On Saturdays, we turn the focus inward. This meditation examines our habits around eating meals and considers the way meals bring us joy and fulfillment. Far from a prescription of being a certain way to eat, we're going to explore what brings us enjoyment, and how we can bring more of that enjoyment into our lives.
Mindful eating - eating in silence without engaging in other activities - has gotten a lot of attention these days, and it's a great practice to really taste and be present with food. But like all teachings, this can create a bit of a whiplash with those of us looking to bring more mindfulness into our lives, inducing guilt around eating while watching TV or even catching up with a friend.
This guilt is what we're trying to avoid with practice! Bringing our practice into our lives is a process of balance and flexibility. It's a very particular type of practice to eat food and catch up with a friend in a way that appreciates the moment - you're mindful of things you want to say, the taste of the food in your mouth, the feeling of empathy from your friend's story, and so much more. This can even be a more challenging practice than simple mindful eating!
These days, I'm spending a lot of time working - as your humble servant, I'm doing all I can to make this project all that it can be :). But that means I don't always have much time for dinner, and want to use it to serve more than one purpose. Cooking can be an opportunity to call my family or a friend, eating a chance to catch up on the news for the day (Vice News Tonight during dinner is a staple).
The point is that there is nothing wrong with this - as long as I'm making decisions on how to arrange my meals with full awareness. I of course recognize the richness of mindful eating - unplugging entirely - and make room for this when I feel it would most serve me.
So our practice today isn't about shoulds - it's about noticing what nourishes us. Let's dive in!
Our mindfulness practice shows up most deeply in our relationship to ourselves. May we realize our innate basic goodness and be our own best friends. May all beings be free from suffering.