Friday, March 29, 2013

Religion and Food Part III

      I also found my self spending my evenings cooking more and more elaborate dishes. I went from watching Meet Joe Black and eating Mac n' Cheese, to watching the Dalai Lama speak on TED and cooking roast chicken with glazed sweet potatoes and fresh lemonade. I remember watching one of his talks and wishing one of my friends from home would call, and hearing him say "if we all just treated each other the way we want to be treated the world would be a much better place" or something to that effect.
     After hearing that I wondered why don't we apply that idea to more of our lives? Why do we only think of that when we some one who is homeless, or when we see benefit programs to support people in a disaster situation. Why don't we apply that when we are waiting for someone to call, why don't we apply that when we see a friend who you can tell wants to say something but can't. Why don't we empower our selves to call, why don't we tell our friends I can see you want to say something, whatever it is I care about you and always will. Why do we let cultural manners dictate how we conduct our feelings and how we function among others. We don't determine what station we are born into, why discriminate those who were born a different race, nationality, or ability. We don't like being discriminated against why discriminate others.

     I let that moment, the one where I was sitting in my tiny apartment window ledge huddled over a plate of roast chicken and sweet potatoes, to be my epiphany.

     I took it upon my self to let that simple phase be my guiding light:
Treat others how you want to be treated

     This simple phase can be applied to everything from helping those in need, to taking a shift for a coworker, to simple things that can make someones day; like buying the meal for the person behind you in the drive through, spending the day watching movies with a sick friend, calling some one you haven't heard from in months, accepting the fact that people make mistakes and letting things go, buying an unexpected gift for a friend or even a stranger.

     While the phrase is simple the idea can be difficult. Sometimes I can't believe the things that people do and I want to get so very very angry, but I remember how hard it is to take responsibility for your mistakes and I let go, if my anger and work towards a solution I can put my energy to better use.

     While this is an idea expressed in Buddhism its only one of the many views. However I am not a true Buddhist. Im not exactly ok with the whole reincarnation idea, I think there is something after death, but Im not sure if its heaven. But the levels to enlightenment thing Buddhists believe in is a little hard to believe in. I believe more in the teachings of the Dalai Lama than Buddhism. He has a really good talk about all paths to god which I am a believer in. I don't care what you believe in, whether it is science, or islam or paganism, or whatever, as long as you strive to do good without hurting others and allow others to believe in whatever they want its good with me.

      So once a week when some people take time out to to to church, or temple or pray with their families, I sit in my apartment cook something delicious and I feed my soul as well as my body. I sit, enjoy the food I am lucky to have, and dedicate an hour or so to fill my soul with positivity. It might be a TED talk or a sermon streaming from the Dalai Lama, an empowering documentary, a youtube clip, whatever. Its not always religious, but it always presents a new perspective or idea.

     So once I fed my soul as a result of feeding my body, but I have come to a place where I feeding my body has just become part of the ritual of feeding my soul.

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