2004.05.03-serial.00030

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That's what happens in hot weather, doesn't it? It reminded me of when I came to Irish Tide. That's right. So that's a pretty interesting story. So I did cut myself. It was the first morning of the first retreat. Really seriously, I had my finger pretty well to the back, but not quite enough. So I kind of sliced the nail right in line with the finger. So it's about a third of the nail. That's why you should never use a sharp knife. There were two doctors here. So I'd been ministered to. I was pleased because one of the doctors suggested that I take care of it about the way I would.

[01:06]

We bandaged it up and then I put a piece of rubber clothing over it, taped that shut, and then just let it ooze for two days and do what it wants. And, you know, kind of knit and mellow out in all the pusses and stuff. And then I took it off this morning and it was just fine. And I'm just fine. And so they said I didn't need to be airlifted any place. So I've had medical attention. But I mention it now just to remind you, word of caution to the wise or word of wise to the cautious, that you might endeavor not to do this while you're here. And I did dispose of the fingernail so it's not going to be in your justice.

[02:13]

It's not going to turn up in one of the massages. No. I thought it was better that I do it rather than you, you know. Yes. And, you know, I did it like the first morning so kind of do it, get that out of the way. I'm not sure. I think mine was kind of one of the issues, but it wasn't that loud. And I thought I did pretty well. I did find some of my Chinese blood pills and Chinese shock pill back in my cabin.

[03:15]

And so I gave my, you know, self-medication to. I have the Yunnan Baiyao, which is a Chinese herbal remedy for knife wounds, gunshot wounds, traumatic bleeding, hemorrhage, irrespective of their being serious or otherwise. You know, in normal instances, you know, it's best to take it with wine. And now Dennis is down here. Yeah, yeah, so I've actually seen that through four doctors, yeah. So Denny looked at it this morning. No, I don't think so. No, my knives are very sharp, great thing. Well, I'll just go ahead and talk about some things and then if you have some, you know, other things to talk about or follow up to what I talk about, we'll do that.

[04:16]

We'll take about 40 minutes. I seem to be kind of tired, I don't know. Maybe it's the food here or the weather. The weather. So I wanted to tell you a few stories. And those of you who have read my books may know all of them, but you won't have heard them in person. So over the years, partly because I've done classes, I think a lot about what I want to communicate to people. What to me has been important about cooking and Sam and so forth. So we're kind of starting with that this afternoon. And one of the things, and I find stories useful.

[05:17]

I spent a lot of years actually listening to fairly boring talks, so I decided I wanted to do talks that were interesting to me. So that works out. So several years ago when I worked on the Green's Cookbook with Debra, and we had worked on it quite a lot. And I edited her recipes and she edited mine and we worked with the food editor for a month. And then we sent it in. So we thought we'd done a good job. And then we got back the manuscript with all these little pink precipitates sticking out the side of it for things that needed to be corrected. Scads of these things sticking out the side of the manuscript. We were very surprised. And most of them said, we had sent in, we were trying to give people instructions on how to cook. Rather than numbers.

[06:24]

And these are recipes, but some said cook the onions until they're translucent. The little pink label says how long. And Debra and I were both very frustrated. Are people going to cook by looking at the clock or by looking at the onions? And then it would say season to taste with vinegar. And the little pink label would say how much. How are you going to season to taste if you don't season to taste? If you don't taste it. If you don't taste it. And at some point we were thinking, maybe there's a difference between New York and California. And Kelly and I were saying, maybe there's a difference between L.A. and Northern California. That the East Coast seemed to be like, if you want to know how to do something, you get an expert to tell you. And you do what they say. And then you two could cook like me. And most cookbooks are, I'm a great chef, we have a great restaurant.

