Buddhism

Eating the Orange

What does it mean to 'eat the orange' ?


orange


Well, this is my viewpoint anyway.....

Eating the Orange

This morning I caught myself saying the phrase ‘Eat the Orange’ a couple of times…mainly because it’s my husband’s birthday and it’s a saying that he is fond of. Not only a saying, but a life philosophy that he likes to live by.

It comes from a Buddhist story. In this story two monks from different countries come across each other while traveling. Each of the monks have their translators. One monk decides to test the other monk. He holds up and orange and through the translators asks, ‘what is this? What is this?’. The translators do their bit and relay the question. The monk being asked the question picks up the orange and peels it, taking a bite. Then, asks his translator, ‘don’t they have oranges in their country?’.

The point of the story is instead of trying to tell a story about something, or guessing at something, bite into it and see for yourself. Experience the adventure.

So, I/we try to live life by ‘eating the orange’; by experiencing new things on purpose. It’s a way of thinking that helps us to walk through fears. For example, if someone asks me out for coffee, my first thought is to say no. Why? Well, I can come up with a number of excuses. ……too busy, what will it turn out to be, is it going to be a waste of time, what if they are scary, what if I fall for them, i have other things to do such as email. But, when I think about just going and ‘eating the orange’, it takes on a whole new flavor.

Instead i think about what the experience would be like. Maybe it will be fun, or scary or whatever, but it will be something that i wouldn't experience while sitting home on the computer.

Just like my naughty goal list that I finally shared. It was scary to be that vulnerable, but I finally put it out there with the idea of what the hell, let’s ‘eat the orange’. Who knows what will become of it.
So, when facing fears, or trying new adventures…..this has become my philosophy for the most part.

‘Eat the Orange’. Enjoy life and all the adventure it has to offer.

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Procrastination and Equanimity


Georgetown-Cupcake-Red-Velvet-Cupcakes-Recipe

I’m once again reading ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck. I loved this book when I read it many years ago, but I don’t remember much about it. So, when I saw a paperback version of it at the library book sale we went to with Kevin and Katie, I grabbed it.

Well, I can see that I’ll be writing about bits and pieces of it as I reflect on it with my new Buddhist knowledge. There are pieces that I can agree with through my experience, but that I want to change because of things I’ve learned on the Buddhist path.

For example, one of the things he talks about in this book is about his client who procrastinates. He ended up using an example of a cupcake with her, asking her which part she eats first. ‘The frosting of course’, she said. It seems that she liked to eat the best part first….or with work, she liked to do the easiest stuff in the first hour, but that meant doing the harder stuff through the rest of the day. He convinced her that if she saved the best for last, it would make the cupcake taste better. If she did her hard work in the first hour of work, that would give her 6 hours of doing the stuff she enjoyed.

This makes sense to me, because at work right now I do the same thing. I cherry pick the easy stuff and then put off doing the harder stuff. So, switching my way of thinking should fix my procrastination issues. Right? You’d think so. But, having that logic at my finger-tips, doesn’t always work.

So, my thinking is, if I could release the attachment I have to the feeling tone of my work, if I would feel equanimity with my work, then I wouldn’t procrastinate. Everything would be equal and would get done in order of importance, or whatever order I wanted to give it, besides the ‘easy/hard’ evaluation I give it now.

Equanimity and de-tachment to feeling tone. To me, that’s the answer to procrastination, not trying to keep a visual in my head of whether I eat the icing of a cupcake first or last.

How do I get to de-tachment of feeling tone and equanimity about my work? That’s the question. Practice, practice, practice is my guess.
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