A story is like water
That you heat for your bath.
It takes messages between the fire and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself,
like a salamander, or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.
A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes some bread
to bring it.
Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that’s blazing
inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.
EDWARD ESPE BROWN began cooking and practicing Zen in 1965. He was the first head resident cook at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center from 1967 to 1970. He later worked at the celebrated Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, serving as busboy, waiter, floor manager, wine buyer, cashier, host, and manager.
Ordained a priest by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, he has taught meditation retreats and vegetarian cooking classes throughout North America and Europe. He is the author of several cookbooks and the editor of Not Always So, a book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
He is also the subject of the critically acclaimed 2007 film How to Cook Your Life.
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