Spiritual Teachings and Food
>----------------------------------------<00(O)00> ----------------------------------------<

Hinduism and Buddhism have largely vegetarian traditions, whereas the more western Christianity, Judaism and Islam do not (especially in the northern countries where this would not be so easy). Judaism and Islam in particular have rituals for the correct slaughter of animals. Ritual sacrifice of animals seems to have decreased to a large extent (ritual sacrifice of humans is no longer practised, with the debatable exception of Hindu suttee)

All of the religions have 'sacred calendars' of feasts and fasting, though 'the West' has largely dropped the idea of fasting, though some Christians still abstain from meat on Fridays. In the UK, there are still some residues of pagan traditions, such as Morris dancers celebrating May Day to ensure the fertility of the land, and many nations have similar traditions.

For agriculture, it is worth noting some of the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, who wrote widely, and founded the Anthroposophical Society, and the European 'Bio-dynamic' Movement. Some of the ideas from this systemare interesting :-
1. It is recommended that no fodder is brought into the farm, and no manure removed - everything should be recycled on the land it belongs to.
2. There are (astrologically) auspicious times for sowing and harvesting, and especially for the germination of seeds
3. The germination of seeds and the development of the formative and life forces in the leaf and fruit are studied deeply
4. In general, one should always eat what food is in season locally, and one should always eat local food
5. In general, one should aim to eat one third of roots, one third leaf and stem, and one third fruits/seeds for a balanced diet.

With eating, most spiritual schools recommend a bare minimum - the 'yogic diet' would be some rice, pulses and fresh vegetables, just enough to keep oneself going comfortably, with occasional fasting to cleanse the system. A Christian 'Monastic diet' would not be very different to this
It is widespread in 'spiritual teachings' to chew each mouthful of food 50 or 100 times, preferably eating in silence. However, in "Meetings with Remarkable Men", Gurdjieff meets a sufi teacher in the desert, and one of his followers cooks a meal for them. Gurdjieff tries to silently chew each mouthful 100 times, but the teacher eats his food in 1 minute. Gurdjieff asks him about this and he replies something like "The stomach is like an animal, it needs to have work to do, a challenge. If you chew your food too much, the stomach becomes lazy. If you don't chew, the stomach has to work hard and then it is healthy"

>----------------------------------------<00(O)00> ----------------------------------------<

Next Previous Food Index Page Food Start Page Food Project Home Page