This introductory practice is a great way to get a hands-on understanding of mindfulness. We suggest practicing with a grape or some other easy fruit.

Relax by settling into your meditation pose, closing your eyes, and taking a few deep breaths. The grape in your hand did not come out of nowhere in the store. It has a long and illustrious tradition. Allow your mind to envision the grape's history as I explain it. You are free to make your own alliances.

Someone planted a grape seed a long time ago. The grape seed sprouted and developed into a vine. There was dirt, light, rain, and water, as well as perhaps manure, and humans who cared about the grape. The vine continued to grow and eventually started to bear fruit. The fruit ripened to the point that it could be harvested. Then someone came along and cut the trees, and the grapes were maybe sealed, covered in plastic, put into vans, and taken to stores, where you bought them.

There are several secondary links to consider... all of the humans involved in this operation, for example. There were people who tended to the plants, harvested the crops, and drove the cars. We still don't know the conditions in which the farm workers lived and worked; their lives could have been tough. We do know that each person had parents. And their friends' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents' parents And so on. And each person was washed, washed, and ate an inordinate amount of food. What about the food? Where did it come from? Allow your mind to wander and come up with an answer to this topic. Where did the truck come from, for example? Oil, concrete, ceramic, and glass are also examples of materials. What about the roads that the truck used to transport this grape to the market? Who was responsible for tarring, cementing, and paving certain roads? Allow your mind to reflect on this. Make one more relation that you haven't considered or that I haven't described yet.

Now pay attention to what's going on inside of you. What are your thoughts? This question has no correct or wrong answer, which is a crucial thing to remember while practicing mindfulness. What we have to do is figure out what is real for us right now.

You may be experiencing a sense of gratitude. Or you may be experiencing sadness, sleepiness, or something else. Simply check up on yourself and pay attention to what is going on right now.

Now open your eyes and take the grape in your hand. Consider it as though you've never seen a grape before, as if you're a little kid receiving her first grape. You can roll it around between your fingertips, observe the form, color, and movement of the light on it, and determine if it has a scent or a sound. Try looking at the grape with the same sense of awe and fascination as a child has when confronted with something new—that is mindfulness.

Bring the grape up to your mouth and notice if something inside you says, "I want to eat it!" as you do so. Simply be conscious of the urge. After that, shut your eyes, open your mouth, and insert the grape.

Begin chewing, but go slowly at first. Use the awareness to experience, smell, and taste; there's a lot to discover—flavors, textures, and vibrations, to name a few. There's even saliva—your teeth and tongue know just what to do with it.

You can have become aware of what is going on in your head. Maybe you're comparing this grape to one you had last week and saying to yourself, "No, this one isn't as good as the one I had last week," or "No, this one is better than the one I had last week." Maybe you're in the mood for that grape right now. Perhaps you're thinking, "Hmmm, this is sort of stupid," or "Wow, this is fascinating!" Anything could happen at any time. We simply notice with mindfulness. We become conscious of our surroundings.

When you've finished the first grape, go ahead and eat the second one at the same level of concentration. When you've finished the second grape, remember how your whole body is present in this room, and then open your eyes when you're ready.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.