Perhaps you have read about the benefits that come with meditation: increased concentration, improvements in mental health, more energy, among other changes that you gradually notice. However, when you have tried to start, you haven’t been successful. You don’t know when to do it during the day, or you simply forget and stop giving it importance.
But what if, during one of your first daily activities, like breakfast, you took advantage of having a moment of meditation?
For a few years now, especially on weekends, I’ve unintentionally adopted the practice of having a completely silent breakfast.
Turning off the TV, leaving my phone in my room, and opening the windows to let in natural light while sipping my cup of coffee have become a daily ritual that creates a space for me to clear my mind, be present, and prepare for the future.
However, I must admit that incorporating this habit has only been practical for me on weekends, as my weekdays were busy due to my daily work routine.
During these months of the pandemic, I have been fortunate to work from home without any issues. Developing new habits, revisiting old ones, better time management, and taking care of my mental health have become priorities that I have gradually organized and learned to handle.
The practice of having meals in silence is present in various monastic cultures such as Buddhism, Celtic traditions, Sufism, and Vedas. Applying this activity to breakfast is highly beneficial as it allows your first mental, physical, and emotional connection to be with yourself. Starting your day with gratitude and calmness has significant benefits for your mind and body.
Practicing having breakfast in complete silence, without any technological devices, not even a book or newspaper by your side, can be quite uncomfortable at first.
Our minds start working automatically as soon as we wake up, often already thinking about the tasks we need to accomplish during the day, the unfinished ones from yesterday, or the obstacles that may arise.
For many years, we’ve grown accustomed to starting our mornings with news or social media. Give yourself a chance to break away from this routine because sooner or later, the news or messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will catch up with you anyway.
Use this time of silence and nourishment as a period of peace and meditation that you need amidst your daily schedule. Focus on what you’re eating, slowly. Look up at the sky, the tree, or the plant in front of you. Breathe just as they do.
When we stay silent, our mind and body react as if we were meditating. It’s like our own little meditation session.
It’s really hard to explain. Start by trying it out on a day when you usually have a lighter morning, like a Saturday.
Finally, when you finish, be aware that the power to decide what you will do with your life is in your hands. You shape it, and this silent breakfast you just had will help you remember that.
If you want to read more testimonials and some comments from health professionals, I highly recommend reading this New York Times article: “Shh. It’s Breakfast Time”, which I read in October 2020 and it made me aware of the habit I had already acquired.