Eating by Thích Nhất Hạnh


When you sit down for breakfast.

Breakfast is an opportunity to practice.


When you pick up a piece of bread, look at it for one second with mindfulness.

In order to realize that, “this is a piece of bread.”


If we are thinking, if we are absorbed into our thinking, we will not know that this is a piece of bread.

We do it automatically.

But with mindfulness, you realize that this is a piece of bread.


And in this piece of bread is the sunshine, the cloud, the earth.

Is really an ambassador sent to us by the cosmos.


Is before we put it into our mouth.

And mindfully we chew this piece of bread.


We are in touch with the cosmos.

We are real — and the piece of bread is real.

In that moment there is true light.


But if we are thinking all that time, we are not real, and the piece of bread is not real either,

That is why mindfulness helps us to be truly be present and help light to be truly present for us.


Wen we drink our soy milk, we are aware that we are drinking.

Mindfulness of drinking.

And that is a miracle.

There is a contact between you and milk.


And every mouthful of the breakfast should be eaten that way.

It is a miracle that I’m here.

And that piece of bread comes to me to nourish me.


And in our breakfast we do not think of anything.

We just focus our attention on the food and on the brothers and sisters sitting with us.


And we eat our breakfast in such a way that we remain a free person.

We should eat our breakfast in such a way that we make our freedom and we enjoy possible during the whole time of breakfast, eating.


Freedom means we are not pulled away by the past.

Freedom means we are not pulled away by the future.

You are not pulled away by your projects, your worries.


You are truly there with your friends enjoying your breakfast.

You invest entirely in your breakfast.

In your breakfast eating.


And that is why you’re free.

And that is a joy.

And eating breakfast like that way is nourishing, not only to the body, but also for the mind.


Eating is a true practice.

A deep practice.

We can take the time in order to eat.


It’s ok to to take double time in order to enjoy our breakfast or our lunch.

Because really there is nothing to do except life to be lived deeply.

And that is our training.