~ The Mandarin Blossom
"One day, I offered a number of children a basket filled with mandarins. The basket was passed around & each child took one mandarin & put it in their palm. We each looked at our mandarin & the children where invited to meditate on its origins. They saw not only the mandarin but also its mother the mandarin tree. With some guidance they began to visualise the blossoms in the sunshine & in the rain. Then they saw petals falling down & the tiny green fruit appear. The sunshine & the rain continued & the tiny mandarin grew. Now someone has picked it & the mandarin is here. After seeing this, each child was invited to peel the mandarin slowly, noticing the mist & the fragrance of the mandarin, the tiny segments that make-up the whole piece of fruit. Then bringing it up to the mouth & having a mindful bite, in full awareness of the texture & taste of the fruit & the juice coming out. We ate slowly like that."
"If I offer you a freshly picked mandarin to enjoy, I think the degree to which you enjoy it will depend on your mindfulness. If you are free from worries & anxiety, you will enjoy it more. If you are possessed by anger or fear, the mandarin may not be very real to you."
Children & adults love this meditation. It can be done in any season with any piece of fruit or vegetable. To see the look of awe & wonder upon the meditators faces when it dawns that the fruit too has a mother, is magical & enchanting.
From - Thich Nhat Hahn. Peace Is Every Step; The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.