Eat Like A Buddhist Monk

Have you ever observe how you eat your meal each day?

Do you mindful eating?

Well, usually people do not practice being mindful when eating.

Because when we hungry, we just want to jump right away at any food we see in front of us.

Especially, in a fast-moving world like today. We seem to hurry about everything even having our meals.

In Buddhist practice, we are supposed to remind ourselves of every moment that we are living. Including eating.

So this post I’ll be sharing the practice of mindfulness eating.

But first, I’ll tell you that it’s easier than you think.

Most of the complicated things about being mindful are only in your head. That you influence your thought by imagining that it must be complicated even you do not even do it yet.

It is simple as nature has done in its best way.

How to mindful eating

  1. Eat only when your body is hungry
  2. Take food only a proper portion. (This applies when you buy food, do not overbuy it. Know your portion.)
  3. Be thankful and aware of how your meal was prepared before it is served to you
  4. Do not eat while walking, remember to do one task at a time
  5. Remind yourself every time before the meal that ‘I eat to maintain this body to function properly and healthy, not for pleasure nor entertaining, not for fun. But to take care of this body, so it can be used to benefit others.
  6. Sit properly and eat quietly
  7. Mind your foods, observe the look, the taste, the color, the smell
  8. Do not talk during the meal, so you can listen to your body with full attention
  9. Know when your food touches your mouth
  10. Do not eat too fast, chew properly, and watchful when food travels from your mouth to your stomach, this way you will never be choking or stuck in the throat
  11. Know when your body is filled, it is easier to notice this when you eat slowly
  12. Do not overfeed yourself,
  13. You can take a second plate if you are not full but again take only the proper amount
  14. After finishing your meal, clear your plate, clean up your place, and make everything as it was before you used it.

Personal Experience

I remembered practicing Vipassana at Weruwan Meditation Center, Khon Kaen.

After practicing sitting and walking meditation in the morning. It was time for lunch.

We were walking down to the canteen, lined up.

Then took a plate, fork, and spoon.

We needed to take food for ourselves but be reminded that food should not be left over and go to waste.

Therefore, never take too much and can get more if you are not fully fed.

After getting food, we would go sit at the prepared table. A long table with benches on two sides.

Put a plate down on the table where we wanted to sit. Then sit properly.

Do not start eating yet.

We had to wait until every one of us gets food and be sitting properly.

When everyone sat and everything fell into peace.

Then we would sing a reflection on the food lyric.

After that, we could start eating mindfulness.

Observe the moment you lift your hand,

pick the spoon,

scoop the food,

how the food came to your mouth,

feel the food in your mouth,

smell, taste, observe everything.

Watch yourself when you chew,

observe when you swallow,

and repeat.

After finished, then we cleaned the place, washed the plate.

Then it was the time to relax after food, no meditation practice, or any kind of work.

You can only take a slow walk because you need your body to digest properly.

After felt comfortable, we will serve others.

Someone might take a broom and sweep.

Picking up garbage, clean the area of the center.

Remember to work quietly and mindfulness. 

Watch how you feel, how your body move, meditate while working.

After that, we would go back to the hall and start our meditation session (sitting and walking) in the afternoon until evening.

We would have time for ourselves after this.

We would rest, take a shower, or do personal matters, and relaxed.

Then we would have an evening routine (praying and meditation) before going to sleep.

Everything would be quiet and light off at nine.

You might notice that we did not do dinner.