Contemplative psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and groups in New York City.
0 commentsWhen I asked my Zen teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, if he had any advice for working in the kitchen, he said, “When you wash the rice, wash the rice. When you cut the carrots, cut the carrots. When you stir the soup, stir the soup.” Taking his words to heart, I found that they had the power to evoke what lies hidden in the depths of being. Something awakens. It is not self, not other, not me, not the world. To “be mindful while you work” carries a certain dryness, not to mention distraction: doing something—practicing mindfulness besides what you are doing. What Suzuki Roshi meant was more like “throw yourself into it” or “immerse yourself in what you are doing.” More »
0 comments“Theravada monks eat only one meal a day . . .” That was how it started. A friend I’d known for several years (albeit only by phone) was coming to stay for five days. Of course I knew he was a Theravada Buddhist monk. It wasn’t the basis for our friendship, but I knew it. And so I couldn’t quite grasp the insistence of the woman speaking to me on the phone. “You know it,” she said. “But you don’t understand it. That means that he will eat three meals at one sitting—no kidding! So really pile it on.” “For real?” I inquired. “What’s the use in that?” “He can explain that for himself,” she answered, a bit peremptorily, I thought. It was true. Although slim for his build, the bhikkhu could eat like nobody I’d ever seen. I come from the South, from the land of all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurants, and so I know what it looks like to watch someone tuck away half a cow at a single sitting. The bhikkhu left them in the dust. More »