[07:26]

And if you do what I tell you, then you two could produce masterpieces. This came up at one point. Somebody wanted to advertise one of my books. It said, Ed Brown would teach even inveterate meat eaters how to produce vegetarian masterpieces. I said, no, that is not the idea of the Tomato Boat Things. We are not endeavoring to produce masterpieces. We're endeavoring to cook, relate to the food, and smell it, taste it, touch it, and dream up what to do with it. And not to turn it into some masterpiece that then we get accolades from, etc. And finally, we got to the pasta section in the Greens Cookbook. And there was a recipe that said, cook the vegetables until they're as tender as you like. And the little note says, how long? And then it said, how do we know?

[08:27]

And we just couldn't, you know. So I actually ended up writing a little introduction to the Greens Cookbook. Finally talking about cooking as opposed to following recipes. And this has been very interesting because people, and recipes do have a place, they're very useful. And on the other hand, there's no recipe for being a father, or a mother, or a husband, or a wife. Most of what we do in our life, there's no recipe for it. And this is why in the Zen school, in meditation, sit down in this posture and figure it out. And meditate. And you'll find out how to meditate by meditating, not because you're good at following our directions. So it turns out that the way I cook is not so, you know, it's the same sort of sense of, it's not like I'm going to give anybody a recipe. And so I tell people, if you want to cook, we'll go in the kitchen and cook.

[09:34]

So what's the, and people have all these ideas about cooking, and by some point it's like, well are you willing to go into the kitchen or not? In meditation, are you going to go to the meditation hall or not? And it's not like, and people think, well I should be good at it, I should be. So do we want to limit ourselves to doing things, only the things that we're good at? And couldn't we sometimes do some things that we're not so good at? Or kind of learning to do something. So it's a very strange mentality. A few years ago, I read a wonderful, I used to get the Sun Magazine, the magazine that comes out of Raleigh, North Carolina or someplace there. And they have a reader's write-in section, so one month was the reader's write-in about dieting. So there's a lot of kind of horror stories about people who've been on diets and things that happen to them. And then there was this one great letter a woman wrote and said that she'd noticed that there hadn't been very many studies done of people who'd lost a lot of weight, and kept it off.

[10:42]

Because it's notorious that people go on diets and then you gain back all the weight you lost. And so she thought she'd do her own study and she identified some number of people, 20 or 25 people, who'd lost some significant amount of weight. She had some number, 15% or something like that. And they kept it off for five years or more. And she interviewed them. And she found that they had one thing in common. Which is that they'd each figured out for themselves how to do it. And that was it. And then the kicker to the story was that she'd written a book about this and been turned down by 13 New York publishers who told her to write a book about dieting. Because people aren't going to buy or be interested in a book that says, you could figure this out for yourself. And probably, if you're going to be successful at dieting, this is what you're going to need to do.

[11:45]

So it's interesting how much to me this comes up. Partly this is around the issue of responsibility. And in Zen, it turns out there's this so-called concept that each of us, we're each who we are. And no one can take our place. No one can take over our position. So the person in our position, where you are, no one's going to take over that position. So that means mom isn't going to come and do the dishes after you. Nobody's going to pick up. If you're not taking care of it, nobody else is going to take care of it. If it's not something you do, no one's going to do it. So each of us are in a sort of position of, how do I do my position? And if I don't do it...

[12:50]

So one of the stories in the Tenzo Kyokan there is one of the famous stories. There's two mushroom stories. I don't know if you have a chance to read that yet. But the first mushroom story is, here's this great... who later is recognized as being a great Chuchu Dogan. The founder of the Zen school in Japan. And when he was in China, he was at a monastery and he's walking some place and here's the head cook out in the courtyard there drying mushrooms in the noon day sun. And he's completely bent over. He says his back was like a bow, his hair was turning white. And Dogan says to him, how long have you been a monk? And he says 68 years. And Dogan says, 68 years? So this is somebody like me who's a monk at like 15 or 13 or somewhere in his 80s. And Dogan says, isn't there somebody around the monastery who's a little younger

