Fully documentary is coming soon. Here’s a sample.
The last few weeks have had me cooking again. It was easy to break the habit of going out to eat, especially since there is no tempting selection of restaurants around the corner.
I don’t pressure myself to make something extravagant every time I cook, but I allow for a LITTLE extra time, to make it different (hopefully better). I look in the fridge, check the cupboards, then just try to put something together. If my mind is blank, there’s the cook book AND the internet. Sometimes I spend 2 hours cooking, sometimes 20 minutes.
In a field where complex variables are changing constantly, it’s healthy for me to be able to focus no simple tasks… that are not on a computer screen. I love cooking and I regret my phases where I stop. Too many distractions that led to too many excuses.
Today’s meal is a vegetarian stuffed cabbage. 1 package of spiced tofu (tofurky!) w/ 1 cup basmatti rice, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion and chopped tomatoes. Roll this up in some blanched cabbage leaves and put into a deep baking tray with about 3-4 cups of tomato sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for a little over 1/2 an hour (when the sauce is bubbling). In my case, it took almost an hour, because I used a casserole dish.
Mark (who’s working on the house) was my test subject… and he liked it! Best part is, he didn’t even know there there was no meat.
What’s on the menu tonight? A beer.
Tomorrow… hmm… leftovers.
Entering altered states of mind. A state of clarity. This is certainly one area that Buddhism has helped my life. How to focus the mind. When you discover just how focused you can be, you realize how noisy your head has always been. I blame the excessive amounts of TV and commercials (gotta blame something, no?) But seriously, our minds are too busy. There’s too many distractions and not enough time to give our minds rest. Even sleep isn’t restful anymore. We go to sleep thinking about our day, or worrying about the day to follow. I can’t tell you how refreshing my rests are now, ever since my late night snacks became a salad, my drinks became water and my mind rested with me focused on my breath.
I highly recommend How to Meditate by Lawrence LeShan for a no B.S. summary of the practice. Thanks to Bob F. for that recommendation. Of course, the only real way to truly understand it, is to try it. One 10 minute sitting won’t cut it. If you’re looking for the Buddhist usage of meditation, then Turning the Mind Into an Ally is the book to run to. Both books are under 150 pages, but the second book is a much easier read.
Also, I mustn’t forget techno. 14 years old, laying in bed, with headphones on, entering the world of the grid. A world that would later have its doors thrown open even wider with the use of… other tools. Music prepared me. There’s something about that tribal rhythm that really balances out the mind.
The lead character artist at work told me that he doesn’t watch TV. I asked him how he spends hit time at home. He said he meditates 2-3 hours per night. Wow! Sitting in total silence, just focused on your mind. Most would consider this a waste of time, but if you met this guy, you would think otherwise. He’s always calm and collected.
At the very least, I would like to meditate about 30 minutes per night, and this would not include time the time needed for the sketchbook.