Thursday, August 28, 2008


We keep granola bars in our cars to give to homeless people. It is something my partner started, and it is a way of spreading loving kindness, bringing more connection, and showing our kids that you reach out to those in need. I love giving out the food, but I always feel a little uncomfortable with their gratitude. I am just another person on a journey. Not better than, worse than... just another person trying to walk my path.

Today there was a couple sitting on the corner and I gave them some granola bars. The man thanked me, and I smiled and talked to him for a second. Then he went over to his wheelchair bound friend and showed her the loot. He broke open a granola bar and took a bite, clearly enjoying it, and handed it to his friend, who did the same.

I watched them enjoy this cheap granola bar, receiving it into their bodies like a sacrament. I felt such a rush of gratitude for these strangers showing me a beautiful act of mindfulness. They ate slowly, with great joy, as if that granola bar was the best thing they had ever eaten. It was as if they received not only the food, but the love of the universe with every bite they took. I cannot describe their joy. It was not effusive, but it filled them and radiated out.

I thought about how much I take for granted, how many joyous things (like food) I race through, barely tasting the experience. I thought about the ways my automatic, disengaged behavior creates a state of spiritual malnourishment. I thought about this snapshot in time and the opportunity it presents me. I later noticed how I wolf down my food, eating as if someone was going to steal it from me any second. I noticed the desire to check out rather than check in with myself. I noticed how little I want to live in my body, and how much it hurts when I do.

This is an opportunity. I am grateful for it.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely idea! Thanks for sharing it (methinks I’ll be sure I carry granola bars from now on) and this heart-warming reminder of mindful living. I’ve had similar experiences in the past with homeless hungry folk … sharing the food I shared. The remembrance blesses us all.
    Hugs and blessings,