Most of us distract ourselves while we
eat, by watching TV or reading or trying to work. Try doing this exercise and observe what
you feel. Consider writing about what you observe.
down and breathe deeply, allowing your body to relax. Pause between breaths and tune
into where you feel hungry. Mouth? Stomach? Anywhere else? Notice any rumblings or
contractions or waves of pressure or emptiness.
if an image of a specific food comes to mind. If several things seem appealing, or if
no particular foods suggest themselves, ask yourself about the qualities of what
will satisfy your hunger: Texture (crunchy? smooth? chewy?), temperature
(hot? warm? cool? cold?), density (heavy? light?), taste (sweet? sour?
bitter? salty?), and so on. When you have identified a specific food, open your eyes.
get the food. If you cant get the exact thing you identified, get as close as
possible, and get more than you think you can eat at one sitting.
necessary, prepare the food. Maximize your anticipation by looking at, touching, and
smelling the food as you chop, cut, arrange ingredients. Choose a portion that is your
best guess as to what will satisfy, and put the rest away for now. Serve yourself the food
in a container that pleases you, tactually and visually.
a place to eat that is peaceful and pleases you.
at the food. Enjoy its details - colors, textures, layers. Take a deep whiff. Now
close your eyes and slowly take a bite, allowing the bite to stay in your mouth for you to
fully appreciate the taste before you begin chewing.
and trace the food down to your stomach, using the sensations of
hot/cold/acid/creaminess/ changing weight or pressure, to be your cues. If you dont
quite feel anything, imagine the path the food is taking down into your body.
Continue for several more bites, noticing after the fourth bite whether your stomach feels
less empty, as if it is slowly filling up.
aware of your whole body. Are your muscles tense anywhere? Notice how you are sitting,
and what you are thinking. Are you thinking of the sensations of the food you are eating,
or have other thoughts intruded? Gently bring your attention back and take a breath.
to eat as in #7 until you feel a small closing sensation in your stomach. If you are
not sure you are satisfied, wait a moment and check in again. Perhaps one more bite will
confirm the sense of satisfaction? Take a good long look at the remaining food - does it
look the same as when you started? Or less interesting, more static, almost plastic? If
so, let yourself feel the full power of your detachment.
you clear away the dish, give yourself one more quiet moment to tune into your body.
Allow yourself to fully experience the sensation of satisfaction and contrast it with the
hunger before you ate.
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