eating in silence – silent retreat experience Food for Thought

20 Meals In Silence Made Me Realize What A Nut I Am

My first impression of eating alone in silence came from an episode of Sex And The City. As part of a masochistic post break up “I need to feel what it’s like to be alone forever”type thing, Carrie Bradshaw forces herself to go out to lunch alone without any social “armor”, like a magazine, a phone, or a book, which would subliminally signal to the world that SHE’S REALLY NEEDING/ENJOYING THIS ALONE TIME, SHE SWEARS. And I remember when I first saw that episode, I wrung my hands and thought to myself, “How tragic! To dine alone in silence is surely a fate worse than death!” I was wrong. There’s actually nothing more interesting or empowering than eating silently without any distractions. As part of a 7-day silent meditation retreat I participated in October 2016, I had to eat 20 back-to-back meals in total silence, with no distractions, and no “armor” at all, not even eye contact with any of the other 368 participants on the retreat. Coming face-to-face with your own crazies over a bowl of oatmeal when no one is talking to you and absolutely nothing is happening really crystallizes how neurotic you actually are. Here are 15 things I realized when I ate 20 meals in total silence.

(Sorry for the click through – I’ll try to minimize these as much as possible, but they will happen sometimes because Google penalizes me for posting the same content in two different places/on different sites.)

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