Monday, August 24, 2009

Lighting a fire in the kitchen

I have continued to learn about the role of the tenzo in zen practice. This
site has some reflections on what happens when you cook with attention and compassion.

"You will practice nonattachment by creating meals that feed practitioners rather than your ego; by planning meals that use what's available and accommodate everyone; and by doing your best with no expectation of return--serving up the meal and letting it go.
Tenzo service is an opportunity for transformation. The kitchen fire burns away ego, attachment, expectation and discrimination."

I am thinking about this because I will help to make the meal for a one day meditation retreat with Calgary Soto Zen in a few weeks. I made some food for previous retreat, and what I remember most vividly was that because we practiced silence all day, from 8 am to 5 pm, I could not apologize for or criticize my food. It helped me to see what a strong habit I have of criticizing my own work. I'm looking forward to finding out what lessons I will learn this time around.


Theresa said...

Just reading this post made me realize how much attachment I have to having people react to my cooking in a certain way. Not that they have to like it, but they have to stop what they're doing right away and come eat when I put it on the table. Hmm...I will have to think more about that...Thanks for posting this.