I consider myself to be on a bit of a quest. I’m not traveling the jungle with a fedora and whip (while looking exceptionally handsome), but am merely seeking a little education and understanding. It’s a lazy quest, really. The kind where the object of desire comes to you. The idea of chi or energy has fascinated me for some time. I know it’s there, but I just don’t totally get it.¬† I can see how it makes sense that there’s something that flows through, between and among us all. Through people, animals, plants, objects, the planet, the universe etc. An underlying interconnectedness and source of everything. For some reason though, there’s a link missing for me. An elusive spiritual Lego block that will undoubtedly join stuff together into something I can comprehend and begin to effectively apply to daily life. I’ll be able to see it everywhere. Man, it’s gonna be great.

A friend of mine that seems to ‘get’ the concept of chi, said to me that you should never cook while angry or sick because your negative energy will flow into/become part of the food you’re preparing and will be passed on to others. So I, of course, applied logic to the situation and came up with this: since energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it does kinda make sense that the energy used to prepare a meal could become part of the dish itself. How could it not? It’s not still in my hands, not still in the garden where the sun’s energy and the energy released by chemical reactions during photosynthesis contributed to the growth of that juicy tomato. All of these energies have come together to create a dish, so why would there not be some residue of each of them still in it, while it sits steaming on the table ready to be devoured? And it seems plausible, from my uncertain scientificospiritual¬† perspective, that if one is preparing a meal while in despair, pain or while thinking poisonous thoughts, the meal itself could be affected by that negativity. I mean, if you think about it, doesn’t negativity have a serious infectious quality? Don’t you feel crappy being around someone that’s negative? And don’t you feel lighter and happier being around someone that’s positive? So if just being around negativity/positivity can have an affect on you, why wouldn’t food prepared by that actual person’s physical and mental efforts contain some of their energy?

yummyNow think about being at a potluck. The table is full of various dishes created by friends and family all containing little bits of their energy. It’s a pretty amazing way to share yourself with someone. Taking part in something created by another person, when you look at it this way, is kind of intimate. Let’s look at what energy is actually expended in preparing a dish for a potluck….

How cute is this?

  • a decision is made about what to bring after discussion, thinking, looking through recipes, checking the cupboard
  • a trip to the store or garden is made to gather ingredients which are specifically chosen for the occasion
  • time is set aside for preparation of the dish, perhaps a schedule is rearranged a bit
  • thought is put into an appropriate transport vessel, taking required temperatures into account
  • you might consider the presentation – not gonna use your crappy old casserole dish, but the one with the nice lid or whatever – more thought and searching the cupboards is required for this

That’s a lot of energy. Each dish on the potluck table contains a little bit of everyone…. Aunt Mary’s maternal caring nature and Uncle Joe’s dread at attending yet another family function.

What’s in your dish?

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