I want to share with you a prayer of simplicity. It is a prayer which creates a focus on goodness. It is a prayer which will make you smile. It is a prayer which will nourish you in many ways.
It’s called the Tangerine prayer. I learned of this prayer while reading a book about Thich Nhat Hanh a Vietnamese Zen monk, poet, and peacemaker.
I like this prayer because it is simple. It can be an individual prayer or a community prayer. This prayer uses all of our senses:
1) feel the smooth skin, feel the juices on your fingers as you begin peeling the fruit;
2) hear the juice burst as you peel the fruit;
3) smell the incredible aroma which begins to permeate the room and your hands;
4) taste the sweet goodness;
5) notice the pace of life slowing down so you can truly enjoy this gift of creation.
As you begin to peel the tangerine, think of the fruit as part of God’s creation. The water and the earth are needed to sustain the growth of this fruit. The tree must reach a state of maturity to bear the fruit. The fruit must be picked, packaged and shipped before it makes it to your grocery store. What else does this fruit reveal to you? Create a prayer which addresses this goodness of creation.
As you begin to eat the tangerine, begin one section at a time. Perhaps you have a prayer or thanksgiving for each section of the tangerine. Savor each slice as you celebrate the goodness and prayer which comes to your mind.
When you finish the tangerine, add the peel to a compost pile or create a simmering pot: water, tangerine peel and cinnamon. This fragrance will permeate your home, reminding you of the goodness of your prayer.
Notice the sweet smell of the tangerine lingers on your fingers.
A prayer of this type, one which evokes many senses, will help you practice the presence of God. It will help you focus on the simple goodness we often miss in life. It will be a blessing to you.