Before I eat, I bless my food. For many people, saying grace in childhood was a time of impatience when adults were controlling the situation, but I’ve discovered that it can become a moment to reawaken a living truth. When I get food, I hold the food up or sit with my hands beside my plate, and I say a blessing. And then I just think about it for a moment and I realize that this whole ritual of praying over food is part of all form, it’s part of law, it’s part of the universe. The food I’m praying over, the bowl of oatmeal or whatever I’m eating, is part of God and I, who am making this prayer, offering up this food, am part of God. And the hunger that I’m using the oatmeal to quiet, the pangs in my stomach, the desires, the fire which will consume this food, that’s also part of God. And I begin to sense the oneness of everything; I start to experience a quietness and then I understand that the deeper I appreciate that it is all one, the deeper I become one with it all, and sense that all separateness is over. I use this prayer all the time to remind me of this, to bring me home. I’ve gotten so that now I really can’t sit down to a meal without doing this. Sometimes in a restaurant I just quietly go inward; I don’t have to make a production out of it, I don’t have to stop other people from eating.
“Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir Brahmagnau Brahmana Hutam Brahmaiva Tena Ghantavyam Brahmakarma Samadhina” (Translation: The act of offering is Brahman. The offering itself is Brahman. The offering is done by Brahman in the sacred fire which is Brahman. He alone attains Brahman who, in all actions, is fully absorbed in Brahman.)
So I suggest that the next time you are waiting for food to be served, feeling impatient or hungry, that you use it as a chance to think of God. And then when you receive the food, say a blessing and let the food remind you that all is one. Then eat. And slowly, as you just watch, rituals can become rigid things or they can become loose things. And slowly over time this ritual becomes a living statement of our connection to the divine; of our at-oneness with everything manifest in the universe.
6 thoughts on “Blessing Our Food As Part of God”
Pouring God into God…remembering it from reading “Be Here Now”…Mahalo
What does the sanskrit mean?
Meg, the Sanskrit means:
The act of offering is God, the oblation is God
By God it is offered into the Fire of God
God is That which is to be attained by him
who performs action pertaining to God
Thank you for the comment 🙂
Right on, right on. I was hoping as I began to read this that there would be his offering as to his prayer. I will try this and see how it feels on me. Sometimes it feels very difficult to remember to pray before taking a meal. So if I have ‘something to do’, perhaps it will help!
Is there a url where I can actually hear Ram Dass chant the words so I’ll know the pronunciation? Thank you!
Joyce – it has been added to the original blog entry. If you check back there is a link right above the prayer. Thanks for the comment!