A diet of wholesome, locally grown seasonal foods lays a foundation for clear, open, and living thinking, a healthy inner life of feeling, and a strong will to fulfill our life's tasks and purposes. A strong, flexible body with a healthy inner life is the chalice and instrument for true listening and receiving of soul/spirit wisdom.
If we want to answer the question of what we should eat and which foods are good for us, we each have to enter into this chalice and listen deeply to our own true knowing. We alone know the answers to the question. We can learn to cultivate this inner knowing. It can be sensed in a real bodily way. If we pause for a minute and in silence connect with our inner being, we can clearly feel whether we are weighted down or not grounded enough. With practice we can sense what is making us feel heavy or flighty and what dietary and lifestyle changes can help change this feeling.
When we enter into this knowing, which is more in the realm of the heart than in the mind, we are present to the wisdom of the world. We experience how our body and soul belong to the activities of the earth and cosmos. As we attend to these activities with genuine interest, we come to know life and the universal in every creation. Gratitude, wonder and awe open us to a place of receptivity to the world and its processes and rhythms. Creating beautiful, nourishing meals that resonate with the wisdom and harmony in nature is like living our lives as an open, unfolding work of art.
Many people today perceive the food they eat as a certain amount of calories or substances such as minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This technical information is useful in some ways but at the same time gives a very limited and narrow experience of the meal in front of us. When we see the world and the food we eat mainly in materialistic, scientific units, we neglect or eliminate beauty and soul. Our hearts are robbed of awe and reverence toward all we are given as nourishment. These feelings are only allowed to emerge when we begin to perceive the meal completely differently.
Cooking for the Love of the World is a book that encourages everyone to develop a new and fresh relationship with the world through the art of cooking. The living art of cooking, as described here, awakens wonder for the abundance of nature in her beauty and polarities. It shows that the food we eat is created by active life forces imbued with special qualities and has different properties that we consciously can make use of in our daily and medicinal cooking. We learn to continue nature's creative processes in our own kitchen and to create artistic, well-balanced meals in harmony with each season. We are guided to the understanding that every selection of food, every cutting style, and every cooking method has a different qualitative effect on our whole being, including how we feel and think. But this living art of cooking is more than an enjoyable, health-giving, creative activity; it is also an important aspect of any inner path of spiritual development.
Cooking for the Love of the World reaches toward the divine within nature. It leads us on a path of wonder, gratitude and reverence. Because the book helps us redirect our gaze toward the processes of what is to come, it involves our own destiny and the destiny of the world. Working with this book will bring clarity in our spiritual life, enliven our thinking, warm our feelings, and promote health and happiness. Our transformed inner life and good health will, in turn, enrich humanity and the world. This living art of cooking is the answer to the materialistic threats of our time and restoring the dignity of life.
The book contains many exercises or explorations that will engage the will, create heart-felt understanding, and enliven the imagination and thinking. Realities come about through what lives. When these explorations are accompanied by true feelings, then the content of this book will no longer remain only intellectual understanding. Instead it will awaken spiritual knowledge, without which we cannot bring about real change in our life. We will come to experience an inner radiance, which will permeate the depth of our being and everyone around us.
I believe that this inner radiance or spiritual light is an achievement; it doesn't "just happen." It begins with experiencing the feeling of gratitude and wonder. It begins with a real, intimate relationship with nature and the bounty of food with which she graces us. The food we eat is created within her rhythms. These rhythms - the cycle of the day, the year, and the hemispheric seasonal changes of the earth - belong to the life processes of the earth as well as to the spirit of the earth, because the spirit of the earth lives and creates within these life processes. In my imagination the spirit of the earth is the spirit of Love. Cooking for the Love of the World encourages us to awaken to the spirit of the earth, the spirit of Love.