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The Five Contemplations

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como water the five contemplationsEach Monday, Tiffany posts a message that provides positive energy and tips for eating more mindfully. The purpose of the weekly message is to reinforce the ideas from the talks and classes that are a part of the Como Water Membership, and to further support those living the veg-centric lifestyle. To receive our Mindfulness Mondays posts, Become A Member today.


The Five Contemplations

In just about every book, article, or blog post you’ll read about Mindful Eating, you’ll discover that there’s widespread agreement on the importance of gratitude for cultivating a mindful eating practice.

When I was young, our family expressed gratitude through “grace,” a prayer said before each meal. The shortest version was “God is good, God is great, let us thank him for our food, Amen.” There were also versions that “blessed the hands that prepared the food,” and when we were feeling extra grateful (usually on holidays), we’d get an extremely heartfelt prayer from the patriarch or matriarch in the house.

With age, I’ve been fascinated to learn about the different ways individuals from distinct cultures, nations, and religious backgrounds express gratitude for their food. One that really speaks to me, and the one I am going to share with you today, comes from the Buddhist tradition. It’s called The Five Contemplations, and it goes a little something like this:

1. This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, numerous living beings and much hard, loving work.

2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.

3. May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.

4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.

5. We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings. 

What I love about this set of contemplations is that it embodies everything Como Water is about–awareness, moderation, positive thoughts, compassionate behaviors, and community. Imagine how your eating would change if before you even took a bite of your meals, you said these 5 statements to yourself. Now, imagine how our entire food system could be transformed if folks en masse contemplated these points…

The possibilities are truly endless.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

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