Six Contemplations on the Awareness of Eating

by Denise Ségor These words arose in me while walking along the Springwater Trail in Portland, Oregon, early one spring morning. They came from a chorus of bird song; from the scent of fresh rain on flowers, leaves, bark and earth; from the coolness of air on skin; from the firmness of ground beneath footsteps; from gray and white clouds low in the sky; from trees, bushes, and grasses holding steady and still; from muscles contracting and releasing with the flow of movement; from the swish, swish of swinging arms; from breath entering coolly and exiting warmly; from eyes moving consciously from forward and outward seeing to lowered and inward seeing and back again; and from the quiet volcano hidden in this moment by clouds but visible and erupting always within my heart. They also come from a continuing practice of looking deeply at the nature of my own suffering.

Denise Ségor, Mindful Smile of the Heart, is an aspirant to the Order of Interbeing, practicing with the Joyful Refuge Sangha and the Community of Mindful Living in Portland, Oregon.

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This food and I We are sisters in the cosmos, We are the universe. And the earth, sky, air, water, fire, space, energy and consciousness of the universe All are in us. May we gently, with mindfulness and concentration, Invite our sister food into our body So that our transformations may nourish our collective joy a nd stability. May we transform our unskillful states of mind the knots of panic and fear the bottomless pit of craving And learn the Middle Way, With heart and courage easing the constrictions and control Thus releasing freedom and peace into our body and the world. May we take in the nourishing and life-affirming elements Of our sister earth, Encouraging positive seeds To take root and grow strong within us So we may give back to the earth compassion and healing. May we bring awareness To the continuing transformation Occurring in every moment As our sister food moves through, fills and becomes one with every space and cell of our body And then permeates us out Through our skin, our tears, our sweat, our voices, our movement, our breath and our excrement . . . In every moment reminding us of the fullness of emptiness And the nature of no self. May we commune with her In a pure and grace-filled way So that easily and with peace We may realize The Path of Understanding And the Mind of Love.

—Denise Ségor

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