Eating is a basic activity that we all partake of daily. The average person spends 67 minutes a day eating (over 3.6 years in an entire lifetime) and consumes about 35 tons of food over the course of his/her life.

Therefore it is not surprising that great amount of attention is given today to the notions of nutrition – diets of all sorts, ecologically grown ingredients and what not. 

 

With all the attention being given to what we eat, we often forget almost at all about how we eat. This is unfortunate, since what our food contains matters less than the process through which we assimilate it. 

In the following we offer a few very simple advices on how to approach the act of eating in a more aware manner, this way improving our health and inner harmony.


Harmony while eating

1. Keep your emotions in harmony while eating: Food carries with it more than just physical nutrition, it carries with it energy. The energy carried by the food is then assimilated into our being empowering whatever attitude and mood we maintain while we were assimilating it. Therefore it is important to be mindful of our thoughts and feelings while we eat since these feelings will be the ones nourished by the food. Eating while we are stressed or angry will only aggravate these negative emotions. It is best to first become attentive of our inner state, aiming to relax, drop all our worries, not to hurry and achieve a peaceful inner disposition. Then we can eat and the food will truly nourish our best qualities, healing us at many levels.


happy couple eating

2. Eat with people that you like and enjoy: while we eat we are opening our being to absorb energy from our surrounding. Even people who keep the world at arm’s length, who keep themselves mostly closed to exterior influence, even they have to open up while eating; the very act of eating is an act of opening up to let some of the world in. Therefore, while we eat we are absorbing energy and influences not just from the food but from our immediate environment. No such influence is more effective than that of other people. This is why it is important to choose wisely who we share a meal together with, since these persons will affect the ambiance and our mood and this will greatly affect us for a long time after the meal has ended. Do not eat with people who make you uneasy, who stress you up or make you feel uncomfortable. Share a meal with those people whom you love, who make you laugh or make you happy and relaxed. Sharing a meal is, after all, a rather intimate thing.


Eating in front of tv

3. Pay attention to the experience of eating: The process of eating is a very complex and rich experience involving much sensorial stimulation and other aspects. If we are not attentive to all these – then this experience goes mostly to our subconscious which it then feeds with unconscious and unhealthy desires towards food, with illogical fears regarding hunger or being eaten, with various complexes regarding our attitude to our own body. But, if we are simply aware of our eating experience then it is the conscious part of our being which is nourished by this act, increasing our awareness and inner freedom. So do not eat while watching television, or while walking on the street keeping your mind engaged elsewhere. Instead, let yourself be aware of the sensations the eating produces: enjoy the fragrance of the food, truly savor the flavor, contemplate the sensations in your mouth, notice how the food feels in your stomach and how your body reacts to it. Then you might discover that some of the food you eat you don’t really like, your body doesn’t like it, you just didn’t notice. You may notice that you are actually full sooner than you would otherwise stop eating. You discover that beyond the subconscious desires that often make us crave for things that we do not need, when we are aware of our body it tells us always what is good for us because it is always hungry for exactly what it needs.


44. Chew, chew, chew: take your time, don’t hurry, and chew. An important part of the digestive process starts with the chewing and much of the absorption of energy of the food takes place in the mouth – so, please, chew. Some texts say that one should chew a mouthful 60 times before swallowing it. Other texts say that the solid food should be drank like liquid (by chewing it until it is liquefied) and the liquids should be chewed like solid (buy not just gulping it straight away but still chewing it in the mouth).


5. Enjoy: the act of eating is an act through which we explore the world around us, devouring it and taking it into our being. It is an adventure. So let’s enjoy it. Our bodies are temples, keeping them nourished and well fed is a sacred duty. So let’s celebrate it. Eating is a celebration of all the senses, an orgasmic experience if we just let ourselves be aware of it. So let’s savor it. Many eating disorders arise from unfulfilled desires regarding food – these desires will be easily fulfilled and eliminated if we just let ourselves enjoy the act of eating. Don’t feel guilty, don’t eat like a thief who steals some food. Give your being what it is needs and rejoice with it as it enjoys your offering of food.