Bread, Body, Spirit: Finding the Sacred in Food

Provocative and insightful, and drawing from many faith traditions, the eclectic and beautiful pieces in this book will open your eyes to the sanctity waiting to be discovered in a thing so simple—and yet so divine—as food.

Edited and with Introductions by Alice Peck

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6 x 9, 224 pp | 978-1-59473-242-3
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“How can we find what is sublime in our everyday encounters with food? Where is God in the supermarket? Can we see the holy in a strawberry?”

—from the Introduction

Food plays a remarkable role in the daily routine of our lives. Whether we make time to eat with our families, or hit the drive-through on the way to doing something else, food and how we approach it has the extraordinary power to unite us with others and nurture our connection to the Divine.

Provocative and insightful, the eclectic and beautiful pieces in this book will open your eyes to the awe-inspiring link between nourishment and nirvana. Drawing from many faith traditions and backgrounds—including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Native American, and Sikh—the words in this volume paint a glorious picture of the sanctity waiting to be discovered in a thing so simple—and yet so divine—as food.

Contributors include:
Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei • Wendell Berryi • Joan Chittister, osb • Ram Dass • Marc David • Kahlil Gibrani • Jane Goodall • Thich Nhat Hanh • Barbara Kingsolveri • Julius Lester • Mary Rose O'Reilley • Mary Oliveri • Grace Paley • Omid Safi • Kristen Wolfi • ɠand many others

“Memorable.... Recommended.”

Congregational Libraries Today

“Thoughtful.”

ForeWord

“An intellectual and thought-provoking look at how the human spirit is fueled.”

Midwest Book Review

“Will make you hungry ... to take a new, more meaningful look at the meals you serve and eat.... A nourishing collection of reflections by authors of different faith traditions ... [that] invites the reader to cook and eat with intentionality.”

U.S. Catholic

Introduction xi

PART ONE: THE GARDEN
Acts of Faith 1
JALAL AD-DIN AR-RUMI
The Blossom Gives Way to the Fruit 6
MEISTER ECKHART
The Seed of God 7
SISTER MIRIAM THERESE MACGILLIS
Food as Sacrament 8
THE REV. JENNIFER BASKERVILLE-BURROWS
Lemon Love 12
ALISON LUTERMAN
Every Piece of Fruit 15
KAHLIL GIBRAN
Speak to Us of Eating and Drinking 16

PART TWO: FISH, FOWL, FLESH
Acknowledging Responsibility 19
A NATIVE AMERICAN BLESSING
Sacrifice 24
FROM THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD
Cycle 25
NANCYWILLARD
A Wreath to the Fish 26
BETTY FUSSELL
On Murdering Eels and Laundering Swine 28
RABBI ZALMAN M. SCHACHTER-SHALOMI
Are They Kosher? 34
BARBARA KINGSOLVER
Free Breakfast 36
JANE GOODALL
Tale of the Giveaway Buffalo 38
MATTHEW 26:26
Blessing 41
MICHAEL BENEDIKT
The Beef Epitaph 42
BARBARA TANNER ANGELL
Deer Season 44

PART THREE: COOKING
Taking Action 47
EDWARD ESPE BROWN
How Could I Have Ever Known It
Would Be Like This? 51
JULIUS LESTER
Braiding Challah 53
MARY BETH CRAIN
Food and God: Cooking as a Spiritual Calling 54
LAMA SURYA DAS
Keep Cooking 61
BERNARD GLASSMAN AND RICK FIELDS
Flour, Water, and Determination 62

PART FOUR: SERVING
Nurturing 65
Buddhist Meal Gatha 69
MARTIN BUBER
His Table an Altar 70
BROTHER LAWRENCE
Love Is Everything 71
GURU GOBIND SINGH
To Feed a Hungry Mouth Is to Feed the Guru 72
DIANE ACKERMAN
Accepting 73
ZEN MASTER EIHEI DOGEN
How to Share All Offerings 74
JACQUELINE KRAMER
Warm Sweet Milk 76
AMANDA COOK
Sugar-Frosted Memories 79

PART FIVE: EATING
Being Present 85
KARYN D. KEDAR
There Is Nothing More Profound 90
JULIA S. KASDORF
Onion, Fruit of Grace 91
WENDELL BERRY
The Pleasures of Eating 92
MARC DAVID
How We Eat 96
GEOFFREY SHUGEN ARNOLD, SENSEI
Just Enough 98
BICH MINH NGUYEN
The Plum's Eye 104

PART SIX: FASTS
Letting Go 109
OMID SAFI
Ramadan, Date Omelets, and Global Compassion 113
RABBI IRWIN KULA AND VANESSA L. OCHS
A Meditation on Fasting 116
RAM DASS
Stuffing Our Egos 117
HELEN NEARING
Casting Off His Body 119
RABIՁ AL-'ADAWIYYA
Miracle Onion 122
JESSICA SWIFT
I Can Eat Chocolate for Breakfast 123

PART SEVEN: FEASTS
Reaping 125
RABBI RAMI SHAPIRO
Heaven and Hell 129
DIANA ABU-JABER
Iնe Heard Angels at Dinner 130
LYNNE MEREDITH SCHREIBER
Inheriting the Earth 134
MARY ROSE OՒEILLEY
Key Lime Pie 138
JOAN CHITTISTER, OSB
Table Fellowship 140

PART EIGHT: COMPOST
No Beginning and No End 143
THE QURՁN 6:141
He Does Not Love the Wasters 147
DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI
A Worm in the Rice 148
TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD PART III
Food Is God 149
KRISTENWOLF
The Parable of the Squash 150
HAVEN KIMMEL
Diner 155
ALISA SMITH AND J. B. MACKINNON
One Beautiful Meal 160

PART NINE: GRACE
Communion 163
SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI
The Path 167
LAURIE COLWIN
Feeding the Multitudes 168
LAWRENCE RAAB
Since You Asked 172
ELIAS CANETTI
Potlatch 174
LYNN L. CARUSO
Communion 175
SARA MILES
Crossing II 176
GRACE PALEY
Peacemeal 179
MARY OLIVER
Rice 181
Ways to Share Your Meal 183
Acknowledgments 185
Credits 187
About the Contributors 191

 

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei • Wendell Berryi • Joan Chittister, osb • Ram Dass • Marc David • Kahlil Gibrani • Jane Goodall • Thich Nhat Hanh • Barbara Kingsolveri • Julius Lester • Mary Rose O’Reilley • Mary Oliveri • Grace Paley • Omid Safi • Kristen Wolfi •  … and many others

 

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