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The Zen of Cooking March 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
8 comments

When we are stressed, our attention often turns to food . . . glorious food.  

If we wish to whittle away at our stress levels, without expanding our waistlines, we don’t have to stay out of the kitchen entirely ~ we just need to change our focus. 

Instead of mindlessly inhaling a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or Chubby Hubby when we are upset, we can use our time in the kitchen wisely ~ to mindfully chop until we drop. 

Cooking is a meditative process which soothes and relaxes us, as long as we stay focused on the task at hand ~ the sights, sounds, smells, and aromas, together with the tantalizing tastes and textures. 

Instead of racing to peel a pound of carrots in record time, while worrying about things outside our control, we can enjoy the journey of cooking as we move steadily toward the destination of creating a delicious dinner.

Cooking for ourselves saves money (and time), and allows us to eat healthier fare than offered at the nearest take out or fast food joint. 

Instead of wondering what’s in our food (or worrying about whether the person preparing it remembered to wash his or her hands after using the restroom), we are able to select fresh ingredients and control the proportion of each according to our own unique tastes and preferences. 

Next time it’s your turn to cook, immerse yourself in the Zen of Cooking. 

Take your time, listen to soothing music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy a meditative respite from the stresses and strains of daily life. 

As you rhythmically wash, peel, chop, slice, dice, season and taste, relax into the moment and give thanks for the many blessings in your life ~ including access to fresh vibrant fruits and veggies in bright colorful hues. 

Food, glorious food, offers delicious sustenance to our bodies and peace of mind to our harried souls.

Quote:  Bon Appetit! ~ Julia Child

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Artwork by Anne Abbgott ~ available at Island Gallery West.

Related Resources:  Three Bowl Cookbook * Chop Wood Carry Water

Meditation Amidst The Honking March 10, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Meditation, Mindfulness.
5 comments

By Amy N. Brueggemann, Guest Blogger

I love rush hour traffic. 

Yes, you heard me.  I am very limited to time that is mine, and mine alone. I spend most of the day surrounded by people who I’m not incredibly fond of, in places that I can’t really stand.

And then I get in my car and I head to my next destination. Which is typically a classroom full of more people.

But between one destination and the next, I’ve usually got about 30-60 minutes of down time. Alone in my car. It never really dawned on me how much time I spend in my car a day. It used to be wasted as a stress point, always hurrying and freaking out about being on time. And weathering St. Louis traffic can at times be incredibly hurtful. Yes, I said hurtful.

People around here are mean when they drive (I sound like a sheltered child when I say that, but this morning I was admonished with several curses, the finger, and a generous amount of honking for going the speed limit). I’m not a bad driver, I just refuse to act like I’m more important than everyone else when I’m behind the wheel. It’s not a race, and to be completely honest, I’m in no particular hurry to get to work 15 minutes early.

Because then I’m at work. And I have to work. And spend time with my co-workers.

So, I take my time, and I listen to my music, and I drink whatever kind of gourmet coffee I picked out that morning. And I smile at people who honk at me, and wave to those giving the bird. And I think about what the hell I’m going to post for today’s PTD (I’m failing miserably guys…sorry), and I pray that I get through the day in one piece and am not too tired by the end of it to enjoy home…when I eventually make it there.

So, yes, I love rush hour traffic. It’s a great place to contemplate.

And, may I suggest checking out The Supreme Bean Coffee Co. ? They have an amazing French Roast.

Yum.   

Amy lives in St. Louis where she writes part-time, goes to school full-time, plays with clay periodically, and holds down several jobs . . . all without spilling a drop of coffee during her rush hour commute.