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    SUSANNAH31   18,038
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A Silent Meal

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here's a restaurant that banned speaking while eating.
It was called the Silent Meal.
They tried it for one evening - claiming it would help the diners to get more pleasure from their food.

It sounds like mindful eating to me.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MOBYCARP 9/19/2013 7:03PM

    An interesting idea. I don't think I make enough time for silence in my life, but I doubt I'd seek silence at a restaurant.

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CAROLJEAN64 9/19/2013 3:54PM

    Almost as interesting as the idea is the responses here. I think it is an intriguing idea. I'll bet I would have an unique and fulfilling experience.

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CATLADY52 9/19/2013 3:51PM

    I don't usually talk a lot during a meal but occasionally have something to say. It would be hard for me but not completely out of the question.

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BOOKAPHILE 9/19/2013 12:33PM

    I don't mind the absence of talk. (Though I do love a good conversation.) What I'd object to is the overabundance of chewing, swallowing, smacking and other noises which get on my last nerve and that music or conversation drown out.

Princess and the pea syndrome?

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/19/2013 11:26AM

    I think it would have been better if people were not allowed to text either but it is a step in the right direction. I find eating in public often a bad experience due to unruly children, rude cell phone uses, obnoxious customers. Some quiet to concentrate on the food would be nice.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/19/2013 9:03AM

    "Chop wood. Carry water." One thing at a time. Definitely the Eastern way. Multi-tasking is definitely the Western way. I'll be spending 6 days at a silent retreat with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh next week (not my first silent retreat) -- and I have also been in many settings encouraging silence at meals, so it's nothing new to me. With my propensity to eat mindlessly, it's a definite spiritual practice to eat focusing on the FOOD, not the company.

A different way of eating: From his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness --

1.Thich Nhat Hanh writes of being mindful while peeling and eating a tangerine. When we slow down while eating, noticing every bite, our body shifts out of the stress response and focuses on digestion, absorption and assimilation of all the nutrients. We eat less. We get healthy.

Mindfulness in action: Take in the food with all your senses. Become aware of the color, texture and smell of your food before popping it in your mouth. Then roll it around so you notice the texture and flavors. Begin to chew, chewing each bite many times. Notice how the texture and taste changes. Pause before your next bite.

Thanks so much Sue. I see mindful eating as part of my challenege in staying healthy. Here is a wonderful meal prayer that I learned at a retreat with Thay:

This food is the gift of the whole universe - the earth the sky, and much hard work.
May we eat in mindfulness so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat with moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
We accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love and joy.

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KALIGIRL 9/19/2013 8:23AM

    Interesting idea, but I love sharing conversation as well as food. Definitely would try it as a single!

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NELLJONES 9/19/2013 7:46AM

    I can see silent meals at home, plenty of them, but if I'm paying a restaurant I'd rather have the conversation. To me, that's the point of a restaurant.

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WATERMELLEN 9/19/2013 7:14AM

    I can see that in certain circumstances this would be most enjoyable. Particularly given eye contact, smiling, nods of recognition and appreciation etc. don't seem to be prohibited! DH and I love largely silent breakfasts sipping coffee and reading the newspaper. (One time at a bed and breakfast, lady at the next table actually criticized us for not chatting! Completely oblivious to the companionability!!) And: we've been known to go out for dinner and spend most of the time not talking ourselves but rather eavesdropping on neighbouring tables . . . with a view to a (hate to admit this, but somewhat malicious) recap afterwards!

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TORTISE110 9/19/2013 6:31AM

    Hmmmmmm If I were alone, this would rock!! LOL

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FISHINGLADY66 9/19/2013 6:28AM

    Going out to eat is way to visit and socialize with friends.

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LADYRH 9/19/2013 5:34AM

    emoticon not my idea of a fun meal

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/19/2013 4:07AM

    Interesting.....I really dislike eating in noisy places.

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IMPROVINGME 9/18/2013 11:42PM

    That's different, alright.

Since I eat most of my meals alone anyway, I look forward to dinner conversation when I am with friends or family. However, some restaurants are much too noisy these days!

It would be interesting to find out how long that marketing strategy keeps putting customers at the tables. And if it were up to me, I'd ban the text messaging, too!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/18/2013 11:02PM

    Well, I'd try it, but I really enjoy dinner conversation.

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EWL978 9/18/2013 10:11PM

    I don't think I could do it....don't have to be a big talker to enjoy hearing voices while eating, rather than silence....sounds like a reform school!!

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