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Mindful ActivityMindful Cooking

Mindful Cooking

The kitchen offers a golden opportunity to train the mind to be fully focused on the recipe or meal at hand. Inspired by this exercise, step away from the thinking mind and be fully present with the act of cooking itself, with all its sights, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

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Hi, and welcome to the Headspace cooking exercise. So it's hard to imagine a better opportunity to apply mindfulness, to an everyday activity. So when we're in the kitchen we're surrounded by smells, by textures, by sounds. And these are all opportunities to train the mind. So we'll narrowly, we might be busy doing something with our hands in the kitchen, and yet at the same time thinking about a conversation we had earlier in the day or perhaps thinking ahead to something in the future. So this is an opportunity to put down all of that thinking, to leave the past behind not to drift off to the future and instead be present with the very act of cooking itself. And when we do that it not only becomes a more enjoyable experience but we have a much greater appreciation for the food that we cook and the food that we eat. Now before you actually begin cooking, just take a moment to sit down preferably on an upright chair and just take a couple of nice big deep breaths. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. As you breathe through the nose, you're focusing on the chest expanding, the lungs filling with air. As you breathe out through the mouth just noticing how the body softens, how the muscles soften with each exhalation. Let's take a couple more breaths like that. And with the next out-breath, if you haven't done already you can just gently open the eyes again. Standing up very clear as to what you need to do. The order, the things need to be done in, need to turn on the oven and then beginning with the preparation of the food itself. So as you begin to prepare the food, let say it's some vegetables for example, as you cut the food, noticing, paying special attention to the way it looks, the way it sounds, the way it smells. You almost don't need to do this in any special way. You don't have to do it, especially slowly. You may like to, you don't need to. It's quite possible to be focused, attentive, and curious was going at your usual speed, but curiosity is the key. So if you can be curious in what you're doing in the food, then you gonna be naturally present with it it doesn't require any effort at all. Genuine curiosity. We're just happy. We're interested in the process for its own sake not for any kind of result. So just continuing to prepare the food in that way let just say there may be one particular sense, might be sound of the knife chopping, might be the smell beginning to become more apparent as the food is cut into, it might be the texture of the food in your hands or maybe the sight, the different colors, different shapes. Then you can choose one particular sense to focus on if you, if you will like to...


TypeMindful Activity
Duration3-10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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