Beyond mindful eating
There is nothing new about suggesting that eating can be the subject of spiritual practice. Most major spiritual traditions address it at some level from their pre-modern days, whether in constraints on what you eat (e.g., the Jewish dietary rules known as kashrut or the Islamic rules, halal) or how food is to be prepared, or how to eat mindfully (a.k.a. the ancient Buddhist teachings or the modern teachings of Jon Kabat Zinn), or when to fast.
But what is a post-post-modern person to do about food? To take an integral perspective to one’s eating is, as it is in all realms, to take the largest possible perspective, the most inclusive view, to which one has access. This means that, when deciding how to eat, we take into account these post-modern teachings (including why it might have been an excellent idea 2,500 years ago not to eat pork), include the teachings of modernity (everything that science — from the east, west, north, and south — has to say on the subject of food), and make sure we are looking at both exteriors and interiors of the entire food production process. Toss in the broadest circle of compassion and concern to which we have access, whether ego-centric, ethnocentric, world-centric, or cosmo-centric, and then, from that place, we get to choose what to eat.
Oh, by the way, each of us is unique, so my answer to these questions is pretty much guaranteed to be different than your answer.
I’ll write more about this topic in coming future articles, but I write this today merely to lay the groundwork for the posts yet to come. For now, just ask yourself this question:
What is the biggest, broadest, deepest perspective I can bring to how and what I eat?