[13:55]

who might be able to be out here in the sun like this? And he says, they're not me. And couldn't you do this another time of day? And he says, that wouldn't be now. But in Suzuki Rishi wrote... in one of the lectures that we put in, not always so, it's called The Teaching Just for You. It's actually all the teaching is just for you. And there's a certain kind of sense, and that's also the kind of sense that no one else can do your life. We're each in this position of doing... We're the one who's going to do our life. There's not somebody else who's going to do that. And so there's also the sense that... And this is related to responsibility then,

[14:57]

experiencing things and responding to things. And if I don't respond and experience things in my life, nobody else is going to do the experiencing things and relating to things. And I'm the one who's going to have to do that. And so there's something here. And at one point I was even thinking, and I think it came up sometime while we were working on the Green Script book, you know, what is it then about recipes? And there's something in recipes that's about how you avoid responsibility, how we avoid responsibility. Because if the recipe works, you can kind of say, yeah, that really is good, isn't it? Thank you. And if it doesn't work, you say, well, I followed the recipe. I guess it's a bad recipe. So when things don't work, you have this thing to say, well, I did what I was told. I followed the recipe. And, of course, in more serious situations, you say,

[15:59]

well, it's just following orders. I don't know whether it's good or bad. I just did what I was told. And so, you know, in terms of kitchens and cooking and recipes, it's fairly small, but it's just one more place where there's an opportunity to actually see things, smell things, taste things, do something, take care of the food, in a way, and the kitchen and the space and the other people and the circumstances. And to me, it's interesting, so finally, that there's something very challenging about this. But, you know, whether it's not necessarily some of us, you know, don't find cooking so challenging, but there's something very challenging about taking responsibility. And so when I think about it, it seems to be that,

[17:04]

and that's where I said this afternoon, I think, or when I think about America, I think, yeah, happiness is never having to relate to anything, that you never have to actually meet anything or deal with anything, and that you can kind of go around in a little cocoon, and then you can get things to eat. And a few years ago, and some of you may remember from tomato blossoms, when I would leave Tassajari here and go out to the stores, after you're here for six months or nine months or something, and you go out and you make a soup, and I was in the 20 feet of tomatoes, which one do you buy? And they're all kind of like, buy me, buy me, buy me.

[18:07]

And then there's all these prepared foods. Why buy me? I'm quick, I'm easy, I'm quick, I'm easy. You won't have to relate to me at all. It's safe for you. And all you need to do is... And it turns out, even 15 years ago, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about how fewer and fewer people were cooking. And at least 25% of American families never eat together. Mom buys these prepared foods. They never eat together. Each person has their own TV in their own room. And during station breaks, they pop something into the microwave, and then they have their pizza or whatever it is, and they can go and watch television in their own room. They don't have to relate to food. They don't relate to cooking. They don't relate to cleaning.

[19:09]

They don't relate to each other. And it's passed something through you called the media, and just let this stuff pass through you. And then that's not something you actually have to relate to. It's just something like you let, you know, pass through. And so 25% of the people at that time weren't cooking. And part of the point of that article in the context of the Wall Street Journal was how much would people pay not to cook? And so then, of course, you have to go out and work all the harder to be able to afford to buy the food so that you don't have to actually work. And so it seems like at some point it's like, well, yeah, to cook is work, or it's actually relating to something. Something appears, and I'm like, I don't know what to do with that. I don't know how to handle that. And then it's like, could I figure something out?

[20:10]

Or could I smell it, taste it, touch it? Could I try this or try that? So this is a kind of different thing than the sort of mentality of it. And so it turns out that actually, as soon as we relate to anything, and again, this is basic Buddhism, as soon as there's relating to anything, then things are not behaving the way we might like them to. Whether it's the things out there, the people over there, the weather, or in meditation you're going to find that your body and mind and your legs, your back, your thoughts, your feelings, they're not going to do what you tell them to. I mean, you might tell them, I'd like to have a kind of peaceful, quiet, serene time in meditation, I'll thank you very much. And... Probably not. And you'll have these various experiences

