Few activities are as satisfying as gathering with a group of women to join in the ancient ritual of making and sharing a nourishing meal. The women of the Maine Ayurveda Study Group gathered in the warm, early evening of one of the longest days of the year. The moon was full, spirits were high and we set out to immerse ourselves in the multi-sensory activity of making ghee and kitchari.
As we began to observe and listen to the crackles and sputters of the ghee on the stove top, I was amazed anew by the joy of making ghee. “It looks like the sun!” “Delicious aroma.” And although I’ve made kitchari hundreds of times, somehow the alchemy of the bright moon, the balance of spices and the energies of those huddled around the stove, resulted in the most satisfying kitchari!
While savoring our kitchari and Linda’s lovely beet salad coated in ghee, we discussed Ayurveda’s insights into food and nutrition. So many diet trends…raw, vegan, paleo…and all have their valuable gems of wisdom. And there’s Ayurveda with insights and practical wisdom that have been time tested and remain enduring, nurturing and focused on individual needs.
Here are some of the questions that we explored.
- What is the purpose of food and nourishment?
- How does food nourish our tissue layers?
- What is the relationship between food and the elements of the natural world?
- How does the consciousness of food nourish our own consciousness?
- What is this super fine essence of nutrition called ojas?
- What are the 6 tastes that bring healing and balance?
- How do I eat for my constitution? For the season? For my cycle of life?
I’m in awe of the profound nutritional guidance of ayurveda. It’s not just what we eat, but what time of day we eat, in what state of mind we eat and how we are digesting the foods we eat. Food and eating can be a healing and joyful path with Ayurveda as a guide. Slowing down, taking the time to prepare and cook food for ourselves and each other may be the most healing nutritional wisdom of all.