After a contemplative experience, what kind of food and beverage is suggested?

When monks have contemplative experiences as being one with the inexpressible, after the experience ends, what kind of food and beverages is suggested?


In Luke 24:40-43, the disciples have the most startling experience imaginable of being face to face and completely one with the inexpressible: Jesus, risen from the dead, greets them standing in the middle of a lonely beach. “Touch me,” he insists. (The mystery revealed in this expression is, the longer you think about it, truly inexpressible.)

Then Jesus says: “Is there anything around here to eat?” Scripture says “The disciples gave him a piece of broiled fish.” This is just a thought but, maybe after a contemplative experience of the inexpressible, a piece of broiled fish might be served; and maybe with a little white wine to go with it, since that’s usually nice with fish.

As regards my own experience, it depends what time of day it happens, but, if, by God’s grace, I am granted the grace of an experience of intimacy with the Divine and this occurs at night or during the second half of the day – the meal awaiting me afterwards is going to be pretty simple. I generally have granola, a piece of toast, and a glass of water for both my breakfast and supper. (Broiled fish is only occasionally on the menu at my monastery at the main meal at mid-day.) I have found a bowl of cereal and a chilled glass of water is a good way to “round off” an experience of contemplative union with God – just enough to meet the body’s needs and awaken in the heart a prayer of thanksgiving.