“Tasting Mindfulness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you have been getting my blog, you might have noticed that I recently changed the name from Tips for Mindful Eating: it’s more than just about food to Tasting Mindfulness.  This new name resulted from a project I recently completed with a group of four fantastic journalism students here at the University of Missouri.  They insisted I needed a consistent name for all my social media outlets (i.e. blog, facebook, twitter). So, back in February I left on a trip to Costa Rica with the charge of coming back with the right name.

The Costa Rica trip involved doing a lot of yoga, meditation, nature gazing, andeating fabulously fresh food.  In between yoga postures and gazing at the palm trees I would sit down and write names that might describe the essence of what I wanted to convey with my weekly writings.  The name that seemed to capture the idea of mindful eating and more was “tasting mindfulness.”  You can taste your food but you can also taste your life.  And the more mindfully you taste both of them, the more healthy and whole you become.

I happened to know Jon Kabat-Zinn had written a profound poem entitled “Tasting Mindfulness” published at the beginning of a chapter about embracing formal practice in his book Coming to Our Senses; and I wouldn’t have felt right using the name without asking Jon’s permission first.  I felt a little hesitant but, as I often do when fear arises, I use that as an opportunity to grow and plunge right in.  I emailed Jon explaining what I wanted to do and how much the poem had meant to me over the years.  My first reading (and many readings since) moved me to tears. The pure essence of mindfulness seems to pour out of his words with such clarity that I just have to stop and breathe in the possibility of what he’s talking about.  I hope you take a moment now to do the same.

Tasting Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Have you ever had the experience of stopping so completely,
of being in your body so completely,
of being in your life so completely,
that what you knew and what you didn’t know,
that what had been and what was yet to come,
and the way things are right now
no longer held even the slightest hint of anxiety or discord?
It would be a moment of complete presence, beyond striving, beyond mere
beyond the desire to escape or fix anything or plunge ahead,
a moment of pure being, no longer in time,
a moment of pure seeing, pure feeling,
a moment in which life simply is,
and that “is-ness” grabs you by all your senses,
all your memories, by your very genes,
by your loves, and
welcomes you home.”

Pause and breath to take it in and to take in this moment in your life.

By now I’m sure you’ve surmised that Jon was most gracious in granting me the use of the words “Tasting Mindfulness.”   You can find my musings here and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TastingMindfulness and Twitter: Twitter.com/DrLynnRossy