A mindfulness meditating technique that combines both food and meditation; can it get any better? Certainly not.
The raisin meditation practice is used to transform our distracted mind into a calm and focused one. It helps us to focus all our energy on the present and notice the tiniest details of our surroundings.
The mindfulness-based technique has found its way into mainstream culture and has seen some popularity recently. So, read on to learn what makes raisin meditation interesting and how helpful it can be for you.
What Is Raisin Meditation?
Raisin exercise is one kind of mindfulness meditation that helps you get present in the moment and focus your attention on what’s happening around you. And that’s not an easy task as we live in a world full of distractions.
But raisin meditation can help you with being in the present amidst all the distractions as it helps us slow down a bit and pay attention to little details.
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention.” Says Jon Kabat Zinn, the creator of a Mindfulness-based stress reduction program. He has also used the raisin exercise in his widely successful program to help people deal with anxiety.
Now, when we watch an interesting movie, we become completely engrossed, except instead of a movie, here we have a raisin.
During the meditating process, you will use all your senses to explore all the aspects of a raisin; its texture, smell, and taste. And by doing that, you will manage to bring yourself completely to the present.
Now, why a raisin? Because it’s a small item that makes it easier to narrow your focus. However, you can use other small dried fruit items in its place if you want. Down below, we’ll give you some alternatives for raisins.
How to Perform the Raisin Exercise?
It’s a simple process that you can do anywhere and at any time. So, let’s learn how to engage your senses and bring full awareness to the present.
Get to a Quiet Place Where You Can Meditate Without Disturbance
Before you begin, choose a place that’s quiet and comfortable for you to do the exercise. Examples include:
- Spare room
- Meditation Centers
Pick Up the Raisin (or Other Small Food Items) and Focus on It
First, you need to get your hands on raisins. Pick a single raisin and hold it with your fingers. Now, you need to focus on it with your eyes.
Imagine you’re at an art gallery and looking at a masterpiece for the first time in your life. What would you do? You would take time to examine it in depth, going over its color, texture, brush strokes, and every small detail.
In the same way, you need to go over the raisin as if it’s a masterpiece of art. Let your eyes explore its color, shape, and spots, and notice how light shines on it. Simply explore every detail of its surface.
Feel the Raisin
Next, you need to feel the raisin with your hand. You can touch it, notice how it feels, examine its weight, and even squeeze it a bit.
As you feel the raisin with your fingers slowly, you’re training your brain to be fully engaged with the present and with the things around you.
If you want, you can keep your eyelids closed as it can make it easier to close off the distractions and focus on feeling.
Smell the Raisin
Then, bring it close to your nose and smell the raisin. Inhale the fragrance with your nose and notice if you’re feeling anything. Maybe you’re starting to hear rumbles in your stomach or your mouth is salivating.
That would mean that your body is consciously being prepared to taste the raisin.
The next step in this mindfulness practice is tasting. When you bring it close to your mouth, you’ll notice that your arms are in the right place instinctively. It’s like a coordinated action between your senses and the muscles.
After you gently place the raisin inside the mouth, take a bit of time before you bite into it. Savor the taste of the raisin in your mouth with the tongue and ponder over how it got there. Pay full attention to what your tongue is doing to anticipate the chewing.
You’ve held it, smelled it savored it, and now you will bite into it. Take a few deep breaths before you start chewing. Begin with small bites, and pay attention to the taste as you chew.
Does it feel like a burst of taste in your mouth? Are you getting any specific feelings? Don’t swallow yet. Consciously notice the taste to see how it changes gradually. Is the raisin getting softer, sweeter?
Treat this mindful eating like a science experiment where every detail is important. Once you feel ready, you can prepare for swallowing.
Before swallowing it, try to see if you can notice the rise of intention to swallow. See how the desire to swallow floats up to the surface of the mind. It’s like anticipating a big final. Once you feel you’re ready, go ahead and swallow the raisin.
Contemplate What You Feel
As the raisin goes down your throat and reaches the stomach, try to see if you can feel it moving downwards. While you are doing this, paying attention to how’s your body feeling overall is important as well.
Think of your expectations of eating raisins match the actual experience of eating them. Are you feeling more calm, relaxed and more present?
The exercise should have a calming effect on your whole body. As you continue the practice every day, you’ll see bigger improvements in your life.
Meditating With a Raisin Can Transform Your Sex Life for the Better
Dr. Lori Brotto in her book, Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire, tells us how the process of using the raisin exercise can improve sex lives significantly.
“Raisin meditation can bring present-moment, non-judgemental awareness to sexuality,’ says Dr. Lori. “The multi-tasking we do all day doesn’t turn off during the intimate moments, so questions like “did I lock the door” stay in our minds, she explains.
And this state of mind isn’t the ideal one for intimate moments as our mind often fails to notice the sign of erotic excitement.
But mindful eating can help you learn how to focus on the present and notice the signs of erotic excitement leading to an improved sex life.
Raisin Meditation Can Help You Manage Daily Life
People who are looking to get more clarity in life and reduce stress can greatly benefit from this method. Here are some ways it can help you in daily life.
Makes You Present Minded
By being more present-minded, you can ignore distractions and focus on important tasks. It also allows you to consider your options properly and make the right decision.
Being present-minded is very important for work, as it will help understand the needs of co-workers and communicate with them more clearly.
You can also introduce mindfulness meditation to your children as it will be beneficial for their mental growth.
When we feel stressed, our mind gets full of worries and is unable to relax. But this raisin exercise enables us to get our attention back to the present and let the anxiety go.
It slows things down for us and makes the bigger picture clear. This often brings the realization that our worries aren’t as big as we thought and lets the body and mind relax.
And it results in a calmer nature that can operate without anxiety leading to higher productivity.
Makes Us More Grateful
Practicing this raisin exercise makes us appreciate the smaller things in life and become more grateful. And gratitude is the foundation of happiness as it makes us able to become more content with less.
So, think of this technique as a workout for gratitude muscles. The more you practice, the more you find it easier to become grateful in life.
Food Items to Use If You Don’t Like Raisins
A raisin is not mandatory for this method as the aim is to choose something small that you can eat slowly and savor its taste. Here are some alternatives for you.
Grapes: Grapes are the perfect alternative as they are also sweet, juicy, and small.
Blueberries: Blueberries are small enough for meditation and have a juicy flavor to give a good experience.
Peanuts: If you want something dry, peanuts can be a really good option. Its small size also makes it a good fit for the method.
Fries: It doesn’t have to be something healthy, either. You may try this with some indulgent foods like fries and crisps as well.
The best thing about raisin meditation is that it’s very easy to do and doesn’t take much time either. So, just by spending a few minutes on it every day, you can bring focus, clarity, and inner peace to your life.