Eating in calm silence; slowly; seeing, smelling and tasting your food as if for the first time; reflecting on its origin; appreciating all the effort that’s gone into producing and preparing it; and paying attention to your breathing.
One of the joys of this glorious summer in the French Alps has been the warm, balmy evenings. Eating our supper on our garden terrace, we’ve often practised mindful eating.
Sitting in calm stillness, without talking, we eat slowly, we savour each mouthful of food, and we pay attention to our breathing.
Eating in silence also gives us space to tune into the movement, sounds and aromas all around us.
Roaring waterfalls, clicking crickets, chirping sparrows, a buzzard’s distant cry, swallows and house martins sweeping through the air searching for food, the scents of our garden.
The light softens. Silhouetted against the twilight sky, the mountains become statuesque. Bats swoop. Toads emerge from the undergrowth. Our cat Louisa steps outside to patrol the perimeter of her territory.
These are joyful evenings. We’re silent but we’re not in silence. Eating mindfully, we’re focusing on our food. And we’re open to an orchestra of natural sound and a visual delight.
In our personal silence we feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, in which nothing feels superficial.
In the words of the late singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl:
Eagerly savour each new day and the taste of its mouth, Never lose sight of the thrill and the joy of living.
Give mindful eating a try
Eating in silence with other people can feel strange, even awkward at first. If you persevere beyond your initial discomfort, you’ll discover a new way of opening up your senses and nourishing your body and your soul.