Updated: Jan 18, 2021
MAKING A CONSCIOUS DECISION
Recently, I experienced an incredibly profound emotion, an intense sensation within my body during one of my eating meditation practices. Having gone through all of the prior steps of my practice, I had arrived at the stage of actually having food on my plate and eating it. I vividly recall feeling alive and present as I took my first bite of cheese. Deciding to move on, I eyed a spoon on my plate that delicately balanced three single black beans on top. I carefully picked up one of the beans, a tiny, boiled, black oval, and held it between my thumb and forefinger. I smelled it as it rolled from forefinger to middle finger, index finger and pinky, my thumb delivering it at each stop.
Ready, I proceeded to take the smallest bite of this already small bean. Suddenly, a wave of ecstasy came over my entire body so intense I can’t even begin to explain how it felt in words. Warm from head to toe, tingles ran vigorously up and down my spine, a sensation very similar to that of an orgasm. Even more interesting, however, was the immediate sense of shame, guilt, and disgust I experienced after the ecstasy, like a stern nun upset at me for enjoying such pleasure. In that moment, I understood how the dots connected, that those feelings would come up for me after an actual orgasm. Reflecting on this, my eyes began to tear up, overwhelmed with the realization of how all of those feelings associated of shame, guilt, and disgust about sex got there and that I don’t allow myself to feel pleasure.
"Suddenly, a wave of ecstasy came over my entire body, so intense I can’t even begin to explain how it felt in words. Warm from head to toe, tingles ran vigorously up and down my spine, a sensation very similar to that of an orgasm."
Yet, the tiny black bean, still lingering between my fingertips pulled me back to myself, to the present. Feeling the bean, I realized that the texture and scent had changed due to the bite I had taken; the black bean was different, which meant that I could also be different.
It took everything I had in that moment to be with my black bean, smell, touch and taste it again, but I did.
It took everything in that moment to choose differently, and I did.
I made a conscious decision to let go of that feeling of shame and guilt and, instead, to allow for the pleasure, or whatever might arise next, in that moment. Indeed, the next bite did give me the same, erotic sensation. But, this time, I simply smiled, bringing my awareness back to the tiny black bean. I noticed how incredibly sweet this boiled black bean was, and I allowed an audible “mmmmmm” to leave my mouth. I chose to leave the black bean after that second bite and to move on to a new food item, letting go of the experience so I could give my attention to what was next.
"I made a conscious decision to let go of that feeling of shame and guilt and, instead, to allow for the pleasure, or whatever might arise next, in that moment."
This was a deeply moving experience for me and was, perhaps, one of the first times I can recall having an intense emotional experience without shutting down or going completely numb. It felt as if in that moment I had faced something that had been holding me back for eternity. Now that I know I can see the feelings for what they are, acknowledge them and stare them in the face, then let them go or choose differently, it gives me hope that I can make space for sensations of pleasure that arise in my life as I continue along this earthly path.