Themes :

Bread is, in many cultures, the fundamental food, the symbol of all food. And food is communion. Think of it this way: The food we eat is the most tangible exchange we make with our environment. Our food is what most immediately connects us with the reality we inhabit. When you take in food, you temporarily negate the illusion of separation between your body and the rest of existence. Food is a breach of the boundary where we normally perceive separation to begin.

So it is really true, food is communion. It is an affirmation of interconnection and unity with our environment. What we take in becomes, in a very visceral way, a part of us. And we increasingly become composed of it. Remember the common saying, You are what you eat.

Christians understand this literally when taking the communion wafer. Christ tells his followers that, if they don't eat his flesh in the form of the sanctified bread they have no connection with him. He is saying that his essence must be taken into their being in the way that food is taken into the body. Divine substance must be taken in so that it becomes a part of us, and we a part of it. Our thoughts, feelings, our very cells, our total identity must be built of that divine substance -- until finally no boundary is seen between one's individual being and the eternal Being which sustains us. That is holy communion.

I hope it's obvious that you don't have to be a Catholic or a Christian to commune with the Divine in this way. Similar esoteric principles are found, with greater or lesser emphasis, in all world traditions, such as Hindu traditions of prasad. Food is inherently communion with the physical world. It just requires that you peer a little deeper to recognize the more sublime communion, as well.

Something to chew on...

Poems with the theme of Bread

  A Morning Offering
  Angelou, Maya Alone
  Eldar Edda (Anonymous) Odin's Shaman Song (from Eldar Edda)
  Emre, Yunus The Truth fills the world
  Francis of Assisi Prayer Inspired by the Our Father
  Holderlin, Friedrich Bread and Wine, Part 7
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Come to me at dawn, my beloved, and go with me
  John of the Cross Song of the Soul That Delights in Knowing God by Faith
  John of the Cross The Fountain
  Khayyam, Omar [11] Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough
  Levertov, Denise Stepping Westward
  Maharshi, Ramana The Song of the Poppadum
  Merton, Thomas A Practical Program for Monks
  Oliver, Mary What is There Beyond Knowing?
  Pope, Alexander The Universal Prayer
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin What I want is to see your face
  Silesius, Angelus So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains
  Sinan, Ummi The Rose
  Symeon the New Theologian You, oh Christ, are the Kingdom of Heaven
  Therese of Lisieux The Divine Dew
  Trungpa, Chogyam A Heart Lost and Discovered
  Underhill, Evelyn Corpus Christi
  Ungar, Lynn Blessing the Bread