Enjoying Our Meals With Mindfulness

When we eat, we're often rushed; sometimes we don't even take the time to sit down. If that's true of you, please offer yourself the opportunity to eat mindfulness as a human being, not a running robot. Before you eat, take a few moments to sit down, feel your weight supported by the chair (or the ground), quiet your thinking, and contemplate the food and its sources. The earth, the sun, the rain, labor, and many supportive conditions have come together so that your food could be brought to you. Be aware of how fortunate you are to have food to eat when so many people are hungry.

When you sit down to enjoy a meal with others, bring your awareness to the food and the people you are with. This can be a very joyful occasion of true community.

Breathing in, I'm aware of the food on my plate.
Breathing out, I'm fortunate to have food to eat.
(Aware of food. Feeling grateful.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of the fields.
Breathing out, I smile to the fields.
(Aware of fields. Smiling.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of the many conditions that brought this food to me.
Breathing out, I feel grateful.
(Aware of conditions. Feeling grateful.)

Breathing in, I'm aware of those who are eating together with me.
Breathing out, I am grateful for their presence.
(Eating together. Feeling grateful.)

From "Silence" by Thich Nhat Hanh