You may ask yourself, “What do meditation and eating have to do with each other?” The answer is that they actually have a great deal to do with each other. What happens during the day is that we tend to get so busy that we’re not 100% present with “what is” and we really miss out on wonderful experiences that occur throughout the day. This includes important moments in everyday life, like eating.
I’d like you to make a conscious effort of the moment you are in while eating. When you are eating, eat slowly. Eat with presence and be 100% aware of what it is you are eating. Take a bite of whatever it is that you are eating and feel it in your mouth. Taste it and recognize all of the flavor it actually has. You will realize that food is so much better when you take your time and you eat it mindfully, with presence.
What often happens is that we can get so busy and caught up in our day that even the most scrumptious meal is lost in haste. Sometimes you will think back on a holiday that someone prepared a wonderful meal for you and you literally scoffed it down so quickly that you didn’t truly appreciate all the work, all the flavor and all the content of what you enjoyed. Perhaps your mother or your grandmother put so much work into making this meal and was so proud of it, yet you didn’t truly get the opportunity to enjoy it to its fullest because of the “rush” of the holiday. You rushed to continue on with the festivities and didn’t realize until later how wonderful or how much thought and love was put into that dinner created especially for you! It’s the same way in your everyday moments of eating. We get caught up in what has to be done and where we have to be next. We rush through a drive-thru and place a mindless order to simply fill our immediate need of quieting our stomach. Sometimes we even eat without realizing what or how much we eat. This is mindless eating and what I want you to start doing is the exact opposite of “mindless” eating. I want you to begin “mindful” eating. I want you to realize how good food can taste, how relaxing it can be to take the time to sit, relax and be in the moment with your food.
What you will find when you take the time to eat with presence, with mindfulness, is that food is so much better. Meditation is all about following your breath, being present in the moment and using these techniques while eating will allow you to realize that the food tastes better. It will give you a pleasurable experience because you have taken the time to enjoy each and every little part of the food you are enjoying. When you are hurried through your eating what you really miss out on is allowing the food and the pleasure of eating it to occur.
Why we suffer through life so much is because we often miss out on what’s around us. We don’t savor the moments, savor the view, or savor the life. It’s the same way with eating. You need to stop and savor the food. Enjoy being with the food, enjoy tasting the food and enjoy slowing down to enjoy the entire experience. Spend time with your taste buds that God gave you and you will find your meals will become a wonderful, pleasant experience.
Of course this means that you need to set aside time for eating. Don’t rush; don’t eat while doing other things. You will begin to realize that food can have flavor and be a good, beautiful experience. A wonderful side effect of this is that you will find you have given your stomach the chance to realize it’s full. You will eat less because you are enjoying the food slowly. You will enjoy the moment with the food you have chosen and realize the flavors and the beautiful experience of nourishing your body with both mindful eating and mindful thoughts. I think you will be surprised at how much better your experience with food will be when you approach eating like you approach meditating. You will find enjoyment in taking the time to relax and eat slowly. Your body will enjoy the time it gets to truly experience the food you are giving it and it will repay you by acknowledging a feeling of content from the nourishment you have provided.
– Dr. Robert Puff
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, international speaker, and meditation expert who has been counseling individuals, families, nonprofits, and businesses for over twenty years. A contributing writer to Psychology Today, he has authored numerous books and creates a weekly podcast on happiness at http://www.HappinessPodcast.org He also creates a weekly podcast on meditation, http://www.MeditationForHealthPodcast.com and a weekly podcast on spiritual enlightenment, http://www.EnlightenmentPodcast.com
His retreat schedules can be found at http://www.HolisticRetreats.tv You also might find his blog useful at http://www.Meditation-Enlightenment.com
If you are interested in having Dr. Puff speak to your organization or company, you can learn more about his speaking services at http://www.SuccessBeyondYourImagination.com