Thursday, March 2

“There are two ways to experience good dining: one is to eat in gourmet restaurants, the other is to learn to be fully focused with whatever food happens to be available.”
— Shinzen Young, meditation teacher


Mindful Eating

Today’s Excerpt:

  • What will you (or did you) eat today? What’s one thing you’ll do (or did) to eat mindfully?

Optional: Have a Mindful Meal Together in Noble Silence

We have thousands of meals over the course of our lifetimes, and the experience can become so common we aren’t aware it’s happening.

Here’s our guidance on how to have a mindful meal:

  1. Invite each person to practice noble silence — which is when you each agree to avoid all chit-chat unrelated to the task at hand so you can focus completely on the present moment.
  2. Invite everyone to participate in preparing the food, possibly by going to a store or garden and picking out the food together. You might pick out a food that no one has ever tried before, or go to a grocery store that has food from a different country.
  3. Prepare the food, including setting the table, together.
  4. Before eating the meal, take a moment to look at the food and smile at each other.
  5. Begin eating while still in silence, paying attention to each bite. It can help to set your fork down between bites so you don’t immediately move on to the next before you’ve finished the bite you’re on.
  6. Pause after eating and look at the empty plate, noticing that you feel full.

After the experience, discuss:

  • Did you notice anything new in this experience?
  • How many colors did you see in the food?
  • What smells did you smell?
  • What sounds do you hear?
  • How did it feel to be silent together? (Awkward? Enjoyable?)
  • Did you learn anything new about yourself or your habits?