What might happen if every meal we ate consciously as if it were a eucharist?
A trait that runs in my family is grazing. My mother grazed, frequently stopping by the refrigerator or a cabinet to get a handful of something that she could eat. My older brother seemed to have insatiable cravings. I am no stranger to the habit of grazing. The only way I seem to be able to avoid it is to make a conscious decision—and a periodic re-decision—to be absolutely ruthless in not eating mindlessly.
It is possible to eat mindfully. There are some simple practices that can transform mealtime. Choose one meal a day to eat intentionally and consciously, focusing on the act of eating. Refuse to do anything else—no texting, no emailing, nothing that will interfere with eating mindfully. Eat at a table. Appreciate the appearance of the food (it helps to eat healthy food that actually looks good!). Focus on each mouthful, its flavor, texture, and the feel of chewing. Don’t rush. Chew well. Use cutlery, and put it down between mouthfuls. Talk and share with someone, concentrating on the experience of eating as opposed to things that distract from mindful eating. Go for small amounts eaten thoroughly.
Eating is one of the most important activities that any living being can do. Let it nurture the life we seek to be living.