A NYTimes article today on “Mindful Eating”, from a Buddhist tradition. After each bite, pause, taste, wait. Slow food, but with a spiritual edge.
O.K., so you don’t happen to live in a Buddhist monastery. You can still give mindful eating a spin by incorporating a few chilled-out gestures and rituals into your regular calorie intake.
WHEN YOU EAT, JUST EAT. Unplug the electronica. For now, at least, focus on the food.
CONSIDER SILENCE. Avoiding chatter for 30 minutes might be impossible in some families, especially with young children, but specialists suggest that greenhorns start with short periods of quiet.
TRY IT WEEKLY. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid wolfing down onion rings in your cubicle. But if you set aside one sit-down meal a week as an experiment in mindfulness, the insights may influence everything else you do.
PLANT A GARDEN, AND COOK. Anything that reconnects you with the process of creating food will magnify your mindfulness.
CHEW PATIENTLY. It’s not easy, but try to slow down, aiming for 25 to 30 chews for each mouthful.
USE FLOWERS AND CANDLES. Put them on the table before dinner. Rituals that create a serene environment help foster what one advocate calls “that moment of gratitude.”
FIND A BUDDHIST CONGREGATION where the members invite people in for a day of mindfulness. For New Yorkers, it’s an easy drive to the Blue Cliff Monastery, about 90 minutes north of the city: bluecliffmonastery.org/ on the Web.