Excerpts from a lecture by Yogi Bhajan, August 13, 1992, Espanola, New Mexico
This is a very special kriya taught by Yogi Bhajan about nineteen years ago. If you practice this kriya, you will experience how to eat consciously to create good health. To do it, you will need to have food available that you can eat with your hands. The kriya is divided into several sections: mental preparation and prayer, eating slowly and consciously, meditation on digesting, eating unconsciously, and cleaning up. It is a unique and effective tool for raising awareness about how we eat. It takes about 50-60 minutes to complete. Relax and enjoy.
Yoga gives extraordinary energy. There are so many aspects of yoga. Today, we will do one simple thing. It’s called Bhoj Kriya. Bhoj means food. Kriya means how to eat it.
You eat to live. You should not gobble food, because the secretion of the stomach is ordered by the pituitary and on the command of the pineal, so when you quickly fill your stomach, bloat it up immediately, and give it a shock, then it gives your body a shock for the next three hours. This is what we call an upset stomach. For food to be rejuvenating and to give strength to keep the body young, you have to use the saliva of your mouth. If you do not mix saliva in every morsel of your food, you are eating poison.
If you procedurally eat the food which you usually gulp in fifteen minutes, it will become your best friend, your best strength, and your best self. Usually when you eat, your entire nervous system moves and you move your mouth and tongue together. But you just swallow things, you don’t eat them. When you swallow food that is not chewed properly, it swallows your strength, your life. Then nothing is left of you. Slow eating is one of the best meditations on this Earth.
1. Bring the dish you like the most. Put it before you as though you are being served in a restaurant.
2. Now please sit calmly and fold your hands in Prayer Pose, and close your eyes and feel you are going to be blessed. Calm down and empty yourself to receive the gift of God. If there is no emptiness, nothing will come in. It is for your nourishment, for your acceleration, for your healing, for your purity. It is something today, at this moment, marvelously wonderful, blessful, blissful. Please concentrate. Bow your head in prayer a moment.
3. Please open your eyes and place your hands on your shoulders, right hand on right shoulder, left hand on left shoulder— a sign of strength. Then place your hands on your knees—a sign of strength. Then place your hands over your heart, one hand over the other— a sign of compassion. Then touch your forehead with the palms over the eyes.
4. Place your hands, palms down, over the food to bless it. Concentrate and bless your own food. Calmly and quietly make a relationship with your food and your spirit. There is God in you—feel it, feel the food piece by piece, touch it, and request of it, that when you become part of it and it becomes part of you, there is a union.
5. Now please, with your hands, choose what you are going to eat. There is no spoon to be used. You have to use your hands only. When you put each morsel in your mouth, it should have the touch of all five fingers. Id—you, Jupiter, Saturn, Sun, and Mercury. Whatever little portion you have, put it in your mouth, like a kiss. Chew it totally, freely, openly. Your lips do not have to be closed. It must have twenty-five percent of its size mixed with saliva. Saliva is the most nurturing, health-giving, young-making stuff. It’s right in your mouth. Chew it, don’t swallow it.
6. Now with your tongue feel the food. If there is any hardness, keep chewing. When the food is soft, like jelly, bring it to the tip of the tongue you will find out that it is sweet. If it’s not, keep chewing it. Food should not go to the throat or into the stomach until it is sweet to your tongue.
7. Very slowly, take it in. Then clean the inside of your mouth with your tongue, including around your teeth until there is no food left. There should be not one trace of food left in your mouth.
Now calmly and quietly, using this procedure, please eat. Keep eating and keep relating, keep meditating, keep talking to your food. Your entire mental energy should be in the food. Just imagine you are sitting in the heavens and God is serving you with food and you are nurturing your self. Each time you take in food, you have to repeat this process.
Continue for thirty-five minutes. Don’t totally finish all the food because I have to show you the difference, so keep some part to eat little later.
Meditation on Digesting
8. The hand you used to eat with, take that hand and bring all the fingers together in a point, and put that in the palm of the other hand. Close that hand like a fist over the food hand. And feel it. Meditate. This is a healing by your own food. Your hand has touched the essence of the food. And concentrate. Continue for 3 minutes.
Now go deeper and further inside, and digest your food. Turn it into nectar. There is a saying: “If you cannot bless your food, and cannot befriend it, you have no relationship with your own life.” You have two minutes to feel light. Your food must digest by the will of your mind. Continue for 4 minutes.
9. Now please open your eyes and see the food you still have left. Eat the food any the old animal-like way, gobble it. You have to do that now. Become as animals, gobble it, go, go, go, go, go. Fast, unchewed, swallow. Grab it, put it in. Just see the difference. Go, go, fast, finish it, so that your body will create a resistance to this animal-like eating. There is an animal way of eating and there is a human way of eating. There is also an angelic way of eating. Angelic eating is ‘sattvic bhoj.’ Continue for 4 minutes.
10. Now you have to get up. Go wash your hands, face, elbows, eyes, earlobes, above the eyebrows, and the back of the neck. And take the water and sprinkle it on your face.
Your power is in your mind. Your body is just a vehicle. You are not eating food, you are eating for your health, your vitality, your energy, your prosperity, your strength, your “fateh”—your power to conquer. When you eat food, it is God’s own self. Bhoj Kriya, done correctly, makes you healthy, mentally powerful, physically sturdy, and spiritually absolutely very beautiful and saintly. If you eat like this every day, you will be skinny. You don’t have to diet at all. You can eat one good meal during the day like this and take about an hour. It doesn’t matter what you eat—even stones—it will make you healthiest. Your life will be long and your power will be great if you taste every morsel of the food you eat.
©1992 The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Photo by Satsimran Kaur
[Previously published in Aquarian Times, Summer 2004]