Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Secret Sits

Sigh....this is not my sweetheart.
I just had a textbook demonstration of our collective mindlessness sucking the richness out of experience.  It was at a Royal Wood concert.  What?  You don’t know Royal Wood?  Well, as they say on the good ol’ CBC (which you obviously don’t listen to), your next favourite song is right here. Or here.

His voice is resonant as a cello.  His songs are Michael Ondaatje novels, or maybe Tom Thomson paintings.  His live shows are aesthetically satisfying in so very many ways.  You know that corny term “dreamboat”?  This is a man to whom you could apply that word without irony.  I mean, he closed his show with his own adaptation of my favourite Robert Frost poem.  Mercy.

Excuse me.  I’m getting carried away.

Anyway, there was this moment in the show.  The intimate little theatre was dark and still, with a single spotlight glowing on him. He was at the grand piano, carefully drawing the song to a close.  Before he could conclude the audience started in with the clapping.  It was so unsatisfying.  Even he seemed a little frustrated, like we cut him off before he got to his final point.

Wait for it.  This post actually relates to mindful eating.

This happens at movies too.  I didn’t mind people getting up before the credits of American Hustle at the multiplex, but when I’ve just had my mind blown in some moving or thought-provoking way at the local art-house theatre, I’d like to sit for a quiet moment before the lights come up.  Where’s everybody in a big hurry to get to?  It’s not like there’s going to be a traffic jam on the sidewalk as they walk home.

I’ve realized I do this same thing pretty much every time I eat - as do most people, I’ve observed.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a square of my new favourite mint dark chocolate, or a delicious (or mediocre) meal I’ve cooked.  Before I’ve finished chewing the last bite, I’m outta my chair and on to the next thing.  Filled my gut; time to hit something else on the to-do list.

Ridiculous, isn’t it?  So, my practice lately has been to try to notice the urge to wrap things up before the last bite has reached my belly, and to just PAUSE.

At the end of a yoga class we don’t put on our sneaks and scram.  We rest in corpse pose – sometimes for a long time.  And then we sit.  And then we chant Om.  There’s a reason for this.  Why not treat our meals with the same appreciation? 

Way back in the early days of my yoga life, I sometimes left the class before the final savasana.  Too busy to lay around doing nothing!  This was a lie, of course.  I was a grad student.  I had nothing to do but find ways to avoid finishing my thesis.  I really didn’t get the point of yoga back then.

I’m more aware now.  Taking a moment to appreciate my food with some gracious thoughts at the beginning of my meal still eludes me, but I can remember to rest in satiety after eating.  I used to be a premature clapper too.  But where’s the pleasure in that?
Sigh...THIS is my sweetheart.  Making me coffee in our outdoor kitchen.
That's way dreamier than playing the piano.

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