Sunday, November 27, 2011

How To Cook Your Life

Finally got round to watching this excellent movie, How To Cook Your Life, which is streaming on Netflix. The movie was mostly about Edward Espe Brown, who wrote a few books and teaches cooking and Zen in California. Seems he's started his own sangha. Supposedly he helped found Greens, the cool Zen restaurant in SF.

Watching him cook bread made me want to cook bread. It's a quirky documentary because they will interview people and it's not clear what the connection is with Edward Espe Brown is, or to Zen. They say interesting things. It's more of a loose free flowing documentary than a tight one.

I like it that they show Brown's human side--he gets irritated, he cries, he has a tantrum, and he's calmly sitting in front giving a Dharma talk.

There is footage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, and Brown tells stories about him. I liked this one: A guy asks Suzuki what he thinks of the Zen students. He says, "I think they're enlightened, until they open their mouths."

And of course cooking is cool. You can apply mindfulness to everything and applying it to cooking is important. Bringing mindfulness to what we put into our bodies is very important.

I've heard the story about biscuits tasting right--he used to apply a different standard, expected them to taste like restaurant ones, but then he just accepted them as they were and he enjoyed them even more. I like that story. I think he originated that story, which somehow feels classic to me because I've heard it before.

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