My mother sometimes asks me for my cooking recipes. By and large she follows my instructions to the letter. Yet her Bolognese sauce never turns out quite the same as mine, even though all the ingredients are the same and the methodology is the same. Why is there a difference?
As corny as this may sound, when I cook, I cook with love. The whole process of cooking is an enactment of love. When she cooks, she cooks to fills bellies. For her it’s more a practical thing where the foods main purpose is to fill hunger.
This may sound like woo to the reader but in fact there is an emerging body of scientific evidence to suggest a strong matter/mind interaction. Take for instance one of Dean Radin’s latest research studies on mind matter interaction. In this study, participants were assigned into different groups with the view of testing wether those drinking intentionally treated tea differed from those drinking tea which was not treated. The results indicated that the people who drank the tea treated with positive intentions experienced an increase in positive mood.
Aside from the fact that no placebo group was used (e.g. was it the extra attention or intention that saw a statistical difference between the groups) some of the findings were interesting.
It took 3 days for an enhanced mood to appear. That finding is consistent with another similar study using intentionally enhanced chocolate instead of tea. This makes perfect sense to me. In a few articles on this site I made the point that our unconscious processes operate on a very different timescale to our conscious process. In many instances it takes a few days for what is learned unconsciously to filter through at a conscious level. Actually, the important variable to look at there would have been 2 good sleeps. Our sleep cycles and in particular dreaming (remembered or not) are frequently overlook, but much of our unconscious processing occurs at these times.
The type of meditation employed to deliver the intention was intense concentration. It is important to be able to make a distinction between intense focus meditation and mindfulness types of meditation as they have different aims. Usually when we are intently focused on something we switch into a different state of being. If we can switch into a more loving state all the better. The meditators were highly experienced and as the experiments pointed out they were familiar with “being at one” with the tea. It is the connection of love combined with the intense focus that can ignite a spark of magic. It would have been interesting to note what the meditators experience was as well in this study. That might be a good area for future research as it might provide more succinct and precise methodologies for the future.
The study is not generalizable to the general population and that is important to remember. Irrespective of the former, it does make for some convincing evidence for the mind matter connection.
Personally I do not concentrate in the same manner the study did when cooking. I am very connected to the food and in a real way am having an experience of love when cooking. It is a way of being at ‘one with something’. When I cook, I am there 100% cooking. The latter sometimes comes across as only having thoughts for cooking. On the contrary, mind can throw all sorts of thoughts along the way and often does. These by and large are ignored.
Instead I am focussed on generating love experientially through my being while cooking. It is more like gently reminding myself that I am here to cook, here to love and everything else is of no importance for the time being. It is a way of being very present to the cooking experience. The monks seemed to have used more of a mantra approach and focused on that. I am a bit more freewheeling than that when cooking I think and that’s probably the difference I am attempting to point to.
The results between my mother’s cooking and my cooking are quite marked at times. It is hard to believe that it’s the same recipe and essentially the same methodology. Yet we have a very curious phenomena occurring along similar lines to Dean Radin’s tea and intention experiment.
If I ever cook for you and you hear me say I made it with love, very likely there will be more truth there than most people would readily accept or believe. Life is wonderfully mysterious at times.