If we rush through our meals because they are an obstacle to getting things done, we turning our eating time into another arena of suffering. We gallop through the meal, barely tasting anything. Shoveling the food into our gullets so we can “get on with it.” Eckart Tolle tells about a meal he had with some accomplished professors. They stopped slamming down the food in long enough to make a verbal point, and then resumed their ravenous slurping.
Or, we can be ruminating about the past. Some past hurt that we felt and continue to feel because we bring it up again and again. We can go through a whole meal this way and not taste anything or appreciate the harvest of the earth. Not even appreciate the skill of whoever prepared it. This type of lack of mindfulness can actually bring on heartburn and other digestive issues. We are not at peace while our body is trying to digest food. We are secreting too much acid or not enough acid and we will feel it shortly thereafter.
The Miracle of Mindfulness is the abundant peace we feel instantly when we just stop with all this ruminating and anxiety about the future—or thinking that the future is better than right now. When we eat mindfully, we are not so intent on filling up the empty hole that we feel. This can help with weight management, because we are not just flinging food down our throats because we feel so empty inside. We don’t run to food for comfort because our mind is quiet enough when we are fully in the Now.
Eating mindfully means tasting each bite. Appreciating the flavors. Feeling gratitude for everyone and everything that made this food possible. It means slowing down and experiencing all the textures, flavors, aromas, and the vibrations of care and love with which they were combined and prepared. This is gratitude for what basically sustains us. It is living with appreciation and attentiveness. The future is not going to bring anything better than right now. And so we are in a state of bliss as we pay attention to the present moment.