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Lions Roar : May 2018
HOT OFF THE PRESS be engaging, beautiful, or ener- gizing. You will probably cook in a repetitive manner, completing assigned tasks without any sense of curiosity or discovery, without truly engaging your life-force energy, without understand- ing how to bring your body and spirit alive in the kitchen. In other words, cooking will be tire- some because you are doing it in a tiresome way. You’re only put- ting in your time until you can get to somewhere your aware- ness can be carried along, or if all goes well, swept away. Often then, when you return to the rest of your life, it can seem even grayer—because you still have more to learn about how to meet and engage the ingredients of life. If meditation is “boring,” who said that? Who must be busy looking elsewhere for more energizing experiences rather than entering more deeply into the moment as it is? Who is not finding the way to connect what is inside with what is outside and instead is wishing for salvation or escape, whether it be in the form of the proverbial sex, drugs, and rock and roll or the allures of entertainment or enlightenment? Who is it that pre- fers something big and powerful to provide a sense of flight (or at least height) to coming to a standstill and having to be with oneself? And who might agree to work with this seemingly inad- equate self? With careful examination, perhaps you realize that you are a great candidate for this work of re-parenting yourself, of becoming your own best friend. Boredom can be a precursor to more intimately engaging with the present moment. Instead of busily dismissing the moment with a condescending, “Hey, meditation, you don’t do it for me,” you shift to, “What more can I find out? Is there something I’m missing? Tell me more.” You open, or allow, for something bigger. While you are busy being bored—that is, not finding the excitement and stimulation you are looking for—often you will not be noticing how much you are abandoning yourself in the process. While you are busy looking elsewhere, what is apparent is not yet realized. Realization is everywhere. And you? Where are you spending your time? Daydreaming about being elsewhere? Or digging in and finding the black dragon jewel exactly here. Naturally we find some activities uplifting and others trouble- some, but we will discover more freedom for ourselves when we do not make universal statements that leave us out of the equation. When we realize that the things we do are not just things but our behavior, then we may also realize we have the power to change our life by changing the way we do things rather than what we do. NO RECIPE Cooking as Spiritual Practice By Edward Espe Brown Sounds True; 248 pp. $17.95 (paper) LION’S ROAR | MAY 2018 76