Miracle Orange

Miracle Orange

Object:  Orange

Teacher:  Stephanie Kanza

Try This:  Mindful Eating

Observation:  “In today’s consumer society, all the advertising messages suggest that there is no problem or irritation too big that cannot be solved by a new product. We are encouraged to believe that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it...But especially in today’s context, restraint is necessary practice, whether driven by economics or ethics....We simply do not have another four or six or eight planets to exploit. Holding back from using something up—whether it is a piece of land or your own mental attention—is a way to conserve the energy you value. It is a practice in taking time to pay attention, to say “this matters,” to recognize the need to take better care of our important energy resources, in whatever form they may take.”

“Mindfulness practice applied to consumption means paying full attention to the act of consuming, the objects of consuming, the feelings of consuming, and the consequences of consuming. For many years Thich Nhat Hanh has offered a simple mindfulness meditation on an orange. He takes a full thirty minutes to lead people through the experience of peeling an orange, separating the segments, holding them in readiness, absorbing the citrus smell, preparing to eat the orange, and finally tasting and chewing the sweet, juicy miracle of orangeness. The lesson is about slowing the consuming process way down to notice its many parts. By being more fully present for the act of consuming, we are more present with our own experience and maybe a little less driven toward the next hook of desire.”

“You can try this slowing-down process with any sort of consuming. It is especially effective in the terrain of impulse buying. If you do any sort of shopping online, you know how quickly you can act on the impulse to buy. Just a few clicks of the mouse and that good deal on eBay is yours, almost before you thought about it. But if you apply mindfulness to the process, you might notice your body hunched over the computer, your breath suspended in concentration, your fingers moving like speedy little mice on the keyboard. By shifting your attention to direct observation of what is happening, the intoxicating spell of buying is broken, or at least interrupted.”

Source: From Mindfully Green by Stephanie Kanza Shambhala Publications