Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mindfully eating a Masala Dosa



I tried mindfully eating the other day.

Ordered a Masala Dosa in the canteen in a hospital last week.

Was alone. By habit I pulled out my phone to read or browse something while eating.

Then I stopped and put the phone back - had been reading Awakening the Buddha within - thought let me try mindful eating - a practice as suggested in the book.

Tore off a small part of the dosa - dipped it in sambhar and chutney and ate it. Chewed it trying to discern the contents - the dal, rice, coconut, onion - thought from where all the ingredients would have travelled. Relished the taste of different ingredients - it was just like listening to a symphony and trying to identify the music instruments.

Then my mind drifted away - don't remember what it started analysing - and after sometime realised I should be mindfully eating - and again started focusing on the food and the moment.

Man it is tough. The mind keeps drifting.

After that day, have tried a lot of times when I eat alone to remind myself to eat mindfully - no phone, no ipad, no book, no TV while eating. To think of only the food and trying to keep my mind around food and eating - and not let it go on its journey on work, or judge people or the billion things it can think at any moment.

There is another advantage of mindful eating.

I am paying more attention to nutrition, the flavour, the taste, the texture - food never tasted this good. Even a simple preparation is tasty now. I have taken a new interest on Rasam - it is so simple but has got some amazing taste if you just close your eyes and take just a sip. If I drink Coke mindfully, I will think of all the harmful chemicals in it or the 10 spoons of sugar they have put - will not be able to continue drinking coke anymore.

If I eat mindfully - the food I pick automatically becomes healthy and wholesome and in tune with the earth. And as a bonus my daily quota of meditation also is met or exceeded - because mindful eating is also a form of meditation. We get 3 or 4 times a day to eat - these are beautiful opportunities to practice meditation.