Food is the most irresistible activity because it is needed for our survival. Imagine for a moment, if science finds new pills that will satisfy our hunger. 90% of the charm of living will fizzle out. We don’t only eat through the tongue, we eat through all the senses. First we look at the food, then smell it, touch it, and then taste. Food is celebration of senses. This is why it is so difficult to diet.

Most people eat very unconsciously, automatically, robot-like.

There is a beautiful meditation from Tantra which Osho has elaborated upon. The Sanskrit sutra says: When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled. This is a deeply sensuous way of relating to food. If the taste of an item is not lived, you are just stuffing. Osho gives some clues:

“Go slow, and be aware of the taste. And only when you go slow, can you be aware. Do not just go on swallowing things. Taste them unhurriedly and become the taste. When you feel sweetness, become that sweetness. And then it can be felt all over the body – not just in the mouth, not just on the tongue; it can be felt all over the body! A certain sweetness – or anything else – is spreading in ripples. Whatsoever you are eating, feel the taste and become the taste.”

With no taste, your senses will be deadened. They will become less and less sensitive. And with less sensitivity, you will not be able to feel your body; you will not be able to feel your feelings. Then you will just remain centered in the head. This centeredness in the head is the split. Tantra says, do not create any division within yourself. It is beautiful to taste; it is beautiful to be sensitive. And if you are more sensitive, you will be more alive, and if you are more alive, then more life will enter your inner being. You will be more open.

You can eat things without tasting. You can touch someone without touching. We are already doing it… We are afraid to touch somebody because symbolically, touch has become sexual. You may be standing in a crowd, in a tram, in a railway compartment, touching many persons, but you are not touching them and they are not touching you. Only bodies are there in contact, but you are withdrawn.

A person who is alive will not be afraid of death because he is living. When you are really living, there is no fear of death. You can even live death. When death comes, you will be so sensitive to it that you will enjoy it. It is going to be a great experience

When drinking water, feel the coolness. Close your eyes, drink it slowly, taste it. Feel the coolness and feel that you have become that coolness, because the coolness is being transferred to you from the water; it is becoming a part of your body. Your mouth is touching, your tongue is touching, and the coolness is transferred. Allow it to happen to the whole of your body. Allow its ripples to spread, and you will feel a coolness all over your body. In this way your sensitivity can grow, and you can become more alive and more filled.

Source: The sensuous art of eating and drinking

Random sensory quotes

Our brain is mapping the world. Often that map is distorted, but it’s a map with constant immediate sensory input.

— E.O. Wilson