Wow, these past two meditations have helped a lot. Yesterday I didn’t open Sharon’s email until after my last meal — but I realized I had already done an “eating meditation” that morning. As part of a meditation group, we eat breakfast in silence together every Wednesday. I did marvel at the morning light on the steam rising from the tea, and the texture of the muffins — I just never thought of it as meditation.
Today I chose as my meditative activity a task I try to avoid — picking the aphids out of curly kale from the garden. It’s a slow, painstaking process that often grosses me out. It was fascinating today to notice the tension in my face and stomach as I unfurled the intricate folds of kale and picked out the dead bugs. I realized how much energy I’m wasting through aversion. And I realized how my focus on haste creates so much suffering. If suffering is the difference between expectation and reality, I’m creating suffering by resisting the fact that kale debugging takes time. When I slowed down, I found it, I dare say, enjoyable! And then I cooked a couple of meals with this slow mindset and realized how much more joy I could experience in my daily chores by simply slowing down.
There’s a phrase I learned from Shinzen Young — “the tyranny of next.” Today laid bare how much “nexting” I do, all the time. Wanting the next gulp of tea while the first one is just hitting my lips. Planning lunch while eating breakfast, etc. Yesterday I gently prepared a final bite of mango, put it in my mouth — then started walking down the hallway before I had time to pay attention. Today I’m setting an intention: when eating, just eat.