Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zen and the Art of Cooking

The food will taste better when the cook is joyful. So says Edward Espe Brown, Zen Buddhist priest and chef, in How to Cook Your Life, a lovely documentary about zen and the art of cooking.

Espe Brown says:  When you’re cooking you’re not just cooking, you’re not just working on food, you’re also working on yourself, you’re working on other people.  It’s about doing things in a thoughtful and loving manner.  How would it be if you did everything in your life in a thoughtful and loving manner?

Espe Brown says:  Is food precious?  Is food worth caring about?  Are you precious?  Are you worth caring about?  It’s a bit of eating to live and a bit of living to eat, with a large cup of caring added to the mix.  How would it be if you considered yourself that precious?

Finally, he says: There’s the possibility of connection with life…Nourishing yourself and other people doesn’t finally come out of a package.  It comes out of your heart.  It’s about connecting with where your food comes from, and how it is prepared and shared lovingly with others.  How would it be if you nourished yourself and loved ones from your heart?

Consider cooking as working on yourself and others, as an important undertaking for precious people and as a heartfelt connection.  It’s something to joyfully contemplate.

Zen Buddhist chant

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