Zen cooking and desires

The Zen cook takes whatever ingredients are available and works with it. 

So how does that look in terms of desires? For instance, a desire to know, do and die? 

A desire to know can be cooked with in a less helpful way, as a way to accumulate stories for their own sake and taking them as true. And it can be cooked with in a more helpful way, as a desire to know what I am and a more playful exploration of stories as temporary tools. When does any particular story seem useful? When not? 

A desire to do can be cooked into an escape, and be less helpful in the long run. And it can be cooked in a more helpful way, at our human level and also to invite what we are to notice itself. It can be a doing of inquiry and allowing shifts making it easier for what I am to notice itself. 

A desire for something to die is similar. When cooked in confusion, it can be less helpful. When cooked with more clarity, it can be a motivation for change in our human life, and also for allowing identification with stories and a sense of a separate I to fall away. What do I more honestly want to die? When I explore it for myself, I find that it is that identification with a story.  

There are two ways to approach this. 

I can take whatever ingredients are here and cook with them differently, maybe with a little more skill. 

And I can trace desires back, find what they more honestly are about for me. 

And those two are not that different. 

A good cook will naturally be curious about the ingredients. What are they really? 

And when desires are traced back, they naturally are cooked with differently. Initially, it may appear as a desire to know about the history of China, and then it is clarified as a desire to know what I am and explore the infinite ways it plays itself out as form. (Including as the history of China!)

Read More