The Raisin Exercise

The Church of England today launched its Lenten discipline with a fanfare.  It is a wonderful initiative to take look at the world around us and take it all in.  As a psychologist, Ruth has been using mindfulness techniques for years to improve people’s mental health.  We have actually used the raisin exercise in church on several occasions as a teaching tool about all of the things we miss in our busyness.  Take 10 minutes, a pack of raisins and a small group in a reflective service.  Here is the text:

Pick up a raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand. Look at it. Examine it. Describe the raisin. What does it look like? What color is it? How would you describe the texture? Now, feel the raisin in the palm of your hand. What does it feel like against your skin? Pick it up with your other hand. What does it feel like in your fingers? Is it slimy? Rough? Smooth? Soft? Hard? Squeeze it softly. What do you feel? Smell the raisin. Describe how it smells. Put the raisin in your mouth, but do not eat it. What does it feel like on your tongue? What does the texture feel like now? How does it taste? How does the taste compare to the way it smelled? Move it around in your mouth and notice every aspect of the raisin. Bite the raisin and think about what you taste. Now how does the raisin feel in your mouth? Finish chewing and eat the raisin. How did it taste?

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