Do you Eat Consciously! Conscious eating has Unlimited benefits
Conscious eating or mindful eating means notice your thoughts, feelings, Respect, awareness & sensations should be on food while eating. Food is an important part of life for a living. It builds our body and mind. We have been being careful about diet and nutrition. In addition to it, some holy person observes whether the food we take is earned through right effort and source or not. But there is an important aspect that we are missing. This is a simple but very effective technique for the better life. That technique is “consciousness” while eating. It does not matter of dieting but way of living. The word ‘consciousness’ is also understood as awareness, mindfulness etc. The awareness can be applied to all the activities of life. Mindfulness gives unlimited benefits in life such as-
- Increased immune power
- Proceeds towards perfect health- physical, mental and spiritual health
- Higher brain functioning and intellectuality
- Clarity of thoughts and perception
- Better body function
- Wisdom and knowledge awake
- Experience of peace, harmony, and blessedness
- Gives the understanding to discover the meaning of life etc
Lord Buddha wants everybody to be conscious each moment and for each activity for enlightenment. He teaches to be mindful of breath and sensation of the body and gradually to all the activities. He wants people to conduct life and its activities more consciously (conscious eating, conscious walking, conscious working etc). Being conscious means remaining at the present. Change is possible only at present. You can neither change in the past nor in future. You can nothing in past as it has already been passed away. You can do nothing in future because it never comes. You have this moment i.e. the present moment to change. If we simply move hands unconsciously it moves in one way. If we do the same thing i.e. moving hands- it moves in another way. If you just speak or throw out words unconsciously it happens in a way, if you throw words with awareness it happens in another way. In the same way, taking food consciously it happens in one way and taking it unconsciously it happens in another way. So, the meaningfulness of life is hidden in mindfulness in life and its activities, including the food we take. If you develop mindfulness while eating, you will find a great change in life.
Now, let us be identified with conscious eating. There are some elements for conscious eating or mindful eating-
Sight on food while eating: In conscious eating, the vision should be on the food. Moving the eyes here and there; watching television etc will distract the consciousness.
The smell of food: Try to feel the smell of food more and more. It does not mean that bringing the food close to nose and smell. It is ridiculous. The food emits out the odor. Our work is to be connected with the odor while eating.
Taste of food: Of course, food has varieties of taste. Experience all the flavor of the food. Try to feel the different types of taste that you get with the food.
Sensation while eating: As you touch the food, you will get a sense of touch on fingers. The temperature of food can also be felt. When food is taken into the mouth; lips, tongue, teeth, and skin of mouth get the touch sensation. Notice the texture and sensation. Try to feel this sensation more and more. As you start chewing pay attention to chewing, the sound of chewing, feel the saliva, producing in mouth etc. Try to enhance your consciousness with every bite of food. After chewing, food enters towards the stomach. Feel the point of swallowing. Feel the impulse to swallow. Experience the passing of food. Do not miss any sensation and taste that linger. Try to understand how food made you feel. Be watchful with the reactions of food in your body and mouth.
Movement of mouth: When you chew, there occurs movement on the chin. Feel all types of such movements that occur while chewing.
Be silent: It is not good to talk while eating food. It is useless to wander the concentration for listening or watching anything else.
Be free: Be free at least while eating. Do not be engaged in any activities while eating.
Respect to food: It is said that you are what you eat. Food saves your life. Food builds the body. Mentality modifies as per the food you eat. Food is the lord. So, food is always respectable and lovable. Develop an attitude of gratitude for the food. Taking the food with love and respect gives a better result.
Observation of the level of mind: Mind should be peace, quiet and restful while eating. If the mind is agitating, stressful, tensed etc. then there will be a problem in digestion. It also may create different other problems. But if you observe the mind and thoughts, these impurities will be cleared. Be watchful of own mind- how it is reacting towards food. Observe the reaction of mind for the food we eat and also the relation of mind with the food.
If we are conscious while eating, then we can never eat neither a wrong thing nor in a wrong way. This will make a habit of eating in a right quantity as well. Normally, the health of a person degrades due to wrong food, wrong way of eating, the wrong quantity of food, taking food at a wrong time. These things start being correcting due to awareness. Sometimes we may feel to take such food which is not good for health due to habits. But the consciousness rubs these unnecessary habits.
As you start to implement these things in your eating habit, the level of awareness increases. The food taken consciously has a potentiality to transform your life. Day by day your transformation begins. Gradually, your life shifts towards full awareness. Then whatever you do, that starts to become a part of consciousness. You start doing every work consciously. The mistakes in life start reducing. All the mistakes are happened due to unawareness. There is no mistake at all during aware state. It means there cannot be any mistake when you are conscious. The perfectness, completeness or totality is hidden in consciousness.