juice, choice and buddhism

we drink a lot of juice at my house. usually i buy it; this time my husband did. we have different taste in juice. i like straight orange juice; he and our daughter prefer a little more variety.

so husband buys four packs of juice and puts them in the pantry. then, this morning, reaching into the pantry to get my juice for breakfast, i was hit with all these choices!

my hand stopped in mid air. ok, now what? hm. what do we have here? naw, i don’t like “fruit plus”. tropical? not really. mango tangerine? yeah, that’s ok. i guess.

was that enough information to make a decision? no. now i thought, should i open the mango tangerine first because i like it the best? or should i keep it for later, rewarding myself for first finishing the ones that i don’t like so much? why did husband buy them anyway?

and my mind spun a little more …

then it hit me: what a good example of what buddhists such as pema chodron talk about: we are so involved in avoiding pain and chasing pleasure. we are so obsessed with choice.

being fully present – one of the biggest gifts that buddhism has given us – i could have simply noticed my intention to drink juice as i always do for breakfast, opened the pantry door, and reached for the next best juice. instead, i cluttered my moment with going off on tangents, with unimportant desires, inconsequential choices, and a meaningless decision.

i am thankful to the teachings i have received, which allowed me to wake up and see what was happening. i am grateful to all who made it possible for me to drink whatever juice is available, from the earth that supported the growth of the fruit to the people who worked in the packaging plant to the cashier who served my husband. how much better to steep myself in gratitude than to chase the tiny, forgettable pleasure of drinking the perfect glass of juice.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

3 thoughts on “juice, choice and buddhism

  1. Pingback: granny post number 4: waiting, waiting » change therapy - isabella mori

  2. mcewen

    Such sloth to ‘buy’ the juice – shocking! And watch out, all that juice will turn your teeth orange. There is nothing wrong with running away from pain, I’m all for it!

  3. Hueina Su

    Hi Isabella:

    You’re right, we are often side-tracked by unimportant stuff that takes away the simple pleasure of life, such as drinking a glasss of juice. I chuckled as I read the part about choosing which juice to drink up first. It’s like eating a plate of strawberries or any fruit. I used to have the same “delimma” — do I eat the not-so-perfect ones first, and save the best for last? Or do I eat the prettiest, ripest ones first, so I am always eating “the best one” on the plate? The simple choice (and the logic behind it) tells you a lot about your philosophy about life, doesn’t it? 🙂

    Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul

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