The ritual of saying grace before a meal is one of humanities oldest universal behaviors – one that crosses all cultural and religious bounds.
These few moments dedicated to acknowledging the gods, elements, animals and people who make our food possible brings us into the present moment and reminds us of our complete reliance on Mother Earth and all that is within her to sustain our life.
Gratitude’s spiritual value is intrinsic, so it’s no surprise that it’s health benefits are also many. Those who take time to regularly say thank you may enjoy improved sleep, lower stress levels, stronger personal relationships and overall greater life satisfaction.
Pairing a simple thankfulness exercise with an enjoyable daily activity like eating, helps make gratitude a more regular part of our lives, thus inherently increasing our entire life experience.
In this season of gratitude, make time before your next meal to pause and consider using one of these 6 beautiful ways to say “thank you:”
We give thanks for the plants and animals who have given themselves so that we can enjoy this meal together. We also give thanks for our friends and family who have traveled here today. May this meal bring us strength and health.
– Variation on a Native American thanksgiving
For the meal we are about to eat,
for those that made it possible,
and for those with whom we are about to share it,
we are thankful.
– From the humanist benediction
We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
who have helped to bring it to our table,
And vow to respond in turn to those in need
with wisdom and compassion.
– Zen Meal Gatha
In a world where so many are hungry,
may we eat this food with humble hearts;
in a world where so many are lonely,
May we share this friendship with joyful hearts.
In a few moments of silence,
let each of us be mindful of all we have which to give thanks:
friends, food, hopes, health and happy memories.
(a moment of silenced observed)
So in giving thanks, we are blessed.
-Traditional Christian prayer
Let us be together; let us eat together. Let us be vital together, let us be radiating truth, radiating the light of life. Om Shanti Shanti Om (Peace for all living and non-living beings)
.– Yogic Mealtime Invocation