Many people find that kneading bread is rather meditative, and meditating (you can call it thinking in a relaxed and focused way if that is easier for you) can change your mind. And changing your mind means changing your world.
For years now, VB has been doing executive team building and leadership development sessions that incorporate bread baking. During these sessions I ask the participants to knead dough in silence for ten minutes and encourage them to allow their minds to roam freely rather than focusing on business problems or solutions. You may be amazed at how difficult this can be for executives who are used to talking and who have not been in silence for ten minutes in a row (unless sleeping) for years – and certainly not in a room full of people! For a little 10 minutes all sorts of surprising things come to the surface…
Recently, one of the Bread Angels told me she had started giving “breaditation” classes. During the class, students are invited to meditate (think deeply, if you will) while kneading (hence, breaditate) on what is making them angry or sad, disappointed or frustrated…exploring, silently while occupied in a simple, rythmic task, what is blocking them, what conversation do they really want to have, where do they want to go and why are they not getting there. Then, after a break, they return to their kneading to visualise their life as they want it to be – with the problem solved, the conversation had, the disappointment overcome, the sadness assuaged…One student likened it to being reborn.
Now, THAT is interesting. Years ago, Peter Reinhart gave a Ted Talk during which he hypothesised that bread is special because the process of baking involves several life to death and death to life transformations. I have a slightly different take on it which is that bread is special because it uses four ingredients that on their own cannot sustain us, but when combined – only when combined – they create something on which we can live. So, when you bake bake, you transform, bringing yeast to life so that it can leaven the bread and die again in the oven, making something sustaining our of four disparate ingredients. And when you meditate during the process you have the power to transform yourself too.
Breaditation. Interested? Contact us to find out more.