Zen & Mindful Eating: The Richness That Comes From Empty Spaces

  • 4 min read

Momoe Zen eating

THE RICHNESS THAT COMES FROM EMPTY SPACES

We live in an age of convenience. An age where we can order meals from our phones. At first glance, this appears to make our lives easier. But at the same time, we find ourselves overwhelmed with "more and more".

Low-carb, intermittent fasting, smoothies... There is so much information on healthy diets that it can be difficult to figure out which methods work and which foods are actually delicious.

I myself have been studying healthy foods for a long time. However, in my quest, I have come to believe that how you eat and the state of your mind when you eat are just as important as what you eat.

Many people, even those who are conscious about food, tend to be rushed and eat too fast. After taking my ZenEating sessions, participants learn to “appreciate food and to truly savor it with their whole body”.


Momoe Zen eating

 

To briefly introduce myself, my name is Momoe and I am the founder of ZenEating, a Zen-inspired food exercise and eating meditation program. Inspired by the spirituality of Zen, I help to ease people’s tension and to make their lives more enjoyable through eating.

I believe that the combination of what and how we eat enriches our eating experience. In this article, I will help you to adjust the way you feel when you eat so that you can enjoy food, including the products in your Kokoro Care Packages, more deeply.

Momoe Zen eating

 

EATING WITH YOUR FIVE SENSES

There is an easy way to experience eating meditation. Before you eat, look at the food that is about to enter your body. Smell the aroma. Feel the saliva come into your mouth. You may even hear the cells in your body whispering, "I want to eat!”. By listening to your body and tasting with your whole being, you will be able to eat in a richer way.

HOW TO EAT WITH MORE HAPPINESS

Let me introduce two more things that you should be aware of when you eat.

1) Recall the joy of living.

  • Remember how grateful you are to be alive.
  • Rediscover yourself.
  • Open up your dormant physical senses to become aware of the potential to integrate your body, mind, and spirit.

I believe that by taking time to regularly remind ourselves of these things we can increase our level of well-being.

Among our five senses, we tend to rely heavily on sight. But our bodies have much greater potential. If we free our sense of smell and taste, and receive nourishment with our whole body, we can revive our forgotten physical senses and experience what it means to "really taste".

2) If you realize that you are already happy, your body will become more relaxed.

It's not about feeling happy, but realizing that you are happy. As you eat mindfully, welcome the tastes and aromas. When you do this, you will notice that happiness is not something that needs to be chased, but is something that is already here with you at this moment.

I understand that you work hard everyday, forcing yourself to be more and more productive, to be a better version of yourself, to keep achieving higher goals. However, in that process, you may often block out your instincts and senses so that you can manage city living.

Take time to enjoy life and to freely savor moments like a child. If you do this, you will be more at ease and feel the weight on your shoulders lifted. When your shoulders are unburdened and your body loosens, a smile will naturally appear on your face without being forced.

TRY TO EAT WITH ZEN IN MIND

As you enjoy the products in your “Zen and the Art of Mindful Eating” Care Package, try listening to the wisdom that is already inside of you, rather than trying to add more techniques to the way you eat.

Eating in a way that allows you to savor the "richness that comes from empty spaces", is how to eat while experiencing the spirituality of zen.

LET’S PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING MEDITATION 

You can try these steps whether you’re eating a meal or a snack. 

 

Momoe Zen eating
  1. Relax your body

Before you start eating, move your body. Relax your mind and gently stretch your body while telling yourself: "I'm going to listen to my body while eating.” You can also rub your jaw and stomach. 

 

Momoe Zen eating

 

  1. Observe with all five senses

Before you put food into your mouth, observe it with all your senses. Smell the aroma, feel the warmth of the bowl with your hands, and so on. This will make your stomach growl and cause you to salivate. Feel your body’s reaction before you begin eating.

Momoe Zen eating

 

  1. Taste mindfully

Once you put the food in your mouth, chew it slowly and carefully. You will be able to dynamically taste the ingredients as they spread on your tongue and in your mouth. It is also interesting to think about where the food came from and to observe where on the tongue the different flavors, such as sweet and sour, are perceived.

  1. Swallowing

Swallow while feeling the food enter your body. Focus on the sensation of the food going down your throat and into your stomach. Some people describe the wonder of something that was "outside" the body dissolving into something "inside" as "the boundary between you and the outside world dissolving”.

After swallowing, don't rush, but enjoy the aftertaste before taking your next bite.

Try practicing these four simple steps with your meals starting today!

 

Momoe Nishimura

Momoe Zen eating

Founder of Zen Eating
Developed and facilitates Zen Eating which is providing meditative eating practice through food inspired by Japanese Zen Buddhism. Various Companies such as Google, McKinsey & Company, and Accenture  have experienced this program and it’s been taught at various conferences. She has helped over 1600 people from 30 countries. She studied Zen and Japanese culture at university.

 

Momoe Zen eating

Website and to book a private group session: https://zen-eating.com/
FB, IG, TW, Insight Timer: @zeneatingmomo
Listen to audio for free : 
https://insighttimer.com/zeneatingmomo/guided-meditations/mindful-eating-meditation-guide-for-beginners-zen-eating

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