Learning How To Meditated For A Healthy Mind For A Healthy Body
The Raisin meditation
Set aside five to ten minutes when you can be alone, in a place, and at a time,
when you will not be disturbed by the phone, family or friends. Switch
off your mobile phone, so it doesn't play on your mind. You will need a
few raisins (or other dried fruit or small nuts).You'll also need a piece of
paper and a pen to record your reactions afterwards. Your task will be to eat the
fruit or nuts in a mindful way, much as you ate the chocolate.
Read the instructions below to get an idea of what's required,
and only reread them if you really need to. The spirit in which you do
the meditation is more important than covering every instruction in
minute detail. You should spend about twenty to thirty seconds on each
of the following eight stages:
Take one of the raisins (or your choice of dried fruit or nuts) and
hold it in the palm of your hand, or between your fingers and
thumb. Focusing on it, approach it as if you have never seen anything
like it before. Can you feel the weight of it in your hand? Is
it casting a shadow on your palm?
Take the time really to see the raisin. Imagine you have never seen one before.
Look at it with great care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it.
Examine the highlights where the light shines; the darker hollows, the folds and
Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture. How
does it feel between the forefinger and thumb of the other hand?
Now, holding it beneath your nose, see what you notice with each
In-breath. Does it have a scent? Let it fill your awareness. And if
there is no scent or very little, notice this as well.
Slowly take the object to your mouth and notice how your hand
and arm know exactly where to put it And then gently place it in
your mouth, noticing what the tongue does to 'receive' it. Without
chewing, simply explore the sensations of having it on your tongue.
Gradually begin to explore the object with your tongue, continuing for
thirty seconds or more if you choose.
When you're ready, consciously take a bite into the raisin and
notice the effects on the object, and in your mouth. Notice any
tastes that it releases. Feel the texture as your teeth bite into it.
Continue slowly chewing it, but do not swallow it just yet. Notice
what is happening in the mouth.
See if you can detect the first intention to swallow as it arises in
your mind, experiencing it with full awareness before you actually
swallow. Notice what the tongue does to prepare it for swallowing.
See if you can follow the sensations of swallowing the raisin
If you can consciously sense it as it moves into your stomach.
And if you don't swallow it all in one go, consciously notice a
second or even a third swallows, until it has all gone. Notice what
the tongue does after you have swallowed.
Finally, spend a few moments registering the aftermath of this
eating. Is there an aftertaste? What does the absence of the raisin
feel like? Is there an automatic tendency to look for another?
Now take a moment to write down anything that you noticed when you
were doing the practice. Here's what some people who've attended our
The smell for me was amazing I'd never noticed that before.
'I felt pretty stupid, like I was in art school or something.'
'I thought how ugly they looked ... small and wrinkled, but
the taste was very different from what I would normally
have thought it tasted like. It was quite nice actually.'
'I tasted this one raisin more than the twenty or so I usually
stuff into my mouth without thinking.'
The Chocolate meditation
Choose some chocolate - either a type that you've never tried
before or one that you have not eaten recently. It might be dark
and flavoursome,organic or fair-trade or whatever you choose.
The important thing is to choose a type you wouldn't normally eat
or that you consume only rarely. Here goes:
Open the packet Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.
Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in
what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny.
Pop it in your mouth. See if it's possible to hold it on your
tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it.
Chocolate has over three hundred different flavours. See if
you can sense some of them.
If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply
notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment
After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very
slowly and deliberately Let it trickle down your throat.
Repeat this with the next piece.
How do you feel? Is it different from normal? Did the chocolate
taste better than if you'd just eaten it at a normal breakneck pace?
If we can teach our children, they will learn a great tool to applied in their life