Mindfulness While Eating: A Holistic Science Perspective

Mar 31, 2019

As per Ayurveda, the food we eat has direct effect on our mind. Some diets are such that they provide calmness to mind, some are poisonous and some foods even give provocation. So, certain types of foods do not allow one to remain steady in pursuit of spiritual goals. Food certainly have lot of influence on our mind.  There is a combined influence of food, water and breathing aspect on which the internal world of the body is based on. The internal world is influenced firstly by food, water and breathing and secondly influenced by self-ignorance. If ignorance is there, then food will provoke the mind and will not allow it to remain stable and hence the reflective consciousness will not remain stable and will keep wandering. Food intake reflects on the type of mind and the source of water reflects on our speech.

Taste is different for everyone
The bread eaten by a child would taste different to an adult. In fact, everyone would taste differently, the reason is that the child’s inside is innocently clear while for adults it is not so. The taste would depend on how clean the internal system is! This is also the same for the other senses.

Mindfulness (Reflective consciousness presence) while eating                         
Be mindful while eating by having our reflective consciousness present in eating and we must enjoy eating peacefully. If reflective consciousness is present in eating then you will feel the taste of different foods and its ingredients. But if it is not present, then you will probably not even know the tastiest food, which is a severe crime of nature and you will eventually get health issues like heart attack. If you eat in the presence of the reflective consciousness, your digestion will be complete otherwise you will not be able to digest fully. The reason is only our tongue knows what is being eaten, which signals our digestive system to secrete appropriate digestive juices for its perfect digestion. The whole world does not really enjoy the food by not knowing what ingredients are in the food. If one does not understand and know what the ingredients are then diseases are bound to occur. It is essential that food intake is in the very presence of the reflective consciousness.

Chew, chew and chew the food
Do not eat mechanically. [It is said you must ‘drink’ your food and ‘chew’ the water]. Chew the food so saliva mixes with it properly and it becomes liquid and only then you must swallow. Therefore, half of the food gets digested in our mouth itself and the other half is digested in the stomach and intestines. That way stomach and intestines have less work to do.

People think, they eat only little, yet they feel drowsy after their meals. But they do not understand that if it is not chewed properly, inside the stomach it has to work hard to digest. But if you chew thoroughly, then it would naturally swell so our stomach will feel full with less food and it would need less efforts to digest also. Then you will remain alert even after eating. It is said that the number of each bite of food that needs to be chewed is equivalent to the number of teeth in the mouth, which happens to be 32. Holistic Scientist eats each item separately so he can enjoy the taste of each item and its ingredients. Holistic Scientist has scientific knowledge, so he is always mindful while eating. We have to change our beliefs of the past with this new scientific understanding.

Science says we get food naturally based on our body characteristics. But our inner weaknesses of anger, pride, attachments and greed interferes in our normal living by giving wild opinions about food itself and the one who prepares it. Based on your body characteristics you will get food so why demand any particular food and even give opinions? If you keep normality and eat rice, dal, vegetables and roti, which is a wholesome meal, since body truly does not demand anything more or any other specific food but it only needs food with all six tastes viz. bitter, pungent, astringent, sour, salty, and sweet in balance for a healthy body.

Enjoy food what is available normally in the present
Whatever you get at the time of eating, eat with full alertness. If you feel how nice it would be if this particular or that particular item was made, then tell your mind, “I do not want to hear anything please go away. What has been cooked is but natural, and perfect so let me enjoy with total mindfulness!”

Translated from book ‘Ahar Vignan’ published by Jai Sachchidanad Sangh, India which is based on talks by the Holistic Scientist Shree A.M. Patel, popularly known as ‘Dada Bhagwan’.