time to eat or time to feel?

bad buddhist vs. the sixth precept is the title of a blog post by marie that was submitted to the last carnival of eating disorders. i was quite intrigued by it and would like to talk a bit more about it.

buddhist precepts, says diane esshin rizzetto in waking up to what you do

can be thought of as a beacon of light, much like a lighthouse beacon that warns sailors that they are entering dangerous waters and guides them on course … pay attention! look! listen! … the precepts are offered and received as tools to help free us from domination by the ever-changing stream of thoughts, feelings and sensations.

there is a varying number of precepts (5, 10, 227 …). marie talks about the precept to abstain from taking untimely meals.

in observing the sixth precept, the lay buddhist eats one or two simple meals between dawn and noon and avoids taking food beyond that. this cuts down the time spent on meals and allows him more time to spend on meditation.

yes, what do you want to spend your time on? no matter how we look at time, we only have a limited supply of it. come to think of it, do we want to “spend” it or do we want to “use” it?

watching TV and mindlessly crunching potato chips would definitely fall under the “spending” category. it goes into the “expenses” column – and not an expense in the form of investment. actually, it’s an investment in liabilities.

marie goes on

i think the question of timeliness makes the most sense to me in these terms: is it time to be present and mindful of what i’m eating, or is it time to be present and mindful of what i’m feeling?

what a great question. a question that extends, i believe, beyond eating. just as most issues around eating disorders go beyond eating.

  • is it time to listen right now, or time to talk?
  • is it time to sleep?
  • is it time to pay attention to my child right now, or to answer this email?
  • questions that go right back to what rizzetto says about the precepts:

    pay attention! look! listen!

    please read the rest of marie’s article. she’s got a great sense of humour, and she also has a beautiful description of thich nhat hanh’s eating meditation on her post.

    (this post was part of the 111th carnival of healing)

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