Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Emotions, Pleasure, Senses, Mindfulness, Gratitude
by Kristin Neff
          The practice of savoring is closely related to gratitude.  Savoring refers to the conscious enjoyment of that which gives us pleasure; that is, lingering over delightful experiences, swishing them around in our awareness like a glass of good wine.  We often think of savoring in terms of a sensual experience:  noticing the subtle taste and aroma of our food rather than merely wolfing it down.  Smelling, tasting, and caressing our lover's skin rather than merely "doing the deed."  But savoring can be applied to all enjoyable experiences — reveling in the lovely sound of a friend's laughter, the beauty of a fallen leaf, the satisfying depth and complexity of a well-written novel.
          When we savor an experience, we hold it in mindful awareness, paying conscious attention to the pleasant thoughts, sensations, and emotions arising in the present moment.  We can also savor delightful memories, so that we relive joyous experiences and appreciate them all over again — like the day we met our life partner, or first held our newborn child, or took that romantic trip to Prague.  Savoring is an intentional act designed to prolong and deepen pleasure, luxuriating in its beauty.
Original source:  Kristin Neff in Self-Compassion.
I found this on the Spirituality and Practice website and was intrigued by the whole idea of "savoring" something in a mindful way.  I found this definition:  "Enjoy or appreciate (something pleasant) completely, especially by dwelling on it."  Or by lying on it, like the little girl in the photo.  Don't you love the expression on her face?


Beth said...

I'm a savorer from way back, Bonnie. I honestly think that the fact that I've never had much money has helped me to appreciate (and savor) everything more---big and small.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

What a great comment, Beth! Yes, that's you, a savorer. (It's a real word -- I just checked.)

Stratoz said...

Sa voting is a great word. Will find a moment to bring it up inside my classroom.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks for visiting, Stratoz. I agree that savoring is a great word.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Sylvia Jones said...

I really like your latest books blog on savoring. I can't figure out how to say so in the comments without opening some account I don't want, however, so I'm telling you here. Thanks. An excellent post, concept, picture, and practice. (Do you know the child in the pic?)

Bonnie Jacobs said...


No, I googled "savoring" and looked at the images that came up. I was won over by this child's delight.

Maybe you should consider joining the discussion of the book I'm reading with my book buddies (on another of my blogs). Diana Butler Bass has ten chapters of "practices" in the middle of Christianity for the Rest of Us, found here:


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Four years later, I discover this post was referenced on the RevGalBlogPals blog <https://revgalblogpals.org/2012/10/10/wednesday-festival-pondering-lifes-challenges/>: "In a blog devoted entirely to her passion for books, retired Methodist pastor Bonnie reviews a volume which explores the essential spiritual practice of savoring. We often forget to take the time in our life of prayer, or in our other spiritual practices, to savor our experience of God, which Ignatius suggests that we do when we review our days. Bonnie seems to have found a gem of a book on this delightful topic."

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Oops! I didn't notice I had commented on the RevGalBlogPals post:

"Thanks for the shout-out, though what I found was not a book, but a website on spiritual practices called Spirituality & Practice. If you click on that link, you will eventually get to a book review, but it was the quote on savoring from the website that I shared on my book blog. I was looking for spiritual practices because my online book club (on another of my blogs) is starting to read and discuss (as we go) Diana Butler Bass's Christianity for the Rest of Us, published in 2006. The middle section of her book covers ten practices that "point Christians in the right direction, toward the wisdom of God, toward love, toward home" (p. 74). Some of you read this book in 2007 and discussed it here on RevGalBlogPals before I got here. If you've read it — or want to read it now — come discuss it with my Book Buddies. (Jan @ Yearning for God is searching for her copy and plans to join us.)"