Eating is intimately connected to mindfulness, well at least eating natural foods is, anyway. This is because vegetables, plants, fruits and animals are part of the same interdependent cycle of life that we belong to.
We, like every other living organism, are part of this beautifully interconnected earth, and eating is an opportunity to reconnect with Mother Nature and appreciate the gift of food.
Because of the abundance of food we have and how regularly we eat, we tend to take eating for granted, seldom appreciating its importance to our existence and relevance in the cycle of life.
So instead of just wolfing down your dinner today, how about making your meal a mindful one and really connecting with and appreciating this life source.
The following exercise could be considered an “eating meditation” of sorts, because you're going to connect with your food in a similar way to how we focus and connect with the rise and fall of the breath during meditation.
It doesn't matter whether you're eating a piece of fruit, a packet of nuts or a complete meal, however, I do recommend that your food is naturally sourced and not overly processed or full or preservatives and chemical ingredients.
The reason for this is that the aim is to connect with the cycle of the natural world, to cultivate an awareness of the interdependent natural world, something that just won't happen if you're eating a packet of sweets 🙂
8-Step Mindful Eating Exercise
Step 1: Before you begin eating, first close your eyes and take a moment to appreciate the gift in front of you. Consider what it represents and means to you in this moment.
Step 2: Open your eyes and begin to smell and identify with the food. Look at the shape and colouring of the food and analyse its design.
Step 3: Slowly place a spoonful/bite on your tongue and begin chewing softly.
Step 4: Allow the food to entangle with your tongue, swirling the food around and feeling the texture against your gums and teeth. Close your eyes to enhance your sense of feeling. Visualise the food in your mouth and the breaking down of its composition.
Step 5: As you chew, visualise the process the food went through before getting to your plate: Consider the seed, the rainfall, the nurture and the harvesting.
Step 6: Chew each mouthful at least ten times before swallowing any part. Don't rush, take your time and be present to enjoy every mouthful.
Step 7: Feel the food as it sinks down your throat and makes its way into your stomach. Visualise the food nourishing your body and revitalising your cells, muscles, bones and every part of your body.
Step 8: As the food falls to the pit of your stomach and begins its distribution , take a moment to rest in the awareness of this blessing before taking the next mouthful. Give thanks to Mother Nature for your fill and truly appreciate what it means to cure your hunger.
I promise this will be the best meal you've eaten in years.