a solid connection to love and gratitude, imagine that what is on your plate is not just potatoes, celery, and cucumbers, but is particles of star dust— luminous, shining, glowing with warm, soft light in your hands. Imagine that those star particles came together to create shapes of potatoes, celery, and cucumbers so it would be more convenient for you to take this cosmic energy in. If you can tap into that deeper reality, you will see the essence of your exchange with your food—star essence connecting to other star essence—merging, dancing, mingling together to finally become one—smaller light increasing luminosity of the larger light. Hold this vision for a few moments before opening your eyes, and then slowly, lovingly, consciously taking in the first bite. Hold this vision of the sacredness of your food throughout your meal and observe afterward how this meal makes you feel. Even as you wash your dishes, continue evoking a sense of love and gratitude, not frustration because you have to do the dishes. While you are washing your dishes, keep thanking your food for entering into your body and supporting your life. Feel the aftereffect of an integrated and connected eating experience. Observe the joy, digest the love, and touch the peace.

I’m Anya El-Wattar—and here’s to a happier, healthier us.

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