Ritual: Bhoj Kriya, How to Eat Consciously
I came across this article from the Kundalini 3H0 center a few years ago, and these teachings have stuck with me whenever I make my way to the table for a meal. It’s a manifesto, you can call it, on how to eat consciously for optimal health, written and taught by Yogi Bhajan back in August of 1992. Bhoj means food, and Kriya is commonly known as a disciplined action or practice – so in this case, bhoj kriya means the practice of eating food. It’s a beautiful reminder to slow down, savor each bite, and drink deep the vibrant nourishment your body is receiving.
I have to teach you how to eat. You do not know how to eat; so I have to start alphabetically [from the beginning], all right? Now please, sit calmly and fold your hands. Bring your hands into Prayer Pose and close your eyes and feel that you are going to be blessed. You are going to be blessed. Calm down and empty yourself to receive the gift of God. If there is no emptiness, nothing will come in.
You are receiving the best gift of God; it is for your nourishment, for your acceleration, for your healing, for your purity. It is something for today, at this moment, marvelously wonderful, ‘blessful,’ and blissful. Please concentrate. Now please bow down for a moment in prayer—just a little, not much. Okay, please open your eyes and touch your hands to your shoulders as a sign of strength. Touch your knees as a sign of strength, touch your heart as a sign of compassion, and touch your forehead and then please put the food before you as it is served and put your hand on it to bless it. Concentrate and bless your own food calmly and quietly. Create a relationship with your food and your spirit, your soul.
Be calm and quiet; a saint blesses her own Self. There is a God in you—feel it. Feel the food piece‐by‐piece; touch it and request that when you become part of it and it becomes part of you, that there is a union. You are experiencing a union; you are having an intercourse. This food will become part of you and you will become part of it.
Now this food is identity. Now it is between you and your identity. Once it goes in, it can give you gas, it can give you indigestion, it can mess you up, it can create poison in the man. You may not digest it all; it may mess up your colon, your descending colon. It may come through so heavy that you wish you would never have eaten it; therefore, create friendship, create love, create grace, create respectfulness. You and your food become one. Cut out the rudeness: “I am going to eat it, I am going to swallow it, I am going to have it.” You have time, you have space, you have grace, you have blessing, and you are blessing your own today, so it can serve you tomorrow.
Now, you have to touch it, look at it and feel it exactly. You have to mentally talk to your food. Ask it, “What are you going to do to me?” Talk to your food. It’s very difficult for you because you are Western: you want to drive a car, talk on the telephone and eat at the same time—and if the car had a commode, you would want to go to the bathroom at the same time. But this is not life. Animals don’t live that way. You are human: touch it, feel it, discuss with it and tell it, “I selected you, I cooked you, I brought you here to become part of me.” Create a very graceful relationship, a relationship of understanding, affection and love.
Now please, with your hands, choose what you are going to eat. Each thing must be touched by all five fingers, at least a portion with all five fingers and send all your energy into it with your fingers. And whatever little portion you put in your mouth, like a kiss, then chew it. Your saliva must become part of it—25% of the food. Chew it totally, freely, openly. You don’t have to keep your lips closed. Some of you have a habit of eating—smack, smack, smack—do that; that’s not bad. But each muscle must have 25% saliva mixed with it. You have the capacity and that is the most nurturing, health‐giving, young‐making stuff; it’s right in your mouth! Chew it; don’t swallow it; I have not said so. All I said is to chew it, mix it, grind it, whatever you do, but keep going, you can’t swallow it yet. It has to be in your mouth—and now, with your tongue, feel if there is anything hard or still in one piece. It should be total jelly, feel with your tongue and use your tongue to get a little more juice into it.
Now bring it to the tip of your tongue and find out if it is sweet enough. If it’s not, keep chewing it. Now, very slowly, take it in. You have to take it through the throat many times and with your tongue, clean your mouth, around your teeth, inside, up, down, you know? Clean your mouth once and for all. Isn’t it a shame that I am teaching middle‐aged people how to eat? But no, it’s a kriya, which guarantees health forever, youth forever, strength forever. Now, just see that your mouth is all clean—that there is nothing in it. There should not be one trace of that thing you put in your mouth—check around. All right, then go to the food again. Look at it, look at this, look at it, talk to this guy and then take a small portion and very affectionately put it in your mouth. Just remember, all five fingers must touch it and in the same way, chew it. Looks ridiculous, I know, but in the end, we will discuss whether we were ridiculous before or we are ridiculous now.
Any person who doesn’t have time to nurture himself is sick to start with. Now, calmly and quietly, in this procedure, please eat. Each time you have to repeat it; you have to totally create a hypnotic relationship with this food today. It’s going to be part of you, you are going to be part of it, and there are certain things I will tell you in the end, if you do it right; there is no hurry. Each time your mouth should be totally clean and absolutely clear of its existence before you put a second one in and you chew it. You have to see and taste of everything. Food in the mouth cannot go to the throat and on into the stomach until it is sweet to your tongue.
What I am trying to make you experience is the food, which we usually just gulp in 15 minutes. But if you just proceed and eat in this way, methodically, it will become your best friend, your best strength and your best Self. Your entire nervous system moves when you move your mouth and your tongue together. I want you to feel it, I want you to understand it. I know, we should just gulp it and go to the movie, you know? You swallow things, but you don’t eat. When you swallow things, they swallow your strength, your life, then there is nothing left of you.
When you put food in your mouth and muscle it, it should have touched all five fingers: thumb, Jupiter, Saturn, Sun and Mercury. Slow eating is one of the biggest meditations on this Earth; that’s why Guru gave us langarii. Langar mean anchor. Ships have a langar; the word langar came from anchor. All the sea‐going ships have an anchor. When they put out their anchor, they are stabilized, then the storm cannot take them away. That’s why the word langar means anchor of the ship. The other word we have is teg deg: deg is the sword of righteousness and teg is the food of righteousness. The deg is what you prepare spiritually, respectfully as an offering; teg you all know. Between the sword of righteousness and the food of righteousness, we live. Now, don’t look left and right; look at your food. You have two things going for you: your food and your energy. You are going to baptize each muscle, each part of your food, each little bit of it.
I am going to memorise this, I definitely need to make eating a nourishing ritual and not just a habit! I love receiving your newsletters, keep it up xx
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Hi Bianca! Don’t you love this kriya? I’ve held it near and dear to my heart since I first came across it, such an important practice to eat slowly and consciously. Thanks for the love – keep in touch!
[…] of all things we need to do before we even finish our second bite. I shared with you last month Yogi Bhajan’s “Bhoj Kriya” which is a practice for eating consciously. I always come back to this practice when it’s time […]
…it should have touched all five fingers. Beautiful Kriya.
Thank you so much for this . As a part of India I’m familiar with these statement. And amazing thing is while I was reading , its made in peace, calming situation. Vibration of this article which you showered while typing this article is actually I can feel it. God bless you .