Does mindless eating feel more common than mindful eating? You’re not alone. Our obsession with convenience, grab-and-go and eating in front of computer screens isn’t doing us right. Digestion suffers. Connection with others is disrupted. And our relationship to food is damaged.

To bring us into awareness of our eating, all that it connects us to, impacts and nourishes, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist living at Plum Village meditation center in France, has written Contemplations Before Eating.

New Contemplations Before Eating

This food is a gift of the Earth, the sky, numerous living beings,

and much hard and loving work.

May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.

May we recognize and transform unwholesome mental formations,

especially our greed and learn to eat with moderation.

May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change,

and heals and preserves our precious planet.

We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our Sangha [community], and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

— from Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2007 “Blue Cliff Letter,” Plum Village

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