"The one in my mouth.." they reply hesitantly.
"Then why do we so quickly reach for that other spoonful without having finished our first bite?"
It's difficult to answer this question, because most of the time... we are not really paying attention to what we do and why. The body and mind just act on auto-pilot. In absence of awake attention, we drift through life like a dream.
Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my favorite teachers, is big on simple practices like mindful eating. He practices eating very slowly, fully savoring every bite, and not rushing for the next spoonful until finished. He does the same with washing dishes, walking, and any other daily activities.
Try this yourself and see how well you do. I found it is extremely challenging to keep up. So to help out, I got into a healthy habit of saying a little "blessing" first. Here are some benefits I found:
1. Stop the auto-pilot and break out some awareness;
2. Acknowledge this very moment in a continuum of time;
3. Be aware that this too is impermanent, and no other meal will ever be quite like it;
4. Acknowledge I am lucky, but millions others starve around the world;
5. Give reverence to all the causes and conditions that came to be; and
6. Vow that you will use this meal as nourishment to live on and help others.
Give it a try and share your experience with other readers - by posting a comment below.
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