Rumi once wrote:
“My poems resemble the bread of Egypt – one night passes over it, and you can’t eat it any more. So gobble them down now, while they’re still fresh, before the dust of the world settles on them. [...] And even if you eat my poems while they’re still fresh, you still have to bring forward many images yourself. Actually, friend, what you’re eating is your own imagination.”
Fascinating imagery, isn’t it? To read a poem you have to bring your own images (BYOI), you have to populate the black-and-white sterility of language with colors of your associations.
Same with eating: “actually, friend, what you’re eating is your own imagination.” The imagination you bring to the moment of eating distracts you from the actual moment of eating: as you soon as you think that you are eating “this,” you are no longer eating “this.” The labeling, the expectations, the projections that we bring to a moment of eating get in the way of experiencing a given eating moment in its here-and-now uniqueness.
Bring your own mindfulness (BYOM) or run the risk of this eating moment going the way of the bread of Egypt – a thought passes over it and it’s stale.
I am sure the bread of Egypt is awesome if accompanied by BYOM.
Woman eating photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 6 Mar 2013