Eating a Piece of Bread

Sometimes I think of certain situations in extreme detail and it makes them all the more worthy and beautiful.


“While you are eating a piece of bread, try to recall the events that collaborated to let this take place. The oven’s heat that baked the bread, the plowed earth before that, sunlight, rain, harvest, the winnowing, the being carried to and from the mill, the complex idea and the building of the mill itself. The many motions of weather in the turning of four seasons. And don’t forget the knife that cuts the bread, the metallurgy and the skill of forgetting that blade, and your teeth, those original grinding devices. Then there’s your stomach digesting the crust and there’s the rest of your body being nourished, each put in unique ways.

Two hundred and forty-eight bones, five hundred and thirty muscles, three hundred arteries, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, your organs and limbs, your brain. As the bread dissolves, many intelligences within you are deciding and peacefully agreeing on how to divide the benefits. If there were discord, you would feel pain and cry out, but you don’t.

Now notice the unified human awareness thoughtfully living inside your body with a soul in communion with other spirit-intelligences. Observe how it sits at the junction of two worlds as a human being looking with kindness on other human beings. Some say this is the culmination of the body’s long development and the beginning of the next transformation, hat you that live with gratitude for food and thankfulness also for any difficulty, pain, or sudden disappointment, seeing those too as grace, that you live inside and outside time as an angelic breadeating witness taking in this myriad convergence of providential motions and that you are in yourself an individual soul being made from divine wisdom. “

Out of the Hidden Root – Baha’uddin Walad from the book The Inner Journey: Views from the Islamic Tradition edited by William C. Chittick.


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