Mindful in Cooking

Recently, I’ve had a few low-fat/no fat baking mishaps.  In all honesty it’s just not my thing.  I find low-fat/no fat baked goods to be cloyingly sweet and one-dimensional…but I keep trying because the other option is no baked goods.  When I do make something that I feel warrants a Post I’m happy to share it.  I will never share anything disappointing…your time and energy is too precious for that.  I gave myself a “time out” (ie indulged in a little snit) from baking when I read the following in Hubby’s Shambhala Sun Magazine’s mindfulness supplement.  It spoke to me on several levels…cooking only being the surface.

Feeling Your Way Along…by Edward Espe Brown, renowned chef and meditator:

Finding out how to cook or how to work with others is something that comes with doing it, feeling your way along.  And the more you master your craft, the more you know that the way is to keep finding out the way, not by just doing what you are already good at, but by going off into the darkness.

My teacher, Suzuki Roshi, once emphasized this point during a week of intensive meditation.  “Zen” he said, “is to feel your way along in the dark, not knowing what you will meet, not already knowing what to do.  Most of us don’t like going so slowly, and we would like to think it is possible to figure everything out ahead of time, but if you go too fast or are not careful enough, you will bump into things.  So just feel your way along in the dark, slowly and carefully,” and he gestured with his hand out in front of him, feeling this way and that in the empty air.

“When you do things with this spirit, you don’t know what the result will be, but because you carefully feel your way along, the results will be okay.  You can trust what will happen.”

Wise word for this first year with Gastroparesis.  I went on to read how “everyone is born with mindfulness, awareness and compassion and no religion, belief or political inclination is required.”  A dose of mindfulness can enhance your joy and appreciation of everyday life and help you deal with some of life’s toughest challenges when they arise.

I will continue to work on mastering my craft with scrumptious, low-fat Gastroparesis-friendly baked goods.  Meanwhile, if you are interested in reading more about mindfulness check out http://www.mindful.org.  Eat well.  Be well. Enjoy!

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