Oakville Zen Meditation

#353 Looking deeply into food Feb. 21th 21

                     Looking deeply into food

During lunch break, we are eating almost like a robot, even still in front of the screen.

Our body is eating whereas our mind is, as always, busy in different space-times doing something else. The body has a lunch break but your mind is running around.

This is, as Zen says:  “Day- sleep walking” at its best.

During serious Zen retreat since meals are taken in absolute silence, sort of spiritual activity.

The mind must eat, in a mindful way with the body, that is being aware of the food such as shape, taste, color, texture, temperature, etc... This is eating almost in slow motion. 

Even more: when you eat, take a short awareness moment to look into the food and drink as if you could see backward, into its history.

Use the power of your imagination to see where the food came from and how many people might have been involved in bringing this food into your month.

Then, thanks those people before your next bite.

When we become mindful into our food, we become acutely aware of our total dependence and interaction with Nature and other providers.

For example, if you pause to contemplate a single raisin in your cereal bowl and try to count the number of events and humans who were involved in the process of creation and delivery.

This number is significant.

If you go back to the seed of this raisin, its geographic origin, the energy needed, etc...this number could reach tens of thousands.

Don’t try because you have to go back to your computer.

How can we, at least for a short instant, acknowledge the fact that meals are not a given but a gift.

Can we, at least, honor Nature and human providers with our awareness and mindful moment of appreciation and even gratitude.

It does not mean that we have to take 4 hours to eat but 1 or 2 min. of genuine mindful eating- habit is enough.

Final words:

The Life energy of Nature and its many living beings flows literally into us as we eat.

How best to repay them?

Simply by being fully mindful as we eat and what we are eating.

It does not mean to analyze and judge every aspects of the meal including its genesis.

It simply means to express intentional awareness and gratitude of our food, the link between Nature and people behind the scene, and ourselves.

Thanks Arnaud