Author Topic: Buddhism on the dinner plate  (Read 5497 times)

sonamdhargey

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Buddhism on the dinner plate
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:45:35 AM »
Interesting perspective of how to develop mindfulness through eating. Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist at the Harvard School of Public Health. “To control our weight, we also need to first understand who we are, how and why we arrive at this circumstance, and how we relate to food. Buddhist teachings on mindfulness help us better understand our true nature: our body, our feelings, our mind, and all that is around us.

Read more here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/03/buddhism-on-the-dinner-plate/

dondrup

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »
There is truth in this common saying, “we are what we eat!”  If we fail to control how we eat, we will end up damaging our body.  We can become obese, sick or even kill ourselves through food poisoning.  Hence it is important to practise mindfulness of eating. 

Do we eat because we are hungry or we are carving for some favourite food or drinks?  Do we eat to nourish ourselves so that we can have a healthy body?  Do we eat sufficiently or we overeat?  Do we eat regularly or irregularly?  Are we controlled by our emotions when we eat or drink?

Why is it important to eat correctly?  We are endowed with this human body that allows us to practise Dharma.  Furthermore, human body possesses the six elements - skin, flesh, bone, channels, winds, and drops - that are necessary for the practice of Secret Mantra.  With Secret Mantra, we can attain full enlightenment in one lifetime.  Thus, we need to eat mindfully, with awareness and understanding so that we can put our precious human body to good use.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 01:04:07 PM »
And she went on to say :

“When you sit down to eat a truly mindful meal, you will see far beyond the rim of the plate,” said Cheung. “Look closely at your salad, and you will see the farmer who planted the seeds, the rain and sunshine, the rich earth that nourished them as they grew. Mindful eating can help us approach the core Buddhist concept of ‘interbeing,’ the recognition that everything and everyone is interrelated. With this as our foundation, we realize that it is important to eat not only for our own health, but in a way that promotes the health of others around us, as well as the health of the planet."


By Dondrup:
Do we eat because we are hungry or we are carving for some favourite food or drinks?  Do we eat to nourish ourselves so that we can have a healthy body?  Do we eat sufficiently or we overeat?  Do we eat regularly or irregularly?  Are we controlled by our emotions when we eat or drink?


More often than not, I would say that we eat out of habit, controlled by our working hours that define a specific period for taking lunch breaks. And, there are those who go on eating binges because of some emotional factor.


RedLantern

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 01:36:55 PM »
Mindful eating is basically meditation with food,and it started,of course,at Buddhist Monasteries.Buddhist teachings on mindfulness help us understand our true nature;our body,our feelings,our minds,and all that is
around us.
It has nothing to do with Enlightenment,which is beyond concepts and activities.This is beautifully articulated
in the Heart Sutra, a very short,famous and beautiful Buddhist Scripture.
Most of us live life that are so fast that we fail to appreciate that mindful eating deals with appreciation and
gratitude.It is just paying attention to the experience.When we pay attention,we can tell when is enough,We
won't take more than we need and our body will be healthier and happier for it.
Mindful eating is a wonderful discipline,and a very healthy lifestyle change.

fruven

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 03:05:43 AM »
Amazing  :o We can be so mentally active when we are eating?

When I am eating it is about hunger and my stomach becomes active doing the work not thinking much. This great article explained how to become mentally active while taking our food as well. Sometimes when we are eating together with our friends we can become really active with our mouth talking and eating at the same time. It is a no no from my parents because it is a bad habit as they said. On the other hand it is a chance for everyone to meet together and converse with each other, perhaps that is the only time when one can meet the others together. What do you think?

diablo1974

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 10:18:36 AM »
Oh mindful eating. More people are inclined to speed eating than mindful eat. Most eat without adequate chewing, and taste. Swallowing food without chewing gives burden to our stomach and results in indigestion over a prolong period of time. The thought of eating mindfully with every single spoon of food you put into your mouth makes a meal more meaningful than normal. Lets try mindful eating from now onwards.

