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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Learning to be aware, one meal at a time

If we are aware of what we are thinking, we will do things differently and, perhaps, not do several things that we end up doing mindlessly.

You can coach yourself into becoming more aware. Start with the meals you eat daily. Train yourself to pause a moment before the first sip is taken or the first morsel goes in. The pause is to help you recognize the value of what you are going to imbibe, instead of mechanically stuffing yourself and, often times, passing judgment on the quality of the meal. The Japanese have a simple, effective method to train the mind to pause. No long pre-meal prayers for them. They merely say, "Itadakimasu" (pronouned 'ee-taa-daaki-maas'). Meaning, 'I thank you Benevolent Mother Nature and all those who toiled to make this meal available to me'. Indeed, the entire meaning of that full statement is contained in that one simple word!! Importantly, "Itadakimasu" encourages you to pause and thank not just the immediate person in front of you (the host/the one serving you) for the meal but everyone who has contributed to reaching the meal to you. In pausing and saying "Itadakimasu", you actually learn to become more aware.

More awareness of this kind, practised at least thrice daily, makes you more humble and has a transformational impact. Try it. And see how different and aware you feel!

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