Anne Calder is a Learning Resident in the kitchen and became inspired to write a series of articles that combines information about the Ashram approach to food with tips for readers. Here is her experience of sacredness in the daily ritual of meal preparation.
It is a pleasure to see such a variety of people coming for a taste of the Ashram. I am overjoyed to witness their gratitude towards the food that is served. This invoked a curiosity to look deeper into what makes our meals so remarkable and the Ashram kitchen so sacred.
Every time I research recipes, my page floods with options. Cooking has exploded in popularity with no lack of learning resources. Yet a camera fails to capture the love and passion instilled into the meal, allowing the dish to truly stand out.
I’ve certainly learned that preparing food can be made into a ritual. It’s like a typical scene of a witch hovering over a bubbling cauldron, chanting incantations and calling out the names of various ingredients to conjure up a magic potion. For me, cooking for the community, and similarly at home, possesses much of this magic.
The kitchen environment is a key element. A clear space, listening to mantra or other inspiring sound, is as important as the spices being used. I keep my intentions clear when I enter the kitchen, for I am aware that the energy I carry is transmitted into everything I do. Cooking with love is the secret ingredient. It is what has us reminiscing over home-cooked meals. The Ashram acknowledges this key element through persistent encouragement of bringing spiritual practice into all of our work.
Manifesting such a sacred space in your own home is readily attainable. Open up the space, clear away clutter and organize it to make your tools easily accessible. Bring life into the space. Allow fresh herbs to grow. Sprout beans by the windowsill. Ensure that you have what you need to allow fluidity, like keeping paint and brushes by your easel. Create a space welcoming to all.
Cooking as spiritual practice has made a fundamental impact on my body and soul. Allowing myself to be guided by Light and channeling it into the food I prepare spreads joy throughout. The ripple effect is clear to see and I invite you in 2018 to witness your own transformation through eating light.
Anne offers a favourite recipe from the Ashram kitchen for your use. She welcomes your comments and discussion about creating sacredness in your kitchen.
½ C Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/3 C Water
1/3 C Tamari
1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 C Olive Oil
2-4 Garlic Cloves