When we are doing some work(eating food--first task).. we hear something important or some noise(second task), which might require us to pay attention to it(to second task)..

(means if we want to be truly mindful, then how we have to deal with this situation)

NOTE: In this case, the first task or work needs continuous attention stream of mindfulness from us.. and second one tries to hinder or abrupt first task's flow..

3 Answers 3


What you are seeing or describing here is the impermanent and uncontrollable nature of conditioned phenomena.

The ultimate solution is to win Nibbana, the unconditioned. Here there exists no arising or passing away.

While in Samsara, you can practice Vipassana meditation and change meditation object according to whatever arises. You don't have to note everything. Try to balance the faculties to ensure restless and agitation does not arise.

Eat and be mindful of the entire process and if/when another object comes into contact with a sense door, e.g. the ear-door, note that object and return then to your primary meditation object, i.e. the eating-process.

The below Instructions for Mindful Eating is given by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw. Note that these detailed instructions are used on retreat or when you have enough free time to practice in this way. If not, then use general awareness of the eating-process.

Instructions for Mindful Eating

1.Look at the food, noting "seeing."

2.Notice whether or not you are hungry.

3.Note "intending to move."

4.Turn your right or left hand laterally until it's resting on edge, perpendicular to the knee. Stop.

5.Raise your hand straight up until it's more or less at table-height. Stop.

6.Move your hand forward toward the fork or spoon. Stop.

7.Grasp the fork, being aware of the sensation of touch as you do so. Stop. 8.Lift the fork. Stop.

9.Move the fork toward the food. Stop.

10.Place a bite of food on the fork. Stop.

11.Slowly raise the fork to your mouth. Stop.

12.Touch the fork to your lips. Stop.

13.Open your mouth. Stop.

14.Put the food in your mouth. Notice the feel of your lips touching the fork, and the contact or temperature of the food on the tongue. Don't let yourself chew yet. Stop.

15.Lower your hand slowly. Stop.

16.Place the fork on your plate. Stop.

17.Return your hand to your knee. (You still haven't begun to chew.)

18.Chew the food. Flavor will appear. Mentally try to isolate the flavor from the tactile mass of the food, the movement of your mouth, and any desire that arises. Flavor is its own object, separate from all these things. If the flavor is strong you should focus on it. But if the flavor is bland, focus on the movement of the jaw or tongue. Note "moving," "tasting," "desire," "touch," and so on, as appropriate.

19.As you swallow, note "swallowing."

20.Be aware your mouth is empty.

21.Notice whether or not you feel full.

22.Note the intention to take another bite.

23.Repeat steps 1-22. (Although mental notes were not given for all the steps, you may wish to add them, labeling "moving" for steps 3-5 and so on.)

If you need both hands to cut something, focus your attention on one hand only. Apply the same step-by-step procedure to drinking: observe the intention first; extend your hand; grasp the cup; move the cup toward you; take a sip of water; and finally, bring the cup back to the table, stopping completely after each action.

When mindfulness and insight are strong you may not recognize what you are eating. This experience is a revelation. Instead of green beans or rice on the plate, you see only color. Rather than meat or cheese, you taste an unnamed burst of sensation. This experience is difficult to describe, but if it happens you will immediately understand what we are talking about.

The step-by-step eating technique is intended mainly for meditation retreats. During daily life it usually isn't practical to eat this way, except on special days or when you have free time on the weekends. When you are unable to eat in the step-by-step manner just use general mindfulness to be aware of what you are doing as you eat the meal.

  • Sir, could you give me good link to vipassana meditation.. i like to practice it and increase my mindful nature of mine to extremely epic level..
    – user2929
    Jun 27, 2016 at 13:05
  • See this link on Meditation questions and Instructions to Insight meditation by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw.
    – user2424
    Jun 27, 2016 at 14:10
  • @user2929. Hello I have made a room for us to chat in. I sent you an invitation to the room. I'm there now and for the next 30 min. I also sent you a message in Hangouts.
    – user2424
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:55

A common definition of Mindfulness is present-moment awareness.

So the question here is the first task of higher priority then the second task.

For the first example, someone is eating mindfully and they hear a loud noise. Realizing that it is simply a car honking outside the person notes it and resumes their mindful meal. They do this without getting distracted, or getting upset about their peaceful meal being disrupted or going into other trains of thought.

For the second example, someone is eating mindfully and they hear a loud noise. Realizing that it is a fire alarm the person realizes they need to stop eating and take the proper actions to respond to the new situation.

Being mindful should not decrease but increase situational awareness and wise action.


Just as in meditation, you can maintain a sense of mindfulness when you deal with other things. Just as the theme or nimitta of the meditation, or in other words the topic of your meditation – when you deal with other things, the ‘nimitta’ is your main object of focus. If hatred forms in a mind as a result of a cause, then that is Patigha nimitta (an objective to hate) which is your focus. When this focus is powerful, there is no room for a second different object of focus to get in the way.

The appearing of a nimitta is a sign of concentration. When you develop an ‘anapanasati nimitta’, and practice it further, then you need a good knowledge of teachings (suttas) for you to overcome obstacles that you face. If your focus is not strong, a meditator will face distractions in the form of colours – bright or subdued- of white, red, yellow, orange, blue, etc. and get trapped in them. In normal life too it is the same thing. One quality that’s always appropriate in establishing mindfulness is being watchful or alert.

The Pali word for alertness is sampajañña. It doesn’t mean being choicelessly aware of the present, or comprehending the present. Sampajañña means being aware of what you’re doing in the movements of the body, the movements in the mind. This is why mindfulness and alertness should always be paired.

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