You ate what?!

“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha

There’s a few areas in my life that I would really like to focus on in regards to my practice.

And mindfulness of eating is one of them.

I must admit I am guilty of multi-tasking to the extreme.  And nearly all of my meals are eaten in front of the computer whilst working.

So my goal at the moment is to practice mindful eating for at least one meal per week.

A mindful eating exercise

  • Disconnect.  The same as you would if you were going to meditate.  Turn off your phone, the TV, step away from your computer (this is the challenge for me)
  • Sit in a quiet area with minimal distractions
  • Start by really noticing your meal.  The colours, texture, the smells, the presentation.
  • Take one mouthful.  Then put your fork down.
  • What are your sensory experiences?  What can you taste?  What is the temperature of your meal?  What are the textures – crunchy, chewy, soft.
  • Chew carefully and thoughtfully.
  • Take your time before taking the next mouthful.
  • Then repeat the whole process again.
  • The real key is putting down your fork between mouthfuls.
What did you notice by eating mindfully?
Where you more aware of your food?
Could you tell when you felt full?
How did you feel afterwards?
I found this a very interesting exercise.  At first I struggled to really focus.  The first few mouthfuls I was able to be very mindful and present, but then my mind drifted.  And I had to keep pulling back my attention to the meal.
It wasn’t until the meal was finished and I stood up that I noticed the level of clarity I was experiencing.
I happened to walk past the TV (in another room on mute), and the flashing of colours from the TV was incredibly overwhelming.
Another tip is to try to make at least one cup of tea a coffee a day an opportunity for mindfulness.
 It’s just one more way we can incorporate practice into our daily life.
Mindful eating is very pleasant. We sit beautifully. We are aware of the people that are sitting around us. We are aware of the food on our plates. This is a deep practice. Each morsel of food is an ambassador from the cosmos.  Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful eating