Practicing One-Mindfully

Mindulness Practice: One-Mindfully

I practiced this lesson by eating a mango. I love mangos and usually tear into them enthusiastically. But this time I forced myself to stop and eat it slowly and really relish the flavor. Wow! What an experience. They say it's the little things in life that matter. Well I definitely enjoyed it more than usual. I had much more appreciation for the visceral fruit - it's shape and texture and color. I noticed that on one side of my mouth I tasted the sweet of the mango and on the other side, the sour. I noticed the fragrance and the feel of the juice. It made me think about those moments that I remember from my past.

I have often wondered about memories - why is it that sometimes I remember one relatively benign moment of my life, but not another. Sometimes I think, "will this be a moment I'll remember or will this moment just fade into the overall sense that I was alive at that time?" I think it's the times when I'm most present that impact my memory the most.

I remember one day I was driving down the highway and suddenly noticed that the sun was peeking through a thick cloud formation like one of those pictures you see that describes "God shining from on high." I didn't last long, but I remember it. I know that I've seen many gardens in my life, but last summer, when I completed my potted garden on the balcony, there were times when I just looked and the whole garden seemed incredibly bright and vivid and now I remember being in the center of it. And not last fall, but the autumn before, there is this tree across from my house whose leaves turned an iridescent yellow and orange and I really noticed it. I mean, I just sat there for a long time, looking at that tree, taking it in. And now it is impressed on my memory.

Maybe it's those times when I'm super-aware of the present and appreciate it for what it is that I remember. I know that when I'm driving and thinking about things that are upsetting me, if I realize what I'm doing and instead look around and notice the trees or the river or the shape of the homes, I know then that I'm okay in this moment and that this moment has some real beauty to offer and I do myself an injustice by not noticing it. Because the things I'm worrying about aren't going to change by my worrying anyway.

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