Mindful eating: awareness at the beginning of the process

When we eat, so often one phase of the process mechanically leads to the next. A regular mindful eating practice (once a day or once a week) brings attention to this ordinary act, so fraught with suffering for so many. Mindful eating practice reduces the stress of mindless eating and brings us back to a simple act where we find true pleasure and satisfaction.

So before the food even touches your lips there is a process to notice.

See the food.

Be aware of seeing.

Intend to reach for it.

Be aware of intending and how intending begins to drive action.

Move toward the food.

Be aware of the process of moving.

When the hand or implement touches the food, be aware of contact.

Raise your arm; be aware of the movement of the arm through space.

Open your mouth and be aware of the mouth opening.

The moment the food touches your tongue bring awareness to the sensation of the food in your mouth.

Be aware of tastes changing and fading.

Put down the fork, place your hands in your lap and breathe.

Be aware of the desire for more (or whatever feelings you may have).

You can do this during any phase of the eating process, or for a whole meal. Whatever you choose, at the beginning, set an intention to be fully present with whatever comes up–and be kind to yourself when the mind wanders. Simply bring it back gently again and again.

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