Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On Eating

Eat the food a poor person would eat and leave the table without being full. Do not drink while eating and be sparing in the amount of water your drink. Do not accept special treatment while you eat; do not put on airs and affectations. Do not ever show your hunger. Measure the amount of food you eat so that you only partially satisfy your need. Your bites should be neither large nor small. Remember God at each bite, and chew well before you swallow. Each time you swallow, give time for the food to descend in your stomach and praise the Lord. The practice of the faithful while eating is not to listen to the appetite of the flesh but to eat whatever is in front of one. Eating is a form of worship, so your movement should be controlled. Do not look right and left or think of your errors and shortcomings: be in a state of thankfulness. If there are people sharing the meal with you, avoid looking at them, at what they eat and how they eat, and try to be the last to serve yourself. If someone comments on why you eat so little, be polite but do not respond. If you explain and apologize, beware of being hypocritical. Do not leave the table until it is cleared. Eat only at mealtimes: to eat in between is gluttonous. (The Tree of Being:Shajarat al-kawn. An Ode to the Perfect Man. Interpreted by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti. Archetype Pub. London, 2005)

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