Mindful Eating, a New Year’s Resolution, by Tina Simson

OK, so be honest. How many of you are planning to eat healthier in the New Year? Maybe there were too many cookies or an abundance chocolate temptation at the holiday time but I have been hearing many friends and colleagues complain about their holiday indulgences. In fact one friend told me she tried to get online at Weight Watchers on December 31st and there was so much traffic the site was down.

In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I thought I’d provide a twist on the Number One commitment this time of year. Rather than talk about diets I want to introduce Mindful Eating as a Buddhist practice. This will be the first of several posts about this concept so stay tuned and bookmark our site right next to Weightwatchers.com.

I was surprised at how many web resources I found by googling Mindful Eating. It seems the behavioral health community is promoting it for folks who struggle with eating. But whether you approach this concept with trepidation or curiosity, mindful eating can be an enriching meditation and practice that brings you face to face with the essential nourishment of life. So let’s start with a few thoughts from the teachers.

From an essay by the Buddhist Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh

When we are mindful, we recognize what we are picking up. When we put it into our mouth, we know what we are putting into our mouth. When we chew it, we know what we are chewing. It’s very simple.
Some of us, while looking at a piece of carrot, can see the whole cosmos in it, can see the sunshine in it, can see the earth in it. It has come from the whole cosmos for our nourishment.

From the Koran

Let man, then, consider the sources of his food: how it is that We pour down water, pouring it down abundantly; and then We cleave the earth with new growth, cleaving it asunder, and thereupon We cause grain to grow out of it, and vines and edible plants, and olive trees and date palms, and gardens dense with foliage, and fruits and herbage, for you and for your animals to enjoy


From The Buddhist Path to Simplicity by Christina Feldman

Habit is a pattern of dismissiveness, we deem whatever we do habitually to be unworthy of our attention. In the withdrawal of our attention we deprive ourselves of the capacity to be touched, to see a moment anew and to be taught by the lessons of the moment.

And to all those who cook with mindfulness, I say
“Ashk olsun!”
which is Turkish for,
“May it become love!”

One Response to “Mindful Eating, a New Year’s Resolution, by Tina Simson”

  1. Charlie Talbert

    In December Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a letter urging people to move towards a vegetarian diet. That would be mindful indeed, considering the unimaginable suffering, land degradation, climate change, pollution, and water scarcity that eating animals causes.
    He writes, “Let us take care of our Mother Earth. Let us take care of all species, including our children and grandchildren. We only need to be vegetarian, and we can already save the earth. Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.”


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>