La Trobe Counselling Service
- Eating mindfully
Throughout this exercise, all sorts of thoughts and feelings will arise. Let them come and go, and keep your attention on the exercise. If you realise that your attention has wondered, briefly note what distracted you and then bring your attention back to the sultana.
Let us begin.
Take hold of the sultana. First look at it as if you’re a curious scientist who has never seen such a thing before. Notice the shape, colour, the different shades of colour, the parts where light bounces off the surface, the contours, the pit where the stalk was attached.
Notice the weight of it in your hand and feel the skin against your fingers: its texture and temperature. Raise it to your nose and smell it. Notice the aroma. Raise it to your mouth and pause for a moment before biting into it. Bring your attention to what is happening inside your mouth: notice the salivation around your tongue and the urge to bite into it.
Now slowly bite it in half, noticing your teeth breaking through the skin and sinking into the flesh and the sound that makes, and the sensation of sweetness on your tongue.
Notice your teeth meeting, and the feel of the sultana falling onto your tongue, and the urge to chew it and swallow it.
Chew it slowly, noticing the taste and texture. Notice the movement of your jaws, the sound that chewing makes, the sensation of the flesh breaking down. Notice how your tongue shapes the food.
Notice your urge to swallow – and as you do swallow, notice the movement in your throat, and the sound it makes.
And after you’ve swallowed, pause and notice the way the taste gradually disappears from your tongue. Notice your growing urge to eat the remaining half.
Now eat the rest of the sultana in the same way.