Blackberries in the Sun: A Mindful Monday Food Meditation

Hi there, and welcome to Mindful Monday, where I practice and share my explorations into living a life of self-awareness and intention.

Are you ready to go deeper?

Have you ever had something come into your life, when you didn’t even know you were ready for it?

That’s an ongoing theme in my Trueborn Weft series, where the Tacivaarii Huntstribe has an axiom that is both a spiritual mantra and a cultural philosophy:

Sima garo provides. We need only open to it.

What is sima garo? Well – it’s the great undefined. The Tacivaarii don’t Hunt its meaning, its shape, its intent. Like the wind, the rain, their breath, Everdeep above, it simply is.

Sima garo provides in my life, too – sometimes, in the very wee hours of a new day, when my mind is sleepy and open, it provides an answer I wasn’t actively looking for, but which is just what I didn’t yet know I needed.

One of my mindfulness goals is to explore new methods of meditation, with the aim of building a strong knowledge base I can use in daily practice. I’ve explored simple breathing meditation, with some success, and I’ve found more with t’ai chi and mandalas (my mind loves imagery, so they are very accessible to me).

Remnants of past fun under the blackberry bush, August 2009.

But there’s a lot more out there than I’ve sampled, and I want to taste as much of it as I’m able – mindfully, but eagerly, ready to experience whatever each new practice brings forth.

So I’ve been considering new practices to delve, but not actively seeking any out, right now, because I have a lot of other things going on (it occurs to me as I type this that that’s maybe a very good reason to be active in my explorations).

But then, while attending to other blogging goals, one found me! Colleen Chesebro over at Silver Threading wrote a wonderful post on mindful eating, and it includes an eating meditation. When I read it through, I knew I wanted to do it for my Friday morning fast-breaking. Note – I’m not a fan of ‘diets’, for many reasons, so my focus is really on the mindfulness, not any weight loss goal.

I even knew juhst wat food item would be the focal point of this first experiment: my daughter had spent some time in the backyard earlier in the evening, and told me that there were ripe blackberries on the bush at the edge of our property.

I decided that those ripe blackberries, warmed by the mid-August morning sun (the back of our property faces due-east), would be my first exploration of this meditation.

A much younger Annalise making ‘blackberry jam’ – her own recipe. ❤

I’ll share the actual experience of the meditation next week – I want it to have its own post, and the space to delve all that I felt while attending so closely to the five and a half blackberries I collected in my favorite stoneware bowl.

Today, I want simply to be mindful of the fact that if I hadn’t been open to what sima garo provided, in Colleen’s post, I wouldn’t have had this experience. I might have read the post (or not; there are so many wonderful things to read here in the blogoshere!); I might have set it aside as something to read or try another day. I might have ignored it altogether, or forgotten about it before I even went to sleep an hour or so later…

But I was open, and reading the post in that spirit of willingness to accept what sima garo provides gave me the answer to how to proceed. I mean, after all, I eat every day. I’m a grazer by nature, so I tend to eat one thing at a time, and, rather than three defined meals, I tend to eat several times daily, something less than what most people would consider more than a meal, but often, something a bit more than a snack.

So there;s an opportunity for this practice every time I fuel my body. There is something deeply satisfying about practice tied to necessary biological imperatives; it removes a huge excuse to beginning, and the need for special time or setup.

Although Colleen’s post suggests doing the meditation once a day, at first, I’m going to enter it more slowly than that. Often, when I tell myself to do something like this every day, it becomes a chore or an obligation to me, where, indulged in with less rigidity, it becomes a treasured part of my routine, something I want to do more and more often. Since the goal is to eventually eat and drink everything mindfully, I’m going to honor my nature, and begin by setting a goal to do this meditation once each week.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I can’t, or won’t, do it more often than that. It just means I’m keeping this as a special time, a mini date with myself, if you will. I’m adjusting the goal to suit my own needs. Eventually, I will likely eat and drink everything with greater mindfulness, because, once we’ve awakened to a new level of awareness, it’s nearly impossible to go backwards. Meditative eating will become a part of me.

More Mindful Monday at Silver Threading.

My girl and the blackberry bush, August 2009.



  1. This is just the most amazing post! I love that you are tailoring it to fit your needs (not mine) which is exactly what I want everyone to do. Thanks so much for reading and finding a place in your life for mindfulness. I am so glad to be on this journey with you. ❤

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