I used to eat whatever I could get my hands on.  In addition to my three squares a day, I snacked constantly–potato chips, trail mix, M&Ms, whatever was on the counter, on the cupboard shelf, or in the fridge.  Most nights I would end with my all time favorite treat, hot buttered popcorn.  I ate constantly, never really considering, never thinking about what I was doing.  

When I decided I needed to lose weight, I knew diets wouldn’t work.  To me, the only thing worse than feeling overweight was feeling deprived.  So I came up with a new solution:  Mindfulness.

I started paying attention. Being present during my eating binges.  It was never about eating fewer calories, but rather noticing which calories I was consuming, and consciously deciding, is this where I want my calories to come from?  Should I wait until later?  Eat something else altogether?  Just say no?  Did I want this AND the popcorn later?

Suddenly that extra handful of M&Ms didn’t seem so important.

In time, I also started a Zen-inspired walking regimen.  In a matter of months, I lost nearly twenty pounds.

The mindfulness approach is not just about food, but about life.  You can be present in your own life during any moment, any activity, any discipline.

Why not be just as mindful, then, about your upcoming lesson?  Are you doing it without conscious thought because you’ve done it a million times before?  Or is it time to stop and ponder:  Is that the best way to present Romeo and Juliet?  The Pythagorean Theorem?  The Magna Carta?

The Zen Teacher doesn’t stop at asking why am I eating this hot fudge sundae? 

She asks why am I doing this worksheet, this lesson, this book?  TZT