“Eating a Raisin, Mindfully”
Mindfully eating a raisin can demystify the concept of mindfulness. We are asked to set an intention to bring a open minded ‘beginners mind’ attention to the daily experience of eating (any food will do.) As you do this practice, put aside all distractions, turn off the phone, and focus bare, clear awareness on each aspect of the experience. If you are reading this meditation, take five minutes or so to do this practice.
Mindfully Eating A Raisin (5 min)
Formal Practice: Mindfully Eating a Raisin
Place a few raisins in your hand. If you don’t have raisins, any food will do. Imagine that you have just come to Earth from a distant planet without such food.
Now, with this food in hand, you can begin to explore it with all of your senses.
Focus on one of the objects as if you’ve never seen anything like it before. Focus on seeing this object. Scan it, exploring every part of it, as if you’ve never seen such a thing before. Turn it around with your fingers and notice what color it is.
Notice the folds and where the surface reflects light or becomes darker.
Next, explore the texture, feeling any softness, hardness, coarseness, or smoothness.
While you’re doing this, if thoughts arise such as “Why am I doing this weird exercise?” “How will this ever help me?” or “I hate these objects,” then just see if you can acknowledge these thoughts, let them be, and then bring your awareness back to the object.
Take the object beneath your nose and carefully notice the smell of it.
Bring the object to one ear, squeeze it, roll it around, and hear if there is any sound coming from it.
Begin to slowly take the object to your mouth, noticing how the arm knows exactly where to go and perhaps becoming aware of your mouth watering consistency as you chew.
When you feel ready to swallow, consciously notice the intention to swallow, then see if you can notice the sensations of swallowing the raisin, sensing it moving down to your throat and into your esophagus on its way to your stomach.
Take a moment to congratulate yourself for taking this time to experience mindful eating.
Mindful Eating Journal
Was anything surprising?
What did you notice with the raisin (or whatever food) in terms of sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste?
Did any thoughts or memories pop up while doing this practice? Take a few moments to write down your reflections.
Source- A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, by Stahl & Goldstein
Adapted by G Ross Clark