No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice

No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice

by Edward Espe Brown
No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice

No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice

by Edward Espe Brown


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Discover How to Cook—with Your Senses, Your Hands, and Your Heart
"Making your love manifest, transforming your spirit, good heart, and able hands into food is a great undertaking,” writes renowned chef and Zen priest Edward Espe Brown, “one that will nourish you in the doing, in the offering, and in the eating.” With No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice, Brown beautifully blends expert cooking advice with thoughtful reflections on meaning, joy, and life itself.
Reading Brown’s witty and engaging collection of essays is like learning to cook—and meditate—with your own personal chef and Zen teacher. Drawing from a lifetime of experience, he invites us into his home and kitchen to explore how cooking and eating can be paths to awakening. Baking, cutting, chopping, and tasting are not seen as rigid techniques, but as opportunities to find joy and satisfaction in the present moment. “Forget the rules and forget what you’ve been told,” teaches Brown. “Discover for yourself by tasting, testing, experimenting, and experiencing.”
From soil to seed and preparation to plate, No Recipe brings us a collection of timeless teachings on awakening in the sacred space of the kitchen.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683640554
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 248
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Edward Espe Brown
Edward Espe Brown began cooking and practicing Zen in 1965. He was the first head resident cook at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center from 1967 to 1970. He later worked at the celebrated Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, serving as busboy, waiter, floor manager, wine buyer, cashier, host, and manager. Ordained a priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, he has taught meditation retreats and vegetarian cooking classes throughout North America and Europe. He is the author of several bestselling cookbooks, including The Tassajara Bread Book, and the editor of Not Always So, a book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He is the subject of the critically acclaimed 2007 documentary film How to Cook Your Life. He resides in Fairfax, California.

Table of Contents

Before Words xiii

A Meeting of Hearts

Reverential Offerings

Envisioning This Book

Love and Blessings to the Cooks!

1 The Way of the Kitchen: Actualizing Sacred Space 1

I Will Always Be with You 2

Entering Sacred Space 4

Making Sacred Space Manifest 6

Remembering We Have Choice 9

Freedom Beyond Rote and Chore 11

2 You're the Cook 13

You're the Cook 14

Trusting Your Aesthetic 16

How You See Cooking 18

Cooking Is Not Just Cooking 19

Giving Voice to What Is Inside 22

3 Coming to Your Senses 25

Tasting the True Spirit of the Grain 26

To Get Started, You Don't Need to Know 28

Permission Granted 31

Follow Your Nose 33

Round Apple, Smooth Banana, a Poem by Rilke 36

Gifts from Beyond 37

4 Bringing Spirit to Life 41

What Gets Us into the Kitchen? 42

Visiting a Spiritual Center 46

Visiting Another Spiritual Center 49

5 The Work of Being Embodied 51

The Energetics of Zen Work 52

Everybody Loves Raking 56

6 Feeling Your Way Along in the Dark 61

Cooking with Passion 62

Seeing Virtue 67

Pause and Investigate 69

7 Careful Observation of the Obvious 71

Knowing the Differences That Make a Difference 72

The Flavor of Today 75

The Ceremony of Eating Just One Potato Chip 77

8 Seeking the Way 81

Way-Seeking Mind 82

Way-Seeking Spinach 85

To Cut or Not to Cut the Collards 88

Lovely Energy in the Kitchen 90

9 Let Things Come and Abide in Your Heart 93

Receiving Flavors 94

Developing a Palate as a Busboy at Greens 97

At Work with Wines 100

Breaking the Trance of Routine 103

A Salad of Five Flavors 104

10 The Black Dragon Jewel Is Everywhere 113

Is There Anything Good about Working in the Kitchen? 114

The Black Dragon Jewel 117

A Student Asks, "Why Haven't You Enlightened Me Yet?" 119

11 Doing the Work Yourself 121

Reinhabiting Your Body: You Are the Secret Ingredient 122

Zen Master Dogen Marvels: A Mushroom Story 125

At Home, at Work, in Your Body 127

12 Food Choices 129

Choosing Food 130

Finding Out for Yourself 135

Observing What to Eat 136

Cons and Myths 138

13 Eating 143

Not What to Eat, But How 144

The Ceremony of Eating 146

Learning to Eat with Awareness 150

Please Enjoy Your Food 153

Ingredients for Living Fully 157

What We Taste "In-forms" Us 158

14 Do Not See with Ordinary Eyes, Do Not Think with Ordinary Mind 161

Do Not See with Ordinary Eyes, Do Not Think with Ordinary Mind 162

Food Is Precious 164

Agreeing to Love Yourself 168

15 Arousing Joy and Well-Being 171

Men at Work Cooking: A Bachelor Party Dinner 172

16 Handling Leftovers 181

Purifying Our Love 182

Using Leftovers 184

Not Wasting 190

17 Cultivating a Life of Feeling 195

A Cooking Class in Cleveland 198

Using Emotions as an Excuse Not to Cook 200

A Workshop at Tassajara 201

Being Cracked Open 203

Sensing Essence 206

In Service to Something Big 208

You Mean It 213

After Words 215

Full Circle

Bowing In to Sacred Space

Acknowledgments 219

About the Author 225

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