using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2016
WHEN I ASKED my late teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, for his advice about working in the kitchen, he said, “When you wash the rice, wash the rice. When you cut the carrots, cut the car- rots. When you stir the soup, stir the soup.” Though very similar, this is not the same as “be mindful in the kitchen,” which makes it sound like you have two things to do: washing and being mindful, cutting and being mindful, stirring and being mindful. What would that mindfulness part look like? Probably a bit stiff, as your impulse will be to move slowly and carefully so that only a moderate amount of energy and emotion arises to meet the circumstances. In other words, most people hear “be mindful” as keep yourself in check. Yet what is magnificent and magical is finding out how to manifest the cutting of carrots with your whole body and mind; how to wash the rice with your eyes and your hands, connecting consciousness with the senses and the world—not just going through the motions. This brings me to a pivotally important point. When you stop going through the motions and manifest the stirring of soup, alive in the present moment, emotions may surface. While some find this problematic and may recommend dispassion, my suggestion is to invite your passion to cook. Instead of tying yourself down so that nothing volatile arises, use what is vibrant and volatile—feelings—to energize your presence in the kitchen. Invite them to handle, stir, wash, touch, scrub, scour; invite them to see, smell, taste, and delight in the play. A cook’s temperament is a passion for life: give it a field in which to practice—put it to work. If I were to cook only when I was most loving, kind, and benevolent, I would have starved long ago. I am not telling you to act out in the kitchen; my encour- agement is to turn afflictive emotions, as well as enthusiasm and exuberance, into something edible and nourishing: food. So along with mindfulness, washing the rice when you wash the rice is putting more emphasis on concentration, focus, attention, and energy. These actions rather blend together: Pre- pare food! Make it happen! Wash, cut, cook, taste, savor. Gather yourself, as many disparate parts as you can muster. Zero in on the activity and how to do it easily, effectively, effortlessly (not How to Wash Rice With Your Eyes Mindfulness, says Zen cook EDWARD ESPE BROWN, means engaging life with your whole being. The results will be noticeably more delicious. walking into a store and having no choice but to be mindful of the cashiers or plainclothes security because you are already a suspect. Mindfulness continues to be the practice of surviving how my body becomes a canvas on which other people’s projections just going through the motions). Give your attention to observ- ing and perceiving rather than giving out directives and enfor- cing rules. Let your life force bloom and sparkle. Interact. Study how to use your body to do the work of cooking. This kind of instruction accords with the oneness of practice and realization. When you make food you are actualizing the fundamental point. You are making food real. It’s not just talk; it’s not just a head trip—we can eat it. Engage in what you are doing. Zen Master Dogen’s advice is to let things come and abide in your heart. Let your heart return and abide in things. All through the day and night. To engage is to meet and connect, and out of that meeting and connecting, to respond. Responding from the heart, your implicit intention is to bring out the best. This is learning to relate with the things of this world and your own body-mind, rather than seeking to hide out in a place where you don’t have to relate with anything. There are recipes to follow in order to get it right and gain approval. There are no recipes for telling you what your heart knows, and precious little workable advice for trusting your heart rather than your head. After a number of months as the cook at Tassajara Zen Center, I went to Suzuki Roshi with a problem: “How do I get my fellow workers to practice the way they should?” I explained to him that I was endeavoring to practice his instruction to wash the rice, but that others in the kitchen often came late to work, disappeared for long bathroom breaks, and that when they opened their mouths, their hands stopped moving. “How do I get them to really practice?” Roshi did not say, “Tell them to be more mindful.” He lis- tened attentively, as his nods punctuated my litany with what I took as confirmation: Yes, I know, it’s hard to get good help these days. He seemed so completely sympathetic. When I finished speaking, he paused for a bit, then startled me by say- ing, “If you want to see virtue, you’ll have to have a calm mind.” “That,” I protested to myself, “is not what I asked you.” I had something new to study. How will you survive the kitchen? Make it through the fire? One key I found is not to calm my mind first and then look for paint a reality for me that is often quite harmful. To be present to this process is to resist this kind of violence. ♦ LAMA ROD OWENS is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School and a core teacher with the Natural Dharma Fellowship. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2016 70