It’s Thanksgiving time – a time when we pay extra attention to being grateful for our food, to blessing it. My old meditation teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh – the world’s foremost Zen master and I think our greatest living spiritual teacher – is currently extremely ill and is very much on my mind and in my prayers – as he is for people around the world. It seems like a good time to share his practice for blessing food.
Thay teaches “Interbeing”: things inter-are. They exist within each other. They require each other to exist. Everything exists within a great web of life. It is from this backdrop that you can view the blessing of food. All of life is contained within the food we eat.
“Thank you for this food. Thank you for the rain which nurtured it. Thank you for the sun which made it grow. Thank you for the earth in which it grew. Thank you for the people who tended the crops and harvested them. Thank you for the people who brought it to market – and to the cars/trucks/boats/trains/planes that got it to us. Thank you for the market that sold it to us. Thank you for everybody and everything that helped us to have the money to purchase it. Thank you for the cooks. Thank you for all of us around this table who will eat it. Thank you for everybody in every other home who is also celebrating this feast (eating today). We send our love and compassion to everybody and every sentient being who is not eating today or not eating enough. May all people and all beings feel love and find peace. May this food serve us for health, healing and happiness.”
And let’s add, may our beloved Thay, who taught us these concepts and this relationship with food, feel the love that so many people around the world are sending him today.