These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Self / Soul & Text] Mindful Eating

Posted on February 28, 2012 by David Bogomolny

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He sighed inwardly.

It was Monday morning, and he hadn’t done his “mindful eating practice” yet. He’d been busy. Long days, full of Jewish study and prayer, were keeping him busy… but he knew also that he’d been procrastinating – he didn’t like the idea of this practice. It made him uncomfortable.

He put 3 NIS in the tin and selected a low fat Quaker honey nut granola bar.

Sitting alone in room 4, he removed it from the wrapper, and looked at it.

“Baruch ata AdHashem, Elokeinu Melech HaOlam, Borei Minei Mizonot.”

A quarter of the granola bar had broken off, and he popped it into his mouth without chewing. He lifted the remainder of the bar to his nose and inhaled its scent. Nothing unexpected, but the smell was familiar and comforting. He liked granola bars.

Emotionally, he still wasn’t feeling this, but physically he rather enjoyed the rough sensation on his tongue as the granola bar gradually broke apart under its pressure and the effects of his saliva. Interesting – he’d never had wet granola chunks floating around in his mouth before.

He chewed the second chunk quickly, as he normally would have, appreciating the dryness of the granola in the back of his mouth, along the sides. This was very different than the previous bite.

Okay, so perhaps this was interesting… but it was challenging for him to appreciate it, although he understood how somebody might, and he understood why he should. He had never been one to “stop and smell the roses,” as he’d always been wrapped up in his thoughts. He wouldn’t say that appreciating the little things in life wasn’t important, but the the real world was overwhelming to him… any experience could spark his imagination and consume his thoughts. Granola didn’t seem important enough to dwell upon.

So there he was, eating his 3 NIS Quaker granola bar; it wasn’t a bad experience, per se, and he did enjoy taking a few moments to consider the physical sensations that it created, but it wasn’t a practice that he expected to continue regularly – speaking to Hashem and searching his feelings (alone and with others) felt to him a more valuable use of his time. Granola bars were for dessert.