Crashing Meditation At Lunch

October 9, 2009

One of the things that it is recommended that you are mindful about is eating. This means when you eat you eat. You think about your food and the process of eating. For the past, oh, I don’t know, 50 years or so, I have eaten while reading (Well, maybe not reading when I was 2…), watching TV, driving (also not while I was 2), talking with someone. What this means is that I don’t pay attention to my food. I might really taste the first bite, but after that I’m in the zone of whatever ELSE I’m doing besides eating.

Since becoming Meditator Tot I’ve been trying to convince myself to eat mindfully… to at least give it a try. But I haven’t been successful until today. When I’m ready to eat I’m just tired and, ugh. I don’t want to think about it. I want to watch TV and zone out, or read a book. Today I was driving between offices looking for a place to get a salad, and decided, this is the day. I’m not taking any reading material into the restaurant. I’m just going to eat and be with my food.

I looked pretty hard to find a decent place to have a salad, even drove out of my way. I finally settled on a Chili’s, knowing it wasn’t the best place to be mindful. But it beat McDonald’s. My other options were Wendy’s and a Mexican place. Chili’s it was.

It was pretty crowded so I had to wait for a table to be cleared. I sat mindfully on the waiting bench looking at a sign that offered house wine for $3.50. Hm… I was attracted to that idea. No. It’s lunch time. There’s work yet to be done. People to impress. Others to placate. Order hot tea.

The hostess directs me to a table with a lovely view into the kitchen. I could see the stove and a couple of bobbing heads. A waitress (also known as a female waiter) stopped at my desk with a full tray of empty dishes and asked if I would like a glass of iced tea. I said yes, and at that moment a waiter of the male variety dashed through bumping her elbow and hurling her tray across the floor. Mostly empty glasses, so there was plenty of ice and water and other liquids spread across the floor toward the kitchen. My waiter took my order and the other waiter called back, “Sorry, my fault!” My waiter smirked and ran back to get someone to clean up the mess.

So, now I’m at the table facing the kitchen without reading material, and I’m watching two guys sop and mop and scoop up ice, then a manager comes out with a dry towel and sops some more. Hm. Several times I thought

When my tea was delivered I remembered that I wanted hot tea, but I decided to just be with this tea. No sweetener, just iced tea. I drank it. It was good. My waiter refilled it. The new tea was good, too.

I looked at the Chili’s sign on the wall and noted that it had a certain wood grain under the painting and realized that all of the Chili’s art is therefore different. Seriously, I thought that. Deep.

My food came, and I tasted it. Southwest Cobb Salad with ranch and avacado dressing. Very good. Lettuce, cheese, beans, corn, chicken. I ate it all. A different manager came by and said, “How is everything?” He was in a hurry. He had many people to ask the same question of without stopping to hear the response. I smiled. “Very good, thank you.” He ran by. I don’t think he saw me. It’s okay.

Then I went on to my other office. I got a lot done. I felt good.


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