about me

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mindful spirited discovery...

Why make such a fuss over what we eat?

 

“In the food of every country is the story of that country. It sounds like a cliché but every dish tells a story. That’s probably why you and I love it. You’re not just talking about it or reading about it—you get to eat it too. You get to eat the history. You’re eating somebody’s life! It becomes a part of you. Then you can pass it on. To me, this is the greatest part about cooking.” -- Stanley Tucci

 

Like many, I was introduced to cooking when I started college at 17 — to survive. Since then I have traveled many miles, experienced many cuisines, and cooked many meals.

 

Along the way I have learned a few things about food, the process of cooking, and the impact it makes on our mind, body, and soul during good times and bad times. Food is the most fundamental of needs for our survival and almost every major event in our lives revolves around it.

 

It plays a vital role in the development of social interactions and social relationships. I find food to be sacred and the process of making food to be awakening and insightful. Although I am not professionally trained, cooking has become a joyful passion.

 

The process of making food has taught me to be mindful, embrace creativity, and push for mastery. | Read more...

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In the 13th century,  Japanese Zen master Dogen wrote “Instructions for the Tenzo”, or head cook. In examining the manners and methods of preparing a meal at the Monastery, he reveals how to “cook” — or refine — your whole life.

 

In one such instruction, he says “When you boil rice, know that the water is your own life.” How do we cultivate the mind that cares as deeply for an ordinary thing, like water, as it cares for our very own life? 

 

It comes from putting our entire mind into those simple tasks, concentrating deeply, and doing them intentionally and completely. 

Master Ono exudes the very essence of the Japanese word Shibumi, which means “effortless perfection.” In this context, Shibumi suggests complete harmony, tranquility, and balance.

 

It is 'eloquent silence' and 'understanding, rather than knowledge.'

 

Jiro Ono creates each sushi piece with a state of calm and tranquility with a beginner’s mind each time — he does not focus on what he made before or what he will make next. It portrays his:

 

  • Discipline: the ability to say no when something doesn’t fit 

  • Patience: that allows for the true quality of his devotion 

  • Strength: to stay focused on his singular purpose

 

One could argue from Jiro Ono’s mastery that he has found simplicity through the complex process of understanding what simplicity meant for him. | Read more...