Meditation

The orange

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a mindfulness meditation exercise that I learned a long time ago. I’m posting it because one of my favorite ADF blogging people was talking about struggling with meditation and others have mentioned struggling with mediation too. I’ve been doing formal meditation since I was fourteen. I’ve done a lot of different forms of meditation over the years. I wouldn’t say I’m any sort of expert, but I am very experienced! I enjoy meditation in its various forms a lot, but it’s not easy for most people to get started. This is an excellent exercise that doesn’t seem like meditation to a lot of people, so it’s a good beginning technique.

Be Here Now Meditation: Know Your Orange

Get some food item. Doesn’t matter what food, though many times if you do this in a group it will be an orange or a single raisin or a single peanut M&M.  It does need to be something you’re willing to eat!

Sit down with it and examine it closely, as though you were taking notes to tell us blog readers all about that particular orange or raisin or M&M or piece of toast. Talk up a script to yourself, either out loud or silently, about the food item. Observe how it looks, how it smells, its weight and texture, Explore everything you can learn from observing it before you eat it. Look at it up close and far away, hold it up to the light. Really know it before moving on to eat it.

If it’s an orange or something else that you peel or cut before you eat it, observe and describe that process as well.

Take a bite and observe and describe the flavor. Pay careful, intimate attention to the flavor, the feel of the food in your mouth, the emotions and thoughts the experience of eating the food brings up.

You can turn all the info into a journal entry after you’re done. If you’re a writer, (and if you’re reading this, you probably are!) approaching the exercise as though you were preparing info for an essay or blog entry can really help you keep focused and observing. Even if you don’t want to write about the experience, behaving as though you were going to write about it or explain your orange to someone else helps your focus.

A lot of people try to force some kind of meaning on this sort of meditation– that you’re learning to appreciate life or love your food or spiritually bond with the Universe through your orange or raisin. That’s all nice and everything, but it’s not the point. If you don’t feel instantly spiritually evolved or bonded with the Great Circle of Life, that’s fine. Don’t panic; nothing’s gone wrong! The point is to Be Here Now. As the guy in the video link on meditation says, it’s all about paying attention. Be present in that moment, really participating in what you’re doing, and observing it with a non-critical mind. This is the core of all meditation, and the slipperiest, hardest part to get.

Hope this helps someone with their meditation practice!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grey Wren
    May 03, 2011 @ 11:22:13

    There’s an apple in my fridge with meditation written all over it.

    Seriously, I’m going to try this this afternoon. What an interesting exercise… I like that it’s active meditation instead of passive. Maybe that’ll work better for me in my current hyperactive mental state.

    And thanks for this bit: “The point is to Be Here Now. As the guy in the video link on meditation says, it’s all about paying attention. Be present in that moment, really participating in what you’re doing, and observing it with a non-critical mind. This is the core of all meditation, and the slipperiest, hardest part to get.”

    Very helpful. Thanks again.

    Reply

  2. tlryder
    May 03, 2011 @ 11:48:32

    I’m glad you liked it. I hope it goes well with the apple. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Trackback: » Straight Up: How to Try Mindfulness Meditation Addiction Treatment Strategies

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