The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story about sitting down with a friend under a tree to eat a tangerine. But his friend is eating so quickly and talking …
The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story about sitting down with a friend under a tree to eat a tangerine. But his friend is eating so quickly and talking the whole time about his problems or projects.
"It was as if he hadn't been eating the tangerine at all," Nhat Hanh writes in "The Miracle of Mindfulness."
So he taught his friend how to eat mindfully. Why? Because we digest food better and are more thankful for what we have. It works for tangerines, a breakfast burrito or any other meal or snack. As Nhat Hanh said in a dharma talk in 2014 on mindful eating, "When you sit down for breakfast, breakfast is an opportunity to practice."
"With mindfulness, you realize this piece of bread is the sunshine, the cloud, the earth, is really an ambassador sent to us from the cosmos," he said. "In that moment, there is true life."
Here are three tips for eating mindfully.
A simple gratitude to the farmers, truckers, grocery store workers and all the people who helped bring us our food can help us appreciate all the life and work that created the meal.
Chew your food ... really well.
Enjoy each bite and quietly try to name all the flavors you're tasting. Finish one bite before moving on to the next.
Between each bite, take a gentle and full breath. It helps you taste everything even more and, as Nhat Hanh says, dwell in the "true life" inherent in the act of eating.
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