Monks and volunteers assisting with the rescue efforts after the earthquake in Nepal
When people think about Buddhist monks and nuns they usually think of them sitting high up in the mountains somewhere, meditating for countless hours and rarely making any contact with modern civilization. For some isolated communities this might be true but for the majority of the ordained Buddhists, their lives are a mixture of traditional monastery life as well as modern day living. They may spend several hours a day meditating, chanting and studying, but many monks and nuns are well-versed in how to use Facebook, have mobile phones and in Buddhist traditions where the uniform code is a bit more relaxed, some of them may even wear Nike shoes. (more…)
As our lives get busier and more frantic, eating has become an activity that we usually do alongside other activities. Be it watching TV, working, answering emails, or thinking about what we need to do next; rarely do we eat our meals with mindfulness and enjoy the flavors of the food. It’s almost as though we don’t consider eating interesting enough that we need to create further excitement by reading the news, checking Twitter or texting. I’m sure we have all experienced getting to the end of the meal and wondering where it all went, or we wish we could have just one more bite to enjoy the flavor of the food.
Another aspect of mindless eating that we are usually guilty of, is looking forward to the next bite instead of savoring the mouthful that is already in our mouth. We’re thinking about how good the next spoonful will be, or worst still, we’re thinking about the delicious dessert we plan to eat after our delicious meal. And this is something we all experience. Our mind always seems to be looking forward to something better in the future, even if the future is just a spoonful of food away.
Eating without mindfulness is what most of us are doing on a daily basis. We ‘hoover’ in the food to satisfy the hunger pains so we can move onto life’s more important tasks. But the practice of mindfulness teaches us that there is nothing more precious than the present moment, so even eating becomes an activity that is worthy of our undivided attention. (more…)