This is part 4/6 Meditational Roots of my The Art of Meditational Cooking series. I will publish a new part every week of my personal discovery and creational journey of what I first saw as a means to an end (cooking) but later evolved into my personal meditational practice.
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Beginnings
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Food Family
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Art of Cooking
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Meditational Roots
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Food is Information
- The Art of Meditational Cooking – Rediscovering History
Creating the Art of Meditational Cooking
That being said, I realised over time what was holding be back in going that route. It wasn’t only the false idea that I had about the life of a chef. It wasn’t that I was afraid to fail. Cooking simply became more than just a passion. I think this happened the moment I started to ditch recipes and create my own, but definitely, over the past 10 years the art of cooking evolved into something beyond a hobby, beyond passion, beyond a job: I created a meditational practice!
I cannot pinpoint a specific date, as it was more of a slow process but this creation process took place and I am delighted that it did happen.
Like so many other people I’ve got a busy job. My job forces me to mainly sit at a desk in front of a screen. It’s not even remotely physically challenging yet mentally very draining. Back then I tried to make up for this with practising martial arts or working out at the gym. At the end I used both body and mind, trying to negate negative stress with positive. But this never seemed enough for me. I wasn’t able to relax my monkey mind and regroup myself, much less ground myself again on a daily basis.
Evolving the Art of Meditational Cooking
Yoga, for many reasons, wasn’t part of my life yet and wouldn’t be for years to come. This meant I wasn’t practising any stretching, breathing or meditational routines back then. I was without guidance, yet was craving it. This is where cooking came in handy and I transformed the art of making something to eat over the years to the art of making great dishes and let it evolve to a practice of active meditation. Or more simply put: meditational cooking.
This is most likely also the reason why I prefer cooking without a set recipe and going with the flow. I have an idea for a recipe in my head. This recipe idea might completely be my own invention or inspired by another recipe I saw or by circumstances (as in what ingredients do I have to work with).
A recipe is always restrictive and restraining you. I don’t work well with such a mindset. Rules are okay but there needs to be room for free thought and creative behaviour, especially when you prepare a dish. To me cooking and making meals for me and other people is an incredibly intimate process. That’s why I like to know the people I make food for. The more I know, the better I can get in tune with them. This “being in tune” is the key to meditational cooking, which is mainly something that I practice if I cook for myself or very small groups of people that I know.
Meditational Roots: Importance of Emotions
Let’s say I cook for myself after a busy day. What usually happens is that I have a few major cravings already (for the protein source, texture and taste). From those trigger points of information I adjust (what do I have, will I go buy groceries?) and establish which options I have to work with. From there on I tune into my body. How was my day? How do I feel? How do I want to feel? Those emotions are a crucial factor for the following steps.
Next step is a translation process. I need to translate something like “I feel drained” or “I feel down”, “I am amazing” etc. into a recipe. This is a process that took me years to handle and I developed this knowledge unintentionally and unknowingly. It happened gradually and naturally.
Continue with part five of the story here: The Art of Meditational Cooking – Food is Information