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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to bring more mindfulness into my food preparation and eating as of late, and I was wondering whether anyone has a favorite pre-meal prayer or intention they'd like to share?

Thanks in advance,
Jen


message 2: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Hi Jen:

I find it's helpful just to take a moment at the table before digging in. I don't say a formal grace, but rather just appreciate all the people and the steps that brought the food to me. I suspect the most important part is just creating the space, giving myself that moment for the mindfulness to flow.

I will confess, though, that sometime during the meal I do usually lose my mindful intention. Am curious to see if others have not only a pre-meal intention, but something the do during the meal to stay on track (aside from eating in silence, which is tough when you're eating with a family).

Meryl Davids Landau


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

When I did my detox, part of the instruction was to take five deep breaths before digging in. I tried to carry that over after the week was over, but it is hard! My latest thing is, even if I'm multitasking, to breathe in between bites and actually chew my food before swallowing. But I was curious to see whether there might be something less loaded than the catholic grace I grew up with (and still makes me cringe). Feels like offering up something is appropriate. I do like your idea of thinking of all the steps it took to get to me....


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I just found some that resonated with me (they're more Buddhist in background, I think):

"I take this nourishment in gratitude to all beings."

"All beings are struggling for life. May they all have enough food to eat today."

"This food is the gift of the whole universe. Each morsel is a sacrifice of life; may I be worthy to receive it."

"May the energy in this food give me the strength to transform my unwholesome qualities into wholesome ones."


message 5: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing that. But that kind of blessing doesn't resonate with me. I believe we are all wonderful, amazing and totally worthy, and any practice or spiritual tradition that approaches things from the "we are unworthy" or "we are sinners" camp doesn't make me feel connected to my higher essence, which to me is the reason to say the blessing in the first place.

Of course, if you feel moved by it, give it a whirl.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments Meryl wrote: "Thanks for sharing that. But that kind of blessing doesn't resonate with me. I believe we are all wonderful, amazing and totally worthy, and any practice or spiritual tradition that approaches thin..."

I am the first to admit that I am not very mindful when I eat. My boyfriend and I usually prepare dinner together, then we always eat together in the living room to watch either The Big Bang Theory or Law and Order SVU. Okay, there is my embarassing and honest post of the day. The thanks I usually give is that I was able to make a meal that tasted edible, lol! :)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been trying out the first one, because it's short and simple. Meryl, given your post above, I expect that one might resonate with you more. I can completely see your point about the unworthy bits!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Julie, I started paying more attention when I did my first detox this fall. I ended up noticing just how much I was inhaling without even realizing it! Five deep breaths before eating were key, and I like the idea of adding something to express gratitude...one that doesn't sound like the catholic grace I grew up with!!


message 9: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "I've been trying out the first one, because it's short and simple. Meryl, given your post above, I expect that one might resonate with you more. I can completely see your point about the unworthy b..."

Yes, I do like this one best: "I take this nourishment in gratitude to all beings." Very similar to the moment of appreciating all people and things that went into the meal that I like to use. Keep us abreast of how it's going.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 10: by Colette (new)

Colette | 2 comments What a great thread. I am always struggling to eat more mindfully. (As a mom of a toddler, I often have to eat standing up in the kitchen after having fed him... or he will eat all my lunch, too!)

I read a GREAT yoga book this year about eating--Ravenous by Dayna Macy. Highly recommend it.

As a Buddhist, I think the "unwholesome" part in the prayer Jen offered refers to qualities/behaviors we have (because, let's face it, not all our behaviors and habits are beneficial and joyous) and can eliminate. We ourselves are very worthy--we each have the potential to become a Buddha, and our mind will be Buddha mind once we eliminate the "clouds" to reveal the pure sky. (just my belief, not trying to preach.)

Here's what I say before I eat (when I remember ;) I'm just including the more non-Buddhist part because the first part is offering the food to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha ):

"By seeing this food as medicine, I will consume it without attachment or hatred, not to increase my arrogance, strength, or good looks, but solely to sustain my life."


message 11: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "I am the first to admit that I am not very mindful when I eat. My boyfriend and I usually prepare dinner together, then we always eat together in the living room to watch either The Big Bang Theory or Law and Order SVU. Okay, there is my embarassing and honest post of the day. ..."

