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During a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the Monastery, I took my recorder and an orange and I walked to the creek, recording all along the way. 

When I arrived at the dry creek bed, I sat in the cool, green shade and pulled out the orange, recording about it's beautiful shape, it's vivid color, it's hefty weight (suggesting juiciness) as it rested in my hand. 

I began to peel the fruit, each pull of the thick, pliant skin releasing a spray of essential oil, the fragrance intoxicating.  As the skin separated from the fruit, delicate white tissue clung in patterns to the translucent membrane, patterns of infinite variety and intricacy, tiny fractals reflecting order inherent in the natural world.  

As I recorded impressions, attention became more and more focused and awareness registered more and more of the experience.

Peeling off a segment, juice burst into flavor as teeth penetrated pulp, moisture and sweetness filled the mouth and eyes brightened with delight. 

Recording impressions, each sensation made way for deeper, more subtle sensations — simple surprises strengthening underlying joy at this common but rarely appreciated treat, the abundant beauty surrounding me.  Gratitude for nature's gift of orange expanded to gratitude for greenery, for sun and shade, for awareness practice that enabled me to appreciate this moment and Recording/Listening to capture and relive this.

Then the voices caught my attention ("You're just chewing, you don't want to waste recording on just chewing!"), the recorder was turned off, and I came to as the last bit of orange slid down my throat.  

Ha! That was amazing! I had to laugh. I was so very present, then so very unconscious!  Isn't that what conditioning is doing to us all the time?  No need to take it personally! 

I pressed “record” again and described what had just happened, and deepened my conviction that R/L is a most powerful tool to stay/return to presence and thereby end suffering.

  • Pick up a piece of fresh fruit, turn on your recorder, and talk about the sensory impressions you are aware of as you enjoy the fruit. Take your time, let the process unfold and reveal itself.  Don't listen to voices that have anything to say about the process (or record them, too, as the lies they are!).  Listen to the recording.  See what this exercise does to your experience of the moment.                                                                                                                                                                                

Do you have a favorite R/L insight, idea, or practice tool? We’d love to hear it! Send us your favorite quick tip (75 words or less) or submit your idea for a blog post.