All practice starts with ingredients:
When chopping vegetables use a sharp knife so cutting doesn’t crush the spaces in the plant tissue. I like colourful greens: kale with bright red spines, subtle greens in celery, the gradations of green onions. Use everything. The stalk from the kale is cut in uniform pieces to balance the angled slices of the green onion and celery.
Compost the discarded pieces:
Practice requires preparing the ground:
Heat oil carefully. Like my practice I tend to start out hot and then burn up in a smoky mess.
Start with the ingredients that set the flavor.
Green onions, garlic, ginger. Incense, candles, flowers, mat and cushion.
Add the ingredients that support the dish. Celery, kale stems. Meditation, dharma talks, sangha.
Stir, resist interfering, let the heat do the work. Breathe, sit, walk, resist interfering. Let the heat do the work.
Add the kale – it’s good for you. Retreats, dokusan, getting frustrated, wanting to give up. Really, try it. It’ll do wonders.
Add to the black-eyed peas you cooked earlier.
Oh, did I forget to mention that? Blackeyed peas, soak overnight, boil 2 hours. Set aside.
This is the part in practice where I want to leave my teacher, ditch the practice, feel betrayed, become a conspiracy theorist.
The true nourishment of practice is available only if we get cooked enough.
Thank you for practising,
PS added @ 1520: My dharma friend from Bodhi Leaf just alerted me to Espe Brown’s movie: How to Cook Your Life. I had a chance to dine at the Greens in San Francisco – one of my must-do-this-in-my-lifetime events!