theorems and corollaries contrived in the kitchen
It is mid-spring-break, and I finally am finally breathing unscheduled air for a few days. True, I still have to submit to getting mildly walloped by a real analysis homework proof that is of the intuitively-obvious-why-is-this-so-hard variety, but the fact that I can sit outside in the sun with my notebook starting my 2014 Chaco tan while frowning at the problem makes up for all woes.
I also feel particularly whole right now because of last week’s 5-day immersion into Zen monastic life on Whidbey Island near Seattle. The Tahoma monastery is absolutely beautiful. With about fifteen other students, I spent five days meditating, drinking tea, chanting, eating with chopsticks, and doing mild physical work around the monastery or in a local food bank garden. And let me tell you– zazen (Zen meditation) is hard. Each morning we rolled out of our sleeping bags at 4:30 a.m., walked down to the Zendo (meditation hall) in the dark, and spent two hours practicing alternating sessions of zazen, walking meditation or other movement, and sutra reading. Two hours each evening were spent in the Zendo as well. Zazen was my time for familiar internal battle. I have a hard time living in the moment, focusing my complete attention to the senses of the now. Each time I sat with my hands in my lap, I began a new cycle of thinking about not thinking, getting distracted by memories or planning, scolding myself for getting distracted, returning attention to the meditation, then getting distracted again. One morning I got frustrated enough to throw my efforts to stay focused to the wind and give up on trying to meditate during the sitting session. And it was at that point that I actually began to meditate. Because at that point, I was able to grasp a few moments of true acceptance of my current state in whatever physical or existential form it may have. Back at home now, ready to make a fool of myself with some friends and make chocolatey things in the kitchen, I think I have the most basic starting point from which I may get a glimpse of what I can do as a person and how I function from a Zen lens.
More adventures to come! Next week I will be taking a Whitewater Instructor Certification Workshop through the American Canoe Association in Bend, OR. Talk about a flip of activity!
With all this shameless sun outside, I am craving herbs herbs herbs! The spring farmers market in this little town is pretty sad as far as produce goes, but the booths are filled with the olfactory paradise of young potted herbs. Celebrate spring with your nose in the air! Here is my herby contribution: a vibrant basil edamame spread! It is excellent as a dip for crackers, and I used it tonight as a pizza base! Mmmmmm… Feel free to get creative.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I used an immersion blender with great success. Yields a little over 1½ cups of delicious spread.
This makes an excellent spread or dip!
• • • p.s. Did you know that oat straw makes an excellent tea ingredient? Oat straw is high in the mineral silica, which is key to the development of healthy bones, skin, hair, and nails. • • •