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Lions Roar : May 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2008 64 TAKE THE TIME to eat an orange in mindfulness. If you eat an orange in forgetfulness, caught in your anxiety and sorrow, the orange is not really there. But if you bring your mind and body together to produce true presence, you can see that the orange is a miracle. Peel the orange. Smell the fruit. See the orange blossoms in the orange, and the rain and the sun that have gone through the orange blossoms. The orange tree that has taken several months to bring this wonder to you. Put a section in your mouth, close your mouth mindfully, and with mindfulness feel the juice coming out of the orange. Taste the sweetness. Do you have the time to do so? If you think you don’t have time to eat an orange like this, what are you using that time for? Are you using your time to worry or using your time to live? Spiritual practice is not just sitting and meditating. Practice is looking, thinking, touching, drinking, eating, and talking. Every act, every breath, and every step can be practice and can help us to become more ourselves. The quality of our practice depends on its energy of mindful- ness and concentration. I define mindfulness as the practice of be- ing fully present and alive, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment. I drink water and I know that I am drinking the water. Drinking the water is what is happening. THICH NHAT HANH is a renowned Vietnamese Zen master, poet, and founder of the Engaged Buddhism movement. His most recent book is Noth- ing to Do, Nowhere to Go: Commentaries on the Teach- ings of Master Linji. The Moment Is Perfect Meditation in Action T HICH NHAT HANH No matter what we experience when we’re meditating, it only has meaning when we take it out into our daily lives. There is nothing we experience, from the simple act of eating to the compli- cations of work and relationships, that we cannot approach with the mindful- ness and compassion we develop in our meditation. PHOTOS BY COREY KOHN VELCROWRIPPER MAY 64-67.indd 64 MAY 64-67.indd 64 3/6/08 11:31:58 AM 3/6/08 11:31:58 AM