Where we eat and how much we pay for food is just as related to the overall experience of eating as food itself.  Good food in a bad place and bad food in a good place are two very different scenarios.  Candle-light and soft music don’t make bad wine good, but they do make it better.  Eating a sandwich while you are stuck in traffic will help you kill time.  Eating the same sandwich after a vigorous mountain hike at a scenic overlook could be a peak experience. The context of the meal determines its experience.  Cultivate mindfulness of the settings in which you eat in order to identify the settings that will help you cultivate the mindfulness of eating.

What’s Your Favorite Place to Overeat?

If you wanted to overeat, where would you want for that to happen?  Do you have a favorite place to overeat?  What is it?  Your house?  Which room?  A restaurant, a buffet?  A friend’s kitchen?  Which friend?  Your car?  What is it about this place that gives you the sanction to ignore all of your good intentions?  What makes this place feel so safe?  Is it other people overeating around you?  Does it give you a sense of invisibility or anonymity?  What is the permissive magic of this place?  Or is it just a place of habit, a place where you’ve developed a habit to overeat?  If not sure, go there, eat something, and try to unravel the mystery. 

What’s Your Most Mindful Place to Eat?

What’s your most mindful place to eat?  Not a place where you eat well because you feel self-conscious, but a place where you’re spontaneously conscious enough to eat well and with mindfulness.  Do you have such a place?  If so, go there to ponder why your meals there come with a side of mindfulness.  While there, meditate on how to turn your favorite place to overeat into your most mindful place to eat.  Who knows, maybe they could be one and the same?!

Sapience: to Taste is to Know