Tuesday, November 17, 2009

sitting under a tree: eating a tangerine:

One of the books that I just began reading is about mindfulness, in fact it's call The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. It's a small book, but I am trying to be as mindful as possible while I read it and savor every word. I have been meaning to read it since a friend loaned it to me a few weeks ago, but have not found the necessary brain power that I wanted to give to it until I decided that I was just going to take the time to start today.

Tonight, I wanted to stop and take a breath after work, before going home, so I took myself to a coffee shop first. I had started the book this afternoon while simultaneously giving a break to the person at the front desk of our office. As I would set the book down, along with the concentration of my breath, to answer the phone or greet someone, I chuckled a bit at how opposing I thought that these two activities were. Yet in actuality, this book seems to resonate in each area of life. It's about reminding yourself to be alive and be aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. Here is my favorite section so far, though I am really at the very beginning as I mentioned before.

"Eating a tangerine: I remember a number of years ago, when Jim and I were first traveling together in the United States, we sat under a tree and shared a tangerine. He began to talk about what we would be doing in the future. Whenever we thought about a project that seemed attractive or inspiring, Jim became so immersed in it that he literally forgot about what he was doing in the present. He popped a section of tangerine in his mouth and, before he had begun chewing it, had another slice ready to pop into his mouth again. He was hardly aware he was eating a tangerine. All I had to say was, "You ought to eat the tangerine section you've already taken." Jim was started into realizing what he was doing. It was as if he hadn't been eating the tangerine at all. If he had been eating anything, he was "eating" his future plans. A tangerine has sections. If you can eat just one section, you can probably eat the entire tangerine. But if you can't eat a single section you cannot eat the tangerine."

A. I want to be a in career that makes me just as excited as Jim! Oh wait, that's not the point to this? Not completely. And I have actually experienced that excitement when I prepare for an art show. That is very important to me and something I am working on achieving, but equally as important and more to the point, I want to apply that mindfulness.

Some of us do not even stop to take a breath and a break from our work to eat, to nourish our bodies and our minds. I do try and stop for my meals every day, though I'm not solely focused on sticking each morsel of food into my mouth. Sometimes I'm reading or in conversation. And sure, we are not all monks who clear our lives to gain peace and simplicity, which is not to say that that is not a life of rich complexity, and in fact is quite the contrary. But, most of us do lead complex and often times complicated lives.

I just want to know mindfulness and balance. In an evening where I had a strong call to just stop and breathe, this book was so good for me. Thought I'd share it with you as well, in case you're looking for a bit of the same in your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment