A Slow 2011

Mandarines, originally uploaded by gerrit photos.

One of my goals for 2011 is to take it slow. I'm reading Carl Honore's In Praise of Slowness right now, and everything he says makes so much sense. 2010 was the worst year ever in terms of my anxiety and stress, and I'm working hard to make changes so that I don't have to go through that again.

When I first started reading Thich Nhat Hanh many years ago, this particular piece stuck with me. I haven't been very mindful for a long time, but I'm starting to really see and experience things again. It feels good.

"One day, I offered a number of children a basket filled with tangerines. The basket was passed around, and each child took one tangerine and put it in his or her palm. We each looked at our tangerine, and the children were invited to meditate on its origins. They saw not only the tangerine, but also its mother, the tangerine tree. With some guidance, they began to visualize the blossoms in the sunshine and in the rain. Then they saw petals falling down and tiny green fruit appear. The sunshine and the rain continued, and the tiny tangerine grew. Now someone has picked it, and the tangerine is here. After seeing this, each child was invited to peel the tangerine slowly, noticing the mist and the fragrance of the tangerine, and then bring it up to his or her mouth and have a mindful bite, in full awareness of the texture and taste of the fruit and the juice coming out. We ate slowly like that.

Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, its wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy."

1 comment:

Van said...

It's so painfully hard to slow down and relax. This is definitely a new years resolution I need to make time for. Amid 1,000 other daily tasks :)

Thanks for sharing the tangerine story.