Are you someone who enjoys cooking, or do you mostly view it as a chore? If you’re someone who likes to cook, then you’re probably already practicing mindfulness when you cook, even if you don’t realize it. However, if you’re someone who thinks of it as a chore, I’m going to share with you how can turn ordinary cooking into a session of mindfulness meditation.
When you’re in the kitchen, what do you normally find yourself thinking about? Where is your mind? Is it focused intently on what you’re doing, or is it somewhere else? When cooking becomes a routine, your mind treats it as such; the gears switch over to autopilot, and after enough practice, the process itself is the last thing you’re thinking about while doing it.
Here’s how you can change that…
Cook a slow meal, a meal that takes a good amount of time and patience. For the purposes of this exercise, it’s important that you cook something that takes a long time – at least 30 to 45 minutes. Making a gluten-free sandwich or an organic salad just isn’t going to cut it. Stews, herb roasted chicken and casseroles work best for this.
Once you’ve decided on your meal, begin prepping the ingredients. As you prepare your meal, make sure you are focusing intently on what you are doing. Pay attention to the way the knife feels when it hits the cutting board; listen to the sound it makes. Be on the lookout for any smells that emerge as you slice and dice foods. If your mind begins to stray, redirect it on the task.
Put your meal on the stove or in the oven, slow cooker, etc. and set a timer. Then find a comfy place nearby where you can sit down and wait.
As you are waiting, pay attention to your meal as it cooks. Listen to hear if you can hear any sounds being made while your meal is cooking; continually sniff the air and see if you can notice any smells – eventually you will. Once you can smell your food, keep paying attention and see if you can notice the smell(s) change over time. Lastly, pay attention to what your mind wants to do during this time. Is it engaged in the experience? Is it trying to wander? You don’t have to critique it; you just have to notice it.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.