From time to time, you might enjoy having a silent meal at home with your family or friends. Eating in silence allows us to see the preciousness of the food and our friends, and also our close relationship with the Earth and all species. Every vegetable, every drop of water, every piece of bread contains in it the live of our whole planet and the sun. With each bite of food, we can taste the meaning and value of our life. We can meditate on the plants and animals, on the work of the farmer, and on the many thousands of children who die each day for lack of food. Sitting silently at the table with others, we also have the opportunity to see them clearly and deeply, and to smile to communicate real love and friendship.
The first time you eat in silence, it may seem awkward, but after you get used to it, silent meals can bring a lot of peace, joy, and insight.
---Chanting From the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices, by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village---