“’Prasada’ literally means a gracious gift. It is typically food that is first offered to a deity, saint, Perfect Master, or an avatar, and then distributed in His or Her name to their followers or others as a good sign.”
Those who ingest Prasad are said to embody the blessings of the Divine.
In India, I learned to extend the definition of Prasad.
“Food prepared with love is Prasad,” they taught us.
Maybe that’s why the food tasted so good. A lot of it was foreign to me. I didn’t always recognize what we were eating. But the mindfulness and kindness that went into the preparation had a subtle effect.
I cultivated reverence for “food prepared with love.”
In this reverence, I remembered the mystical presence that prepares all food.
Love, God, Absolute Reality prepares food with love. Fruit bursts out of barren branches; broccoli pushes it’s way out of the ground….Love surrenders the raw elements of food to chefs everywhere. They prepare the food with love; they circulate it to us. We eat it. Love continues it’s holy work in digestion, circulation, assimilation, elimination….This holy process gives us the energy required to prepare and offer love to the world.
Everything is a never-ending cycle of love preparing love to prepare more love.
Our work, our relationships, our joys, and our sorrows – everything is Prasad, everything is holy.
Love preparing love reminds me of a blessing my husband taught me. He learned it from his teacher, John Bennett.
All life is one, everything that lives is holy.
Plants, animals and humankind – all must eat to live and nourish one another.
We bless the lives that have died to give us our food.
Let us eat together gratefully, resolving by our work to pay the debt of our existence.
With all this love, this smorgasbord of love – the only thing we can do is try and love more. We can’t out-love love. But we can move into humble awe, say thank you, and resolve by our inner work to pay the unpayable debt of our holy Whole existence.
What are some ways you can pay for the insurmountable gift of your existence? Gratitude, praising others, seeing the holiness in everything, loving wastefully…all of these things — but what specifically calls to you? How do you thank life for your life?