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A popular query asks: If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
Here’s the chronic dieter’s version: If no one sees me eat it, have I really eaten it?
The temptation is not so much in the food we eat, but in the tendency to look away. Even when no one else is looking, we see ourselves eat, and we are who matters most.
Ayurvedic wisdom for a contemporary dilemma
Ayurveda, the ancient system of health and healing indigenous to India, poses a relevant question: If you don’t pay attention to what you eat, why would your body?
According to Ayurveda, since illness starts with indigestion, it makes sense to do what we can to optimize our digestion.
Digestion starts with awareness. If you don’t pay attention, your body doesn’t pay attention, and if your body doesn’t pay attention, it doesn’t digest food effectively.
You know what happens to food you forget to store properly; it rots. The same thing happens to food your body doesn’t digest. Undigested food lingers as toxic waste in your system, impeding the natural functions of the body, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get in the way of your health and happiness.
You could easily change that.
A timeless way to enjoy your food
Next time you are about to put something in your mouth, pause a moment to notice your state, what you’re thinking and how you feel. Pause a moment longer to notice the food. Start enjoying it — and digesting it — with your eyes and your nose, before it enters your mouth.
Once you’ve engaged your attention, you’ll likely savor your food, and actually chew it, making it easier to digest, and more satisfying.
We are nourished not only by what we eat, but by our own attention.
Mindfulness. Awareness. Be. Here. Nowness.