Of all the sources of unhappiness that plagues mankind. There is not one to surpass the distress that food brings! Of late, the natural joy of eating has become a woeful struggle. Can food be the cause of grief? Can ‘eating’ in itself become a challenge? There has been a marked imbalance between man and food; in present times. Then began an extensive and systematic blame game. It took years of research and wisdom to acknowledge that the problem is not in the food or the digestive system but our minds, rather our lost minds, minds that are simply not present while eating. As a result of which our minds have stopped telling us what our bodies feel with regards to hunger, surfeit and ideal nourishment. This makes it impetus to develop a new art form- Mindful eating! And to eat mindfully one needs to be primarily mindful. In other words simply be alive as you eat. Be a witness to the many sensations and thoughts that occurs while eating. Develop healthy eating habits for a healthy life.
Mindful eating simply calls for relishing every morsel and every sip. Stop all other distractions and focus on the colour, flavour, smell and just about everything that’s on your platter. Try having one particular meal, once a week in silence and all by yourself. Eating has become an experiment of worthy interest and the Blue cliff congregation of Buddhist monks seem to have perfected it as an art. Courses are conducted to enable people to regain the joy of eating; without being criticised or judgemental about their overeating habits. In fact they are enabled to curb eating too fast by deliberately being conscious of the food and the body’s responses to it. It’s a practice that has to begin in every home and be practised at every meal.
Simple steps that can ensure you master the art of eating mindfully.
1. Detach from all multitasking and gadgets begin with prayer, remain in silence for sometime and focus on the food.
2. Prepare your own meal, appreciate the ambience and the appearance of the food and engage in small talk.
3. Only eat at the table, using cutlery and taking time to chew and relish every mouthful.
Enjoy at least one such meal a week with your loved ones and you’re back on the track to being in harmony with food.