Have you done the mindful raisin eating experience?
This second entry in my journal for you about my experience taking the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) program is about mindful eating.
Eating is something we do fairly mindlessly most of the time. But you know those times where you just love what you are eating and you savour the moment? Time seems to stop and you truly enjoy the experience of what you are putting into your mouth.
There is a famous experience that this MBSR class starts off with – experiencing eating a raisin mindfully. This is about fully using your senses to experience the raisin. It goes like this:
The instructor puts an object into your hand (it’s the raisin but he doesn’t want to label it). You are asked to study it – look at the shape, colour, texture, ridges, shininess or dullness. Then use your fingers to touch it and squeeze it. Then hold it up to your ear and squeeze it – it makes a little squeaky sound. Then, put it up to your nose and smell it – at this point, the saliva in your mouth starts flowing. Then, put it up to your lips and hold it there – your saliva starts to go crazy! Then, put it in your mouth but don’t bite it. Then slowly chew it, but do not swallow. It will amaze you how intense the flavour is, and you’ll notice things you may never have noticed before, like how your tongue must move the raisin around in order for you to properly chew it. Eventually, you’re allowed to swallow.
So eating the simplest thing mindfully becomes an experience.
Our homework for the week was to eat a meal mindfully. This means to be silent, and pay attention 100% to what you are eating, using all your senses. I chose a salad to eat mindfully. WOW, how entertaining it was to look at a salad! There is so much going on in a salad!
Try eating a salad mindfully sometime, or eat anything mindfully.
Make eating an experience. Use all your senses. It brings a whole new perspective to something you do every day.