Food

The ethics–and practice–of eating
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    Radiator Charlie's Mortgage-Lifter Tomato Paid Member

    In August my gardener hands are stained nicotine dark from the resinous sap of tangled tomato vines heavy with summer fruit. In the spell of the nightshades I return to my first season of growing tomatoes at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, deep in the Ventana wilderness of central California. Anchored by a daily meditation schedule of dawn and nighttime zazen, the tomato plants of the Tassajara garden kept my practice grounded by day. Now, almost 35 years later, the intrepid tomato continues to provide long hours of mindfulness and the real wealth of a succulent harvest. More »
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    How a Tomato Opened My Mind Paid Member

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    Just the Right Amount Paid Member

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    Mindful Eating Paid Member

    Watermelon, in 2 Pieces; 2007; archival pigment prints; 14 x 18 inches "THE BUDDHA TAUGHT one thing, and one thing only, suffering and the end of suffering.” I heard Maha Gosananda repeat this phrase over and over to a gathering of Western Buddhist teachers. How ironic that in America, land of plenty, so many people struggle with food, suffering tremendous emotional distress, guilt, shame, and even premature death. Does Buddhism have anything to offer to relieve this kind of suffering? The facts are startling. Doctors predict that children born in 2000 have a 30 to 40 percent risk of Type 2 diabetes and may live shorter lives than their parents as a result More »
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    Thought for Food Paid Member

    WHEN WE SIT down to eat in our monastery, we try to be conscious of several things. We eat in silence because this way you can concentrate on the food and practice awareness. Then we eat everything on the plate. This is our way of honoring the conservation of resources. We also try to make sure that the conservation of resources takes place before the food even reaches our plate: the portions we receive aren’t too large, and this way it isn’t difficult to eat all that’s been given to us. We also remember the preparation of the food—the work of the cooks and the cleaners and those who picked the vegetables and processed the food. We don’t choose what we eat at the monastery. We’re not in the monastery to become gourmets. More »
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    Instructions for the Tenzo Paid Member

    ZEN MONASTERIES have traditionally had six officers who are all Buddha's disciples and all share buddha activities. Among them, the tenzo is responsible for preparing meals for the monks. Regulations for Zen Monasteries states, "In order to make reverential offerings to monks, there is a position called tenzo." Since ancient times this position has been held by accomplished monks who have way-seeking mind, or by senior disciples with an aspiration for enlightenment. This is so because the position requires wholehearted practice. Those without way-seeking mind will not have good results, in spite of their efforts... More »