What is raisin meditation?

Being totally in the present helps to energise us and allows us to enjoy and value things more

A great way to train to do this is through a mindfulness exercise called raisin meditation. This type of meditation focuses our attention on the raisin and in doing so helps to teach us to experience the present in a more complete way.

This dried grape has been a favourite of school children for decades but alongside their nutritional value raisins are fast becoming a prized instrument in helping to improve our mental wellbeing.

Anyone of any age can practice mindfulness and it’s free and easy to do but it can be tricky to find time in the day to put aside to master it. So, if you are new to mindfulness, a good place to start is our guide on how to practice mindful breathing and how to master the body scan technique.

You can of course use any food or drink for this mindfulness exercise – it doesn’t have to be a raisin!

Mastering raisin meditation

First find a quiet place to sit, where you can relax.  It’s a good idea to breathe deeply for a few breaths as this will help to loosen your body and focus your mind.  When you are comfortable, hold the raisin in your hand.

Concentrate fully on the raisin. Notice the details of the raisin – its colour, the way the light plays on it, is there dark and shade? Look at its shape. Now you can increase your other senses by closing your eyes if you wish as this may help you to focus more fully.

Feel the raisin. Examine it with your fingers – how small is it? What does it feel like? Is it soft, hard, waxy? Are there any edges?

Inhale the raisin’s aroma. Hold it to your nose. Try and work out if it smells sweet or earthy? Does this make you want to eat it?

Try the raisin. Put it in your mouth – be aware of how your hand can unconsciously find your mouth. Before chewing the raisin feel it on your tongue, feel its texture in the different areas of your mouth. When you do take a bite concentrate on the tastes you are experiencing – do these change in your mouth? Do the smaller pieces of raisin feel different to the larger pieces?

Listen to the sounds you are making in your mouth. What does it sound like when you chew and swallow? When you feel like you want to swallow think about swallowing before you carry out the action.

With practice you may be able to follow the sensation of the raisin going into your stomach.  Now concentrate for a moment longer and try to observe how your entire body feels.

After a few more moments, start to ‘wake yourself up’.  Wriggle your toes and stretch your hands.  After a few deep breaths, begin to open your eyes.

Don’t rush, take your time to fully reconnect and move on with your day.

Mindfulness does take a little training to get the most out of it.  It’s like developing any skill, the more practice you put in the better the results.

The next step is to build on what you have learned and to try and incorporate mindfulness into your day to day life.

Click here to learn more about mindfulness

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