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How to Eat

(Mindfulness Essentials #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,893 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Eating is a chance to return to the present moment.

How to Eat is the second in Parallax’s series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. These friendly, pocket-sized books contain several delightful illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, and are appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition and all levels of familiarity with mindfulness practice.

How to Eat
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Parallax Press (first published July 2nd 2014)
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Black Bibliophile
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
We are made of ancestors, culture, food, air, and water. We are made of form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness.

I love the mindfulness series. (:
Number 2 in the Mindfulness Essentials series by Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat hits westerners especially in a vulnerable spot: meal time.

See, we have lots on our minds, and eating doesn't change that much. As families, we often don't eat together. We eat FAST food. We eat in our cars, on our couches, while cooking or talking.

We eat too fast. We eat too much. We eat foods that don't exactly help our planet.

If simplicity and slowing down to focus are important concepts to remember whil
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014_books
I am a huge fan of Thich Nhat Hanh. His latest book, "How to eat," reminds me how important mindful eating is:

Eating is "a chance to return to the present moment and stop the rushing and the planning."

Eating is also "a chance to nourish our bodies and know that we are not destroying the Earth by doing so."

Basically I feel grateful before eating but easily forget to bei grateful after eating.

From now on, I will spend a moment being grateful for the food I had!
Sian Lile-Pastore
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, I continue to crush on Thich Nhat Hanh, have you seen him in his little woolly hat? cer-ute!
This is a lovely little book, which you could pop in your pocket and then take out and read something inspiring whenever needed.
It's all about mindfulness and mindful eating, it's about taking your time when you eat and appreciating your food. Also, 'Your body is not yours. It is a gift and a responsibility.' which made me feel a little guilty as my body likes wine and is a little chubby....
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I guess as soon as one learns how to read.
One must read the 'Mindfulness Essentials' before starting to live.
Absolute essentials for life.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Faibka on Litsy
Neat little book with lots of information on how to eat more mindfully. I found myself interested in Faibka's (a Litsy reader) posts from this book. While this is presented from a Zen perspective, I did take away many useful tidbits on how to eat in a more meaningful way. From grocery shopping to washing the dishes, Thich Nhat Hanh touches on every aspect of eating. It is a quick read. I give it 3 1/2 stars. ...more
Fred Kohn
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This short little book can be knocked out in an hour or less, but that's not the proper way to read it! I read a few meditations at a time, set the book down, and then read a few more. Some of the verses/prayers towards the end I wrote down in my notes, but I am definitely considering picking up this gem for my personal library. ...more
Hamideh Mohammadi
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The repetition of one concept for 30 times killed it.
Kris Springer
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Titled "How to Eat," this book might have been titled "How to Live." Thich Nhat Hanh's book helps the reader to focus on now--on the peach one is eating, on the beauty of its existence and ours. Peace and respect for our food, our earth and ourselves is essential. A gem that I will revisit, I'm sure. ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Like many of Nhat Hahn's works, this collection of meditations is short but powerful. Small books that we can open randomly to receive a reminder to appreciate what we have or to slow down are not nearly as well done and clear. I would keep a copy of this in the kitchen and advise it for anyone looking to incorporate mindfulness into small areas of their daily life. ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wellness, meditation
"Chew your food, not your worries." this tiny book has some wonder short meditations before & after eating. When we are eating, we are eating! ...more
Wun Pun Jo
Some lovely tips on how to really enjoy your food, the company you keep and the mindfulness of the moment, rather than single mindedly, absent mindedly, wolfing down food in front of you to the point you discover that you've eaten the lot and possibly also the paper towel that was with it....

The tips are not revolutionary or out of this world but they are delivered with such charm you can overlook this.

