June 14, 2010

Mindfulness

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:52 pm by kellyfdennis

So, quite a bit of time has past since I last blogged. My apologies.

The people who sit across from me and I have been talking quite a bit in counseling about mindfulness.  So, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subject.

First of all, it can be a challenging concept to grasp.

Goldstein & Kornfield, 1987, say: Mindfulness is that quality of attention which notices without choosing, without preference.  It is a choice-less awareness that, like the sun, shines on all things  equally.

Marlatt, 1994, describes it as this: Mindfulness accepts present experience as one of constant change.  All experiences arise and pass away like waves on the sea and mindfulness accepts this on a moment-to-moment basis.  There is not an attempt to control or fix the present moment or what happens next.

So, it’s being in the moment; accepting, observing, not fixing or judging.

Wow!  That’s not what we humans like to do…accept, observe, not judge.

So, try this mindfulness exercise when it comes to eating and see if you can accept, observe, not judge your experience .

Eating mindfully means becoming aware of the eating process itself. Often, we eat mindlessly, while talking, watching television, driving, etc. When we eat on the run or while thinking about other things, we are often unaware of the taste, texture, color or that the appetite control center in our brain needs to register ‘satisfied!’

Mindful eating is being present, moment-by-moment, for each sensation that happens when chewing, tasting and swallowing.

· Take three raisins in the palm of your hand

· Sit quietly and become aware of your breathing for a few moments

· Become aware the raisins: how they look, feel and smell. Notice any associated thoughts as they come up. Bring your awareness back to the raisins in your hand

· Close your eyes

· Bring one raisin to your mouth. Experience the movement of your fingers and arms.

· Notice the response of your salivary glands

· Chew your raisin 15 times

· Become aware of all your sensations – notice the texture of the raisin, how it changes as it mixes with saliva, how your tongue moves it around, the mixture of flavors coming from it, etc.

· Prepare to swallow the raisin

· Notice your swallow response

· Follow the raisin’s inner journey until you no longer experience it as a food

· Repeat this process with the remaining two raisins

Perhaps blog about your insights. The point of the exercise is not to eat your meals in this way but rather to learn something about your own eating habits and to discover how eating mindfully might benefit you.
You might find value in applying this awareness to the first bite of each meal. This helps set an intention of being mindful through the course of your meal.

So, what’dya think?

1 Comment »

  1. cmdennis said,

    “The point of the exercise is not to eat your meals in this way”

    I was glad you added this clarification 🙂


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stefdennis

ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

on anything and everything

my thoughts on what I see

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