The first thing about food is that the state of our mind when we eat is much more important than what we eat. Food will affect you differently if you eat joyously, happily, or if you eat when you are filled with sadness and worry. If you are eating in a worried state, then even the best food will have a poisonous effect. And if you are eating with joy then it is possible that sometimes even poison may not be able to have its total effect on you. It is very possible. So what state of mind you eat in is important.
We live in worry for twenty-four hours a day. It is a miracle how the food we eat gets digested, how existence manages it in spite of us! We have no wish to digest it. It is absolutely a miracle how it gets digested. And how we remain alive! This is also a miracle! Our state of mind should be graceful and blissful.
But in our houses the dining table is in the most gloomy state. The wife waits the whole day for her husband to come home to eat and all the emotional sickness she has gathered in twenty-four hours comes out just when the husband is eating. She does not know that she is doing the work of an enemy. She does not know that she is serving poison on her husband's plate.
The husband is also afraid and worried after the whole day's work - he somehow dumps the food into his stomach and leaves. He has no idea that the act which he has finished so quickly and has run away from should have been a prayerful one. It was not an act which should have been done in a hurry. It Should have been done in the same way as someone entering a temple, or as someone kneeling to pray, or as someone sitting to play his veena, or as somebody singing a song for the beloved.
The act is even more important: he is giving food to his body. It should be done in a state of tremendous blissfulness. It should be a loving and prayerful act.
The more happily and joyously and the more relaxed and without worry a person can take his meal, the more his food starts becoming the right food.
A violent diet does not only mean that a man eats non-vegetarian food. It is also a violent diet when a man eats with anger. Both of these things are violent. While eating in anger, in suffering, in worry, man is also eating violently. He does not realize at all that just as he is violent when eating the flesh of something else, so when his own flesh burns up inside due to anger and worry, violence is present there too. Then the food which he is eating cannot be non-violent.
The other part of right food is that you should eat in a very peaceful, a very joyful state. If you are not in such a state, then it is better to wait until you are and not to eat for a while. When the mind is absolutely ready, only then should one take his meals. For how long will the mind not be ready? If you are aware enough to wait then at the most it can remain hungry for only one day - but we have never bothered to listen to it.
We have made eating food a completely mechanical process. One has to put food into the body and then leave the dining table. It is no longer a psychological process, that is dangerous.
On the body level, the right food should be healthy, non-stimulating and non-violent; on the psychological level the mind should be in a blissful state, graceful and joyous; and on the level of the soul there should be a feeling of gratefulness, of thankfulness. These three things make food the right food.
We are eating food, we are drinking water, we are breathing - we should have a sense of gratefulness about all this. Towards the whole life, towards the whole world, towards the whole universe, towards the whole nature, towards the divine, there should be a feeling of gratefulness - " I have received one more day to live. Once more I have received food to eat. For one more day I am seeing the sun, seeing the flowers blossoming. I am again alive today."
This feeling, this feeling of gratitude, should be there in all aspects of life - and very particularly with diet. Only then can one's diet becomes the right diet.
Source: The Inner Journey - by Osho