This is a time of year for celebration and togetherness, a time to remember that we are all one. A time of gathering in, of spending time with loved ones and staying warm. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Hogmanay or something else, hopefully you are with people that you love.
It’s also a time of ritual; some religious, some social. For example, most of us will be enjoying at least one special meal with family and friends. Eating together is a core part of our society and it’s also an opportunity for mindfulness.
Many traditions encourage us to eat mindfully but I’d like to share with you five food contemplations for families from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Engaged Buddhism tradition. This is something we read before each family meal.
- This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, the rain and the sun.
- We thank the people who have made this food, especially the farmers, the people at the market and the cooks.
- We only put on our plate as much food as we can eat.
- We want to chew the food slowly so that we can enjoy it.
- We want to eat in a way that nurtures our compassion, protects other species and the environment and reverses global warming.
- This food gives us energy to practice being more loving and understanding.
- We eat this food in order to be healthy and happy and to love each other as a family.
Thich Nhat Hanh
You might like to try reading this before enjoying your meal. Eat each bite slowly and mindfully and try to be fully present to those who are sharing the meal. Just for fun, here’s a video of my own ‘little Buddha’ reading the contemplations.
Thank you for reading. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and connection.
Jacquelyn is a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and Reiki Level Two practitioner. Yoga has helped her to overcome paralyzing fears and chronic pain and find her true purpose in life. Her focus is on encouraging those around her to have patience, kindness and compassion for themselves and the courage to stand, fearless, in their own light. Jacquelyn has studied meditation and mindfulness in the Shambhala tradition and with Thich Nhat Hanh. She teaches Gentle Yoga, Chakra Flow Yoga, EMpower Yoga, Beginners Yoga, Power Yoga, Learn to Meditate and a variety of workshops.
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