Mindful cooking and eating is using all senses to fully and gratefully experience the unique flavors, textures, colors, fragrances of food. It is approaching cooking and eating as a spiritual practice. It is experiencing food prayerfully with compassion for those who have little or nothing to eat.
Suggestions for Practice
Mindfulness Eating on the Go
Decide to pay attention to at least one food in each of your meals during the day. Before beginning, offer a brief, silent prayer that you will be especially aware of the food you’ve chosen. Then:
- notice everything about this food while eating slowly, gratefully
- use all senses to experience the food’s texture, shape, color, fragrance
- imagine the food’s journey (where was it grown, what it looked like while growing, who planted, harvested, processed, packaged it)
- say thank you to God and to those who grew, processed, and prepared the food
Preparing a Mindfulness Meal
Choose a relaxed time and setting. Chose a menu that connects you with people of other cultures and economic levels. Shop carefully and calmly, using senses to enjoy the unique shapes, colors, fragrances of ingredients. Experience the food as it is prepared: pungent spices, tear-producing onions, peels, layers, seeds and sections that must be washed, cut, chopped, sautéed. Be fascinated by the unique details of each food. Be aware of its history, its life in the field or orchard, the machines and hands that have handled it, the wonder of how this particular food exists at all as part of God's vast creation. Be thankful for the flavors that blend together as individual foods are combined into a new creation. Prepare a simple table setting with candles or other symbols.
Jesus and food, eating, meal imagery (bread of life, great banquet, Last Supper, prodigal’s return, feeding 5,000 and many others...)
The Greatest Table by Michael J. Rosen
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hahn