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Savouring: the gateway drug of Mindfulness

So by now you’ll all know that practicing Mindfulness is good for you

“But it’s so bloody boring and I get distracted so easily.”

*Sigh*

Yes, it can, at first seem that way.
But there’s a cheat code for Mindfulness, a backdoor entry point that I think will facilitate your practice and level up quicker.

To be able to savour the moment is to live in paradise.

A photo posted by Al Whitton (@alittlerock) on

As spoilt, nanny-state living soft ass westerners, we’re all about the good times, all about our ‘feels’ (I’m going to put the guy responsible for this linguistic meme asleep should I meet him).

Many of us are swaddled, self indulgent and consumed by our own feelings that we struggle to perceive anything outside of ourselves.
And that’s why modern life is rubbish. Trying to make ourselves consistently happy is making us miserable, for the main part.

Hardship, challenge and service to others is where it’s at as far as authentic feelgoods, but damn it’s a hard sell.

So I found myself asking the question:

Is there any way to make it easier for those with the desire to have a better experience of themselves to start down that path?

Imagine a life less cluttered with navel gazing and the constant desire to consume information, food, booze, drugs, clothes and other materialistic ends.

Well, one way it can start with is by ‘Savouring’.

It sounds harder than it is, it’s simply squeezing every last drop of pleasure out of any given joy, by placing all of your focus on the thing, and the different elements that make up the experience.

Here’s how, as an example, using the ‘Raisin Technique’ (Yes I made up that name). I pinched this partially from Martin Seligman (who almost certainly pinched if off some super blissed out Monk).

1.
Pick up raisin.

2.
Feel weight of raisin. It does have weight, you need to pay attention to notice it.

3.
Observe raisin. See its tiny peaks and troughs, its little nubbin.

4.
Consider how it changed from grape to raisin, the Sun, water and soil and people that helped it grow.

5.
Consider how far that little guy has travelled just to bless your body and top you up with Boron

6.
Smell the raisin (eyes closed works better)

7.
Hear the raisin, hold it up to your ear and roll it in your fingers. Listen to the waxy little crackles it makes as you do.

8.
Place raisin on mouth, don’t chew. Await salivatory response.

9.
Close eyes, roll eyes down, right down, imagining you are looking through roof of mouth at tongue. For reasons I don’t know nor care about, this seems to heighten the gustatory experience and increase your focus on the taste – Thx Michael Perez for that technique

10.
Start to chew S-L-O-W-L-Y, moving the morsel into different areas of your mouth and tongue. Different parts of your tongue pick on different taste components – ie salty sour, bitter, sweet, umami (savoury).

11.
Feel the humble raisin turn into micro-jam in your mouth, then hold on before you swallow!

12.
Pay attention to the swallowing action. Feel the little perk of pleasure/satisfaction you get as you do so.

13. *GRATITUDE BONUS* For fun, the grateful to the little raisin for the spark of energy and vits it’s giving you, and be grateful for your lif, health, and well, basically everything.

Now obviously you won’t be doing this for every mouthful of food you smash down your gullet, but you will, with a few practice runs of this, get into the mindset of slowing down and being more in the moment and being more appreciative.
This can really with help your levels of wellbeing for sure, it does for me at least.

So, in closing, for me and perhaps you, easiest path to an increased ability to be in the moment was through savouring pleasure.

Give it a go.

Credo!

After today’s brutal grind at #mhbjj bubble bath and beer is heaven. #savouring

A photo posted by Al Whitton (@alittlerock) on

  1. Cherie NewlandCherie Newland02-08-2016

    Alan, love your statement “Hardship, challenge and service to others is where it’s at as far as authentic feelgoods, but damn it’s a hard sell.” so true on many levels.

    Spoiler alert!!! I’m about to offer you “For reasons I don’t know nor care about…”

    The M. Perez eyes down and right creates a synesthesia t/k (taste-feeling) you could do eyes down left and get an internal dialog to go along with that raisin. I like to close my eyes and let my tongue which has the taste buds do the work, then let the k (feeling) come un-interferred. For me, it is easier to make ‘taste’ distinctions without the synesthesia and still the k textures present themselves of their own accord. To each his own.

    LOL alert!!!
    I thought men only enjoyed a soak in the tub when a woman was there… who knew the bottle of beer thing? Man-Secrets revealed… football and mud transforms into bubbles and beer. Some cocoon you got there 😀

    Cherie

    P.S. I’m presenting spirituality classes every Tue evening and currently working on 2 intro level workshops for NLP……….AND have almost completed the follow-up blog promised to you on TRUST.