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Food craving
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1/20/12 8:50 AM
Hey,

I just thought a little about how the craving for (/clinging to) food works.

I had the expectation that there is a craving for the specific taste of a certain food, so I tried to imagine eating something I would usually experience craving for.
To my surprise, at this point, I don´t think I can really imagine what something tastes like: there is just a mental image of that food and a couple of very fleeting thoughts that describe the taste: "spicy", "sweet", etc. Furthermore there are sensations which belong to / are the craving itself which for me mainly manifest in the jaw region.

The sensations of craving itself seem to be what´s influencing me to eat, so it can hardly have anything to do with the actual taste of the food. Is it simply the idea that this food is desirable which is the cause for its desire?

What are your experiences? Can you actually "taste" food in your imagination?

RE: Food craving
Answer
1/20/12 10:59 AM as a reply to Martin M.
The sensations of craving itself seem to be what´s influencing me to eat, so it can hardly have anything to do with the actual taste of the food. Is it simply the idea that this food is desirable which is the cause for its desire?

What are your experiences? Can you actually "taste" food in your imagination?


Definitely can't taste food in my imagination, the buddha noticed this too, he said that one of three forms of craving is the craving for sensuality, not meaning craving for sense pleasure but for attachment to sense pleasure. It's funny that the actual experience of the taste isn't what we have craving for. I noticed that when I ate a bag of chips yesterday, if I chewed them longer I got more taste from them, but I still wanted to eat them fast, the craving was definitely for the idea of eating. This is also why even though the pleasure I get from sitting in low-level rupa jhanas is enormously greater than anything else I do, I still often have to force myself to sit and force myself not to indulge in sense pleasure, I fail at forcing myself in these things alot more often than I'd like, this disconnect between what we crave and what we know to be pleasant is a useful thing to reflect on.

RE: Food craving
Answer
1/22/12 12:23 PM as a reply to josh r s.
This is the kind of craving you have to be careful with. I've heard that food cravings can be caused by a deficient nutrient. It is a controversial subject though. That could be entirely wrong. If you don't already, start taking a multi-vitamin. That way you know you're getting the nutrition you need. Then you can deconstruct the cravings, knowing that they are just cravings, and not something important.