This morning, I had a long walk, about 6.5 miles. After coming in, cooling down a bit, and having a nice shower, I wanted something to eat – something cool. Each week I will purchase 4 or 5 mangoes, so mangoes were on the menu this morning. They’re quite delicious. One of my favorite Zen quotes is:

When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.
~Hui Hua

Like most things Zen, it is short and to the point, meaning do one thing at a time. If you are eating, then eat, sleeping, then sleep – nothing else.

I got the mango and the peeler, sat quietly and began peeling the mango. I enjoyed seeing the skin come away, the juice well up, smelling the scent, and feeling the texture of the mango, both the peeled and unpeeled parts. Of course, I had to taste it. Delicious. The taste, the texture. Yum! It took me a couple of minutes to peel it because I was ‘there’ and enjoying the process, thinking of nothing else.

After I had finished peeling it, I sliced it, put it into a bowl, then continued along a similar path with the banana, added a few blueberries, some strawberries, and topped it off with a bit of cottage cheese. A masterpiece! Then, similar to a tea ceremony, I sat quietly, no TV, no radio, no cellphone – just me, the bowl, the spoon, and the fruit – I ate. It took a while to eat because I was enjoying the tastes, smells, and texture of the meal, even the sound that my spoon made as it made contact with the bowl. That was an enjoyable meal. It wasn’t the usual shovel-it-down-to-get-what’s-next kind of meal.

I need to have more of these types of meals. They are quite pleasurable. There seems, always, to be time for meditation, even while eating.

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