Credit: Occupy Wall St. on Facebook
I will let Song Shu speak in a few moments…
Clutter is not just something that amasses in the available bare areas in one’s living space. It can be anything and anywhere. As we live, things come into our lives, either brought home from the store, gifts, or just things that we have no idea how, when, or why they are there, but they are there nonetheless. With all this, clutter can grow from nothing to something intrusive in the blink of an eye.
Like a living space, the mind is no different, and it can be argued as casting an even larger wake of clump than clutter in a house. Thought clumps. Ways of mental workings that accumulate and come to rest on the invitingly empty spaces of the desk of your subconscious mind. Here, their very presence can incite a persuasion of the body to action, like looking at a pile of books on the floor automatically leads one to read the title of the one on top, and have an invocation of thoughts and emotions spring up. They cover the surface, so all that can be seen is the “auto-thought”. This is why we clean – clean the mind.
To do this, we must watch our brain at work. When we are quiet and not “doing” we can see that which the eyes fail to see.
In the words of Song Shu… Continue reading
The word “zen” carries with it the semantic import of “mindfulness”. Being mindful is something that we all can stand to employ more of in our world and our lives, and it is something that anyone can do. So, what exactly is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of being present right now, other than in the other to ends of the space-time spectrum, otherwise known as the past and future. After all, what else is there? One can worry about the past and the future all they want, but they both are not HERE now, for NOW is here now. Thus, being mindful is the surrender of oneself to the now, and the wholehearted indulgence within its fruitful womb.
As a tribute to NOW, why not challenge yourself to be mindful at a time when all your mental faculties come together to impart upon the body the gift of nourishment – i.e. while cooking.
Cooking involves more than just putting ingredients together to produce a dish to be eaten. Below the surface, to get to the stage where a plate full of steaming food sits before an eater, it must be cooked, and it is in the process of cooking where the magic of the dish is birthed. To truly cook, one must smell the spices, the fragrance of the green onions radiating their aroma in hot oil. One must listen to the sound of the knife as it slices vegetables, making contact with the cutting board. One must FEEL when to add what ingredient, and when the dish is complete and ready for service. Try it with your next home cooked meal, and see how the experience will impact your eating experience as well. Notice the difference of just being with yourself as you take yourself on the journey of assorted raw ingredients, to sizzling lip-smacking goodness.
During mindfulness practice, it should naturally instill an air of calm throughout the muscles of the entire body. With mindful cooking, a dish made entirely of the freshest and most natural ingredients lends to the overall feeling of pleasure that mindfulness can bestow. One can smile inside because they know with this, they are treating their body with the respect that it deserves, as well as giving the senses an opus of real flavors and aromas to induce a neurological lotus blossom.
Feel free to share this post and the idea of mindful cooking (and mindfulness in general) with anyone that you know who may benefit from it, and in turn hopefully they will then pass it on.
Thus is the art of zen cooking… Of zen living