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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Do not be absent minded in your activities, nor so absorbed in one aspect of a matter that you fail to see its other aspects.

From Dogon’s “Instructions for the Zen Cook”

Many of us know from the kitchen experience that if we focus on one side of the meal we are preparing (for example, its aroma or color) and even temporarily forget the others, our checking out from the world into our heads can ruin the whole meal. It’s easy to get carried away and forget to add salt and spices or miss the critical point when we should remove it from the stove.

Burnt oats (not happy): Read my lips, “Eat this!”

I find the same to be true of  life: if I choose to focus only on one aspect of it, for example work, I can get signals from inside that something is missing, something is out of balance, that I left home. Still, this is what most of us have to deal with at different points in our lives when one side of it temporarily takes over. In the best case we are aware of what’s happening and can even tell others who might be affected that we will catch up with them once the project is done, the book is finished or we have solved the issue of poverty in the world. In the best case we can come back to the center in time before some damage is done (in yoga, on the physical level, the price of not being aligned is that we either collapse with our bodyweight on one particular part of the body and can get injured or have to resort to great muscular effort to sustain balance.) But even as we let our life on the everyday level come slightly off-balance, we don’t have to be out of balance with the experience of life, do we?  We don’t have to go to exotic places or eat exclusive meals in posh restaurants to experience the gift of life, to feel alive.

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Ango: what is my eyeball now?

So what resonated with me during and especially after our first webinar with Dosho and other sous-chefs of this Ango?

First of all, I felt inspired by the energy of the group and the willingness to see how the words of Dogen could apply in our own lives. Having participated in a few webinars with Dosho by now, I noticed that it is the energy that I respond to and leave the rest simmer in the background for the rest of the week. If I try to rush myself into producing some meaningful insights, I just risk to burn the whole thing (those food metaphors for cooking our life are deliciousssss!)

First, …get the ingredients for the next day’s meals: rice, vegetables, and so on. Having received them, protect and be frugal with them, is if they were your own eyes.

– From Dogen’s “Instructions for the Cook”

The questions that I’ve been looking at these days (that came up as a response to Dogen’s words) are:

  • What does being frugal mean to me?
  • What are my ingredients for the day? and
  • What is my eyeball right now?

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