Q

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 11:12:32 AM »
There really is nothing new about this. Buddhism has always encourage mindfulness in everything we do.

I remember one time when I attended a meditation class organized by a Buddhist temple, they made us chew peanuts while we meditate and later, we have a sharing session to observe how much detail did we pay attention on while we were chewing the peanuts... I must say, I failed the session lol... From here you can see how the older students actually can describe in detail the process of chewing just a peanut, while the newbies (like me) can only remember, biting and swallowing the peanut.

Even if we look into cultures that adopt much of Buddhist culture, for example Japan (ok, I know some of you will say Shinto is predominant in Japan... but come on, they practice the similar concepts). Prior to the western culture seeping into Japan, you will see that the Japanese are one of the healthiest people on the planet... infact up until now, they are still one of the country that have the most elderly population in the world.

Mindfulness is indeed powerful, and if even applying that into something as simple as our eating habit... imagine applying mindfulness in everything we do...

Big Uncle

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 11:35:38 AM »
Well, our meals that we consume every day can be a source for us to collect merit for our practice. One way is to maintain this awareness that we are eating not because we are greedy or because we are merely hungry. We are having our meals so that we can strengthen our bodies and be of benefit to others for the rest of the day.

In the auxiliary Bodhisattva Vows, we have a vow to make offerings to the three jewels. We can make formal offerings on the altar, to our Guru and also before we partake of our meals. Well, before we consume our meals, we can always consecrate our food and offer our food first to the 3 Jewels in the form of Dorje Shugden. There's a special prayer that we can save in our phone to recite or we can memorize directly. Here's the prayer:-

OM AH HUM (3x)

GANGSHIG DRENPA TSAMGYI CHINANGI
BARCHE KUNSEL LESHEY TRINLEY NAM
TSOLDZE GYALCHEN SHUGDEN RIG-NGA TSEY
TANSUNG KORDANG CHELA CHOPARBUL

All the obstacles from within and without
Completely you dispel and make things clear & fulfil activities,
To the 5 families of Dorje Shugden,
Your great entourage & assistants I offer this.

If one is a Tantric practitioner, one could maintain the visualization that one is the Yidam and while eating, we are literally feeding the yidam with delicious food while collecting merit. This are just some of the ways in which one can create merits during a meal. A simple action can be such a fantastic way to collect merits! 

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 07:32:06 AM »
"Mindfulness" has always been a ''miss'' in my understanding of what defines ''mindfulness''.  At times mindfulness can be mistaken as carelessness.

My question to myself is whether mindfulness and careless are related.  I guess so because if you are mindful you go beyond what you see physically and extend your mind beyond.  With that attitude towards things, people and environment, you will have the tendency to be careful and cause no harm and appreciate the beauty around you.

Being mindful is also be current state of awareness in the moment of now.

Just my thoughts as this article specifically describe being mindful beyond your eating the food on your plate.

pinecone

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 02:09:01 PM »
One of my family member is currently being diagnosed to be having diabetes, if he would be more aware and have discipline of his eating habits and it portion. As it is said in Buddhism that all fruition must have it causes and its accompaniment conditions and our body condition are reflects of what we eat. But all is not lost! His medical condition now serves as the cause for all family members’ awareness of their food intake and resulting more healthy meals to be served on our dining table. That brings in another Buddhism lesson that state how uncertainty that one inauspicious event can lead to a positive outcome!

MoMo

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Re: Buddhism on the dinner plate
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2015, 03:20:17 PM »
For most of us, our eating is more about to satisfy our graving rather than what is necessary for keeping us healthy. Most of time, we just gorge down our mouthful while anticipating for the next to come rather than slowly savour it and be aware of the true purpose as why should keep our body healthy and fit.
In this article it was so wonderful that the author being able the relate to teachings she received from great master such as Thich Nhat Hanh that the food and all that we find pleasurable now for our enjoyment was due to inter-connecteness  of all phenomena and it was due to the kindness of other than  manifest as food in our plate.