Art of the Inner Meal: Eating as a Spiritual Path

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9780062516350: Art of the Inner Meal: Eating as a Spiritual Path

Many of the world's religions value the simple act of eating as a powerful means of self-discovery and spiritual transcendence. Eating with awareness brings us into the moment, helping us understand what it means to be alive and connecting us to the mystery and source of all living things. Directing attention to how we choose, prepare, and eat our food can offer satisfaction and gratify more than our physical need for sustenance.

In Art of the Inner Meal, former Buddhist monk Donald Altman celebrates the sacred side of eating by exploring the role of food in different religious traditions from around the world. Hindu concepts of food enhance our awareness of the cycle of life, and help us to break our own unhealthy eating habits. The Buddhist approach liberates consciousness through eating in moderation, with compassion and loving-kindness. Jewish tradition focuses on making each meal holy and wholesome. For Christians, meals are a time to strengthen community and enhance communion. Islam's blend of peace and faith provides insight, knowledge, and experience about our inner personal meal. "Whatever your religious affiliation, background, or tradition, you have a unique opportunity to create a personalized inner meal path. You need only draw upon the diverse sources of wisdom and knowledge that strengthen the bond between food and spirituality," says Altman.

A meditation on eating as a means to gaining awareness, Art of the Inner Meal explores the joys of giving and receiving, the art of fasting, the reasons why the wisdom traditions recommend some foods while prohibiting others, and how awareness of what we consume can affect the environment. By understanding the spiritual meaning of food for cultures around the world and creating new rituals and traditions for our own families, we can strengthen family bonds, encourage love, and deepen our connection to the community. Altman encourages us to improve our spiritual well-being by investing the everyday act of eating with the meaning and significance it deserves.

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Review:

When food is considered spiritual sustenance rather than an emotional filler, everyday meals can become acts of prayer, service, and awakening according to author Donald Altman. This way of thinking can also free those who embrace it from the rigors of yo-yo dieting and destructive eating habits. "Spiritual eating does not mean attempting to control food or count calories," he explains. "It's really about complete freedom to choose what is best for you at the physical, mental and spiritual levels."

Helping readers maintain this deeper relationship with food is Altman's primary mission. Drawing upon world religions and spiritual traditions, Altman explores how Hindus use food to break longstanding habits and how Buddhists practice compassion and moderation with their approach to eating. In another chapter, Altman shows how the Japanese tea ceremony unlocks the secrets of giving and receiving, and how the traditional monk's diet seasons any meal with spiritual blessings. Laden with sound advice, the book's numerous, easy-to-follow recipes help readers create true soul food. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Donald Altman is a former Buddist monk and a two-time Emmy Award-winning writer.He lives in Los Angeles,.CA.

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Altman, Don
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Book Description HarperOne, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Many of the world's religions value the simple act of eating as a powerful means of self-discovery and spiritual transcendence. Eating with awareness brings us into the moment, helping us understand what it means to be alive and connecting us to the mystery and source of all living things. Directing attention to how we choose, prepare, and eat our food can offer satisfaction and gratify more than our physical need for sustenance.In "Art of the Inner Meal, former Buddhist monk Donald Altman celebrates the sacred side of eating by exploring the role of food in different religious traditions from around the world. Hindu concepts of food enhance our awareness of the cycle of life, and help us to break our own unhealthy eating habits. The Buddhist approach liberates consciousness through eating in moderation, with compassion and loving-kindness. Jewish tradition focuses on making each meal holy and wholesome. For Christians, meals are a time to strengthen community and enhance communion. Islam's blend of peace and faith provides insight, knowledge, and experience about our inner personal meal. "Whatever your religious affiliation, background, or tradition, you have a unique opportunity to create a personalized inner meal path. You need only draw upon the diverse sources of wisdom and knowledge that strengthen the bond between food and spirituality," says Altman.A meditation on eating as a means to gaining awareness, "Art of the Inner Meal explores the joys of givin. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062516353

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