[21:11]

which you won't know what to do with. My knees hurt, what do I do? You know, that's why I say, you know, at the same time that we don't give you the same recipe, we're not really giving it... So what do you do with it? Maybe you move, maybe you want to sit, maybe you sort of try to focus more on your breath, maybe you become annoyed, maybe you're upset, and then what about that? Is there something to do about that? But it's a kind of, you know, boot camp for actually taking responsibility for, you know, and relating to your own experience and seeing what happens. And in fact, then, moment after moment, all these things are happening that we... we may not be able to do much about. And so on one hand, there's... So anyway, there's various sorts of teachings about this. But this is the basic kind of issue of,

[22:15]

as soon as we have awareness, then taste comes in, and our thinking, and our wishes, and our likes and our dislikes, and if we're not relating to something, then... and if we're not responsible, then we're not... nothing's being asked of us. And it's also like the way the world is going out, there's no reflection on me. If you cook, then, am I good at cooking? Am I bad at cooking? What do they think about me? And how I handle things is a reflection on me. How I relate to somebody else in conversation is a reflection on me. And if I don't talk to anybody, it's not a reflection on me. So sometimes people doing spiritual practice, then they go around not relating to people because otherwise somebody might see them. People kind of speak into themselves because they're doing spiritual practice. So I'm more and more thinking, you see, and Dogen finally says this in the Tens of Few, and he says,

[23:16]

this is about letting your heart go out and be with things. He says, abide in things that things come and abide in your heart. So it's this kind of capacity. We're developing the capacity of working in a capacity to actually relate to things. Things being my thoughts, my feelings, my sensations, the food, the people, to actually experience these things and respond. How do I take care of things and what do I do? And somehow what we're going to do with the things is beyond or different than just get them to do what I want them to. So it's something more like, how do I bring out the best in them? Or how do I have them come forward and be more fully who they are or what they are? Or how can I help them realize or benefit themselves in some fuller way? So helping things or people or your own body and being

[24:18]

manifest itself more fully than it has been is different than how do I get it to behave the way I think I would like it to. Because so much of how I get it to behave is the way I think I would like it to is don't do something that I don't know how to respond to. Don't make me feel awkward or behave in a way that I don't notice how awkward or incapable I am. So if you say to the kids, I can't handle it when you talk so much so go to your room and be quiet. And don't come out of your room until you're in the right mood. So we kind of tend to do things like this where I'm just not going to relate. And we actually all have the capacity not to relate and we're all deserved to have times in our life when we have a break or we go to sleep at night. So it's important to structure things

[25:25]

but part of the problem is because we're not willing to relate to things when we relate to them then we also don't understand actually taking a break and then relating or structuring that in some way. So I have time to relate and time to sort of off so to speak and then when I'm on I'm going to really relate to these things. I don't know if I'm making sense in this but I'm trying to express something coming at it from different angles. So when I started cooking Suzuki Roshi told me a few things and I kind of... One of the things he said is when you cook you're not just cooking you're not just working with food you're working on yourself and you're working on other people. So this is actually what happens as soon as we actually relate to anything and we're studying how to do something again

[26:26]

in terms of... how to bring people forward or bring things into full manifestation myself into full manifestation in terms of how I express myself others in unlisting or drawing them out or responding. And it's just so different. Last October I was in Cleveland and I started the cooking class I said, you know I'm kind of anxious I haven't worked in this kitchen before I'm not sure all the ingredients are here and right away one says but Ed you've been meditating for more than 30 years why are you anxious? And this is kind of the idea that if you were capable and competent then you orchestrate everything you don't have to be anxious and you don't have to do this and you're masterful.

