To get the health and pleasure benefits from eating food it should be done with thoughtfulness and with attention to its nutritional value. Wolfing down raw food may be appropriate for wild animals engaged in competitive eating, but for civilized humans the variety of foods available requires some study, observation and practice to appreciate what nature has to offer. Even the techniques for chewing bittersweet chocolate candy, and mild milk chocolate are different, and swallowing these tasty treats too quickly will mean losing nearly all the pleasures readily available. It takes nearly a minute to properly explore a single bite of chocolate and being exposed to any distracting activity like talking or watching TV will make you miss the best parts. The point of this post is to bring you the contentment of exploring the world which is available before you, and letting it reveal itself to you in its fullness, before you move on.
Contentment is an arrangement of habits which can be cultivated as can be wisdom, but they require a standing back from instant perceptions occasionally to chart one’s course. They require observing what is really there to be seen, and then pausing a moment to analyze what the best course of action would be, and then after a moment’s consideration of alternate actions and their outcomes moving forward with clear, simple, decisive actions to the best available goal. This pausing to observe and to consider your perceptions and the alternatives which present themselves before you is the basis of contentment. All that is required in addition to these careful thoughts is the acceptance of them as they are. Your task is accepting these things as being their Platonic Ideal, and because they are such a perfection, you should accept them as such and love them as such.
In this approach to eating, it isn’t the finding of some new sensation to be found in some new food, or any other experience, but accepting and relishing the experience which the moment offers. It is perfect as it is. Of course when you have the opportunity to make modifications and find new experiences it makes sense to take them, but those also should be accepted as the ideal form of what it is that they are, and everything is unique, it is special. This approach to the world and to food will give you a deep satisfaction with it and will reward you with the personal consciousness of contentment.
Contentment may be had at any moment by perceiving and participating in what is at hand.