Giving thanks that you were able to make the meal taste edible is a good practice, too, LOL! Any reason for your thanks is going to open your heart. I think even thanking Law and Order or whatever you're about to watch as you scarf down the meal is beneficial :)

I will say I've been eating more mindfully this week since Jen got me thinking about this (thanks, Jen!). Food does taste more delicious when I really pay attention.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Collette, I'll definitely put that on my list. The other one I've been meaning to check out is: http://www.amazon.com/Meal-Meditation...

And thanks Meryl. I think mindful eating is definitely part of living your yoga, and am trying to be better about it myself!


message 13: by Jenene (new)

Jenene I think I need to read both those books! One of my major hurdles is mindfulness while eating. It is SO HARD for me, I start and then I find myself reading a book and mindlessly jamming more food in my mouth. Must keep practicing...


message 14: by Priscilla (new)

Priscilla (priscillawarner) | 24 comments Mindful eating at this time of year is challenging. I baked two batches of cookies this morning for a party tonight. As I popped one into my mouth while walking upstairs, I remembered a great tip I heard somewhere: "Imagine there's a hidden camera on you every time you take a bite..." I think of that when I gobble something down while standing at my kitchen counter, rushing out the door, chomping on chocolate in my car... I try to look at myself objectively, as though I'm taking a snapshot of myself when I eat...and I wonder "Are you really savoring this meal/food? Are you grateful? Are you honoring what's in front of you?"
Must keep practicing indeed...


message 15: by Shanti (new)

Shanti (ShantiMayee) | 17 comments It's really helpful to read and think about this topic during the holidays. Priscilla, the hidden camera is a terrifying thought and a great wake up call!
My ongoing prayer is to be conscious to eat with wisdom, control, and the awareness to feel the difference between false hunger and true hunger. If the hunger is emotional or spiritual, I pray for the ability to feed it with prana, meditation, or movement rather than the tantalizing instant gratification of food I don't need.... It's an ongoing effort!


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

In a world full of cameras watching every moment you move out there, for me it´s hard to except another one ...


message 17: by Jenene (new)

Jenene I have to say, the idea of a camera watching would add a certain layer of guilt I already feel when I eat too fast or too much... but it's an interesting thought- I'll try it out this week at work! That is when it's the worst. When the holiday cookie plate comes around...


message 18: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Jenene wrote: "I have to say, the idea of a camera watching would add a certain layer of guilt I already feel when I eat too fast or too much... but it's an interesting thought- I'll try it out this week at work..."

Like you, Jenene, I'm more of a self-compassion type. The idea of a camera watching and judging would make me feel guilty, not inspired. I prefer to notice if I haven't eaten something mindfully and simply remind myself of how much jucier food tastes when I really pay attention. But that's what works for me; everyone has their own path and practice.

Meryl Davids Landau


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree - I think adding guilt with a camera wouldn't work for me either. I think this time of year, paying attention to whether or not you're actually hungry (vs. eating just to be social) is huge. And as I've started eat more slowly, breathing and putting my fork (or food) down between every bite, and really chewing to savor the food, I'm not feeling as much come up for me about "bad vs. good" food. I have what my body needs, and no more. I'm actually listening to a SoundsTrue CD in the car called Intuitive Eating. It's very interesting. Thanks everyone for contributing to my "pet" topic! :-) Oh, and thanks Collete for another great phrase!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

As a shameless (but related) plug, I've started a new blog in anticipation of the new year. It's called "A Journey into Health", and I'll be writing weekly on a variety of health-related topics, including yoga and meditation. I'm providing the link here because my first post is called 6 steps for more mindful eating. I hope you will enjoy it (and possibly future posts)!

http://ajourneyintohealth.blogspot.co...


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie (julie1014) | 195 comments Jen, how wonderful! I'll be sure to check it out. :)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Julie!


message 23: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 806 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "As a shameless (but related) plug, I've started a new blog in anticipation of the new year. It's called "A Journey into Health", and I'll be writing weekly on a variety of health-related topics, in..."

Nice blog post, Jen! Congratulations on taking the steps to start that.

Great tips on mindful eating (my favorite: Pay attention to how the taste changes as the temperature and consistency of the food changes with your chewing). With advice like this, that is direct and easy to read, I'm sure your blog will be a big success! (You might want to think about shifting to text from gray to black, though, to make it easier on the eye.)

Good luck with this exciting project!
Meryl Davids Landau


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Meryl.
I'll look into the themes, but I'm glad you found the content useful!


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