Yogi: What should I be aware of when eating?
Sayadaw: In the beginning, you try to be aware of any object when eating.
You can use chewing as the main object, and as you continue to be aware, naturally, you can also know other objects if you don’t just focus on chewing. For example, you can also know the taste, bodily action like the hand moving, and you can also know the feeling.
How do you feel as you eat? When you’re aware of taste, the mind can either like or dislike it. All the time when we eat, we eat with craving.
If craving is strong, we wait and watch the craving first before continuing to eat. Eagerness to eat, intention to eat – i.e. craving – is very obvious.
You have to take care of the eagerness – when it is too strong, awareness is lost. When eagerness comes down, awareness comes back.
When eagerness subsides, you can be aware of chewing or any other object such as seeing and looking.
When we eat, our 6 senses are working; so, we can use any object – sometimes chewing, looking, seeing, hearing, tasting and also thinking. You can be aware of any of these objects one at a time.
You need to also know that the mind is thinking (e.g. planning what to eat next). You need to recognize that the mind is thinking and go back to a physical object.