TO ACTIVATE LIFE
Shôjin ryôri is one of the pillars of Zen practice and considers food as a medicine of the heart, cooking as a way to connect with the world.
It proposes to cook and eat in order to awaken one's life.
The cuisine of benevolence is an update of the principles of shojin ryori adapted to our secular western culture.
It is a Zen cuisine that is part of secularity and community.
How can we make our food a true spirituality?
How to resonate with ourselves in the echo of the world? How can we allow ourselves to be transformed by "just sitting", "just cooking" and "just eating"?
It is to all these questions that the active contemplation of this practice answers.
Food is life that circulates and makes us alive.
The kitchen of benevolence is to welcome and feel this life to better give it back.
Its principles are those of shôjin ryôri, the Zen practice of food that appeared in China in the 8th century and was introduced to Japan by Master Dogen, who rehabilitated it as a way of awakening within the Soto school that he founded in 1231.
Offering multiple doors, shojin ryori is both an individual and a collective practice which unfolds through:
- the practice of zazen
- the practice of the situation (sasion, not wasting, frugal or celebratory meals)
- the only cooking or eating (shikanta).
- the 3 spirits of the Zen cook
- the 6 flavors of meals
- the practice of bowls ( gyou hatsu )
- to the right measure ( Oryoki )
- the contemplation of food (the 5 contemplations)
What is the practice of Zen cooking?
The profound meaning of this practice is to connect with the world, to rediscover the religious feeling of food without having to enter into dogma.
It is a contemplative activism, an adjustment to the world in availability.
This includes the suggestion of a culinary framework that protects absorption from the outside: menus with 6 flavours, 5 textures, 5 colours.
Whether monastic or secular, Zen cuisine is above all a framework for activating the living in the circularity of giving and counter-giving to nature, others, cooks and ancestors.
It is a practice embodied in the material, in the body/heart, in the sensoriality which accompanies and merges us with the living through:
- the awakening of our deep nature
- the dynamic welcome of life as it presents itself
- the activation of deep joy
- adjusted action in the world
Zen cooking is to do with what there is, that is to say: to live with reality as it is, as it presents itself without wanting to distort it, to rewrite it. It is to live in the practice of the situation and to activate the living of our reality to nourish the body of the earth.
It is to simply do with what is in front of us, with no other goal than to sit for sitting, to cook for cooking, to eat for eating, to celebrate life at each moment and in each of our cells to manifest our global reality .
To practice the way of the tenzo is to practice the absorption of life as it is in sitting, in one's cooking, in one's meals, in one's life.
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