Be Connected

Compassion in Systems

Contemplative Practice


Get an apple or another piece of fruit. Wash and dry it and read along with this guided eating reflection. This exercise asks us to be mindful of the systems that we engage in daily that allow us to live more fully.

Before taking a bite, pause for a moment. Look at the fruit in your hand and ask yourself: What systems made it possible for me to eat and enjoy this fruit? For most of our lives, we have consumed food without considering where it came from.

Take a bite of the fruit and think of the elements that came together to create the taste and texture; the soil, water, sunlight, fertilizer, and oxygen. Take another bite, fully chewing. Think about the people who tended the crop to ensure its health and maturation. Acknowledge the people who climbed the ladders or bent over to pick the fruit and those who carried the heavy bushels to get processed. Again, take a bite and notice the color, texture, and flavor. Consider the truck drivers and trains that transported your food to the local grocer. Reflect on the employees who unloaded and displayed your fruit so that you could choose the best produce to nourish your body. This fruit, and your ability to eat it, is because we are engaged in a complex system of nature, anatomy, commerce, agriculture, and transportation. The food you eat is part of a greater whole working together.

Time to Complete: 10 minutes

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