|Joy is what we experience when we feel a wholehearted sense of appreciation, contentment or happiness. We can experience joy in our bodies, as a sensation of warmth or tingling … even a felt sense of opening, exhilaration or ease. Joy can present as a powerful elation or as a quiet delight. When we allow ourselves to be present to the fullness of this moment, with curiosity and open awareness, we create opportunities for joy to arise more often than if we’re on autopilot. And through the attention-grabbing process of savoring, we can increase the frequency or duration of joyful experiences.|
To this end, I invite you to take an opportunity to join me in a guided savoring practice. Below is the written transcript of the audio that is also attached here. To prepare, you may gather something to eat or drink, like a cup of your favorite soup or a glass of ice-cold lemonade. Then begin your practice, and see what you notice!
| We begin a savoring practice as we do all mindfulness exercises, with the breath. Take a deep breath in. Deep intentional breath. Notice the sensations of the air moving through your nose, hearing the sound of your breath. Now allowing the breath to be just as it is, not trying to change it. Just breathing … allowing the body and mind to settle, and finding some stillness.|
Noticing now the food you’ve prepared for yourself and that you’ve placed in front of you, taking it in with your eyes. Exploring it with curiosity, noticing its color and other visible qualities. Spend another moment, contemplating the food in front of you. How has it come to the plate? What and who might have been involved? Can you see the sun and rain in your food? What do you notice arise in you when you consider everything it took for this food to be in front of you? Especially when you consider there are many people in the world today who are still hungry. As Thich Naht Hahn reminds us: “As you wait to serve yourself or be served, look at the food and smile to it … It contains sunshine, clouds, the sky, the Earth, the farmer, everything.”
Returning now to your breath noticing your breathing for a breath or two. Then breathing in the aroma of this food in front of you. Allowing the fragrance to arrive at your nose, noticing the qualities of the aroma … spicy, nutty, sweet. As you begin to bring the food to your mouth in whatever way is appropriate, notice the changes in your body, and what thoughts or emotions arise. Savor each taste — each sip or bite — tuning into the flavors as you slowly, intentionally, mindfully savor this food.
Maybe consider pausing this recording now, as you take an opportunity to continue to mindfully savor your food.
Once you are done, bring your attention back to the breath. Coming out of these savoring practices, we often feel a sense of deep gratitude, awe and joy. Savor these experiences too, as you allow your attention to rest on the breath, and on joy, until you are ready to return to your day, hopefully bringing this sense of appreciation and delight into each new moment as it arises.
|Do you need support returning to Sangha on Tuesday evenings? Are you out of your mindfulness practice? Join one of our groups during the week, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up individualized mindfulness coaching to get back in the routine!|
Sending love and kindness,
Nikki and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty
Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance.