Sick of the cook


It astounds me that many people (at least those around me) don’t have the slightest clue how much depends on state of mind of a cook. I wonder how it is possible that a modern person does not try his hardest to explore what really matters and concerns him and does not ask the right questions for his age – for instance why boys are different to girls and vice versa, how do I find who I am, how do I find myself, where should I go and what should I eat? Perhaps this is difficult in the enormous amount of information that we are being flooded with every day.

I think that in certain period of personal development one should find out that if he leaves his black tea brewing for less than three minutes it would make him go to pee often. Or that when he eats rich and meaty dinners he’ll be more tired and irritable than normally.

We are what we eat. Such phrase can be perceived in different ways and from different perspectives but Hare-Krishna’s followers, spiritually oriented people or yoga masters are interested in the spiritual way.

If one practices meditation he’ll inevitably find out that it won’t work that well with full belly. And after some time he’ll perhaps find out that for instance to love people and life is a beautiful thing and is also energetically less demanding…

What would be the best way to explain this to the beginners? I recalled a story that my friend told me once, who perhaps as first Czech person has learnt how to prepare macrobiotic meals in Switzerland (including the art of making your own tofu, etc.). There was a long year tradition of practicing and exercising yoga at that place and one day on the occasion of birthday the pupils have invited their Indian teacher for visit. And they have organized a celebratory dinner for all trainees, friends and people from the local village. Everyone started eating but the Indian teacher just sat there smiling at everybody and did not touch the food.

The people who organized the dinner were concerned and asked him what is going on, is something wrong?

No, nothing’s wrong the teacher smiled at them, just go ahead and eat, I will not.

But how come, master, this is to honour you!

No, no, I won’t.

But everything here is vegetarian and organically home grown in our own garden and our cook Franz has learnt how to prepare it all in India in your own training centre, you’ll have to take at least a bite, or we’d feel offended…

Master then asked for a bucket, had a few bites of the lovely food. Then he threw it all up into the bucket and continued smiling at everyone.

The dinner went on and hardly anyone noticed but the people organizing the dinner could not get through this. When the dinner was finished and all plates were cleared and washed up, they couldn’t wait anymore and asked their guru:

What happened? Why did you vomit? Are you ill?

No, I’m not, he answered with a smile, I was only sick of the cook.

Our cook? But that is Franz. He’s been practicing with us for fifteen years now, he was in India in your ashram, that is impossible. What could have happened?

I don’t know but ask him, he shrugged.

So they went to see Franz and later he confessed that his wife ran away from him just the day before…

Do some of you remember the ever angry and irritated dinner ladies at school? That could be one of the examples of differences between ‘cooking for public’ and ‘home cooking’. Why do you think we enjoy our own mums’ cooking so much? Why is it so healthy to eat for instance at Hare-Krishnas’ who consider their goal to be cooking for who they worship and love above all and who they celebrate by cooking the food and consuming it.

We are what we eat and what we eat is very much influenced by what’s on our minds  when we prepare and eat our food.

That is why it is so precious to find a place where good and healthy food is cooked with love and care. And that is why I talk and write about it.

For instance Japanese always knew that there is a remaining imprint of its master maker in any ceramic dish, tea bowl or a cup and these are part of heritage for many generations. And if there is a fire they firstly take out their ceramic dishes and lastly their cheque books. More and more art-historians now admit (somewhat unofficially and some perhaps subconsciously) that in paintings there are hidden or coded vibrations of emotions of their painters. And unbiased musical psychologists also admit that in music we listen to are hidden emotions not only of its composer but also its interpret or even the conductor. Our brains constantly send out and receive vast amount of signals. And we already know that 80% of what we perceive happens on subconscious level.

So why do we think that in our food there aren’t any vibrations of its cooks and even people who have grown the vegetables for our meals for instance?

By the way, there is a change in what we eat and quite recently there were published results of three year study proving that the content of basic components in vegetable (ions of potassium and calcium) has gone down in past thirty years in Europe by 20 – 40%! This may be one thing that we can not influence but what we can influence is our attitude towards what and how we cook and eat.

So here it is once more: we are not only what and how we think, feel, breathe or sing but also what and how we eat and drink.