"Bringing peace to the world... one cup at a time"

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Knowing of the Nose

"And when you crush an apple with your teeth,say to it in your heart,
"Your seeds shall live in my body,and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath, and together we shall rejoice through all the seasons" Kahllil Gibran
How was Thanksgiving? This is the beginning of the Holiday challenge. We so often feel guilty if we overdo but don't. Life is so much about the lessons we are willing to learn. What was the experience around the feast. Did your eyes get the satisfaction they needed? I made food preparing a high priority. I wanted everyone to see all of the beautiful colors of the harvest feast. And to whiff the aromas coming from the kitchen to set their pallets. We lit an old fashioned kerosene lantern on the table and built a fire in the fireplace. The mix of the roasting bird, (we have family members that are not vegetarian) with spiced yams, sage stuffing, all accented with the raw cranberry relish made for a heavenly, tantalizing nose experience. The hunger for loved ones was definitely satisfied by having all the people around me that I love deeply. Seeing their faces glow at the table, and as we sat by the fire watching a movie with laughter thrown in to balance the whole occasion. Have you ever had one of those exasperating days where it seems nothing is going the way you planned? Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room and the aroma of something fantastically delicious smelling triggers every cell in your body to seek comfort in that food? We see that happen pretty regularly in our teahouse. Good food smells wafting out from the kitchen into the entryway seem to set people up for the comforting experience for the wholesome meals they are about to receive.  I have had it happen to me. Sometimes it is for the right food but sometimes people get hung up. Their  nose is triggering a response to the emotion which then sends them spiraling into poor food choices for comfort(the drive through at Kentucky Fried Chicken). More evidence that the disharmony with food begins with lack of awareness within the body, heart and mind.
What we call taste or flavor of a food is almost entirely smell. Our tongue is only able to taste five flavors. These are sweet, salty, bitter,and amino-acid/protein. If you have ever lost your sense of smell for any reason such as colds or sinus issues, it can be quite distressing. When we can't smell food properly, food seems to be rather tasteless and bland. So if you experience lack of taste it most likely has something to do with sinuses.

BECOMING Mindful of Nose Hunger: Before you start to eat a meal, sit up straight, smell the food you are about to eat by lifting the plate or bowl to your nose and inhale deeply. Try to detect as many components of the smells as you can. Close your eyes and imagine that you are doing an investigation of the ingredients. As you take the first bite, continue to smell or be aware of the smells. Chew and chew, notice whether the tastes get stronger on the in-breath or the out-breath. Try not to take another bite until you can no longer taste the last bite you swallowed, in your mouth. This could mean sitting between bites. How does this make you feel? What emotions if any are recalled?
Tea of the day: Moroccan Mint. This tea is very cleansing to the palette. It is a very aromatic blend of an organic
special grade Gunpowder green tea and Organic peppermint, with a hint of Osmanthus Flowers  for a honey experience. Traditional Moroccan Mint is made with fresh mint and gunpowder with loads of honey or sugar. This is my answer to the issue of sweetener and convenience. The Chinese have been using Osmanthus for hundreds of years to sweeten and delight the senses. What a perfect tea for broadening your practice of testing your nose and clearing the palette. Close your eyes and sip the tea, holding it in your mouth. Try to identify with your nose the different components. Unlock the inner essence of your taste and smell and understand how the nose fills in the experience of taste. Take your olfactory nerves on a magical carpet ride to Morocco.

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