Try this meditation to more deeply savor your food

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In the rush-rush-rush of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget to savor our most intimate connection with the earth: the food we eat. you can enjoy this short meditation on your own, but it’s even better to try it with friends or family. That way, one person can read the meditation to the others, allowing them to meditate on the images that form in their mind’s eye.

Find a comfortable way to sit.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath through your nose, in and out. Pay attention to your breath.

As you breathe easily, fill up your stomach, your ribs, your sternum. As you breathe out, feel the breath coming up first from your chest, then your ribs, then your stomach.

Now, picture one of your favorite fruits, vegetables, or fresh herbs. Breathing in and out, develop the image of this food in your mind.

Take the image of your food and place it in your hands. Feel its weight as you hold it in front of you. Is it heavy? Is it light? Does it barely fill your palm, or are you staggering under its weight?

As you imagine holding it, picture running the fingers of one hand across its surface. Does it have a soft skin? A hard rind? Is it leafy? Is it silky, hard, smooth, bumpy, fuzzy? Spend a moment touching its surface.

As you touch its stem, think about how it grows. Think about its life before you … did it grow in the ground? On a tree? On a bush? Picture how it grew.

As you look at it, drink in its color. Is it deep in color or is it pastel? Is it the color of a monk’s orange robe? A sunset pink? Morning light’s yellow?

Now picture yourself peeling it or cutting it or tearing a leaf off of it. Drink in its smell. As you breathe in, imagine that you’re smelling your food. Think about the fragrance. Is it strong or subtle? Sweet or spicy?

think about how you most love to eat it. If you’d eat this raw, bring it closer to your mouth. If you’d cook it, shift your image of it until it’s the shape, color, and texture of your food cooked as you most love it.

Now imagine taking a bite of it. Picture that first bite. Is it juicy? Crunchy?

As it lands on your tongue, savor its texture and its scent as it changes when your taste buts – not just your nose – get involved. Let the flavor sink into your mouth.

Picture yourself chewing and enjoy meditating on the taste as it changes in your mouth.

Imagine swallowing. Feel your food as it moves down the back of your mouth, down your throat.

Continue breathing in and out.

Sit. Feel the food become part of you.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Slowly, whenever you’re ready, open your eyes.

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