When what has been given to us is no longer taken for granted, then eating becomes a spiritual practice. During this presentation, we will learn a variety of ways to cultivate mindful reverence in our relationship with food.
- Reconnecting with silence, inside and outside of us. In this deep stillness, there is space and a lightness of being. It is only when we pause mindfully that new and more wholesome ways of relating to food and ourselves are possible.
- Knowing the history of the ingredients on your plate by tracing them back to their origins (meet and talk with farmers, winemakers or cheese producers)
- Looking into the future and visualizing how the food will become soon part of the cells of your body or will nourish other living beings, such as birds or worms.
- Being aware of the joy of giving and receiving. Feeling deep appreciation for all the efforts people and other living organisms have made in order to nourish us.
- Waking up with all our senses to natural elements such as water, soil, sunshine, and fresh air, which contribute so much to our food, our bodies, and the environment. Taking a moment to contemplate and ponder the mystery of growth and life.
- Setting a wholesome intention before eating to kindly invite the energy of compassion, joy, wisdom, trust, or mindful awareness.
- Consciously honoring the sacrament of eating together by giving thanks for the delight of food and the presence of others.
- Practicing detachment and equanimity by letting go of the “shoulds’ and “shouldn’ts”. Isn’t it the orientation of our heart and not how much or even what we eat that most matters?
Participants will be able to:
Describe how to create a sacred space around food and eating
Apply studies that link spirituality and food to their work
List different ways to cultivate gratitude in relationship with food
Caroline Baerten (Belgium) is a mindfulness-based nutritionist/RD, sommelière and integrative psychotherapist. She specializes in work with disturbed eating behavior and nutrition ecology. She is a certified Mindful Eating, Conscious Living teacher (ME-CL) and serves at the board of The Center for Mindful Eating since 2013.