Meditation on Eating an Orange

Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation is a matter of enjoyment.
When you are offered a cup of tea, you have an opportunity to be happy.
You can drink your tea in such a way that you are truly present.
Otherwise, how can you enjoy your tea?
If you are offered an orange there must be a way to eat your orange that can bring you freedom and happiness.
You can train yourself to eat an orange so that happiness and freedom are possible.
If you eat an orange in forgetfulness, caught in your anxiety and sorrow, the orange is not really there at all.
But if you bring your mind and body together to produce true presence, you can see that the orange is a miracle.
Take the time to eat an orange in mindfulness.
Bring your attention to the fruit you hold.
Close your eyes and smell the fruit.
Imagine the orange blossoms in the orange,
The trees in the grove, standing the test of time and weather,
Their roots firmly planted and sturdy
The soil, dark and deep
See the rain and the sun that have gone through the orange blossoms.
The tree that has taken several months to bring this wonder to you.
Open your eyes.
See the orange in your hands once again,
Slowly begin to peel the orange.
Notice the fragrance, feel the coolness of the flesh
When the fruit is peeled, pull it apart with your fingers and choose a segment. Hold it between your fingers, notice the patterns, the colors, the different textures,
Bring the fruit between your lips and place it in your mouth
Bite into it, and close the eyes to concentrate fully on the orange flavor. The juice on your tongue and feel its sweetness in every part of your mouth Do not take another bite until the essence of the previous bite is gone.
Continue to eat every piece of your orange with this mindful practice.
Placing each segment in your mouth,
Tasting its sweetness with your whole being
Remember to pause occasionally to reflect on any new sensations you experience. When the fruit is gone, let the experience linger, awakening gratitude and joy.

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