Spark Inspiration

Rituals of Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Before I sit down to eat a meal, I look forward to savoring the taste, smell and texture of my food. As someone who loves to cook as well as eat, I enjoy anticipating the sensory experience to come. Those that know me well know that I dislike being rushed when eating, no matter how simple the meal. In fact, I particularly enjoy simple meals, my favorite being French bread, cheese, salami, and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.

As such, I’m usually the last person to finish eating with others waiting and watching. Sometimes it takes some effort not to allow myself to be rushed by those around me—those expectant faces can be so compelling. Other times, I just cannot be rushed.

Although I have naturally eaten in this way since childhood, there is also a part of me that chooses to eat in this manner. In my experience, I find that I can be so easily caught up in the busyness of my schedule that it is easy to overlook the many moments that make up my day. There have been days when I catch myself being distant and disconnected from my environment and my experience. When I think about the people that I care about in my life, I am acutely aware that I do not want to miss any of these moments. So not only do I want to savor my food that nourishes me, I want to savor the friendship of the people with whom I share my meals.

Another reason that I choose mindful eating is that this ritual, like so many others in my life, teaches me to listen to my body, emotions and spirit. When I listen to all parts of myself, I can increase my awareness and understanding of my preferences and desires. This helps me to better know myself as an individual and myself in relation to others.

As I continue my practice of mindfulness, I learn about the pleasure that is to be found in every moment. At these times, I am not focused on the goals I have yet to achieve, the tasks left undone, or the other varied directions that my mind can spin off to. Instead, I am focused on my present experience, savoring the unique combinations of possibilities, until the next one comes…

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