Zen and the Art of Eating Oranges

Sorry for having not posted in some time, but life has been hectic as of late. To spare you most of the details I will just say that a number of problems have been compounding and it has taken my full attention to get everything back to a reasonable working routine.

At some point during the confusion and stress that has been happening lately I came to the conclusion (this morning) that the best way to combat increasing stress, unfair placement of responsibility or blame, and/or being ignored after asking for a raise is to eat an orange. The orange truly is the master of Zen fruit.  It has been a while since I have had an orange, and I had forgotten how rewarding it can be if done properly. There is a ceremony to it, a ritual, which among other things, is entirely calming.

I took out my pocket knife, and cut a slit in the side, then peeled the entire orange by hand. Following that I broke off each piece and individually removed as much of that off-white stringy sticky stuff that hangs out on the orange.  I ate each piece as soon as i had cleaned off as much as I could drawing out the experience. I was careful not to bruise the fruit, I was mindful of seeds and I was aware of the aroma that I was creating.  It smelled amazing. Soon my hands were covered in zest and my keyboard had little dots of orange juice on them (I would later get a wet paper towel). Looking down at my hands I realized that eating anything is an experience enjoyed by all of the senses, not just that of taste. The smell, texture of the fruit; it was all worth recognition. Eating that orange took 15 mins, but I think it is perhaps the most fulfilling 15 mins I have had all morning.

Usually I just cut it open and start eating, and while this successfully gets vitamins and calories to my body it is also a horribly rushed experience. Usually I leave all those white bits on, giving me a drier more cotton-mouth-ey experience, by the end everything is messy and there is orange juice dripping down my hands. Worst of all usually I don’t take the time to identify what I am doing. I don’t really remember that I am in fact eating an orange, simply that I am eating… or perhaps I am watching TV and eating is just kind of tangentially involved.

Today I gave the fruit, and the task of eating the respect they were due. I let the experience of eating an orange encompass the entirety of my thoughts and dispositions. I let the recent distractions, negative emotions and problems reside outside that process of doing something so simple, something I too often take it for granted. And after the task of eating was complete I was ready to work, to get back into the swing of things and to continue fighting the good fight.

Now I am not saying I became one with the orange, nor am I saying I was enthralled while pondering the platonic form of ‘Orange’. All I am saying is by the end of the experience I was relaxed, I was full (as my stomach had time to actually process how much food and orange is), and I was happy.

So the next time life is handing  you an endless supply of lemons, eat an orange.


About bishopdavi

Dave Ambrose was born in the greater Detroit area and since birth he has developed a wide and varied grouping of skills that has labeled him damn near unemployable. He is a 3rd generation Bruce Lee student who studied martial arts for the last 19 years under his father, Rocco Ambrose, the inheritor of the Wing Chun Do, kung fu system. In the summer of 2010 he achieved the highest rank available in the Wing Chun Do fighting style and am now becoming certified as an instructor so that he may pass his knowledge on to some equally unemployable youth one day. His martial training brought him the opportunity to be a stunt man/choreographer on two independent/student films (both of which were killed in production). At 16 years old he caught the traveling bug and spent the summer in France living in Paris, the south central countryside, and the Mediterranean where he developed an appreciation for red wine, and learned to speak French. He attended college at the University of Michigan where he promptly dropped out of the business school and devoted his mind to philosophy. So obsessed was he that instead of getting a second degree or a minor he took enough philosophy classes to get the equivalent of two degrees. He achieved a Bachelor’s in Arts in Philosophy in the summer of 2009. During his undergraduate career he worked as a writer, artist, muse, and eventual distribution manager for the Gargoyle, the university’s official humor magazine. Current he works as an office administrator in a realty firm in downtown Chicago.
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