Our relationship with food

I serve the food on the plate then move to where the carpet is. While holding the plate on my hands, I close my eyes and give thanks for the food. While at it, I tell the food what I would like to have from it. This is in terms of health and strength. After this, I sit down on the carpet and begin to eat.

It has been three months now since I begun this culture of eating while sitting down with my legs crossed, as in a meditative position. Before this I only used to give thanks, but I preferred to be bare foot while eating. At those times I usually thought that my body wanted to ground more.

For a long time, the only people that I saw eating while seated on the floor were Muslims, the Chines and Japanese (for the Chinese and Japanese it had been in movies). I have not had a chance to get to my Muslim friends and ask why they do that, but I think I can guess why. I get the feeling of gratitude and connectedness and I am just grounded to what I am doing, which is eating. My full awareness is on the food and my connection to the ground or the floor.

This connection makes me to enjoy whatever it is that I am doing. It is a whole lot different from sitting on the chair while having a meal. Maybe this was a lesson that I was supposed to learn but if you are curious, you should try it out. A week of doing this should get you to feeling the experience.

We all have our preferences for the food that we consume and the drinks that we take. The choice of food could be influenced by different factors. As I just learned recently, that some people, when their life is full of bitterness, they tend to consume sugary foods and the intention is to bring some sweetness to their life. Maybe this is not obvious to them, but they do it anyway. The body is trying to give them this message.

When it comes to food consumption, one thing that I have found to be helpful is gratitude. Every time I get down to have a meal, I must be grateful. This is what I do even when I am just having a glass of water or a cup of tea. If you are open to suggestion, this is in a way helps one to watch or just be aware of what you are consuming. When you are giving thanks, you get to think or even ask what you want to get out of that food. So, for every Yoghurt or fruit that you consume, when you give thanks, you will be more aware of what you will be getting in return.

Gratitude forms a connection between us and the food that we consume and just by doing this, you will know if that food is helpful to you. You will even know what amount is enough. It guides one to evade overindulgence in a way. Have you been eating at any time? How do you know the right time to seat down and replenish your energy with some food?

Listen or pay attention to what you feel when you are eating. Sometimes you go for a meal when you are not even hungry. Maybe all you need is some water. Do you think you need all those snacks? Try giving thanks when you eat them and watch how you feel or what you think when you do it. How do you think you should space your meals? Nobody can tell you what to do about this, you know what your body needs and when it needs it.

Maybe you should drop that late night snack. How do you feel, having a full stomach when going to bed?  It is important to know how you always feel. I used to meditate at night just before I went to bed. I would have supper then head straight to meditation. When I changed my mealtimes, I realized that I felt better during the meditation. Although I could still meditate with a full stomach, my breathing was better with an empty stomach. The decision to have my last meal of the day five hours before bedtime worked for me just fine. I know that different things work for us. So just find what works for you and do it, and be grateful for that too.  

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