The 5th Mindfulness Teaching – Nourishment and Healing

true loveAware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumptions, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself and my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.  I will practice looking deeply into how I take in edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness.  I am determined not to use alcohol, drugs, gambling, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations.  I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment.  I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption.  I will make every effort to consume in a way that preserves peace, joy and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and over Earth.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

My Mindful Comments:

nour·ish   – (

  1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
  2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
  3. to strengthen, build up, or promote

You have probably heard of mindful eating, mindful breathing and walking, but you might not have heard the term mindful consumption.  Mindful consumption refers to anything and everything we take into our mind and body, or experience through our senses. It refers to the food we eat, the fluids we drink, the clothes we purchase and wear, the car we purchase and drive, the TV shows, videos and movies we watch, the web sites we frequent, the books and newspapers we read, the places we choose for vacation, our worship experiences, our friends and relationship experiences, and our work place and the individuals we associate with while at work.

Let’s take a look at some monthly consumer bills and expenses for a “typical” American middle income household:  Electric and Gas for appliances or heating, Water, Household Waste Management, Recycling, TV Cable, Telephone, Cell Phone, House Payment or Rent, Car Payment, Various Insurance Policies, Child Day Care or Babysitting Expenses, and fluctuating expenses for:  Food, gasoline, clothing and shoes, toys and games for children, holiday gifts, vacations and other recreation, commuting to work and lunch, medical and dental care expenses, household maintenance, car maintenance. And, the list goes on.

Conscious, aware consuming even comes down to the ingredients and preservatives in the food we eat, the pollution in the air we breathe, the toxins in our self-care products, or the amount of EMF’s (electrical toxins) we come in contact with, and other chemicals and toxins too numerous to mention.

Who has the responsibility to keep our food, self-care products, household cleaning products, laundry detergents, automobile motors and gasoline, and heating fuels effective, environmentally safe, and physically healthy?  Is it yours and mine?  Is it the manufacturer?  Is it a societal issue that involves each and every person? Is it a spiritual issue? Is there such a thing as a socially, environmentally, humanity conscious business? These are questions that are important to answer. Perhaps conscious consumption automatically helps to solve these issues?  What do you think?

I will make every effort to consume in a way that preserves peace, joy and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and over Earth.  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace, Joy and Well-Being in My Collective Body and Consciousness of my Family:  What is the consumer consciousness that prevails within my family? And, how has my consciousness or lack of consciousness affected the wellbeing of my husband, children and other close family members?  I’ve taught my children to shop economically, to eat naturally and organically as much as possible. I always made sure we had a small garden each summer during their growing up years to make sure my girls experienced planting, caring for, and harvesting fruit and vegetables. We recycled. They are adults now with children of their own, and they are teaching their children to eat healthy and organic, they garden, and they purchase safe self-care products. They recycle. Is this all that is needed to say we are a family of conscious consumers?  What do you think?

Joy and Well-Being in The Collective Body of My Society and Over Earth: How does my consumption impact my community and the world as a whole? Do I over buy? Do I purchase the essentials only? Is my home full of items I never use? Do I drive a low impact vehicle? Do I recycle carefully and efficiently? Do I remember to take my cloth grocery bags to the grocery store to save the trees and lower the amount of plastic in land-fills?  Am I aware of how much water I waste every day in the shower, in the laundry, in the kitchen sink?  Do I put all my food waste down the garbage disposal, and understand all that goes into processing my garbage waste?  Am I aware of how my body waste is processed each time I flush the commode? After all, I pay for the services needed to have all household waste processed in an attempt to keep our environment inhabitable.

Am I living up to my personal consumption responsibilities?  Are you?

Do I live in the moment, aware of my health, well-being and the health of my family as it relates to our consumption?  Do you?

Does our family consumption create personal or societal risk, put extra stress on our finances, or on our society?  Does yours?

Are we selfish in our way of life? Do we have much more than we think we do?

I hope you’ll leave a comment so we can have a wonderful, insightful discussion.