Buddhism mirrored in Foodie terms

I am a self-confessed foodie, former picky eater, former vegetarian, former vegan. A few years ago, I started having trouble with food. I developed various digestive health issues and food sensitivities. I had to change my diet and lifestyle to manage my forever-changing health condition. I had to learn to cook and eat meat and fish in a span of days. I had to learn to do a very regimented rotation diet.

However, throughout all of this, I could lean on my love for food. Not once did I say that, hey this is so hard, I will just starve myself instead. I love my appetite for food and sometimes it gets mirrored in my appetite for life. “Eat, Pray, Love” at its best, eh? 😀

This morning as I was chanting, my mind started to craft this post. Lately I struggle to communicate the different elements of my Nichiren Buddhist practice as a Soka Gakkai member to new people, to be able to explain how the different elements work in tandem and to see profound change in one’s life they are all important. I started to think about how I might describe these from my foodie’s perspective who has had some challenges in the food and digestion area.

Here’s my attempt, I think it’s hilarious, by the way (no kidding!):

Buddhist Practice ElementFoodie Mirror Element
Chanting Nam Myoho Renge KyoEating food
Morning GongyoMorning Coffee
Evening GongyoEvening meal
Chanting abundantly in the morningEating a healthy breakfast
Reading Sensei’s WritingEating vegetables
Studying GoshoEating protein
Group MeetingAfternoon tea with friends
SGI ActivitiesGrocery Shopping /
Helping to cook the food /
Laying the table etc.
Leadership responsibility in SGILeading the kitchen team to success –
e.g. Masterchef team challenges
Chanting with beadsEating with your hands
Chanting to the GohonzonChewing your food properly
1-1 meetings / home visitsDrink or coffee with a friend
Seeking guidance from a leaderHow to change your recipe to make it work
Receiving the GohonzonGrowing molars
Using the bellSignal that it is time to eat
VictoryEat chocolate cake /
Running a half marathon –
I can digest anything &
have good energy
DeterminationHunger / desire to eat
Other people chanting for me
Need intravenous supplementation to get my food
Chanting for othersGiving IV to someone else in need
Introducing someone Donating blood to someone
Not going to activities / not chantingNot eating after food poisoning
Chanting very littleTesting whether I can eat yet
Learning GongyoLearning to put food in my mouth
Doing silent prayersThanking the chef,
the farmer and
everyone who got the food to you
Devilish attack / not chantingFood poisoning
Doubting the practiceFeeling you don’t need food
Fundamental DarknessDigestion process working slowly,
making you feel eating is bad for you,
and doesn’t work
Human RevolutionEating healthy
3,000 realms in a single momentNo matter how long
you have been hungry,
when you eat you will cease to be
Complaining about someone else
Expecting someone else to eat to satisfy your hunger
Complaining about your situationStaring at the food, refusing to eat and whinging about your hunger

Pretty clear to me what role each of these play… can you relate to this?

Ok this was fun, hope you enjoy it! 🙂

PS – I want to do another one where I liken each thing to something related with money. Looking for anyone who would collaborate with me on that!


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