The Practice of Zen Eating

Momoe explains that Zen eating is a mindful practice from Japanese Zen Buddhism. It's about feeling connected to the planet, not just paying attention to what you eat, but feeling like you're part of something larger.

Zen eating involves mindful consumption of food

Nick: With that, let's talk about how you have applied Zen to eating. So what is Zen eating?

Momoe: Yes, Zen eating is the way you eat, it's mindful eating, but it's inspired by Japanese Zen Buddhism. And it goes beyond more than mindful eating. So ultimately, I'd love you to experience this connectivity that we were talking now, the sense of oneness with the planet.

So through eating one grain of rice, if you imagine where this rice came from, how many people were involved to your one bite, one meal. And so you may imagine soil, the sun, water, rain, air. And if you imagine the generations, you can trace back many generations.

This rice, one grain of rice, is the baby seed. And this baby had father and mother and that father and mother had father and mother. So you can trace back maybe 4.2 billion years old, because there's no gap in between. So connectivity in the dimension of space, and dimension of time, and it goes to future, forward as well.

So this sense of oneness that we are living in a cycle is really important, I think, to experience through Zen eating. In order to experience this oneness, I suggest you to open up your body first. So that's why I usually start when I offer workshops or the experience practicing Zen eating, I usually start with asking you to smell or touch with your hands.

So if you open your five senses, your body, our body is usually sleeping, and we don't pay much attention to our five senses or internal perception, which is like your stomach senses. So that's the gateway, opening up your body and bringing back the connection with your body will lead you to bring back the connection with the planet.