Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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Hazrat Inayat Khan on Food and Cooking
Hazrat Inayat Khan. Click for larger image.

In preparing anything one does not only put one's magnetism in it, but the voice of one's soul is produced in the thing one prepares. For instance, it is not difficult for an intuitive person to find in the food that comes before him the thoughts of the cook. It is not only the grade of evolution that the cook has, but also what the cook is thinking at that particular time, that is produced in it. If the cook is irritated while cooking, if she is grumbling, if she is sighing, if she is miserable, wretched, all that comes before you with the food she prepares.

In the ancient times when human personality was keenly observed in everything one did, every person, whatever his rank or position in life, was qualified in cooking and preparing dishes for himself and for his friends; and a great mark of appreciation and affection was shown by people who invited some relations or friends to come to their house, by placing before them dishes that they themselves had prepared. It was not the dish, it was the thought put into it.

The Bible says, "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." But, one will say, does not the dense matter depend for its maintenance upon dense food? Yes, but at the same time the appetite is not satisfied by eating stones; man eats vegetable or animal food because he not only gets a substance from it but also the spirit it has absorbed. In other words, even in eating dense food one is absorbing spirit from space.

Heart and wings