[27:28]

You have it together. And you kind of rule. And I went into a bit of a tirade and I said, oh what, you think that after 30 years of meditating I'd be better at hiding my feelings? Is that what you do with yours? And you want me to hide my feelings so you don't have to feel yours? And I said, well. And then I told her finally about the I had a friend, she's since died but Maureen Stewart who was a Zen teacher in Cambridge and she'd been married for 25 years and her husband was a professor at Smith or Swarthmore someplace with all these women students and he would have affairs with these students and she would tell him I'm kind of unhappy about this and then finally one day

[28:31]

she says to him I'm getting divorced we're getting divorced and he said Maureen, you're a Buddhist priest you should be more compassionate. And she said excuse me, but it's because I'm a Buddhist priest I know how I feel. And I don't like it. And then in contrast you see this is so she inadvertently brought something fuller out of me but it wasn't exactly like and on the other hand I was here at Tassajara several years ago starting my cooking workshop and coincidentally I can't remember the occasion I'd just like you to share with you I'm kind of anxious and Tassajara asked me to move

[29:31]

a couple of days ago and it's been postponed from yesterday morning to yesterday evening to this morning to this afternoon and now my stuff is all out in carts and the top of the road is covered in white sheets I don't know where everything is. And I'm having to start the workshop and the woman sitting next to me said Oh, Ed, you're anxious? I'm anxious too. And she grabs my hand, my wrist pulls it right up to her breast her chest here between her breasts and sure enough her heart is going thump, thump, thump, thump Oh my gosh, you are anxious, aren't you? So we're still friends. That's where Oh, you're anxious. Oh, you know Oh, I'm anxious too and we connect rather than Oh, you're anxious? So there's something about connection here and meeting

[30:31]

rather than I'm not sure and this is challenging because some things are difficult to actually meet and respond to or take care of or relate to because we don't know what to do and we don't know what to say and we feel I don't know about you, but I get pretty lost sometimes like things come up So this is a so we're studying actually how to in that sense when Dogen says let things come home to your heart it's also Suzuki as he said, we're practicing Zen to purify our love or in other words is there some way to trust yourself to be yourself, to live your life rather than what should I be tasting? How am I supposed to do this? What should I be doing here? What do I do with anger?

[31:33]

What do I do with this? Oh, I'm not supposed to be anxious Oh, okay And then rather than sort of moment by moment having the sense of there's actually some way I should be aiming to be so that and usually there's some kind of little thing in the background which we don't want to look at but like in order to gain approval in order to be accepted to be loved there's a little sort of sense of performance How can I perform so that people say thank you very much grateful and we approve and we appreciate you're great so how can you do things so you get this? I was at a I was one time at a there was this couple out in Marin County for a while that were doing this I don't know what it is even and it's sort of like this performance theater

[32:35]

and they do these various skits and they've been doing this stuff for years and at one point the couple comes out and the fellow's saying he's got this sort of rod and then he holds the edge of the rod and it turns out it's a cloth a piece of cloth he says I have to spot it I went to the county for it so now here's the spot and a little later we're going to ask Andrew if he's willing to be on the spot but just as a little background here I'm sure all of you have been very busy today you have a lot to do a lot to take care of how many of you today received all the love you deserve and all the love you wanted how many of you tried really hard to get the kids to

[33:36]

soccer and shop and cook and clean and do your job and get your work done did you get all the love you deserved for that did it work out you've really been at this for a while now haven't you, for a lot of years you've been very successfully you're all successful people here you've done your work you've been responsible people you've paid your taxes are you getting the love you've been aiming for all this time and somehow to do all the things that we do and take care of but there's some way in which we can never quite do enough to earn or gain or acquire or to merit some shift in our consciousness where we feel happier or like

[34:38]

we're at home in the world in the universe and later they said does anyone here who would like to be on the spot and see about getting the love you deserve and the love you want and then at some point he said to the person on the spot so starting here and going out to here this is like you didn't get any of the love you might have and this is like you've got the whole world how much love have you got today and [...] then after a while you know they're talking us through all this and then he finally had us start clapping to the person why don't you give them a hand and finally we gave them a standing ovation

[35:41]

and we just kept at it applauding and applauding if you just start to feel anything just let your hands go apart a little more but there's some way in which that all this gets mixed up because that love finally or well being or ease or at home in the world ease and vision as well but like at home in the world the kind of joy or resonance or connection with people and things it's not it's not based on how well we're doing something or that we're getting it right or it's coming out the way it should it's not based on any of that so how do we so the sense in Buddhism is can you let things come home to your heart let your heart respond and it's not about what you're supposed to do or not supposed to do or you tell yourself be kind

