Meditate while you eat

We are all used to talking, reading, checking emails, texts and watching television during meal times. Even if we are not doing any of these, our mind is occupied by a number of thoughts. Due to some or the other reason, we are never with our food completely. In the hustle-bustle of daily activities, we miss out on the pleasure of eating.

However, it is important to eat in silence, just as we used to be told by our parents during childhood – which, actually if you try it, emerges as an entirely different experience.

 This concept of eating without talking and focusing only on the food is apparently called ‘Food Meditation’. It is gradually getting popular among a select group of people.

Ananda Anand, who has organised about 55 food meditation sessions over the last three years, says it is all about focused attention while eating, which is not an easy task.

“It is about eating quietly but not only about that. It is about how can we understand the eating process. We eat without knowing our food,”he says.

During food meditations, people gather in a group, switch off their mobile phones, take off their shoes and eat food without talking. At Ananda’s sessions, the food is sourced from Himalayas where a few of his farmer friends grow cereals and staple food in their farms.

The brown rice and the wheat is sourced from the bio-dynamic farm of his friend in Ponta sahib. The food is cooked here and served hot.

However, food meditation in general is less about food and more about how one eats it. One can adopt the practice with one’s regular food also.

“It has an effect. Different people will have different experiences. When everybody is just eating in silence, the whole atmosphere changes... the energy changes.

“At many sessions, people get emotional while eating. People talk about the so called transformation of energies at many spiritual platforms. But if we don’t eat right, what will be transferred?” he asks.

For quite some time, Ananda is organising the food meditation session at The Attic in Connaught Place. While his wife cooks the food, Ananda serves it. After the meal,  various aspects of eating in the Indian and Western traditions are discussed. 

Recently, he also held a session in Gurgaon at Hara Bhara Mela organised by Upavan. The mela focused on healthy, complete, organic and whole foods.

“It is not just about food but an experience which creates a differentiator. After the event,  the group develops a kind of brotherhood and feels connected to oneself as well as to each other,” says Ritu Mathur, the brain behind Hara Bhara Mela and Upavan.  

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