A New Way to Meditate

by Rachel Miller

October 1, 2021

ABOVE :Brooke Lark

Why do we feel the urge to do something while we eat, as if eating is not enough on its own? Isn’t that odd? Is eating boring? We say we love to eat, but our actions say otherwise. We say we can’t wait to eat, but then we eat quickly, distractedly, focused on other things, only to miss it when it’s gone.

What if eating was something you did mindfully, something you set aside time for? Something you couldn’t just do “on the go.” Couldn’t multitask. What if it required focused attention—a disciplined effort? Careful observing of receiving nutrients, appreciating taste, texture. What if it wasn’t a chore but a structured, sacred routine?

We say we don’t have time. OK—but when we eat, we’re still on the phone, checking email and social media. Are we really gaining any advantage in multitasking eating? Are we actually accomplishing more by doing something while we eat?

Consider: eating is your reprieve. Your opportune rest from tasks, productivity, and doing. Your opportunity to allow your thoughts and ideas to percolate in your mind. Your essential rest so you can return to your day energized and fully satisfied, body and mind.

Try an Experiment:

  • When you sit down to eat, focus on just eating. Immerse yourself in the process of eating. Resist the urge to multitask.

  • You will feel bored, at first. You will feel restless and want to do something while you eat. Consider: Why am I bored? You look forward to eating all day, and now, once eating, you seek distraction. Isn’t that strange? See if you can allow yourself to be bored. See if you can just sit still a little longer, and just eat. Your mind will wander—that’s OK. Notice your thoughts and keep bringing your focus back to the food.

  • Notice any interesting thoughts that arise. The best ideas come when we aren’t actively thinking of them. Consider keeping a small notepad nearby to jot down any ideas that come to mind. You will be surprised what insights arise when you are simply focused on just eating.

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