Download PDF Food for the Hungry Soul: Daily Devotions and Recipes for Gods Hurried People

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Some yogis I know take it as far as to only eat sanctified food because it is difficult for them to eat it otherwise. The way in which one eats is a yogic practice also. At the Ashram for example, they would not allow us to read magazines, computers or cell phones at the table at all. Ayurveda, the first medicine practice from India, references food as our main source of health. It prescribes eating 6 times a week as a means of medicine for the body and one day a week as a means of pleasing the taste buds.

Another story that gave me food for thought came from Ram Dass. He was known to have lead many people to his Guru, Neem Karoli Baba. At one Satsang, he asked his Guru on behalf of them all We want the fast track.


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What is it? No one moved. They were waiting for the light show. Love everyone and feed people.

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Food is a Universal need and quick way to get close to people, so serving them tricks you into good karma. Souls are hungry. Serve all beings blessed food that has elevated thought and praise in it and they in turn eat loving kindness and compassion. Love is addictive. Now in their system, they will come back for more. I do my best not to hurry through it just as I would not hurry through my asana practice. I prepare myself for the ritual as though I were doing yoga by making the kitchen an elevated atmosphere, good music, good smells good company. I catch myself and make sure to chant while cooking.

I look at the things that are in my food and connect with them. I thought that such a large change in my outer world would bring a quick upgrade to my inner one — more fulfillment, more gratification. Instead, the very busy-ness and complexity of it was almost like a private blizzard that made it hard to navigate my internal world clearly.

What drew me to Dallas was the sense that here was someone who had mastered the inner life — or had at least gone much farther down that road than most. There was leisure of spirit to him. It sounds strange to say, but he had an overwhelmingly calm face. I was afraid that topic might come up. Is soul just a word religious people throw around?

Translation of «hurried» into 25 languages

The really deep reason is because of this tiny, fragile, vulnerable, precious thing about you called your soul. You are not just a self; you are a soul. Not external circumstances, not your thoughts, not your intentions, not even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self.

The soul is the life center of human beings. Sometimes I will watch the sun set at the beach while I smell the saltwater and listen to the crashing surf; or I will be standing on a ledge along the Big Sur overlooking a mountain range and feel this enormous combination of joy and awe.


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There is a depth to those moments that goes beyond a body. Your soul connects your thoughts and your sensations and your gratitude and your will and sends a message to your entire being. You can send that message to other persons; you can send it to God.

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That is the soul at work. He had noticed after all. Each one must be healthy and working as God intended it to work. If your soul is healthy, no external circumstance can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstance can redeem your life. But what exactly is the soul?

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Dallas took a napkin and drew the first of a series of concentric circles. The innermost circle, according to Dallas, is the human will — your capacity to choose.

If you try to improve your soul by willpower, you will exhaust yourself and everyone around you. Dallas drew a second circle around the first to illustrate. By thoughts I mean all the ways a person is conscious of things. Thoughts and feelings are flowing through us all the time, mostly flowing in habitual patterns that willpower alone cannot sustainably redirect. When I think thoughts that are false or unworthy, when I entertain desires that are in opposition to what God wants for my life, I damage my soul.

Dallas drew another circle that he said represents our bodies. Imagine for a moment you had a will and a mind but no body. They are filled with all kinds of appetites and all kinds of habits. Our bodies are amazing. But they are not the whole story. I am not just the stuff my body is made of. That is why integrity is such a deep soul- word.

Beyond that, the soul seeks to connect us with other people, with creation, and with God himself — who made us to be rooted in him the way a tree is rooted by a life-giving stream. Dallas helped me understand what I have wondered over the years about the soul. It is the deepest part of you, and it is the whole person.

This is so true that the word soul, in both the Old and New Testaments and elsewhere in the ancient world, is often simply a synonym for the person. Even in our day it is interesting how our language reflects this. When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul. Pictures of him with famous people and framed covers of his best-selling books lined his office walls.

But now he was beyond the age when most people retire, his church was shrinking, his influence was waning, and he was miserable. When I met this pastor, he began to tell me how wrong his critics were, even though I hardly knew him or his critics. He chastised his people for not bringing enough visitors to fill the empty seats. He had climbed to remarkable heights in church ministry, but his mind was preoccupied by bitter thoughts.

His soul was dis-integrating. I thought of another man, a businessman who devoted his life to making money. His children always knew that they had less priority than his job. He never said so, of course, but our deepest devotions simply leak out of our bodies by how we spend our time and what makes us smile and what claims our energy.

The man built a corporate empire, but his employees all felt used. He and his wife bought a magnificent home overlooking the ocean in Southern California. He had a stroke, yet no one came to visit him.

He sits in a wheelchair now, breathing from an oxygen tank, alone in a mansion cage. He still obsesses over what he owns and remains incapable of gratitude or generosity. This is the ruined soul. Jesus is not talking here about people going to hell. For the ruined soul — that is, where the will and the mind and the body are disintegrated, disconnected from God, and living at odds with the way God made life in the universe to run — acquiring the whole world could not even produce satisfaction, let alone meaning and goodness.

To lose my soul means I no longer have a healthy center that organizes and guides my life. I am a car without a steering wheel. Farmers in the Midwest used to run a rope from their house to the barn at the first sight of a blizzard. What we need, he said, is a rope from the back door to the barn so we can find our way home again. Just look around you. A mom struggles to create the perfect home.

Her husband does not help much. She is angry at her children for not being perfect, for not being on track to get into the right school, for not making her look good as a mom.

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Karen Doughty (Author of Food for the Hungry Soul)

She is angry at her body for aging; feeling attractive has been the one unforced sense of worth in her life, and it is ebbing away. She withdraws. She drinks a little too much. She gossips with her friends about her other friends. She finds ways to fill time.

It is her soul. Only God knows, with any given individual, what battles they may have fought with addiction or biology or abuse or simply temptations that I have never known. Look at me. Look at you. We live on the planet of lost souls. That is the human problem.