An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Theme: The Dinner Table

In Food & Cooking on February 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

SpaghettiMarinaraSomeone says, “I can’t help feeding my family.
I have to work so hard to earn a living.”
He can do without God,
but not without food;
he can do without Religion,
but not without idols.
Where is one who’ll say,“If I eat eat bread without awareness of God,
I will choke.”

[Mathnawi II, 3071-79]

I was reminded today of these beautiful lines from Mevlana while eating at the dinner table. I had lapsed into some moments of eating unconsciously and realised I had eaten without being aware that I was eating, let alone of what I was eating. It is also occurred to me how easy it is to fall into a state of unawareness, particularly at the end of the day when one is tired.

It is said in the Mevlevi tradition, that the kitchen is as sacred a place as the prayer hall. A shared meal, along with the collective prayer (salat), is a wonderful opportunity to practise prayer, intention, attention, awareness, and presence*. Maybe it can be used as a focal point in the day when
these qualities* are cultivated and taught through example. In addition to cooking, serving, and cleaning, it is also a lovely time for conversation. What I consider to be some of my greatest lessons and experiences of spiritual states on the Mevlevi path occurred while sharing a meal with Dede and Camille Ana. It is also a wonderful time to express our gratitude for being and sharing a meal together, as well to those who have prepared and served the meal.  Also, meals, when prepared with care, love, and intention, can carry baraka, and so the food itself can evoke a very soulful experience. It is a wonderful time to assign responsibilities, from help preparing to cleaning at the end. There are also rituals, be it of waiting for everybody to be seated, prayer at the beginning and end, practising collective silence for a few moments, eating with one’s right hand, etc., which can fine tune our state of consciousness much like the Islamic prayer is fixed around the sun’s position through the day, and the months follow lunar cycles, bringing us into a greater awareness of Nature’s cycles.

  1. Greetings,
    Thank you for this very nice post. Many reminders here about what is essential.
    All good wishes,

  2. Thank you Robert.
    Have you studied any further with Khurram?

    • Hi,
      I am in the current Iqbal course on the subject of education. I’m also working on creating some other writings related to Iqbal, though it is slow going.
      I hope you are well!
      All good wishes,

  3. Sounds wonderful. Please email me details.

  4. Alhamdulillah, beautiful post Saqib on a day when we shared a beautiful meal with family and experienced all you have described. Soulsome foods! May we always give thanks to our Creator for His/Her nourishment both physical and spiritual xx

  5. Ameen. – Mashallah – you always have such wonderful prayers to share
    Thank you.

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