Friday, June 19, 2009

"Zen" eating

Over the past couple of weeks, I've shared with people my experience of sitting a retreat at the Kansas Zen Center. People seem pretty cool with everything except for the dining part. "You eat quickly? Doesn't sound very Zen?" They always seem to think that "Zen Eating" would be slow, feeling every texture, taking in every taste. Nope! That's Mindful Eating. Nothing wrong with Mindful Eating. Just like there's nothing wrong with Mindful Meditation! It's just not Zen style. Here is a bit from the Kwan Um Temple Rules with regards to eating. Keep in mind that these are rules for the temple, not for everyday life.

On Eating

An eminent teacher said, "A day without work is a day without eating."

There are two kinds of work: inside work and outside work. Inside work is keeping clear mind. Outside work is cutting off selfish desires and helping others.

First work, then eat.

Eat in silence. Do not make unnecessary noise.

While eating, attend only to yourself. Do not be concerned with the actions of others.

Accept what is served with gratitude. Do not cling to your likes and dislikes.

Do not seek satisfaction in eating. Eat only to support yourself in your practice. (my emphasis)

Though you may eat good food all your life, your body will die.

The Great Way is not difficult.
Simply cut off all thought of good and bad.
Salt is salty,
Sugar is sweet.

So there you have it! I hope this helps clear things up?

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