Two Minutes To Eat A Raisin
Thich Nhat Hanh, in “The Miracle of Mindfulness,” recommends that we take eight minutes to eat an orange. Take two minutes to eat a raisin. Really. Two minutes. He maintains that only then can we really taste its essence, see the universe it contains.
Most of you know how my father zt’l took thirty minutes to prepare me to recite a blessing before eating an orange. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I decided that I would use the raisin exercise for my prayers. I took two minutes to recite one blessing of the Amidah. I slowly savored each word, pausing to discover new insights, and experienced the blessing as never before. I didn’t concentrate as much as meditate over each word, pronouncing it syllable by syllable, allowing the sounds to roll over my tongue and fill my mouth.
It didn’t take two minutes. It took ten!
I, bli neder, am going to use the rest of this Elul to “take two minutes to eat a raisin.” I will try the exercise at least three times each day, once in prayer, once with a blessing before eating, and once with the performance of a physical Mitzvah, such as Tallit or Tefillin. I want to use the rest of Elul to enjoy the gifts and opportunities of serving God.
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