[36:42]

don't be selfish yeah you should say that no you shouldn't it's not about it's not about all those things that we're telling ourselves about you know that we'd be getting it right and so is there just some way to that we could learn to trust our capacity to let in the world and let things into our experience and allow ourself to respond and and so go ahead and do that and sometimes it's going to work out pretty well and other times it's not but the sense is we could actually be in some kind of just give and take and let things in and respond to things and there's a certain work to that because there's a kind of commitment to yes I'm interested in relating I'm interested in connecting and they actually have they use this term in Zen sometimes intimacy and that intimacy is used in place of

[37:46]

realization or enlightenment attainment of intimacy so there's actually this kind of quality of is it possible to be intimate with things you know with things you're holding, things you're touching your own breath your thoughts, your feelings possibly anything Ed, can I ask you a question? I keep trying to look at my own experience when I was baking in Canada and there was the one main problem that I had all the time and that's why I'm here really is there was a time limit I had to get something done by a certain time

[38:47]

and I I hope so and so I would lose I would lose what you're talking about and I would just get it done and I don't know how to marry we the person in charge of the prep we were talking about that today she said as the she can see the difference between the earlier in the prep and as it gets closer to the end of the prep time and early in the prep the carrots are small and this size and then later they're twice as big and they're so but yeah there is something about sustaining one's effort and so forth and at some point there's and sometimes I'm better at that than others but at some point there's um um you know

[39:54]

revamping things or refiguring things anyway like well maybe I don't need to do this and we'll we'll just take care of this and this is what I'm going to offer rather than I have to do include this other thing so maybe it's just carrots and it's not I'm not going to have the parsley or the basil with it or I'm not going to add this other thing to it so sometimes there's or if you don't do it that time then you start being a little more realistic about what it's possible for you to do the next time so that you so I for instance have endeavored to arrange a workshop here that I can do and that we can do as opposed to um I have these grand plans but actually when we go to do them and I have all these things I want to share with you but when we go to do it we're all just exhausted and collapsed and uh so there's

[40:56]

anyway that's part of it um the kind of planning and so forth because it seems like it's all of life you know as a massage therapist there's a time there's a time to do and sometimes I would find myself getting into it and then I'd get lost you know and then the next person it seems like it's just how do it's a big question for me yeah well then you know sometimes big questions mean that there's no answer and it's just something you keep working on you know there's a big question means you keep working on it you work on it because you work on it and study that question you learn a lot you learn about where your awareness goes and doesn't go and what you like and what you don't like and you study and learn various things and it may never change um but you're aware of it and because

[41:58]

you study it you learn things you know something you know something about you or the nature of the world um one of the basic teachings in Zen and it comes up in here in a certain sense in various terms but one of them is you know not to waste a single grain but in various ways Dogen says don't be careless about one thing and careful about another handle each ingredient as though it was your eyesight there's some sense of that each thing you meet is precious and the more general way that these things are said I mean Suzuki said to me when you wash the rice, wash the rice when you cut the carrots, cut the carrots when you stir the soup, stir the soup but the more general way is when you need one moment do that moment and the sense is that um you know often times you know

[43:03]

one possibility for what you're talking about is when you meet that moment well what about those other moments and then there's a certain sense they're not quite confident or trusting to really take care of that one moment and so it's starting to go off other places but then if you take care of this moment and this moment and this moment things will be taken care of and that taking care of this one moment will include enough things so you don't have to feel like I need and I need to take care of that and you won't have that feeling so much and sometimes I don't know sometimes it seems to be easier and sometimes it's way harder over the last months and you know I don't know what it is my mom died last year but it's been it's been very hard for me to concentrate on anything you know and do one moment and I've had that there's just all this stuff and I'm always feeling depressed and overwhelmed and

