Posted in Life Writing, Mindful Monday

Savoring Blackberries in the Sun: A Mindful Monday Food Meditation

Hi there, and welcome to Mindful Monday, where I practice and share my explorations into living a life of self-awareness and intention. Are you ready to go deeper?

How do you eat? How do you feel when you eat?

Have you ever taken the time to really notice?

Last week, I shared the way a post over at Silver Threading led me to explore a new form of meditation. I promised that I would share my first eating meditation this week, and here I am to do just that.

I began with the idea that I would pick sun-ripened blackberries off the bush at the edge of our backyard. Then, I followed the steps here, and savored five and a half blackberries – the first I’d tasted this season.

Blackberries in the Sun….and ready for some mindful attention.

1. Create space:

  • It was a lovely, sunny day, and, although I debated sitting in my study, I decided to sit in the front yard, in my camp chair, and allow the berries to sustain me in the open air that gave them life.

2. Put your food in front of you, and consider it.

  • Five and a half blackberries (one fell apart while I was picking it; the other half fell to the ground to nourish another living thing, or to create new life) in my favorite stoneware bowl. They are plum, a dark purple-black, with their segments bumpy and yet smooth beneath my fingers. Their stem ends sport a deep red coloring, and they’ve released a bit of red-purple juice on my fingers and in the bowl. They smell of warmth and a tangy, fertile sweetness.

3. Think about its origins:

  • I bought our blackberry bush for $6.99 at Country Living, a local business I’ve been supporting since I was a little girl staring at the halters and desperate to have a horse of my own to put in one. The children were small then, and it took me so long to get around to planting it that it was little more than a stick when it was settled into the ground, and, when it didn’t burst forth the following spring, I was convinced that I’d killed it.

  • But the next year it came up, a little strong live thing, and, after that, it thrived, getting bigger every year. This year, it’s a thicket that shelters a rabbit warren, and assorted birds, and potentially a groundhog the kids have dubbed Wiggy –

  • I picked the berries myself, and carried them to my created space in the front yard. I pricked my hand a time or two, in the harvesting – blackberries taken from the bush may come at a cost.

4. Taste it.

  • The idea is to eat one bite at a time, taking the time feel its texture in your mouth, explore its taste. The blackberries were tartly sweet, earthy, warm, and smooth in my mouth. As I applied slight pressure, the little bulbs broke open, with their juices flowing, offering an assortment of vitamins and nutrients, their seeds small and hard within. My teeth crushed a few, but I spit a few out to maybe plant later, returning them to the cycle of life. The husks within, from which the berries grew, are slightly spiky, and I don’t eat them.

5. Notice your heart.

  • While I ate the berries, I felt happy and calm, grateful for the gift my blackberry bush offered – to me, and to the animals that are protected and sustained by its annual bounty. I was also a little awestruck at the workings of nature – yes, I purchased and planted the bush, but, other than an occasional pruning of the dead canes, the bush needs no upkeep or tending. It does what it does naturally….there’s something to be learned and absorbed in that, I think…

6. Pause between bites.

  • Each bite is meant to be savored and richly experienced. I took a berry or a bite of one into my mouth, and then kept my hands off the others. It took me about ten minutes to eat five and a half blackberries mindfully. At the end of the meditation, I spent a moment more considering the husks and the berries I saved, and then I rose and went inside, my hunger satiated and my soul full.

Joyfully Homegrown, Together. Annalise and the blackberry bush.

I’ve set a goal to do this meditation once weekly, to begin, and to sample a variety of foods during it. It won’t always be a food grown and harvested here in our yard, but I will follow these steps, and connect with it, each time. And, eventually, as this becomes a more natural process, I will increase the frequency with which I practice.

So, back to those questions I asked at the beginning of this post:

How do you eat? How do you feel when you eat?

Have you ever taken the time to really notice?

If you’re so inclined, leave me a message in the comments. I love hearing your perspectives! =D

Find more Mindful Monday at Silver Threading.

 

Potential for Deeper Mindfulness….stay tuned.

 

Author:

I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

4 thoughts on “Savoring Blackberries in the Sun: A Mindful Monday Food Meditation

    1. Thank you so much, COlleen! I’ve had a bit of a tumultuous time with computer issues, and, even though I didn’t see this right away, it brightens my life.

      I’m still percolating a perspectives post…eventually, it will pour out of me, and I’ll send it on to you.

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