Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Waking up in the kitchen

I am learning about awareness and waking up to the world from Zen teachers and writers. One of them is Dogen, the founder of the Soto school of Japan. He wrote instructions for the temple cook in the Tenzo Kyokun. I plan to read his instructions over the next little while.

He wrote:

Following the midday meal, go to the offices of the prior and comptroller and get the ingredients for the next day's meals: rice, vegetables and so on. Having received them, protect and be frugal with them, as if they were your own eyes. Respect and value them as if they were ingredients for an imperial repast. ... The Rules of Purity say, "When preparing meals, one should reflect intimately on one's own self; [the food] will then itself be pure and refined."

I think that's a wonderful thing to wake up to -- imagine protecting and valuing food as if it were your own eyes.