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Presence: From Eating, Practice, & On The Mat

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Eating is one of the most basic and essential human activities, yet it is often something we do without much thought or intention. We rush through our meals, multitasking and checking our phones, and before we know it, the food is gone and we're left wondering where it went. But what if we approached eating as a form of mindfulness or as a presence practice?

One way to start incorporating mindfulness into your eating habits is to set aside dedicated time for each meal, without any distractions. Turn off your phone and any other electronic devices, and sit down at the table with your food. Take a few deep breaths and take in the sights, smells, and flavors of your meal. Chew slowly and savor each bite, paying attention to the textures and tastes.

Another way to bring mindfulness to your eating is to practice gratitude. Before you start eating, take a moment to reflect on the food in front of you and the people and processes that made it possible. Think about the farmers, workers, and cooks who played a role in bringing this meal to your table. This can help you appreciate your food more and be more mindful of the impact your food choices have on the world around you.

One way to make this practice more fun and interactive is by starting a meal with a gratitude round, where everyone at the table shares one thing they are grateful for that day. It can be something simple or something big, but it will make you to be more mindful of the present moment, and hopefully make your meal more enjoyable.

Eating mindfully can also help you become more aware of your body's needs and signals. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels, and stop eating when you're satisfied - eighty percent full (80%) is my recommendation - and avoid the stuffed sensation. This can help you develop a healthier relationship with food and your body.

Incorporating mindfulness into your eating habits is a simple yet effective way to bring more awareness and intention to an activity that we often take for granted. By paying attention to our food, the people and processes behind it, and our own bodies, we can transform a simple act of sustenance into a meaningful and enjoyable experience.

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