Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eat A Raisin

Trees bend along a windy highway on the way to Amman

My wife is the master of multi-tasking. She can bath our four-year old son, check email, chat with her grandparents on the phone, and clean up after dinner all without a second thought. Me, on the other hand, my quest is in the other direction. I’d like to be able to do one thing at a time.

How much of our lives are spent doing several things at once, our bodies are doing two things while our minds are working on two or three other separate challenges? I struggle to do just one thing. When it’s time to brush my teeth, I’m only brushing my teeth. When it’s time to prepare dinner, I want to do just that, nothing else. I am working to focus on the task at hand, no matter how small or mundane.

Here’s an exercise. Eat a single raisin. The catch is that you must take 15 minutes to do so, and that’s all you get to do for the entire time period. Experience the raisin; let it settle in your mouth. Feel the texture of the dry skin with your tongue, taste the initial subtle flavor. For 15 minutes let the raisin dissolve away until there is no hint of it’s flavor in your mouth, notice the subtle changes in flavor, smell, and texture as the raisin transforms and eventually disappears.

Once the 15 minutes are up, you will see how much if life really just passes us by without ever tasting it.


Long-time RN said...

Reading about your quest makes me close my eyes and ponder for a moment. I work at finding the truth within, attempt Yoga and meditation, yet remain chief multi-task diva of our domain. Our boys, 21 & 24, live at home (and there are always 'extras' around) with one still in college. My husband and I work full-time and I've been unable to regularly give myself the gift of quiet, reflective time unless I'm visiting our friends in Vegas. There, I spend my days grooming and caring for their horses and the mind yields to quiet. But I continue the quest back here in the Midwest, and let's see, I'm currently sitting here with a laptop... Ahh, priorities!
Cathy B

Eric said...

I agree, in today's day and age you can't just retreat to a cave for ten or fifteen years in search of enlightenment. You have to carve out little pieces of time here and there. I'm a "morning person" so I try to get up before my wife and son to sit for a bit. It's a good way to start the day for me. Others find time at night, but that's never worked with my internal clock, I'm too tired.
Other things that work well are weekend retreats probably much like your trips to Vegas. best -eric