Choppin’ broccoli

This past Christmas, my present to myself was a really nice juicer.  I figured with all the money I’ve been spending on juices at local healthy havens Prana Restaraunt and Life Alive, I should probably make the investment.  (for those who care, I bought this one, and thus far it’s been better than advertised)  And I love it- I’m enjoying fresh grapefruit juice in the morning, and I have to say I enjoy kale even more juiced with apples than I do sauteed with garlic.  (mmm, garlic…)

One thing I didn’t expect was the fact that I actually like the prep work- chopping carrots and apples, peeling oranges, brushing off the beets so they don’t have that dirt-ish flavor. Lately I tend not to have music on, and there’s a certain rhythm to it that almost becomes a meditation.  I’ve always cooked, and usually prep work has been something to get through so the good stuff can happen, but it’s become nice in and of itself, perhaps even (gasp!) a meditation.

Many teachers talk about an yogasana practice as a “moving meditation”, and it certainly can be, and it’s a great entryway to meditation for folks who haven’t tried to meditate before.  (I lead a small meditation group once a month at a gym where I teach, and it’s all yogis, at least so far)  But it certainly doesn’t have to be the only entry point to a quiet(er) mind.  The trick for me it to recognize those places, like chopping veggies, as an invitation to mindfulness, and to honor that space rather than slogging through.  Great mindfuless teacher Thich Naht Hahn puts it this way:

To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only
when you aren’t doing them.  Once you are standing in front of the sink
with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really
quite pleasant.  I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware
of the dish,  the water, and each movement of my hands.  I know that
if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes
will be unpleasant and not worth living.  That would be a pity,
for each minute, each second of life is a miracle.  The dishes themselves
and that fact that I am here washing them are miracles!

Readers, what in your life invites a meditative space?

(and if you thing this post was in no small part an excuse to put this video up, you know me too well… though I don’t juice broccoli, that’s still a little weird even for me…)

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