I will grant it does get a bit repetitious fast. Once you cop onto what he's saying you get th
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe my expectation was totally different when took this book, like how to hold spoon, fork, what to eat first. But this book is totally different, in the sense, it speaks about how we should approach/eat food in spiritual way.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We become aware of what to consume and what not to consume in order to keep our bodies, our minds, and the Earth healthy, and not to cause suffering for ourselves and for others. Mindful consumption is the way out of our difficulties, not just our personal difficulties, but also the way out of war, poverty, and climate crisis. The Earth requires now that we consume mindfully if we are to survive and thrive as a species.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read, re-read and again. Mindfully ;-)
I especially enjoyed 1) chewing one's string beam, not one's worries, 2) the idea that drinking tea is drinking a cloud / our food contains the universe / etc. I liked some parts better than others, but overall, I thought it was a lovely little book. ...more
My ex boyfriend with whom I was for 3 years, oh you exes, is one of the truly best people I know and who from lover, boyfriend, ex, became my best friend, is an emotional eater. When we met, he looked amazing and he still looks amazing; all tall and dark with unapologetically twisted and brutal sense of humour which still freezes me sometimes, but he knows that if he starts eating something and if he doesn’t start thinking consciously about his eating, he is not able to stop. It is not a drama i ...more
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here’s where I’m at with my mindfulness practice: I read this book while I ate my lunch at work. I know the practical reasons why mindfulness is important and what the benefits are, but the reality of practicing it is hard. Regardless, this was a sweet little volume with cute illustrations and some excellent thoughts on being present and mindful when you eat, when you cook, when you wash the dishes, and when you spend time with others at a meal.
Alex Melnick
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Small collection of meditations on mindful eating. Resonated with me, to my surprise. Simple without being simplistic. By a Buddhist teacher, but almost entirely secular.

Favorite passage, from a page headed "Eating a String Bean":
"Don't chew your worries, your suffering, or your projects. That's not good for your health. Just chew the string bean."
Bill Landau
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really want to be more mindful in my eating. I do. Maybe I should try a little harder.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Each page contains a distinct little paragraph/thought nugget. They were good, but I found them to be very repetitive after a while.
Trixie Fontaine
I need teachers like this to remind me that things I crave and long for (like eating with all our attention focused on our food and all of the nutrition & value in it) that are culturally abnormal in my milieu are encouraged & practiced by people who've devoted their lives to peace.

Took more than four years, but I've read all the pages now at least once & have experienced benefits since I started it all that time ago. Like, just sitting in usually-anger-making traffic becomes a peaceful vacation
Artemisia Hunt
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-a-copy
Eating can be a spiritual practice according to Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. This concept is beautifully expressed in simple language, yet with startling depth and relevance, as How to Eat lays out a plan to make the act of eating a more conscious, enlightening process. Reading this succinct, sweet message in this small volume may just change your thinking about all that eating is really about.
Mithra Rajah
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good reminder about mindfulness and slowing down. Eating in silence, thinking about where the food comes from and showing gratitude are the big takeaways. I liked how it touched on how emotional eating is.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wise words. Something which all of us should try to incorporate in our lives. Being grateful for our daily food is among the most underrated thing in our lives. The realization that the food we consume actually connects us with our universe is a great feeling. I would highly recommend this book to young and old alike.
FunkMaster General
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are.“
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What a profound little book. Over the years, I've read maybe 4-6 books by Thich Nhat Hanh. How to Eat and Be Free Where You Are have been the most life-changing. For whatever reason, this book was exponentially more meaningful to me than How to Walk. I suppose the right books land with us when we need them.

My only bit of advice is to read it slowly. Even though it's short, this knowledge is not to be consumed in one gulp. Take your time with this wisdom.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
There isn’t much to say about this book. It is too simplistic and repetitive. Moreso for most of us hailing from Indian culture of mindfulness and meditativeness.
Maughn Gregory
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wisdom-studies
If we pay enough attention to the food we eat, it becomes real to us, and eating mindfully connects us to the earth, the sky, countless living beings, and the labor the brought the food to us. We also get to taste the food instead of tasting our thinking, worrying, and planning. In my experience, this takes a lot of practice, but brings a lot of joy.
Sean Goh
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
p.13: Waiting without waiting: Waiting for our time to eat, be it in a queue or in a restaurant, we can be grateful for the imminent opportunity to sate our appetites and savour our nourishment.

p.39: Turning off the radio (of non-stop thoughts): To eat without thinking is to eat in freedom. Freedom to enjoy the present moment.

p.54: A silent meal. Company optional.

p.72: Mindful conversation at mealtime: Conversations at mealtimes should focus one's attention on the objects in front of oneself. Th
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Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in southwest France where he was in exile for many years. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary ...more

Other books in the series

Mindfulness Essentials (8 books)
  • How to Sit (Mindfulness Essentials, #1)
  • How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3)
  • How to Walk (Mindfulness Essentials, #4)
  • How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials, #5)
  • How to Fight
  • How to See
  • How to Connect (Mindfulness Essentials Book 8)

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