Do you 'say grace' before meals?
Ok, ok, I know that Zen buddhists don't generally pray or chant too much, but I was wondering...
Do you have some ritual or a habit that you do before meals to show compassion and respect to the sacrifice the various plants and animals have done by giving their life so that you can nourish yourself?
Even though most of my family are Christians they, like most of the Finnish people who are members of the Church, don't have the religion as very visible part of the daily life so we never - for example - said grace or anything like that before partaking in meals when I was a kid (or when visiting them these days).
As a buddhist however I think it is important to practice mindfulness all the time (doing that in practice is harder than it sounds though! :roll and that includes being aware of what has gone on to put the stuff on your plate. I'm not saying that we should chant some sutra to the boiled veggies, but perhaps some kind of a ritual could help being more mindful about the food too?
So what's your take?