Mindfulness Matters






Mindfulness Meditation


Dragonfly Holistic Healing

760 N. 34th St. Seattle, 98103 


Wednesday 8 December


Free drop-in class

No experience necessary.

registration appreciated


The focus of this issue is


Mindful Eating


    What better topic for the midst of the holiday season when food features so prominently in our celebrations! There has been an explosion of interest in the topic of Mindful Eating recently and I hope you will find this information helpful and supportive to living more mindfully.


     I was introduced to Mindful Eating many years ago when I trained in Zen and tea ceremony in Japan. Formal meals eaten in the Zendo (meditation hall) underlined the fact that meals were not "a break" from sitting practice- but a continuation!  Tea ceremony trained my turbulent, busy mind to be still and experience each sip of tea and each morsel of food- very, very slowly and mindfully. It's a lesson I continually forget but return to again and again....


The Year of Living Mindfully!



your year

for a more mindful harmonious life!


Mindfulness Events in 2011


Tools for Mindful Living

Weekend Retreat

March 4-6


 Whidbey Island

registration opens in new year



8 week-Mindfulness Stress Reduction classes

Seattle & Whidbey



Mindful Eating

Mindfulness & Stress Workshops

Mindful Parenting

Online Mindfulness Courses

and more...


details announced soon!




Mindful Eating



Book Reviews


Mindful Eating

A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food


Jan Chozen Bays, MD


    This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to explore mindfulness and eating. Chozen wears many hats as a pediatrician, mother, Zen teacher and founder of a monastery in Oregon.

    Mindful Eating is a complete guide for anyone wishing to improve and heal their relationship with food and eating. It is also an excellent introduction to mindfulness and mindfulness practices.

    A bonus to buying this book is that it includes a CD of mindfulness eating practices that are easy to follow. 


Highly recommended!




Savor-Mindful Eating,

Mindful Life


Thich Nhat Hahn & Lilian Cheung


    Savor is another wonderful resource for mindful eating. It is written by the great Vietnamese Zen master who brought the term Mindfulness to the West- Thich Nhat Hanh- and a nutritionist Dr Cheung.    

    I particularly enjoyed the wonderful meditations in the Mindful Living Plan section which seems to come from Thich Nhat Hahn's teaching. The information about food and nutrition will be very useful for some people, but I felt the tables of diet suggestions and break-down of food contents rather contradictory to the emphasis on mindfulness.


See for yourself and let me know what you think!




Films about Food




Food Inc

Super Size Me

Food Matters

Food Fight

The Future of Food

Fast Food Nation



Like Water for Chocolate

Babette's Feast



I hope you enjoy

this issue of

Mindfulness Matters


I welcome your feedback, comments or requests



I wish you all a joyful holiday season and look forward to seeing you

                 in 2011                 



Unhealthy Eating Patterns


    Over recent years, increasingly disordered and unbalanced ways of eating have developed, and whether we eat too much or too little, this aspect of life has become conflictual for many.

    Our generation has seen the rise of obsessive yo-yo dieting and weight-watching, serious eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and now an epidemic of obesity in both adults and children. Counting calories, measuring and calculating, food pyramids and mathematical calculations have all become part of our relationship with food.


Emotional Eating


    What happened? One piece of the puzzle is what is referred to as “emotional eating," the way our various negative emotional states and conflicts are entangled with the simple act of eating food. Unhappy with the way our bodies look and anxious about our weight, the body can become a battlefield where shame, guilt and self-criticism overshadow the joy of eating.

     For many this goes back to childhood with food often being associated with reward or punishment.    

    When we really pay attention to our relationship to eating, we are often surprised to find that the inner critic has so much to say about our body image and self worth. This judgmental voice plays an important part in how we regard food.


Mindful Eating


    Mindful eating is about rediscovering a healthy, mindful and joyful relationship with food and eating.


    Cultivating mindfulness helps  replace critical self-talk, shame and conflictual patterns with relaxation, curiosity and trust in our own inner wisdom. By bringing mindful awareness to our relationship with food, we discover how to re-establish a balanced, calm and enjoyable way of eating again.



How to Practice Mindful Eating


    It's deceptively simple!  Begin with simply bringing awareness to each time you eat and drink something, and noticing when you are "on autopilot." Sometimes we can finish a whole meal without even noticing we are eating!

    Then start to notice the various feelings and thoughts you have about eating- no criticism- just be aware. Then follow the guidelines below to start your Mindful Eating practice...and don't forget to enjoy!



How to Eat Mindfully

  •  Slow down!  Eat slowly and mindfully.
  • Take your first few bites in silence with your full attention.
  • Taste your food before chewing-really savor each of the different tastes and textures.
  • Be aware of your breathing- take a breath between bites.
  • Enjoy eating!
  • Notice when you feel full, and ask yourself if you really need any more food.
  • Take a silent mindful meal occasionally- not watching TV or reading a book- but bringing your full attention to just eating and being fully aware of the experience in each moment.
  • Notice how mindful eating satisfies your whole being- not just your stomach!


Give the Gift of

Mindfulness this Holiday!


Finding Tranquility Guided Mindfulness Meditations for Stressful Times



"If you are experiencing a lot of stress, anxiety and change, this CD will be an invaluable aid and solace to you.  If you are simply curious about mindfulness meditation, and are considering trying it, this is a wonderful way to begin.


Erica has the rare gift of making meditation practice accessible to anyone. Over the years in this job, listening to countless meditation CD's I have experienced many well-known meditation teachers and guides. This simple, direct and compassionate audio takes its place

with the best of them."



 Review in Isabella Holiday Catalog


Buy locally!

Seattle- East West Bookshop

Whidbey -Moonraker- Star Basics


online at AMAZON.COM


Mindful Therapy

1800 Westlake Ave.N. Suite 304, Seattle

WA 98109



Erica Rayner-Horn M.A.