How did you react to this exercise? Can mindfulness in service to food help us to be more aware of food and to honor food? What other activities did you try in service to food? Let us know what you've experienced.
Balance and Harmony
Practice: Putting Away the Dishes
After the dishes have been washed, the job of putting away dishes has to be done. This is noble work, important work. Approach the task not as an obligation but as a wonderful opportunity to dwell in the present and to honor yet another aspect related to eating. Don’t put away the dishes just to get on to something else. Rather, put away the dishes to put away the dishes, fully aware of each moment.
As you empty the dish drainer or dishwashing machine, take each item one at a time.
Keep you mind fully on that item, its use, its characteristics, its feel.
Put each item away slowly, carefully. Place it in the cupboard or in the drawer so carefully you make no sound. (This takes practice and patience!) Be aware of your muscles and your movements. Feel the weight of each item and sense how your body interacts with it. Sense that you’re doing sacred work here.
If some of the dishes are still wet or damp, dry them slowly and thoroughly with a towel. Savor each moment as you prepare the items for putting away.
If your mind wanders to other thoughts, simply bring it back onto the task at hand.
Continue on this way until all the dishes are put away.
You can use the same approach to any task having to do with kitchen work, such as setting the table, clearing the table, loading the dishwasher or even washing the dishes.
CAMP Basics > Mindful Eating
Mindful eating includes being aware of all the activities that surround food and eating. From setting the table to putting away the last clean silverware, service to food provides endless opportunities to be attentive to our lives.
When we adopt a careful, deliberate way of behaving with any action involving food, we help ourselves stay in the moment and heighten the degree by which we honor food.
The following activity is a simple one and can be done anytime there are clean dishes to put away. Through the lens of mindful Service, this routine chore can be seen as an invitation to be fully in the present and to mindful attention to the tools of eating.