Food

The ethics–and practice–of eating
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    Ten Thousand Cups of Tea Paid Member

    When I traveled through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Nepal, I spent many hours in tea shops. To order in any of these countries, I needed to know only one word: chai. Few other words are shared in languages as diverse as Turkish, Urdu, Parsi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Tamil, Hindi, Newari, and Nepali. On a typical day I easily drank six cups of tea. Once I made some calculations: If I drank six cups a day, in a month I would consume 180 cups of tea. After a year the total would be 2,190 cups. Then, if I considered the five years I lived with Tibetan refugees in India, I had drunk a grand total of 10,950 cups of tea. More »
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    Tasting Darkness Paid Member

    Whenever I sith with a bowl of soup before me, listening to the murmur that penetrates like the far-off shrill of an insect, lost in contemplation of flavors to come, I feel as if I were being drawn into a trance. The experience must be something like that of the tea master who, at the sound of the kettle, is taken from himself as if upon the sigh of the wind in the legendary pines of Onoe. More »
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    Cilantro Days Paid Member

    I have always loved the dance of cleaning the kitchen, washing the vegetables, cutting, cooking, cleaning again. My culinary career began when I apprenticed with a Swiss chef at age seventeen. Cooking was art, it was dance, but in Guatemala, I learned that it was medicine as well. More »
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    Eating and the Wheel of Life Paid Member

    Knowing how much is enough when eating...This is the teaching of the buddha. —Dhammapada “Knowing how much is enough when eating.” It sounds so simple. Yet how often the matter of “enough” trips us up. For much of the world, getting enough to eat is the problem. Here in America we eat too much. Two-thirds of the population is overweight, nearly a third clinically obese; meanwhile, our ideal of physical beauty keeps getting thinner and thinner. More »
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    Rearranging the Clouds Paid Member

    It’s been two weeks since I took a vow of silence and as far as I can tell, no one has noticed. When people come into the kitchen, I simply nod as they talk, mastering the art of “um,” that neutral little sound that expresses so much, reveals so little. I sense that my reputation as a good conversationalist increases daily. When I first went silent, I brought a small pad and pen with me into the kitchen at the retreat center. I kept fingering the pad and pen in my pocket, planning to write, “Silence.” Or maybe, “Silent Vow,” but I've never had to use either. More »
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    Commit to Sit: Eating Paid Member

    Guided Meditation: Eating Eating is a common daily activity that provides a very good opportunity for us to practice bare attention, free from the many concepts that may arise around it. Typically, the mind is quite heavily conditioned in various ways around food. Our conditioning may include desire, greed, fear, or anxiety -- perhaps even revulsion. So it’s very helpful to learn how to be with this essential aspect of our lives simply and directly, free of the conditioning or habituated concepts that may cause us suffering. More »