[44:03]

so much of the time and so it's kind of a blessing to be here at Tessle Heartland I can just do this one thing tonight 8.40 and take care of one thing so that's the sort of basic concept take care of let's take care of this and in cooking in particular anyway I found that my tendency is to to get going my tendency certainly was to get going fast so fast that it was sort of this feeling that if I could just go faster then I would be sure to take care of anything and I don't even have time to stop and think about all the things I need to do I just need to go faster and I found that actually that wasn't true and that it was very useful to stop and think about the things I have to do and then do the next thing

[45:04]

the things that need to be done now and then the next thing and the next thing because otherwise it just it just would snowball and that that was all I could do and then sure enough and then again partly that's being willing to stop and then if I think about it I can list and then I can prioritize and what's the next thing and what's the next thing and I found in cooking actually I actually learned this well first of all in cooking and then I learned it was a waiter because I could not go fast enough to take care of all the tables and two or three of them would always be disappearing and if anything disappears when it reappears it's had problems and it's upset with you so you kind of want to keep things in mind whether it's tables or the things you're cooking so the way to keep things keep track of things is that you actually list the things to yourself mechanically, so what are the things I'm trying to

[46:08]

keep track of, what are the things I'm trying to do here and then and so here's a table that well I just, I just created a menu to get the garland of daisies which is all I can remember so I'm going to go ask for some water so you kind of go through all the tables and the more you do that mechanically the more it starts to happen automatically and it's the same thing with food okay we've got this dish and what's happening with that and that dish and oh yeah I need to get these in the oven and you go through mechanically and then pretty soon it starts to happen automatically that when something needs to be done it pops into your mind and you're not even thinking about it anymore but that doesn't just happen automatically that it happens automatically you train yourself mechanically for it to happen automatically okay you actually remind yourself I'm going to stop now and I'm going to just go through what needs to be done

[47:08]

and then the more you do that stop and do that and the more it just happens I used to like to cook alone because if anybody came in to where I was cooking and started talking to me I would want to strangle them or something because they would take my focus away and then everything would just yeah I've been through things like that too let's say that's been my thing and so you know I don't know so on one hand you know it's again on one hand it's something you work on and then on the other hand you just seem to be seeing things through your life and you know sometimes you're more ready to be those people and it comes around and you know does anyone have a feeling that everybody is cooking all the time and um I'm not

[48:11]

that's not true and I like to cook I thought the dinner tonight was delicious but that doesn't mean it tastes better than mine that doesn't mean it tastes better than mine oh okay oh my goodness it's nine for nine twenty five it's just occurring to me I'd like to go ahead and oh I do want to say some things about tomorrow but first I want to tell you a poem a favorite food poem so it's

[49:19]

one of the sonnets by Wilco so this is approximately the Stephen Mitchell translation did you know Herman yes so Herman and I translated these two the one that's in the green but the one that I've memorized is Stephen Mitchell so it goes like this ground apple, smooth banana, melon, gooseberry peach, how all this afternoon speak death, hang night midnight I sense, observe it in a child's transparent features while he tastes this comes from far away what miracle is happening in your mouth while you eat instead of words discoveries flow out of the flesh of the fruit astonished you think dare to say what apple truly is

[50:19]

this sweetness it feels thick dark, dense and then exquisitely lifted from your taste first clarified, awake limbless, double meaning sense, purpose real, all knowledge pleasure, dread, mess so that's the quality more you know letting something come home to your heart as opposed to I did a great job preparing that didn't I so tomorrow now the day after tomorrow we're going to have a period of meditation of day 15 so in the morning you know so but tomorrow

[51:20]

the opportunity for meditation is the period of 5.50 and then at 6.50 we do bowing and chanting so you can stay in bowing and chanting like I mentioned I need to remember to bring my reading glasses so I can read the full sutra book in the dark and then after service everybody will leave if you need to leave by the way, if you would like to leave during either the sitting or after the sitting, before the service you go out the back door one of the two back doors behind the altar rather than heading out the front door you only go back out the front door when everybody is going out the front door otherwise you're as it were sneaking out the back door so officially you go out the front door so if you're leaving unofficially you go out the back door I didn't hear where anybody

