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Eating as a spiritual practice: wisdom from the Buddhist tradition that you can use at home.
Every aspect of our daily activities can be a part of spiritual practice if done with compassion—and this compact guide offers wisdom from the Buddhist tradition on how eating mindfully can nourish the mind as well as the body.
Thubten Chodron, abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Washington state, shows us that eating and activities related to it—preparation of food, offering and consuming it, and cleaning up afterward—can contribute to awakening and to increased kindness and care toward others. Chodron offers traditional Buddhist teachings and specific practices used at the Abbey, along with advice for taking the principles into our own home in order to make the sharing of food a spiritual intention for anyone. By eating consciously and mindfully—and by including certain rituals—we find ourselves less obsessive about food and can enjoy our meals more.
About the Author
Venerable Thubten Chodron has been a Buddhist nun since 1977. She is a close student of the Dalai Lama, with whom she has coauthored several books. She is abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Newport, Washington, and teaches regularly throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
“The Compassionate Kitchen offers a very rich menu of Buddhist theory and practice concerning food and culture surrounding food. From the appetizer of the background philosophical principles and perspectives on food, to the main entries of the proper conduct and mind-set while eating, to the choicest desserts of dedication prayers and concluding rituals, it captures a complete treatment of the Buddhist concept of food in an easily digestible manner.”—-Geshe Dadul Namgyal, Senior Resident Teacher, Drepung Loseling Monastery
“This precious book reveals mealtime as meditation, and cooking and dining as sacred offerings to the noble ones. Ven. Chodron generously guides us to transform once and for all our relationship with food. A fresh and unique treasure!”—Judith Simmer-Brown, Distinguished Professor, Naropa University and author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism