A Beautiful Awakening

She was sitting some distance away from me. Alone, just like me. We were both waiting patiently. Our eyes met and we shared a smile.  Then she got busy looking out of the window and I scrutinised the busy scene around me.

People were coming and going, there was the sound of conversation and laughter in the air. Life was unfolding at a leisurely pace that Saturday afternoon… Next time I glanced at her she had covered her head and her hands were folded, she had bowed her head and seemed to be saying a prayer…for the food the waiter had placed in front of her…at that time it almost seemed like a very brave thing to do in full public view. Yet, here she was, in a busy restaurant, oblivious to the curiosity of strangers and the sniggers of some. Giving thanks…

Since then till now, such a scene has never repeated itself in front of me. Mostly food is consumed almost unconsciously, conversation flowing between mouthfuls, phone calls being attended while holding a piece of bread in the hand..

At a retreat conducted by the venerable Thic Naht Hahn, he introduced us to food meditation. In this, we were all given a fruit.

Before eating it, we were asked to savour it’s colour, texture and fragrance. Then we were asked to think about the many people who’s contribution had made it possible for this fruit to be in our hand. And finally, we were asked to savour every bite with every sense we have and relish it to the fullest…in silence.

It was a beautiful awakening…by two very different yet very evolved souls…

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