[52:24]

had a problem with this but after the service everybody is going out the front door and then there's somebody standing there and if you stop to talk to that person they will give you a job to do if you just walk by her it's usually her these days if you just walk by her then you will not get assigned a little job raking the grounds or something we're not asking you to after service get a 15 or 20 minute job raking the grounds or cleaning the toilets so you can just walk by on your own anyway and then we're having tomorrow we're having the early breakfast with the students so the breakfast is about 7.35 and it's in the student eating area that's the area between the office and the kitchen and there's if you're there at the beginning there's before we start there's a

[53:25]

chant that everybody goes together and then we go through the breakfast line and pick up food and go and sit down the first part of the meal is silent and then there's some clappers that are hit and then people say good morning and start chattering away with one another are we having a reserved table? sure we might have a reserved table where we all sit together so when it comes time to talk we can chat too and there's a couple reasons why we're having the main reason why we're having the student breakfast is because then at 8.30 we can go to the student work meeting and then we can start work in the kitchen whenever that is and then it's about quarter to 9 rather than starting the next day we'll have the guest breakfast at 9 and then we won't be working in the kitchen until 10 so this way if we have the early breakfast we can go earlier into the kitchen and again I'm not sure

[54:29]

exactly how this is going to work with all this going to the kitchen so we'll kind of gather outside the kitchen and kind of check and actually we may be doing some of our work outside the kitchen which is those same tables where we serve up the food for big student meals rather than actually in the kitchen so we'll see but did you find out about that yet? the kitchen is not going to be involved ok I think it's a and then anyway about what happens is that after the guest meal goes out in the kitchen there's a little ceremony where we do standing bows and then we actually chant some of the passages from this tenzo from this instruction so we chant that together and a few more bows and then there's a little announcement so then we're going to mention that you know we're here and we're taking over actually I'm going to

[55:31]

mention to them and partly as a way of reminding us that on the whole this is a silent workplace workspace, the kitchen and it's just enough talking to give little instructions here and there we're going to be doing a little bit more than that but if you all are talking with each other I'm not going to be able to say things to you or talk to you about what we're doing and you also won't be able to ask me questions because there's just too much going on so the quieter you can be in these circumstances the more in a certain sense you can be listening and be receptive to what's happening and kind of be alert so I'm also going to tell them especially since there's so many of us if we're talking too much or we're in your way just a general reminder that this is a quiet workplace or you know we're coming in and out through here so I want to mention that to them

[56:34]

to be sure to be willing to the last retreat there was a little sense that we were there and the coach was sort of standing there and she didn't seem to want us so she said excuse me and so I'm going back to my people sorry trying to direct traffic anyway we'll work this out in a couple days but I'm going to mention to them but I wanted to give you also that there's that much in terms of like as much as we can to be sort of sensitive to the environment we're in the silence especially and the things that are going on and they're pretty good about a lot of things you know like somebody opens the oven they say oven or door, oven door open the oven and sometimes when they're coming through the kitchen with a knife and a thin knife coming through or something like that so they have certain things and then if they're going to turn on the blender

[57:35]

they say noise wah because otherwise it's that the blender yeah how many people have been cooking together do they have a routine yes and no some of them have been there for a couple of years and then there's some people that started last week so it's quite a range some of them started not necessarily last week but within the last three weeks one or two weeks so it's a pretty complex situation because we're doing student meals and then we're doing guest meals and there's a little bit of overlap but they're largely like the breakfast cereal that we serve ourselves we put out for guests and often the lunch soup is the same but it's a fairly complex situation

[58:35]

the way we're doing six meals a day well thank you very much so that's the plan for the morning and then we'll be working up through about noon and then we'll have a break until one o'clock and we'll get your sketches ready I'd like to kind of you know keep you abreast and get just as verbally as possible

[59:04]