By Ashley Eugene Fall 2018
Prayer. Grace. Blessing. Giving thanks. Honoring. These are some of the names that we call the ritual in which we give thanks for the food we partake in. This ritual is something that I myself never really participated in the act. I decided to research this topic because my husband practices this daily with every meal he partakes in and I asked him why and his response was “ I give thanks for the meal as well as blessing it”. This sparked my curiosity.. His ritual began as a child. In his family prayer before meals was always a thing that was done despite the fact that they were not heavily religious. The reasoning and understanding of prayer before a meal changed however as he got older and found his own connection with the divine.
As a child my mother never participated in it and my father religiously participated in this ritual. However with my father it was a forced practice that never had meaning behind it. We said a standard prayer whose meaning was unknown to us as children and religion was forced upon us and was never embraced. So when it came to prayer it was not something that we wanted to keep up because of the lack of choice and understanding. But now prayer is absent from his home at meal time. Or at least I have not seen him pray over his food in years.
As I got older I went through a series of changes spiritually and personally which heavily influenced my religious beliefs however food was not a part of this. However with family gatherings with my maternal Grandparents we always gather around our food, old and young, we hold hands while my grandfather leads us in grace. It is such a beautiful experience I get overwhelmed with emotion and overflow with tears of love and gratitude. Recently I had my first Thanksgiving and first holiday with my husband and our families and while at his grandmother Mama Julie’s house and they did they same thing. We all large and small gathered around, heald hands, and Mama Julie lead us in thanks and gratitude for everything including the new additions to the family. It was absolutely beautiful and heartwarming as well as extremely emotional. It definitely made me stop and give extra thanks to everything.
Not in this sense. I am forever aware of my food and its sourcing and quality. I even have looked into the studies of Dr. Masaru Emoto and his study Double-Blind Test of the Effects of Distant Intention on Water Crystal Formation 2006 on the effect of words on water. In this study he looks at the effect that positive or negative words have on water crystal formations. But I have never put this into play for myself. Why.. Who knows.
Upon evaluation I was thinking about the question “what do I think it means and communicates?” posed to us in this assignment as it pertains to this topic. Upon reflection I realized that I subconsciously judged those that practiced this ritual. Not thinking that they were bad but feeling like they must be very religious. And for me that was not the best association to have. But now I have a very different outlook after self reappraisal. I realize that the negative association to this ritual was one that stems from my less than ideal relationship with my father. I had no idea how much I projected those old feelings onto those that surround me known or unknown.
In my research there was no definite answer as to when this ritual began in history. I can only imagine that it has been around since the beginning of time. When you look through ancient records food was always exalted and glorified and I would assume dangerous I know) that prayer and thanks were part of this. In Anthropology we learned that in many ancient cultures the blessed their food to ward in the belief that it wards off evil spirits. This belief is still held in some cultures today. The evil spirits were unbenounced to them were bacteria that would cause foodborne illnesses.
In other cultures such as religion it is a means to give thanks to a higher power such as God, Jesus, Allah, ect. In more spiritual persons I found that it is a way to give thanks to all life forms that were sacrificed for the meal as well as invigorate the meal with light and energy. I found one page that had a beautiful and simple blessing that is as follows
I offer my deepest gratitude for this food I’m about to receive
I invite all life forms present into a state of harmony
I ask for the strength, energy and nourishment needed at this time,
to bring balance to my body, mind and spirit.
Thank you! (Or Amen).
(Horus Healing, Why to pray for your food)
On this same site they talk about the way that our food vibrationally screams until we calm it with prayer (p2). According to this site the studies of ex CIA agent Cleve Backster who was responsible for formalizing the lie detector test after leaving the CIA used the same equipment to test plants and their conscious awareness you could say. He connected the plant to the equipment and proceed to set a leaf on fire and the plant began “screaming” and did not stop until Cleve left the room (p5).
I think that this ritual is something that is often overlooked by those similar to myself because of the religious stigma that accompanies it. If people knew the real power of it I think that they would feel very differently and include it in their daily ritual. Doing this simple yet powerful act can vibrationally transform whatever we eat. This is “magic” but it will not negate or dismiss the foods low nutrition content or make it something that it is not physically but the energy does not lie.
Radin, D., Hayssen, G., Emoto, M., & Kizu, T. (2006). Double-Blind Test of the Effects of Distant Intention on Water Crystal Formation. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, (5), 408. Retrieved from https://rrcc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.196219233&site=eds-live
Snaith, A. (2017, November 21) Why Pray For Your Food. retrieved http://horushealing.com/service/blog/2017/11/21/the-science-behind-why-to-pray-for-your-food
[You Are Creators ] .(2013 May 23). The Effects of Human Thoughts, and Words on WATER… WOW!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIOx7i7MkY8