Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Simple Secular Dinner Prayer

Praying Hands
Praying Hands (Photo credit: C Jill Reed)
I think teaching children about Gratitude is extremely important. A few months ago, I decided it was time for our family to start Giving Thanks before eating.

We eat meat and so I think it's particularly imperative to recognize the fact that an animal gave it's life for our body's nourishment before we chow down.

I was pleasantly surprised by my daughter's reaction. She was around 22 months or so, when we began this ritual. I did it maybe three or four times, before SHE became the one to remind us to pray. She calls it "jay-jay" (what her Indian Grand-mother calls praying).

Honestly, I forget sometimes. And, boy, do I get the smack down from the "jay-jay" police. She harasses everyone at the table to fold their hands properly and close their eyes. And, you better be snappy about it. Of course, she still likes to sneak a bite or two, while I'm saying a prayer (or at least that is what her Daddy and Papa have told me). But, I am happy that our family is making Giving Thanks a daily habit.

Here is a simple Dinner Prayer from The Complete Buddhism for Mothers

The Joys and Pains of all beings

are present in the gift of this food.

Let us receive it in Love

and Gratitude...

I like it because it's brief, yet profound. And, feels it very secular to me. I think I'll start teaching it to my daughter is a few months.

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