Awaken your senses with the joy of mindful cooking

Nightfall – warm sticky ginger melts the last bit of sunlight

September has arrived! I’m excited and thrilled to announce that I have been chosen to be the resident poet for Marmalade + Kindness. I received a lovely email in the middle of July from the founder, Adamantia Velonis asking if I would be interested in being interviewed. After a few emails back and forth and a couple of meetings, we felt a mutual kinship and rapport with a passion for mindfulness, food, poetry, the seasons and connecting to nature.

“Mindfulness is simply becoming more aware of your surroundings and your thoughts, letting them come and go. Mindfulness cooking is taking this concept into the kitchen, with saying that it can be applied to every single aspect of everyday moments in life. Mindful cooking takes the daily routine of preparing meals, and uses it as an opportunity to extend the benefits of formal mindfulness (or meditation) to your everyday life. The concept is wholistic in that mindful cooking is not just about mindful eating, but also includes being mindful about the produce you buy, how you are preparing it, sharing it and ultimately the impact on your body and the planet. Mindful cooking takes into account the seasons, how your body feels, who else you are cooking for, their needs, what you already have, and the intention you bring to preparing a meal.” As explained by Ada.

How is haiku connected to mindfulness and mindful cooking? Because haiku is written in the present tense, is based on awareness and the senses, the fact is, that it’s inherently mindful. Mindfulness in the kitchen provides
an opportunity to look at cooking in a new way. Not as a chore, but as an activity of self-care and care for loved ones that is done with intention and creativity. Having an awareness of your thoughts and the ability to be in the present moment without judgment, helps to connect with sensations as they arise. Taste and smell are closely connected giving haiku a sensory experience drawing the reader into the moment as if they can feel the words expressed by the poet. These two senses are separate with their own receptor organs, yet they are intimately entwined. They are combined at the back of the throat, so when you taste something before you smell it, the smell lingers internally up to the nose making you to smell it. How often do you find yourself not hungry until
you smell something delicious? Certain smells have the ability to you back in time with a rush of memories. When freshly-baked cookies can transport you back to Grandma’s house or the faintest hint of tequila can take you

to a time when you may have partied just a little too hard.

When we practice mindfulness, the world gradually begins to look and feel different. It is as if we are being awakened to the reality of the present moment that is constantly unfolding in a new way. Worries about the past and the future begin to fade away as you realize that you are only truly alive in this moment . . . right now. When you engage in your everyday tasks such as cooking and where you buy your food in a mindful way, you are fully present, aware, and awake to your inner psychological experience and your outer material experience. Being attuned to your ongoing thoughts and feelings as well as your external sensory experience will start to naturally happen.

This year, the first day of fall arrives on September 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere. When we shift from summer to fall, it’s the ideal time to reflect on the months of summer and get ready to embrace the autumn by welcoming all the good things that come with it. The autumnal equinox is when we naturally turn more within ourselves, and the plants and trees start to slow down. As the sunlight decreases, we begin to get ready for the colder season ahead. Fall is a short and special season. It’s a time for getting cozy with sweaters, taking in the vibrant colours and savouring the taste of pumpkin and spice. I’ve always found it to be one of the most inspirational seasons for writing haiku with all of the richness and beauty it offers.

Autumn represents the harvest. Since cooking and eating are a multisensory experience, haiku provides unexpected moments that can take you back in time or bring you to the present moment based on the words being expressed. When we stay connected to our natural internal rhythm and the world around us, we are able to flow with ease into the vibrant and stunning season that fall represents.

To learn more about Ada and what she offers please to her website.

Marmalade + Kindness is a UK mindful cooking journal that encourages readers to find moments of mindfulness and creativity through cooking. By sharing tried and tested recipes, featuring organic, seasonal produce, they aim to inspire you to develop a daily cooking habit.

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