Right Here, Right Now. Applying Mindfulness to Your Eating.
If you’ve been to any of my yoga classes recently, you probably have noticed that I’ve been talking you through a meditation I call Global Observation ™. (Okay, the tm part is just in jest… for now ;))
Global Observation is when you sit and notice everything, not only the bones and muscles and what they’re doing, but also the five senses and what they’re experiencing. What can you smell? What can you hear, both loud and faint sounds? Wherever your hands are, what is the texture of what you’re touching? And what does your mouth taste like right now?
I’ve been practicing this on my own for a little while, and there’s something exquisite about tuning into the senses. If nothing else, for me, this exercise gives me an appreciation of having all my senses working. As XTC would say in the song Senses Working Overtime, “And I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste. And I’ve got one, two, three, four, five . Senses working overtime. Trying to take this all in.”
Either as a coincidence, or as a result of something syncing, the other day, I found another article submission to my blog from Seattle yoga teacher Melina Meza about eating mindfully. “What if eating became a part of your meditation practice?”, she asks, and accurately diagnoses our (and by “our” I mean “my”) eating habits:
In the western culture, people are not fully conscious of the fact that they are eating; instead we are busy driving, typing at the computer, watching the TV or a movie, reading the paper or discussing politics or the latest Facebook events while hanging out with friends.
Oops, guilty as charged. Melina, have you been spying on me? I wonder if I can be mindful of the fact that I’m eating *and* reading the paper, or… driving? From the article, my guess is Melina would say no.
If we were to apply mindfulness to eating, we would start by choosing a special, clean place to eat each meal, free of clutter and distractions. I believe it is valuable to choose a specific comfortable seat just for eating (like you do for meditation) other than your couch, desk, bed, or car because it promotes conscious conscious eating…
There is a classic saying, “Where your mind goes, your energy will follow.” So, why not focus on eating when eating, to prepare your digestive organs to process the nutrients?
Well, gentle readers (I don’t know why I love saying that), let your mind and energy wander over the the full article with tips on how and why to apply mindfulness and the wisdom of Patanjali’s first yoga sutra, to your diet: Melina Meza – Right Here Right Now. [PDF]