Image

“Five Contemplations” by Thích Nhất Hanh

Five Contemplations

Here are Five Contemplations that Buddhist master Thích Nhất Hanh suggests be spoken before a meal. The practice, outlined in his book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, is a means to transform our relationship with food with thoughtful presence.

  1. This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, the universe, numerous living beings, and much hard, loving work.
  2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.
  3. May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.
  4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.
  5. We accept this food so we can nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

More recently, Thích has modified the reflections slightly. Here is the current version of the Five Contemplations that he personally uses:

  1. This food is the gift of the whole universe, the earth, the sun, the sky, the stars and the hard and loving work of numerous beings.
  2. May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to enjoy every bite.
  3. May we transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially those that cause us harm, as they indirectly harm all we touch.
  4. May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our precious planet, and reverse the process of global warming.
  5. We accept this food so that we may realize the path of understanding and love.



Thích Nhất Hanh, 1926-

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life (HarperOne)
© 2010 by Thích Nhất Hanh & Dr. Lilian Chueng

Dan Gold on Unsplash

More Good Things

Seven Good Things is a weekly list of positivity & creativity. Get it delivered to your inbox every Friday.
Arrow-up