Tangerine, Umbrella and Mindfulness

“During the time you eat a tangerine, eating that tangerine is the most important thing in your life.”

Thich Nhat Hanh uttered this sentence when asked about how mindfulness should be experienced. How much do we practice this concept in our lives?  

Do we read our e-mails during breakfast? When talking to someone, do we calculate when to leave in order to avoid traffic? Do we think about the upcoming payments when our child is telling us about what happened at school that day?

In accordance with the concept “Doing two things at once means doing neither”, if we focus on what we’re doing at a particular moment, we’d be on our way to living a more peaceful, joyful and wise life. In fact, if we bring our awareness into the daily mundane tasks, they may turn into magical moments. Food may become tastier, conversations may become more pleasant, problems may become easier to solve.

If anxiety about the future and our daily troubles won’t let us be, it might be a good idea to set a time to think every day. We can spend that allocated time to really think about whatever is on our list and then continue on with our lives with our awareness focused on the task at hand.

Yesterday morning, I was lost in thought as I was closing my umbrella and injured my finger. The red mark on my little finger from yesterday reminds me of how right Thich Nhat Hanh is. After all, when closing an umbrella, the most important thing in our lives is closing that umbrella!



Translated by Talya Arditi


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