Who would have thought eating cake would be an exercise in Zen and yet it is when done right.
Just kidding! Actually I’m not. Good cake is delicious and I like myself a piece every once in a while.
Food provides nourishment to our body, heart and mind. Where we go wrong is in treating the act of eating food like a job that needs to be done before we move on to more important things. Alas it’s not a job, it’s an opportunity to take time out for ourselves and relish one bite at a time.
Did you know there’s a practice in Zen which treats the act of drinking tea as a form of mediation? When you drink your daily cuppa, give all your attention to the tea, smell its aroma, enjoy the warmth of the cup as you hold it in your hands, take a sip slowly and taste the sweetness on your tongue, notice it making its way down to your stomach, and relax and breathe in the moments.
The more attention we pay and the more we engage our senses while eating our meals or drinking tea or coffee, the more we’re likely to enjoy the few minutes we spend doing it. Thus, the act of eating and drinking nourishes not only our body but also our mind (five senses) and our heart (the joy experienced as a result).
I enjoy eating my food and I dislike being hurried while I do it. It is a joyful experience for me and I don’t wish to let it go to catch up with a world that’s always running but still fails to achieve its goals.
My goal is happiness in the NOW and treating the act of eating with the appreciation it deserves makes me happy. To state the obvious there are too many people in this world who do not get to eat two square meals a day. We, on the other hand, are not only blessed with food but also choices of what to eat and when to eat. It’s a privilege indeed so try to be grateful and savour every bite.
Remember, you do not have to wait for the weekend or to be seated in a fancy restaurant or for several dishes to be presented to you for you to salivate and enjoy the experience. It’s possible RIGHT NOW. Joy is accessible right now.