We can eat because we have to, or we can make eating a daily celebration of life. I’m thin, so most people don’t even guess how much I enjoy eating.
We eat because we need energy for our favorite activities, or because we want to lose weight or build muscle faster.
We eat because we’re hungry.
We eat because eating is a way of creating togetherness, whether it’s at work, with friends or family, or in the home.
We eat because we wake up in the middle of the night and have nothing better to do.
Wouldn’t it be a pity not to eat well, when so much of our life is spent eating?
Eating well isn’t about fine dining at an expensive restaurant. It’s not about being a great cook or being married to one. It’s not even about eating together with your spouse and children, over the clatter of tableware and the healthy hum of random conversations.
Eating well is about eating mindfully. More than enjoying what you eat, you are aware of the positive energy flowing into you.
It’s about not talking just to make conversation, in between mouthfuls, if this means forgetting that you’re eating.
About not thinking what you’re going to cook tonight — not yet, just enjoy this meal for now.
It’s about going beyond the taste of the food, feeling its texture and smell, the way it disintegrates in your mouth, realizing where it came from. Rice from China, mushrooms from Japan, tomatoes from Spain, olives from Greece, basil from Italy, pepper from India, cheese from France, wine from Portugal, almonds from California, chocolate from Switzerland… You can eat the whole world in a meal.
It’s about understanding that food didn’t just materialize on your supermarket shelf, but is the combined effort of many people and possibly animals, of rain and sunshine, soil and compost, of the whole universe using all its wisdom to craft the seed that makes food possible.
That doesn’t mean we have philosophize about our food while we’re eating it — that in itself can become a distraction. A new world of sensory delights and deep-rooted all fits into a single moment, when you become aware of the present, when you and the food cease to be separate entities created by your mind and become one life energy.
You don’t need a home to eat mindfully. You don’t need a table and a chair. You don’t even need a companion.
The important thing is not to rush it. Not to chew faster than you have to. Not to button your phone while you eat or do anything else that reduces eating to a far from important routine.
Okay, you can read or send some important messages while you snack, but when you eat mindfully at least one meal every day, something in you awakes.
Food is not just food unless your mind makes it so. Food is energy flowing into you, powering your body, conspiring with the whole universe to create for you a new day.
When you eat mindfully, you become more aware of what you eat. You begin to eat healthy. You enjoy food more. You feel better after.
Don’t let your mind make food less than it is, or all those tens or hundreds of thousands of meals you’ll eat in a lifetime won’t be nearly as wonderful as they can be.
What’s the best meal you ever had?
Mine’s the one I’m about to have now, after publishing this post. I’m not sure what I’ll eat, but it’s going to be a mindful meal.