Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Jon Kabat-Zinn on Eating Raisins Mindfully
We should be mindful in every single moment, no matter how trivial. In the lecture, Mindfulness Meditations in Everyday Life, Jon Kabat-Zinn, an influential mindfulness leader, discusses the importance of eating raisins consciously. Instead of pouring a bag of raisins down our throats, we should savior, enjoy, and eat each raisin one-by-one. Eating raisins in this mindful way allows us to fully appreciate the taste, origin, and texture of these dried grapes. We should then translate the mindfulness we bring to eating raisins to all other aspects of our lives.
Here is an excerpt from his lecture, where he discusses the importance of habitually participating in a meditation practice.
I had it in my mind and it may actually execute if we could figure out some way to do it, to do that little raisin eating exercise which you saw on (Bill) Moyers, or may have seen on Moyers, just because it serves a very important function in the way that we teach meditation in the hospital and in other areas of sort of more mainstream societies and Buddhist meditation centers, where they also use that exercise, which is where I learned it. I was just taking one little aspect of our experience, in this case a raisin, and instead of eating raisins the way we usually do, to eat one raisin mindfully. By the way, take one and do not eat it okay? Part of you is going to want to or throw it at somebody or whatever. Just hold onto it for now.
There is something about talking about meditation that is very seductive. I like doing it and other people like doing it and listening about it. It is really quite wonderful, but then when all is said and done, you have had a lot of talk and what this work is really about is connecting up with the present moment in a particular kind of way. It really is a funny kind of dualism between something that it is wonderful to do together with the support of other people but absolutely essential that you can, in fact, do this on your own when no one else is around. Absolutely essential.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the foremost instructors of mindfulness meditation in this country. He is a Professor of Medicine at Umass Medical School, and the creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which is now used in over 200 medical centers around the world. Kabat-Zinn has a deep interest in harmonizing science and spirituality.
Check out the rest of the Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life lecture here, and other quality Kabat-Zinn lectures and guided meditations here.