Updated: Jan 29
( this video has some frozen moments the first 3 mn but then it is ok )
The practice of food as post- activism :
I am a tenzo , a secular monk and in this video I share how this ancient tradition of more than 1000 years is particularly accurate to our fugitive journey in post activism.
To best share this practice I would like to go to the core of it , which is the posture of porosity to life itself, a space where we let the wind , the air , but also all the elements can unfold freely within us . This posture is the body-mind communion , one which opens the hand of thoughts and expand ourselves through the experience of becoming the unstatic world.
To enter the experience we just have to trust the most precious thing on earth , “the eros of gravity” as David Abram expresses it . To let this arisen flourished we explore our center through relaxation . Center meaning the equilibrium , the neutral point between gravity, breath and verticality .In this natural unfolding , life can circulate through us and we can become , interwoven with all beings, elements .
When we wit , we can feel the movement of life , this is the practice ( Gyou in Japanese meaning both practice and movement ) . Our body becomes a pot , our breath the fire and we let life cooks us, we let the all world unfolding like ingredients and alchemy of intrication through movement is arising. The mind follows the body , and the thoughts come but don’t think themselves , we just let them go over and over without engaging neither rejecting them , we just bear witness to what is .
This meditation name zazen, ( sitting absorption ) is the base of the food practice as when we cook, when we eat , when we clean this is the same relaxation and trust that will activate this endless becoming of our S(s)elf.
In the kitchen , the tenzo ( the zen cook) approaches every activity the same way we approach sitting , not judging , bearing witness to “what is” , just being actively present to the good or bad . Tenzo means the one who ordains the seat, he has the responsibility to offer people their place back in the world through food. He does that through mirroring what is our external reality ( season, colors, texture, variety, emotions ) in menus and from that allow us to erase the illusionary separation with "outside" .
There are several doors to practice food as a way to live fully our s (S)elf :
- The tenzo practice , just sitting, just cooking as it comes
- The way of cooking : 6 savors ( including the silent taste of center ) 5 colors and textures
- the way we eat : oryoki ( movement of the bowls ) + 5 contemplations *
- Ceremonies of food ( calling ancestors )
The post activism or contemplative activism comes from the intuitive action that raises from the first 2 postures of not judging and bearing witness . From that freedom of just being in a constant becoming enthusiasm and joy, in the deep time which manifests past , present and future , our next adjusted action rises naturally.
To practice just sitting, just cooking, just eating in a continuous dance , we see emergence of new paths of thoughts, decisions and actions separate from moral or ethical judgement which are deeply adjusted to our environment ( ecological, political , social) in a natural movement of compassion ( love in action).
In that sense I believe this is a post activism practice .
*The 5 contemplations
· We contemplate all the energy and the efforts that were necessary for that food to come to us
· We question the way we honor this food in our way of living
· We acknowledge how much this food can prevent us from avidity, anger and illusion of separation
· We look at this food as the nourishment of our body
· We see how much this food awakes our Life