Saturday, October 02, 2010

Mindful Eating

The idea of mindfulness has always been key to mind body medicine, even long before people started reliably referring to it as mind body medicine. The idea that food is medicine, really just an expression of the core idea of living and being healthy starts long before what modern society thinks of as medicine ever comes into it. The obvious synergy of this is mindful eating.

There's a lot of things I could say about this. I could point out that once again a philosophical idea or practice of mine has ended up being something that Zen practitioners have already been doing for thousands of years. There is a great deal more elegance in their meditation on eating an orange over the course of an hour then in my focusing fully on the sensation of a cold diet coke, but I'm still a bit miffed that this keeps happening.

Narcissistic ranting aside, I've taken up this practice again in a more serious way. The fact that I'm actually studying it in class has helped keep it in my mind. I'm finding it very valuable, it enhances my life, and I've realized this is really why I wanted to have a dining table in the new place. Part of the process of focusing fully on the act of eating is having a place to eat that isn't in front of a TV or a computer. After doing it all the time for a few days I learned the key lesson that it's much more difficult to take your time and focus upon every sensation of the food when you're hungry.

It's a very different way of living, but I think it will be a better one.
This level of mindfulness is a very different way of living. It's almost hard to get my mind around sometimes.


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