Monks and Tangerines

I’ve been re-reading “Peace is Every Step” by the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. It’s a phenomenal read about being mindful in our daily lives when we’re washing the dishes, picking up the phone, dealing with our emotions or relating to others. There are a lot of thoughtful messages throughout the book, but one of the major themes is that life is better when you focus on the present and smile. At a whopping 134 pages, it’s a light read, but it has had a profound impact on me. You may already practice some of the things that he writes about in this book, butĀ sometimesĀ it helps to see it written down. I’d like to thank Jean for recommending it.

There is a section called “Tangerine Meditation.” He tells a story about how he gave tangerines to some kids one day. He asked them to think about where the tangerine came from: the tree, the blossoms, the sun, the rain. Someone had to pick that tangerine and bring it to them. Then he asked the kids to slowly peel and eat the tangerine and really taste its flavor, its texture. They all enjoyed their fruit in full awareness. He writes, “You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine.”

Eating isn’t a chore. Just because we have to do it everyday, doesn’t mean that we should just eat whatever and not think about how it tastes or where it came from. Enjoy your next meal. Slow down and really taste the food. Think about its origins. And enjoy the meal after that, and the one after that…

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5 Responses to Monks and Tangerines

  1. Arya says:

    i JUST finished eating a tangerine

  2. Amanda says:

    I have tangerines on my kitchen table! I just enjoyed guacamole, butternut squash soup, and black bean sweet potatoe and spinach enchiladas! All homemade (on Quincy street)

  3. alaska85 says:

    Katie one of my favorite parts of that book is the “cookie of my childhood” section. Also about food! I like how he pets the dog with his foot while he eats his cookie. I think it’s hard in the States to appreciate your food sometimes because there’s so much good food around all the time that you start to underappreciate it. Also, I like how TNH talks about when you’re eating dinner together as a family you should stay focused on the food. David and I were recently in NYC and we had fantastic Indian food but we were catching up with friends and so we didn’t really get to appreciate the flavor fully :(


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