There is a Pali chant, a Buddhist chant that is often used with meals; ‘Sabe lokami Ye satah, Jivanta hara he tukumanunang, oh Jinungsabe labante mamaje tasah’ which translates as ‘May all sentient beings share this meal with me, and by the power of merit, may all beings live in health and happiness’. Throughout the meal, you hold compassion and kindness for all beings, and extend nourishment to all.
Years back, I was working with a healer who asked me to do an exercise before each and every meal I ate, which was to silently inside offer this meal with love and nourishment to all women who had passed on, in my mothers’ lineage. It was to heal all the food trauma that had been experienced in this lineage. I thought it was kind of weird at first and was happy it was done in silence, so no one else knew what I was up to. My doubts soon vanished though, as I cannot tell you how profound an experience this was for me. Every croissant, lunch, snack and meal, I would pull into my awareness the gift that having this nourishing food in front of me was, and with gratitude extend it to an entire lineage that had come before me, to extend nourishment and enjoyment to them.
It had an immense impact not only on my enjoyment of the food but my presence when eating it. And this is what these kinds of rituals and prayers are there for, to bring us into the present moment with reverence and love. Why don’t you try it? It can be simple and beautiful, and you can create whatever language and intention you want…
Written with love,