flickr photo shared by nvainio under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license
Our relationship to food is a central one that reflects our attitudes to the environment and ourselves. Silently eating a meal can be a wonderful opportunity for meditation and reconnection. Through conscious awareness of our meal’s origins, patient enjoyment of chewing and tasting, and reflection on the experience, we can cultivate a sense of how the infinite interconnectedness of existence is reflected in something as simple as food.Being glued to our TVs/laptops and rushing from one place to another in today’s typical hectic lifestyle make us also eat faster. But if we are eating too fast, we might not be giving our brain time to catch up with our body. We might end up eating more than we actually need. By eating mindfully, we eat less which improves our health as we feel less bloated and stuffed, not to mention shedding a few pounds! But the real benefit comes from being content with less. Over-eating is just another reflection of the consumer society of over-working, over-buying, over-consuming, over-doing and losing one’s equilibrium… In the following activity, we will explore the joy we feel while eating in a mindful way, we’ll remind ourselves that less is more.
Experiential / Group or Individual
To experience the simple, profound enjoyment that arises through eating mindfully
Understand how eating mindfully can bring greater nourishment to your body
Feel how deeply you are interconnected with the Earth through something as ordinary as a bite of food
Required Materials and Tools:
A nourishing meal of any size, preferably something that we have prepared ourselves
We begin by noticing the food before us. What are we eating? What concepts and labels do we use to identify it? What flows and processes of the Earth have brought it into existence? Who was involved in bringing this meal before us now?
Holding a single bite of food, we slowly move it toward our mouth, noticing any sensations which arise. Anticipation? Impatience?
We accept *this* bite, tasting and feeling the food fully, perhaps closing our eyes, again noticing and allowing any sensations which arise.
We chew slowly and thoroughly, continuing to taste and feel, until the food has liquefied. This aids digestion, allowing our body to fully receive the food as nourishment.
When it is time, we swallow.
We repeat this‚ moving, tasting, chewing, swallowing, until we have fully received our meal.
How did eating this way feel?
Were there any emotions or sensations present which surprised you?
Did you find yourself tasting or feeling anything new?
We realise that you can’t eat each meal being fully present, but what about starting each meal mindfully?
Instructions for Submission
Submit a written reflection of up to 200 words. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading
Instructions for Assessment
Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback
Creative Commons - ySI4R Content Team (adapted from material by Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Lilian Cheung, Rohan Gunatillake, and Emily Horn)
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Nice and unhasty