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YOUR Comments & Feedback for The STOP Method
Have you tried the STOP Method? Has it worked for you or helped you to be more mindful? Have you discovered something about it that you'd like to share? Let us know!
Balance and Harmony
Bringing mindfulness to any meal or snack can be difficult. We're not taught to eat this way.
In fact, most of us in our society are very unskilled at eating. Learning to eat the new way---the mindful way---will take time, effort and practice. But there are some strategies you can use right away to increase your mindfulness skills. The STOP Method is one such strategy. To use it is to Stop for Mindfulness.
With the STOP Method, you practice mindful eating for the first four bites of any meal or snack. This is early mind training, ideal for someone just starting out with mindful eating. The STOP Method will help to set the stage for more serious mindfulness work in the future.
The term STOP stands for Savor, Travel, Observe and Pause.
With this first bite you fully enjoy the flavor of your food. You notice all the tastes that develop during the bite. Your mind is fully on the sensation of eating. You chew slowly, deliberately and fully, swallowing only when the food is completely chewed up. Place special attention on complex foods; go deeply into all the flavors and separate them out.
With the second bite, you allow your mind to travel to the source of your food. You see the field, farm, lake, ocean, feed lot, garden or patch of ground where it lived. As you chew this bite, keep your mind on the source.
Bite #3 allows you to observe yourself as an eater. You become aware of the movement of your hand, arm and lips. You follow your teeth, jaws and tongue as you chew. And even when you swallow, you follow the food down to your stomach.
With the fourth bite, you add an extra pause just before you put the food in your mouth. Then, during the bite, you pause in the middle of your chewing, just for a short moment. And when you're done with bite, you add yet one more pause before the next morsel of food.
When you use the STOP Method at the start of a meal, you establish a mindfulness that can serve you during the rest of the meal. The mindful eater knows that only through practice can the skills of eating be learned and mastered.
Comments & Feedback for The STOP Method
We've decided to observe mindfulness quiet at the beginning of each family dinner. We'll pick one of the four parts of the Stop, and just use it with all the kinds of food on the table. For example, one meal will be just O or Observe for all the types of food . This has helped make the rest of the meal more mindful as well.
---Les & Robin, Dallas
This STOP method definitely works for me. Although at first, I had to re-read the stop method before meals, I did, and soon it became second nature. At first, however, I had to remind myself just before sitting down to eat, to so slow down and yes, be mindful. This is just after I say grace, which not only thanks God for the bounty, but also is one step removed from eating quickly, which truly isn't necessary to enjoy the meal.
---Trish, Nice, CA