The Raisin Exercise: Eating With Mindfulness [Script]
Jon Kabat-Zinn has given the raisin exercise a firm place in the mindfulness curriculum. This article presents you this practice with the raisin and extends it to multiple foods. This exercise will focus your attention on the food. It’s always a good idea to eat mindfully during your meal anyway. Read along for the script…
Mindful Eating (The Raisin Exercise) – The script for the exercise
- Notice the food in front of you with your full attention.
- Feel what your body needs.
- As you watch the food, notice if there is an increasing production of saliva in your mouth.
- Take your time to choose one object.
- Watch your arm, hand and fingers as it moves towards the food, then your hand picks up the food.
- Focus with clear awareness at every moment of this experience, as if you have just arrived on Earth and this stuff is something you have never encountered before.
- Start discovering it with all your senses. Start by looking at it like you’ve never seen it before. Scan it. Discover every part of the object with your eyes while it is on your palm or between your fingers.
- Turn it around. Notice the texture, the light reflected on it, and the shape. Notice whether it is soft or hard, rough or smooth.
- And notice the thoughts should they arise. Maybe “Why am I doing this?” and see if you can just notice the thought and allow it to be there as it is. See if you can then return your consciousness to the object in your hands.
- Bring the object up to your nose, and gently notice its scent.
- Bring it to one ear and squeeze or roll it between your fingers and notice the sound coming out.
- Put the object in your mouth, or take a bite if it is large. Don’t chew it, just feel it in your mouth. Feel all the stimuli it gives into your mouth.
- You may feel your urge to bite into it. Does the object automatically move to one side of your mouth? Notice when the flavor is released as you slowly start chewing. Notice the changes in the form of the food until you become aware of your impulse to swallow, and feel the food continue down your throat and into your stomach. Notice the remains in your mouth if they are there.
- Now notice the stimuli and effects of this exercise as you notice how your body sits in the chair.
- You have finished this exercise, but if you want to experience the essence of this exercise, you can do this exercise with just a raisin.
Appreciate the time you took today to do this mindfulness exercise.