Mindful Eating Through Chopsticks

| 2/10/2008 2:07:08 PM

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ChopsticksPeople have been eating mindfully since religions started dietary restrictions. Katherine Pioli, writing for Catalyst, figured out that eating with chopsticks helped her achieve a higher level of mindful eating. For almost a year Pioli ate every meal using chopsticks, an exercise that forced her to slow down and think about every bite. “Sometimes I would focus my thoughts on where the food on my plate had come from, the soil and the rain that had fed it,” Pioli writes. “At other times, I kept my awareness on my chewing, my breath and the movement of my hands transferring the food from plate to mouth.”

Bennett Gordon

Photo by MR+G, licensed under Creative Commons.


kathy clarin
2/14/2008 6:57:47 AM

...i didn't think she was suggesting that eating chopsticks is the one responsible for eating slow (just see how fast japanese eats noodles). for her, her chopsticks use facilitated that slowing down. because the point is mindful eating. so if using the knife and fork tandem does the trick for others towards more mindful eating, then go right ahead.

2/12/2008 7:55:35 PM

It's interesting seeing all the judgments people are making. People are even judging the judging. How about everyone taking a nice deep breath, notice how you feel, while allowing someone to have a mindful experience anyway they can.

2/12/2008 5:31:28 PM

What a hilariously condescending group of snobs, knocking one's use of chopsticks in this way. I'm unpleasantly surprised to find such negativity amongst Utne readers.

2/12/2008 4:49:06 PM

I think the observations are right-on. Not condescending at all really. People should be able to point out that billions of people on this planet gobble food daily using chopsticks on the planet without being dubbed negative. For me, the spirituality would be more focused on WHAT I am eating....Is it calorie-laden sweet and sour pork or a nicely steamed veggie?

2/12/2008 4:26:23 PM

What a hilariously condescending group of snobs, knocking one's use of chopsticks in this way. I'm unpleasantly surprised to find such negativity amongst Utne readers.

2/12/2008 1:16:47 PM

Mindful living is in the living. If chopsticks help so be it.

Theresa from Tampa
2/12/2008 12:18:27 PM

If she played 'chopsticks' on the piano while eating every meal, then I would be impressed... http://www.tampabays10.com

2/12/2008 12:12:21 PM

Agree with Taimei. I just worked in Hong Kong for 4 months will all-Chinese team and I can tell you there was nothing slow or mindful about their chopstick use.

2/12/2008 12:10:07 PM

Yes, I've been doing the same... with bare fingers. I puts my whole body in spiritual, mindful contact with my food without the interference of tools. I have been finding soups to be difficult though.

Filipa de Paiva Raposo
2/12/2008 12:04:46 PM

However easy people might find it eating with chopsticks I think its a great idea! Its something different. Like brushing one's teeth with the other hand - it makes one conscious of what one is doing, and that alone can help slow down the process (at least for a while!) Filipa Paiva Raposo, Lisbon, Portugal

Lee Kung
2/12/2008 11:48:29 AM

What a hilariously Eurocentric, East-exoticizing take on chopsticks. She should have seen my four brothers and 2 cousins using our chopsticks to parry, feint, whack, & stab our way through dinner. People got hurt. Dinner disappeared in under 5 minutes.

2/12/2008 11:37:41 AM

all this tells me is that katherine is not very good with chopsticks. i ate every meal with chopsticks for a good five years. after the first couple weeks, you can gobble your food just as quickly as if you'd been using a fork.