As paradoxical as it sounds, many people do not really eat during their meals. They get food, put it in their mouths, grind it a little bit (so it could slip inside) and swallow. However, all these actions are conducted by semi-instinctive constituents of the ego while their mind is focused on something else.
When eating a person can read, watch TV, actively discuss the latest news, argue, have fun and so on, and meanwhile this person thinks that he is eating. Even when a person is sitting calmly at the table and there are no external stimuli, his conscience is usually immerged in “more important stuff”, such as plans for the future, worries about the past and dreams… Maybe except for the first minutes, when a person is really hungry.
Meanwhile, all the thoughts, emotions and images in our heads bring some very defined energy and make a person enter in a corresponding emotional state. The more developed is the ability for concentration, the bigger is this energy and the more defined is this state. Concentrated thoughts, directed at any matter or any work, always influence our organism – the blood is redistributed, necessary hormones are released and muscular tonus is changed.
Imagine yourself in a deep sleep; try to picture that in your head, how you are sleeping serenely. As you do it, your body will relax on its own, your breathing will become even and rare and you will feel very peaceful. The more defined and detailed the picture in your head, the better will be the result.
We are also influenced by uncontrollable thoughts. Whenever you are going through a newspaper, enjoying a concert or analyzing a deal you made, your body tunes correspondingly. Even if you are just sitting calmly, but your head is filled with fragments of different thoughts, your organism enters in an emotional state corresponding to this type of psychical activity. It is especially important when it comes to food. When your conscience is jumping between your meal and some captivating events on TV, the digestion processes cannot occur normally. During a meal you should be just eating.
However, there is another extreme situation, when a person completely loses control when eating and cannot stop even when his stomach shows that it is full. This can be considered a disease.
In such cases it is good to listen to some quiet nice music during a meal and have a calm conversation with friends. Anything creating a positive emotional atmosphere and not letting a person be obsessed with his plate is good. In many spiritual traditions there are special practices for distracting from eating. For example, a specially appointed monk reads holy books for his brothers during lunchtime, or repeats special mantras. There are many ways to reach such elevated state. In aristocratic families, for example, children were taught not to give too much attention to the process of eating. For this purpose, all meals were accompanied by debates, conversations, poetry competitions… And this cannot be considered harmful. Such traditions should only be welcomed, of course, if they are based on decent manners and culture of eating.
On the other hand, negative emotions are extremely harmful for digestion. They are not recommended in any case, especially during eating. People who like to argue while eating almost always have digestion problems, sick liver and exhausted nerves.
You also should not concentrate on negative consequences of your meal, because if you eat some “forbidden” products while thinking about possible intoxication, your fear of toxins can be more harmful than the toxins themselves. Everyone should learn to switch off such thoughts.
One enlightened man was once asked what the difference between him and other people was. “In everyday common sense,” he said, “when I am hungry, I eat, when I am sleepy, I sleep.” “But do not all the people do the same?” asked his followers surprisingly. “No,” - said the holy man. “Most people are quite distanced from what they are doing”. Hatha yoga teaches to eat with pleasure, imagining all the benefits every piece of food brings to your body. However, it is enough to just eat calmly and with pleasure, then everything will be digested well (unless you overeat).
An enlightened satisfied psychological state during a meal helps getting rid of all the negative emotions (undoubtedly benefiting digestion) and even makes the food tastier. Yes, our emotional state also affects the taste of a dish. Before putting a piece in our mouths, we charge it with our energy. It can happen on purpose, if you pay any attention to the process of eating, or even automatically, even involuntarily, through the hand with which we are eating, as our fingers contain energetic channels.
We wrap our food with a piece of our aura and therefore make it closer to us energetically, thus neutralizing previous negative impacts, made by the cook or other people. Without such treatment food is just not tasty. It will not bring all the possible benefits. When you admire a dish, praising every piece of food, its bio potential increases several times. At the same time, automatic mechanisms start working and intensify secretion of saliva.
That is why you should eat with pleasure!
Text: from the book A.Eddar “Treatise of nutrition”. Interpreter: Liza Dukhova