Eating Meditation

We can practice meditation when eating. We could be eating alone or with other people: friends, family. When we eat, we can offer our presence. When we are aware of the food we eat, we can also become aware of all the many natural elements that have come together to form and give you this wonderful meal: The sunshine; the rain; the air; and love. Also, the many people along the path who also cared an nurtured the food in its process. In fact, the meal has been touched by the entire universe and this is what is supporting our bodily existence on this earth.

When we eat our breakfast and pick-up our toast, we can look at it for a second or two and acknowledge with mindfulness so that we can realize that this a piece of bread that has been toasted. If we are busy thinking about things such as what to do today, or how am I going to reply to so and so’s email, then we will not realize that it is a piece of toast. We just put it in our mouth and chew and swallow as if it were an automatic function. With mindfulness, this is a piece of toast, and within the toast lies the wonder of the universe. Before we place it into our mouths, let’s look at it, smile and then place it into our mouths.

When we chew, we are chewing the nutrition of the universe. We can mindfully take-in it’s natural wonder without taking for granted how it all came to be a piece of toast. In this moment, the body is real, as is the toast and here lies life. When we are at discord with this, when we are thinking about other things, we are not making the moment ‘real’. We are treating them as separate entities. Mindfulness helps us to become one with life. This is a recognition that life is a miracle. It is not only a miracle at birth: it is also a miracle right now as you connect your food and drink, and he wonders of the earth to nourish your body.

When you are eating, you recognize the following;

  1. Food is a gift from the earth, sky, rain, wind, sun and the numerous human beings who worked with heart to give you the miracle of this now.

  2. That eating with mindfulness, we can gratefully receive the food this way to truly nourish our body. The energy we place in our food transforms to the energy that digests throughout our body.

  3. That we recognize compassion and eat in a way that reduces burden on all living things; that contributes to healing and preserving our sacred planet.

When we eat together with our brothers and sisters, we can eat mindfully on the food and on them as if it was this food that has nourished them to be in presence with us. Enjoy our breakfast together with them in the moment, and in freedom. Freedom means you give the food and your brothers and sisters your valuable self to them during this moment. You are fully present with them and the food. You are not lost in thoughts about what might happen tomorrow, or what has been yesterday. You are present with them and give them the gift of your mindful self. Eating in such a way nourishes both your body and your mind. You might choose to eat first and then after some time, engage with your brothers and sisters in mindful conversation.

Eating a meal is a wonderfully opportunity to practice mindfulness on a deep level. Let us enjoy ourselves in the present moment, in such a way that we eat with joy, solidity and peace. Be grateful to all who have given us this nourishment and supported us on this path of love and understanding, particularly to Mother Earth.

Gabriele Ciminelli