Friday, October 28, 2016

Chew On That

The Celestine Prophecy, one of the many amazing books I read in Peru, painted a very powerful scene that at first I almost over looked. My haste to gobble up information discards and overlooks many nuisances - the intention life is trying to convey. Experience is life, so then why do we rush through it? The scene I'm referring to involved several priests in a monastic environment at meal time. Each priest ate slowly and deliberately in silence as if even masticating was a meditation.

I thought about how I eat - mostly like a Mike Mulligan's steam shovel Mary Anne. There is little enjoyment of what I am ingesting and any gratefulness is perfunctory. Scientific studies have shown that plants actually do have consciousness to some degree or another and react to threats or violence to themselves or other life. Supposedly if you thank your food for its sacrifice (like many native cultures do) the nourishment accept it's fate with something akin to peace. Call this hippy bullshit but isn't appreciation actualized through respect as you take the time to soak in all the elements of life that came together for you to enjoy something?

At work there is an entire department devoted to keeping a table stocked with various snacks all day. I've noticed that when I am bored or stressed, I mindlessly scarf down all kinds of food. My belly gets full but my mind only temporarily is satiated. I've found that as I slow down and actually chew my food, I can take the time to appreciate and be grateful for all that was necessary for me to have this experience. The incredible miracle that life is, the labor, knowledge, machinery etc required to bring these things to me - it's incredible if you stop to think about it. When we feel lacking in some way, we try to fill ourselves up. It's like a car with a broken gas gauge, stuck on empty, hard not to overflow when filled up.

This applies not just to food but to all of life. Are you thinking about the future trying to rush through daily interactions such as conversing with other humans so that you can get to what you "really enjoy" and then rush through that? We need to savor everything, even pain, because otherwise we're missing the point of life. Stop for a minute and close your eyes (after you've read this section) and allow yourself to accept that you are everything you need. Love yourself and the life you are living - it's a choice. Everything can change as you accept that anything is possible. Take in a deep breath and then slowly exhale. As you draw in air realize you are literally filling up with energy provided by the universe. Then as you exhale, release the vision of how you see yourself through your breath, not as you are now but as you can be. Now you can close your eyes and try.

Each respiration is a victory - another moment that you have been a part of. Slowing down and thoroughly chewing the little morsels life provides, we can extract much more joy and peace than was previously realized. It's all right there, you just have to tune in. There is no more over indulging in an attempt to drown out that aching need and fear. You are enough and everything else is a bonus that should be shown it's proper respect.

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