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We are heading into the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. How can we prepare to express our gratitude for all that we have received from God, particularly the wondrous gift of the Incarnation? A practice of mindful eating can begin to ground us in the Presence of God which is the “reason for the season”.
Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention in the present moment without judgment and with self-compassion. As Christians, we believe that we meet God, the source of love and life, there. Mindful eating, as taught today, is a secular practice developed from Buddhist teachings. However, Christian contemplatives have also explored mindfulness. Some examples are Thomas Keating’s “attention/intention” practice, the recent Spirituality & Practice workshop “Practicing the Presence of God” by Contemplative Outreach, and the Welcoming Prayer and Breath Prayers.
A practice of mindful eating can increase our sense of the divine indwelling throughout our day. It can also help us access the inner wisdom of our bodies that we frequently do not hear or heed.
These sessions are designed for you to experience mindful eating. We will meet at lunchtime on four Tuesdays in October for a small meal or snack, starting with an embodied mindfulness meditation that includes prayer. Then we will savor a snack or meal individually chosen and briefly discuss what we noticed during this tasting. Guidelines for mindful eating will be shared. Sessions will run from noon to 1:15 pm. October 3, 10, 17 and 24. There will be an opportunity for a reunion meeting in mid-November as preparation for the holidays, and another in mid-January to reflect on our experiences.
Another goal of these sessions is to start healing our often-troubled relationship with food and our bodies. However, these sessions are not designed for those with a diagnosed eating disorder or for those currently committed to a weight loss regimen.
The facilitator, Rosemarie Oliver, is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist who has worked in the field of nutritional practice since 1978. She became interested in Mindful Eating in 2010, became an MB-EAT (Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training) qualified instructor in October 2020, and obtained a Certificate in Mindful Eating offered by The Center for Mindful Eating in January 2022. Rosemarie is also an oblate at St. Placid Priory, a Benedictine monastery in Lacey, Washington, and a new parishioner at St. Barnabas. She can be reached at 206-557-8184 (text/voice) or by e-mail, click here.
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