Contemplation of the Loathsomeness of food leads the mind to peacefulness, removed from lust, anger and delusion and promotes overcoming the Five Hindrances to attain Jhana. There are ten meditations, as follows:
A monk contemplates the loathsomeness starting out when he is going on an alms round by contemplating the dirtiness of the pavement which might have contamination.
When a monk goes out on an alms round it is sometimes hard searching for food. When he goes to a house which always offers him food, he contemplates the dirtiness of the walkway leading to that house.
When the food passes through the throat, it is mixed with phlegm and saliva. One can swallow the food because one cannot see with eyes how dirty this is.
When food is swallowed into the stomach and mixed with bile, phlegm, lymph and blood, it becomes multi-colored and ugly.
Swallowed food goes into the stomach and is contaminated because the inside of the stomach is already contaminated like a container filled with dirty things which has never been washed out. The new is always mixed with the old, causing bad odor.
Food in the stomach is covered by phlegm and burned by the fire element. It makes bubbles and various kinds of loathsomeness such as the bloated body of a dead dog in a trash pit.
Food heated by the fire element bubbles as if boiling, it is contaminated by excrement. If it could be seen by the eyes, it would be so repulsive that one couldn’t stand it.
When food is already digested, it will be absorbed by the body so the hair can grow. If the food is not digested, it will cause disease and mental or physical suffering.
When the food is swallowed, it comes out in nine different ways such as ear wax, urine and feces. All are loathsome.
Consuming food contaminates the hands and mouth. They become repulsive, just as when saliva, feces or urine touch anything, that object becomes dirty.
When the meditator repeatedly contemplates ten types of Loathsomeness of food until he or she attained the Nimitta [loathsomeness appears] as the meditation object, the Five Hindrances will be calmed and the mind will attain access concentration, but not attainment concentration.
In another sense, when a monk constantly contemplates the Loathsomeness of food, his mind will be calmed from craving and sober from intoxication. Consuming food is just for the purpose of overcoming defilements like a traveller crossing the desert who needs to eat the flesh of his son [who has already died] when food runs out.
When the mind becomes peaceful due to Contemplation of the Loathsomeness of Food, one will see these Five Aggregates [the body] are loathsome because of food. When he or she sees that corporeality (Rupa-khandha) is loathsome, the other Four Aggregates will be seen in the same way. The mind will develop Vipassana by seeing the Three Characteristics, as a result, one becomes tired of the Five Aggregates and finally reaches emancipation.