24 April 2015
Mindfulness and Weight Related Disorders
Buddhism began in Northern India during the 5th century B.C.E. when a young prince named Siddhartha gave up his royal duties to enter a spiritual life through meditation. After six years he attainted enlightenment and from here went on to teach how to attain a life free of suffering. Meditation is the way you are to understand ones mind and learn how to control it. “As our mind becomes more positive our actions become more constructive, and our experience of life becomes more satisfying and beneficial to others,” (“About Buddhism”). Throughout history there have been many different ...view middle of the document...
During the being, the concept of mindfulness may seem intimidating and completely out of ones reach. When in actually there is a very easy strategy to help maintain awareness. During meditation sessions we were instructed to remain focused on our breath. The breath is always in the present moment and will anchor you to consciousness and awareness. Whether we would count to 10 over and over again in our heads or focus simply on the in and out breath each time, our breath held us in that present moment each and every time. If the mind wandered, it was important to notice this a return back to the breath. In these sessions a million things would run through my head whether it was stress due to an upcoming exam or what I was going to eat after class. When these thoughts arose, I simply went back to concentrating on my breathing. First, it was very hard for me to even notice I was thinking about so many things but after a little practice I got the hang of it completely. I never thought that simply sitting with my breath would change my mood or feelings but it really did help to calm me most of the time. Allowing myself to simply just be present in that time relieved myself of everything causing me pain from the past or future. “The simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment and all the richness of experience that it contains. It is a way to develop mindfulness, the faculty of alert and sensitive awareness,” (“What is Buddhism?”). By disciplining our mind, you become completely in control of both physical and mental attributes of the body.
During a class exercise devoted to mindfulness, we were instructed to eat a raisin. However, we were not allowed to just eat this raisin, we had to be mindful throughout the entire process. The instructions were simple, examine the raisin, smell the raisin, listen to the raisin, feel the raisin, tell yourself you are going to eat the raisin, place the raisin in your mouth and allow yourself to feel the raisin on your tongue then slowly chew and enjoy the raisin. I mean, isn’t that how everyone eats their raisins? The whole process took a few minutes from when we picked the raisin up to when we finished swallowing it. This concept was very strange to me but allowed me to fully grasp the idea behind mindfulness practice. Throughout all our breathing meditation I understood what we were aiming for but with this example it allowed me to connect it to my everyday life. While meditating I was always in that present moment, but outside of meditation I had never been mindful of my actions. This left me thinking of all the things I do throughout the day with out even noticing or that I don’t pay enough attention to. I have never in my life ate anything the way I did with the raisin and it allowed me to realized that while I am eating I am never in that present moment and enjoying my food. To be honest, I intake a lot of food daily without being mindful of what it is and luckily I am not...