O3m_AryaSamajWhether you are a meat eater, a vegetarian, or a vegan, put some om into your eating. Pay a moment of tribute to the life you consume.  Devote a moment of thought to recognition, perhaps “This isn’t just food; this used to be alive” or, as in the case of “live” foods, “This is still alive. I am not just eating food; I am consuming life.”  Try thinking of yourself not just in terms of what you eat, but in terms of how you eat. Move beyond the savoring type of mindfulness to mindfulness of the life that you consume. Say a namaste to the potato in your bowl. Let the life in you recognize the life in the food that you eat.  Become an “Om”nivore.

Or an Aumnivore (“Aum” is the more phonetically accurate spelling of the “om” syllable).  Put differently: become a compassionate eater who is acutely mindful of the fact that the “food” you consume isn’t just food but life itself; an eater who compassionately identifies with what he/she eats.

[This latter spelling (“aumnivore”) can help us distinguish between omnivores (in the traditional sense of the word) and aumnivores (the conscious eaters that transitioned from the preoccupation with what they eat to a stance of compassionate consumption regardless of what they eat).]

Adapted from Reinventing the Meal (P. Somov, New Harbinger Publications, 2012)