mikenz66 wrote:Hi Freawaru,Freawaru wrote:But it is not about seeing things as they are - at least not in the way it is practiced. Feeding is an instinct. A positive instinct. Even our preference for sugar is instinctual. I think to watch instincts at work is an advanced level because they are very deep. To be just mindful of them would not require to see them as loathsome, nor would seeing them as they are. But that is just my idea of it. If you don't get eating disorders afterwards it is okay, I suppose.
Well, looking at our intentions ("instincts" if you like), is a key part of the teachings that I have had. (This is the standard Mahasi approach.) I think you're over-interpreting the word "loathsome". As I said, if you eat mindfully on a retreat you start to realise the drawbacks, including the way the nice food draws your mind to it, and the not so nice repels it, the amount of time it takes, the way it makes you feel sleepy afterwards, how you have to excrete it later, etc, etc. Perhaps "Tediousness of food" would be a better translation...
I might add that I have not done this as a "primary practise", just at mealtimes. Other times it's regular walking and sitting. If I were to use it as my primary meditation practise I'd want to have the guidance of a teacher.
I agree - this is a very good practice. As you know I like the Mahasi approach.
I would also include really tasting the food into this kind of practice. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu teaches this approach in "Practical Dependent Origination" (if I recall rightly it was this book of his). Though the Thais probably suffer less in this way - but our modern fast food cultures leads us to just gore it down without really tasting. To become aware of the sense gate "taste" one has to develop it - not to destroy it, right?
It is also interesting to observe the need of the body during different situations. When I am in stress I note an increase of desire for sugar and chocolate, during the winter (less sunshine) I notice a desire for fish, but less milk, And when I do a lot of sport I need food with more substance (always say no to chocolate then).