In the ancient Indian province of Kosala, the king invited the Buddha to visit and dine with him. A lavish was prepared for the two men. Having eaten until his stomach felt completely full, the king visibly displayed discomfort and heaved a great sigh. Seeing this, the Buddha offered him these words of advice: "People who always keep their hearts and minds calm and know the right amount to eat experience few pains, age gracefully, and live long lives."
Hearing this, the king reflected deeply on this teaching and began to repeat the sentence before each of his meals - “People who always keep their hearts and minds calm and know the right amount to eat experience few pains, age gracefully, and live long lives." Gradually he reduced the amount he ate and became the beneficially of few pains, graceful aging and the gift of a long, healthy life.
Though this was a legendary exchange between the king and the Buddha took place thousands of years ago, the Buddha’s wisdom continues to be relevant today. When it comes to eating, too many people are at the mercy of their food lust. That is the reason why restaurants which advertise – "all you can eat" – are enormously popular. People eat mindlessly and over consume. This results is a wide array of health problems.
Today, it is important to remember the Buddha’s teaching - “people who keep their hearts and minds calm and know the right amount to eat” - and recall it prior to eating meals. Here are three ways to apply this wisdom and eat mindfully.
1. Eat only when you are hungry. Be sure that your previous meal has been fully digested before beginning another meal. Know the difference between true hunger and food desire.
2. Eat the right quantity for your gender, age, size. A good rule to follow is to have your stomach 1/3 full of solids, 1/3 full of liquid and 1/3 empty.
3. Eat in a comfortable place and at a comfortable pace. Eating a sandwich while driving your car is a negative dining experience. The same is true of eating while continuing to work. Your body needs an uplifting, peaceful, quiet environment to properly digest food. Make this available.