Meditating on Hunger

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A contemplative practice that resonated with me was the exercise on hunger. My experience with hunger has always been associated with dieting or self-restriction for weight loss. My problem wasn’t the availability of food, it was the overabundance of it, and my own lack of discipline with eating. That deeply contrasts with the experience of hunger for most people in the world, who may not know when they will eat next, or where the food will come from. Engaging in the contemplative practice and feeling my own hunger, and then trying to imagine the desperation of those who are truly hungry, fearing for survival, was difficult for me. As a parent, if my daughter was next to me in this experience my desperation would be compounded. I knew that ultimately I could never equate my experience, the mild discomfort I have felt with hunger, with the level of suffering that occurs daily on a massive scale.

Image credit: “Fasting” Guide to Buddhism A to Z

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