Friday, June 3, 2011

Life is not a recipe

"Life is not a recipe. Recipes are just descriptions of one person's take on one moment in time. They're not rules. People think they are. They look as if they are. The say, 'Do this, not this. Add this, not that.' But, really, recipes are just suggestions that got written down." ~ Mario Batali

I haven't written in awhile.  I've had some things to say, but they just haven't made their way here.  A series of quotes have inspired me recently.  Mario's is one of them.

I love to cook.  I took a cooking class from Edward Espe Brown a couple of years ago.  One of the big realizations I took home from that class was that I wasn't tasting my food while I cooked.  I followed the recipe.  That generally came out fine.  But flavors get built along the way and tasting is a form of mindfulness practice that keeps your cooking alive and asks for your full participation.  Recipes are fine places to begin.  But every ingredient has the potential to vary.  No tomato tastes exactly the same.

Funny...I'd learned that in my yoga practice.  When I first began to practice and much later to teach, I followed the recipes of my teachers.  Most of the time that came out okay.  But I began to meet teachers who weren't offering recipes but were teaching me to cook.  Try this, taste it.  That's when my yoga practice really grew and my teaching felt authentic.  

Here's a mudra to try...vajrapradama mudra...a gesture of unshakeable trust.

Interlace your fingers lightly, your thumbs are free. Place your hands across your chest.  The feeling of your hands on your own heart will have an immediate effect but rest with it awhile.  Taste it.  You could look up more information on the internet.  You could find a recipe for this mudra.  But perhaps just see how it feels to you.  How long do you want to sit with it? Do you rest your hands on your chest or away from your body?  How is your breathing affected? Taste it.  Trust yourself.